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Workplace Deviance: A Case of Absenteeism at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)*

ET Cases - GSMC , 7 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Preeti S. Rawat, Prof Amitabh Sengupta, Mr.Saboor Sirwal and Ms. Chayanika Malik

Case Preview

Workplace Deviance: A Case of Absenteeism at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)


On a warm sunny afternoon Suresh Chandra, Head, Human Resources Department at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) was having a telephonic  conversation. His face looked grim. The caller seemed to be explaining some incident in detail.

Suresh Chandra: ‘I see…ok…let me take up this matter with Rohit Mullick…..I am sure things will improve’. Chandra hung the phone. After brooding for some time he  called his secretary Dorothy. She entered his cabin with her notepad in hand.

Dorothy: ‘Good afternoon Sir’

Suresh Chandra: ‘Good afternoon Dorothy, I called you to fix a meeting today with Mullick at 3 pm’,

Dorothy: ‘Right Sir’ Rohit Mullick was Senior Manager (Personnel) at BPCL. With a strong background in labour legislation and industrial relations, Mullick had solved
many delicate labour issues. He had been with the company for last fifteen years and had slowly risen to this position by his sheer efficiency in handling tricky industrial relations issues. He had always shown good command over the laws and the labour unions also respected him.

Suresh Chandra: ‘Hello Mr. Mullick I want to talk to you about a serious matter that has come to my notice’, said Chandra looking grave.

Rohit Mullick: ‘Tell me Mr. Chandra what is it about and how can I be of help to you?’ asked Mullick showing concern.

Suresh Chandra: ‘The Coimbatore plant has reported some serious trouble due to chronic absenteeism of few employees there’

Rohit Mullick: ‘This is certainly a serious problem and as you know chronic absenteeism is a form of workplace deviance…



Teaching Note Preview

Workplace Deviance: A Case of Absenteeism at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)


Pedagogical Objectives

  • -To highlight the problems of people management faced by organizations while handling employee deviance in general and absenteeism in particular (especially if it is due to alcoholism)
  • -To learn about: workplace deviance, and its types absenteeism and its types
  • -To make the readers realize that decision choices to handle problems are not very simple. The managers are often at crossroads of whether they should be tough and punish the act of misconduct, or be humanitarian and take into consideration how the decisions of organization will impact the dependents of the concerned employees
  • -To understand employee relations


Assignment Questions

  • I. What is the central problem discussed in the case? use appropriate framework to discuss the problems at length.
  • II. According to the case how was deviance handled by BPCL in the past? Is there a legal framework to address the issue of deviance?
  • III. Why is Mr. Mullick in a dilemma?
  • IV. If you were Mr. Mullick how would you address the problem?



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Product code: HRM-2-0034, HRM-2-0034A


This case study seeks to addresses the issue of deviance. Through a situation highlight of chronic absenteeism at the Coimbatore Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottling plant of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) this case study places the spotlight on the controversy, whether the organizations should be welfare driven or performance driven?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the areas where vigilance and non-vigilance intervention is required in an organization
  • In case of deviant behaviour, how can the HR handle the situation keeping in mind the interest of the company
  • To understand the thin line where employee welfare should not cross roads with performance and how to make a decision

Case Positioning and Setting

The case study is suitable for MBA and Executive MBA in Human Resource Management to address: The issue of Deviance at Workplace – Labour Laws and Regulations – Vigilance, treatment of deviant behaviour

* GSMC 2014, IIM Raipur

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- Caselet
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)

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