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Case Study : Manpower Planning

Case Study Scenario 1: Pearl Engineering Company was a large heavy-engineering unit. It attached great importance to the recruitment and training of its senior supervisors. Apart from selecting them from within the organization, the company recruited, every alternate year, about ten young engineering graduates and offered them training for a period of two years, before they were appointed as senior supervisors. Such appointments were made to about 40 per cent of the vacancies of senior supervisors that occurred in the organization. This was considered necessary by management as a planned programme of imparting vitality to the organization. Besides, many of the old-timers, who had risen from the ranks, did not possess the necessary academic background with the result that they could not keep pace with the technological changes. Management also believed that in the rapidly changing conditions of industry, a bank of technically competent supervisors played a pivotal role, besides serving as a pool from which to select future departmental managers. Engineering Graduates were selected from amongst those who applied in response to an all-India advertisement. For the selection of one engineer, on an average, eight applicants were called for interview. A selection committee consisting of the General Manager, the Production Manager, the Personnel Manager and the Training Officer interviewed and selected the candidates. The selection interview was preceded by a written test and only those who secured 40 per cent marks qualified for interview. The engineers thus selected had to undergo a two year intensive theoretical and practical training. A well-staffed and equipped Training Institute was directly responsible for the training of the graduate engineers, besides training trade apprentices and operatives required by the company. Lectures on theoretical subjects were given at the Training Institute and practical training was imparted in all the works departments under the guidance of qualified and experienced instructors. A few lectures by senior officers of the company were also arranged to acquaint them with the company policies on different matters. During the last quarter of their two- year training programme they were deputed to work fulltime to familiarize themselves with the conditions in departments where they were to be absorbed eventually.

On successful completion of training, the graduate engineers were offered

appointments, depending on their performance and aptitude as revealed

during training. On placement in the work departments, however, most of

them faced some difficulty or the other.

According to management, some of the heads of departments, who were

themselves not qualified engineers, did not have sufficient confidence in

these younger men. They preferred the subordinates who came up from the

ranks to hold positions of responsibility. A few discredited them saying that

it would take years before these youngsters could pick up the job. Besides,

some of the employees, whose promotional opportunities were adversely

affected by the placement of graduate engineers, tried their best to run

down the latter as a class, sometimes working on the group feelings of the

workers. Some of the supervisors who were not graduate engineers also

spoke derisively of them as "the blue-eyed boys" of the organization.

Management knew that many of the graduate engineers were not utilized

according to their capacity or training, nor was any attempt made to test or

develop their potentialities. They also knew that many of the graduate

engineers were, therefore, dissatisfied with their work life. Some of them

who did not get equal promotional opportunities as their colleagues placed

in other departments, were looking for better jobs elsewhere.

On the other hand, according to management, the young graduate

engineers were themselves partly responsible for the hostile attitude of

others in the organization. Some of them failed to appreciate that a

newcomer invited hostility in the beginning and it took time before he was

accepted as a member of the work-group. They did not realize that they

would be fully productive only after gaining about five to seven years

experience in the organization. A few thought that they belonged to a

superior cadre and threw their weight around. They did not bother to

understand and appreciate the problems of the rank-and-file of employees

who worked under them.

In spite of these drawback, the General Manager of the company felt that

these men were a set of disciplined supervisors. They had a sense of pride

in their profession, and with the extensive training they had received, they

would be able to take up any responsible position in the organization in

course of time.

The General Manager could not allow the situation to continue especially when it was a difficult and costly process to recruit and train young engineering graduates of the requisite type and caliber. He knew that the prosperity of the company, to a large extent, depended on these young men.

In addition, a large number of lucrative employment opportunities were available to these young engineers elsewhere and there was a systematic raid on them, He, therefore, called a meeting of all heads of departments to review the situation.


(i) Identify the issues related to manpower planning as evident in the case.

(ii) Discuss the strategies to tackle the percentage of internal promotion at

the organizational level.

(iii)What type of additional training programmes should be imparted for

direct entrants ?

(iv) Suppose you are the head of the personnel division. What would be your

suggestions in the meeting which has been called by the General Manager?

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