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Case Study : Resistance to Change
Human Resources » Case Studies

Chrm Message From: jagadish Total Posts: 52 Join Date: 30/09/2006
Rank: Manager Post Date: 25/01/2007 06:08:43 Points: 260 Location: United States

Dear Friends,

Read below the case study and let's have an interesting discussion :-

Sagar Pvt. Ltd. is a small company, which manufactures plastic products such as mugs, buckets, and other household utility products. This company which is situated in an industrial belt in New Mumbai has typical labor needs. Since quite a few operations including packing of products are done manually, the company employs 80 workers on the shop floor. The company supplies its products to retailers in and around Mumbai. It has a long production run and longer product life-cycles and therefore the management believes that the company is making fewer profits because of this. As a result, the top-management, which comprises of the members of Maheshwari family, since this is a family managed business, decided to invest resources on automation to have shorter production runs & shorter product life-cycles. It has decided to introduce packaging machines to reduce semi-skilled and unskilled labour.

The company has a bad record in industrial relations since workers in the past have had several problems pertaining to wages and working conditions. Rajnath Dube, a worker who is often pampered by management to get their way, dominates the company union. Rajnath is a man who ranks very low in personal & professional ethics but has a way with people and is good at politics. He has a substantial clout with the workers who trust him and would act on his advice. But the management is fully aware that Rajnath may not be able to help much if the company thinks of retrenching workers. However the management decided to speak to Rajnath regarding their decision to introduce automatic machines and subsequent lay off of workers. Rajnath immediately sensed a good opportunity to make a big sum so he pretended that convincing the workers was a Herculean task and he would need at least 6 months time to do this. The management was however impatient to introduce automation and told Rajnath to convince workers within 3 months to help them implement the decision. Of course Rajnath played his game and asked for a huge sum in reciprocation of his effort. The Maheshwari brothers were shocked at the price that Rajnath wanted. They however knew that things would only get worse if they refused Rajnath’s proposal.

Case Questions :

1. Was the Maheshwari family’s method of introducing change in Sagar Private Limited appropriate? Please substantiate your response giving suitable reasons.

2. What was the tactic used by top management to overcome resistance to change? What tactic would you have used to overcome workers’ resistance to change if you were in the top management’s position?

3. How would you handle Rajnath if you were in place of the Maheshwaris?



Chrm Message From: anujjain Total Posts: 46 Join Date: 30/09/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 26/01/2007 01:33:03 Points: 230 Location: United States

(1): Method of introducing change is requirement of company. Company is free to adopt such change keeping in mind business profit, product quality etc..... Company will go through ID Act, 1947. Pls see the clause. 

(2): See, its not tactics of management. Its company needs. when we spk about resist to change, its human tendency to resist.

I will use following technique to convince Rajnath Dubey and workers :-

a) If there is any other units other than Mumbai where there is no plan to implement such automation, I will tranfer those workers who are strong enough in resistance. Management can do such thing without depriving their wages. One thing we should keep in mind that settled worker will not go any where other than mumbai. Result: they will resign and my problem will be sorted little bit.

b) Bze we are introducing automation in packing area only. Rest are on manual. I will find out the lazy workers who is not hard workers. i will put such workers in hardship job. Ultimately they will be compelled to leave.

c) I will make the list of workers those who r under Probationary Period. i will terminate them without assigning any reason.

d) If workers service tenure is 01 yr or more, i will compensate them as per ID Act and will give assurance to rehire if we need in future.

e) If there is chance to adjust anywhere in the company, we will give chance to work in other area in place of packing area.

f) If there is threat of illegal strike, i will be in contact with such contrcators who can provide such type of services in short period notice.

g) If there is threat of locking of gate, i will take necessary help of local police or authority

h) We will conduct meeting with all management personnel for solution. we will tell all managerial staff to be ready to work day and night basis for few days (till amicable solutions)

but all this practice should be well in advance 

(3): Rajnath Dubey will be handled only applying Divide and Rule Policy. Personaly, my nature is to build good relation with local authority as well as politician . With the help of external jack, i will sort out Rajnath Dubey which is cancer for organisation. Second Rajnath will be produced to sort out the problem of company


Anuj Jain

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