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Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 3

MU0003 – Employee Relations Management

Assignment Set- 1

Q.1:- In the era of globalization, existence of a trade

union is being challenged. What are the challenges
being faced by the trade unions?

Ans :- Challenges Faced by an Organization :-

Human behaviour is governed by various factors which may

be intrinsic or extrinsic. Managing employee relations is an
extremely challenging task since no two humans are the
same and no single human being behaves in the same
manner each day. Thus managing employee relations is a
challenging proposition with no fixed solution. The nature
and cause of employee relations problems can be:

A) Clash of Individual and Organizational Interests:-

An inherent conflict exists between the needs of an

individual and the demands of the organization. An
employee seeks a work environment which gives him a
chance to exercise himself fully. He desires complete
development and utilization of his abilities and to be
creative; he expects a challenging job, autonomy,
predictable management policies and behaviour. However, a
typical job rarely fulfils his aspirations for development,
challenge and autonomy. This creates basic conflict between
the individual and the organization. The employee working
under conditions which force conformity on him faces
psychological failure and responds with apathy, aggression
and alienation. His individuality and identity are obscured
and his frustration is the root cause of many employee
relations problems.

B) Individual Differences:-

All employees have different needs, values, beliefs, attitudes

and perceptions. Therefore, different individuals respond to
the same situation in different ways. Even the same person
may respond differently at different points of time. At one
time many may inspire him to work hard, but at different
times, the needs, values and attitudes of an individual
change. It is, hence, not easy for a manager to adopt a
different strategy for each employee. If he treats people
differently according to their unique needs, it would be
construed as bias and favoritism. Conversely, if a manager
adopts a uniform and standard approach in dealing with
people, he will end up antagonizing a majority and will fail to
inspire many individuals. It is thus a catch 22 situation.

C) Interpersonal Conflicts:-

Differences in attitudes, values, perceptions, needs of

people are natural. These individual differences lead to clash
of interests and beliefs leading to conflicts when people
interact with one another. Conflicts may arise due to
competition, differences in approach to work, scarcity of
resources, etc. While some element of conflict is essential for
the enhancement of productivity and creativity, some
conflicts may result in undesirable situations harming the
organizational interests.

D) Unrelated Multiplicity of Roles:-

Organizational roles require an employee to have multiple

relationships. He may be boss to some, subordinate to
others, a leader of a group and a specialist at the same time.
Such roles entail different behaviour at different times. A
particular group/ situation expect a typical behaviour which
may not be possible at all times. Such a multi-faceted
functioning is likely to lead to role ambiguity and role conflict
and may even affect his personal relations.

E) Informal Groups:-
Informal groups arise spontaneously due to frequent
interaction between groups of employees. These groups help
satisfy each others social, security and esteem needs. These
groups generate strong bonding amongst their members and
virtually become like a family. Erring members are punished
in some or the other manner. However, if the goals of such
an informal group are at a tangent with those of the
organization, productivity gets adversely affected. Groups
also resist changes, clash with one another to establish their
superiority and to gain more power in the organization.
Conflicts between production and sales groups are quite
common. Such inter-group conflicts, as long as they are
positive, assist an organization. However, they are a potent
source for unmanageable conflicts.

Q.3:- Mr. Sanjay is the General Manager of Dream Sunshine

Pharmacetical Company. He has to diversify his business. He
wants to assess the leadership style of some of his senior
Manager 1- (Has a high consideration for people and low for structure)

Manager 2 – (Has a high consideration for people and also high for

Manager 3 – (Has a low consideration for people and high for
Manager 4 – (Has a low consideration for people and low for
Refer to the Grid approach and help Mr Kapoor to clearly understand
the leadership styles for all the managers. Which style is best,
according to you? Explain. [10]

Answer:- Grid Approach of Leadership (Blake – Mouton)

The grid approach to leadership has been developed by R.R. Blake

and J.S. Mouton. It was primarily developed for assessing the
personality of a leader in terms of his concern for task and concern
for people, and later, attempting behavioural modification in him
through Managerial Grid training program. Since each axis of the grid
has 9 steps, a leader’s performance can be plotted anywhere on 81
small boxes of grid by obtaining his score with the help of a
questionnaire. However, for the purposes of studying the styles of
leadership the grid can be divided into five main areas. These are
shown in Figure Below:

Figure: Grid Approach of Leadership

i) Location 9, 1 Style (Task)

This style represents the task or mission oriented leader. He cares
little about the feelings of his group members. He believes in close
supervision and proves impatient about the slackness, delay or failure
on the part of group members. This type of behaviour of leader is
suited for handling certain types of emergency conditions.
ii) Location 9, 9 Style (Team)

This type of leader tries to integrate both mission accomplishment
and welfare of men. He helps the development of those members of
his group who are committed to the achievement of organizational
goals. Such members, with their stake in the organization’s purpose,
co-operate with each other and work in an interdependent manner.
They trust and respect each other and that helps them in creating a
congenial work environment. This makes the task of the leader easy.
He works with conviction that ‘people support what they help to

iii) Location 1, 9 Style (Country Club)

The leader belonging to this quadrant of the grid is also called the
club manager. The welfare of people is his sole aim. He is likely to fail
in achieving organization’s time bound objectives. Since his heart is
full of compassion and he cannot see people suffering. He lives with
the idea that ‘a happy team produces the best results’.

iv) Location 1, 1 Style (Impoverished)

This is the non-involved type of leader. He neither causes any event
nor directs any event taking place on its own. He considers that
mission accomplishment and welfare of people are conflicting goals.
The best results are achieved if the procedures established in the
past are allowed to continue. An organization headed by such a
leader can consider itself lucky if it could just maintain the standards
of efficiency achieved under an earlier dynamic leader.

v) 5, 5 Style (Middle Road)
This is the leader who follows ‘middle-of-the-road’ policy. He thinks
that by being ‘firm but fair’ he can achieve the best results. He is a
compromiser. He strives to achieve results without unduly upsetting
the people. Such a leader is best suited to play the role of a
conciliator in the labor management conflicts.