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IMT-14: Organizational Structure & Behaviour-MT1

IMT-14: Organizational Structure & Behaviour-MT1















Q1. The success of any organization primarily depends upon how good the management of the organization is. Elaborate.

Q2. The ability to do a task need not result in optimal performance. What else do you think is necessary?

Q3. Analyse the role of hygiene factors in motivating employees.

Q4. Managements of most organizations are of the view that the type of punishment should focus on the behaviour rather than the person. Comment.

Q5. Analyse the role of knowledge as a source of power.


Q1. 'Ethics is probably the most difficult concept to define. 'Justify this statement.

Q2. A particular leadership style may be more effective in one situation and the same style may be totally ineffective in another situation. Why is this so?

Q3. 'Strong culture is important for organizational success.' Justify this statement.

Q4. Discuss the strategies that can be employed to resolve behavioural conflicts.

Q5. The type of structure of an organization has considerable impact on the motivation and productivity of employees. Analyze this statement, citing suitable examples.


Q1. Discuss the role of various types of changes that can have considerable impact on the organizational culture.

Q2. 'There is always a right time and a wrong time for introducing something new.' Comment.

Q3. Work habits are more about response to the work environment rather than personality traits. Do you agree? Support your answer.

Q4. 'Organization is not simply a group of people at a given place.' What do you infer from this statement?

Q5. Not all employees seek self-actualization as their ultimate goal. Do you agree? Support your answer.


Nippon Tyres (NTL) was a medium-sized tyre company, manufacturing tyres of various types and grades. It had 6,000 workers and 400 executives on its rolls. Pankaj Gupta headed the manufacturing division. Kapil was the chief engineer reporting to Pankaj Gupta directly. The division had 400 workers, 20 executives and 40 supervisors.

Baluja joined the manufacturing division four years back as a skilled worker. He was technically sound, hardworking and performed his duties sincerely. He was promoted as a supervisor recently.

On Monday, Baluja was taking rounds in the department. It was a routine inspection and he spotted a worker, Raghu, doing nothing. Baluja advised Raghu to concentrate on the job given to him instead of wasting his time. Raghu shot back saying 'You mind your business. I am the senior-most in this department. Do not think you have become big after your recent promotion.'

Other workers witnessed the exchange with interest and burst into laughter when Baluja tried to retort. Encouraged by the favorable response from his teammates, Raghu retaliated by using obscene language. In frustration, Baluja had to report the matter to the chief engineer, Kapil. Kapil took a serious note of the situation and issued a stern warning to Raghu, ignoring the fact that Raghu was quite notorious for such incidents in the past as well. Baluja was able to get along with others in the departments, despite occasional flare-ups over matters relating to discipline and production targets.

After a two-year stint, Baluja was in the midst of a crisis again. A worker named Roberts came to duty in a drunken state and was celebrating his birthday with other colleagues, disrupting work. Even after half an hour, the noise did not subside and Baluja had to intervene and ask Roberts to go back to work and allow others to resume normal duties. Roberts got wild when he was physically forced to go to his work spot. In a fit of anger, Roberts resorted to physical abuse and slapped Baluja in front of others. Not content with this, Roberts reported the matter to the union, alleging verbal as well as physical abuse from the supervisor, Baluja.

Three days afterwards, Baluja got the shock of his life when he came to know about this from another supervisor. After the ugly incident, Baluja had to rush back to his house for admitting his son in the local hospital for viral fever. Since Roberts was drunk and it was his birthday, Baluja never thought of reporting the matter to his boss.

The union presented a highly fabricated case to the chief of manufacturing, Ramlal, and demanded immediate disciplinary action against Baluja. Pankaj Gupta instructed Kapil to demote Baluja immediately so that he would mend his violent ways of dealing with workers. Kapil advised restraint since this would send wrong signals to other supervisors and would demoralize them thoroughly. Kapil, however, fearing revolt from the union, had to demote Baluja. Unable to swallow the insult to his ego, Baluja resigned immediately thereafter, citing personal reasons. Kapil was quite unhappy with the turn of events and sought advice from the personnel manager, Khurana. Khurana was quick to respond. 'Incidents of this nature should help us realize the importance of picking up people with good interpersonal skills as supervisors rather than technical skills. After all, they need to extract work from others, without losing their cool even under provocative situations. You see, we cannot put unions in a spot even when they are on the wrong side.'

Kapil: 'I know people were after Baluja, since he is sincere and hard-working. He was a racehorse. Others were not. With a little bit of tact, Baluja could have managed the situation well.'

Pankaj Gupta: 'It is sad to lose people like him. However, Kapil, workers are illiterates and respond negatively when you talk tough language. A supervisor should use his brains rather than hands while dealing with people. This fellow rubbed shoulders with union people on the wrong side previously too. Other supervisors seem to be OK. Be careful in your selections from now on.'


Q1. What is the main problem in the case?

Q2. What would you do if you were in Kapil's place?

Q3. Do you think Baluja was wrong on both occasions? Why? Why not?

Q4. What ways do you suggest for dealing with tough employees in an organization?


John Neill at Unipart

While most parts suppliers for the United Kingdom's automobile industry struggle, one company is doing just fine- Unipart. This EUR 2.3 billion company has done well largely because of the decisions made by its CEO, John Neill.

In 1974, at the age of 29, Neill was made the managing director of the Unipart division of British Leyland (BL). He immediately began to ruffle the feathers of conservative BL executives by developing innovative marketing campaigns and focsusing company attention on the parts business (in contrast to its cars and trucks). He increased the division's marketing budget sixfold, created a retail shop programme, altered the packaging, and began promoting the division's parts on television. His 'parts first' pitch did not go down well with his bosses, who saw it as an attack on the viability of BL itself. But it was too fate for BL's top management to do much about it. Neill had created a viable business, while the rest of the company (which later became part of the Rover Group) laboured along, losing market share every year.

Almost from the beginning, Neill envisioned making Unipart independent from BL. In 1987, he did just that. He negotiated a EUR 89.5 million management buyout of Unipart from BL. He then immediately began taking actions that would allow Unipart to stand on its own. 'We knew the future would be worse,' Neill recalls, 'because today's market share was smaller than yesterday's. So the parts business would go down unless we did something dramatically different.' That 'something' was to move away from providing original parts for Rover.

Instead, Unipart was commit to creating a strong consumer brand built around replacement parts. Today, Unipart has become a highly recognizable consumer brand in the United Kingdom. It has also diversified into a range of other businesses. Producing and selling automotive parts is still the company's main activity, but it also runs a successful warehouse, a logistics business and has created an Internet trading platform.

In 1987, when Unipart became independent, sales to Rover represented 90 percent of its business. It is now down to 3 percent. No longer are Unipart's fortunes tied singularly to Rover. In fact, one of Unipart's most profitable current businesses is running Jaguar's entire parts operation on a fee basis. Despite Neill's success since the buy-out, Unipart faces tough times ahead. The UK auto industry suffers from massive overcapacity. Intensive downward pricing pressure on suppliers is likely to eat away at Unipart's profits. In response, Neill has expanded Unipart's logistic business by paying EUR 292 million for auto parts distributor Partco. This acquisition makes Unipart the biggest automotive parts distributor in the United Kingdom. Neill is also diversifying beyond Unipart's automotive parts roots, especially on the E-commerce front.


Q1. 'John Neill is not smart; he is just lucky.' Do you agree? Explain.

Q2. Did intuition play a role in Neill's decisions? Discuss.

Q3. Contrast the major strategic decisions at Unipart and British Leyland.

Q4. Do you think John Neill would have been equally successful if, back in 1987, he had been head of BL? Explain.

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