Article (October-2020)


Case Study : When culture abducts recognition

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine


97 Total View        

When Raman started this morning from home for office, he decided firmly that today was going to be his last day in the company. He would go and resign. Yesterday he could not sleep whole the night after coming from a function organized by company. It was about rewarding the performers and recognizing the talented people. To his surprise he was nowhere in the list.

Eight years back Raman joined the company when there were only 35 people. Company was engaged in civil construction business known as civil contractors. Raman was B Tech in Civil engineering with MBA from reputed institute. His friends circle was very influential being their fathers and relatives   either businessmen or Senior Govt. Officers. Because of his innocence, honesty and commitment towards maintaining relationship beyond self he was liked by all. Some of his friends went into their fathers business while some went abroad and few made their career in govt. administrative services.

Initially Raman was deployed as site engineer. Company used to take small civil contracts of industries. Total turnover at that time was around 5 crore. Raman was reporting to Mr. Grover, General manager- Projects who was reporting to MD of the company. Within eight years company reached to 500 crore turnover with around 300 employees. During these eight years he got two attractive offers from reputed business groups but because of relocation, he did not accept. Moreover at that time he was responsible for certain important sites which were to be concluded, so for him leaving the company at such moment would have amounted to betrayal with the company and his job. It was his thought process.

Raman was born and brought up with a value system where loyalty, dedication, honesty and commitment towards job and his master was at the top for him. He was contented though only got one promotion in eight years and was made as manager projects. He joined with the philosophy to work with the company for long duration and not to change the jobs only for money. He always looked for eternal peace and happiness. He was many times driven by emotions away from workplace group dynamics and politics.

He went into memory lane. It was about two years after his joining, when he was updating the General Manager projects Mr. Grover about one site, he could hear the telephonic discussion with someone, Grover was having. It was about some provident matter of the company pending in EPFO office and company was asked to deposit huge amount against PF contributions of labour who were employed at one of its site. Though company charged the amount from the industry owners but manipulated the labour records and did not deposit which was caught during PF inspection.  He could  also peep into some letter from EPFO office which was also lying on his table.

After telephonic discussion was over, Raman intervened and said, "Sir, can I be of any help in the matter?"

"How come and what do you understand about this legal issue?" Grover asked Raman surprisingly.

"Sir, one of my college friend's father is in this department and is very senior officer. I met him many times at home when used to go to his home.

"Ok. Check with your friend and I can go and meet him if found relevant."Grover reply was very formal without any excitement on his face but he was able to see the possible solution in sight.

Raman enquired from his friend and it was coincidence that the same matter of the company was before his father. Raman went with Grover at his residence, introduced and said, "uncle, pl. help, it is my case. It is my responsibility". Raman took all responsibility of his own out of sheer emotions and bonding with the company. Friend's father smiled and commented, "Beta, when you have come and it is your responsibility, I will help you. For me you too are my son as your friend  is."

Grover was observing the behavior and level of comfort and confidence, Raman had with him and his family members. He was very informal to his friend's mother also. Raman even went to the kitchen to take the tea trey for Grover in drawing room. Grover took his friend's father mob. No. and assured to meet further.

After that Grover neither talked to Raman on the topic nor shared any further development. After about six months he could hear from HR and Finance department people that the company won the PF dispute and company saved the liability of Rs. 50 Lakhs. Next year Grover was promoted as vice president with huge salary increment. Raman felt bad that Grover did not think it proper even to update him so that he would have gone to his friend's home to express gratitude and say a word of thank you.

Since Raman was promoted, Existing DGM was promoted as GM in his place. Now Raman was to report to him.

Another incident happened past three years when while enjoying with his friends in one evening and all were sharing their life experiences and well being, one of his friends who was posted in Govt. Dept, shared Raman that express highway was going to be sanctioned of around 100 Km connecting two important cities to promote industrialization, satellite townships and tourism. It was very big project of the Govt. Raman could catch the importance of this feedback.

Next day, He went to the office of Grover- Vice president who was earlier GM projects to share the feedback and an innovative idea he was having in his mind. He expected that Grover will be courteous, receptive and appreciate his idea. Raman said that "since very soon an express Highway will going to be sanctioned and announced by the govt, our company can go for land purchase and build a land pool by the side of highway and enter into housing business. After announcing the highway, land price will soar and many big players will enter in to foray and there will be tough competition. It will be a golden opportunity for the company to grow."

Grover demonstrated that he did not take his feedback seriously. He commented that he should not have by-passed the organization Hierarchy. Instead of coming to him directly, he should have discussed the feedback and idea with his boss. Such rumors can be politically motivated and company cannot have any plan to invest on the basis of unverified feedback. Grover did not take Raman seriously.

Raman got demoralized. He kept quiet. He was not prepared to get such a cold and formal treatment from Grover. After some time company announced the rejig in senior leadership team. Company declared  the entry in to housing business of which Grover was made CEO and some new persons were inducted from outside to fill the vacancies of this new venture. Company bought the huge land on the same location as Raman shared with Grover. Express way was announced by the Govt. and Company fortunes were also turned. The land which was purchased by the company at throwaway prices from villagers became gold mine. By the time other players could think and plan their projects, Raman Company went executing at ground and within years it became a brand in housing business.

But in all this Growth of the company, Raman was nowhere. He was only promoted to the level of manager in these eight years with average increment of 10% per annum.

This year Raman was expecting that he will be recognized as Grover was well aware of his performance/strengths/idea behind the housing business but nothing happened.

Raman asked self that whether his value system under which he was born and brought up was wrong and not relevant in present day life?

Raman wrote the resignation, went to his DGM boss office and submitted. After few hours, His mobile rang. Number appearing was of the same Grover, CEO of housing business vertical who was once GM projects and VP to whom he reported. Raman did not pick up the call. Next day He got the message from MD office that MD wanted to meet him. Raman was in dilemma. What to do now?

Questions for discussion:

1- Discuss and critically evaluate the personality traits of Raman.

2- Discuss the leadership style of Mr. Grover, CEO. 

3- What Raman should do now? Should he stick to his resignation? Had you been in place of Raman, how would you have acted since beginning in the company?