Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Peter Principle in Management

Dear Students,

The Peter Principle formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull is the principle that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."

It holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain. Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence".

One way that organizations attempt to avoid this effect is to refrain from promoting a worker until he or she shows the skills and work habits needed to succeed at the next higher job. Thus, a worker is not promoted to managing others if he or she does not already display management abilities. The corollary is that employees who are dedicated to their current jobs will not be promoted for their efforts but might, instead, receive a pay increase.

Peter pointed out that a class, or caste (social stratification) system is more efficient at avoiding incompetence. Lower-level competent workers will not be promoted above their level of competence as the higher jobs are reserved for members of a higher class. "The prospect of starting near the top of the pyramid will attract to the hierarchy a group of brilliant (higher class) employees who would never have come there at all if they had been forced to start at the bottom". Thus the hierarchies "are more efficient than those of a classless or equalitarian society".

In a similar vein, some real-life organizations recognize that technical people may be very valuable for their skills, but poor managers, and so provide parallel career paths allowing a good technical person to acquire pay and status reserved for management in most organizations.
Interesting, isn't it ?

Best wishes,

(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Secure your Job during Economic Slowdown

Economic Slowdown or should I say ‘Recession’, a more popular term, is the time when companies become stringent & particular about low performance or no-performance. To avoid getting axed during such rough times here are some ways one may consider:
  1. Contribute more than what is expected. Usually, what you are doing may be an input into someone else's job. Hence, try to understand what is done by them. Add some of that to your job, so that helps the other person save some time and thereby making the team more productive. One may as well try and do a part of your boss' work that would be even better.
  2. However if you are trying to do your boss’ job, that your boss gets the credit - and don't undermine his authority or make him feel insecure not to mention hurt his ego.
  3. In doing so the entire concentration of an individual should be to do something that helps the organization to build business.
  4. It is quite possible that you may not be able to do 3 in that case you need to know people who can do that for your firm.
  5. What if you don't know such a large diverse group of people? Build your network.
  6. What if you can't do the above? There is a way out if you are good in written communication and your company does not have a comprehensive presence online, given that scenario you can talk to the Marketing and Corporate Communications team to start a social media initiative for the Company. Of course, don't expect an additional payment for it. However, if you do get paid look at it as a bonus!!
  7. If none of the above can be done then there is still a way out, try and be as creative as you can in discharging your current role - be an innovator and getting more out of less, this is the best skill in an employee whether it is in recession or during boom times.
  8. Keep learning, sharpening and developing your skills. If your organization trains you nothing like that. However, if it doesn’t than take the self study route.

Hope these suggested ways would help you ride the recessionary wave rather than it drowning you!!

Contributed By:
Param Shah
(Asst. Registrar - Globsyn Business School, Ahmedabad)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RBA (Resource Based Advantage)

Dear Students,

Organizations strive to create Resource Based Advantage (RBA) to sustain its position and excel.
RBA should specifically include the following four things:
  • Value (Cash)
  • Rarity(not easily available to others)
  • Non-Imitable (not easily copy-able)
  • Non-Substitutable ( not easily replaceable)

In view of the above, the key emerging themes in HR today, revolve around certain areas as under:

  • Focus on Productivity-raising the bar substantially
  • Non-linearity
  • Focus on Transformational Capabilities
  • Goals & Process Congruence
  • Building Global Capability
  • Strong Middle Management Capability
  • Strong employee engagement and focus on "A" talent
  • Diversity focus

Each of the above calls for 'out-of-the-box thinking' and working assiduously without any bias on hackneyed and stereotyped practices.

Best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top 25 Careers to Pursue in a Recession

If you want to recession-proof your career, the key is to focus on work that continues even when most people don't have disposable income to spend. So while consumers may not hit the mall as often, you can guarantee that people will continue to get sick, pay taxes and use energy. These are just a few of the careers and industries that can be expected to thrive in a down economy.

Health Care: People will always get sick — sometimes even more so when they don't have the insurance or money to take preventative measures or eat healthy food.

Energy: Although consumers are likely to cut back, they're not going to stop using energy. In fact, this industry may grow, as companies look for more efficient ways to deliver using less energy.

Education: No matter how dire the economy is, there are always jobs for teachers. Kids will still go to school, and many out-of-work adults may decide to continue their education.

Utilities: Just like the energy sector, it's safe to assume that people are not going to stop lighting their homes. So utility administration, maintenance and other related jobs should remain intact.

International Business: Even when the economy is doing poorly in the U.S., other countries may be doing well. So if you are involved in international business, you can expect your career to stay safe.

Public Safety: Police layoffs are very rare, especially at a time where public safety is threatened by desperate criminals. A career in public safety is almost guaranteed to be secure.

Funerals: Just like people won't stop getting sick, they'll continue to die as well, so as morbid as it is, morticians will always have customers.

Accounting: Death and taxes are a sure thing. In a recession, people and companies are likely to get desperate for more deductions and a hard look at their books.

Federal Government: Most federal-government jobs end only when workers retire.
Additionally, government services tend to step up in times of recession, so your chances of getting and keeping a government job are good.

Pharmaceuticals: As long as doctors prescribe them, people are still going to take drugs. So whether you're behind the pharmacy counter or in the lab, you can rest easy.

Sales: As a general rule, anyone who is a source of income for a company will be safe, so salespeople — especially in recession-proof industries — have little to worry about.

Military: The military is always hiring, especially during wartime. Also, consider that most of your living expenses are covered, so cost-of-living expenses are not really a concern.

Gambling: When times get tough, people seek an outlet. One of those outlets is gambling, especially because it offers a chance to turn financial troubles around.

Alcohol: Alcohol is another outlet for troubled times, so distributors and manufacturers in this industry will continue to thrive.

Politics: Even in a recession, public officials are still around earning tidy sums, which are often tied to the cost of living.

Skilled Services: Hair will always grow, and drains will always clog, so you can expect steady work in skilled services like plumbing and hairstyling.

Debt Management: Recessions mean crunch time for debtors, and they're sure to need some guidance.

Consulting: Recessions are crunch times for companies as well, and they're likely to bring in consultants for advice on efficiency and squeezing the most out of their resources.

Bankruptcy Law: It's sad, but true: As companies and individuals go bankrupt, they'll need a lawyer to help them work through it all.

Government Contracting: Despite money troubles, roads must be maintained and schools must be built. Contract your work out for government functions for job security.

Food: People need food to survive, and it's not likely that anyone is going to just stop eating — no matter how bad the economy gets.

Beauty, Health and Erotic Services: Regardless of a recession, people who enjoy being pampered will seldom give up the simple pleasures in life.

Debt Collection: As budgets get squeezed, people will fall behind on payments, and companies will look to debt collectors to recoup their costs.

Ultraluxury Items: If you're in a business that caters to the ultrarich, you can expect to be safe, as this type of consumer is likely to have measures in place to weather the recession.

Multifaceted Careers: If you don't put all of your eggs in one basket, you should be able to ride out a recession by relying on secondary income. So if you juggle a career that involves a regular job, plus other sources like online income, freelancing and investing, numerous failures have to happen before you're really in trouble.

Although today's job market may be bleak, there are some bright spots if you know where to look. While recessions hit some sectors hard, others go on like clockwork — or even experience growth. So whether you're hunting for a job or still feeling ostensibly secure, now is a good time to evaluate your options and consider one of the aforementioned recession-proof careers.

Contributed By:
Sunil Sony
Manager-Corporate Finance
Microsec Capital Limited

Monday, January 5, 2009

Salary grows at snail’s pace for execs

Genext is suddenly learning to live within its means. As companies start trimming salaries with a chop-chop hurry, executives scramble to stay two steps ahead of bankruptcy.

Take Ritesh Kapoor (not his real name), a finance executive with a leading bank, who has just entered the school of hard knocks. With an annual salary of Rs 20 lakh and the promise of a hefty raise every year, he didn’t think twice before taking loans for a flat and a car. Then his world fell apart. Struggling with the credit crisis, his company decided on a salary cut. Repaying the loans is today Mr Kapoor’s biggest worry.

Mr Kapoor is just one of the hundreds of executives burning in the simmering economic crisis. “Employees in real estate, financial services, IT and related services (ITeS) should prepare themselves for salary cuts of up to 15%. The first quarter of 2009 will see major cut in compensation levels and lower pay hikes,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, chief executive of recruiting firm Headhunters India. The salary growth looks worse on a global scale. The latest International Labour Organisation report forecasts that wages will grow at best 1.1% in 2009 — down from 1.7% clocked in 2008. More...

Contributed By:
Indrani Kar
(Knowledge Cell - Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The generations at the workplace

Dear Students,

Demographic change is an important area to address in today's organizations.

The generations at the workplace can be broadly segregated as under:

Generation Bharat (Born 1960-1975): Characterized by collectivism, conformity, stronger family values, not to question authority, belief that higher education is the only way to success, lack of optimism, deep-seated economic insecurity, cynicism, lack of empowerment.

Generation India (Born 1975-1990): Characterized by high confidence to process information very fast, urge to develop a career fast, tendency to be given high responsibility, individualism, impatience, boldness, tendency to overestimate themselves (arrogance of ignorance), tendency to expect employer to adapt to them, roaming in cynicism-optimum paradigm, living in duality.

Generation Globalised India (Born>1990): Characterized by awareness of the world environment-consciousness, high technology – literacy, multi-tasking ability, urge to grow up fast, disrespect for elders authority, lack of proper models and reference, high self-confidence, optimist by nature and sees plurality as a way of life.

Needless to mention, the workplace will also contain ' Pre-Generation Bharat' people (born <1960).

The success of HR therefore, lies in navigating through the above sets of people effectively, integrating their "human variables" (culture, values, etc.) with "organization variables"(goals, policy, etc.) smoothly.

Best wishes & season's greetings for a happy & prosperous new year!

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)