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MGT503 Organizational Behaviour

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Section A: Case Study

Please read the case given and answer the questions that follow:

Ceylon Fertilizer is a urea-manufacturing unit having a capacity of 500 tonnes per day. The total work force of the plant is around 2,000. Being a self-contained plant, it has its own workshop in order to take care of regular maintenance work. The workshop functions in two shifts a day under a shift in charge for each shift who is in the cadre of AEE. The workers have been grouped into two groups, i.e., Relay ‘A’ and ‘B’. The shift routine changes once a week, Sunday being a weekly holiday. Besides the two shifts, there are a group of people under a Senior AEE attending in general shift hours.

The Relay ‘A’, consisting of 18 workers is placed under the charge of Shri Muthu who is a graduate in mechanical engineering. After undergoing training for a period of six months in various divisions in fertilizer, he had acquired a thorough knowledge of works to be undertaken by the Workshop. After being as a Relay Supervisor for 3 years, he has been recently promoted to the post of AEE, who is the shift in charge. When he joined the workshop, he found that the tasks were done with application of thumb-rules and higher officers had to be satisfied with such a quality of work.

Shri muthu, on witnessing this, started to instruct his workers in various theoretical aspects of welding, machining etc., which he had studied in his college. They all highly appreciated the skill and techniques he had taught. The workers now learnt to do things in a better way. Thus, he gained the confidence of workers. As he was able to finish his work in time and in a better way than Relay ‘B’, more work orders were allotted to his group. A few workers in his group started to grumble and the Foreman came and told Mr. Muthu that the “other relay workers do not have much work-load and our workers too do not want to strain much and they are murmuring over getting more work”. Mr. Muthu, however, convinced the Foreman that extra work should be taken as a credit and recognition, and they should do their best. After this had happened some workers even tried to get transferred to the other-Relay One morning, Mr. Muthu was making arrangements for the work to be taken and was giving instructions to his the work to be taken and was giving instructions to his foreman. Turner, Kali, came and told him, “Sir, father of Fitter Sami expired last night and we all want to go and attend the funeral,” and added, “It is customary for the men in workshop to attend such funerals and the shift-incharge has to arrange a lorry or any conveyance for the people to go to Sami’s house, which is nearly eight kms. From the plant.” Since Muthu joined the company, this was first such instance occurring and as he had to finish some urgent work orders, he told the worker Kali, “You all need not go to the funeral. I can, however, permit a few of you as representatives of Relay ‘A’ to go and offer condolences to Sami’s family.” Further, he regretted that he would not make any arrangements for conveyance. This statement created a turbulence among the workers and a group of workers stopped the work and started demanding that they be allowed to attend the funeral or else they wanted to stop work in the coming shifts. Foreman hurried up to AEE Mr. Muthu to explain the turbulent situation in the shop- floor. On hearing this, Muthu told his Foreman, “I have given you an alternative and I have already told the urgency of work and I am going to allocate the work as per planning schedule. If the work is not done, I may have to take action against you.” Then the group of workers started discussing among themselves as to what to do next. A turner came forth and said, “You are not considerate enough to human matters and if you are still adamant we may prefer half-a-day wages-cut as we must go and attend the funeral. Anyhow you have to make arrangements for our conveyance.” Mr. Muthu at this instance noted that a small group, who were usually complaining about the workload and were murmuring, were keenly interested in the affair. He decided to face the situation as a matter of prestige. He decided to face the situation as a matter of prestige. He issued the gate pass t whoever wished to go, still emphasizing that he would not arrange any conveyance. Nearly 25 per cent of the workers remained and the others collected money from all for the funeral and went off.

On that day Mr. Muthu, could finish only a part of the work as planned and he had to explain what had happened in his Relay, to his boss.

When he came the next morning, it was rumored that only a few of the workers attended the funeral and the others had gone to the cinema theatre near the village. Mr. Muthu got irritated by the workers behavior and started writing memos to those who had received the gate pass the previous day. Some workers got annoyed by this action of Mr. Muthu and they approached the union to intervene. The news had spread to other divisions and there was an air there was an air of protest at all places in the Fertilizer Plants.


a) What are the dominant features of this case and what is your view of the action taken by Mr. Muthu?

b) What are the weaknesses and strong points, as you consider, of Mr. Muthu as a Manager and how would you have tackled the situation, if you were Mr. Muthu?

Section B: Short Essay

  1. What are the various determinants of organizational culture? How does leadership influence the culture of an organisation?
  2. Describe the responsibilities of a professional manager towards customers and society. Illustrate your answer with suitable example.
  3. Why do people generally resist change? Identify the major factors which play a significant role in this process. Discuss, what are the common strategies for change and its management.
  4. Define Motivation. Examine two factor theory of motivation by Herzberg. Analyze how far it is applicable in organizations.
  5. “Managers are known by the work they do and the function they perform.” Elaborate and critically evaluate the statement.
  6. Explain Theory ‘X’ and Theory ‘Y’. How can a subordinate manage a Theory ‘X’ Manager in an organization?

Section: Long Essay

  1. Describe conflict avoidance, conflict diffusion and conflict confrontation strategies with the help of suitable examples.
  2. Distinguish between decision making under risk and decision making under conflict or competition. Support your answer with suitable examples.
  3. Examine leadership and leadership styles.
  4. What is MBO? Explain its process by mentioning the merits and demerits.
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