Pharmaz is a fast developing company operating globally and having subsidiaries in many countries. Pharmaz India used to be a small subsidiary with only 15 employees, but it has grown into a significant company employing 50 people with a plan to have up to 130 employees (Gertsen and Zolner 319). The company has a strong corporate culture. The major values are the empowerment of employees, equal opportunities, and development as well as “openness in communication” (Gertsen and Zolner 319). However, these values are not totally met in Pharmaz India. It is clear that the subsidiary faces a number of serious issues.
One of these issues is concerned with the empowerment. The senior financial manager, Amrita Chopra, often uses directive leadership, which is not welcome in the company. At the same time, when Amrita used more liberal types of leadership, some employees underperformed as they believed their work was not important while still addressed her for guidance and assistance (Gertsen and Zolner 321). This can be explained by the cultural peculiarities of the Indian corporate world. Directive leadership has been used for decades, and it is still quite common and accepted by both managers and employees (Pal and Kapur 80). Liberal types of leadership are only starting to be used, and Indians are not quite accustomed to them.
Another significant issue existing in Pharmaz India is inefficient communication. One of the groups is underperforming largely due to this issue (Gertsen and Zolner 321). One of the contributing factors to ineffective communication is culturally-related. One of the new employees pertains to the highest caste, and he avoids communicating with other people. The division into castes is a cultural peculiarity that shapes the Indian working relationships. Admittedly, unwillingness to communicate with other members of the team has an adverse effect on the group’s performance.
Finally, one of the top managers, the newcomer Niels tries to implement significant changes and make the values followed. However, he seems to disregards the cultural peculiarities of the employees, which can lead to the failure of the changes (even though they are necessary and important). Niels does not understand and seems to be unwilling to take into account employees’ needs and priorities, which is a significant issue.
It is clear that the two most urgent issues are knowledge sharing and employees’ empowerment (Gertsen and Zolner 325). To achieve the implementation of the first value mentioned, it is possible to suggest the system of scores that translate into bonuses. Since the top management does not want to consider such awards as certificates, the employees will be motivated through bonuses. Each member of a team will have a score of his/her contribution. The more knowledge they share (the better the team performs), the higher score the team members receive. At the end of a quarter, bonuses will be given to each employee. This strategy may encourage people to share their knowledge and stop regarding knowledge as their most important asset that has to be concealed and protected. Amrita should stress that employees have certain beliefs that have to be taken into account. She should also focus on the features that motivate Indian employees (money). Amrita should also try to convince Niels to introduce the system of awards related to certification. This strategy has proved to be effective in the Indian corporate world (Cappelli et al. 7). Amrita can stress that companies operating in diverse cultural environments can adjust some of their policies to make sure that values are fully implemented. The use of certification does not impede the implementation of values and does not contradict to any regulations even as regards equality.
As to the employees’ empowerment, substantial training is necessary. All team members including Amrita should receive the training aimed at raising people’s awareness of the benefits of the employees’ autonomy, the role of the leader and so on. People should understand the peculiarities of the new approach to be able to take it on board. It is possible to outsource this by inviting a company providing training. It is also possible to facilitate the process by launching online discussions with employees from other subsidiaries. This will also facilitate knowledge sharing across the organization.
Evaluation of the Measures Taken
The idea to introduce detailed job descriptions was appropriate. This method may add clarity to the relationships within the teams as well as the entire organization. Employees can clearly see what their responsibilities are and what is expected from the. They are not afraid of initiating some changes as long as it can be within their area of responsibility. This can be effective as Indians are reluctant to introduce any ideas since they must be regarded as questioning superiors’ decisions (Gertsen and Zolner 326).
The scoring system was also appropriate as employees could see the benefits of sharing knowledge. The system is likely to contribute greatly to the implementation of central values of the organization. At the same time, it can be improved as particular attention should be paid to the correlation between knowledge sharing and performance. Employees and supervisors should put the scores. However, it is also important to make sure that people’s opinions are voiced. Some comments concerning knowledge sharing should be included in the reports. The employees should have an opportunity to examine particular ways knowledge sharing contributes to their teams’ performance.
However, other steps implemented are quite doubtful. For instance, Amrita’s mentorship is positively accepted by the employees and has led to certain empowerment (Gertsen and Zolner 326). Employees are willing to work harder and feel that their effort is valued. However, this process is too lasting as it has been practiced for six months but Amrita is still closely monitoring team leaders. The training would be more effective as it would take less time.
Another doubtful strategy was the introduction of several new titles. On the one hand, the employees are glad to have promotions and are willing to work harder. On the other hand, it seems that new introductions will be necessary (Gertsen and Zolner 326). At the same time, this policy may be regarded as beneficial in other subsidiaries, and the value concerning equality may be not implemented. This may also lead to the increase of bureaucracy.
It is also clear that openness and knowledge sharing are still major issues. Amrita herself is not pleased when her subordinates address her Niels directly. Therefore, extensive training and discussions with employees from other subsidiaries (especially American and European ones) should take place. This will help Indian employees acknowledge the benefits of proper communication, knowledge sharing and so on.
Cappelli, Peter, Harbir Singh, Jitendra V. Singh, and Michael Useem. “Leadership Lessons from India” Harvard Business Review (2010): 1-9. Web.
Gertsen, Martine Cardel, and Mette Zolner. “Balancing Values – An Indian Perspective on Corporate Values from Scandinavia.” International Human Resource Management. Ed. Peter j. Dowling, Marion Festing and Allen D. Engle. London: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2013. 319-327. Print.
Pal, Saibal K., and Kapur Vijay. “Exploring Unique Corporate Leadership Styles in India.” Opinion 1.1 (2011): 75-87. Print.