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ORGANISATIONAL CLIMATE

A Case Study of Singareni Collieries Company Limited, India

The ultimate success of any organisation depends on the ability of their employees to

perform their present duties and to adapt to new situations successfully in view of this fast

changing environment. Every organisation has same characteristics which are common with

any other organisation. At the same time, each organisation has its own unique set of

characteristics and properties. This psychological structure of organisation and their sub-units

is usually referred as organisational culture.

The term ‘climate’ is used to indicate the quality of the internal environment which

conditions in turn the quality of cooperation, the development of the individual, the extent of

member’s dedication or commitment to organisational purpose, and the efficiency with which

that purpose becomes translated into results. Climate is the environment in which individuals

help, judge, reward, constrain, and find out about each other. It influences morale and the

attitudes of the individual toward his work and his environment.

Organisational climate is a relatively enduring quality of internal environment that is

experienced by the members, influences their behaviour, and can be described in terms of

values of a particular set of characteristics of the organisation. An organisation tends to

attract people who are fit for its climate just like a good geographical climate attracts people

and flora and fauna for inhabiting and making use of its climate.

Organisational climate represents the entire social systems of a work group. It is

clearly a system concept. There are two important aspects of climate: a) Workplace itself and

b) treatment to personnel from management. It employees feel satisfied while at work and if

climate provides a sense of personal worth, it can assume that climate in that organisation is
favourable. As far as treatment from management is concerned they will like to be listened to

and treated, as they are someone of value. They want that managements should really feel

and care about their needs and problems. If these two are favourable, there prevails a good

climate in that organisation.

Objectives of the Study:

The study aimed to accomplish the following objectives:

 To understand the organisational climate of Singareni Collieries Company Limited.


 To examine whether the psychological climate is conducive for the employee’s
development.
 To analyse the attitude of the employees towards the existing performance appraisal
system.
 To suggest measures for creating an effective organisational climate in the
organisation.

Review of Literature

The use of the term “organisational climate” was first used in the 1950s to describe

the environment in which people work (Hoy & Tarter, 1977). Argyris (1958) defined

organisational climate as the homeostatic state of an organisation composed of elements

representing many different levels of analysis. Gilmer (1966) characterized an organisation’s

climate as those characteristics that distinguish one organisation from another. Tagiuri

(1968) described organisational climate as a general notion to express the enduring quality of

organisational life. These prevailing attributes of a business organisation shaped the

behaviours of participants and created a unique setting in each institution.


Acknowledging that the collective perception of the group comprising the

organisation is a critical part of the climate, Litwin and Stringer brought a new perspective to

the study of organisational climate (1968). Defining the organisational climate as a set of

measurable collective perceptions that influence organisational behaviour, Litwin and

Stringer paved the way for current method in which climates are studied. By investigating

the collective perceptions of the individuals who make up the organisation, Litwin and

Stringer provided one method for the measurement of organisational climate.

Beginning in the 1960’s researchers studying industrial climates began to see a

connection between the characteristics of organisations and personality types that are

common in individuals (Gellerman, 1960). This wave of industrial psychology brought about

the analogy that climate is to the organisation as personality is to the individual (Hoy &

Tarter, 1997). By using this analogy, researchers can easily make the connection between

collective actions of the organisation and the climate of the group.

Schneider and Hall (1972) describe climate as a global perception held by individuals

about their own organisational environment. Schneider and Synder (1975) further clarified

the approach by defining climate as a summary perception which individuals form of (or

about) an organisation. For them it is a global impression of the organisation. The global

nature of organisational climate does not suggest that the concept is uni-dimensional. Many

different types of events, practices and procedures may contribute to the global or summary

perception individuals have of their organisation.

James and Jones (1974) conducted a major review of the theory and research on

organisational climate and identified climate in three separate ways that were not mutually
exclusive, (a) multiple measurement – organisational attribute approach, (b) perceptual

measurement – organisational attribute approach, and (c) the perceptual measurement –

individual attribute approach. In the multiple measurement organisational approach they cite

Forehand and Gilmer (1964) as defining organisational climate as a set of characteristics that

describe an organisation and that (a) distinguish the organisation from other organisations (b)

are relatively enduring over time, and (c) influence the behaviour of people in the

organisation. (Forehand & Gilmer, 1964 p.3621 cited in James & Jones, 1974).

Hellriegel and Slocum (1974) define organizational climate as a “set of attributes

which can be perceived about a particular organization and or its sub-systems, and that may

be induced in the way that organization or its sub-systems deal with their members and

environment”.

Since there are not many studies been carried out in Indian public sector organisations in the

above mentioned area, the study derives importance. The review of literature indicates that

there is lot of significance in carrying out study in coal mining company since it is oldest and

employing large number of employees.

Significance of the Study

The company chosen for the project work is Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).

SCCL is one of the oldest coal producing public sector undertaking in the country(India). It

operates 37 underground and 13 open cast mines located in four districts, employing about

75,271 people. It has been jointly owned by the government of Andhra Pradesh and the

government of India. SCCL is catering to the needs of southern India and also has been

helping other industries too. The major industries include railways, power, cement, fertilizer,

tobacco etc. The company is also using latest technology in extracting coal such as board
technology, and pillar technology. There are ten categories of workers in SCCL. The

organisation structure has three levels at the corporate, area and mine level. The Chairman &

Managing Director is the executive head of the company and is appointed by government of

Andhra Pradesh from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) cadre.

SCCL being the oldest coal producing company, a sound climate is required which

becomes an asset for the organisation and good management must protect it for betterment of

the organisation. Climatic aspect is a long run proposition and change in it is very slow. It

takes a long period to create a sound climate and people recognise the organisation with its

climatic part. It can improve the climate by making sincere efforts. Non-intelligent discipline

and pressuring people may yield better productivity for a short while but at the cost of its

climatic asset, so the organisation will eventually suffer from its depleted people asset.

Organisational climate can have a major influence on motivation, productivity and job

satisfaction. Climate determines the action and it creates a few expectancies as to

consequences. Employees can expect certain rewards, penalties, satisfaction or frustrations

based on the organisational climate and their expectations tend to lead to motivation.

The study of organisational climate has the following impacts on the SCCL:

1) It affects motivation, productivity and job satisfaction: Organisational climate can have a

major influence on motivation, productivity and job satisfaction, climate determines the

action and it creates a few expectancies as to consequences. Employees can expect certain

rewards, penalties, satisfaction or frustrations based on the organisational climate and their

expectations tend to lead to motivation.


2) Contingency relationship: There is a contingency relationship between climate and

organisation. It means climate of an organisation is contingent upon the type of employees, it

has type of technology worker’s education and other like variables for e.g. a research institute

or department will certainly want a climate different from that of a workshop or an office.

3) It represents the entire social system: Organisational climate represents the entire social

system of a work group. It is clearly a system concept. There are two important aspects of

climate: a) workplace itself and b) treatment to personnel from management. If employees

feel satisfied while at work and if climate provides a sense of personal worth, it can assume

that climate in that organisation is favourable. As far as treatment from management is

concerned they will like to be listened to and treated, as they are someone of value. They

want that management should really feel and care about their needs and problems. If these

two are favourable, there prevails a good climate in that organisation.

Thus a good organisational climate is necessary for the development of organisation,

good climate attracts good and efficient people to the organisation who if satisfied may

contribute to the productivity of the organisation. By choosing the organisational climate as

topic for the project work, the trainee would like to understand, study the outcomes and

suggest measures for effective climate by taking one of the largest South Indian coal

producing company.

Scope and Limitations

 Although the study was carried out in Singareni Collieries Company Limited, the in-

depth analysis is restricted to only shop floor level or mine workers.


 Due to large size of the organisation, the authorities had permitted to carryout the

study in limited areas of the organisation, and conclusions will be based on limited or

partial information.

 The data collected from internal records may suffer from limitations like

incompleteness, non-availability and irregularity.

 The data provided may have partial view of the organisational climate as all the mine

workers may not be able to objectively judge the overall climate of the organisation.