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TEACHING NOTES FOR KEN PRIVATE LIMITED: DIGITIZATION

PROJECT INTEGRATIVE CASE


The integrative case can be used at various stages of the course. For example, the questions can
be used as each chapter is covered; the questions can be answered at the end of each part of the
text; or the entire case and questions can be done together at the end of the course. In addition, it
can also be used as an assignment in which the instructor can tailor the assignment to his/her
class by choosing from the 30 case study questions. Below are some suggested answers for each
question. This might be a good opportunity to review some of the key issues from the case and in
your course (e.g., learning, perceptions, cultural differences in values, motivation, leadership,
groups and teams, culture, communication, decision making, conflict, organizational structure,
and organizational change).

PART 1 – AN INTRODUCTION
1. Discuss the relevance of organizational behaviour for the issues and problems facing Ken
Private Limited with respect to the Genesis Digitization Project. What topics in
organizational behaviour help to explain the problems with the Genesis Digitization Project,
and what topics are important for the success of the Genesis Digitization Project?

Chapter 1: Organizational behaviour refers to the attitudes and behaviours of individuals


and groups in organizations and the field of organizational behaviour involves the
systematic study of these attitudes and behaviours. Ken Private needs to ensure that the
employees on the Filipino and Indian team have positive attitudes about the project as it
will have major implications for their behaviour and the success of the project. The
problems noted in the case demonstrate that organizational behaviour is highly relevant
and key to the success or failure of the project and the reputation of Ken Private Limited.
For starters, we can see that leadership and the leadership of project manager Shekhar
Sharma plays an important role in the functioning of the two teams. There are examples
of his leadership throughout the case which raises questions about his ability to influence
others and his effectiveness as a leader. Learning is also an important issue in the case as
the teams struggle to use the technology and the lack of training is noted in the case. The
use of teams and their effectiveness is also a factor in the case as the Filipino and Indian
teams must coordinate their efforts and work towards the same goal. We also see the role
that perceptions play in the case as the two teams have different perceptions of how to do
the project and of each other. For example, the members of the Filipino team did not see
the benefits of switching over to the new workflow and were skeptical about the new
technology being developed by the Indian team and had reservations about the value of
the technology to their team and to the project. According to one of the assistant
managers in India, the Filipino team is not patient and they create an uproar over every
petty issue. We also see the important role played by communication. For example, while
team members discussed concerns among themselves, they did not share their concerns
with their project manager. The two teams are from different national cultures and they
have different styles of communication. Filipinos avoid confrontational or aggressive
behaviour and rarely give direct answers and remain courteous. Indians, however, have a
more direct communication style. The ineffective communication between the two teams,
TN-2 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

frustration, and negative perceptions are partly a result of these differences in


communication styles. There is also evidence of communication problems with Dogma
International who respond to Savarker’s questions by stating, “At least you talked to us!
This is the first time that somebody from your company has asked for input or feedback
from us, so we thought our specifications and expectations must be clear to your
company.” Sharma was not aware of Dogma’s expectations for high quality images.
Sharma also did not discuss the problems that the teams were having with the client who
might have been able to provide some assistance and guidance. Organizational structure
is also evident in the case with respect to the two teams of employees in the Philippines
and India and with respect to the five departments of the Filipino team. And the case
itself has a great deal to do with organizational change and innovation and a major
problem in the case is resistance to change. Two major changes are the focus of the case:
geographical distribution of the work and the shifting of the workflow of the Filipino
team from a pragmatic workflow that involved little technology to a highly technical
workflow. A major problem in the case is Sharma’s failure to adequately manage these
changes and deal with the Filipino team’s resistance to them.
In summary, the case highlights the importance of organizational behaviour for the
success of the Genesis Digitization Project and many topics in organizational behaviour
are relevant for understanding the case and how to ensure the success of the project.
Some of key organizational behaviour topics that can be introduced at this time include
learning, perceptions, motivation, groups, culture, leadership, communication, decision-
making, organizational structure, and organizational change.
2. Explain how the goals of organizational behaviour would have been helpful for the Genesis
Digitization Project. Describe some of the things that Shekhar Sharma might have predicted,
explained, and managed.

Chapter 1: There are three goals of organizational behaviour: prediction, explanation,


and management. Through systematic study, the field of organizational behaviour
provides a scientific foundation that helps improve predictions of organizational events.
Explanation involves understanding why a particular behaviour occurs. The ability to
understand behaviour is a necessary prerequisite for effectively managing it. If behaviour
can be predicted and explained, it can often be managed. Responding to the information
gathered through prediction and explanation helps to influence organizational behaviour.
If Sharma was familiar with the goals of organizational behaviour, then he might have
predicted a number of important issues that are contributing to the problems that Ken
Private is experiencing with respect to the Genesis Digitization Project. Furthermore, if
he had predicted these problems and understood and explained them he would have been
able to manage them. For example, he might have predicted that the use of the new
technology was going to be met with some resistance to change due to the employees on
the Filipino team’s unfamiliarity with the technology and lack of awareness of the need
for it and its benefits. He should have discussed this change and why it was important and
necessary for the project and the limitations of the pragmatic workflow. He should have
also identified the causes of resistance and how to deal with it (see Chapter 15), and he
could have provided assurances to the Filipino team that they will be provided with

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-3

opportunities to learn to use the new technology and acquire the necessary skills (see
Chapter 2). Instead, he simply launched the project without any consideration of the need
to manage the change. If he had predicted the resistance and determined its causes, then
he would have been able to find solutions to it and manage it. He might also have
predicted the difficulties that the Filipino and Indian teams would have communicating
with each other and the negative perceptions that they formed of each other. Had he
predicted these difficulties, he might then have been able to explain them (how people
form perceptions and how they perceive others who are different, see Chapter 3; and
differences in cross-cultural communication, see Chapter 10), and manage them perhaps
by providing opportunities for members of the two teams to meet face-to-face and to
learn about each other’s concerns and cultural differences (cultural differences in values,
see Chapter 4). Thus, with the goals of organizational behaviour, Shekhar would have
been able to predict and explain some of the problems that have plagued the Genesis
Digitization Project and then manage them thereby avoiding the problems that have made
it difficult to meet the project deadlines and the quality requirement.
In summary, Sharma should have anticipated and predicted some of the problems that
occurred and also prepared to manage them to prevent or minimize the negative effect
they had on the project. Instead, he failed to anticipate the problems or to take the action
required to correct them. The goals of organizational behaviour would have enabled him
to predict, explain, and manage the problems.
3. Consider Shekhar Sharma’s role as project manager for the Genesis Digitization Project in
terms of Mintzberg’s managerial roles and Luthans, Hodgetts, and Rosenkrantz’s
managerial activities. What managerial roles and activities does he exhibit, and how
effective is he in performing them? What roles and activities are most important for him to
perform and why?

Chapter 1: Henry Mintzberg conducted an in-depth study of the behaviour of managers


and found a rather complex set of roles played by managers. The relative importance of
these roles will vary with management level and organizational technology. Interpersonal
roles are those that establish and maintain interpersonal relations. These include the
figurehead role, leadership role, and liaison role. Informational roles are concerned with
various ways the manager receives and transmits information. Roles in this group include
the monitor role, disseminator role, and spokesperson role. Decisional roles deal with
managerial decision-making and include the entrepreneur role, the disturbance handler
role, the resource allocation role, and the negotiator role. With respect to Mintzberg’s
managerial roles, Sharma needs to perform the interpersonal role in that he has to
establish good relations with the members of the Indian and Filipino team. Of particular
importance here is the leadership role as he needs to reward and discipline employees. He
should also be performing the liaison role as he needs to maintain contact with Dogma
International. The informational role is also important as he must receive and transmit
information. Of particular importance is the disseminator role as he must send
information to members of the two teams. Finally, Sharma also must perform the
decisional role which deals with decision making. Of particular importance is the
disturbance handler role in which he must deal with the problems stemming from the

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TN-4 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

conflicts between the two teams. The resource allocation role is also important as he has
to make decisions about the use of time, money, and personnel and other resources that
are required to complete the project. One of the first decisions that Sharma made was to
split the activities of the production and technology development between the Philippines
office and the Indian office which was the first time that the company adopted such an
arrangement for a project. This, however, seems to be the cause of a number of problems
which Sharma is unable to adequately deal with. For starters, he does not always receive
the information he needs which limits his effectiveness in the informational role. For
example, the Filipino team members do not let him know they had reservations about the
value of the new technology being developed by the Indian team. While team members
discussed this among themselves, they did not share their concerns with him.
Furthermore, the Filipino team continued to express concerns among themselves about
the new workflow and he remained unaware of their concerns. And when Sharma does
receive information from the IPI department manager in which he complained about the
technology not being user-friendly and requiring significant improvement, Sharma
simply passes it along to the Indian team rather than handling it himself and overseeing
the modifications made by the Indian team. Sharma further fails to receive information
about the problems that the Filipino team continues to have with the technology and as a
result the employees determine that the technology is flawed which increases their
concerns about the technology and the team in India and become convinced that their
initial apprehensions had been justified. Sharma then realizes he needs to get more
involved to improve the situation and get things back on track so he convenes a meeting
with all five department managers and a few employees from each department. Although
this is a good attempt by Sharma to receive information, his approach to learn about the
delay in the project results in stony silence; none of the managers express their concerns.
In the end, Sharma was irritated and frustrated and lost his temper and yelled at the
employees. He still did not get a response and ended the meeting. After the meeting,
Sharma informs the Indian team that they need to do their job more conscientiously and
directs them to resolve the errors they have made in the second segment of the
technological platform before resending it to the Filipino team. Sharma began to feel
worried about the project and does not adequately perform other important managerial
roles. He overhears a conversation between two department managers in which he learns
that things are not getting better and that the Indian team is perceived as not cooperating
and the source of the problems. In fact, one of the managers states, “The problem lies
with the Indian team, and the project manager keeps asking us, ‘What’s the problem?’”
Sharma remains perplexed over the situation which now seems to be spinning out of
control.
To summarize, Sharma needs to do a better job performing all three of Mintzberg’s roles.
He has not established good relations with the Filipino team and he needs to improve in
the leadership role in particular. There seems to be a complete absence of any rewards or
discipline. With respect to the informational role, he has failed to provide adequate
information to the team members about the technology and the new workflow. He is also
unaware of some of the problems and concerns the teams are experiencing. He needs to
improve his performance in the disseminator role. Finally, he also must do a better job in
the decisional role, especially the disturbance handler role as he must resolve the conflict
and problems between the two teams.

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-5

Luthans, Hodgetts, and Rosenkrantz studied the behaviour of a large number of managers
in a variety of organizations and determined that they engage in four basic types of
activities: routine communication, traditional management, networking, and human
resource management. Among these activities, all of them except for networking are
important activities that Sharma should be performing. For example, he needs to send and
receive information to employees on the two teams about the technology and workflow
which he has not done very well. He also must perform the traditional management
activities such as planning, decision making, and controlling. And he also needs to
perform the human resource management activities such as motivating and reinforcing,
disciplining and punishing, managing conflict, staffing, and training and developing
employees. He has failed to adequately perform most of the human resource activities.
For example, he has not motivated the employees, he has not adequately dealt with the
conflict between the two teams, and he has not provided employees with sufficient
training on the new technology and workflow.
In summary, Sharma needs to do a better job performing the managerial activities of
routine communication, traditional management, and human resource management which
are all important and in need of improvement.
4. To what extent are the contemporary management concerns described in Chapter 1 relevant
for Ken Private and the Genesis Digitization Project? What should Ken Private be most
concerned about, and what should they do to effectively manage the contemporary
management concerns?

Chapter 1: The contemporary management concerns described in Chapter 1 include:


diversity, employee health and well-being, talent management and employee
engagement, and corporate social responsibility. Ken Private should be most concerned
about diversity, employee health and well-being, and talent management and employee
engagement. Diversity is important as the two groups come from different cultures and
they must work together. However, their cultural differences among other factors have
led to conflict rather than cooperation. The diversity among the employees on the two
teams needs to be managed so that they can work together to complete the project. Ken
Private should also be concerned about the health and well-being of employees who are
struggling to complete the project. Positive organizational behaviour is particularly
relevant here especially with respect to the need to develop team members’ psychological
capacities. A focus on the development of team members’ self-efficacy, optimism, hope,
and resilience can help to improve employees’ psychological capacities and improve their
performance. Finally, it would seem that the work engagement of the employees’ is also
an issue with respect to the Genesis Digitization Project. The problems and conflict have
contributed to low levels of employees’ vigour, dedication, and absorption and this
should also be a concern to Ken Private and something that organizational behaviour can
improve.

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TN-6 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

5. How can organizational behaviour help Saiyumn Savarker find a solution to steer the
Genesis Digitization Project out of dangerous waters and to successfully complete the
project? What should Savarker do to ensure Ken’s successful delivery of the project?

Chapter 1: As noted in response to the previous four questions, there are a number of things
that Sayyumn Savaker should do. For starters, employees have to be made aware of the
importance and benefits of the new technology and they also need to be provided with some
training on how to use it. He also needs to deal with the resistance to change with regard to
the use of the new technology and workflow. Second, he needs to resolve the conflict
between the Filipino and Indian teams and focus on addressing some of the cross-cultural
differences between the two groups especially with regard to cross-cultural differences in
communication. And third, as indicated in the previous question, he should also focus on
employees’ health and well-being which might involve developing their psychological
capital.

PART 2 – INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR


1. How important is learning for the success of the Genesis Digitization Project? Who needs to
learn, and what do they need to learn?

Chapter 2: Learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behaviour potential that


occurs due to practice or experience. Learning is extremely important for the completion and
success of the Genesis Digitization Project. Employees on both teams need to learn about
each other’s culture and how to work and communicate effectively with each other. In
addition, the employees on the Filipino team need to learn how to use the new technology
and the new workflow. A key problem in the case is that the Filipino team had no experience
with the technology and the new workflow and yet they were not provided with any
preparation or training. They had to perform their job using a new platform without being
provided with the necessary skills. Thus, they should have been provided with learning
opportunities to acquire the skills needed to use the new technology and platform. In effect,
they should have received extensive training on the new technology and working with the
new platform. Instead, they were simply left on their own without assistance and therefore
had to figure things out which led to considerable frustration, conflict, chaos, and delays. In
terms of the content of learning, they need to learn practical skills with respect to the new
technology and workflow; intrapersonal skills which involves solving problems and learning
about alternative work processes; and interpersonal skills which involves communicating,
teamwork, and conflict resolution so that they can work together and communicate
effectively. Both teams need to learn about each other’s national cultures (values, beliefs,
norms, and behaviours) and their cultural differences as well as how to work together. They
also need to learn about each other’s role and responsibilities in the project.

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-7

2. What behaviours do you think need to be increased, decreased, and/or eliminated? Explain
the implications of operant learning theory and social cognitive theory for employees
working on Genesis Digitization Project. Based on each theory, what would you do to
facilitate learning and increase the probability of desirable behaviours?

Chapter 2: The source of the problems revolves around what each team should be doing in
terms of their specific tasks as well as what they should be doing together to coordinate their
efforts. The Filipino team is responsible for content processing/production while the Indian
team is responsible for technology development. Therefore, the behaviours associated with
these respective tasks should be increased and reinforced from a conditioning theory
perspective. The problem behavours stem from the interactions between the two teams. The
Filipino team is not comfortable with the new technology and workflow and find it
frustrating and not user-friendly so their use of the technology needs to be reinforced so that
new behaviours will be learned and maintained. Dysfunctional behaviours associated with
the conflict between the two teams needs to be decreased and eliminated. Both teams should
be reinforced for cooperation and effective communication. The Filipino team managers and
employees should also be encouraged to share their thoughts about the problems so that
solutions can be developed. Thus, speaking up or voice should be encouraged and reinforced.
With respect to the Indian team, the focus is on reducing the number of errors that are being
made and increasing behaviours associated with making improvements and responding to
feedback from the Filipino team in a timely manner. Thus, in terms of conditioning theory,
the use of positive reinforcement is especially called for so that the key behaviours are
learned, performed, and maintained. As for social cognitive theory, the use of observational
learning might be useful although there has to be some credible and competent models in
place to observe. In addition, both teams could use some strengthening of self-efficacy as the
technology and process is new for all concerned and members of the Filipino team seem to
be lacking self-efficacy with regard to learning and using the new technology.

3. What organizational learning practices would you recommend for employees working on the
Genesis Digitization Project? Consider each of the organizational learning practices
described in Chapter 2 and explain why you would or would not use them to change the
behaviour of employees working on the Genesis Digitization Project.

Chapter 2: Among the organizational learning practices, training is particularly important as


the Filipino team really has very little knowledge of how to use the new technology. As
stated in the case, there is a lack of awareness of the use of the technology which has made it
difficult to deal with the problems. The members of the Filipino team are not well versed in
the use of the technology and they have not received any training. Thus, training is clearly
required and in fact behaviour modelling training might prove especially beneficial for
learning how to use the new technology. Organizational behaviour modification, which
involves the systematic use of learning principles to influence organizational behaviour, can
also be used to reinforce the key behaviours noted in the previous question. Feedback and
social recognition can be used to reinforce the use of the new technology, completion of
work on time, quality of the work, and reduction in the number of errors. Employee
recognition might not be as useful given that the focus of the case is on team behaviour and

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TN-8 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

performance rather than individual accomplishments. Thus, both training and organizational
behaviour modification are recommended.

4. Consider the perceptions held by employees on the Indian team and the Filipino team. How
does each team perceive the other team and why?

Chapter 3: Throughout the case there are a number of references to how each team perceives
the other team which is for the most part in a negative light. For example, the problems that
the Filipino team has with the technology also leads to concerns about the team in India. In
the meeting with Sharma, the one employee who speaks says that the team in India is not
sensitive to their needs. When Sharma overhears a conversation between two Filipino team
managers, we learn that the Indian team is perceived as not being concerned about the
problems that the Filipino team is having and that they don’t understand the urgency of their
concerns and take their time responding to their problems. It is clear that they are blaming the
Indian team for the problems and barriers to the project. As one of the manager’s states, “The
problem lies with the Indian team and the project manager keeps asking us, ‘What’s the
problem?’” It is also made clear that the Filipino’s feel that they are being blamed for all the
problems. When Sharma talks to one of the assistant managers on the Indian team we learn
about their perceptions of the Filipino team. According to the Indian team, the Filipino team
is to blame for all the problems stating that they are not patient and create an uproar over
every petty issue. He further states that there are not as many errors in technology as the
Filipino team has made out and that they lack the inclination to learn the processes. The
Indian team continues to believe that there are minimal errors while the Filipino team
continues to face major difficulties. Thus, each team sees the other team in a negative light
and blames each other for the problems. Social identity theory which is discussed in the next
question helps us to understand these perceptions.

5. Use social identity theory to explain the perceptions that employees on the Indian and
Filipino team have of themselves and each other. How does social identity theory help us to
understand their perceptions?

Chapter 3: According to social identity theory, people form perceptions of themselves based
on their characteristics and memberships in social categories. Our sense of self is composed
of a personal identity and a social identity. Our personal identity is based on our unique
personal characteristics, such as our interests, abilities, and traits. Social identity is based on
our perception that we belong to various social groups, such as our gender, nationality,
religion, occupation, and so on. Personal and social identities help us answer the question,
“Who am I?” We categorize ourselves and others to make sense of and understand the social
environment. Once a category is chosen, we tend to see members of that category as
embodying the most typical attributes of that category, or what are called “prototypes.”
Further, people tend to perceive members of their own social categories in more positive and
favourable ways than those who are different and belong to other categories. Therefore,
members of each team are likely to perceive members of the other team as embodying certain
attributes and to see them in a negative way. In other words, members of each team will see
themselves in a more positive way than those of the other team. This of course makes it much

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-9

more difficult to complete the project. Thus, social identity theory helps us to understand
why each team has formed negative perceptions of the other team and why they blame each
other for the problems and the delays with the project. Therefore, it is important that team
members not categorize members of the other team in a negative and less favourable manner.
The focus should be on how everyone is part of the same organization and working together
to complete a very important project. This should be emphasized and presented in the most
positive way.

6. To what extent are person perception biases affecting the perceptions that each team has of
the other? What are the implications of these perceptions for the success of the Genesis
Digitization Project?

Chapter 3: The primacy effect which is the tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues or
first impressions seems to be a bias affecting team members’ perceptions. For example, from
the start the Filipino team does not see the benefits of the new technology and workflow and
are skeptical about it and have reservations about its value. As a result, as they get further
into the project these perceptions remain constant as they become frustrated with the
situation which serves to increase their concerns about the technology and the team in India.
They then become convinced that their initial apprehension was justified. This initial
perception leads to further negative perceptions of the Indian team, such as not being
sensitive to their needs and concerns, and taking their time in responding to problems. Thus,
not only do their initial perceptions influence their subsequent perceptions, but there is also
some degree of implicit personality theories involved. Implicit personality theories refer to
personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go together. In the
case of the Filipino team, their initial perceptions about the technology and the Indian team
lead to perceptions of the Indian team not being sensitive and caring and taking their time
responding to feedback about their concerns. Similarly, the Indian team perceives the
Filipino team as not being patient, creating an uproar over petty issues, and exaggerating the
extent of the errors in the technology. These perceptions are based on a general belief that the
Filipino team does not understand the project and lacks the inclination to learn the processes.
There is also some stereotyping which is the tendency to generalize about people in a certain
social category and ignore variations among them. Both teams develop perceptions of each
other that they generalize to all members of the team. Each team held stereotypes about each
other in part because they did not know each other (note the role of ambiguity here). Thus,
primacy, implicit personality theories, and stereotyping are influencing each team’s
perception of the other team and this has contributed to the problems, conflicts, and delays in
the project.

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TN-10 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

7. Consider the role of trust and perceived organizational support (POS) in the case. How
important are they for the success of the Genesis Digitization Project? To what extent do
employees on each team have positive perceptions of trust, and what effect do these
perceptions have on their attitudes and behaviours? What should Shekhar Sharma and
Saiyumn Savarker do to create positive perceptions of trust and organizational support?

Chapter 3: Trust and perceived organizational support are very important to the success
of the Genesis Digitization Project. Trust refers to a willingness to be vulnerable and to
take risks with respect to the actions of another party. Trust perceptions toward
management are based on perceptions of ability, benevolence, and integrity. Ability
refers to employee perceptions regarding management’s competence and skills.
Benevolence refers to the extent that employees perceive management as caring and
concerned for their interests. Integrity refers to employee perceptions that management
adheres to and behaves according to a set of values and principles. The combination of
these three factors influences perceptions of trust. Given that the Filipino team does not
see the benefits of switching to the new workflow and are skeptical about the new
technology, we can surmise that they have low trust in management, especially in terms
of ability and benevolence. This is also evident in the meeting with Sharma in which they
do not express their concerns to Sharma when he asks them what the problem is even
though they believe amongst themselves that the Indian team is responsible for the
problems. The fact that they are being blamed for all the problems and not the Indian
team also reinforces the likelihood of low trust in management, especially with respect to
benevolence. The Indian team might also have low perceptions of trust as they too feel
that they are being blamed when Sharma expresses his disappointment over the results
they have delivered to the Filipino team and asks an assistant manager in India to explain
why things are not proceeding according to the original plan. There is also a lack of trust
between the two teams given their cultural differences and psychological distance. The
teams did not know each other and did not have an opportunity to meet and form personal
connections. As a result, the two groups did not communicate very well and conflict,
arguments, and a lack of cooperation was the result.
To increase perceptions of trust, Sharma has to improve employee’s perceptions of
ability, benevolence, and integrity. Among these three factors, a focus on benevolence
seems most important for both teams. Improving perceptions of trust is important given
that perceptions of trust in management are positively related to job satisfaction,
organizational commitment, job performance, and organizational citizenship behaviour,
and negatively related to turnover intentions. Sharma should also have some members of
the two teams meet face-to-face so they can begin to form some personal connections
with each other and improve perceptions of ability, benevolence, and integrity and
develop trust in each other.
Perceived organizational support (POS) refers to employees’ general belief that their
organization values their contribution and cares about their well-being. According to
organizational support theory, employees who have strong perceptions of organizational
support feel an obligation to care about the organization’s welfare and to help the
organization achieve its objectives. They feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning and

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-11

a strong sense of belonging to the organization. As a result, employees incorporate their


membership and role within the organization into their social identity and employees feel
obligated to reciprocate the organization’s care and support. POS is related to job
satisfaction, organizational commitment, a positive mood, performance, reduced strains,
and lower absenteeism and turnover. Given the Filipino team’s continued frustration with
the new technology and the fact that Sharma does not directly address their concerns and
they feel they are being blamed for all of the problems, it is likely that they perceive
organizational support to be very low. The Indian team might also have low perceptions
of support given that they too feel they are being blamed by Sharma and asked to explain
why things are not going as planned. The task and situation requires continuous support,
something that was totally lacking for both teams.
The main factors that contribute to POS are perceived supervisor support, fairness,
organizational rewards, and job conditions. Thus, it is important that employees on both
teams receive support from the project manager and that they are treated fairly. Low
perceptions of POS will have a number of negative consequences and continue to delay
the completion and quality of the project. If Sharma wants to improve POS, he should
focus more on recognition of employee contributions rather than blaming them for the
problems. He needs to demonstrate that the organization values and cares about them. He
might also implement a reward and recognition system to demonstrate that the
organization values employee contributions.
8. To what extent do you think national cultural differences contributed to the events in the
case, as opposed to other factors? Before you answer, locate India and the Philippines in
Exhibit 4.4, which cross-references power distance and individualism values.

Chapter 4: As shown in Exhibit 4.4, both countries are in the collectivistic-high power
distance quadrant. However, the Philippines tends to be somewhat higher on collectivism
and power distance than India. It is possible that these differences had some impact on
the case events. For example, their collectivism might have prompted the Filipinos to
“stand united” against the Indian technology group and their deference to power might
explain why the Filipino managers and employees were not forthcoming about their
problems in the meeting with Sharma. Also, there might have been some general cultural
stereotyping occurring between the Indians and the Filipinos. This is especially probable
since they had never met face-to-face and gotten to know each other as individuals. All of
this having been said, students should be encouraged to see that the case events are multi-
determined and that other factors might be as responsible, or even more responsible, than
culture. These include 1) occupational differences between the technology group in India
and the production group in the Philippines, 2) lack of opportunity for face-to-face
communication, 3) lack of adequate training in the new technology for the Filipinos, 4)
poor management of the technology change process by Sharma, and 5) lack of an
overarching goal.

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TN-12 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

9. Discuss the relevance of motivation for the successful completion of the Genesis Digitization
Project, and describe the motivation of employees working on the project. How important is
motivation? Describe what employees should be motivated to do and how to motivate them to
do it.

Chapter 5: Motivation is very important for the successful completion of the Genesis
Digitization Project as the employees on both teams need to be motivated to complete their
tasks in a timely manner in order to meet the strict deadlines. Thus, the Indian team must
send each segment of the technical platform to the Filipino team who must then use the
technology for content processing. Both teams need to be motivated to complete their tasks
on time and on schedule without errors and of high quality. To motivate them to do these
tasks, Sharma can focus on what motivates each team in terms of needs and incentives as
well as how to motivate them perhaps through goal setting and/or linking high performance
to attractive outcomes (e.g., expectancy theory).

10. Use each of the theories of work motivation to a) describe the motivation of employees on the
Indian and Filipino team, and b) describe what to do to increase employee motivation. Based
on your analysis, what do you think is most important for motivating employees on each team
to successfully complete the project?

Chapter 5: Using need theories, we might surmise that the employees will be motivated to
fulfill lower-level needs, particularly Maslow’s physiological needs and safety needs and
probably also belongingness needs (Alderfer’s existence and relatedness needs). However,
given that there are not any incentives in place, the motivation of employees is probably not
very high. In terms of self-determination theory, employees’ motivation is probably
controlled to the extent that Sharma has been pushing them to do a better job and to explain
why they are having problems. And while relatedness needs might be somewhat satisfied to
the extent that employees are working in teams, the other two basic psychological needs are
probably low (autonomy and competence), especially competence given that the technology
and workflow is new and challenging for both teams, especially the Filipino team. Thus,
motivation is more likely to be controlled than autonomous. With respect to expectancy
theory, both teams are probably low on the expectancy component at least in terms of high
levels of performance and low errors and instrumentality is probably also low as there does
not seem to be any link between achieving a first level outcome (e.g., meeting deadlines,
high quality, low errors) and attractive or highly valent second-level outcomes. In terms of
goals, although there are clear deadlines for completing the work, the teams have not been
assigned specific goals for their particular tasks. Sharma should have set goals for each phase
of the project (e.g., timelines) and for each team, and he should then have monitored the
performance of both teams and provided them with feedback. Equity theory seems least
relevant in this case as we do not have sufficient information in terms of inputs and
outcomes. Overall, the theories of work motivation suggest that the motivation of employees
on both teams is probably low and therefore some incentive is needed to improve motivation.
In addition, there needs to be some attention given to improving the expectancy component
of expectancy theory so that both teams feel that they can achieve a higher level of
performance. The instrumentality component should also be improved so that employees on

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-13

both teams perceive a high probability that achieving a first-level outcome will lead to valent
second-level outcomes. In addition, setting specific and challenging goals and providing
feedback for each team is also important in this case given that they need to complete their
tasks in a timely manner, achieve a high level of quality, and minimize errors.

11. What motivational practices would you use to motivate employees working on the Genesis
Digitization Project? Be sure to consider pay schemes, job design, management by
objectives, and flexible work arrangements. What practice(s) would you recommend and
why?

Chapter 6: Money might be an effective means to motivate employees as it would satisfy


lower-level needs. The second issue is what kind of pay plan to implement. Given that the
project revolves around teamwork and team tasks, it would probably be best to implement a
team-based pay strategy. Given that the case refers to a particular project rather than an
overall policy in general, it does not make sense to refer to profit sharing or ESOPS. Rather,
it makes more sense to provide group incentives linked to group performance on each
group’s tasks. For example, the Indian team might receive bonuses for completing each
segment on time and without errors while the Filipino team receives bonuses for meeting
deadlines and the quality of the product.

Among the other motivational practices, management by objectives would also be useful
given that Ken Private has to meet various goals with respect to delivering the content at
specific times and maintain a high quality requirement. Therefore, it would be useful to
translate these goals to specific project-related goals for the Filipino and Indian teams. In
addition, there should also be a common goal for both teams to work towards with respect to
delivering the final product to the client on time. Thus, project objectives should be translated
into objectives for the two teams, departments, and individual employees. This should be
followed by careful monitoring of the work and progress towards the goals along with
feedback and evaluation. A reward system might also be implemented and aligned with the
goals and goal achievement. Job design and flexible work arrangements seem less relevant to
the situation and the motivation of employees.

In summary, to motivate the employees on both teams it is recommended that some form of
linking pay to team performance combined with setting specific goals for each team is most
likely to motivate the employees given the situation and desired outcomes in the case.

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TN-14 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

PART 3 – SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROCESSES

1. Although the “teams” at Ken Private Limited are actually large organizational units, many
of the principles of group dynamics and teamwork still apply. How do the concepts of group
development, norms, diversity, and cohesiveness apply to the case?

Chapter 7: A good case can be made for the idea that the project should have been begun
with the formation of a rather small liaison team made up of select technology and
production members who could bond together and “translate” or mediate issues between the
larger Indian and Philippines units. This said, although the primary team issues in the case
are obviously inter-team, group dynamics principles still apply. In terms of stages of group
development, things are stuck at the storming stage. Norming has not occurred, so
performance is curtailed. There is a strong need here for the development of proper norms of
interaction and communication between the technology unit in India and the production unit
in the Philippines. Part of this has been caused by aspects of diversity. The two units differ
both in terms of occupational mix and culture. Combined with physical distance and the need
for virtual communication, this inhibits the development of cohesiveness. No common goal
has really been instituted, and the project has begun on note of failure rather than the needed
small successes.

2. What are the advantages and challenges of virtual teamwork displayed in the case? What
caused the challenges? How can these challenges have been avoided?

Chapter 7: The virtual arrangement seen here may reduce travels costs, reduce labour costs,
provide a larger window of working time (due to global time differences), and expand the
available talent pool. However, it can lead to lack of trust, poor communication, and
difficulties for managers, all problems observed in the case. These negative outcomes
resulted from a real absence of training, personalization between teams, and the introduction
of a common goal. There is no evidence of the recruitment of good liaison people to serve as
a bridge between the technology and production units.

3. Consider the existence of any subcultures at Ken Private Limited. What is the nature of these
subcultures, and how and why do they differ?

Chapter 8: Subcultures are smaller cultures that develop within a larger organizational
culture that are based on differences in training, occupation, or departmental goals. There are
clearly two distinct subcultures at Ken Private that correspond to the Indian team whose
focus is on the development of the technology and the Filipino team whose focus is on
content processing. The two subcultures are based on occupational differences as well as
national cultural differences and each has its own values, beliefs, and assumptions especially
with respect to the benefits and use of the new technology and workflow. The existence of
these two subcultures helps to explain some of the problems and conflicts that occur in the
case which means that it is especially important that the overarching culture of the
organization and a culture of cooperation and collaboration along with common goals of the
project be emphasized.

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-15

4. How important and effective is leadership at Ken Private Limited with respect to the Genesis
Digitization Project? Be sure to provide examples of effective and ineffective leadership.

Chapter 9: Leadership is the influence that particular individuals exert on the goal
achievement of others in an organizational context. It is extremely important for the Genesis
Digitization Project especially because two teams are performing important and
interdependent tasks. Thus, in addition to the influence required to get each team to perform
their tasks, leadership is also needed to facilitate the coordination of the tasks being
performed by the two groups. The leader in charge of the project is Shekhar Sharma who is
the project manager of the Genesis Digitization Project. By most measures his leadership is
not very effective. There are several examples of Sharma’s ineffective leadership in the case.
For example, when he calls a meeting with managers and employees on the Filipino team he
becomes irritated and frustrated and loses his temper and yells at them. When a department
manager on the Filipino team complains to Sharma about the problems with the technology
Sharma simply sends the feedback about the problems to the Indian team rather than try to
help solve the problem himself. When he meets with an assistant manager on the Indian team
he expresses his disappointment over the results and asks him to explain why things are not
proceeding according to the original plan. In effect, Sharma blames the managers and
employees of both teams for the problems rather than helping to solve them and providing
leadership. The few examples of effective leadership are when Sharma solicits information
from employees and managers and when he provides suggestions for the Indian team to
address the concerns and provide a timely response. However, overall his leadership is not
very effective and is partly to blame for the problems and the conflict between the groups.

5. Discuss Shekhar Sharma’s leadership behaviours with respect to consideration, initiating


structure, leader reward behaviour, and leader punishment behaviour. What behaviours does
he exhibit and what behaviours are absent? What behaviours does he need to exhibit and
why?

Chapter 9: In terms of the different leadership behaviours, it is easy to see why Sharma has
failed to be an effective leader. When dealing with the Filipino team he fails to provide them
with the initiating structure that they require to complete what is clearly a difficult and
challenging task and he also fails to provide them with consideration which is called for
during the times they are frustrated with the technology. In fact, Sharma is at times
inconsiderate when dealing with the Filipino team as when he loses his patience during a
meeting and shouts at them. There is also an absence of reward and punishment behaviour.
Sharma does exhibit some initiating structure behaviour with the Indian team when he urges
them to do their job more conscientiously and directs them to resolve the errors made in the
second segment before resending it to the Filipino team. Overall, however, there needs to be
more initiating structure and consideration for the Filipino team in particular, and he should
also be using leader reward behaviour to reinforce desirable behaviours associated with
learning to use the technology, meeting deadlines, and minimizing errors. The nature of the
tasks and the project itself calls for close supervision and considerable guidance and
direction.

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TN-16 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

6. Use the situational theories of leadership to determine the type of leadership that Shekhar
Sharma should be exhibiting. Is his leadership consistent with the situational theories of
leadership?

Chapter 9: In terms of Fiedler’s Contingency Theory, we can assess the situation for the
Filipino team as poor leader-member relations, unstructured task, and strong position power
for Sharma. This results in a situation of low favourableness and calls for a relationship
oriented leader. Clearly, Sharma has not maintained good interpersonal relations with the
Filipino team who feel they are being blamed for all the problems. As for the Indian team,
leader-member relations are somewhat better for them, the task is unstructured, and Sharma
has high position power. This situation would be more favourable and calls for a task-
oriented leader and it would seem that Sharma is focused on accomplishing the task when he
deals with the Indian team and directs them to resolve the errors they made in the second
segment before resending it to the Filipino team and urges them to do the job more
conscientiously. According to House’s path-goal theory, when tasks are challenging but
ambiguous, employees appreciate directive and participative leadership because such styles
clarify the path to good performance and demonstrate that the leader is concerned with
helping employees to do a good job. However, for frustrating jobs employees’ will appreciate
supportive behaviour. While Sharma does engage in some directive behaviour with the
Indian team, he probably needs to provide more direction than he has and also provide more
direction to the Filipino team who are struggling with the use of the new technology. At the
same time, given their frustration he should also be providing the Filipino team with
supportive leadership in addition to directive leadership. To be clear, directive leaders
schedule work, maintain performance standards, and let employees know what is expected of
them. Sharma needs to do this for both teams and to a greater extent than he has. Supportive
behaviour involves being friendly, approachable, and concerned with pleasant interpersonal
relationships. Sharma needs to provide more supportive behaviour to the Filipino team who
are frustrated and upset over the new technology and workflow.

7. What does Shekhar Sharma need to do to be a more effective leader? To answer this
question, refer to the following theories of leadership: leader-member exchange (LMX),
transactional and transformational leadership, empowering leadership, ethical leadership,
authentic leadership, and servant leadership.

Chapter 9: To further understand how Sharma can be a more effective leader, we can
consider some of the other theories of leadership in Chapter 9 as follows:

Leader-member exchange theory. LMX theory is concerned with the quality of the
relationship that develops between a leader and an employee. Effective leadership results
when leaders and employees develop and maintain high-quality social exchange
relationships. Sharma currently has a low LMX with employees especially the employees on
the Filipino team. This helps to explain the low levels of trust, respect, obligation, and mutual
support. Given this situation and the fact that higher quality LMX is associated with more
positive outcomes for leaders, employees, work units, and organizations, it is highly
recommended that Sharma develop better relationships with employees on both teams, but
especially those on the Filipino team.

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-17

Transactional leadership. Transactional leadership is leadership based on a straightforward


exchange relationship between the leader and the followers. It involves contingent reward
behaviour as well as management by exception which involves the leader taking corrective
action on the basis of the results of leader-follower transactions. In the case, there is no
evidence that Sharma exhibits contingent reward behaviour, something that is clearly needed
as the employees never receive any positive reinforcement for their behaviours and
performance. There is some evidence of management by exception and in fact Sharma seems
to only intervene when there is a problem and he realizes he needs to get more involved. He
calls a meeting with the department managers and some employees on the Filipino team and
when he overhears two Filipino managers talking he decides to talk to an assistant manager
on the Indian team. However, even though he takes some actions when there are problems,
he does not really do much to resolve the problems. Management by exception involves
monitoring followers’ behaviour, anticipating problems, and then taking corrective actions
before the behaviour creates serious problems. Sharma takes to action only after he realizes
there are problems rather than before they occur. Thus, Sharma needs to improve as a
transactional leader and this will require that he engage in both contingent reward behaviour
and management by exception.

Transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is leadership that provides


followers with a new vision that instills true commitment. Transformational leadership is
especially important during times of change and for obtaining employees’ commitment to
change. Given that the case revolves around major change such as the change in technology
and workflow as well as the first time that the company split the activities of the production
and technology development, transformational leadership is highly relevant. Thus, this is a
situation where transformational leadership would be appropriate and an effective style of
leadership. Transformational leadership involves four dimensions: intellectual stimulation,
individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, and charisma. By all accounts, Sharma
is not a transformational leader, however, given that a key factor to the success of the project
is the change in technology, workflow, and the organization of production and technology, he
would probably be more effective if he engaged in some of the dimensions of
transformational leadership, especially individualized consideration (treating employees as
distinct individuals and showing concern for their needs) and inspirational leadership (the
communication of visions that are appealing and inspiring to followers; a strong vision,
stimulate enthusiasm, challenge followers with high standards, communicate optimism about
future goal attainment). Sharma has failed to communicate the importance of the new
technology and the need for change and has not provided either team with a clear vision of
the project and its importance. He needs to be more of a transformational leader.

Empowering leadership. Empowering leadership involves implementing conditions that


enable power to be shared with employees. Empowering leaders highlight the significance of
employees’ work, provide participation and autonomy in decision making, express
confidence in employees’ capabilities, and remove bureaucratic constraints or hindrances to
performance. As a result, employees experience a state of psychological empowerment
which includes feeling that their work is personally important (meaning), a belief in their
ability to successfully perform work tasks (competence), freedom to choose how to initiate
and carry out one’s tasks (self-determination), and a belief that one’s behaviour is making a

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TN-18 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

difference (impact). Although the employees need some direction rather than autonomy
given the newness of the technology and workflow, they would benefit from the sense that
they can make a difference to the project and the effectiveness of the organization.
Furthermore, it would also be beneficial for Sharma to provide employees with a sense of
meaning, to feel competent in using the new technology, and in the belief that they are
making a difference. Thus, empowering leadership can also be useful for making Sharma a
more effective leader.

Ethical leadership. Ethical leadership involves the demonstration of normatively appropriate


conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships. Ethical leaders model what
is considered to be normatively appropriate behaviour, such as honesty, trustworthiness,
fairness, and care. Ethical leaders consider the ethical consequences of their decisions and
make principled and fair decisions that can be observed and emulated by others. Ethical
leaders care about people and the broader society and seek to do the right thing personally
and professionally. Although ethics is not a major component of the case, aspects of ethical
leadership such as honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and care are important as the Filipino
team does not believe they are being treated fairly and they feel they are being blamed for
problems that they are not responsible for. In this respect, some ethical leadership on the part
of Sharma would be helpful.

Authentic leadership. Authentic leadership is a positive form of leadership that involves


being true to oneself. Authentic leaders know and act upon their true values, beliefs, and
strengths, and they help others do the same. Their behaviour is guided by their internal values
such that there is consistency between their true values, beliefs, and actions. Authentic
leaders earn the respect and trust of their followers and are perceived by their followers as
being high in moral perspective and as open and fair in decision making. Given the issues
noted in the case, Sharma is not likely to be considered an authentic leader as the employees,
especially those on the Filipino team, do not perceive him as open and fair and he has not
earned their respect and trust. Sharma should be more authentic in his interactions with the
employees and refrain from blaming them for problems that stem from other factors that have
not been adequately dealt with such as the lack of training and cross-cultural differences in
communication.

Servant leadership. Servant leadership is a form of leadership that involves going beyond
one’s own self-interests and having a genuine concern to serve others and a motivation to
lead. Servant leaders emphasize the needs of followers and their growth and development.
By all measures, Sharma is not a servant leader and would rate low on all of the dimensions
of servant leadership including empowering and developing people, humility, authenticity,
interpersonal acceptance, providing direction, and stewardship. Sharma would be a more
effective leader if he engaged in some of the behaviours of servant leadership such as
empowering and developing people, humility, interpersonal acceptance, and providing
direction.

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-19

8. Is culture an issue with respect to Shekhar Sharma’s approach to leadership? In other


words, is the effectiveness of his approach to leadership dependent on culture, and is this a
factor in the case with regard to the Indian and Filipino teams? Refer to Exhibit 9.8 to
answer this question. What universal facilitators of leadership effectiveness (see Exhibit 9.9)
should Shekhar Sharma be exhibiting to a greater extent?

Chapter 9: Culture is clearly an issue with respect to Sharma’s approach to leadership as this
was the first time he was involved with an international project and had to manage
employees from a different culture, and he was not familiar with the Filipino culture. As
discussed in the text, GLOBE identified leadership profiles for each national culture and
cluster of cultures based on their scores on the six global leadership dimensions and they
found that cultures and clusters differ significantly on all six of the global leadership
dimensions. Thus, it is fair to say that the style of leadership that will be effective in the
Philippines will differ from that in India. Thus, Sharma should exhibit a different leadership
style with the teams in each country. As noted earlier in response to question 8 in Part 2, the
Philippines tends to be somewhat higher on collectivism and power distance than India. As a
result, the Filipino employees do not easily share their concerns with people above them in
the organizational hierarchy. They tend to fear their superiors and prefer to remain quiet
rather than discuss problems. They also have difficulty dealing with tough behaviour which
Sharma exhibits during the meeting in which he lost his patience and shouted at them.
Sharma was completely unaware of the cultural differences and displayed a complete lack of
cultural sensitivity. Filipino employees also require a great deal of information to perform
their jobs and seek explanations for even small things. With respect to the six global
leadership dimensions, team-oriented would be especially important in the Philippines while
participative would be more important with the Indian employees. With respect to the
universal facilitators of leadership effectiveness, Sharma needs to improve most of them
especially being communicative, informed, a coordinator, and team integrator and
demonstrating trustworthiness, a sense of justice, and honesty. He should also refrain from
blaming and instead be more encouraging, motivating, and build confidence. Overall,
Sharma was insensitive to the cultural nuances of the Filipino team, especially when it comes
to dealing with people in authority and this contributed to his lack of effectiveness as a
leader.

9. Is there evidence of ineffective communication in the case? If so, please give specific
examples, including any that pertain to cross-cultural factors.

Chapter 10: There is plenty of evidence in the case that the right people are not receiving the
right information in a timely manner. First of all, communication between the client Dogma
and the outsourced vendor Ken Private Limited is poor. Essentially, there is no contact
during the early months of the project. Ken is not making progress reports and Dogma is
given no opportunity to give feedback. The result is great surprise all around when it is
finally discovered that the quality of the digitized images is poor. With proper
communication of image standards by Dogma this problem could have been avoided
altogether. Even without such standards, the impact of the problem could have been reduced
if Ken had sent some early samples to Dogma for feedback. Perhaps the mum effect is
operating, as Sharma is reluctant to pass on news about the slow progress of the project.

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TN-20 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

Clearly, there is deficient communication between the Indian technology development group
and the Filipino production group. It is possible that some of this is due to cultural
differences, with the Indians being more direct and assertive and the Filipinos being more
reserved. In any event, it is clear that there is a lack of understanding between the two
groups. Also at play are occupational differences. The Indians are expert in technology and
the Filipinos are expert in production. Thus, they effectively “speak a different language.”
Complaints by the Filipinos about the technology not being user friendly are symptomatic of
this divide. The Filipinos did not receive training in the new technology that would ease
communication with the Indian technology group. Also, it is apparent that a richer
communication might have helped here. The exchange in the case between the two Filipino
managers Tajale and Lumapas highlights the limits of email for communicating certain
issues. One suspects the Filipinos were rather low key in communicating their problems and
the Indians took this to mean that the issues lacked urgency. There is clearly a lack of voice
being exhibited.

The meeting between Sharma and the Filipino managers and employees, while well
intentioned, did not foster improved communication. The Filipinos, perhaps sensitive to high
power distance, fail to provide Sharma with explicit information about their problems.
Yelling at the people in the meeting was not a recipe for getting them to share information!

Finally, some subtle language issues appear to be operating. Although English is spoken in
the Philippines, the production workers are not familiar with some of the language and style
used in The Genesis Times, an American newspaper. This has led to some problems in
executing the contract.

10. Both too little information and too much information can result in low quality decisions.
Which is the problem here: too much or too little? Give examples to support you choice.

Chapter 11: Due to the aforementioned communication problems, decisions are being made
here without adequate information. Ken Private Limited does not know the image quality
requirements of Dogma. Dogma is unaware of the image quality problem caused by Ken’s
inadequate scanning. The Indian technology group is not getting enough information about
the problems faced by the Filipino production group. The production group has not received
adequate training in the new technology. Sharma holds a meeting with the Filipino managers
and employees that generates no information.

11. What is the main evidence of conflict in the case, and what are its causes? What might
contribute to its resolution?

Chapter 13: There is clearly conflict between the Indian technology group and the Filipino
production group. This is some combination of task and process conflict. There is not much
evidence of relationship conflict. The occupational differences between the groups—
technology versus production—set the stage for the conflict. This leads to intergroup bias and
heightens identification with one’s own group rather than with the overall goals of the
project. Evidence of group identification can be seen in the exchange between the two

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Teaching Notes For Ken Private Limited: Digitization Project Integrative Case TN-21

Filipino managers, Tajale and Lumapas. They unite in their criticism of the other group. The
conflict is exacerbated by the fact that the Filipino production group is dependent upon the
Indian technology group to provide usable technology or fix glitches in what they have
already received. Likewise (but perhaps to a lesser degree), the technology group requires a
clear understanding of production’s problems to make fixes. This somewhat asymmetrical
interdependence causes tension. There might also be some status differences at work here.
That is, the technology group might see itself as being of higher status since they are the ones
effectively initiating the changes in The Philippines.

PART 4 – THE TOTAL ORGANIZATION


1. What kind of organizational structure does Ken Private Limited employ in terms of
departmentation, and how does this have consequences for differentiation and the need for
integration?

Chapter 14: Ken Private Limited has employed functional departmentation, with the twist
that the two departments mentioned in the case are geographically separated. The company
headquarters is in Texas, the technology department is in India, and the production
department for this particular project is in the Philippines. Notice that this is not geographical
departmentation, because the departments are not self-contained. Functional structure has the
advantage of building critical masses of specialists within the departments, but it has also led
to extreme differentiation between the departments. This in turn has resulted in poor
coordination, slow responses, and festering conflict between the two units. With 5000
employees, Ken is a fairly large organization, and the strains of the functional structure are
beginning to emerge. There is a clear need for enhanced integration in this situation, a need
that is magnified by geographic and cultural differences. In theory, Shekhar Sharma should
be spearheading this integration, but he does not seem to be up to the task. Minimally, a full
time integrator is needed who has some command of both technology and production. Also,
there is some real merit in moving some of the technology staff to the Philippines for the
duration of the project so that they can interact directly rather than virtually with the
production staff, thus employing mutual adjustment.

2. The case recounts the need for change and innovation in the production department located
in the Philippines. Why is it being resisted? What errors did Shekhar Sharma make, and what
could have been done differently?

Chapter 15: The Filipino employees are good at what they do, their identities are tied up in
the old production process, and they do not see the need for change. Hence, they are resistant.
Compounding these factors are actual technology glitches that do little to make them
conducive to the change. Unfreezing has been only partial, so real change and refreezing
can’t occur. Sharma did not communicate well enough the reasons for the change, and he did
not provide training on the new technology to the production department. He did not foster
trust between the technology and production units, and he did not generate a superordinate
goal that would bring the units together. In addition, little was done to facilitate
communication between the geographically separated units. Thus, this was a classic example
of the failure to manage change.

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TN-22 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Tenth Edition

3. What should Saiyumm Savarker do to salvage the Genesis Digitization Project?

Answers will obviously vary, but it seems clear that Shekhar Sharma is in over his head. A
good case can be made for appointing a new project manager/leader who has a skill set that
will be respected by both the technology and the production units, a person who can provide
needed integration and be an effective leader. Also, a case can be made for moving a subset
of technology people from India to the Philippines for the duration of the project. This should
facilitate richer face-to-face communication and improve trust. Creating a cross-functional
liaison team with some opinion leaders from both camps might be helpful. Some kind of an
attractive superordinate goal should be introduced. In addition, the members of the Filipino
team should receive some training on the importance and use of the new technology and its
benefits. This involves both learning as well as dealing with resistance to change. All of these
fixes will cost money, but this is a critical contract for Ken Private Limited. They are
investing in a new technology that will be critical for their future success, and Dogma and
The Genesis Times are prestigious clients.

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