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M M Bagali, PhD, Research paper, MBA Faculty, HRM, HR, HRD, PhD in HR and Management.............Designing a research methodology

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M M Bagali, PhD, Research paper, MBA Faculty, HRM, HR, HRD, PhD in HR and Management......

M M Bagali, PhD, Research paper, MBA Faculty, HRM, HR, HRD, PhD in HR and Management.............Designing a research methodology

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Designing a Research Methodology in Management Research: 
An Empirical work experience in Employee Empowerment and Creating High 
Performance Workplace 
M M Bagali, PhD 
Professor of Strategic HRM, 
Head, Research in Management, 
Fellow, Organizational HRM, CAMI and AHRB, 
Jain University, CMS Business School campus, 
JPnagar, 6th phase, Bangalore - 560078, India 
mm.bagali@jainuniversity.ac.in; sanbagsanbag@rediffmail.com 
Executive Note: Research and research work requires meticulous crafting the methodology 
and enquiry areas, per se. The present paper shares the Research methodology design of an 
empirical work undertaken in the area of EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT. The paper can be 
benchmarked while undertaking a work in Management research, and the various steps that 
makes Good methodology chapter. 
Introduction: 
We are presently living in a time of complex and seemingly insurmountable 
challenges in all spheres of our collective lives. A whole gamut of leadership crisis is evident 
in our organizations and business. From all areas of our society and from the World at large, 
we do hear about crisis of ineffective structures and relationships. The workplace has become 
more challenging. The workforce of today is experiencing more uncertainty and requires 
business organizations to adopt different strategy to deal with newer and more challenging 
issues. It is needless to say that Human. Resources forms major component for organizational 
survival. In face of all these happenings, we are called upon to rethink and renew our 
relationships in our organizations and our way of developing and managing human resources. 
We must find ways to create together new and positive vision of the future. We must be 
empowered to pursue our higher common purposes. Our future quality of life depends on our 
sincere efforts in attaining the set goals. 
1
Similarly, most organizations have a number of employees who believe that they are 
dependent on others and that their own efforts will have little impact on performance. In fact, 
almost every society has within it some minority groups that feel incapable of controlling 
their own destiny. Self-efficacy is the conviction among people that they can successfully 
perform their jobs and make meaningful contribution and powerlessness contributes to 
frustrating experience of low self-efficacy. Problems with self-efficiency are often caused by 
major organizational changes that are beyond the employee’s control and create barriers and 
problems such as having to work under an authoritarian leader, rigid policy’s, unethical 
management ethos and within a restricted work system that fails to reinforce competence and 
innovation in a job. 
But one thing is clear that now more than ever before, we need policies, systems and 
strategies which will provoke, guides, inspire, mobilize and above all, empower all of us to 
rise to the challenges we face. With thousands of our major organizations facing global 
challenges and some even unable to cope and manage to the extent needed, it is little wonder 
that anxiety about future will be much wide spread in our country in the days to come. At this 
particular time in history, we must develop a clear understanding of nation’s challenges in 
managing organizations, work force and developing human resources to face all these 
unforeseen challenges and demands. We need to develop deeper comprehensive practices in 
managing and enhancing human force to the standards on par with global company’s. The 
importance of developing and managing human resources becomes vital sources of enquiry, 
as we seek to respond to these complex challenges most acutely and even the question of 
very survival. Corporate Renaissance is now mandatory for organizational success and an 
additional driving change force coming from within the organization. 
Empowerment and empowering employees change all the equations for better growth 
and development. It changes the key structures of all relationships that exist...power 
relationship, work relationship, trust and faith relationship, delegated and shared 
responsibility relationship and the very premises towards human resources development and 
management. The empowering policy and leadership role is to show trust, provide vision, 
remove performance-blocking barriers, offer freedom and encourage activities to perform 
without any boundaries. Indeed, the empowered organization as a whole is something, which 
2
focuses high at "HUMAN" and looks human resources as a prime asset of organization. 
What is this paradigm shift towards empowerment all about? How different is it from other 
organizations? Is empowerment something that has to be given? The present study tries to 
examine this big gap between performing organization and others, and that it is only because 
of the innovative work-place systems, practices, approach and policy adopted for human 
resource development & management that makes top performing companies different. Thus, 
the enquiry into employee empowerment and its after-math benefits in over all growth and 
development of organization and the work force, per se. 
Research Design: 
The focus of the study is to understand why and what makes top performing companies 
different and what are the innovative and unique strategies adopted in creating a global 
standard organization. It was therefore, decided to use explorative and descriptive design, 
which befits into the pattern of investigation. The study also understood and fleshed out to 
explain the technical and commercial context within which the firm operated in terms of 
environmental certainty-uncertainty, stability and resource munificence. The study also 
looked at the timeline described for the change process that the firm went through (if that is 
what occurred), or was the firm set-up to be empowered from the beginning. It was also to 
understand what things changed early, what things changed later and how well did they 
triangulate? The current practices of developing and managing human resources were 
explored and a description of all these practices was analyzed through appropriate 
questionnaire and schedule, including verbatim recording of the responses, per se. 
Objectives: 
The investigation is an empirical research work undertaken to understand how a model 
company can be created with innovative workplace programme and policies. It was also 
intended to understand the impact of such innovative practices on empowerment and how 
such processes could change the very face of the organization and help it remain at the top of 
the business. An effort was made to understand all that contributed to empowerment--the 
systems, practices, policy or the leadership. The study also tried to differentiate between the 
various human resource strategies adopted in empowering employees and how these 
3
strategies differed from other management practices. An effort was also made to see how 
these management practices impacted upon employee behavior. 
With these core objectives, the study also proposes to understand the issue likes: Do we 
really need empowered people? Is empowerment something that can be done to someone or 
something a person must choose? Are employees, leader or all, creating empowerment 
climate in the organization? With these supporting objectives, the genesis of empowerment is 
probed at length. 
Hypotheses: 
The study tries to test the following hypothesis: (The study tested totally 6 hypotheses) 
Ha1 Individual and organizational achievements can be gained through the sense of 
belonging; 
Ha2 A sense of Organizational life through climate shapes behavior and moulds positive 
attitude towards organizational growth and development leading to employee empowerment; 
Ha3 Access to information about the mission, value, goals and objectives of an 
organization is positively related to empowerment; 
An important point of enquiry was focused as to why it was possible for the organization in 
the present study, though Indian, to grow systematically and what unique and innovative 
techniques were practiced as an exercise of employee empowerment. Adding to support these 
assumptions, the study also tested that: without transparent open lines of communication and 
information sharing, people will not extend themselves to take outright responsibility and 
vent their creative energies; transparent Management ethos breeds faith and trust; that 
creativity and innovation are possible with positive management practices. 
Study Scope: 
There is always a big gap between performing organization and other. The reasons could be 
several, but an empowered work culture is what makes significant difference. The present 
4
study tries to focus at these levels and is it the policy, people or workplace practices that 
makes an empowered organization and work force is what is been probed at length. The 
focus of study restricts to Polyhydron Private Limited-PPL, an engineering based 
organization established in the year 1981, situated at the industrial sector of Belgaum district, 
in Karnataka State, India. PPL manufactures Radial Pistons pumps, hand operated DVC, 
Pressures switches, Pressure relief values, Pressure control values and Cartridge values. The 
organization has been known for its empowering way of developing and managing human 
resources and employee ownership culture been widely instituted in the organization. All the 
employees including the CEO/MD forms the respondent group. 
Method of Study: 
a) Geographical Area 
Karnataka State in India is an industrially developed State, with a wide range of 
organizations and activities. Belgaum District has more small-medium-scale (SME) 
organizations and the selected geographical area for the present study. It falls in the Northern 
division of Karnataka State, India. 
b) Organization 
PPL was established way back in 1981 with the sole purpose of creating an organization on 
lines with global standards, clean business and ethical approach. Before, PPL was 
established; SBH (Suresh Hundre, CEO & MD) with other fellow colleagues started a 
group under the Hyloc banner, manufacturing a wide range of hydraulic related equipments. 
PPL was one of the units under the banner. As ideologies change and each global thinker has 
a dream to set an organization on lines with what one thinks are apt, SBH thought of 
Polyhydron unit with ideas he felt were on lines with his thinking and hence was left with 
PPL, which was a small unit then, to take-up the responsibility independently and run into a 
long journey. PPL is located in an industrially concentrated new area of Machhe, at Belgaum, 
in Karnataka state, India. Polyhydron manufactures hydraulic values and radial piston, 
pumps, etc. The wide range of products at PPL spans over more than 40-50 types and an 
5
average of 700 models. The customers are from varied places and the turnover on an average 
is between 8-10 crores. 
c) Sampling Design: 
Studying empowerment is a holistic approach and needs to be studied from all the angles 
involving everyone in the organization. The sample included all the employees as part of the 
study. Since, knowing the experience was the main focus, it was proposed to have everyone 
involved to have a comprehensive opinion on the practices, per se. Note: 60 employees; One 
CEO / MD 
A total of 73 employees including top management form the work force in the organization. 
A total of 73 employees constitute the entire work force at PPL, with different categories like 
highly skilled (HSK), skilled (SK), semiskilled (SSK) and unskilled (USK) employees apart 
from Engineers, Administrative and Managerial staff. The category is done on the basis of 
nature of work-skill involved at workplace, per se. In fact, the CEO, who is also MD, seven 
at management cadre, six engineers and two-software expert forms one section. There is nine 
administrative staff, which includes four supporting at office level as another section. As 
many as forty-two are grass-root employees of which five are highly skilled, eighteen are 
skilled, nineteen are semiskilled, apart from two unskilled & a trainee. All were included in 
the study, but, as many as 62 expressed their willingness to take part in final study and the 
rest didn't due to reasons beyond explanation. Out of the total respondents, two could not 
complete the questionnaire & schedules. The study results analyzed the data gathered from 
sixty respondents from different categories of employees. A final of 60 employees formed 
the total sample of respondent. In addition to these, the CEO / MD of the organization 
formed another important respondent. 
P.S.: The organization has a flat way of organizational structure and hierarchy, where each is 
equal in position and status. But, only on paper is the hierarchy designed. Otherwise, each 
one is a manager and each a CEO. In practice, there are no divisions as management & work 
force and no separation and hierarchy as top / middle / grass root level employees. Each can 
work anywhere in the Organization depending on the necessity of work-skill required. For 
administrative purpose, they are categorized into different streams. 
6

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M M Bagali, PhD, Research paper, MBA Faculty, HRM, HR, HRD, PhD in HR and Management.............Designing a research methodology

  • 1. Designing a Research Methodology in Management Research: An Empirical work experience in Employee Empowerment and Creating High Performance Workplace M M Bagali, PhD Professor of Strategic HRM, Head, Research in Management, Fellow, Organizational HRM, CAMI and AHRB, Jain University, CMS Business School campus, JPnagar, 6th phase, Bangalore - 560078, India mm.bagali@jainuniversity.ac.in; sanbagsanbag@rediffmail.com Executive Note: Research and research work requires meticulous crafting the methodology and enquiry areas, per se. The present paper shares the Research methodology design of an empirical work undertaken in the area of EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT. The paper can be benchmarked while undertaking a work in Management research, and the various steps that makes Good methodology chapter. Introduction: We are presently living in a time of complex and seemingly insurmountable challenges in all spheres of our collective lives. A whole gamut of leadership crisis is evident in our organizations and business. From all areas of our society and from the World at large, we do hear about crisis of ineffective structures and relationships. The workplace has become more challenging. The workforce of today is experiencing more uncertainty and requires business organizations to adopt different strategy to deal with newer and more challenging issues. It is needless to say that Human. Resources forms major component for organizational survival. In face of all these happenings, we are called upon to rethink and renew our relationships in our organizations and our way of developing and managing human resources. We must find ways to create together new and positive vision of the future. We must be empowered to pursue our higher common purposes. Our future quality of life depends on our sincere efforts in attaining the set goals. 1
  • 2. Similarly, most organizations have a number of employees who believe that they are dependent on others and that their own efforts will have little impact on performance. In fact, almost every society has within it some minority groups that feel incapable of controlling their own destiny. Self-efficacy is the conviction among people that they can successfully perform their jobs and make meaningful contribution and powerlessness contributes to frustrating experience of low self-efficacy. Problems with self-efficiency are often caused by major organizational changes that are beyond the employee’s control and create barriers and problems such as having to work under an authoritarian leader, rigid policy’s, unethical management ethos and within a restricted work system that fails to reinforce competence and innovation in a job. But one thing is clear that now more than ever before, we need policies, systems and strategies which will provoke, guides, inspire, mobilize and above all, empower all of us to rise to the challenges we face. With thousands of our major organizations facing global challenges and some even unable to cope and manage to the extent needed, it is little wonder that anxiety about future will be much wide spread in our country in the days to come. At this particular time in history, we must develop a clear understanding of nation’s challenges in managing organizations, work force and developing human resources to face all these unforeseen challenges and demands. We need to develop deeper comprehensive practices in managing and enhancing human force to the standards on par with global company’s. The importance of developing and managing human resources becomes vital sources of enquiry, as we seek to respond to these complex challenges most acutely and even the question of very survival. Corporate Renaissance is now mandatory for organizational success and an additional driving change force coming from within the organization. Empowerment and empowering employees change all the equations for better growth and development. It changes the key structures of all relationships that exist...power relationship, work relationship, trust and faith relationship, delegated and shared responsibility relationship and the very premises towards human resources development and management. The empowering policy and leadership role is to show trust, provide vision, remove performance-blocking barriers, offer freedom and encourage activities to perform without any boundaries. Indeed, the empowered organization as a whole is something, which 2
  • 3. focuses high at "HUMAN" and looks human resources as a prime asset of organization. What is this paradigm shift towards empowerment all about? How different is it from other organizations? Is empowerment something that has to be given? The present study tries to examine this big gap between performing organization and others, and that it is only because of the innovative work-place systems, practices, approach and policy adopted for human resource development & management that makes top performing companies different. Thus, the enquiry into employee empowerment and its after-math benefits in over all growth and development of organization and the work force, per se. Research Design: The focus of the study is to understand why and what makes top performing companies different and what are the innovative and unique strategies adopted in creating a global standard organization. It was therefore, decided to use explorative and descriptive design, which befits into the pattern of investigation. The study also understood and fleshed out to explain the technical and commercial context within which the firm operated in terms of environmental certainty-uncertainty, stability and resource munificence. The study also looked at the timeline described for the change process that the firm went through (if that is what occurred), or was the firm set-up to be empowered from the beginning. It was also to understand what things changed early, what things changed later and how well did they triangulate? The current practices of developing and managing human resources were explored and a description of all these practices was analyzed through appropriate questionnaire and schedule, including verbatim recording of the responses, per se. Objectives: The investigation is an empirical research work undertaken to understand how a model company can be created with innovative workplace programme and policies. It was also intended to understand the impact of such innovative practices on empowerment and how such processes could change the very face of the organization and help it remain at the top of the business. An effort was made to understand all that contributed to empowerment--the systems, practices, policy or the leadership. The study also tried to differentiate between the various human resource strategies adopted in empowering employees and how these 3
  • 4. strategies differed from other management practices. An effort was also made to see how these management practices impacted upon employee behavior. With these core objectives, the study also proposes to understand the issue likes: Do we really need empowered people? Is empowerment something that can be done to someone or something a person must choose? Are employees, leader or all, creating empowerment climate in the organization? With these supporting objectives, the genesis of empowerment is probed at length. Hypotheses: The study tries to test the following hypothesis: (The study tested totally 6 hypotheses) Ha1 Individual and organizational achievements can be gained through the sense of belonging; Ha2 A sense of Organizational life through climate shapes behavior and moulds positive attitude towards organizational growth and development leading to employee empowerment; Ha3 Access to information about the mission, value, goals and objectives of an organization is positively related to empowerment; An important point of enquiry was focused as to why it was possible for the organization in the present study, though Indian, to grow systematically and what unique and innovative techniques were practiced as an exercise of employee empowerment. Adding to support these assumptions, the study also tested that: without transparent open lines of communication and information sharing, people will not extend themselves to take outright responsibility and vent their creative energies; transparent Management ethos breeds faith and trust; that creativity and innovation are possible with positive management practices. Study Scope: There is always a big gap between performing organization and other. The reasons could be several, but an empowered work culture is what makes significant difference. The present 4
  • 5. study tries to focus at these levels and is it the policy, people or workplace practices that makes an empowered organization and work force is what is been probed at length. The focus of study restricts to Polyhydron Private Limited-PPL, an engineering based organization established in the year 1981, situated at the industrial sector of Belgaum district, in Karnataka State, India. PPL manufactures Radial Pistons pumps, hand operated DVC, Pressures switches, Pressure relief values, Pressure control values and Cartridge values. The organization has been known for its empowering way of developing and managing human resources and employee ownership culture been widely instituted in the organization. All the employees including the CEO/MD forms the respondent group. Method of Study: a) Geographical Area Karnataka State in India is an industrially developed State, with a wide range of organizations and activities. Belgaum District has more small-medium-scale (SME) organizations and the selected geographical area for the present study. It falls in the Northern division of Karnataka State, India. b) Organization PPL was established way back in 1981 with the sole purpose of creating an organization on lines with global standards, clean business and ethical approach. Before, PPL was established; SBH (Suresh Hundre, CEO & MD) with other fellow colleagues started a group under the Hyloc banner, manufacturing a wide range of hydraulic related equipments. PPL was one of the units under the banner. As ideologies change and each global thinker has a dream to set an organization on lines with what one thinks are apt, SBH thought of Polyhydron unit with ideas he felt were on lines with his thinking and hence was left with PPL, which was a small unit then, to take-up the responsibility independently and run into a long journey. PPL is located in an industrially concentrated new area of Machhe, at Belgaum, in Karnataka state, India. Polyhydron manufactures hydraulic values and radial piston, pumps, etc. The wide range of products at PPL spans over more than 40-50 types and an 5
  • 6. average of 700 models. The customers are from varied places and the turnover on an average is between 8-10 crores. c) Sampling Design: Studying empowerment is a holistic approach and needs to be studied from all the angles involving everyone in the organization. The sample included all the employees as part of the study. Since, knowing the experience was the main focus, it was proposed to have everyone involved to have a comprehensive opinion on the practices, per se. Note: 60 employees; One CEO / MD A total of 73 employees including top management form the work force in the organization. A total of 73 employees constitute the entire work force at PPL, with different categories like highly skilled (HSK), skilled (SK), semiskilled (SSK) and unskilled (USK) employees apart from Engineers, Administrative and Managerial staff. The category is done on the basis of nature of work-skill involved at workplace, per se. In fact, the CEO, who is also MD, seven at management cadre, six engineers and two-software expert forms one section. There is nine administrative staff, which includes four supporting at office level as another section. As many as forty-two are grass-root employees of which five are highly skilled, eighteen are skilled, nineteen are semiskilled, apart from two unskilled & a trainee. All were included in the study, but, as many as 62 expressed their willingness to take part in final study and the rest didn't due to reasons beyond explanation. Out of the total respondents, two could not complete the questionnaire & schedules. The study results analyzed the data gathered from sixty respondents from different categories of employees. A final of 60 employees formed the total sample of respondent. In addition to these, the CEO / MD of the organization formed another important respondent. P.S.: The organization has a flat way of organizational structure and hierarchy, where each is equal in position and status. But, only on paper is the hierarchy designed. Otherwise, each one is a manager and each a CEO. In practice, there are no divisions as management & work force and no separation and hierarchy as top / middle / grass root level employees. Each can work anywhere in the Organization depending on the necessity of work-skill required. For administrative purpose, they are categorized into different streams. 6
  • 7. Data Collection from Employees: Fig No 01: The mode of Data collection of employees PPiilloott SSttuuddyy Observed the System Pooling Pooling all the response s Questionnair e Administered Discussion with CEO Case-by- Case discussio n An exhaustive empowerment questionnaire in different languages was put to test. The questionnaire was administered to all employees who participated and a formal discussion with CEO / MD was done keeping in view the intended enquiry areas. Very many empowering angles were probed and a total of nearly 125 odd areas were identified, which were apt, valid and relevant on five point scale, viz: Strongly agree; Agree; Can’t say; Disagree; and Strongly disagree. Such areas put to test includes understanding the system of accountability within the organization, attitude development processes, mode adopted for career planning, open communication process adopted, decision making process, delegation and shared responsibility, ethical standards, feed-back system adopted, methods for information sharing, leadership development at all spheres, organizational transparency, management and organizational ethos, power distribution, climate of politics, degree of trust & loyalty, team working, employee participation and the like were put to test. The present enquiry is a scientific investigation into practical working of empowerment system at PPL and hence the study is undertaken at multiple stages. We used three distinct methodologies in the study: a) Pre-pilot observation 7 Observed the System all the response s Questionnair e Administered Discussion with CEO Case-by- Case discussio n
  • 8. b) Pre-pilot study c) Final observation a) Pre-pilot observation The study began with pre-pilot observation through a survey over a period of 8-10 months. We observed and identified the management practices that were thought to influence business success-broad areas such as: communication, leadership, transparency, values, decision-making, participation, management style, organizational politic, ethos, knowledge sharing, ownership culture and the like. Initial micro level discussion with employees was held from time to time. b) Pre-pilot study A pilot study with specific practices was undertaken with few enquiry areas identified and put to test. We pursued in-depth observation of management practices that were pre-observed which played a major role in enhancing or weakening a company’s performance. This pilot study allowed us to verify and extend the larger survey findings. Pilot study also paved way for further exploration of new areas and few areas of in-significance were ignored. It also directed a few questions and enquiry areas in line with objectives of the study. c) Final observation At final stage, while collecting actual data, an exhaustive questionnaire / schedule was administered focusing all valid areas of empowerment and the extent of such organizational practices in growth of the company and creating an winning work force, per se. As many as 125 odd areas were identified and put to test. The collection and examining of data was done in three stages after communicating to all the employees the purpose of the study and why their responses through active participation are important at higher level and the benefits it comes out for the Individual, Organization and the Nation as a whole. We injected case-by-case basis, with a sense of purpose & direction at all the three stages of data collection. Stage 1: In the first stage, Questionnaires and schedules were drawn up after identifying the relevant empowerment angles and put to test on a five-point scale. This was the first stage, where each was asked to express his/her opinions on five-point scale, viz: 8
  • 9. · Strongly agree · Agree · Can’t Say · Disagree · Strongly disagree Stage 2: In the second stage, formal and informal observation and discussions at workplace based on the responses expressed regarding the practices in vogue was undertaken. In fact, at this stage, each participating respondent was met personally case by case, and was asked, through personal discussion regarding his opinions and feelings on empowering system and why such a feeling has been expressed. At this stage, more emphasis was laid on why such a system / practice was followed and was it apt and the aftermath benefits of such practices. It was more of fact finding and knowing the feelings, analyzing views and opinions based on responses expressed through questionnaire. A series of formal & informal visits from time to time for each respondent was undertaken. Injecting case-by-case and opinion-by-opinion was focused much. Stage 3: Based on these observations, final discussion was held particularly on the responses elicited using the questionnaire method and the observations and discussions made. A collective opinions and views from all the sides were pooled out at one point and put to test for final examination. This was the last stage and all care was taken to see to it that the opinions expressed, the observations done and what actually are the practices undertaken were pooled for final test and discussed at length. All the possible way through which information could be collected was adopted. At each stage of data collection, frequent discussions with the CEO were undertaken. CEO Data Collection: The collection of information from CEO was done separately. After a series of personal discussion with the CEO / MD, it was decided to have a one to one personal talk, with the areas identified. A series of pre-discussions informally paved way in setting the enquiry areas for getting the desired responses. The main focus of discussion and collection of information from CEO was to know from top man’s angle, the way work environment has to be created 9
  • 10. and the difficulties one usually (CEO) faces in creating such an empowered workforce system in the organization. A series of discussions were held phase by phase at various places in the organization and practically explaining the systems at workplace in developing and managing human resources and the organization. Organizational meetings and discussions were also attended, informal gatherings were observed and all the ways and means of such practice and systems in relation to CEO & organization ethos were keenly observed. At each stage of discussion, it was actual participant and observation of functioning of the system with CEO that was undertaken. The results based on discussion with CEO are presented verbatim and as many as twenty-five odd enquiries were put to test reflecting empowerment culture. Fig No 02: The mode of Data collection from CEO / MD Observed the system Discussion with CEO System/ Practices interface Case by case discussion Pooling all responses in presence of all Pooling all responses in presence of all Back to CEO A) An in-formal observation over a period of time was done phase by phase B) Discussion with CEO was done formally at one-one level C) The opinions of CEO and system match was interfaced D) All the collected data of CEO through opinions were observed, verified case by case with each employees E) The opinions / views of employees were put back to CEO / MD for discussion, and 10 Observed the system Discussion with CEO System/ Practices interface Case by case discussion Back to CEO
  • 11. F) Entire system was observed in its fullest scope while pooling all the opinions in the presence of all. A series of meetings were held. The uniqueness of data collection in present study was the pooling of all the responses of respondents at one place and allowing each to express their views on the system and practices in presence of each other and the CEO. It is quite obvious that responses usually tend to differ in presence of Management and this was taken care of. This was, however, to know the facts and get a clear picture of the system and practices and not otherwise cross examining and finding the faults. This was also possible to have such pooling because of the empowering environment & culture that exists in the organization and at the same time, everyone understanding the spirit of enquiry. Mode of Data Collection: Personal discussions, interviews with each respondents, group discussions and several meetings with the concerned employees personally at various places like work-place (temple of ethics), recreational hall (temple of health), yoga center (temple of peace), R and D section, canteen, rest rooms was extensively undertaken. The study injected case-by-case method for collecting the required information. Frequent and series of visits to each employee was undertaken phase by phase to illicit opinions on the system and practices. It was, at one instance, the employee, the manager and the CEO put together, were allowed to express opinions on the system in presence of each other. The intentions, however, was not for cross-examining the opinions in presence of one another or verify who is or was true, but, it was only to know the exact picture from all the angles and thus, "blaming" somebody is ruled-out. As has been already put forth, a holistic approach is what makes empowerment work and hence this was the final path followed for final data collection. At each stage, care was taken to see that, all relevant facts on the practices were elicited. Angles of Enquiry: Very many empowerment angles were identified and factors such as understanding the system of accountability within the organization, attitude development processes, mode adopted for career planning, communication process adopted, decision making process, delegation and shared responsibility, transparent behavior, ethical standards, feed-back 11
  • 12. system adopted, methods for information sharing, leadership development at all spheres, management and organizational ethos practiced, power distribution, climate of politics, degree of trust and loyalty, team working, employee participation etc were put to test. As many as fifty core areas with more than 125 enquires were put for examining at length. The focus of enquiry was on the workplace empowerment practices and the relevance of the system in the growth and development of the organization. Similar areas were also focused at the level of CEO. Sources of data collection: In the present study, both primary and secondary data are utilized. Primary data was collected through administering the questionnaire / schedule and participant observation was undertaken. Meetings were attended, took part in discussions and visited the actual workplace with the concerned respondent to observe the system and practices. Getting information through questionnaire and having discussions with each stage by stage were done at primary level in collection of required information. Secondary data includes written policy statements, work records, annual reports, documentations, bulletins, write-ups, procedure charts, instructions, files, case histories, site maps, follow up reports, suggestions done and field notes were referred at length and reviewed. All the policy papers related to vision statement, mission set, objectives, philosophy, guiding principles, code of conduct were referred, reviewed and examined with the system-practice. To add, all the data was meaningfully related to the objectives of study, the hypothesis to be tested and what the study tries to find out. Analysis: The focus in present study was on the qualitative analysis of the responses and results based on case-by-case observations. Since, quality and not quantifying the results was focused, lesser use of statistical analysis has been done. Probably, statistical equations tell less about the true picture of empowerment practices in such enquiry. However, to test the hypothesis, ANOVA has been applied in obtaining the F-ratio values. As also, to understand the degree of responses in relation to organizational practices, the mean and SD value have been put-forth. As far as CEO data is concerned, various levels of discussions with areas identified were undertaken from time to time. The results are presented verbatim in a form of question- 12
  • 13. answer structures focusing the attention on the quality aspect of CEO’s responses. As many as 25 odd enquiry areas were identified and have been presented. Period of Study: The total span of time utilized to collect actual data for the present study was ten months. Before the data was collected through administering the questionnaire and formal observation, a series of pre-observation and discussions were held from time to time over a period of two years and very many factors were identified and finally put to test after pilot work was undertaken. Several series of pre-visits also paved way for enquiry in right direction along with objectives of the study. However, for present study, the actual data was collected during 2000-2001. Uniqueness of the Study: The study has been undertaken to come out with concrete practices for overall enhancement and development of human resources and organization as a whole through empowering employees. In fact, developing global standard strategies and practices has been the focus throughout the study. o A holistic approach to study empowerment practices in creating high performance work force has been the core attempt throughout the study. o Several valid empowering factors have been identified and put to test on five-point scale, thus, knowing the intensity of such practices. o It is not only system, which makes an organization and workforce empowered, but, an attempt has also been made to know the required essential human traits that are intended to be proposed. o There has been an attempt made to draw up theories, model development and how such system should be practiced at macro level. The model specifies the priority area of instituting empowerment practices step by step. o How to create a challenging, satisfying work environment and strategies for high performance work force. 13
  • 14. o We could identify which work place culture actually worked. In other words, we could conclude that improving on specific practices guarantees a company’s superior performance and that fumbling at those practices is bound to worsen performance. o An attempt has been made to utilize the results of the study on a larger canvas, where Individual, Organization, Academic and Research Institute could be benefited. o Besides identifying the Management practices that can significantly affect a company’s performance, we’ve developed a list of leadership behavior that supports excellence in each practice. Limitations of the Study: While, the study has made all attempts to demystifying employee empowerment, there are drawbacks and limitations in the study, which requires a separate discussion and is beyond the scope of the work. a) The work pertains to PPL, an engineering based organization.. b) An attempt was done to illicit responses from the employees, who left the organization, but could not do it. They could have been the potential respondents. c) Since, all the respondent employees were male, generalization as to how people differ in gender and perception of empowerment is limited. d) Pilot study paved way to extend the enquiry for family members of the employees. This was not possible for the reasons beyond explanation in Indian context. The Reference and Bibliography design: The studied reported all the reference which was part of literature search for the study. Such literature sources includes: Papers; Research papers; PhD level work; Case study; workshop proceedings; Global Surveys; Cross Cultural Study Reports; Annual reports; Books; Foundation for Enterprise Development and Beyster Institute for Entrepreneurial Employee Ownership Reports, Research work and proceedings; Working papers; Management Review reports; Harvard Management Update; Papers from Harvard Business Review; Presentation at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting; and the like 14
  • 15. Annexure: Try mentioning the annexure that the thesis work may have, mainly the questionnaire; Company profile; Video clippings; snap shots; data sheet (coding, if at all); Interview schedule; Live Interview. Infact, the present study also used the video graph of the CEO interview appears in the paper entitled: Demystifying empowered leadership: A CEOs Experiment in developing high performance workplace culture, which formed part of annexure. Concluding Remark: The organisation is in the process of creating global systems that serve the mission and vision and incredible things happen and this is how empowerment and empowering employees has been created at work place in the organisation. The other prime reason why the organisation has been able to create such an empowerment climate is the leader and the leadership. Because, is the drum major leading the band or just walking in front of it? signifies the success of the system. Quite true how important it is to have a leader for the organisation to excel has been clearly demonstrated. The leader with the vision and mission can turn the very face of organisation and great strides can be achieved as has been in the organisation under the preview of the study. The leader, who motivates, inspires and makes one realize is the true leader, which has widely reflected in PPL organisation. Without employee’s realization of the organisation existence, one can’t empower employees. It should also be noted that, empowerment and empowering employees is a holist approach and all the systems, practices, people, leadership, culture, ethos, policies and principles should together join hands in working at it. If a single element in this entire system is missing, empowerment can hardly be practiced and organisational development will be defective. Today, employees at every level expect to be treated as valued members of their organisation. They seek responsibility and look for independent decisions in the affairs of organisation. They also seek power for better organisational deeds. As also, the organization has been meeting global standard in terms of all its systems and products. The vision of the leader has paved the way for an introduction of all these. They are now paying dividends. 15
  • 16. The leader has introduced the system and has been instrumental in inspiring the employees to view their growth through these systems. A factory within the factory has emerged. The experiment has come a long way. Today the results of such efforts are also far reaching. The organisation can safely boast of having highly motivated and committed workforce. It has a creative and innovative approach in place; it has employees who handle their responsibilities professionally and have the inherent capability to take independent decisions; a low employee turnover; less absenteeism; a disciplined and confident workforce with open and transparent behavior. The industrial climate is also free from disputes. These are all because of the empowerment practices the organisation initiated. All these practices make for the good image the organisation carries today in the market, while enjoys the reputation of high ethical organisation. But, one thing is clear. At this particular time in history, with thousands of our major organisations facing global challenges and some even unable to cope in managing to the extent needed, it is little wonder that organisational anxiety about future will be much wide spread in our country in the days to come. Experts and the observations in study leads to conclude that organisation must foster Empowerment or become extinct. We are likely to see more efforts of empowerment in the future. I am put at end by stating, “there is nothing Indian Organisations need more at this moment than a true RENAISSANCE strategy towards human resource development and management at every level”. Empowerment and empowering employees in organization is the answer. End Note…The Issues Empowerment systems at workplace are an important contribution to organizational effectiveness and growth. It is mental and emotional involvement of employees that encourages them to contribute to goals by sharing equal responsibility. It has numerous limitations, but, when its pre-requisites are met and the amount and type used reasonably fit the situation, it offers potential for higher productivity, greater job satisfaction, constant growth, continuous improvement and other innumerable long-term benefits. The importance of present study, therefore, lies in exploring the present situation and finding future avenues for such practice on macro level. A structure, procedure, institutional framework for such empowering practice requires a careful and balanced study. The present study answers 16
  • 17. several questions in creating a World Class Organization, a High Performing Workforce and crystallizing the reasons as to “why top” performing companies are different. References: 1. Argyris, Chris [1998]: “Empowerment: The Emperor’s new Clothes”, Harvard Business Review, May – June, Pp: 98-105 2. Bagali, M M & Chachadi, A H [1999]: “Managing HR: Developing Need Based Empowered Traits”, Haryana Labour Journal, XXIX (2), April-June, Pp: 5-11 3. Bagali, M M [2000]: “Creating Organizational Culture Through System Model”, Worker Education, Pp: 17-20 4. Bagali, M M [2001]:"Employee Empowerment: Renaissance Strategies for creating high performance Organization”, Haryana Labour Journal, XXXI(4),Oct-Dec,Pp: 5- 15 5. Bagali,M M [2001] : “Employee Empowerment : A New Strategy for Creating A High Performance Work Force” , XLRI-Management & Labour Studies,26(2) April,Pp: 109-119 6. Beyster, R J (1999): Harnessing the Power of Open Book Management; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 7. Dobbs, J. H. [1993]: “The Empowerment environment”, Training & Development, 47(2), Feb, Pp: 55-57 8. Eichen, Myron (1989): Research Report on Employee Ownership in a Capital Intensive company, Brooktree Corporation, USA 9. Foster, S T (1992): Bridging the Participation gap; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 10. Gates, J R (1995): Leadership in an Ownership Environment; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 17
  • 18. 11. Hewitt Associates Research (1998) : Unleash the Power of Employee Ownership, Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 12. Hoerr, Tim (1998): A new (old) paradigm of High Performance; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 13. Jawahar, P D (1998): “Empowerment Revisited ’’, Personal Today, Oct-Dec, Pp: 37- 40 14. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss [1995]: World Class: Thriving locally in the Global economy; Touch-stone Rockefeller Centre, NY 15. Kardas,P., Paul,S., Gorm,W., & Gale, K (1993) : State Employee Ownership Program ; Washington State Dept of Community Development,USA 16. Lawler, E E and Bowen, D E (1995): “Empowering Service Employees”, Sloan Management Review, Summer, Pp: 73-84 17. Mackin, C and Rodgers, L (1996) “How well is Ownership Working? Measuring an Ownership culture; Foundation for Enterprise Development, USA 18. Mahapatra, N.C (1997): “The Empowered Manager ”, Personal Today, XVIII (3), Pp: 19-21 19. Marty ONeill, (1999): Empowerment through Ownership; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 20. Mellinger, D (1998): Empowerment through Ownership; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 21. Perry, William (1992): Employee Ownership: A Competitive Advantage; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 22. Pierce, J L., Stephem, A R., Susan, M (1991): “Employee Ownership: A Conceptual Model of Process and Effects”, Academy of Management Review, 16(1), Pp: 127-128 23. Quarrey, M (1992): Empowering Employee through Information Sharing; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 18
  • 19. 24. Reynolds, M (1999): Ownership Philosophy as part of Employee Empowerment; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 25. Rosen, R (1993): Healthy Companies and Healthy Leaders: Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 26. Rothstein, L R [1995]: “The Empowerment effort that came Undone”, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, Pp: 20-31 27. Singh, R.D (1998): “ Empowering Oneself ”, Productivity News, Sep-Oct, Pp: 2-5 28. Smilor, R (1996): Leadership in an Entrepreneurial Company: Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Research Centre, USA 29. Whittlesey, F.E (1998): Building a Workforce of Owners; Foundation for Enterprise Development, Research Centre, USA 19
  • 20. Annexure No: 1: Some Sample Questions included for Employee Reponses: 1. Each are accountable for their action & can’t blame others 2. All information is open and shared 3. Honesty & truthfulness is the only policy in organ 4. They encourage working in team 5. People are allowed to take risk here 6. Gossip is the way of life 7. New ideas are often dismissed 8. The organization makes you insecure sometimes 10 We need direction, supervision & guidance at each stage/step 11. I am made part of organization & take part in organization development process 11. I can healthy criticize the boss, if I feel so 12. I know each work, job & what one is doing in organization 13. Few only are honest in organization 14. Each is boss in himself 15. Most people are conservative & not open 16. Everything is not negotiable here & some matters are rigid 17. I am paid just to work 18. There is red tapesim & more bureaucracy 19. I know who appraise me 20. Common rooms are shared. 21. I stay back beyond my work time limit 22. I am involved in Organization strategy preparation 23. I can permit visitors, if I feel so, without any ones consent 24. There is restriction for participation in all activities 25. Suggestions are done regularly and honestly 26. We are free to suggest improvements to boss Without fear 27. Selecting of suggestions are subjective 28. Rejected suggestions are explained due reasons there off 29. I am been trusted in Organization 30. Some have hidden agendas (A total of 125 questions with 30 Main areas were put to test) 20
  • 21. Annexure No: 2: Some Sample Questions included for CEO Reponses: · What is your definition of Empowerment? · What type of culture required for empowerment practices? · What are the traits that need to be developed in employees? · How to create an Empowerment culture and strategies in Organisation( the steps involved) ? · The area (scope) of Empowerment practices (the boundaries to be defined) · What is the out-come of Empowerment (How to measure the after-math of such practices)? · What is not Empowerment? · How should the CEO and the leadership be, viz: style, traits and characteristics? · What should be the policies of organisation? · How committed are your employees · What are the training and development programme in area of Empowerment subject be focused (Can training be given to understand the system, if so, how)? · Does Empowerment in organisation have any relation between atmospheres at home? Is there a co-relation between work place empowerment practices and atmosphere at home? · What should be the degree of freedom in an empowered organisation? · What is open door policy and how is it practiced in PPL? · What type of leadership exists in PPL, which reflect empowerment practices? · What are Ethical Management and the relation with Empowerment (share the experience at PPL)? · How to develop Human Resources and Organisation in the present Millennium through Employee Empowerment, per se? 21
  • 22. Annexure No: 3: Section wise Question focused for Employee category 1. Accountability 2. Belief/Trust/ 3. Bureaucracy 4. Career planning 5. Culture 6. Customer Satisfaction 7. Decision Making 8. Encouragement 9. Ethos 10. Feedback 11. Freedom 12. Leadership 13. Learning Organisation 14. Loyalty 15. Management Style 16. Meeting 17. Ownership Culture 18. Participation 19. Policy 20. Politics 21. Recognition 22. Relationship 23. Responsibility 24. Self Esteem 25. Suggestion 26. Suggestion box 27. Team 28. Transparent 22
  • 23. 29. Treatment 30. TQM 31. QWL/QWL/QWL 32. Values Annexure No: 4: Section wise Question focused for CEO level 1. Belief System 2. Creativity 3. Commitment 4. Confidence building 5. Dedication 6. Communication 7. Development 8. Discipline 9. EGO 10. Ethics 11. Honest 12. Industrial Democracy 13. Insecurity 14. Knowledge Sharing 15. Mind Set 16. Organizational Health 17. Power Distribution 18. Perception 19. Respect to Individual 20. Structure 21. Total Quality People 23
  • 24. The Results of designing such methodology for Management Research Table No.1 The Respondents Target Group at PPL Sl No Levels Total Employees Responded % of Responses * 1 CEO 01 01 2 Managers 07 06 10 3 Engineers 06 06 10 4 Software experts 02 02 03 5 Administration 09 06 10 6 Supportive 04 02 03 7 Highly skilled 05 05 08 8 Skilled 18 16 26 9 Semi skilled 19 16 26 10 Unskilled 02 00 -- 11 Trainee 01 01 01 Total 73(1) 60(1) 100 * Fractions are excluded in % calculation 24
  • 25. Table No.2 The Demographic details of the respondents Demographic details No of Employees % of Responses Department Administration 06 10 Assembly 08 13 Manufacturing 33 55 Workshops 06 10 Packing 03 05 R and D 04 06 60 100 Age group <30 25 41.7 30-39 25 41.7 40 + 10 16.7 60 100 Education levelU pto SSLC/10th 24 40.0 PU/BA/BSc 20 33.3 PG/Engg/Dip 16 26.7 60 100 Years of Experience < 10 years 33 55.0 10+ years 27 45.0 60 100 25
  • 26. Exhibit No. 1 The model of prioritizing the areas for employee empowerment 26 Without trust, You can’t delegate Without delegating power, you can’t share responsibility Without sharing responsibility, you cannot share authority Without sharing authority, you cannot give power Without power distribution, no one is held accountable Without accountability, none can share the success Without success, you cannot create a business
  • 27. Exhibit No. 2 Workplace culture and Institutional Values of PPL♣ · Freedom to do work in One’s own way · No Supervision/ Foreman · No Bureaucracy and Administration interference · No Red-tapism · High Value to Human · Sharing Common Platform · Trusting each persons actions · Each one is encouraged · No restrictions for new inventions · One can fail, no punishment Exhibit No. 3 Areas of Empowerment practiced at PPL♣ · Complete Freedom · Total Transparency · Keeping Faith · Full Responsibility · Accountability for ones actions · Freedom / Liberty to decide course of actions · Involvement / Participation · Transparent feedback · Shared Responsible · Delegated authority · No hidden Agenda · Complete Autonomy · Power to take decisions 27
  • 28. Exhibit No. 4 Traits Visible and Personal Characteristics of PPL Employees · Openness and Transparent · Positive approach · No defined mindset · Empathy · Free from bias · No scapegoat attitude/ behavior · High Commitment · Practical approach · Disciplined · Trustworthiness · Visionary · Enjoys the work · Loyal and Truthful ♣ Based on the experience and responses of CEO Exhibit No. 5 Outcome of Empowerment at PPL♣ · High Productivity · Consistent Growth · Nil Employee Turnover · High Level of Job satisfaction · NO Industrial Relation problems · No Conflicts/ Disputes · Intrinsic Satisfaction · Seeks Outright Responsibility · Is with the organization · Works that Extra miles · Accepts out-right responsibility 28
  • 29. Exhibit No. 6 Definition on Workplace Systems of PPL Conventional PPL  Do what is told Do what is required  Liberty misused Liberty made use to fullest extent  Not my job attitude It is everyone's job  Commitment level low High commitment due to system  Less ethical High ethical standards  Lack of scope for improvement Wide scope for improvement  Various committees / councils Never a designated committee / councils  Less trust Trust is core  Supervised work No Supervision  Freedom restricted More freedom enjoyed  Restricted behavior Transparent behavior Exhibit No. 7 Employees viewing CEO Traits as a Leader Respects all Open communicator Sincere Accepts criticism Encourages at all times Result oriented Motivates and Inspires Participative Human Resource oriented Visionary 29
  • 30. ♣ Based on the experience and responses of Employees 30