Case Study on Individual and group Dynamics It was May of 2008 that saw three young and energetic

graduates pass out from XLRI and enter into the corporate world. Ashray, Tanushka and Debanjan considered themselves very lucky to have bagged a job at IOCL. In these recessionary times, landing in a public sector firm was a dream for most MBA graduates. Debanjan had done his bachelors in psychology and then specialized in IR at XLRI. He was always full of new ideas during his MBA days. His friends loved him for the humane touché that he always had for everyone. At IOCL he was offered a position in the HR department at the Mathura refinery. Tanushka had come to XLRI with an engineering degree in Chemical engineering. For her a job at IOCL was god sent. Her acumen in the area of chemical engineering convinced her recruiters that she would be an asset to the oil exploration group. She was made a part of the team that went for oil exploration to various sites all over the world. Coming from an army background, travelling was in her blood, and she looked forward to joining the department. Ashray was a typical software engineer when he came to XLRI, but two years had transformed him into an outgoing person. His analytical skills were married to his marketing acumen and made him the topper of the marketing stream of his batch. He was looked upon as one of the best marketing brains XLRI had produced. Selling a product profitably came naturally to him, and it came as no surprise to see him in IOCL sales team for Tamilnadu. He was sure of bringing radical changes to the way petroleum products were sold in the country. One year had passed since their joining and all three of them had come to Mumbai for their annual review meeting. After their review, they decided to spend some time together and catch up.

College life had suddenly transformed into a more organized and yet so unpredictable course of “work-life” for Debanjan. And the fact that all three were placed in the same firm had doubled the joy. “You remember the birthday treat that Ashray had given us at this very place last year”. Debanjan spoke first and told the others his story at IOCL “When I reached the Mathura Oil refinery I felt out of place like never before. their refinery workers. . in a firm where I was supposed to deal with the problems of the lowest level of hierarchy of IOCL. whereas Tanushka and Ashray were posted at Delhi and Coimbatore respectively. To their utter dismay. May be it was the work-life . Ashray and Tanushka. At the first day of work I got introduced to the team of IR (Industry relationship team) that I was supposed to work with. all three had got different locations of workplace. After their usual chit-chat and recollection of the “good-old-times”. maybe it was the workpressure. the life they wished that could have stretched till eternity . Here I was. but whatever it was . Debanjan was the first one to speak.As they sat in Cafe Coffee Day. They recollected how happy all three had been. it was definitely different from the totally carefree college life that they had enjoyed. Debanjan was posted in Mathura Oil refinery. for getting placed in one of the coveted firms for their college placement week – IOCL. All those dreams that I had about sitting in a posh corporate office and handling the HR operations came crashing. they couldn‟t help but notice the way all of they had started looking different. And that suddenly brought out loads of memories in their minds and peals of giggles on their faces. the conversation took a sharp turn towards how life had changed over a year thanks to their work-life. Being a mixed bag of both senior and middle-level managers.

there was an amicable air between workers and me and they would easily open up and share the issues that they faced. After some initial hiccups I managed to gel well with the workers and despite being much younger than most of the workers there. we had a general ice-breaking session where it was more of an inter-departmental introduction since we had to work together for next six days and organize the whole event. After seven months in the Mathura Oil refinery . Thanks to XLRI in my resume! After that mixed reaction from my team-mates I was inducted formally into IOCL through a4week training period.the team didn‟t take it too well that someone as novice and fresh out of college like me was placed at a higher position than them. My work largely involved dealing with the trade unions and ensuring an employee-friendly work environment for the workers. I and my team member (Harshal) were supposed to work with the International Trade department people and the Sales team people. . had been placed above them in the hierarchy. I and one of my team-members went to Delhi and I was looking forward to interact and work with other senior people in IOCL. They were having difficulty in accepting that they had to report to a younger person. by virtue of his degree and not experience. my team members were giving me a tough time by giving a cold shoulder to me. So. since they were unhappy with the fact that suddenly a young MBA graduate had come down in their professional lives and who. our department received a mail from the head office IOCL. All was well at this front but in contrast to this. On the first day in Delhi headquarters. Delhi that an annual IOCL meet was to take place next month and two representative from each department had to come down to Delhi and all the departments of IOCL had to work together and jointly organize this great annual event.

some feasible and some highly impractical.So we were a team of six people and were assigned to arrange sponsors for the event. After much resistance when I was allowed to put forth my ideas for generating sponsorship. the idea wasn‟t very well-appreciated and was kept as a backup plan. let alone follow it. Since one week was too less to arrange sponsors we decided to start working on it that very evening and hence had a meeting. Each one of us had gathered here investing equal amount of time and effort towards the same cause and here it was . Kankaria put forth his point and didn‟t let others speak. I wanted a chance to prove myself but was snubbed as being the typical “Gen-Y “hot-blooded guy who didn‟t know how things work in real life. I just couldn‟t fathom why Mr. the International Trade Department person Mr. started speaking and bombarded the whole meeting with his ideas. it was blatantly rejected as “being unrealistic”. another senior person from Sales team Mr. That came as a rude shock to me since I had expected major support from my seniors and not this indifference. After him.Basin. After repeated iterations of the same thing I noticed that almost all the members present in our group were senior people in the organization and were trying to impose their ideas on rest of us rather than letting us come up with our own ideas. But the same thing awaited me the next day also. Bhasin had proposed in front of us and being the senior most members in the team. I was surprisingly shocked after this negative attitude but still decided to give it all a second chance and start afresh the next day. After much coaxing I convinced myself to work with the ideas that Mr. Bhasin was so reluctant to even listen to new ideas. Even when I tried to justify it and back it up with facts and figures. As soon as the meeting started. had convinced all of us to work towards that only. Same coldness towards new ideas .

and on reaching Delhi we were given accommodation at the IOCL Guest house in Defense Colony. Rather than being helpful.“My joining was in Delhi. They were pretty surprised to see a female colleague among them. but had to do it as this formed the skeleton for the second role that I was assigned. with a lot of secondary research involved. This incident left me highly enervated towards thinking in new directions. My second role involved visits to the exploration sites and finding areas of cost reduction . One involved staying in the head office and making reports on ongoing researches and compiling data for future exploration sites and the financial research associated with each operation . The first meeting with them was far from cordial. I also needed to talk to all the workers working there. I got my first opportunity to go on a field trip to . As the days progressed I always felt discriminated. The male officers in my department would always leave me out of discussions.being reduced to a mere autocratic show. they went out of their way to make things tough for me. So much so that people working there were very annoyed at finding me working amidst them . rather I got a very cold reception while my other team mates were warmly accepted into the department .”Tanushka could not help but relate to Debanjan‟s woes and shared her bit of life at IOCL. I felt they considered me as a liability to the department rather than an asset. My job profile was divided into two main roles. I could almost feel a bit of apathy towards IOCL. That‟s where I first met the team I was supposed to work with. I was to be a part of a team that consisted of 4 other men.This was a complete desk job. I did not enjoy this work.This needed a very close observation into the processes involved. Little did I know that oil exploration was a completely male dominated area. After about a month of joining.

Mr Gupta too came and told me girls don‟t go to the exploration area. When I approached them to find out about the travel details.Gujarat. and told him my visit here would go waste if I didn‟t see the process. but kept my cool and told them that I would go as it was a part of my KRAs to audit the process. When I started wearing them. I was really angry by this time. I was informed by my boss Mr Kumar that I will be travelling with my colleagues to the site in Gujarat and that I should co-ordinate with them for the travel details. I ignored most of them and concentrated on my work . Gupta. On reaching Jamnagar they told me that we had to go to the IOCL guest house and gave me the address and went off on their own. rather I should sit in his office. and this was just the beginning. On the day of the journey. Finally they agreed and let me go to the exploration site. When I told them that I did intend to visit the site. I had been told that life is tough for females treading in a predominant male area but I had no idea about the nature of troubles for me. I had to keep calling up my team mates to find out where they were. My ticket had been booked separately and I was not informed about anything in the itinerary. I was shocked at their behavior. Mr. He did not expect me to be going down to the exploration area. In the train too none of other three team mate talked to me. Next morning I reported at the exploration site.In the evening . I tried reasoning with Mr Gupta. He told me I Could sit in the office and go through the manuals. one of my team mates asked me why I am wearing it. I found them to be very uncooperative. Our team was welcomed by the head of the exploration team. We were briefed on the safety procedures and given our safety kits. At the site I was subject to a lot of derogatory remarks by the people working there. they all laughed at me. which would give me an idea into the process. Even my team mates made sly comments on me. They all kept to themselves and treated me as I am an unnecessary burden on them.

what was the need to come all the way here. I was scolded at my lack of interest and that I should be more daring from next time. to which he replied that I should not have argued and told me to stay in the office and study the processes in the manuals. I told that I was not allowed to go to the site. I had very little findings all that I could get from the single visit that I was allowed. She advised me that on these trips. Today at the review I was told that my job involving my first KRA was excellent. there is a lot of drinking and partying involved. I got a call from my boss Mr Kumar. I discussed this with another girl in my department who seemed to have no problems in the department. Somehow I could not get myself to work in this way. Mr Gupta suggested that I change my department as it was not good for a girl to be working in this department. At the end of the trip . She told me that on such visits. I looked at Mr Kumar but he remained quiet and looked away. On returning to Delhi all of us had to make individual presentations about our findings. life had been easier for her. and continued working in my way. I was asked as to what I had done for the remaining one week. I told him all that had happened. she never went even to the office. When I gave my presentation. but I had failed miserably in . The remaining two days I had to sit in the office and read the manuals. and after the initial formalities asked me what happened between me and Mr Gupta. I thought to myself. but never missed a night of partying. Initially she too faced similar problems. He asked me how things were at the site. In the end she used to have presentations mailed to her and she would present it at the Head Office. I could have done this at Delhi itself. They made comparisons with my other team mates and showed how in depth their analysis was.after returning to my room. but once she started drinking and socializing with the men. Every visit was nightmare for me but somehow I persisted. I could not believe this was the way things worked here.

One of them was a son of the local MP. I was told that my department will be changed and have asked me for my preference. Mr Kumar has told me specifically that I should not mention anything negative about the department. commented Ashray. They have also asked to give a written report as to why my performance has-been miserable. I was told that Mr Velmurugan would be meeting me the next day and I should come to his office at sharp 2 pm. On reaching Vellore I found out that I had to meet three major dealers in the city. TamilNadu”.“My offer letter read: . all the dealers of the city had to come and meet the Sales Manager at the IOCL depot.“Ashray Jain – “Sales Management Trainee – Coimbatore. As per protocols explained to us. ”Oh God there is so much of corruption in this organization”. It was a town 150 km from Chennai.executing the second KRA. My overall performance thus was satisfactory and not as expected. In the process my whole identity has been questioned. I was in for a surprise. As I reached Coimbatore I was picked up from the station and directed towards the IOCL guesthouse. we were allocated projects and sent across to various cities in Tamilnadu. My life was been no rosier. Ashray went on to elaborate his one year at IOCL . I had the day off and decided to utilize it by making visits to the pumps in the city. The Next day. After a series of induction lectures and training sessions. a batch of 35 new recruits was inducted into the IOCL sales division. My first visit was to Vellore. When I called Mr Velmurugan. And so the journey began into the ups and downs of sales and the first taste of corporate life. Coimbatore. Getting the sales department was a dream come true for me. I enquired about this reversal and found out that this was routine with most high profile dealers. I had one of the toughest times trying to adjust to this company. I got an itinerary made and started .

This was something the Business Ethics classes at XLRI had not taught us. Tired and shocked I returned to my room at the hotel. I could not keep myself away from all the corruption that had gripped IOCL. All tests failed and there was a very high level of impurity in the petrol sold at the outlet. While leaving he offered me a bottle of expensive alcohol. He told me I will be paid 15 percent of the money they make and if I have any problems I should tell him. the pump staffs were reluctant to let me in. In the night I got a call from Mr Velmurugan asking me to come and meet him at the hotel lobby. We had to report to a high level audit by the senior team. . There were massive transfers after the audit and I was sent to Trichur.off with a local employee. Gifts poured on me from all quarters and I reveled in that luxury. Both my life and job would have been at threat had I stuck to what ethics told us. This story was repeated at all the outlets in the city. On hearing Velmurugan‟s name. To my horror. On my insistence they allowed me inside and I asked for the quality reports. The next few months I learnt the way the oil industry worked and soon found myself a part of the vicious circle. He was sitting with his local henchmen and told me in a no non sense way that I was not supposed to report any of my findings. He almost warned me of dire consequences. I decided to dump ethics and do what others were doing. I returned to my room and called my boss Mr Sadanand. they did not maintain any reports. He said life will be smooth sailing if I collaborated with him. They found a huge amount of discrepancies in our findings. he scolded me for having gone to audit his petrol pumps. A month back a high level team from the Head Office came on a surprise visit to my area. They said they haven‟t been informed and hence cannot allow me to make any audits. He told me from next time before conducting audits I should take his permission. I then asked my colleague to do the scheduled tests. At the first pump owned by Mr Velmurugan.

let alone English or Hindi.where I spent the next 6 months of my life. I had in mind a concrete plan to achieve my sales targets. I was the only North-Indian in the entire team. Prakashan and told him about my being a novice in Tamil and not being able to understand a word in Tamil. they started talking in Tamil again and again between the meetings which irked me to no end. I was introduced to a 6. I used to call him pretty . I got down to work. all the team members were explained which all areas had to be covered for the sales targets. not withstanding this obstacle. As I moved to Trichur. Hence I was having a tough time communicating with people there. just work. After the meeting. In a meeting.Prakashanand others knowing very well that I didn‟t know a word of Tamil. But throughout these three months I had to take a lot of help from Mr. And preferred to speak in Tamil only . despite Mr. When I reached the Trichur office. I was no more a part of the audit team but a part of the sales team. I personally talked to Mr. a city 200kms from Coimbatore I had no idea what was coming towards me. and simultaneously learning TAMIL. Prakashan regarding my language problem. However I thought I could learn this language fast and hence be at par with other team-members. The strange fact was that a considerable part of meeting was taking place in Tamil. struggle and perseverance helped me achieve my sales targets and only I know how much hard work went into it.member team and the team-leader Mr. However. Prakashan. Contrary to my expectation of any support or help. Three months of hardship. he told me to learn Tamil first and then think of achieving any sales targets. Life was very different in Trichur. I brushed off the thought aside thinking that professionalism should not recognize state/culture. Trichur is in the interiors of Tamil Nadu and hence a majority of the population didn‟t know Hindi. Ironically. Despite my repeated requests.

Prakashan had given me a 2. All my hard work had paid off and I had achieved my sales targets in an area which till three months back was totally unknown to me. Since their very first meeting. They wanted answers to the unending number of questions that were crossing their minds and lives. They decided to approach Mr . They knew whom to approach just that it had taken them long to come up with his name. “After listening to each other‟s story and experiences throughout last one year. Delhi and had come down to XLRI for their recruitments. each of the 6 team members had to present their sales target report to Mr. suddenly although struck Ashray which brought about a smirk on his face. I waste star-sales achiever amongst them all. True to my belief. While handing over their offer letters. I was shocked to the core. Prashant Dayal was the person they were looking for. In the last project. But how and where? Then. all three had developed an affinity toward shim . And it won‟t be wrong to believe that without those inputs he wouldn‟t have been able to achieve those targets that he did. when the trainees‟ review report discussion meeting was held in Coimbatore. these also set expectations of a “good appraisal:” in me. After 2 months. What was written in my report was beyond my realm of understanding.often and ask him about Trichur and other details since he had stayed in this place for over 10 years. After three months when we all assembled for a sales-figure review meeting. he had told them to approach him anytime they faced a trouble in IOCL. there was an uncomfortable silence between the three. Prakashan. True to human nature. A strong recommendation would be to give him another three months of training so that he ends up being an asset to his team and not a liability. he required help at every stage.He possessed a certain aura that could have come only through knowledge and experience in the industry.4 out of 5 and had specifically mentioned that “Ashtray needs to display more competencies by working independently. Mr. He was the HR head at IOCL.

The two main core issues faced by Debanjan are:- (a)Refusal to be accepted as a senior employee (hierarchy wise) by his junior team members (who are age-wise senior to him) (b) In the Delhi office. Sometimes this breeds the feeling of resentment towards . But after overcoming this hiccup. he decides to give this job his best shot and work towards the betterment of hr-policies of IOCL.should seniority be age-wise or mettle-wise? This is a typical issue faced by many public organizations and of late since a lot of public sector units have been recruiting from major b-schools of the country. he faces stiff domination and his seniors dominate and impose their ideas on the whole team instead of being flexible enough to listen to new ideas The first issue talks about a sensitive issue at work: . He couldn‟t imagine himself dealing with workers in an oil refinery when all he had dreamt of was dealing with issues of middle level management in a corporate office.Prashant Dayal with their experiences and look for a solution to the dilemmas they were facing Case Analysis Debanjan Debanjan. What was assigned to him took him by utter surprise. His expectations from his job were that of a conventional HR Manager role in a plush head office. they generally place these young mba graduates at a much higher level of responsibility and hierarchy. an XLRI graduate decides to join IOCL and was very excited to go for his new job.

This. This would help him understand how to allocate work to each of them and extract the best possible output from each member. it not only kills the enthusiasm spark in the new joiners but also forces them to leave that organization and look for other options. Debanjan should first and foremost understand his team structure and core competency of each of them. This also results in greater understanding of group decision because group members were involved in all stages of decision process. is not only a loss for the employee but also the firm in consideration. .the senior members who feel they have been surpassed by inexperienced youngsters. Rather than taking a hostile stand or reciprocating the cold-shoulder.Listening to group members‟ ideas not only increases the knowledge base of possible solutions. Debanjan would also have to make an extra effort to break the ice between his team members and showing due humbleness and respect towards the members „experience. In this case it is very important to understand that working in a group rather than imposing one‟s thoughts on the basis of seniority . In fact. Debanjan should feel lucky enough to start with such a team which would help him build a very strong foundation towards a rewarding career in IOCL. he should involve himself in more team building exercises so that his team members understand his mettle and start believing in his abilities. but also increases the acceptance of and commitment towards the solution because members had a voice in it. This issue is a particularly common problem faced in many organizations where seniors are rigid and refuse to budge from their stand. If this attitude persists in an organization. The second problem that he faces is of supreme dominance and suffocation of new ideas. in the long run. In this case.

The only reason apparent was that she had tread into an area which till then had been predominantly male dominated. Here discrimination is not confined to the work place. For Tanushka this was not an option. She had thought that joining such huge organization would mean there would be set guidelines for working. Unfortunately the flaws in the system were so deep rooted that she could barely manage to survive in the department. Tanushka compared herself to another female in the same department and realized that to excel she had took the easy way out of smart work rather than hard work. She had not expected that the guidelines would be based on gender and not on the work content. The organization and the seniors in the organization should ensure that these problems are not faced by anyone. Travel plans for the entire team excluded herand she had to make her own travel plans. her boss Mr Kumar considered Tenaska‟s grievances very lightly. There was no apparent reason for the discrimination. In spite of the discrimination against her. The major issue faced by Tanushka was that she was being discriminated on the basis of her gender. Thesis an issue faced by many women who are one of the path breakers in their fields. In Tanushka‟s case however. Moreover should someone face such issues at workplace it should be handled in a very mature and professional way. She had dreamt of a job where she would be accountable for the work she did. It crops in many small incidents where mutual cooperation is needed among the team. she decided to fight for her rights. as she believed in hard work. let alone fight for her rights.Tanushka Tanushka after passing from XLRI joined IOCL as an operations manager. rather he advised her to stay away from the exploration area. Yet when reports were demanded she was compared on an equal footing. She strongly believed in her beliefs and values and could not let go of them just for the sake of a good review in a .

or to accept the norms and do what everyone was doing. the company objectives had been sent for a toss. life became much distorted for Ashray. Mr Velmurugan used money as a power to influence the officials at IOCL. Ashray chose the latter. his life. Her capabilities were underutilized in the department and hence she should try and move to another department and not be disheartened at this failure. With this as a starting point. There was wide scale corruption and every employee was involved in fulfilling his needs. one of the dealers. On his first assignment. Ashray faced a dilemma as to whether he should remain honest. Considering she was an achiever and she believed in her capabilities. Ashray tried questioning this and wanted to report this unfair practice to his superiors.department whose functioning style was gender biased. or worse. Ashray faced questions regarding his integrity and honesty. Ashray Jain Ashray Jain was one of the best marketing graduates from XLRI. in the process probably lose his job. It used to be the norm for public sector companies. who had been using his power and influence to sell impure fuel. he met Mr Velmurugan. that he had problems. and she could have excelled and tapped her potential to the maximum in any department. With the kind of beginning that Ashray got. for the first few months he had comfortable existence and it was only when the audit team came. and it was this competency that landed him into the Sales and Marketing team of IOCL. not only did the superiors know about this. Things at IOCL were very different from what had been taught to him. it was very difficult for him to have any respect for the company. they went on to support the activity as well. To his dismay. but off late things are changing and people like Ashray had to be the change initiators. That was essentially why they had been brought into the .

Ashray had to be kept immune from all the prevalent corruptions. He initially brushed aside any pre-conceived notions about working in Tamil Nadu which shows his professional attitude. He should have conducted the meetings in English and should have no qualms in solving Ashtray‟s problems.company. The fact that he came up with the highest sales figure is admirable. For this to be achieved. His boss. he should have offered his help to him to overcome any troubles he was facing. He used to take the help of his boss at many occasions which shows that rather than adopting laid-back approach he was trying his best to complete the sales target. To make a new member comfortable and adjust within the group should be his prime motive. Prakashan failed as a leader of the team on many fronts. Mr. Giving the protagonist a bad appraisal shows his narrow sightedness in appreciating his junior‟s work and his insensitivity towards his junior‟s problems . In the second assignment. the protagonist Ashray Jain had an uphill task of learning Tamil and simultaneously achieving his sales target. In the end it was Ashray who was the scapegoat while he should have been the prized employee for the organization. Rather.