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manpower systems

K. Nilakantan*

Institute of Management Technology,

603, Khullar Apartments, Byramji Town,

Nagpur-440013, India

Fax: +91-712-2805591

E-mail: nilakanthan@gmail.com

*Corresponding author

B.G. Raghavendra

Indian Institute of Science,

Bangalore-560012, India

Abstract: The chronological age of members in an organisation has been found

to be one of the determinants of their effectiveness, efficiency and

performance, and organisational planners find it advantageous to monitor the

age distributions in the hierarchical grades of the organisation, to maintain

homogeneity and proper flow of personnel up the hierarchy. In this paper,

methods have been devised to maintain specified age distributions for

hierarchical systems in general, and also for a class of hierarchical

organisations which follow proportionality policies. Proportionality policies

are those that restrict the recruitment to every level of the hierarchy to be in

proportion to the promotions into that level, and are of relevance to

organisations which outsource a part of their work, the outsourced workforce

being notionally viewed as recruits to the system, and also to those which

ostensibly aim to protect the career interests of their existing employees

through such policies. The required or specified age characteristics are

maintained by selecting recruits of the appropriate ages to the system. The

theoretical analyses have been illustrated with numerical examples, and

validated with real-world data. The results extend in an identical and simple

manner to aggregate tenure distributions also.

Keywords: manpower planning; Markov models; manpower systems; age

distributions.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Nilakantan, K. and

Raghavendra, B.G. (2011) Determination of recruitment age in Markov

manpower systems, Int. J. Applied Management Science, Vol. 3, No. 1,

pp.7296.

Biographical notes: K. Nilakantan holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical

Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, a

PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Blore, India, and a Masters in

Mathematics from the University of South Florida. He was with the National

Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India for a large part of his

teaching career. He has published papers in many reputed international

journals. His research interests are in the applications of dynamic optimisation

in industrial, business, environmental and biotech systems.

Copyright 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

73

Statistics, and PhD in the Operations Research area from the University of

British Columbia, Canada. He was associated with the Department of

Management Studies in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, as a

Professor for the majority of his academic career. He has published numerous

papers in many leading international research journals. He was particularly

interested in the application of operations research principles in the industry,

and has conducted a number of research projects and consulting assignments in

this area. He is still well-known in the industry in the Bangalore region for his

work in this field. Though he is no more, his name is still revered in both the

academic and industry circles as an academician and researcher par excellence.

Introduction

objectives and those of its stakeholders, is considered to be one of the most important

goals of an organisation. An effective organisation is characterised by high organisational

efficiency and productivity, and registers higher scores on its performance metrics, and is

both efficient and productive. An important factor in achieving organisational

effectiveness is the work-commitment of its workforce. The commitment of an employee

to his work has been found to be positively correlated with organisational efficiency,

performance, and effectiveness (Arthur, 1994; Bateman and Strausser, 1984; Meyer et al.,

2002; Sinha, 1990; Whitener, 2001; Wood and De Menezes, 1998). And one of the

significant demographic determinants of an employees commitment is, amongst others,

his chronological age (Blythe et al., 2008; Cennamo and Gardner, 2008; Cho and Hu,

2009; Cohen, 1993; Donatienne and Mathieu, 2008; Finegold et al., 2002; Hallier, 2001;

Hewitt, 2009; Hult and Edlund, 2008; Kumar and Giri, 2009; Lord and Farrington, 2006;

Lorence, 1987; Loscocco and Kalleberg, 1988; Nasrudin, 2005; Popoola and Oluwole,

2007; Riordan et al., 2003; Sager, 1991; Shadur et al., 1995; Sheard, 2009; Tabbodi,

2008; Tyagi and Wotruba, 1998; Wagner and Rush, 2000; Wegge et al., 2008; Witt et al.,

2004). The age of an employee has also been found to be a moderating variable in the

relationship between employee commitment and its other determinants, like tenure, and

position in the organisation (Cassidy and Sutherland, 2008; Hartline and De Witt, 2004;

Iverson, 1999; Jamal and Baba, 1991; Onyemah, 2009; Ragu-Nathan et al., 2008; Sun

and Pan, 2008). There is also evidence to suggest that age and other dissimilarity can

result in subtle forms of (age) discrimination, although not in an explicit manner

(Chattopadhyay, 1999; Daily, 2004; Kirchmeyer, 1995; Liao et al., 2004; Redman and

Snape, 2006; Snape and Redman, 2003). Organisations thus would find it advantageous

to monitor the age profiles of their personnel, to facilitate the progression of their careers,

and their growth within the organisation (Ornstein et al., 1989).

In this paper, we take up the study of the maintenance of these characteristics in

hierarchical manpower systems, modelling them as Markov systems. In the next section,

we review the literature on manpower models, and in Section 3 we introduce the notation

and salient features of Markov systems and age distributions, which provide the basis for

the study of recruitment age subsequently, in Section 4. The results derived therein are

then illustrated with computational examples and validated with real world data

subsequently in Section 5.

74

The approaches to the modelling of manpower systems have been through the use of

mathematical programming and network models (Aronson and Thompson, 1985; Chew

and Khoong, 1994; Glen and Yang, 1996; Grinold, 1978; Khoong, 1999), Monte-Carlo

simulation models (Bazargan Lari et al., 2003; Chattopadhyay and Gupta, 2007;

Standridge, 1979), multi-criteria models (Klingman and Phillips, 1984; Silverman et al.,

1988), and Markov models.

The most widely encountered technique in the mathematical modelling of hierarchical

manpower systems is through the use of Markov models (De Feyter and Guerry, 2009).

Hierarchical manpower systems facilitate their being modelled as Markov systems, and

thereby lend themselves to tractable quantitative analysis as Markov Chains. The

rationale is that although individual members can vary greatly in their performance and

capabilities, however, when taken collectively, the expected aggregate behaviour of the

whole grade can be described by the average behaviour patterns of its individual

members (Bartholomew, 1982). This rationale behind the modelling of hierarchical

manpower systems as Markov models is explained further and justified in Bartholomew

(1982) and Vajda (1978).

The literature on Markov manpower systems is both rich and extensive, spanning a

period of more than 65 years. A comprehensive treatment of the earlier work can be

found in the books by Bartholomew (1982) and Vajda, (1978). A number of other aspects

of hierarchical Markov manpower systems have been analysed by subsequent

researchers, like sensitivity of the system structure, and variance-covariance of the grade

sizes in Vassiliou and Gerontidas (1985), periodic systems in Vassiliou (1986), control of

system structure in Kalamatianiou (1987), Gaimon and Thompson (1984), Poornachandra

Rao (1991), and Zanakis and Maret (1981), multi-characteristic systems in Hayne and

Marshall (1977), and Chandra (1988, 1989), and a bivariate model in Raghavendra

(1991). Other significant aspects covered are in the papers of Gerontidis (1995) on

periodicity in Markov manpower systems and the problem of re-attainability, Georgiou

and Vassiliou (1997) on cost models in non-homogenous Markov manpower systems,

Popova and Morton (1998) on the use of Bayesian prediction with stochastic

programming in stochastic manpower scheduling, Carette (1999) on the use of two-wave

panel data in the development of hierarchical manpower systems models, Tsantas (2001)

on the limiting behaviour of the means and covariances of the grades, and Ugwuowo and

McClean (2000) on modelling heterogeneity in Markov manpower systems. The most

recent papers are on fire-fighter staffing under conditions of temporary absences and

wastage (Fry et. al., 2003), analysis of semi-Markov systems and their related reward

paths (Papadopoulou and Tsaklidas, 2004), and an application of Markov manpower

modelling in the armed forces (Skulj et al., 2008).

Papers pertaining to the length of service (tenure) and age distributions and their use

in manpower planning are those of Glen (1977) on the derivation of the steady-state

tenure distributions and their means and variances, Sirvanci (1984) on forecasting

manpower losses with tenure distributions estimated from past data, and Mukherjee and

Chattopadhyay (1990) on the computation of the maximum ages for promotions, in a

system with fixed structure and pre-specified ages of entry and retirement. Also relevant

are those of Nehra and Khurana (1990) on manpower planning in the Navy, using the

Markov model in conjunction with chronological age distributions, Guerry (1999) on the

use of fuzzy sets in manpower systems through the introduction of the grade of

75

the tenure and age distributions in proportionality systems.

This paper extends the earlier work in the literature, and takes up the determination of

the conditions for maintainability of age distributions, and seeks to enhance their

applicability in practical situations, by providing the planner with a set of specific

methods and strategies to maintain them through recruitment age decisions.

various grades of the organisation is represented by a vector, and is a state of the system

with each component being the stock of manpower in a grade or level of the hierarchy.

The system is assumed to consist of a finite number of grades, k, numbered serially from

bottom to top as 1 to k. Time varies over integral values of t, for t = 0, 1, , T, with t = 0

representing the initial point of time (see Figure 5)

Specifically, the number of members in grade j is represented by the random variable

nj defined on a suitable probability space (j, Fj, Pj) where, , F and P have their usual

measure-theoretic meanings. The structure of the system is represented by the row

vector n(t) whose components are the nj(t). The inter-grade transition probabilities in the

interval (t, t + 1] are represented by the elements of the (k by k) transition probability

matrix P(t). These probabilities can also be viewed as the proportions of members likely

to get promoted in the interval (t, t + 1]. The proportionality systems are characterised,

additionally, by the proportionality matrix, F = diagl(0, f2, f3, , fk), whose elements are

the proportionality constants (between recruitment and promotion flows) enforced in the

system.

The literature on age distributions pertains largely to those at steady-state,

characterised by a steady-state or limiting structure, n(), and a steady-state or limiting

recruitment vector, R(), which are basic to the characterisation of steady-state age

distributions. In general Markov systems, R() can be chosen arbitrary, R() while in

Proportionality systems, is constrained by the proportionality policies, and given by

R () = R1e1 + n()( P D)G, where G = diagl[0, (1/ f 2 ), (1/ f3 ),..., (1/ f k )].

The primary variable of interest is the age [denoted by physiological age (PA)] of a

member in grade j at time T of the system, and is denoted by the variable PAj(T) which

can take integer values of 0,1,2, ..., the unit of measurement of PA being the system

transition period.

Rj (t, x) denotes the number of recruits to grade j in (t, t + 1] with a PA of x

uj(T, x) denotes the number of members in grade j at time T with a PA of x periods, and

plays a central role in the characterisation of age distributions.

U(T, x) is the row vector whose elements are the uj(T, x) defined above, and is expressed

in terms of the fundamental parameters, P and R(), as

k

U ( , x ) =

R ( ) P

l =1

( x al )

(3.1)

76

Under stochastic recruitment ages, the probability mass function of the recruitment age

distribution for grade j (or the proportion of recruits to grade j with PA = w) is another

fundamental parameter of the system, and is denoted by:

pr ( w) j = Pr ob [ (age of recruit to grade j ) = w] , for w = 0,1, 2,...

The vector Pr(w) = [pr(w)1, pr(w)2, ..., pr(w)k] is the vector of probabilities (or

proportions) of recruits to the grades having a PA of w, in terms of which,

x

U ( , x ) =

[ R() * P (s)]P

r

xs

(3.2)

s =0

The quantities (uj (, x) / nj()) are the steady state proportions of members in grade j for

j = 0, 1, 2, ..., k with PA of x, for x = 0, 1, 2, ., and are the PA distributions or

characteristics of the system.

The model extends in an identical way to aggregate tenure (the total tenure over all

organisations that an employee has been in) distributions also, if in place of age, PA is

replaced by, or interpreted as, aggregate tenure (TA) instead.

The notations above are basic to the study of recruitment age taken up below.

One of the decisions an organisation is faced with during a recruitment planning process

is that of specifying the age for personnel proposed to be recruited to the organisation at

various levels. In this context, it is pertinent to note that in many developing and Eastern

countries, recruitment notifications frequently are found to mention desirable age

specifications for recruits.

The rationale for, and advantages of, such recruitment age specifications are usually

three fold. The first is that of ensuring the availability of persons with desired experience

and expertise at all levels of the organisation, (particularly in the higher levels). The

second is that of ensuring smooth flow of personnel up the hierarchical levels within their

working lives and avoiding stagnation. And the third is that of maintaining a degree of

homogeneity of the work force in the grades.

The rationale for using the PA as a measure of the experience level is that an

employee with sufficiently high experience or tenure levels, during the course of his

working life both within the organisation and outside of it, would also have attained a

high PA, as well as the vice-versa. This is particularly true of the middle and higher

grades of the hierarchy, wherein the experience and tenure across all organisations put

together will be of good value. This is captured in the PA. (Alternatively, the aggregate

tenure (TA) can also be directly used instead).

These objectives can be translated down to the achievement and maintenance of

desired PA (or TA) distributions within the system. The recruitment ages (or TA) can

then be so chosen, to be able to achieve the desired PA(TA) distributions. In our analysis,

as in the literature, by distribution, we mean the proportions of members with different

PA(TA).

77

4.1.1 Maintenance of MeanPA

Regarding the first objective, one method to ensure the maintenance of a grade with

employees of adequate experience levels, is to specify the mean age (or mean TA) of the

members in the grade, and this can then be used to set the recruitment ages (or

recruitment TA). In the case of age, the problem therefore reduces to:

The determination of the vector of recruitment ages, A, which for a given set of

matrices P (and F for Proportionality systems), will satisfy the following condition:

a) [ MeanPA ] = M d

(4.1)

(4.2)

In equation (4.2), Da is a diagonal matrix whose elements are the aj, and * and % are two

array operators defined as below:

x * y = ( x1 y1 , x2 y2 ,....) and x% y = ( x1 / y1 , x2 / y2 ,...).

Post-multiplication of both sides of equation (4.2), first by n() using the array *

operator, and then by (I P) yields

R () Da = [ M d * n()]( I P) R() P ( I P )1

(4.3)

A = [( M d * n())( I P ) R () P ( I P) 1 ]% R ()

(4.4)

which yields an expression for A, the required recruitment age at each level of the system.

The method yields a single set of values of the recruitment ages. Adhering strictly to

these would not be feasible in practice, and what is intended in this method is that the

planners try to keep the recruitment ages close to the specified values. Alternatively, the

planner may specify the desired range for the MeanPA (minimum and maximum values),

for which, the method will then yield the desired range of recruitment ages (minimum

and maximum ages). This is illustrated in the examples subsequently. The method is

simple and operationally easy to apply in practice.

Identical results hold for TA also.

One method of attaining both, the second objective of maintaining smooth flow of

personnel up the hierarchy, and the third, of maintaining a degree of homogeneity in the

grades, is to ensure that members are able to flow up to the higher grades at the right

ages, and that the grades of the system do not have too many members of

disproportionately high age. To achieve this we look at the tail of the PA distributions,

and restrict the area under the tail-end of the PA distribution for each grade to be within

pre-specified limits. Specifically, let bj be the desired cut-off level of PA for grade j, and

xj the maximum permissible proportion of grade j that can have PA above bj, and let X be

the row vector whose elements are the xj.

78

The criterion of restricted tails can then be stated as

u ( , x ) / n ( ) x

j

for j = 1, 2, ., k

(4.5)

x =b j

And the problem of determining the recruitment ages can be stated as that of determining

the recruitment age vector, A, to satisfy the condition (4.5) above.

Equation (4.5) can be written in the following more convenient form

u ( , x ) x n

l

for l = 1, 2.., k

l l

(4.6)

x =bl

Now, using the notation of Section 3, equation (4.6) can be written in vector form as

( R()e )(e P

'

l

x =bl

( x al )

)] n() * X

(4.7)

l =1

( R()e )(e P

'

l

( x al )

)] n() * X

(4.8)

l =1 x =bl

( R()e ')(e P

l

( bl al )

l =1

( R()e ')(e P

l

(bl al )

)( I P) 1 n() * X

(4.9)

l =1

Equation (4.9) can then be used to determine the desired recruitment ages.

For super-diagonal P, equation (4.9), written in scalar form for grade j is

R j () p jj

(b j a j )

j 1

[ R (){ p

l

(bl al )

. p j 1, j

l , j 1

l =1

n j () x j (1 p jj )

/ (1 p j 1, j 1 ) + plj (bl al ) }]

(4.10)

for j = 1, 2,....., k

Equation (4.10) is a set of k equations involving the aj and can be solved recursively

starting with a1. For grade one, we have

R11 p11(b1 al ) (1 p11 )n1 () x1

(4.11)

For the subsequent and successive evaluation of (a2, a3, , ak), the fol1owing

recursive procedure can be made use of. If al is known for l = 1, 2, , (j 1), then can be

evaluated using the relation (4.10) which, for super-diagonal P, can be rewritten as

R j () p jj

j 1

(b j a j )

[ R (){ p

( bl al )

. p j 1, j

l , j 1

/ (1 p j 1, j 1 ) + plj (bl al ) }]

l =1

79

(4.12)

+ n j () x j (1 p jj )

In equation (4.12), all terms except the first term involving aj are known from the

previous computations. Notably, it may be observed that since P is upper triangular,

Pjj(bj aj) = (pjj)bj aj, where the RHS is simply the scalar diagonal element of P raised to

the power bj aj, which simplifies the computation considerably.

This method yields the upper limits on the PA of recruits to the grades, as it specifies

the maximum permissible ages of recruits to the various grades; and it is not uncommon

to find recruiters specifying such maximum age limits.

This method of restricted tails can as well be applied to achieve the first objective of

the planner, i.e., that of ensuring that the grades comprise of members of adequate

experience, and hence of adequate PA/TA. In this method, as an alternative to specifying

the MeanPA/TA, the planner might require that the grades should not contain too many

members of insufficiently low PA/TA. This specification can again be translated down to

a restricted tails criterion, wherein, the area under the tail of the distribution at the low

PA/TA end (lower tail) is restricted to specified low values. In the case of age, let hj be

the desired cut-off level of PA for grade j, and qj the maximum permissible proportion of

grade j that can have PA below hj, and let Q be the row vector whose elements are the qj.

Then the criterion of restricted tails can be stated as

h j 1

u ( , x ) / n ( )

j

qj

for j = 1, 2, ., k

(4.13)

x =0

And the problem of determining the recruitment ages can be stated as that of determining

the recruitment age vector, A, to satisfy the condition (4.13) above, which can be written

in the following more convenient form as

n j ( )

u ( , x ) n ( ) q

j

for j = 1, 2, , k

(4.14)

x=hj

and equivalently as

u (, x) n ()(1 q )

j

(4.15)

x=hj

k

[ R ( )e ] [e P

1

l =1

( hl al )

And analogous to equation (4.10), equation (4.16) in scalar form for grade j is

(4.16)

80

R j () p jj

(h j a j )

j 1

[ R (){ p

( hl al )

. p j 1, j

l , j 1

/ (1 p j 1, j 1 ) + plj ( hl al ) }]

l =1

(4.17)

n j ()(1 q j )(1 p jj )

R1 p11( h1 al ) (1 p11 )n1 ()(1 q1 )

(4.18)

From which a1 can be determined. And for the higher and subsequent grades

R j () p jj

(h j a j )

j 1

[ R (){ p

l

( hl al )

. p j 1, j

l , j 1

l =1

/ (1 p j 1, j 1 ) + plj ( hl al ) }]

(4.19)

+ n j ()(1 q j )(1 p jj )

These aj values are the minimum permissible ages of recruits to the various grades of

the system. Identical results hold for (minimum permissible) TA also.

In most cases, the planner would like to achieve both sets of objectives

simultaneously, in which case, the method is applied to both the lower and the upper tails

of the PA distributions simultaneously, using both equation (4.13) as well as equation

(4.16), thereby yielding both the minimum permissible (lower limits), as well as the

maximum permissible (upper limits) of PA for recruits. Alternatively, and a most

practically useful application would be the use of this method to determine the minimum

permissible TA, and the maximum permissible PA for the recruits.

The method is distribution free, robust and easy to put into practice, and all that is

required of the planner, is to ensure that the recruits adhere to the PA/TA span specified

by the method.

4.2.1 Maintainability of age distributions

Though the methods above provide a range of values for the desired recruitment ages,

and hence a measure of flexibility to the planner, however, they do not allow for any

variation in the recruitment ages from period to period. An even more flexible approach

would be to allow the recruitment ages to be stochastic, and specify their distributions. In

this section, we derive a method for the determination of the recruitment age distributions

which would yield desired steady-state PA distributions.

Since the recruitment age distribution of a grade affects the PA distributions of all the

grades above it, it is logical and more convenient to derive the recruitment age

distributions of all the grades simultaneously, together in a single computation.

The input that is required for this method is the set of desired PA distributions across

the grades, one for each grade, taken collectively, which we refer to as the collection of

PA distributions of the system. These are then used to derive the desired recruitment age

distribution for each of the grades, again taken all together, which we refer to as the

collection of recruitment age distributions of the system, which would attain and

maintain the desired collection of PA distributions across all grades in the long-run.

Using the notation in Section 3, we have:

U (, w) = PPA ( w) * n()

81

(4.20)

And thus,

x

U ( , x ) =

P (w) D P

r

xw

for x = 0,1, 2,

(4.21)

w=0

where DR is a diagonal matrix whose diagonal elements are the elements of R().

Noting that the term Pr(x) in the equations above is present only in the equations for

U(, s) for s x, equation (4.21) yields an expression for Pr(x), the vector of

probabilities (or proportions) of recruits to the grades with PA = x, as under

Pr ( x) = (U (, x) U (, x 1) P ) DR 1

for x = 1, 2, ,

(4.22)

and

Pr (0) = U (, 0) DR 1

for x = 0

(4.23)

The set of equations above can be used to determine the vector of the probabilities of

recruits to the grades with different ages (the recruitment age distributions).

However, since these values have necessarily to be non-negative numbers between

zero and unity, and should sum to unity, it is evident that not every arbitrary PA

distribution will be compatible with the system P (and F) matrix, thereby showing that

only certain PA distributions can be attained and maintained for a given set of promotion

(and proportionality) policies of the system. We can hence define the maintainability of a

collection of PA distributions across the grades of a system as under:

Definition 1: A collection of PA distributions across the grades of a system, one for each

grade, is maintainable if there exists a collection of recruitment age distributions, from

equations (4.22) and (4.23,) across the grades, one for each grade, which satisfies the

following conditions:

1

Pr ( x)

(4.24)

Pr ( x ) l

(4.25)

P ( x) = l

(4.26)

x =0

These are the conditions of non-negativity, upper bound of unity, and unity sum, of the

probability mass points of the collection of recruitment age distributions.

In order to test the compatibility and maintainability of a given collection of PA

distributions of a system with the given system parameters, P (and F), simple tests can

thus be devised, and are stated in theorem 4.1 below.

Theorem 4.1: For any given set of system parameters P (and F), with P upper-triangular,

a collection of PA distributions for the grades of the system, is a maintainable collection

of distributions, if its probability mass points satisfy the following inequalities

simultaneously

1

PPA ( w) PPA ( w 1) P

for every w = 1, 2,

(4.27)

82

2

for every w = 1, 2,

(4.28)

PPA ( w)

for w = 0

(4.29)

PPA ( w) R ()%n()

for w = 0

(4.30)

PPA (0) +

= R ()%n()

(4.31)

(P

PA ( x ) PPA ( x 1) P )

x =1

exist a collection of recruitment age distributions across the grades of the system that

would maintain it. The conditions of non-negativity, upper bound of unity and unity sum,

on the recruitment age distributions taken together are sufficient conditions for the

existence of such a collection of PA distributions.

Noting that equations (4.22) and (4.23) can be written equivalently as

Pr ( x) = (U (, x) U (, x 1) P )% R ()

(4.32)

Pr (0) = U (, 0)% R ()

(4.33)

and

respectively, and substituting equations (4.32) and (4.33) into (4.24) and (4.25), and

making use of equation (4.20), yields after some rearrangement, conditions (1) to (4)

above. Condition (5) is established by substituting equations (4.32) and (4.33) into

equation (4.26) and again making use of equation (4.20) yielding

(P

PA ( x ) PPA ( x 1) P ) * n()]% R ( )

x =1

=l

(4.34)

from which, condition (5) follows upon post multiplication by and , using the * and %

array operators respectively.

This establishes the results of the theorem.

The existence of a collection of PA distributions satisfying the conditions of

theorem 4.1 is shown below in theorem 4.2

Theorem 4.2: There exists a collection of PA distributions across the grades, one for each

grade, which satisfies the conditions of theorem 4.1

Proof: The existence of a collection of PA distributions satisfying the conditions of

theorem 4.1 is proved by showing the non-negativity, and unity sum of such PPA(x) (from

which the condition of unity upper bound automatically follows).

The non-negativity of the PPA(x) which satisfies the conditions of theorem 4.1 is

ensured by conditions 1 and 3 of the theorem itself (since the elements of P are all

non-negative).

That the PPA(x) which satisfy the conditions of theorem 4.1 will sum to unity, is

proved by writing equation (4.31) as

PA ( x )( I

x =0

P ) = R()%n()

(4.35)

83

which yields

1

PPA ( x) = R ()( I P ) %n() = l

x = 0

(4.36)

where, we have made use of the identity: R() = n()(I P), which holds for all Markov

manpower systems, thereby proving the theorem.

The related and consequent problem of rectification of a collection of PA

distributions if found non-maintainable, is essentially that of constructing suitable PA

distributions that would not violate the conditions of theorem 4.1.

Identical results hold for TA distributions also.

The significance of the equations above and some insight into the possible shapes of

maintainable PA distributions can be discerned from the conditions of theorem 4.1

a

PPA ( x)1 PPA ( x 1)1 p11

(4.37)

PPA (0)1 = R1 (1 p11 ) / n1 ()

(4.38)

Thus, it is not possible to have PPA(0)1 greater than the RHS of equation (4.38).

However, if PPA(0)1 is chosen to be less than the RHS of equation (4.38), then it is

possible to have arbitrary shapes, however, with the tail decaying to zero

geometrically, in view of equation (4.37) and the condition of unity sum.

If PPA ( x)1 = 0x < amin,1 , then the same arguments hold with PPA(amin,1)in place of

PPA(0)1.

b

0 PPA ( x) j PPA ( x 1) P. j R j () / n j ()

(4.39)

PPA ( x) j PPA ( x 1) j 1 p j 1, j + PPA ( x 1) j p jj

(4.40)

and then to

x 1

PPA ( x) j p j 1, j (

PA ( x 1 l ) j ( p jj )

) + PPA (0) j ( p jj ) x

(4.41)

l =0

which again shows that it is possible to have a wide variety of shapes of the PPA(x)j

curves, however, with the tail decaying to zero asymptotically, in view of equation

(4.41).

84

c

And if PPA ( x) j 1 = 0x < amin, j 1 , then can be (but not necessarily so) zero

x < amin, j 1 + 1, and non-zero thereafter, and equation (4.41) can be written as

amin, j 1 +1

PPA ( x) j p j 1, j (

l =0

x amin, j 1 1

(4.42)

which again permits a wide variety of shapes for the PA curves, with the tail again

decaying to zero asymptotically in view of equation (4.42).

d

It is conceivable that the planner might want the following conditions to hold for PA

proportions: PPA(x)j = 0 for x amin,j, where amin,j is the desired minimum PA below

which range the PA proportions in grade j are zero.

Such a distribution is maintainable, as can be seen from the above equations.

However, a condition of the type: PPA(x)j = 0 for x amax,j is not maintainable, as can

be seen from equation (4.42).

Thus within the interval [amin,j, ), the PA proportions can have any desired profile,

provided they do not violate equations (4.40) to (4.42) , and thus, the maintainable set

admits a wide variety of PA distributions.

A more detailed characterisation of the maintainable set offers scope for further

research.

If a collection of PA distributions is maintainable, then the collection of recruitment

age distributions which would maintain it can be obtained from the working equations

below.

Pr (0) = PPA (0) * n()% R()

(4.43)

(4.44)

test-conditions given in theorem 4.1 in practice, presents certain difficulties, and often

practically achieved and maintained PA distributions can fail the test conditions of

theorem 4.1. This is due to the following reasons:

1

in practice, the values are restricted to integer values, which can cause the PA

distributions to fail the test conditions,

condition (4.41), whereas in practice, the PA proportions almost always will hit zero

and stay zero beyond a certain PA, which is the max permissible PA of an individual

(the retirement PA), and hence, the tail end of a practically maintained PA

distribution will almost certainly fail the condition (4.41).

Nevertheless, these equations can still be used in practice, although with a certain degree

of approximation, as is shown in the example in Section 5.2 below.

All the results above extend in an identical manner to TA distributions also.

85

Examples

We consider a (proportionality) manpower system with the following parameters:

0.6

0

P=

0

0.2

0.8

0

0.05

0.65

0

0

0.2

0.85

0

0

F =

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

0

and

R1 ( ) = 100,

which yield, R() = (100, 50, 12.5, 5.37). (In general systems R() can be chosen

arbitrarily).

To illustrate the determination of recruitment ages by the first method of MeanPA, we

fix the desired MeanPA vector as [20, 28, 36, 45].

The desired recruitment age vector is then readily calculated using equation (4.4), as

A = (18.5, 27, 44.4, 48.5).

If, instead, the desired range of MeanPA is fixed as [20, 28, 36, 45] to

[25, 33, 40, 50], the range of recruitment ages comes out as (18.5, 27, 44.4, 48.5) to

(23.5, 32, 46.4, 54.7), thereby providing a measure of flexibility to the planner.

We next illustrate the determination of the recruitment age vector A using the

restricted tails criterion. The system we use for this computation is one with the same P,

with F = diagl(0,1,1,2). The other parameters are as follows:

a

the vector X, of maximum permissible proportion of the grades with PA above the

cut off PA, is taken as (.05, .10, .20, .15).

1

a1 < 24.14

recruitment ages is provided in the next section with real-world data.

The data in this example pertains to a large heavy engineering firm. The company

exhibited a relatively stable organisational structure over a four year period over which

data was drawn from the companys records, and relates to the cadres of engineers in the

engine division of the company.

Data on the prevailing PA characteristics were gathered for grades one to four only,

as the higher grades were found to be too small in size.

There was no recruitment to grades three and above as per the prevailing policies of

the company. The transition probability matrix of the system was estimated as

86

0.0

0.9 0.05 0.0

0 0.84 0.067 0.0

P=

0

0

0.85 0.067

0

0

0.84

0

The company followed proportionality policies which yielded a value of the F matrix as:

F = diagl{0, 2, , ), i.e., the recruitment to grade two was equal to half the number of

promotions to it, and recruitment to grades three and four were proscribed. The steady

state recruitment vector for the system was: R() = (30, 11, 0, 0).

The actual prevailing PA proportions across the grades are given in terms of the

uj(, x) values in Table 1, which give very jagged PA curves, and the smoothed-out

version, in Table 2, wherein we allow the values to be fractional. Using equations (4.43)

and (4.44), the recruitment age distributions were calculated and are tabulated in Table 3

and plotted in Figure 1 and Figure 2, for grades one and two respectively, which yield

approximate bimodal distributions for the recruitment ages. (There was no recruitment to

grades three and four). The curves show some very small negative values, which in

practice, are to be interpreted as zero, since exact zero values are usually never achieved,

due to the reasons given in Section 4.2. For the same reasons, the negative values of the

proportions at the tail of the distributions are also neglected, and the values then

normalised. Thus, the recruitment age distributions which would maintain the prevailing

PA distributions are arrived at with a degree of approximation.

Table 1

PA

u1

u2

u3

u4

20

22

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

0

0

6

18

20

13

7

8

7

15

11

16

27

29

17

19

19

18

5

8

0

0

0

2

2

9

11

9

3

7

4

10

7

7

4

9

16

14

16

4

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

1

2

4

8

10

1

6

3

5

8

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

8

3

4

4

3

0

1

3

3

5

0

1

0

Table 2

87

PA

u1

u2

u3

u4

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

4.5

15

16.5

14.5

12.5

10.5

8

6.5

6

12

23.5

26.5

27.5

21

17

14

11

9

0

0

1

3.5

8

9.5

9

7.5

6.5

5.5

6

7

10.5

13.5

14.5

14

13

11

8

0

0

0

0

2

2.5

3.5

4

4.5

4

3.8

3.7

3.5

3.7

4

4

4

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.5

1.8

2

2.5

2.7

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

0

Table 3

PA

pr1

pr2

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

0.1754

0.4269

0.117

0.0136

0.0214

0.0292

0.0565

0.0273

0.0058

0.2573

0.4951

0.2086

0.1423

0.1462

0.0741

0.0507

0.0624

0.0351

0.3158

0

0.0714

0.176

0.3901

0.1893

0.0364

0.0539

0.0184

0.0263

0.0995

0.1253

0.3174

0.3091

0.1644

0.0709

0.0359

0.0571

0.1649

0.6605

88

Figure 1

The computed recruitment age distribution for grade one (see online version for

colours)

0.35

0.3

Proportions

0.25

0.2

0.15

NldPr1

0.1

0.05

0

-0.05 0

20

40

60

80

-0.1

Rectt Age

Figure 2

The computed recruitment age distribution for grade two (see online version for

colours)

0.25

Proportions

0.2

0.15

NldPr2

0.1

0.05

0

-0.05

20

40

60

80

Rectt Age

Figure 3

The actual recruitment age distribution for grade one (see online version for colours)

0.3

Proportions

0.25

0.2

0.15

ActDstr1

0.1

0.05

0

-0.05

20

40

Rectt Age

60

80

Figure 4

89

The actual recruitment age distribution for grade two (see online version for colours)

0.3

0.25

Proportions

0.2

0.15

ActDstr2

0.1

0.05

0

-0.05

20

40

60

80

Rectt Age

Rectt age

20

ActDstr1

NldPr1

CuActDst1

CumPr1

KSD1

22

24

0.091

0.10438

0.091

0.10438

0.01338

26

0.161867

0.254047

0.252867

0.358427

0.10556

28

0.093025

0.069626

0.345892

0.428053

0.08216

30

0.034222

0.00809

0.380113

0.41996

0.03985

32

0.01259

0.01274

0.392703

0.407224

0.01452

34

0.004631

0.01738

0.397334

0.389848

0.007487

36

0.001704

0.03362

0.399038

0.356225

0.042813

38

0.000627

0.01625

0.399665

0.339979

0.059686

40

0.000231

0.003452

0.399895

0.34343

0.056465

42

0.105

0.153118

0.504895

0.496548

0.008347

44

0.274332

0.294632

0.779227

0.791181

0.01195

46

0.139548

0.124137

0.918775

0.915318

0.003458

48

0.051337

0.084682

0.970112

0.02989

50

0.018886

0.988998

0.011

52

0.006948

0.995946

0.00405

54

0.002556

0.998502

-0.0015

56

0.00094

0.999442

-0.00056

58

0.000346

0.999788

-0.00021

60

0.000127

0.999915

-8.5E-05

Max

0.059686

Min

0.10556

90

Rectt age

ActDstr2

NldPr2

CuActDst2

CumPr2

KSD2

20

22

24

26

0.008

0.035791

0.008

0.035791

-0.02779

28

0.092

0.088225

0.1

0.124016

-0.02402

30

0.279323

0.195549

0.379323

0.319565

0.059758

32

0.139545

0.094892

0.518868

0.414457

0.104412

34

0.051336

0.018247

0.570204

0.432703

0.137501

36

0.018885

0.027019

0.58909

0.459722

0.129367

38

0.006948

0.00922

0.596037

0.450499

0.145538

40

0.002556

0.01318

0.598593

0.437315

0.161278

42

0.00094

0.049877

0.599533

0.487192

0.112341

44

0.092

0.06281

0.691533

0.550003

0.141531

46

0.161009

0.159106

0.852543

0.709108

0.143435

48

0.093077

0.154945

0.94562

0.864053

0.081566

50

0.034241

0.08241

0.979861

0.946463

0.033397

52

0.012597

0.035541

0.992457

0.982004

0.010453

54

0.004634

0.017996

0.997091

-0.00291

56

0.001705

0.998796

-0.0012

58

0.000627

0.999423

-0.00058

60

0.000231

0.999654

-0.00035

Max

0.161278

Min

-0.02779

To check the validity of the results, they were compared with the actual recruitment age

distributions which were as under.

The recruitment to grade one had two streams: young engineers from external sources

as well as of those taken from the non-supervisory cadres below grade one. The grade

was therefore, a mix of people who had risen up from the ranks and were hence of higher

age (of age 42 and above) and young engineers recruited to the grade from external

sources who belonged to a lower age group (of age 24 and above), with both groups

skewed towards the lower ages. The recruitment ages in grade two were again found to

fall into two groups, one between 28 and 34, and one between 44 and 48. These are given

in Table 5, and shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4 for grades one and two respectively.

A goodness of fit test was performed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov D statistic and

is shown in Table 4(a) and Table 4(b). We can note a good degree of conformance of the

calculated recruitment age distributions with the actual data.

Table 5

Rectt age

20

22

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

Figure 5

ActDstr1

0

0

0.091

0.161867

0.093025

0.034222

0.01259

0.004631

0.001704

0.000627

0.000231

0.105

0.274332

0.139548

0.051337

0.018886

0.006948

0.002556

0.00094

0.000346

0.000127

ActDstr2

0

0

0

0.008

0.092

0.279323

0.139545

0.051336

0.018885

0.006948

0.002556

0.00094

0.092

0.161009

0.093077

0.034241

0.012597

0.004634

0.001705

0.000627

0.000231

Notes: S is the state space of the discrete-time Markov chain, and consists of the n-tuples

(n1, n2, n3, , nk) , where each of the nj can take on non-negative values.

The state space of the chain is thus the k-fold Cartesian product of the set of

non-negative real numbers, R+, i.e., S = R+ R+ R+ R+ = {R+}k.

91

92

Conclusions

This paper has studied the determination of the recruitment ages which would meet two

prime objectives of the manpower planner, viz. to ensure that the grades are manned by

staff with adequate experience, and to ensure smooth flow of personnel up the grades of

the hierarchy.

The first two methods proposed treat recruitment ages as deterministic, namely, the

one based on MeanPA, and the method of restricted tails. Both methods are quick, robust,

distribution-free, and easy to put into practice, and would be of good value to planners.

Under stochastic recruitment ages, firstly, conditions for maintainability of a collection of

PA distributions across the grades have been derived, and then the recruitment age

distributions for the grades which would maintain them. The results have been illustrated

with computations, and validated with real-world data.

The methods and results extend in an identical manner to aggregate tenure

distributions also.

A detailed study of the maintainable set offers scope for further research.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the three anonymous referees for their very detailed

comments, the incorporation of which has substantially enhanced the quality of the paper.

This research was fully funded and supported by the Department of Management Studies,

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560012, India.

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