Project Vishwamitra at T.P. Engineering Corporation
(8 pages of text)
The case describes the introduction of a human resources (HR) system named Project Vishwamitra (PV) in 2000 in a large, public-sector manufacturing organization, T.P. Engineering Corporation (TPEC). PV was introduced with considerable leadership support and visibility. It was intended to provide every engineer trainee at TPEC a friend and guide to ease their entry and socialization into the organization. The senior managers assigned to guide the trainees were called mentors. For about five years, the project ran smoothly — the trainees felt supported whenever they needed help, and the mentors were happy to guide trainees. But afterwards, certain important changes took place in the organization in the staffing of leadership positions. With expansion and new projects, the growth trajectory of TPEC showed a sharp increase. With longer-standing employees moving out and a significant rise in the number of trainees recruited, PV ran into difficult times. However, no changes were made in the system or processes. Meetings between trainees and mentors became more infrequent and, in certain areas, there was no contact between the two. In the midst of degeneration, one of the leaders was able to revive the project in one of the company units. TPEC had highly ambitious growth plans and the number of trainees was expected to increase from 450 in 2010 to 750 in 2011. The company faced a choice regarding the form in which PV should continue.
This case is suitable for organizational behaviour and change management courses. The case deals with initiation and sustenance of an HR system. It could be used in undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive education programs in management. The case serves the following learning objectives:
- To encourage discussion on how to implement an HR system effectively in a large organization with a strong hierarchical and procedural orientation.
- To encourage discussion on how to deal with issues of organizational adaptation so that processes and systems are attuned to changing demands.
India, Large, 2011
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