MS 22 Human Resource Development Test Paper

MBA - Master of Business Administration

Note: This paper consists of two sections A and B. Attempt any three questions from Section A. Section B is compulsory. All questions carry equal marks.

1. Define HRD and discuss various value anchored HRD processes. How do they affect development of an organisation? Explain with suitable examples.

2. What is Performance Management? How are Performance Management systems different from Appraisal systems? Briefly outline the problems which may affect Performance Management effectiveness.

3. Define Organisation Development and discuss its operational goals. Explain various phases of OD, with suitable examples.

4. What is HRD Audit? Why is it important for an organisation development? Discuss various methodologies used for HRD audit.

5. Write short notes on any three of the following:

(i) Basic processes of coaching and mentoring
(ii) Culture with reference to OD system
(iii) Cross functional teams
(iv) Objectives of 360' feedback
(v) Competency mapping


6. Read the case carefully and answer the questions at the end.

SEWA - The Purposeful beginning

SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association) was started in 1972, by Ela Bhatt, in the form of a union of the unorganized sector, which was to be incorporated into the mainstream. It was observed that most of the production of goods and services in the country was, at that time, done through the informal sector, and hence the decision was taken to unionise this informal sector.

SEWA was not like a typical union i.e., unlike the usual union of workers, it (SEWA) spoke about the solidarity of the workers themselves. Its purpose was fight for the mega system, which exploited the vast working force through its labour contract systems. The whole system typically involves the middlemen and moneylenders and the mindsets of the urban middle class, the educated, the upper castes, their perceptions of development. Thus, through SEWA, efforts were made to question the whole system of policymaking, the census (which had not recorded them as workers), the definition and purpose of a trade union and the definition of 'work' and 'worker'.

After the registration of SEWA as a trade union, it was found that the union activity stopped at a certain level and the informal sector workers were hardly covered by any protective labour legislation. Added to this, profit making, handling of cash etc., even sometimes caused conflicts of interest in the union. Hence, over a period of time, a strategy of joint action by union and cooperative -- a member based, democratic organisation, beneficial to the unprivileged of society with networks at the state level, national level and international level was chosen. It was felt that through a cooperative presence, SEWA would be able to obtain bargaining power for all those who are members as well as for those who were not a part of the co operative. On the one hand, the producer's labour value goes up and she enjoys a better bargaining power. Alongside, the other workers in the villages also have wider choices in taking decisions related to who and how many have to go for work on the farms, whether the workers should migrate or concentrate on home-based crafts and so on. And, on the other hand, for all those who were not a part of SEWA, their wage structure (for both men and women) goes up. For instance, in case of the agricultural workers: the new jobs create a shortage of labour in the region, so they also get higher wages. Similarly, artisans also get higher wages. In this way SEWA is able to bring about economic changes in the villages through the joint action of the union and cooperative.

SEWA Bank - A subsidiary

Inspite of unionizing the self employed workers, it was found they faced two common problems:

  • Shortage of capital, forcing the workers to pay a heavy interest (often paying 10% interest per day).
  • Absence of owning their own means of productions (like handlooms, push - carts etc.). They had to pay rent on these from their own meagre income.

These two reasons prompted the decision at SEWA to have their own bank. In a period of six months, the necessary share capital was collected, and SEWA tried for registration. But many objections were raised - How can SEWA have cooperatives and a bank? How to form a bank for workers who were women, undependable, unreliable and who cannot even sign?

Inspite of these inhibitions, the strongest point in their favour was that the workers were all economically independent and generating cash every day. Thus, it was necessary for them to save money and also be able to avail of credit, whenever necessary, rather than depending upon private moneylenders. This necessity finally led to the birth of the SLWA Bank. The SEWA Bank is about one of the 10 co-operatives in SEWA with five kinds of primary co-operatives - dairy, artisans, traders, services and labour. The SEWA Bank has a working capital of about Rs. 26 crores, while, the other co-operatives registered under SEWA together have a working capital of Rs. 20 crores. When SEWA discovered that many of its workers were unable to absorb more loans because of the many risks and outside forces which did not allow them to expand their business, it decided to after another form of financial services like insurance schemes - against maternity risk, group insurance scheme to link all member workers with their deposits and integrated social insurance bank service covering a wide range of services.

Other Activities and Vision for the Future

SEWA has attempted to create co-operatives of various services provided by the labour community especially in the areas of domestic labour, health care, child care and video production. So as to enable these persons' to market their services, efforts are being made to provide them training on a continuous basic. Another effort on the part of SEWA is to build a management system which will help the labour force to stand firm in the market. Such a system should not only help these people to have access to credit but also help them to be literate enough to have a basic understanding of accounting, the interest rates and accessibility to market infrastructure.

Another attempt of SEWA has been at coming together of women on a common platform, on the basis of work in the form of co operatives/union/federations or as workers or producers or economic agents, cutting across barriers of caste, region and language.

SEWA'S Attempt at Empowering Employees

The vision of Ela Bhatt, who started SEWA has always been to ensure that the informal sector is in the mainstream of labour movement with a leading role to be played by the rural women. SEWA'S aim has been to empower such women who are poor and illiterate to become economically active through the process of empowerment. This view is slowly becoming a reality, when, after joining SEWA and attending formal training programmes, such women have become bold, realised their sense of self through participating, facing, managing situations and other people and thus learning to become 'leaders' in the true sense. This process of empowerment has enabled them to develop an inbuilt strength to do liaison with the police, take up the causes of fellow workers, actively participate in the decision making process especially while sitting on committees, travelling and meeting people for the growth of the organisation.

At SEWA, there is no formal organisation structure as such. In the words of Ela Bhatt, "SEWA is like a banyan tree, it grows and takes root, then these roots grow and take root...." i.e.. SEWA'S growth is totally dependent on its members who become owners, managers, beneficiaries and a truly empowered organisation in the long run.


(a) What are the unique features of SEWA?
(b) Discuss the worker oriented development approach of SEWA affecting the performance.
(c) Can you suggest ways in which private corporate organisations can also be involved in developing management programmes alongwith SEWA for the upliftment of the rural people?

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