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Case Study: The New Boss

One of the largest NGOs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal is the Environment Protection Agency. The grant management section of its water division was formed seven years ago. The main functions of this division are to review applications for grants, engineering designs and requests for change. It also inspects the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities. Four engineers, one technician and one secretary-cum-programmer reported to Prem Sharan, head of the section. Prem was 36 years old and had headed the section since its inception. He had earned a good reputation for his technical acumen and dedication. Three of the engineers had joined the section recently. The senior engineer, R. Sundaram, had been working there for the last four years. Prem had personally trained him. Because of his experience and expertise, Prem had allotted to him the areas with the most complicated projects. The other three engineers were given less complex regions. They were asked to work closely with Sundaram and learn all they could about the section's work.

At the beginning of the year, Prem decided that the new engineers had gained enough experience to undertake more difficult tasks. He divided the territory on a geographical basis. This section worked fine and the section was able to meet all its objectives.

Three months ago, he accepted an offer with larger responsibilities and growth possibility from a large organization in the private sector. He gave two months' notice to the top management. Time passed, but the top management did not even advertise for a new section chief. People in the section speculated as to who might take over. Most of them hoped that Sundaram would take over. On the Monday of Prem's last week, top executive met with him and the section employees and announced that they had decided to appoint a temporary section head till a new one could be hired. The person chosen was Shyam Mehrotra, a senior engineer from another EPA division. This came as quite a surprise to Sundaram and other people in the section. Shyam had no experience of the section's work. His background was in technical assistance. In his previous job he was required to do research in certain treatment processes so that he could provide more technical performance information to other divisions within the EPA.

Questions

1. What was the rationale behind Shyam's choice?

The rationale behind Shyam's choice must be due to his skills and capabilities that might be liked by the management. They might have watched closely his past work, assessing which management might have got the idea and hope that he could handle the Prem’s job well.

2. If you were the CEO, what action would you have taken?

If I were the CEO, I would have promoted Sundaram to the Prem’s position. Since he has been personally trained by Prem for the past 3 years. So he would have known the best of Prem’s work and the way he would have acted on particular issue.

3. Assess Prem's role as the section chief.

Four engineers, one technician and one secretary-cum-programmer reported to Prem Sharan, head of the section. Prem was 36 years old and had headed the section since its inception. He had earned a good reputation for his technical acumen and dedication.

4. Was it proper for Prem to leave EPA?

It was proper for Prem to leave EPA, because he had trained the engineers working under him about how to handle the section. As everybody wants growth & higher responsibility in their career. So do Prem. Since he accepted an offer with larger responsibilities and growth possibility from a large organization in the private sector, it was a good decision to move on.

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