Some HR Dilemmas in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing Firms

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB101
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1983-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Not applicable
Industry : Information Technology/ Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Countries : India/ Global

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Excerpts 1

Caselet 1: Reducing High Stress Levels Among Employees

"This is a classic high-stress job, with low levels of control but high expectations from the organization."1

- Terry A. Beehr, Professor of Psychology at Central Michigan University,2 in 2007.

"With the stress levels rising in the IT and ITeS fields, new creative methods of keeping the employees relaxed and energised, are the call of the hour." 3

- Business Standard,4 in 2007.

Stress in the workplace had emerged as a major issue for businesses. In the IT and BPO sectors, particularly, the issue of job stress had assumed alarming proportions. According to a survey by South West News Service (SWNS),5 conducted on behalf of SkillSoft6 in 2006, employees in the IT industry were more likely to suffer from stress than employees in other industries.

In this survey of 3,000 people in the UK, 97 percent of people working in the IT industry said that they found that every day of their life at work was stressful.7 According to the study, 80 percent of them claimed that they felt stressed even before they entered the workplace.

A number of factors contributed to this stress: handling customer complaints and a heavy workload, meeting stiff deadlines and high targets, and coping with the nature of the work, lack of job satisfaction, long working hours, and the pressure to perform.

The survey found that the employees perceived the managers to be either unsupportive individuals or bullies who added to their stress at the workplace. The survey also revealed that even managers experienced a high level of stress. Of the managers surveyed, 95 per cent of them said that they found life at work stressful. Some had even taken time off from work as a direct result of job stress.8 Employees felt that stress was all-pervasive and a high percentage of them woke up in the night due to feelings of stress.

A survey conducted in the US by OpTier9 also found that IT professionals were more likely to suffer from stress than other professionals...

Caselet 2: Preventing Data Theft by Employees >>

1] "Survey Uncovers Widespread Work Anxiety Among IT Staff,", March 12, 2007.

2] Central Michigan University is a coeducational state university located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA.

3] Ishita Russell, "Dancing to Beat the Stress in BPO Firms,", July 16, 2007.

4] Business Standard is a leading business newspaper in India.

5] South West News Service (SWNS) is an independent press agency that supplies news, features and pictures to regional, national and international media.

6] SkillSoft is an online learning provider.

7] "IT Pros More Likely to Suffer from Stress, Says New Survey,", May 9, 2006.

8] "95 Per Cent of Managers are Stressed at Work,", September 20, 2006.

9] OpTier is a leading provider of Business Transaction Management solutions.


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