Case Study on Training and Development


Prof. Dileep Kumar. M

Sreeram Institute of Science and Technology, is one of the prestigious institutes in the field of Engineering and Applied Sciences, located in Kottayam, District Kerala. Within a period of 6 years it has secured 2nd best position of engineering college within the District. The management of SIST (Sreeram Institute of Science and Technology) decided to go for different professional programmes from 2006 onwards. They have decided to launch one MBA, four semester residential programme with four specializations like Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management and Systems. They named the institute as Sreeram Institute of Management (SIM) The programme got adequate response from the local level and even from the entire state. Students from all over Kerala joined in MBA programme. The institute appointed 5 Faculties, Dean and an Administrator with Assistant Administrators to govern the institute initially.

Since the institute doesn't have a permanent building at the time of programme launch, they started the course in a guesthouse-converted building with a syndicate room, a conference room, Dean's room, a faculty room, a general administration room and a classroom having the capacity of 60 students. The institute was well aware of the fact that they were running with limitations of infrastructure and facilities those compared to other business management schools in and around Kerala.  In spite of limited infrastructure and facilities, the visibility and image secured already by the Sreeram College of Engineering (SCE), SIM (Sreeram Institute of Management) got around 50 students in the 2006 academic year. The management of SIM has strictly adhered to the quality of the students in the selection process and they restricted the admission to 50 seats against the total allotment of 60 seats.

The programme was launched from July 1st 2006. Since the students required better business and orientation, the dean announced one week Student Personality Development programme from 1st July. The Dean of SIM has planned two day Personality Development and Attitude Building training module in the Hilly Valley Resort Kuttikkanam, located near Peeru Hills. The Dean of SIM realized the importance of Students Development Programme; especially to the Kerala students, who, in general do not have high confidence on their communication skills. Since the Dean of the institute is from the field of Human Resource Management and well versed with the training and development programme in addition being a visualiser and a trainer, meticulously planned a 'Boot Camp' - Students Training Programme with the support of a an outside professional trainer and with the help of internal faculties.

In accordance with this some of the faculties in SIM had difference of opinion on conducting the training programme at Hilly Valley Resort Kuttikkanam. They were of the opinion that these modules can be run during the weekends within the campus with the available Engineering College Seminar Hall and the free ground. It would have provided better preparation and breathing space to the students who have come from distant places and different background. Further it reduces the expenditure on training programme. The activities incorporated in the training module could have been delivered with all the facilities now available within the institute. The perceived better time management and programme management with the internal arrangements. While, the Dean insisted to conduct the training programme outside the college environment.

The objectives of this training programme was to imbibe group culture, eliminate inhibition, develop mutual understanding, encourage team attitude, inculcate self awareness, induce leadership qualities, conscious responsible behaviour, create work motivation and goal orientation. More than an ice breaking session, the programme visualizes and envisaged the development of individual mission statement from each student, that help them to orient themselves to achieve personal goals integrating professional goal.

 The journey started at 8.35am in the morning.  The bus was supposed to reach at 10.30am at Kuttikkanam Hilly Valley Resort. Since the students had to board from different places and because of some contingency situation in between the journey the bus had to halt at various places and got delayed by one hour. The bus reached only at 11.30 at to Kuttikkanam. The commencement of the training programme was delayed by one hour.  Against the preplanned schedule the students were asked to engage in the training and development programme after having single cup of mango juice. The students were asked to attend the training programme leaving their luggage and belongings inside the bus. As per the Direction of the Dean student started attending the training programme. The two trainers who were been waiting for the commencement of their programme could only start their programme delayed by one hour fifteen minutes.

The first session started with grouping exercise, name-calling exercises, clapping exercises, voice based exercises and outbound song development exercises. The students got a large amount of opportunity for mutual understanding and developing many insights like importance of team work, attention, listening, awareness, concentration, leadership by removing inhibition from day to day interaction with their peers. The training programme was supposed to finish at one O'clock in the after noon for lunch. But the training programme went on till 2.15pm with the singing exercises. The lunch started at 2.25pm and ended at 3.O' clock. The afternoon session started only at 3.15pm. The delayed programme thus went on deviating from its preplanned schedule. The students had to manage their 45 minutes time for lunch, basic needs and taking their luggage from the bus and settling down in their respective rooms. Though the students felt uncomfortable in such a hectic schedule they hesitated to share the same with the faculties and the Dean accompanied. Mean while, the Dean requested the students to adjust with the time and programme schedule by showing the example of time management and stress management.

The second phase of training programme went on till 7.15pm on the same day. The trainer conducted many programmes like, writing A to Z alphabets to find out one article from each letter etc. The trainer engaged students in several group activities. The activities in the training programme had induced better learning exposure and insight on innovation and creativity to students. The trainers had to run their activities beyond the stipulated time frame. Mean while the CEO of the institute and an Academic Council member visited the training programme. The Academic Council member was from USA. After the training session without having any short break the Professor from abroad conducted another 45 minutes session. The students were not informed about the new session and after the session the CEO also joined the programme. The entire programme thus went on till 8 O' clock. Considering the hectic Schedule, the Dean informed the students the there wouldn't be any campfire activity based on the scheduled programme. Actually the students were expecting the campfire for better interaction and relaxation. But, after the dinner, the decision on campfire changed again and the Dean informed the students that there would be campfire. The students got surprised to see the change of decisions in activities in every moment on the programme schedule. The campfire conducted couldn't serve the purpose since there was heavy wind. The students were slept only after 11 O' Clock.

The Dean informed one of the faculties that he has cancelled his programme on the second day and she would have to run the programme. As per the instruction she started better preparation to run the training with more hours. She had to spend more time during night to organize one and a half-hour training module on communication skill. Due to the modifications in the programme schedule on every moment the students started asking about the surety of the module to the teachers. Since the Dean had charted the programme they showed their inability to express anything on the module. They reserved their comment.

The second day programme started with the Yoga and meditation programme at 7.15. The proposed time was 7.00am. More over there was no sufficient space for the 50 students to undergo yoga and meditation. Hardly 27 students underwent the yoga and meditation and the rest of them had to wait in the restaurant idly. Since the Dean himself got engaged in yoga and meditation he couldn't engage students in any of the activities. More over the faculties didn't have any direction to do anything. It went on for the lucky guys who could find enough space in the hall. The Dean taught few steps of Pranayaama and meditation training within a period of 45 minutes.

The second module started soon after the breakfast at 9.30am. Though it was supposed to start at 9.00am. The lady faculty started her training module on communication with the assistance of other faculties. She conducted training module with jumble words on group wise. The individual presentation of three groups on their jumbled words in right form and forming a sentence by their on completed at 11.00am. Hardly 15 minutes to complete the programme with the remaining two groups individual presentations and leader presentations. The lady faculty requested the Dean for 15 minutes to complete the module. But the Dean asked her to wind up the session and asked her to do the session in the class. The leady faculty got totally dissatisfied with the decision and lost her entire pleasure on the programme.  Sitting for a while, she got aloof from the programme. The Dean started a movie 'IQBAL' soon after the 'incomplete communication' module. The hall faced another problem of sound system. The service trainees of the resort tried to get the sound system run. But they failed in their effort. The films started only at 11.30am. The students didn't get enough time for break and relaxation. The tea/coffee and the snacks were supplied right in their seat and the programme run with shortage of time. The film was played without proper sound effect. Since the programme was running short of time and had to be finished at 2.O clock in the afternoon, the film ended on half way without serving the purpose. The students got assignment of learning from the film and the Dean asked them to write it and present it on next day. At 1 O' Clock he started another training programme on rabbit and tortoise. The students got another assignment to right the learning from the game. More over he asked each student to submit their learning from the entire programme. The programme ended at 2.30pm beyond the stipulated time. In the second day all the activities went on half way. Half of the students didn't get the benefit of yoga and meditation. The communication programme had to be stopped half way. The film went on without sound and stopped on half way. The Rabbit and Tortoise also had to wind up half way. The students openly shared their displeasure and uncomforted with the programme. They complained the faculties for not giving proper attention on their basic needs.

The entire training and programme went on with mixed impression from the students and the faculties. Some of the faculties lodged complaint against the Dean to the Director about their concerns and anxieties on Dean's behaviour. They reported to Director that they were mere the spectators of the entire programme.  They complained that many of the faculties who have good training experience in prestigious business schools and corporate sectors were ignored in the training programme and unnecessarily spent money on external trainer. This programme, they felt, was imposed on them instead of incorporating their suggestions and ideas. There was low-level information sharing at the down level. Only a few faculties, who were close to the Dean, got the information about the programme and others were not informed. Others came to know the programme only a day before the event. Everything went on with the centralized ideas of the Dean. He behaved just like a dictator. The faculties requested the Director for his immediate Intervention in the matter and take adequate action. The Director called the Dean immediately and asked him to send an immediate report incorporating faculties and students opinion in this mater. 

The Dean came to know that the faculties reported the matter to the Director. The Dean became so annoyed. Director entrusted one of the faculties to give a detailed report incorporating the views of faculties, trainers and students on this programme within 24 hours. More over he ordered an enquiry at administrative level the cost incurred in the entire programme.


1. 'Failure to plan is planning to fail,' how do you comment on this statement with reference to the case study?

2. How do you relate absence of planning in the present day business context?

3. Discuss the importance of planning in a successful event in the organisation?

4. Discuss the significance of participation in formulating the plans. How do you ensure participation of people in the planning exercise?

5. To what extend decision-making is important in organizing any event or programme?

6. How do you realize the importance of Organizing and Coordination?

7. Delegation and decentralization is the Key to organisation effectiveness. Elucidate.

8. What is the decision making style of the Dean?

9. Must Leaders actively and intentionally motivate their subordinates? With reference to Dean's Directive approach elucidate.

10. 'Motivation is the Key to management.' How the Dean's decision making style affect the motivation and participation of the faculties in this case?

11. Discuss the importance of Information sharing, which is key to effective management of training programmes?

12. Discuss the leadership traits of Dean in this case study.

13. Assertiveness is the key quality required for managers. How far the lady teacher is assertive in her life?

14. In the initial stage of organisational Development do you feel that participation from the faculties are not essential?

15. If you will be in the Deans position how you plan and manage this training programme? By Keep in mind management principles, management functions, management approaches, principles of communication, work motivation and leadership theories, develop a plan of action for the effectiveness of training and development programme.

16. Compare the style of management in military organisations and educational institution. Differentiate the managerial approaches and leadership style in these two settings.

Prof. Dileep Kumar. M

Source: E-mail July 25, 2006


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