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BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
N. B. : All cases are Compulsory.

CASE NO. 1
How to Proofread like a Pro :
Tips for creating the Perfect Document

You’ve carefully revised and polished your document, and it’s been sent off to the word-processing department or a designer to be put into final form. You can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for the moment : You’ll still be proofreading what comes out of the printer. To ensure that any document is error-free, always proofread the final version. Following are some hints to help make your proofreading more effective.
 Multiple passes – Go through the document several times, focusing on a different aspect each time. The first pass might be to look for omissions and errors in content; the second pass could be for layout, spacing, and other aesthetic features; a final pass might be to check for typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors.
 Perceptual tricks – Your brain has been trained to ignore transposed letters, improper capitalization, and misplaced punctuation. Try (1) reading each page from the bottom to the top (starting at the last word in each line,) (2) Placing your finger under each word and reading it silently, (3) making a slit in a sheet of paper that reveals only one line of type at a time, and (4) reading the document aloud and pronouncing each word carefully.
 Impartial reviews – Have a friend or colleague proofread the document for you. Others are likely to catch mistakes that you continually fail to notice. (All of us have blind spots when it comes to reviewing our own work)
 Typos – Look for the most common typographical errors (typos): transposition (such as teb), substitution (such as economic), and omission (such as productivity)
 Mechanics – When looking for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization, if you’re unsure about something, look it up in a dictionary, a usage book, or another reference work.
 Accuracy – Double –check the spelling of names and the accuracy of dates, addresses, and all numbers (quantities ordered, prices, and so on). It would not do to order 500 staples when you want only 50.
 Distance – If you have time, set the document aside and proofread it the next day.
 Vigilance – Avoid reading large amounts of material in one sitting, and try not to proofread when you’re tired.
 Focus – Concentrate on what you’re doing. Try to block out distractions, and focus as completely as possible on your proofreading task.
 Caution – Take your time. Quick proofreading is not careful proofreading.
Proofreading may require patience, but it adds creditability to your document.
Career Applications :
1. What qualities does a person need to be a good proofreader ? Are such qualities inborn, or can they be learned ?
2. Proofread the following sentence :
application of these methods in stores in San Deigo nd Cinncinati have resulted in a 30 drop in robberies an a 50 percent decling in violence there, according at the developers if the security system, Hanover brothrs, Inc.

CASE NO. 2
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS ALL AROUND
THE WORLD
“He wouldn’t look me in the eye. I found it disconcerting that he kept looking all over the room but rarely at me,” said Barbara Walters after her interview with Libya’s Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi. Like many people in the United States, Walters was associating eye contact with trustworthiness, so when Qadhafi withheld eye contact, she felt uncomfortable. In fact Qadhafi was paying Walters a compliment. In Libya, not looking conveys respect, and looking straight at a woman is considered nearly as serious as physical assault.
Nonverbal communication varies widely between cultures, even between subcultures, and the differences strongly affect communication in the workplace. Whether you’re trying to communicate with your new Asian American assistant, the Swedish managers who recently bought out your company, the African American college student who won a summer internship with your firm, or representatives from the French company you hope will buy your firm’s new designs, your efforts will depend as much on physical cues as on verbal ones. Most Americans aren’t usually aware of their own nonverbal behavior, so they have trouble understanding the body language of people from other cultures. The list of differences is endless.
 In Thailand it’s rude to place your arm over the back of a chair in which another person is sitting.
 Finnish female students are horrified by Arab girls who want to walk hand in hand with them.
 Canadian listeners nod to signal agreement.
 Japanese listeners nod to indicate only that they have understood.
 British listeners stare at the speaker, blinking their eyes to indicate understanding.
 People in the United States are taught that it’s impolite to stare.
 Saudis accept foreigners in Western business attire but are offended by tight – fitting clothing and by short sleeves.
 Spaniards indicate a receptive friendly handshake by clasping the other person’s forearm to form a double handshake.
 Canadians consider touching any part of the arm above the hand intrusive, except in intimate relationships.
It may take years to adjust your nonverbal communication to other
cultures, but you can choose from many options to help you prepare. Books and seminars on cultural differences are readily available, as are motion pictures showing a wide range of cultures. You can always rent videos of films and TV shows from other countries. Examining the illustrations in news and business magazines can give you an idea of expected business dress and personal space. Finally, remaining flexible and interacting with people from other cultures who are visiting or living in your country will go a long way toward lowering the barriers presented by nonverbal communication.
Career Applications :
1. Explain how watching a movie from another country might help you prepare to interpret nonverbal behavior from that culture correctly.
2. One of your co-workers is originally from Saudi Arabia. You like him, and the two of you work well together. However, he stands so close when you speak with him that it makes you very uncomfortable. Do you tell him of your discomfort, or do you try to cover it up ?
CASE NO. 3
MASTERING THE ART OF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
To become better writers, people need to be evaluated, but taking criticism
from others is often difficult. The way you tell someone “ You did it wrong” can destroy goodwill and cooperation, or it can build the relationship and help the person learn from the mistake, improve performance, and retain self-esteem. To criticize more constructively, follow these suggestions :
 Get all the facts first : Don’t accept hearsay or rumors.
Find out specifically who did or said what, when, where, why, and how
 Don’t act in haste : Never act while you’re angry. Think things out before you write or speak, and then explain your criticism calmly, rationally, and objectively.
 Phrase your remarks impersonally : Criticize the mistake, not the person. Focus your remarks on the action only, and analyze it thoughtfully.
 Never criticize in an offhand manner : Treat the situation seriously. Take the time to state the problem in detail, explaining what was wrong and why.
 Avoid an abusive tone : Ridiculing someone, talking down to a person, or using sarcasm prevents people from accepting what you have to say.
 Make the offense clear : Don’t talk in generalities. Be specific about exactly what was done wrong.
 Preface the criticism with a kind word or a compliment : Start with a few words of praise or admiration, saying how much you value the person. First the good news, then the bad.
 Supply the answer : Explain how to do things right. Don’t dwell on the mistake, emphasize how to correct it and how to avoid repeating it.
 Ask for cooperation : Don’t demand cooperation. Asking makes the person feel like a team member and provides an incentive to improve.
 Limit yourself to one criticism for each offense : Don’t dredge up or rehash past mistakes. Focus on the current problem.
 End on a friendly note : Don’t conclude by leaving things up in the air, to be discussed again latter. Settle them now, and make the close friendly. Give the other person a pat on the back. Let the last memory of the matter be a good one.
 Forgive and forget : Once the criticism has been made, let the person start with a clean slate. Avoid looking for more mistakes, and give the person a chance to improve.
 Take steps to prevent a recurrence : Follow up to make sure the person is acting on your suggestions and doing things right.
If you follow these guidelines, constructive criticism can benefit you, your company, and – most important – the person you’re criticizing.
Career Applications :
1. Think back over the lessons you’ve learned in life. How did you benefit from some one telling you the truth about something you were doing wrong ?
2. With a partner, role-play a situation in which one of you is the boss and the other an employee. The boss is angry because the employee repeatedly arrives late for work, takes long lunches, and leaves 5 to 10 minutes early. However, the employee’s work is always excellent. After the role-play, analyze what the boss did right and what could be improved.
CASE NO. 4
WHAT YOU MAY LEGALLY SAY IN A SALES LETTER
As you prepare to write your sales letter, think carefully about your choice
of words. False or misleading statements could land you in court, so make sure your language complies with legal and ethical standards. To keep your sales letters within the limits of the law, review the legal considerations of these typical sales phrases :
 “Our product is the best on the market.” – This statement is acceptable for a sales letter because the law permits you to express an opinion about your product. In the process of merchandising a product, statements of opinion are known as “puffery,” which is perfectly legal as long as you make no deceptive or fraudulent claims.
 “Our product will serve you well for many years to come.” This statement from a sales brochure triggered a lawsuit by a disgruntled customer who claimed the manufacturer’s product lasted only a few years. The courts ruled that the statement was an acceptable form of puffery because the manufacturer did not promise that the product would last for a specific number of years.
 “We’re so confident you’ll enjoy our products that we’ve enclosed a sample of our most popular line. This sample can be yours for only $5.00! Please send your payment in the enclosed, prepaid envelope.” If you include a product sample with your sales letter, your readers may keep the merchandise without paying for it. Under the law, consumers may consider unordered goods as gifts. They are not obligated to return the items to you or submit payments for unsolicited merchandise
 “Thousands of high school students – just like you – are already enjoying this fantastic CD collection ! Order before March 1 and save !” If your sales letter appeals to minors, you are legally obligated to honour their contracts. At the same time, however, the law permits minors to cancel their contracts and return the merchandise to you. Sellers are legally obligated to accept contracts voided by minors and any goods returned by them. Legal adult status is defined differently from state to state, ranging from age 18 to age 21.
 “You’ll find hundreds of bargains at our annual scratch and dent’ sale! All sales are final on merchandise marked as is.” When you use the term as is in your sales letter, you are not misleading customers about the quality of your products. By warning consumers that the condition of sales items is less than perfect, you are not legally obligated to issue refunds to customers who complain about defects later on.
Career Applications :
1. Review two sales letters for content. List the “Puffery” statements in each letter.
2. Note any statements in these sales letters that appear questionable to you. Rewrite one of the statements, carefully choosing words that won’t be misleading to consumers.
CASE NO. 5
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS WITH ONLINE REPORTING
Mrs. Fields uses them. Mrs. Paul’s uses them. However, you don’t have to be in the cookie or fish business to work with electronic reports. More and more companies are adopting electronic reports over hard-copy reports to keep employees, managers, investors, and other stakeholders informed.
Computerized cash registers in Mrs. Fields cookie outlets are the heart of a sophisticated reporting system for monitoring and controlling operations. Rather than taking the time to write reports by hand, store managers enter data into the computer system by following report formats on their screen. Then they electronically transmit these reports to corporate headquarters in Park City, Utah. The computer system also serves as a two-way communication device, allowing store and corporate personnel to send messages back and forth in seconds. So Mrs. Fields corporate managers can quickly receive the information they need in order to track sales and productivity trends – and to spot potential problems – in more than 700 outlets around the world.
At Mrs. Paul’s a computerized reporting system allows production managers to continuously monitor and control the yield from the company’s fish – processing operation. The system calculates the production yield using the weight of the fish before it’s processed, the weight if abt scraosm and the weight of the finished fish meals. If the reports show that the actual yield drops below the expected yield, the managers can immediately adjust the equipment to improve the yield. The production managers have instant access to electronic reports at each stage of the operation, so they can find and fix problems more quickly than if they had to wait for printed reports.
FedEx, the well-known package-shipping firm, uses extensive satellite and computer technologies to track the location of every package in the company’s system. Customers can then access electronic reports to monitor the status of their shipments at any time. This tracking system not only helps the company serve its customers better, but it puts valuable information in the hands of customers with a click of the mouse. Like many companies, FedEx posts an electronic copy of its annual report and other corporate informational reports at its website.
As Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Pauls, FedEx, and other companies know, keeping customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders informed with electronic reports is the only way to do business in the global workplace.

Career Applications
1. What advantages and disadvantages do you see in asking store managers at Mrs. Fields to file electronic troubleshooting reports immediately on the company’s intranet ?
2. What kinds of electronic reports might a company want to post on its website ?

Human Resource Management

(i) There are three Sections A and B and C.
(ii) Attempt any three questions each from Section A and B. All questions carry 10 marks each.
(iii) Section C is compulsory for all and carries 40 marks.
SECTION A
1. Define and differentiate between Job Analysis, Job Description and Job Evaluation. Select an appropriate job evaluation method and create a plan for evaluating jobs of scientists in different grades.
2. Discuss the role of indoctrination in organizations. How can Performance Appraisal, and Training and Development be made an integral part of Human Resource Planning? Discuss.
3. Discuss the scope of Human Resource Audit. While auditing Reward systems for employees in a manufacturing organization, which factors should be taken into account and why? Explain with suitable examples.
4. Define and discuss the need for Human Resource Planning in an organization. Briefly discuss various approaches to HRP
5. Write short notes on any three of the following:
(a) Training methods
(b) Value determinants of HRP
(c) Human Resource accounting
(d) Labour Market Behavior
(e) Promotion and Reward Policies
SECTION B
1. Define and discuss the objectives of Human Resource Planning at organizational level. How does it help in determining and evaluating future organizational capabilities, needs and anticipated problems? Explain with suitable examples.
2. Define and describe Job Analysis. Briefly discuss several methods in which information about a job is collected and evaluated.
3. What is the purpose and process of recruitment function? Discuss various methods of sourcing manpower.
4. How is monetary value assigned to different dimensions of Human Resources costs, investments, and worth of the employees? Briefly explain Cost and Economic value approaches of measurement.
5. Write short notes on any three of the following :
(a) MBO
(b) Succession Planning
(c) Competency Mapping
(d) Job Evaluation
(e) H.R. Inventory

SECTION C
1. Quality control Department
Read the case given below and answer the questions given at the end.
Mr. Kapil Kumar and Mr. Abbas Ali were working in a scooter manufacturing public sector industry as Senior Quality Control Engineers in 1988. One post of Deputy Chief Quality Controller has fallen vacant due to the retirement of the incumbent and the management decided to recruit a qualified, knowledgeable and experienced professional from outside so that the present quality standard may be improved thus ensuring better marketability of their scooters in the face of stiff competition. Mr. Kapil Kumar, who was a mechanical engineer with about 15 years experience in the Quality Control Department dealing with mopeds and scooters, could have been promoted to fill the post on the basis of seniority. However, the management was looking for a graduate in statistics with experience in latest Quality Control (QC) techniques like statistical quality control, quality assurance and other related areas rather than a mechanical or automobile engineer with the routine experience in quality control. As such instead of promoting Kapil Kumar, the management advertised for the post of Deputy Chief Quality Controller – since as per company rules it was DR (Direct Recruitment) vacancy also.
Selection of Outsider
Out of the applications received in response to the advertisement, six candidates were called for interview including the two internal candidates, Mr. Kapil Kumar and Mr. Abbas Ali. The person selected was an outsider, one Mr. Ratnam, who had over 12 years experience SQC, quality assurance etc., in the two-wheeler private manufacturing industry. Mr. Ratnam joined within 2 months time expecting that in his new position he would be the main controller for quality. However, after joining the organization he came to know that he would be the second senior most person in the hierarchy for controlling the quality and would be reporting to one, Kirpal Sing,. The Chief for Quality Controls. Mr. Kirpal Singh had come up to this post by seniority and was basically a diploma holder in automobile engineering. He had to his credit about 28 years of industrial experience, out of which 20 years were spent in Quality Control Department of two industries. He joined the present organization in its Quality Control Department and had 17 years experience in the organization and was due for retirement within the next 2 or 3 years. On learning about the retirement time of Mr. Kirpal Singh, Mt. Ratnam had the consolation that he would be able to take up the position of ‘Chief Controller of Quality’ very soon.
Interference from Top
Ratnam could not put forth many good suggestions (for quality control) because of the interference and direct supervision of Kirpal Singh. He, however, could pick up a good deal of knowledge about the working of the company, the nature-and tendency of different production department heads particularly with regard to care for quality, organization for ‘QC’ in the company, the various components required for assembly of the company’s two-wheeler scooter and the expected quality standards, drawback in the present system of quality controls. etc.
Right from the time the advertisement for the selection of Deputy Chief Quality Controller appeared, the O.A. (Officers Association) of the organization had been pressing the management to consider the case of Kapil Kumar for promotion to the above post based on his seniority in the organization.
Meanwhile, the management obtained a license in 1989 for producing Three-Wheeler Autos. As a result of this and the pressure from O.A., Ratnam was transferred to look after the Quality Control Department at the company’s new Three-Wheeler plant, whereas Kapil Kumar was promoted as Deputy Chief Quality Controller in the present two-wheeler scooter plant in 1990 (after creating one additional post of Deputy Chief Quality Controller for the new Project).
In 1991, the State Government, which controlled the company in question, changed the Managing Director. During the regime of this new Managing Director, Kapil Kumar was promoted as Chief (Quality Controls) next year, when Kirpal Singh retired. This decision was based on the recommendations of Kirpal Singh and partly attributed to pressure from O.A., for further promotion of Kapil Kumar based on his vast experience in the Quality Control function of this industry. Abbas Ali rose to the position held earlier by Kapil Kumar.
Allotment of Company Quarters
The Company had its own township near the factory. Its quarter allotment scheme was based on the length of service, i.e., date of joining. Ratnam had asked for a suitable quarter at the time of interview and was thus allotted a tile quarter meant for the Senior Engineer’s cadre. He learnt about this, after occupying the quarter. Ratnam asked for a change of Quarter – preferably a RCC-roof quarter, – but his request was turned down, since he had put in only few months of service whereas many others senior to him, on the beds of their longer length of service in the Company (having over 10 years service), were staying in tiled-roof quarters and were awaiting a chance for a RCC-roof quarter. Kapil Kumar and Abbas Ali were residing in RCC-roof quarters. Soon after Kapil Kumar’s promotion to the post of Chief (Quality Controls), he was allotted a bungalow.
The management’s decision in this case must be viewed in the context of the downtrend in the demand for scooters and three-wheeler autos during 1993 following complaints from dealers about the deteriorating quality of components as also their short life. Notably the complaints had risen ten-fold in that year as compared to that in 1988.
Questions
(a) Was the management justified in taking a decision to recruit a qualified and experienced person from outside as Deputy Chief Quality Controller?
(b) Was it in the interest of the organization to transfer Ratnam to the new auto-wheeler plant and promote Kapil Kumar? What could have prompted the management to take this decision?
(c) How do you view the role of O.A.s in supporting only the local and internal candidates and overlooking the interests of direct recruits even when they were family members of the Association, particularly at a time, when the industry needed professionally qualified persons to fill key technical posts?
(d) How would you react to the management’s scheme for quarter allotment and why?

2. Pearl Engineering
Pearl Engineering Company was a large heavy-engineering unit. It attached great importance to the recruitment and training of its senior supervisors. Apart from selecting them from within the organization, the company recruited, every. Alternate year, about ten young engineering graduates and offered them training for a period of two years, before they were appointed as senior supervisors. Such appointments were made to about 40 per cent of the vacancies of senior supervisors that occurred in the organization. This was considered necessary by management as a planned programme of imparting vitality to the organization. Besides, many of the old-timers, who had risen from the ranks, did not possess the necessary academic background with the result that they could not keep pace with the technological changes. Management also believed that in the rapidly changing conditions of industry, a bank of technically competent supervisors played a pivotal role, besides serving as a pool from which to select future departmental managers.
Engineering Graduates were selected from amongst those who applied in response to an all-India advertisement. For the selection of one engineer, on an average, eight applicants were called for interview. A selection committee consisting of the General Manager, the Production Manager, the Personnel Manager and the Training Officer interviewed and selected the candidates. The selection interview was preceded by a written test and only those who secured 40 per cent marks qualified for interview.
The engineers thus selected had to undergo a two year intensive theoretical and practical training. A well-staffed and equipped Training Institute was directly responsible for the training of the graduate engineers, besides training trade apprentices and operatives required by the company. Lectures on theoretical subjects were given at the Training Institute and practical training was imparted in all the works departments under the guidance of qualified and experienced instructors. A few lectures by senior officers of the company were also arranged to acquaint them with the company policies on different matters. During the last quarter of their two-year training programme they were deputed to work fulltime to familiarize themselves with the conditions in departments where they were to be absorbed eventually.
On successful completion of training, the graduate engineers were offered appointments, depending on their performance and aptitude as revealed during training. On placement in the work departments, however, most of them faced some difficulty or the other.
According to management, some of the heads of departments, who were themselves not qualified engineers, did not have sufficient confidence in these younger men. They preferred the subordinates who came up from the ranks to hold positions of responsibility. A few discredited them saying that it would take years before these youngsters could pick up the job. Besides, some of the employees, whose promotional opportunities were adversely affected by the placement of graduate engineers, tried their best to run down the latter as a class, sometimes working on the group feelings of the workers. Some of the supervisors who were not graduate engineers also spoke derisively of them as “the blue-eyed boys” of the organization. Management knew that many of the graduate engineers were not utilized according to their capacity or training, nor was any attempt made to test or develop their potentialities. They also knew that many of the graduate engineers were, therefore, dissatisfied with their work life. Some of them who did not get equal promotional opportunities as their colleagues placed in other departments, were looking for better jobs elsewhere.
On the other hand, according to management, the young graduate engineers were themselves partly responsible for the hostile attitude of others in the organization. Some of them failed to appreciate that a newcomer invited hostility in the beginning and it took time before he was accepted as a member of the work-group. They did not realize that they would be fully productive only after gaining about five to seven years experience in the organization. A few thought that they belonged to a superior cadre and threw their weight around. They did not bother to understand and appreciate the problems of the rank-and-file of employees who worked under them.
In spite of these drawback, the General Manager of the company felt that these men were a set of disciplined supervisors. They had a sense of pride in their profession, and with the extensive training they had received, they would be able to take up any responsible position in the organization in course of time.
The General Manager could not allow the situation to continue especially when it was a difficult and costly process to recruit and train young engineering graduates of the requisite type and caliber. He knew that the prosperity of the company, to a large extent, depended on these young men. In addition, a large number of lucrative employment opportunities were available to these young engineers elsewhere and there was a systematic raid on them, He, therefore, called a meeting of all heads of departments to review the situation.
Questions:
(i) Identify the issues related to manpower planning as evident in the case.
(ii) Discuss the strategies to tackle the percentage of internal promotion at the organizational level.
(iii)What type of additional training programmes should be imparted for direct entrants?
(iv) Suppose you are the head of the personnel division. What would be your suggestions in the meeting – Which has been called by the General Manager?