Cost Benefit Analysis...

Cost Benefit Analysis Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is a tool which is used for the determination of the worth of a project, programme or policy. Its principles and practice are well established and widely used. Organizational management normally uses this tool to appraise a project before taking an investment decision. The decision to conduct a CBA for the project alternatives and the manner in which it is to be conducted is usually taken since it helps the management in making judgments and appraising available options. CBA is a systematic approach for the estimation of the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives and is used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieve benefits from the project. It is the comparison of costs and benefits of the project to decide whether it can be undertaken. In CBA both the tangible and intangible costs as well as tangible and intangible benefits are considered. CBA is a term that refers both to (i) a formal discipline used to help appraise, or assess, the case for a project, which itself is a process known as project appraisal, and (ii) an informal approach to making decisions. Under both definitions the process involves, whether explicitly or implicitly, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of the project or its alternatives in order to choose the best option. The idea of this economic accounting originated with Jules Dupuit, a French engineer whose 1848 article is still worth reading. The British economist, Alfred Marshall, formulated some of the formal concepts which are at the foundation of CBA. But the practical development of CBA came in 1936 when the regulatory act required US Corps of Engineers to take up only those projects for the improvement of the waterway system...

Management of Workplace Stress...

Management of Workplace Stress Workplace stress occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands of the job and the resources and capabilities of the individual employee to meet those demands. It is the adverse reaction which the employees have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can create a ‘buzz’ and be a motivating factor, and workplace stress, which can occur when this pressure becomes excessive. Workplace stress is a matter of great concern.  Excessive stress can interfere with the employee’s productivity and impact the physical and emotional health and the ability of the employee to deal with it. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Stress has been defined in different ways over the years. Originally, it was conceived of as pressure from the environment, then as strain within the person. Stress is defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”. The generally accepted definition today is one of interaction between the situation and the individual. It is the psychological and physical state that results when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands and pressures of the situation. Thus, stress is more likely in some situations than others and in some individuals than others. Stress can undermine the achievement of goals, both for the individual employee and for the organization. Earlier the typical response from the management to workplace stress used to be blaming the victim of the stress, rather than its cause. But presently the situation is changing and it is now being recognised that the management has a duty, in many cases enforced by the statutory authorities, to ensure that...

Trade Unions and their Role in a Steel Plant...

Trade Unions and their Role in a Steel Plant Trade unions are independent, membership-based establishments of the employees that represent and negotiate on their behalf. They function in the organization with their presence registered with the management. They give advice when their members have problems at work, represent members in discussions with the management, and help improve wages and working conditions through negotiations.  Trade unions also make sure that the statutory requirements are met. Other functions carried out by trade unions are to arrange education and learning opportunities for the employees, promote equal opportunities at work, fight against discrimination and help to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. Many unions also provide services for their members, such as welfare benefits, personal legal help and financial services. Trade unions function on the principle that if all the employees speak with the same voice, their concerns are more likely to be addressed. This involves union members in the same workplace getting together to talk about common problems, democratically taking collective decisions on workplace issues, and putting these views to the management. It can be very difficult for employees to speak individually to the management about workplace problems and to resolve their difficulty individually even assuming that they have the confidence to raise the issue. Individual members usually elect someone to speak on their behalf (a shop representative) and to discuss their concerns with management, whereas the trade unions normally have regular formal discussions. These negotiations are referred to as ‘collective bargaining’. Trade unions are financed through the individual contributions of their members. They continually seek to recruit members (encouraging new members to join by ‘organizing’) and to build an active membership, as this give unions stronger bargaining power in negotiations with the management. Trade unions...

Compensation Management...

Compensation Management The success or failure of an organization hinges on the ability to attract, develop, retain, empower and reward a diverse array of appropriately skilled employees. Compensation is a systematic approach for     providing monetary value to the employees in exchange for work performed by them. It may achieve several purposes such as assisting in recruitment, job performance, and job satisfaction etc. It also supports the achievement of the organizational objectives and is strategic in the sense that it addresses long term issues relating to how employees are to be valued for what they want to achieve. The focus on managing the effectiveness and maximizing the value of employees is a critical management necessity of the present time for the organizational performance. This, in turn, requires a focus on the fundamentals and management of compensation. Managing compensation is not an easy task, since it involves a variety of job categories and goes far beyond just doling out merit pay. It must address the planning for and management of the many categories of variable compensation used in a modern organization to incentivize improved performance of the employees. Compensation management, also known as wage and salary administration, remuneration management, or reward management, is concerned with designing and implementing total compensation package. The traditional concept of wage and salary administration emphasized only on the determination of wage and salary structures in organizational settings. However, over the passage of time, many more forms of compensation entered the field of running an organization and this necessitated to take wage and salary administration in comprehensive way with a suitable change in its nomenclature. Compensation management is based on a well articulated philosophy,  a set of beliefs and guiding principles which are consistent with the values of the organization. It recognizes the...