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SUNDER CHEMICALS case study solution (Code: c38)

SUNDER CHEMICALS case study solution
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Sunder Chemicals was established in the year 1965 with about 40 workers and was manufacturing a couple of pharmaceutical products. After three years of initial crisis, the company found itself in a very prosperous situation. In 1999, the company employed about 5,000 employees working in 15 different departments. -

Mr. Parikh was incharge of the Tablet department having about 50 workers. In the day shift, Parikh was assisted by Mr. Patel for the general supervision of the department. Mr. Joshi was one of the workers in the Tablet department about whom Patel did not have a good opinion as Joshi was in the habit of remaining absent without leave. Patel often found him taking leave under false pretexts. Patel did not have any other complaint about Joshi.

One day Joshi approached Patel with a request to grant him leave for a week, as he wanted to go for a pilgrimage with his family. Patel this time flatly refused to grant leave to him saying that he was not prepared to believe him considering his past record. Joshi felt very sorry about this and seemed to be disturbed.

During the lunch break, he was not in a mood to talk with his co-workers with whom he otherwise talked very cheerfully. On observing this, Mr. Solanki, a very old worker who was with the company since its inception, asked Joshi if there was something wrong with him. Joshi narrated the matter and broke into tears saying that his old parents would be unable to go on a pilgrimage.

Solanki was very popular among the group and always helped his co-workers by representing their case to the management. He was in general very hostile towards the managers and they in turn did not have good opinion about him. Solanki assured Joshi that he would certainly get his leave granted.

Solanki went to Patel on the same day and found him giving instructions to some workers. Throwing the leave application on Patel's table, Solanki very arrogantly asked him why he was not sanctioning leave to Joshi. Patel felt very bad about the manner in which Solanki asked this and that too in front of his subordinates. But, controlling his emotions, he simply told him to ask Joshi to discuss the same with him. Solanki said that Joshi had authorised him to discuss this matter. He further accused Patel by saying that he unnecessarily harassed workers and that he will have to give up this habit, or he should be prepared to face the consequences. Patel, feeling very much insulted, asked him (Solanki) to get out of the department. On hearing this Solanki reacted very furiously and pushing Patel physically, told him, "I will now straighten you." After saying this, he himself left the department. Immediately, Patel saw Parikh and briefed him about the incident. Parikh regarded this as a very serious matter, and referred it to the Personnel Officer, Mr. Amin requesting him to take appropriate action in the matter. Considering this as a gross misconduct, Mr. Amin served Solanki with a charge-sheet. The company had a consistent policy for disciplinary action and in such cases the punishment would be that of discharge.

Solanki was a very active member of the representative union which had very good relations with the management. Management always supported this union against another union which was very aggressive and protested against all actions of the management. When workers of the department came to know that Solanki had been charge-sheeted, they all approached the Sec­retary (of the representative union) and strongly requested him to see that Solanki did not lose his job. They all agreed that Solanki was, to some extent, at fault. The Secretary, after hearing the full story, remarked that Solanki should have rather taken the constitutional course to deal with the matter. The workers said that in any case Solanki should not lose the job, as he had fought for his co-worker and not for himself. Considering the insistence of the workers, the Secretary decided to see Amin. In the meantime, a written petition was also handed over to Amin by the workers.

The Secretary met Amin and conveyed to him the feeling of the workers. He pointed out that this was the first time when workers had expressed their desire so forcefully. The Secretary further requested Amin to reconsider the case for the following reasons :

  1. All the workers were insistent and felt involved in the matter, and if they were dissatisfied, the popularity of the union may decline, thus paving way for the rise of the other union which is hostile to management.

  2. The Secretary assured that he would see to it that Solanki does not misbehave like this in future.

Amin had been until now very consistent with the policy and he thought that this may become a very significant deviation from the rules. On the other hand, he thought that it would be rather difficult for him to observe consistency in this case, as otherwise he will have to displease the workers and perhaps the other union might take up the opportunity to establish a footing in the company. In the meanwhile, Parikh telephoned Amin and said that his workers had approached him and requested him to consider the case sympathetically. He insisted that he considered this as a very serious thing and that no mercy may be shown in Solanki's case.


  1. What is the problem in the case ?

  2. Indicate the individual, managerial and organisational causes that have led to the problem.

  3. How could this problem have been avoided ? How would you explain Patel's behaviour ?

  4. Discuss the alternatives now available to Parikh and Amin. Discuss the conse­quences of these alternatives for the organisation.


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