Working Paper No. 94-01
South Asian organizations in countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are trying to professionalize management practices in recent years. Inspite of such efforts, employees indiscipline, politicised labor unions, low individual productivity, and unsatisfactory enterprise performance are some of the commonly observed realities in most of the organizations. Because of the prevalent socioeconomic conditions, these countries are placed at a competitive disadvantage even when they have huge reservoirs of technically competent human resources. Most professional managers in these countries express frustration over the situation but seem to suffer from a withdrawal syndrome symptomatic of inaction and helplessness. Recently, several attempts have been made to explain the ineffective utilization of human resources in India (Kanungo & Misra, 1985), Bangladesh (Miyan, 1991), and Pakistan (Qureshi, 1986). These attempts provide different perspectives for our understanding, but argue for developing a systemic rather than piecemeal approach to the study of human resource management (HRM) practices. Taking a lead from such earlier attempts, the present paper explores the nature of HRM practices in South Asian organizations using a framework that relates such practices to employee effectiveness. The findings reported in the paper are consultant observations about organizations the data has generated a number of conclusions research. The paper also offers some guidance action plans to improve HRM practices.