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A nation can not achieve leadership unless we have leadership at every level of the organization. Ultimately it comes down to the individual. In an era of competitive change it becomes imperative for leadership to understand the responsibility thrust upon them and adequately address it with respect to clients and employees. Wipro Infotech creates an environment where individuals can work in an unstructured environment and develop the self-initiative to succeed in any situation. Strong customer orientation and strategic thinking is the key to balance short-term and long-term goals. Significant time and effort is spent to instill this confidence among employees through extensive leadership development programmes and the results are there for all to see. Through this, they bring their leadership closer to the client and build that trust and reliability in our service offerings. Their adaptability across cultures and geographies has made them ideal partner to work with. Wipro Infotech leadership reflects the global outlook and commitment to excellence, at the same time grooming new leaders who can make them more agile to address new challenges. Thus we have chosen Wipro for studying the leadership style and management practices of Wipro as a whole and Azim Premji on an individual level.
OBJECTIVE OF THE PAPER
- To understand the managerial practices of Wipro.
- To understand the leadership style of Azim premji and Wipro.
- To understand the contribution of managerial practices and leadership styles to successes of Wipro.
BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY
Wipro Limited is the first PCMM Level 5 and SEI CMM Level 5 certified global IT Services Company. Wipro is one of the largest product engineering and support service providers worldwide. Wipro provides comprehensive research and development services, IT solutions and services, including systems integration, Information Systems outsourcing, package implementation, software application development and maintenance services to corporations globally. In the Indian market,Wipro is a leader in providing IT solutions and services for the corporate segment in India offering system integration, network integration, software solutions and IT services.Wipro also has profitable presence in niche market segments of consumer products and lighting. In the Asia Pacific and Middle East markets, Wipro provides IT solutions and services for global corporations.
BACKGROUND OF THE FOUNDER LEADER OF WIPRO
Azim Premji is Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. He is an icon among Indian businessmen and his success story is a source of inspiration to a number of budding entrepreneurs. Born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when due to the sudden demise of his father; he was called upon to handle the family business. Azim Premji took over the reins of family business in 1966 at the age of 21.
At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azim Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji's ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history.
When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software. Under Azim Premji's leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world. Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asiaweek magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005, Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan.
LEADERSHIP PROGRAM AT WIPRO
One of Premji's most important accomplishments has been creating a sinewy management culture that thrives even under intense competitive pressure. He established two core principles that are instrumental in building the character of his leadership team.
- The first is rare among India's family-controlled companies: The chairman is not king. While Premji owns a controlling stake in Wipro, he shares authority and responsibility with his subordinates.
- The second key principle: Premji believes in a zero-politics culture. At Wipro, backstabbing, playing favorites, and kissing up to the boss -- tactics that sap much of American executives' energy -- simply don't work. Open and honest disagreements are not only tolerated, but also required -- of everyone.
When tracing WIPRO's efforts into its present global status a few important issues come to mind. The reader may like to reflect on reading as to how and why it was possible for WIPRO as an institution to speak about its strongly subscribed values through its leadership development processes. The process of institution building given the constraints in Indian society appears clearly to have built on clear expectations and focussed nurturing that came from a sentient leadership at WIPRO. Some of the salient steps WIRPO took are as follows:
- Defining Leadership Qualities
- Strategic Thinking - Anticipating the future through an articulated vision
- Customer Orientation - Customer at the center of the vision.
- Aggressive Commitment - Pursue stretched commitments with determination and focus
- Global Thinking and Acting - Global cultural synchronization with respect to issues and trends
- Self Confidence - Belief in the abilities of self and team
- Commitment to Excellence - Commitment to surpass the best with respect to global standards
- Working in Teams - Encouraging harmony and synergy for getting multiplier effect from team
- Building Future Leaders - Spending time with team; coaching and pursuing developmental needs of team
- Encourages his / her team to constantly update themselves on global issues / trends.
- Actively attempts to understand and respect the cultural nuances of the host countries of customers and employees.
- Is able to build rapport and is at ease when dealing with clients, partners or colleagues across geographic and cultural boundaries.
- Identifies and contributes to the development of best practices to suit the team's need for process improvements through benchmarking with world-class practices.
- Measuring Leadership Qualities in Global Competitive Context
- Leadership Composition for a Global Organization
- Modifying relevant People Processes
- Developing Leadership Talent From Within
The biggest problem with a concept like leadership is that it can mean so many things to so many people. There is a strong temptation to attribute all possible good qualities one can think of and come out with hundreds of qualities. Sometimes, these include "irreconcilable opposites" in qualities. Like a strong aggressive leader who chews competition but at the same time is an extremely harmonious team player! At Wipro, we decided to be more pragmatic. We have identified eight leadership qualities. Currently they are
Leadership Quality: Global Thinking and Acting: Anticipates global trends impacting relevant markets and actively develops people and processes to be globally competitive. He/she is at ease while interacting with people from diverse national and cultural backgrounds.
Competencies for the Leader Role are based on behaviours of Successful Performers. Behaviours that relate with high performance are used to describe the competencies. Based on demonstrated behaviours, levels of competency are defined. The levels are scaled as competency indicators. These descriptions also help users to identify positive and negative indicators of the competencies. Reliable methods for this phase are used, such as Structured Interviews - as part of Job Analyses and interviews held with stakeholders for the Leader Role. The Repertory Grid Technique is used later as a special technique that involves stakeholders to compare and contrast roles (e.g. boss, supplier, and customer) and formulate important ways in which the roles are like the Leader role, and different from the rest. These efforts converge in a Competency Dictionary, comprising level-wise descriptions of successful role behaviours. All of WIPRO Leader Qualities are similarly created, and increasingly tend to reflect the success of WIPRO in global geographies. These qualities are illustrated by examples of leadership behaviours that are observable. This makes it easy to understand and institutionalise the competencies. These qualities are regularly reviewed in keeping with the changing context.
The impact of Global Thinking and Acting runs across all of the WIPRO Leaders' Qualities. A few excerpts from WIPRO's measurement criteria will help us appreciate the same. E.g. Let us look at a few other leadership competencies and the changing emphasis based on global context. We consider here two critical competencies that help globalization. Both are different, in that one requires reflective thinking, and the other requires concerted actions that are experienced by many others in one's team(s). One of them is Strategic Thinking - required for both strategy planning and making. Strategy making is the expressive act that follows strategic planning. The other is of Working in Teams. Today working in teams encompasses motivation and bonding for members with whom face-to-face interaction is minimal to say the least.
Thus, WIPRO continually evaluates the business environment for cues that affect the effectiveness of leadership strategies. E.g. One of the transitions made after the adoption of Global Thinking and Acting as a Leadership Quality is in dropping a few qualities that seemed more managerial in nature. One such deletion was that of Problem Solving as a Leadership Quality.
With the sure presence of WIPRO in diverse geographies, it became imperative to manage cross-cultural and multinational workforces. Leaders who have the advantage of meeting up with client needs from as close a quarter as is possible is best suited for local management. To ensure such a impact, WIPRO has infused its top management with leaders from host nations itself. This has been the case with the largest of geographies like USA, Japan and Europe. These leaders are naturally capable in their own nations, and are quick in understanding the business of customers.
Several ongoing processes like recruitment, training, compensation and communication itself are affected by a global scale of operations. WIPRO has suitably modified such people processes so that employee behaviours are seen as consistent with the leadership vision. E.g.When selecting for foreign territories the Employment Opportunities legislations, in the host nation has relevance to the conduct of selection processes. The Recruitment Team is required to be certified on an Interviewing Skills programme, wherein several nuances of interviewer behaviour are taught. Legal implications and cultural orientation of the interviewer are critical to effectiveness. Similarly, for Training conducted overseas, Trainers are made aware of cultural implications of instruction and employee diversity. To engage with the field force, for example, a European (Ph.D.) with cross-cultural negotiation expertise and sales experience has been charged with the office of Field Capability Enhancement.
The process adopted for Leadership Development follows a lifecycle pattern. The same is described below. To develop leaders WIPRO trains its employees on a regular basis. We have created development programs along the lifecycle pattern of leadership development. There are five programs that focus on sharpening leadership skills of individual leaders.
- Entry Level Program (ELP): This is the first program a fresh recruit goes through. The program helps the newcomer into becoming a good management employee, like how to become an effective team member, how to participate in meetings, communications thoughts and feelings to others. Country-specific cross-cultural training and the opportunities to work in different nations has made our workforce adaptable and resilient.
- New Leaders' Program (NLP) : This is designed for the first time manager. Many people continue to be more comfortable managing technology rather than people. This program teaches them how to build teams, communicate, lead according to situations and coach others. In the NLP, leaders are particularly trained on aspects of managing virtual teams.
- Wipro Leaders' Program (WLP) : This is addressed to the manager of managers who still want to manage the teams directly. From here on, it is a corporation-wide program. At the WLP leaders are sensitized on the Diversity Principle, and mingle with leaders from all parts of the world.
- Business Leaders' Program (BLP) : This program is for General Managers in waiting who need to look at business as a whole and understand bottom line implications. It covers relevant elements of finance and environmental scanning. The BLP has focussed attention on a single business case, which has a strong international flavor and is run over several days.
- Strategic Leaders' Program (SLP): This is the highest program aimed at Chief Executives. It helps them to design and develop strategies in a global environment. From the inception the SLP has been addressed by thought leaders from all over the world. Luminaries from Wharton, London Business School, the Indian School of Business, and the like are invited to share recent perspectives on leading large corporations. At this level of leadership interactions with senior leadership of client organisations are also important. Therefore additional inputs on being one-on-one with the Fortune 100 corporation leaders are also given. Participating effectively in each of these programs is necessary to progress in one's leadership career. Similarly, it is very important to have the complete involvement of the senior and top management of the company to participate as faculty. In Wipro, for instance, Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman, addresses participants of all Wipro Leaders' Programs, Business Leaders' Programs and Strategic Leaders' Programs. In his own words "What you will remember when you retire, is not which quarters you exceeded your sales target or won large deals, but leaders whom you helped in developing. Develop leaders under you, not only because it is good for the business, but because it will give you tremendous personal satisfaction" He invests significant time as a faculty in leadership development programs.
Advanced Experiential Learning
Recently, WIPRO has collaborated in a Global Learning Alliance (GLA) with Learning and Development wings of large global organisations, namely, Schneider, L'Oreal, Nissan, and Alcan. Each organization sponsors approximately six senior leaders (at the level of Vice Presidents in WIPRO) from within its multiple lines of business to represent learning and development challenges in a common forum, where facilitation is done by eminent faculty from institutions like the London Business School, and legends like Prof. Ikujiro Nonaka. These sessions are held at different points in the year. The model on which it is based embraces globalization in terms of cross-industry learning on 'burning issues' and socialization to create a supportive climate for leadership skills development across business models and organisational change contexts. The working model of this initiative is depicted in Fig 1, below. Similarly, for leaders at lower levels, WIPRO has begun to engage in similar fora, with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Henry Mintzberg as a partner facilitator. That, in brief, explains the moving spirit and energy behind Wipro's drive for developing leaders from within. WIPRO's recent emphasis on non-directive coaching, and teaming interventions at senior and middle management levels have a deliberate design around key learning experiences. WIPRO's Corporate Human Resources Development team has the custodianship for Leadership Development in the company. From a team identified with a composition of high-caliber leadership trainers, the emerging emphasis of this group has been on facilitated interventions in top management groups across the corporation. Their interventions have facilitated interactions between clients and Delivery teams, Strategic Business Units and top management strategy making in critical businesses.
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN WIPRO
Management is the art of making effective use of resources to achieve your goals. It concerns planning, coordinating and implementing all aspects of an organisation's operation in a manner which fulfils the organisation's aims. In other words, once an organization identifies its purpose, well Management helps to achieve it. As different processes are needed to achieve various aims, we tend to discuss management practices in terms of particular functions. In organizations, these can include business management, financial management, collections management, program management, and personnel management. Regardless of the area being considered, all good management practices rely on four basic tools:
- policies set the framework for decisionmaking in museums. Good management ensures that policies are developed, kept up to date, and are understood by all staff;
- plans are the blueprints for action, which set out how the aims and policies will be achieved. Policies need plans to turn them into realities. Good management creates and implements plans to cover relevant areas of organizational operations;
- procedures are the step-by-step instructions on how to carry out tasks they carry out policy and implement plans. Good management develops procedures and ensures that they are followed; and
- people are the resources who make the operations of the museum possible. Good management provides for the needs of people.
Business Transformation- Wipro Infotech is a pioneer in implementing Business transformation concepts for value acceleration. Wipro Infotech Business transformation services ensure process optimisation that lead to revenue enhancement, cost reduction, customer satisfaction and improved quality of products or services. We are the world's first IT services company to deploy Six Sigma and first in achieving certifications of CMMi level 5 and PCMM level 5. With this strong background, they build or enhance the existing processes in the organisation to ensure a faster pace of growth to power your business forward. In the Business Transformation services they work to incorporate Six Sigma, LEAN, TRIZ, Theory of Constraint, CMMi and PCMM models as the framework to improve the operational excellence in your organisation. The services in this segment are spread across industry verticals as they address the core business process improvement.
The Business transformation practice involves the following:
Business process management system (BPMS) focuses on improving the business processes from people, process and technology point of view through simulation and process optimisation using BPMS tools
Business process improvement involves building consistent and reliable processes with the best quality benchmarks through Six Sigma, Lean, Triz, TOC
Integrated quality management system (IQMS) helps in building standards across the organisation through deployment of quality management system - CMMi, PCMM, TL 9000, ISO 9000 and proven business models - EFQM, DQA among others .
SERVICE DELIVERY QUALITY
Without the proper training and skill sets, employees would not be able to turn functional and technical requirements into software applications. The following figure provides the relationship of service delivery and organizational effectiveness between the customer and the services
Firm in Wipro.
Wipro's Quality Management System
Wipro's customers trust the strength of the quality processes that have always assured them of timely, defect-free delivery of products and services. The Quality Management System (QMS), called veloci-Q, is a consolidation of experiences and best practices that are also aligned to standard quality models and certification. This is dynamic, and also all encompassing, meeting specific technology and domain specific requirements with ease. The fact that Wipro has consistently been assessed and certified on critical quality models, generic and domain specific, bears testimony to the goodness of the QMS.
Quality Perspective Of Wipro's Services:-
Wipro's attention to quality is evident in the end deliverable and its overall support of its client. The following are the ways in which quality has manifested itself on Wipro's projects:
- Responsiveness. Wipro's strong attention to client satisfaction results in a commitment not only to respond quickly to client requests but to do so with suggestions for improvements.
- Efficient problem resolution and rework reduction. Because Wipro tracks many metrics through its robust software developmentprocesses, the capture of software bugs, and thorough documentation, it is able to provide a detailed and fast examination of problems such as bug fixes and the causes of delays. Wipro can see trends, identify reasons for issues, and quickly resolve problems.
- Adherence to project schedule. Wipro's attention to detail and deadlines allows it to meet tight time frames for delivery.
- Reduced cost. While Wipro's cost advantage as an offshore Indian firm contributes to its ability to provide its clients with cost savings, its on-time delivery and swift problem resolution are equally important.
- Less employee turnover. Wipro has developed a critical mass of employees dedicated a particular project. This continuity has diminished any rework needed, enhanced Wipro's intellectual capital, and provided a sense of security with its client.
Grivence Procedure followed by WIPRO:
Wipro procedure, called Ombuds process, involves the appointment of ombudsmen in the Company's offices. These ombudsmen are senior officials in the particular business unit of the organization to whom employees can address their grievances. The ombudsmen, acting independently, will then initiate an investigation and submit a report to the compliance committee, which will then take suitable action. Wipro actively encourages their employees to reveal identity. In Wipro, the concern is disclosed through E-mail or telephone, fax or any other method to the following persons each of whom has been designated as "Ombudsperson". In case of any concern relating to a member of the BU compliance committee including the ombudsperson the same shall be referred to the corporate ombudsperson. Similarly, any concern relating to the corporate compliance committee including the corporate ombudsperson shall be referred directly to the Audit committee. The Concern shall be investigated by the Ombudsperson either by himself or through any other person as may be deemed necessary by the Ombudsperson. A copy of the Concern disclosed shall be furnished to the Corporate Ombudsperson for information. A decision vis-a-vis the Concern disclosed at a Business Unit level shall be taken by the Business Unit Compliance Committee comprising of the following persons;
Business Unit CEO
Business Unit CFO
Business Unit HR Head
Business Unit Chief Legal Officer.
LEADERSHIP STYLE OF AJIM PREMJI
According to people who know Ajim Premji, he is low-key and it's his ability to relate to anyone -from prime minister to gardener-that has contributed to his success. During a recent visit to Emory University's Goizueta Business School as part of the 2008 Leadership Speaker Series, Premji-named one of the "Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time" by BusinessWeek-shared his ideas on leadership with students and several Atlanta-area business leaders.
Setting the standard for an organization is a necessary aspect of good leadership as well, and Premji doesn't believe this is possible if the leader doesn't do so with honesty and integrity. He advised the audience never to sacrifice integrity for short-term results.
Striving for excellence is also a Premji standard, and he realizes that he, and leaders like him, set the tone for their organizations. During his lecture at Goizueta, he touched on several things he believes Wipro can improve upon and talked about the steps being taken to make such improvements. According to him "Excellence is not an act, it's a habit".
To aid in this accomplishment, Wipro leadership must be "globalized." "This requires a huge adjustment," notes Premji. With 80,000 employees-15,000 of them located outside of India-leadership needs to be culturally sensitive. Working in teams is also an integral part of how Wipro does business, and an employee's ability to be a contributing member of a cross-cultural team has become increasingly important to the company's success.
One of Premji's greatest talents is his ability to recognize talent. "He's just like a good coach. Good coaches can get more potential out of an athlete than the athlete realizes. Not surprisingly, Premji believes self-confidence is a necessary part of good leadership. That confidence allows leaders to take risks and learn from them, including lessons gleaned from the occasional failure that accompanies risk taking.
According to Ajim Premji there are 10 steps to leadership which goes as below:
First, leaders must develop powerful personal credibility. This means they should not only be consistent in what they say and do -but must deliver on their commitments. The leader has to generate a collective enthusiasm for the team, and the team must have faith in the leader before they commit to his or her dream. All research shows today that personal credibility-is the most important ingredient of leadership.
Second, great leaders tell people clearly what they expect from them, whether it be in terms of performance or values. The more that is expected from people, the more they tend to deliver. Low expectations can lead to low ambition and hence low performance. Winning leaders are demanding leaders. They demand discipline, accountability and continuous increase in performance and productivity.
Third, great leaders are great teachers and coaches. Expectations alone are not enough. Neither are rewards and punishments. People need guidance on the path they need to follow. This does not mean that the leader should spoon-feed his people. It only means that the leader must have the capacity to look ahead and give the right amount of guidance at the right time. At Wipro, we encourage our top management to address our high potential managers. I personally invest half-a-day of my time in every leadership development program in Wipro.
Fourth, successful leaders need to have energy and be able to energise others. Leadership demands extraordinary physical, mental and, some would say, spiritual energy to remain on top of the demands made on them. I have found that my own job has become amazingly complex in the last few years. There is no longer any debate on whether a person should work smart or hard. Leaders must work both hard and smart, long and intensely. In a recent survey at the World Economic Forum, ninety-nine per cent of the leaders attributed their success to hard work.
Fifth, leaders do not always have to be in the limelight. One has to realize that leadership is not privilege but a responsibility. Think of birds flying in a formation. At different times, different birds lead the formation. The leader must know where to lead and where to step back. I remember this story which someone told me
Sixth, winning leaders face reality. They do nut dither. Leadership is about making tough yes-no decisions. Winning leaders are willing to decide with imperfect data, if needed, because leadership is about making judgements that others, are either unwilling or unable to make.
Seventh, leaders keep renewing themselves. They constantly learn from their own experiences and those of others. They constantly learn from their own experiences and those of others. They create knowledge capturing and sharing processes and methods in the organization.
Eighth, leaders surround themselves with people who err on the side of optimism. If people are always in the company of cynics, they will soon find themselves becoming like them. A cynic knows all the reasons why something cannot be done. Instead, leaders spend time with people who have a "can-do" approach. They choose their advisors and mentors correctly. Pessimism is contagious, but then so is enthusiasm. In fact, reasonable optimism can be an amazing force multiplier.
Ninth, leaders play to win. Playing to win is not the same as cutting corners. When you play to win, you stretch yourself to your maximum and use all your potential. It also helps you to concentrate your energy on what you can influence instead of getting bogged down with the worry of what you cannot change. Leaders do their best and leave the rest.
Tenth, leaders respect themselves. Without self-confidence, it is impossible to lead. This is needed even more in conditions of uncertainty and change. In Wipro, one of the leadership qualities on which we measure our leaders year after year is self-confidence.
Finally, leaders have the ability to preserve when all odds are against them. This is especially important when the leader chooses to do something innovative or take a path not travelled before. The first reaction to this is usually criticism, not applause. But if the leader perserves, he may attract many others to follow.
Based on the above description we have tried to identify his leadership style based on three models namely
- i10 model
- Blake and Mouton Leadership Grid
- Hersey and Blanchard Situational model
I10 model talks about 10 leadership qualities which are represented with the help of the following pentagon
Based on this i10 model we find the following attributes in him:
Intelligence: He is an intelligent leader and that's the reason why he was able to take WIPRO to such an extent and is one of the wealthiest people in the world. He is low-key and it's his ability to relate to anyone -from prime minister to gardener-that has contributed to his success. He knows well how to utilize his resources.
Information: He is an informative leader and believes in having high quality information with him before taking any decision.
Insight: He as a leader tells his team what he wants from them exactly and for that he needs to have an insight about the matter. Moreover to utilise the resources well and to run such a large business he needs to have a clear insight about what the goal of the organization is.
Imagination: Before taking any decision he looks at how it is going to work and this imagination is done based on information about the environment as well as the capabilities one has.
Intensity: He is also a quick decision maker. He has a clear vision with which he intensifies the activities where he lacks.
Inspiration: He inspires his people by sharing the information with them, by empowering them, by giving them confidence, by explaining the vision and what they are going to achieve if they do so.
Impact: He is an impactful leader because of his thoughts and style of approaching the things.
Integrity: He believes a leader should not only be consistent in what they say and do -but must deliver on their commitments
Some leaders are very task-oriented; they simply want to get things done. Others are very people-oriented; they want people to be happy. And others are a combination of the two. If you prefer to lead by setting and enforcing tight schedules, you tend to be more production-oriented (or task-oriented). If you make people your priority and try to accommodate employee needs, then you're more people-oriented.
Neither preference is right or wrong, just as no one type of leadership style is best for all situations. However, it's useful to understand natural leadership tendencies are, so that leaders can then start working on developing skills that they may be missing.
A popular framework for thinking about a leader's 'task versus person' orientation was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s. Called the Managerial Grid, or Leadership Grid, it plots the degree of task-centeredness versus person-centeredness and identifies five combinations as distinct leadership styles.
Understanding the Model
The Managerial Grid is based on two behavioral dimensions:
Concern for People- This is the degree to which a leader considers the needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task
Concern for Production / task- This is the degree to which a leader emphasizes concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
Country Club Leadership- High People/Low Production. This style of leader is most concerned about the needs and feelings of members of his/her team. These people operate under the assumption that as long as team members are happy and secure then they will work hard. What tends to result is a work environment that is very relaxed and fun but where production suffers due to lack of direction and control. This form is not suitable for Wipro because in long run too much concern for people and less concern for task will lead to world class results. Under premji Wipro has become world class company, which is not possible with country club Leadership
Produce or Perish Leadership- High Production/Low People. Also known as Authoritarian or Compliance Leaders, people in this category believe that employees are simply a means to an end. Employee needs are always secondary to the need for efficient and productive workplaces. This type of leader is very autocratic, has strict work rules, policies, and procedures, and views punishment as the most effective means to motivate employees. This type of leadership is only prevalent in time prior to 1950's. This style I long leads to employee dis-satisfaction. And leadership program in Wipro talks about the Premji's interest in people development, so he leadership does not fall under this header.
Impoverished Leadership- Low Production/ Low People. This leader is mostly ineffective. He/she has neither a high regard for creating systems for getting the job done, nor for creating a work environment that is satisfying and motivating. The result is a place of disorganization, dissatisfaction and disharmony. Azim premji is highly successful business man. He is very effective, other wise how could he lead a company at the age of 21 yr. and made it a diversified as-well-as world class company. Premji's leadership is above impoverished leadership.
Middle-of-the-Road Leadership- Medium Production/Medium People. This style seems to be a balance of the two competing concerns. It may at first appear to be an ideal compromise. Therein lies the problem, though: When you compromise, you necessarily give away a bit of each concern so that neither production nor people needs are fully met. Leaders who use this style settle for average performance and often believe that this is the most anyone can expect. Azim premji is a person who strives for continues excellence. And people of his type do not compromise on average results.
Team style - High Production / High People. The leader pays high concern to both people and production. Motivation is high. Characteristics of this style is based on the propositions ofTheory Y of Douglas McGregor. The manager encourages teamwork and commitment among employees. This style emphasizes making employees feel part of the company-family, and involving them in understanding organizational purpose and determining production needs. Results in team environment based on trust and respect, which leads to high satisfaction and motivation and, as a result, high production. Azim premji style is appropriate to this style. His encouragement through leadership programs at different levels of the organization is encourage people to autonomous in making decisions. Without technical degree he build India's third largest IT company only because he believed in capabilities of people he selected. He could succeed because he gave his employee right training necessary to fulfill the job assigned to them. So according to our understanding of management practices at Wipro we feel Team style of leadership is most appropriate style of leadership for Azim premji.
Leader: High task focus, low relationship focus
When the follower cannot do the job and is unwilling or afraid to try, then the leader takes a highly directive role, telling them what to do but without a great deal of concern for the relationship. The leader may also provide a working structure, both for the job and in terms of how the person is controlled.
The leader may first find out why the person is not motivated and if there are any limitations in ability. These two factors may be linked, for example where a person believes they are less capable than they should be may be in some form ofdenial. They follower may also lack self-confidence as a result.
If the leader focused more on the relationship, the follower may become confused about what must be done and what is optional. The leader thus maintains a clear 'do this' position to ensure all required actions are clear.
S2: Selling / Coaching
Follower: R2: Some competence, variable commitment / Unable but willing or motivated
Leader: High task focus, high relationship focus
When the follower can do the job, at least to some extent, and perhaps is over-confident about their ability in this, then 'telling' them what to do may demotivate them or lead to resistance. The leader thus needs to 'sell' another way of working, explaining and clarifying decisions.
The leader thus spends timelisteningand advising and, where appropriate, helping the follower to gain necessary skills through coaching methods.
S3: Participating / Supporting
Follower: R3: High competence, variable commitment / Able but unwilling or insecure
Leader: Low task focus, high relationship focus
When the follower can do the job, but is refusing to do it or otherwise showing insufficient commitment, the leader need not worry about showing them what to do, and instead is concerned with finding out why the person is refusing and thence persuading them to cooperate.
There is less excuse here for followers to be reticent about their ability, and the key is very much around motivation. If the causes are found then they can be addressed by the leader. The leader thus spends timelistening, praising and otherwise making the follower feel good when they show the necessary commitment.
S4: Delegating / Observing
Follower: R4: High competence, high commitment / Able and willing or motivated
Leader: Low task focus, low relationship focus
When the follower can do the job and is motivated to do it, then the leader can basically leave them to it, largely trusting them to get on with the job although they also may need to keep a relatively distant eye on things to ensure everything is going to plan.
Accroding to us Azim Premji is more of a delegating leader. This was because while selecting the people for employment he made sure he selected people who are highly motivated and as-well-as committed, with sufficient information and skill. Since he is into diversified businesses he is not an expert in all sectors. So person like with limited expertise will succeed by selecting people with motivation and commitment to work. So by this Azim premji is more of delegating leader.
CONTRIBUTION OF LEADERSHIP STYLE AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN WIPRO
Many factors can be considered when looking at organizational effectiveness, the back-office foundation of service delivery, and its effect on quality. Some of these factors include:
- Commitment to quality:- A company's commitment to quality can be truly successful only when it starts at the top of the organization and employees and managers alike believe in the vision of quality for the company. The objectives of quality must be ingrained within the culture of the company, which is, in turn, passed on to customers and ties back to business objectives.
- Highly skilled employees. A strong attention to training employees on a company's quality processes, whether directly or indirectly, can result in a highly cohesive workforce. A rigorous training program can be a catalyst for consistency throughout the company. Additionally, it may provide a standard approach to software engineering, from requirements gathering through release and acceptance testing. Furthermore, having a structure in place to manage skill competencies with market demand is essential to getting the right people placed on the right projects. Lastly, having the processes in place to acquire new competencies and stay ahead of the learning curve will be a key asset to clients, who look to services firms to understand the latest technology trends.
- Responsiveness and flexibility. While it may be harder to measure the benefits of responsiveness and flexibility and their relationship with quality, the team believes that these attributes can largely contribute to the overall success of a services engagement. Having the tools necessary to support employees in their daily interactions with customers can go a long way toward empowering them to respond quickly to clients' needs and provide workarounds to problems in a timely manner.
- Strong work ethic. Although work ethic is largely a subjective criterion, it can be supported through a company's overall attitude toward quality and attention to customer satisfaction.
- Lower turnover of employees. A strong attention on employees and their training can result in a lowered rate of employee turnover. This is of significant importance to customers, who invest a lot of time and energy in educating service providers about their businesses. Lower turnover of employees can also contribute to faster completion of projects because many employees will have the accumulated synergies from working together and with the client.
- Robust project management processes. Solid project management expertise and its supporting tools and applications are a critical success factor for the smooth completion of any project. This has become even more important as large, enterprise-wide projects may be composed of multiple subprojects and may involve geographically dispersed resources.
- Strong communication flow between client and services firm. Another benefit of an integrated quality system is the continuous monitoring of current projects. This may take the form of customer visibility tools that allow customers to keep track of a project's progress, particularly when projects are done remotely from the client's site. It may also help to keep the communication flow open and direct, which may assist the meeting of tight project deadlines.
Advantages of using quality standards by Wipro are:-
- The offshore Indian firms have used quality as a competitive differentiator for years.
- Quality certifications provide a common standard that is recognizable to companies regardless of their industry and offers a "stamp of approval" from a third party, whose role is to validate whether a company meets certain requirements. Thus, quality certifications can provide additional confidence and comfort to clients, particularly when the service being performed can be thousands of miles away.
- Furthermore, given the strong technical focus of the offshore firms, it seemed a natural evolution to achieve a high level of competency and certification for software development.
- While quality may sometimes take a back seat to cost when companies turn to external services firms, the team believes that it should be a fundamental requirement in any services engagement.
While clients' expectations tend to fluctuate depending on external factors as to whether quality or cost may be more important, the team further believes that these two factors go hand in hand and that, in the long run, cost savings cannot truly be realized without an attention to quality.
CHALLENGES IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Although, WIPRO's success with leadership development is acknowledged in India today, challenges of growth continue to represent itself through unprecedented scale and speed dimensions. Implications for leadership in WIPRO's current environment include:
- Fostering a climate in which a younger workforce rises to challenges of leadership faster than their predecessors, given the rate at which business opportunities present themselves across diverse business sectors in multiple geographies. The younger generations in most parts of the world stand on newer educational paradigms and are seeped in possibilities that can be accessed faster than was once imagined. A major challenge for leadership development in a relatively young workforce is to be able to balance the needs of novelty with a sense of responsibility for the future.
- Sufficient learning required to embrace the diversity of cultures, business sector models in different markets and geographies, has to occur more comprehensively. The dominant thinking around institution building has largely originated in India. Accommodating newer thought from foreign cultures and workforce within its mainstream culture is an act of leadership that needs closer attention.
- We now have lesser time in which to help teams discover their purpose, and follow through in performing service operations. While such teaming is more common, the complex teaming problems arise at managerial and strategic levels as leaders grapple with rapid and complex information flows that affect shortterm and mid-term business outlooks. This dimension is amplified when teams work across virtual spaces from different continents.
- Business Growth can often hide many a weakness in organisational routine. A focus and repeated stress on creating a winning culture could potentially instill a sense of infallibility. Leaders who are insensitive to such possibilities may project a false sense of confidence. A square challenge for leadership at WIPRO then is to be able to manage the scale and speed of business growth with a sense of realism and requisite humility.
- As service providers in IT, the variety of market sectors served is generally a source of revenue potential. However, this potential can be realized only when leaders come to terms with the business model dynamism in client domains. Leadership response to changes in clients' business models is key to future enablement of business.
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ON WIPRO'S MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
During the course of this term paper composition I came across certain shocking facts like
- Wipro is allegedly involved in bribary and unethical practices. Wipros code of conduct and business ethics is cleverly written to mask its unethical methods of business. Payment of money to expedite a routine governmental action to which the giver is otherwise entitled to, this is nothing but bribing the employee to stop attending to other clients and do Wipros; job on last come first serve basis. It is totally unethical.
- Wipro allegedly ransacked all H1Bs earlier when there was no H1B quota restriction, just because the H1B application saves $700 over L1 visa application. Single guy allegedly getting billed to multiple clients at the same time. This is very common in managerial levels in Wipro. It seems in Wipro, Supervisors and employees with more than 10-15 years in wipro only get wipro shares at IPO price. Rest of the 95% employees won't get any shares.
These surprising facts force us to give a second thought on the management practices of WIPRO.
- Wipro Corporate
- nowledge @ emory Wipro's Azim Premji on Leadership
- Leadership Development in India-An experiential perspective
- Case Study : Azim Hasham Premji's Value-Based Leadership
- NIPM Newsletter Vol.8
- Article: Management Practices
- Interviews with Azim Premji
- Alleged fraudulent practices by WIPRO-lay-off.org