Degree

Master of Business Administration

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)

Advisor

Dr. Shahid Mir

Project Coordinator (Internal)

Dr. Nasir Afghan, Asad Ilyas, Salma Mirza

Project Coordinator (External)

Farid Zafar, Shaikh Waqar, Naveeda Mehmood, Aamir Kazmi

Client

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL)

Committee Member 1

Dr. Shahid Mir, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Project Type

MBA Research Project

Abstract / Summary

This project was based on a comprehensive study that was meant to determine the scope of Job Rotation and Dual Ladder Practices in Pakistan in order to address the concerns of our client organization, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), which is pioneer of the natural gas industry and has been a frontline player in the energy sector since 1950s. As a major supplier of natural gas, PPL contributes some 25 percent of the country’s total natural gas supplies besides producing crude oil, Natural Gas Liquid and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. The company considers its people as an important resource that is critical to corporate success. It, therefore, pays serious attention to their training and development. The company encourages its younger employees to assume responsibilities and take part in decision making to prepare them for future leadership roles. Hence, there is continuous focus on developing workplace learning. An important approach being considered by the company is “Job Rotation”, which is used as a proactive means of enhancing the value of work experience for the goals of training and development. However, an important problem under consideration was to identify the scope of assigning management responsibility to technical staff. Organizations employing many professional specialists and engineers face the dilemma of establishing a reward system that is not just stimulating to the professional but is also productive for the organization. HR Strategists at PPL were facing a similar situation; therefore, they decided to initiate this project in order to gauge the feasibility of implementing dual ladders within organization and to determine the viability of Job Rotation Model for the company. Their aim is to ensure independence in career advancement of managerial and technical staff. In order to address the concerns of client organization, comprehensive study was held (a) to collect information regarding the dual ladder practices, where applicable (b) to carry out need assessment that leads to the initiation of job rotation process and (b) to study that how does this process benefit the company and how far does it prove effective in enhancing the skill and professional development of employees. Principal organizations in the sample, included SSGCL, OMV, MGCL, BP, Eni, ENGRO, BHP, ICI, MOL, UNILEVER, SHELL and CALTEX, while, target respondents at each organization included HR managers and/or policy makers. The data collected during the research was organized to determine the current and target positioning of PPL. Recommendations were made, thereafter, in consideration with the requirements of the client organization. Key findings of the research indicated that there is no evidence of dual ladder practices at organizations that formed our sample. Almost all companies practiced Managerial Ladder only. This is largely because corporations in Pakistan are not really familiar with the concept of dual ladder planning. For years, engineers & technical specialists have been trained to take on management and leadership positions; therefore, implementing a separate ladder for technical staff has never been expressed as an explicit need. As long as Job Rotation is concerned, almost all companies had formal rotation plans for their trainees. Middle-level employees, on the other hand, were subject to lesser rotations because as an employee moves up the ladder, the depth of work and depth of responsibility increases, therefore, employee is expected to spend longer time in a particular department and deliver results in a particular role. Hence, employees were placed in actual positions and against actual key performance indicators. Moreover, if he had joined the company as trainee then he had already been through a lot of rotations to get the required exposure to the organization and to decide on his career path. Hence, further rotations up the ladder were need-based or project-oriented. Transfers for middle level employees, however, are higher in order to sustain the motivation levels of middle level employee and to reduce boredom. Keeping in consideration the key findings of our research, we recommended the client organization to continue with the practice of single Managerial ladder as there are no such practices of maintaining separate ladders for technical and non-technical staff, which differ in their formal structures. With respect to job rotation to Job Rotation, we recommend field rotations for engineers and cross-functional rotations for support staff. PPL operates in six fields and scope of operations differ in each field, therefore, company could plan to rotate its quality technical resource within these fields over 15 years of their career until they become eligible for the position of Chief Engineer. The purpose would be to increase their worth, knowledge and experience. Moreover, rotation of non-technical employees within different functions of their departments e.g. rotation between treasury, taxation and reporting functions in Finance could enrich their knowledge and growth prospects within the company. Finally, we also recommend the company to introduce On Job posting (OJP) policy in order to formalize the process of internal hiring and job transfers. This may help the company to gather a pool of all the eligible candidates internally and some of them may be high potential candidates, who have demonstrated good performance in the past. The implementation of this policy at PPL, however, may be difficult due to government intervention. An alternative policy, in that case, could be circulation of internal memos and asking for nominations of eligible candidates. Overall, the project has been a great learning experience and contributed significantly to the practical know-how of all the individuals, who were involved in this project, directly or indirectly. This project has serious strategic implications in terms of human resource management at one of the largest oil exploration and production companies in Pakistan i.e. PPL. Moreover, this study can also serve as syndicated study for any subsequent work that might take place in this area. Researchers willing to investigate new or existing dynamics of job rotation or dual ladder planning can look up to this research as point of reference, as it summarizes best practices of 11 benchmark companies in Pakistan.

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