Assessment of hierarchical tendencies in an Indian bureaucracy
International Journal of Public Sector Management
Article publication date: 17 July 2007
This paper seeks to assess the hierarchical tendencies among direct recruit managers, managers promoted from supervisory grade and supervisors in a large bureaucracy in India using an instrument developed in India.
The instrument assesses hierarchy on three dimensions of “tendency for personalized relationship with superiors”, “status consciousness with superiors” and “dependence on superiors”.
The paper concludes that in the Indian bureaucracy, 15 years of liberalization and more than 50 years of democracy have not brought about differential hierarchical tendencies between younger employees who joined the bureaucracy less than two years ago, and older employees who joined the bureaucracy roughly 25 years ago. Employees in Indian bureaucracy continue to be dependent on their superiors and continue to be conscious of the status of their superiors. However, they do not feel the necessity of developing a personalised relationship with their superiors. Further, employees exposed to higher managerial responsibilities are less dependent on their superiors and less conscious of the status of their superiors than employees exposed to supervisor level responsibilities.
The paper provides empirical evidence to managers dealing with Indian bureaucracy about which dimensions of hierarchy need to be carefully handled by them. It also indicates the extent to which the Indian bureaucrats will be amenable to participative management practices espoused in the West.
The paper makes an in‐depth empirical study of the well‐established hierarchical nature of Indians in an Indian bureaucracy. Thereby, this paper identifies the specific dimensions of hierarchy that are still prevalent in the Indian bureaucracy.
Ranjan Kumar, M. (2007), "Assessment of hierarchical tendencies in an Indian bureaucracy", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 380-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550710772503
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