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Human resource management in the changing business environment of the Indian construction industry: a case study

Shashank Shah (School of Business Management, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur, India)
R.N. Ajith Sankar (PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore, India)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 14 November 2013


Subject area

Human resource management.

Study level/applicability

The case can be used on courses related to human resources management (HRM), which are offered in management programmes like MBA/PGDBM. The case could also be used in management development programmes, seminars and workshops that have HRM as a component of the programme. The case can be used effectively for classroom discussions as well as in distance learning programmes.

Case overview

The case looks into the HRM practices at a leading Indian construction company – ABC Constructions. The case tries to explain the management perspectives behind the people practice initiatives undertaken by the company in order to recruit/retain and nurture talent. The case also explains the basic principles underlying its human resource policies. It tries to explain the initiatives taken by ABC Constructions to meet the challenges posed by the changing business environment, as the company moves beyond the borders of the country of its initial operations. The case provides an overview of unique challenges faced by a company in the Indian construction industry, where a significant number of people executing its projects are not its permanent employees.

Expected learning outcomes

The students would get a fairly good understanding of existing good practices in the field of human resource management, especially in the context of a multifaceted and labour intensive construction industry in the Indian corporate scenario. Anecdotes of actual experiences with respect to people management would facilitate greater understanding of the complexities involved at the grass root level of functioning and implementation. Theoretical inputs relating to training could be better understood through the customised programmes provided by the company for its diverse workforce. The HR challenges faced by the top management as a company grows and expands to new markets can better be understood.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Dr Shashank Shah would like to express his gratitude to Professor Peter Pruzan, Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and Visiting Faculty, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanti Nilayam, for his guidance through the course of the research work. A special note of appreciation is due to the Former Deputy Managing Director of the case study company for his help in gaining access to the senior executives at the headquarters of the company at Chennai, India. The authors humbly dedicate this endeavour to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Revered Founder Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.


Shah, S. and Sankar, R.N.A. (2013), "Human resource management in the changing business environment of the Indian construction industry: a case study", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 3 No. 6.



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