Chanakya IAS Academy Blog

You are a no-nonsense, honest officer. You have been transferred to a remote district to head a department that is notorius for its inefficiency and callousness.

You find that the main cause of the poor state of affairs is the indiscipline of a section of employees. They do not work themselves and also disrupt the working of others. You first warned the troublemakers to mend their ways or else face disciplinary action. When the warning had little effect, you issued a show cause notice to the ringleaders. As a retailiatory measure, these troublemakers instigated a women employee amongst them to file a Complaint of sexual harassment against you with the women’s Commission. The Commisssion promptly seeks your explanation. The matter is also publicized in the media to embarrass you further. Some of the options to handle this situation could be as follows:

  • Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action.
  • Ignore the Commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action.
  • Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly.

Suggest any other possible option(s). Evaluate all of them and suggest the best course of action, giving your reasons for it. (250 words)

Note: this answer has been written for the purposes of explanation; Hence, it may not adhere to word limit. For examination purposes, phrases instead of full sentences could be used.

  • INTRODUCTION:
  • The above case presents a situation where indiscipline of a section of employees is causing inefficiencies and disrupting the functioning of a department. As head of the department, disciplinary action has been taken by me. But the same has resulted in a fabricated complaint of sexual harassment by a female employee, causing great personal harm to me.
  • The presents a classic predicament of need to adhere to duty while facing great personal harm and discomfort.
  • An evaluation of the various options available to me, follows:
    1. 1. Option 1- Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Preventing personal harm by clarifying facts in the case to the commission Foregoing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by going soft on disciplinary action
      Responding to call of authority of the Commission; exhibiting a sense of transparency and accountability Giving in to wrong means used by the section of employees to thwart the enquiry
      Maintaining a good public image in media Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing
      Shows sensitivity towards women and women issues Promoting the section of employees to be further more indisciplined; would lower the motivation levels of other employees
    2. 2. Ignore the commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Doing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by continuing with the departmental enquiry Not responding to public authority; doesn’t exhibit sense of transparency and accountability
      Not giving in to wrong means used by the employees Could cause great personal harm
      Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing Good Image of public servants not maintained in media
      Raising the motivation levels of other employees who do their duty No response to Commission shows insensitivity to women issues
    3. 3. Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly
      Merits Demerits
      Ensuring effective communication with seniors- honouring lines of authority; Shows less initiative from my side
      will help seek their guidance and experience in such matters; Caving in to the pressure to some extent
      taking the seniors into confidence on the matter could prevent/reduce personal harm later

       

    4. 4. Reply to the commission’s notice, brief higher-ups about the incident and continue disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Preventing personal harm by clarifying facts in the case to the commission Could still lead to personal harm as the case of sexual harassment may cause emotional stress to me and my family; also affect my career records
      Responding to call of authority of the Commission; exhibiting a sense of transparency and accountability; Maintaining a good public image in media; Shows sensitivity towards women and women issues  
      Ensuring effective communication with seniors- honouring lines of authority; will help seek their guidance and experience in such matters; taking the seniors into confidence on the matter could prevent/reduce personal harm later  
      Doing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by continuing with the departmental enquiry; Not giving in to wrong means used by the employees; Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing  
      Raising the motivation levels of other employees who do their duty  

Hence, Option 4 is the most holistic course of action with least demerits. It is through this option that I can fulfil all my duty obligations, respond to authority of the Commission, take seniors into confidence as well as minimise personal harm.

Read 251 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 16:09
Login to post comments