HRD climate in Indian banks: an urban rural comparison.

AuthorLakkoju, Srinivas
PositionHuman Resource Development - Report - Abstract


Nowadays, Indian commercial banks have become technologically vibrant. Through this capability, they attempt to serve efficiently both urban and rural segments. But, they can achieve service parity only by promoting a consistent HRD climate across all divisions. It is frequently held that human resources provide competitive advantage to their organizations through their skills, knowledge and positive attitudes. But, to achieve universal reputation these customer oriented qualities of HR should be pervasive throughout the bank. Anil Khandelwal (2007) felt that HRD movement has helped Bank of Baroda to successfully transform into highly customer centric. Similarly, Priyadarshini and Venkatapathy (2004) observe that HRD climate strongly influences the performance of banks.

HRD climate is an ingredient of organizational climate. It embraces general climate, OCTAPACE culture and HRD mechanisms. General climate includes features like top management's commitment towards HRD, line managers' concern about their subordinates' development, favorable personnel policies, positive attitudes, cooperative work culture, conducive work environment, importance given to human resources, helpful and supportive seniors, opportunities for growth, etc. HRD requires existence of OCTAPACE culture at the workplace. 'Openness' refers to the free exchange of ideas and feelings; 'confrontation' involves frank discussion on workplace problems; 'trust' means having faith in people; 'autonomy' reflects workplace freedom; 'pro-activity' means risk taking and initiative; 'authenticity' refers to being genuine; 'collaboration' involves workplace cooperation and group effort; and 'experimentation' involves doing experiments relating to workplace activities. Effectiveness of HRD as well depends on implementation of several HRD mechanisms viz., training and development, performance and potential appraisal, career planning and development, performance feedback, recognition and rewards, counselling, job-rotation, quality circles, etc. (Rao & Abraham, 1991).

Review of Relevant Studies

Rohmetra (1998) reports significant variations in the HRD climate between State Bank of India (SBI) and J&K Bank. Gani and Shah (2001) find a poor HRD climate in private sector banks. Vijaya et al. (2004) find that the performance appraisal system in State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) is designed well to address the performance needs of managerial personnel ignoring clerical personnel. Chalam and Srinivas (2005) learn that in SBI women employees perceive a favorable HRD climate, despite their subordinated working conditions. Pillai (2008) identifies a moderate degree of HRD climate in banks. Srimannarayana (2008) observes, relatively a lesser degree of favorable HRD climate in the service sector which included banks. This succinct review reveals that there are sector-wise, bank-wise or gender-wise comparative studies, but no location or area-wide studies. Thus, there is a lack of inquiry contributing to internal comparisons between urban and rural branches of any bank. Present study addresses this gap.

Objectives of the Study

Following are the objectives of the study:

* To compare HRD climate perceptions held by the personnel in urban and rural units of the two selected premier public and private sector commercial banks, i.e. State Bank of India and Karur Vysya Bank;

* To discuss the implications of the results.


The study formulates two multivariate hypotheses concerning the intended analysis in each bank surveyed and uses ANOVA (single factor) technique to test them statistically.

Data Source & Sample

This work is an outcome of doctoral survey conducted during 2008 in the State of undivided Andhra Pradesh. The study was conducted among a sample of 400 bank personnel in urban and rural branches/offices belonging to SBI and KVB (Table 1). The samples drawn from both banks are within the 'acceptable' margins of measurement error, i.e. [+ or -] 6.33% (SBI) and [+ or -] 7.75% (KVB). The general rule relative to acceptable margins of error in survey research is 5 - 10% (Suresh & Chandrasekhara, 2012).

Data Analysis

The instrument is a condensed form of the HRD climate survey questionnaire developed by T.V. Rao, which consists of 30 statements dealing with three dimensions of HRD climate. It employs Likert's 5-point scale rating from 'Strongly Agree'-5 to 'Strongly Disagree'-1. The study computes item wise mean values, percentage scores {Percentage score = (mean value--1) x 25} and their differences. The study further computes Cronbach's Alpha reliability estimates for all the three sub-scales used in the study and then notices coefficient alphas ranging between 'acceptable' and 'excellent' levels, indicating strong evidence of reliability (Table 2). George and Mallery (2003:231) provides a thumb rule i.e. [greater than or equal to] .9--excellent, [greater than or equal to] .8--good, [greater than or equal to] .7--acceptable, [greater...

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