The researcher classifies this research into the category of, critical management studies wherein, human resources management practices are taken for granted. It is certain from this investigation that, employers and practitioners/policy makers have a casual approach toward their employees and have literally given less importance to employee-oriented management practices intentionally or un-intentionally in the view of business performance thereby, gaining and sustaining competitive advantage in the market place. This research reveals of; lack of corporate social responsiveness toward well-being of their employees those, who are the real actors contributing for organizational growth & business performance.
6.1 Cluster Turnover Culture & Existence
The pharmaceutical industry in India, been in its nascent stage in the late 1970s actually geared up its operations only after a decade in the late 1980s. The group job-hopping phenomenon is actually into existence since 1985-onwards but, is an underlying issue unnoticed intentionally/unintentionally. The researcher identify and differentiate the existence of this particular phenomenon on the basis of 3 (three) different hiring practices as depicted below;
Institutional-based hiring (1985-1995):
It has been the phase of exploration and development for the pharmaceutical industry with scarce of talent available to perform research and development activities. So, scientists were poached directly from the academic institutes/colleges through the recommendation of their respective faculties/guides. Thus, referral hiring was enforced and entertained due to the situation at that time.
Need-based hiring (1995-2005):
It has been the phase of growth and achieving globalization status for the pharmaceutical industry wherein talent was available to perform varied R & D based activities. But, specific talent been available in market place led to poaching of recruits directly from the organizations through the recommendation of their respective superiors/peers. Thus, referral hiring was enforced due to the intensifying competition in the market place.
Practice-based hiring (2005-till date):
It has been the phase of gaining sustainable advantage through remaining competitive in the market place for the pharmaceutical industry with enormous talent available to perform varied &
complex R & D based activities. But, by now it has been a custom to hire recruits in groups to develop varied products available with the competitors to sustain market competition and globalization status. This decade experienced a hype of this particular phenomenon wherein, R & D Chiefs have been entertained to poach a group of scientists.
6.2 Cluster Turnover Culture & Evidence
It is evident that, group job-hopping phenomenon viz. cluster turnover culture is into existence in the pharmaceutical industry. The acceptance of cluster turnover culture that, which was actually noticeable since the year 1995 led to an actual hype exclusively, for a span of more than 6 years since 2000-2006 thereby, been the most abnormal years in the history of pharmaceutical industry in India. This phenomenon is unique to pharmaceutical industry and exists on both, R & D and commercial side of the business. It is not only restricted to pharma research – technology & innovation – management organizations in India but, is also experienced in all the innovative companies, globally. The business development group is actually aware of the market needs in the continuously changing business environment. These market needs are actually fulfilled by the R & Ds and therefore, many times these two groups viz. R & D Team along with the Business Development group move together in a drove from one employer to another that, which impart cluster turnover culture in pharmaceutical industry. As a researcher, I have observed both, R & D Chief with his cluster of scientists along with the Head of Business Development Group and his subordinates moving to a company in Mumbai from a company in Hyderabad. They have hopped together with their individual group members in the past also from a company in Pune to this particular company in Hyderabad.
6.3 Cluster Turnover Culture & Development/Propagation
Timely delivery of products and opportunities to do business in the market place to secure immediate profits has led to the development & propagation of this particular phenomenon. To achieve global standards to operate internationally is also one of the prime reasons toward acceptance of cluster turnover culture. Therefore, to achieve and sustain its globalization status, definitely with an intention to perform to its best in terms of varied product offerings along with performing of several complex activities and providing varied pharma related services, pharma industry in India encouraged and propagated cluster turnover culture. This desperate act of, cluster turnover culture acceptance performed intentionally/unintentionally support the imitator individual that, which is a need for developing economies.
6.4 Cluster Turnover Culture & Social Change
Social change is driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces. Entrepreneurial individuals and continuous innovation are vital components of successful organizations. It is evident that, Indian Pharmaceutical Industry has contributed substantially performing considerably with several remarkable achievements among all the industrial sectors within the Indian industry. The timely adaptability and mastering of varied technological and operational aspects essential toward development of cost-effective quality pharma products is truly enduring and rewarding for many of the yester years today’s Indian pharma MNC’s. This enabled it to achieve the signature status for providing reliable innovative services and products to the Global Pharma Inc. The Indian Pharma Industry created enormous employment opportunities and, therefore, several citizens went to opt for a professional career in this field of pharma research-technology & innovation-management. Several citizens also took the risk to opt for an entrepreneur career with greed toward grasping substantial profits. The Indian Pharma Industry was a blessing for the Indian society thereby, serving the poor with low priced drugs, gifting the educated with handful of jobs, and benefiting the entrepreneurs/risk takers with handsome profits.
This have been possible due to the entertaining & encouraging of, cluster turnover culture or else it would have not been possible because, R & D work to develop an API needs a substantial time period with tremendous efforts & investment. Readymade processes in the form of technologies were made available by poaching a group of scientists as technologists with an expertise to develop & manufacture desired products. Thus, poaching of scientists in a group actually leads to turnover of technologies from one employer to another along with the voluntary turnover of scientists. Therefore, it is more of a turnover of technology that is entertained through the encouragement of this particular phenomenon of, group job-hopping.
6.5 Characteristics of R & D Chief’s Cluster
The group is closed, formal, and heterogeneous in nature with several roles played by the individuals/members of the group. Each individual is known for a particular expertise and considered as an expert for the development of a few products and thus, accordingly group status is assigned. There are at-least 5-6 members in R & D Chief’s cluster with a maximum of 70 also that, which depends on the organization he/she is been poached into and for what activities, with what intention poached by the employers. In general, there are 6-12 members in R & D Chief’s cluster those, who migrate from one employer to another. The dependency of the group is solely
on the R & D Chief as he/she is considered as a prime authority for decision making in the group and also considered as an important strategist by the employer where he/she joins. So, R & D Chief is the only sole decision making member in the R & Ds. There are at the most 2-3 levels of hierarchy in the R & D Chief’s cluster. Every member is aware of his/her role play within the group and is enriched with varied functional abilities to perform the tasks thereby, achieve organizational goals as promised by the R & D Chief to the employers at the time of joining the organization.
6.6 Cluster Turnover Culture & Organizational Leadership
The employer in the pharmaceutical industry initially to acquire knowledge and experience of the work processes related to R & D activities imitated the brand leaders’ products thereby, following their basic patent processes. This activity of imitating the processes toward product development by the entrepreneur gave them the status of imitator individual. This has been indicated in the literature on entrepreneurship that, imitator individuals play a vital role in the developing economies and thus, India was not an exception for this. The organizational leadership till date has been directed to the imitating of products & processes of the off-patented drugs thereby, increase the product offerings in the market place. Therefore, organizational leadership with an emphasis on business performance tactfully & strategically made use of the available resources i.e. tacit talent (scientists) to suitably achieve the level of globalization status.
6.7 Cluster Turnover Culture & HRM Practices
One of the key issues is that there exist varied HRM practices toward managing of scientists. This non-uniformity of HRM practices throughout the pharmaceutical industry in India is because; enterprises are operating on different scale depending on their ability to perform & capacity to deliver in the market place. Thus, organizations differ with respect to business performance and gaining of revenues in terms of profits from their respective businesses.
To elaborate more on the levels of operation, pharmaceutical industry in India is typically divided into three different categories wherein, there exist top notch pharma companies those, which are engaged in the manufacture & supply of the APIs/Generics both, domestically and internationally in regulated markets. The medium scale pharma companies those, which are engaged in the manufacture & supply of the APIs/Generics both, domestically and internationally in non-regulated markets. The bottom line pharma companies those, which are engaged in the third party job work thereby, manufacture & supply APIs/Generics both, to top notch and medium
scale pharma companies. These differential patterns business operations actually govern the business processes and releasing of funds in terms of formulating HRM policies & procedures viz. remuneration to be incurred by the employees, appreciation & recognition for performance, etc… with major portion of the profits contributing to employees’ pay. Thus, there exists a great difficulty to have uniform HRM practices throughout the pharmaceutical industry.
R & D Chief has been considered a parallel option to recruitment agents and advertisements thereby; money saver strategy thus, is an issue. Academic institutions are also a contributory toward this phenomenon thereby, alumni feeling leads to poaching of the recruit into the organization
6.8 Cluster Turnover Culture & Organizational Issues
Growth and career advancement of the scientists is an issue thereby, hierarchical structures in pharma R & Ds are limited and more or less flat organizational structures are preferred. Learning and developing opportunities toward personal & professional enhancement thereby, acquiring of new skill-sets is also one of the prime reasons for its existence. Lack of succession planning of senior executives next to the R & D heads is a concern that, which can arrest this problem of group job-hopping to some extent. Succession for performers or a competent top level executive is a left over issue to be addressed till date in the R & D’s. Innovation is a key and we were busy duplicating the processes for the APIs/Generics and in the process thereby, losing the focus toward incorporating an innovation culture competing internally benefiting the overseas clients!
6.9 Cluster Turnover Culture & Un-intended Consequence
Indian Pharma Inc to achieve the globalization status actually entertained this desperate act initially but, it has become a deliberate act to sustain competitive advantage in terms of competition on international platform to match with each other with similar product offerings. This deliberate act is actually encouraging this particular phenomenon and in the process is leading to securing of reduced profit margins with considerable benefits to the international agents or clients. The existence of cluster turnover culture in the pharmaceutical industry is a cause of frustration amongst the scientists, with an inducement of persistent fear toward their personal well-being & professional stability to sustain in the profession. Some of the key un-intended consequences are depicted below;
• No intention to opt scientific careers due to lack of appreciation in terms of money & fame
• Closure of organizations due to loss making along with no/reduced new business opportunities
• Achieved globalization status but, no major achievements as far as radical innovations are concerned
This research reveals the factors associated with scientists’ decisions regarding voluntary turnover. The phenomenological approach was supported in this research study that, which relates to management studies. This research study has contributed to the existing literature on turnover research on the scientist fraternity. The literature emphasizes job-hopping on individual front but, this research study fills the gap with the emphasis on an un-researched issue of, group job-hopping in a cluster/group from one employer to another. The study with an increased understanding of the employee’s reality emphasize the causal factors (economical, socio-psychological, psychological) for voluntary turnover decisions that, which is useful as a focal point for the employers, practitioners, and policy makers to address the issue of voluntary turnover of scientists.
Scientists are more concerned of their personal growth & career advancement. Initial span of 0-5 years of their professional career, people tend to have several changes or keep up moving from one organization to another and there is no engagement possible as the drive for money is a major aspect than that of the brand. But, after passing a span more than 5 years with obligations on personal fronts Scientists thereof, family responsibility and intention of the scientists to settle down in a particular company becomes the prime motto. But, due to the existence of the contemporary phenomenon of cluster turnover culture, this motto is not an ease to fulfil and therefore, to sustain in the profession, the scientists have to either accept the cluster membership if provided or move individually for no membership provided. Generally, it’s been observed and experienced as well that, nearly 90% of the scientists employed in this particular profession are having a cluster membership. Thus, job-hopping for increased pay in the initial phase of professional career and job-hopping to sustain in the professional career in the later phase of their professional is what is contributing to the voluntary turnover of scientists. The opportunity to perform high calibre jobs / specific tasks, and appreciation for their efforts are utmost important aspects of job satisfaction for the scientists. Scientists have a continuous fear of job-insecurity and professional stability to sustain in the profession due to lack of management initiatives
toward their well-being. The results of this study provide a more thorough understanding of the events surrounding scientists’ voluntary turnover decisions.
Initially, to achieve market recognition probably, every company has entertained this cluster turnover culture thereof, having poaching of the technologies and enhancing upon the product pipeline to deliver in the market place. As the company goes global this phenomenon is not an ultimatum to perform as the network on global fronts assure solution to each and every problem thus, skills are important to focus than that of knowledge of the product development.
This study reveals lack of corporate social responsiveness toward employees’ well-being in the view of business performance and market sustainability. Economic recovery and more challenging jobs – a common explanation for labour turnover can be resolved by more effective retention mechanisms in anticipation of an economic recovery; such mechanism should be complemented by genuine efforts to raise competence levels including allowing more scope for innovation along with personal growth & professional enhancement assured to the employees. References probably, should be used as a ground to locate or identify appropriate candidates but, shouldn’t act as a base of dependability of the reference. After all value addition to the company is a matter of fact in the long run.
This research has touched base on the phenomenon of job hopping in the organizations, which at times, becomes a noose for their further growth and objectives. Although several researches have been carried out in the past on the phenomenon of job hopping in different settings, however, there has been a marked change in the nature of job hopping among the individual employees in the recent past. At times, a bandwagon effect is also observed among the employees in their bid to leave the organization. Thus, the organizations are making attempts at ensuring that their employees linger on to the organization for a good number of years. This is more applicable for the employees who are among the most prized ones for the organizational mission achievement. Organizations, therefore, pre-empt the attempts of such valued employees from leaving the organization by designing effective and innovative HR policies, catering to their professional as well as the personal needs.
But, job-hopping of scientists is a serious issue and, should be brought up in the country’s parliament. In fact, this is a deep concern at national level that needs an immediate attention to secure from the adverse effects of India’s competitiveness. Group job-hopping of scientists for
over nearly 15 years has imposed a chronic turnover problem. Instead turnover problem is caused by the factors those, which are under the control of management especially, the companies are not doing enough to create a sense of belongingness and commitment in their employees and their management practices are lacking in fairness and transparency. Management have to take an initiative to have more of employee interaction that, which will definitely help them to understand and identify aspirations of individual employees. This step of employee interaction will also enable to induce a sense management care amongst the employees which will be definitely a first step toward employee engagement. The care taken will create a feeling of security and therefore, will build upon the trust of the employees on the management thereby, enhancing employee-employer relationship.
6.11 Scope & Limitations of the Study
This study is applicable to the pharma research-technology & innovation-management organizations in the Pharmaceutical Industry. It relates to voluntary turnover of Scientists viz. CRT (Chemical-Research & Technology) professionals engaged in the research, development & manufacture, and analysis of APIs/Generic Drug Substances. This research informs of scientists’ turnover reduction strategy to the employers and practitioners or policy makers those, related to pharma research-technology & innovation-management with an engagement in APIs/Generics businesses. It also emphasize on the addressing & controlling of the situation thereof, group job-hopping phenomenon of scientists’ with recommendations in the view of doing business devoid of entertaining and encouraging group job-hopping phenomenon & cluster turnover culture.
This research is an exploration of situational & context specific contemporary phenomenon thereof, group job-hopping of scientists limited to pharma research-technology & innovation-management organizations engaged in the APIs/Generics businesses. It also limits to the study of Scientists viz. CRT-professionals those, engaged in chemical-research & technology development of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) i.e. Generic drug substances. This investigation restricts to stake-holders who are unique i.e. related to APIs/Generics businesses with the primary stake-holders (scientists) who are at the mid-career stage in their professional career. The study had a limitation of time and money with a limitation of applicability to pharmaceuticals with no exploration into bio-pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, etc… The primary stake-holders are related to the research side of the business and therefore, limitation of not exploring the experiences of professionals on the commercial side of the business in the pharmaceuticals sector.