The case describes a dispute between the management of Dr. Reddy's and a trade union over the employment terms of contract workers. However, as events unfold over a period of 100 days, one realizes that this dispute reflects several underlying issues, such as accommodating untrained and less skilled contract workers when expertise and automation is what is required for meeting global standards, meeting the challenge of operating from a developing country characterized by local/ traditional value systems and approaches and at the same time having to meet the expectations of customers in the developed world. Basically the organization was struggling to reconcile the livelihood needs of it's unskilled contract workers with the competitive realities faced by the corporation. Had it been a straightforward matter of a wage dispute, the negotiation and settlement of the issue would have been far simpler. But when the dispute over service conditions is only a tip of the iceberg in a multi-stakeholder context, the dilemmas and negotiations become far more complex. Thus, the case presents an opportunity to explore several subjects, such as negotiations, dilemmas of companies from developing countries with an internationalization agenda, learning and general management.
The central theme of this case is dispute resolution and is relevant for courses on Human Resource Management, Negotiations, and General Management. It is primarily intended for use in MBA or executive education programs; however, it would also provide valuable insights in internationally focused courses or those dealing with emerging markets. This case can be taught after teaching the basics of simple two-party dispute resolution and basic distributive and integrative negotiations.