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As noted in Kim & Sikula (2003; 2004), there are three types of people in the workplace: people of Necessity, Common people, and Parasites. A person of Necessity is irreplaceable, crucial to the functioning of an organization. The Common person is a worker of average ability and talent who makes no significant difference to the success of an organization. Parasites are detrimental freeloaders, harmful to the functioning of an organization.

In the 2004 paper we analyzed the survey responses of 25 students in an MBA Organizational Behavior class, and of 13 working managers, all in the United States. In this paper we replicate our 2004 study in a different cultural setting an MBA Organizational Behavior class in Bangalore, India--and then compare the results. The leading traits and behaviors that characterize the Necessity and Parasite categories, in both data sets, are very similar. Significant differences exist, however, between the data sets when it comes to identifying the leading traits and behaviors that define a Common worker. We conclude by exploring potential explanations for the similarities and differences, based on the respondents’ work experience and cultural background.


Authors' copy submitted for online publication. Reprinted with permission from Delhi Institute of Advanced Studies.