Low trust dynamic

Upadhya describes the dynamic as follows:
“Because of cultural stereotypes it is implied that there is a certain level of incompetence that needs to be managed. So there is this whole bunch of things that always get said about Indian engineers, especially from the European perspective, which is where I did the work.

One is that they are too subservient, they don’t assert themselves, they don’t take ownership, they’re not taking initiative in doing, they are very passive. But on the other hand in a sense that’s ‘good’ because they are ‘very good at taking directions’. So you can give them this work and then just go on and let them do it, but you cannot expect innovation from them. So that is the way they are seen. But at the same time if that is the way they are seen they are almost expected to behave that way, right? Because they’re in a situation where they’re not given any responsibility. And if you talk with the Indian engineers one on one, they will never see themselves like this. They see themselves as being very intelligent, very capable and very much capable of doing much better work than what they’re getting. But they’re not getting that kind of work because there is this low trust situation.”

Nevertheless, Upadhya noticed, even though the machine is in many ways controlling the workflow and controlling the work process, people have ways of tricking the machine and they enjoy tricking the machine, getting around the system. Not logging what you’re supposed to log or finding ways to fiddle the system so it doesn’t log what you were doing. And these are computer engineers, so they can do stuff like that. There’s a kind of subversion that happens also sometimes. People don’t talk about it much, but Upadhya thinks it’s very common.