My boss does not allow the programmers and artists to communicate outside of email and without CCing him so he can keep an eye on it. I am new to Indian culture, is this normal?
It is not normal.
"Not communicating outside email" would be normal if you work in a highly regulated industry, where your company has a legal requirement that any communication has been documented and can be produced if the company is taken to court. That would apply to anyone, and it would probably be least important for software developers and artists.
"CCing the boss" would make sense in few situations: One, if you handle something that is so critical for the company that the boss needs to be informed about anything going on. Say you are negotiating a ten million dollar deal, I could understand this (I would then expect the boss not to interfere with anything, but communicate with me separately if he finds it is important).
Two, if during my normal day to day communication I run into a problem that my boss might need to solve. Like communicating with a member of another team and not getting anywhere, and at some point you think that maybe your boss needs to talk to his boss to solve the problem. CC to the boss gets my bosses attention (but isn't asking him for action), and gets the other team's member's attention.
Third, if you are absolutely brand new in the workplace with no idea how to write an email properly, so the boss can help you improve your email communication.
Frankly it depends on the boss, his work process and the situation. It is especially useful in a situation where the boss has direct client contact that the employee does not have. If he has all the communications, he knows what has gone on before the client contacts him or he can research a client question during a meeting and look better for having the answer quickly.
My current boss wants to be cc'd on everything not because he doesn't trust us but because he is often pulled into meetings with the client (and in our clase with the clients of the client) with no time to prepare and having a copy of everything makes it easier for him to respond on the fly. This actually allows him to bother us less while he is in a meeting.
My previous boss only wanted anything we thought had potential to be escalated to higher ups. When I worked for a place where we were creating COTS (commercial-Off-The-Shelf) software, I only rarely had to copy my boss in communcations to other people. I have had other bosses that didn't want to get emails at all unless something urgent is happening right that minute.
In an offshore operation, the boss has client meetings onshore that you as a dev do not have generally and probably wants the emails to be prepped in case any questions come up. I kow our offshore people tend to be much more hierarchial than the US people. It would be rare for me to get an email directly from the devs without his or her manager being copied.
I would suspect the reason why the contacts are through emails is to have a paper trail for resolving disputes about what happened. This is often critical when you are in business where you contract to a client as Offshore dev often does becasue disputes can carry contractural penalties.
Your boss can give you three levels of power: - Level 1. Do the tasks, but not take decisions - Level 2. Do the tasks and take decisions whenever needed. - Level 3. Do the tasks, take decisions and use other team members' time when needed
It's normal ccing your boss ONLY if you are doing something out of your current level of delegation, so she can confirm it.