Friday, September 30, 2011

Tragedy on Everest

BREASHEARS David, HANSEN Morten T., VAN DER HEYDEN Ludo

© 2011 INSEAD Case Study

This case describes the tragedy that occurred on Everest in 1996 - when teams led by highly-skilled guides got caught in a terrible storm, causing the death of the team leaders and several of the client climbers. It delves into the factors that help teams survive when they encounter turbulence, and why others in similar circumstances meet tragedy. The case builds on the experience of one of the team leaders who was on the mountain that year, and discusses three different teams on the mountain that year.

Pedagogical Objectives: The main objective is to discuss high performance team leadership under turbulence. The recent financial crisis has provided a particularly vivid context for this case. It can be taken from different angles: leadership, collaborative team work (or not), crisis management, and managing under turbulent conditions. Further materials are being developed for the case (video excerpts, teaching note, transparencies).