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CASE LENS ON INITIATIVE IN THE BACKDROP OF HOLLYWOOD MOVIE, THE LADY*

CASE LENS, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 4.07 Minutes
AUTHOR(S) : Vandana Jayakumar and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Teaching Note Preview

CASE LENS ON INITIATIVE IN THE BACKDROP OF HOLLYWOOD MOVIE, THE LADY

 

Synopsis

This Case Lens helps understand a very significant trait of an individual’s personality i.e., the ability to take initiative. Developed in the backdrop of the movie, The Lady, this Case Lens captures the essence of initiative based on the real-life story of Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK), leader of Burma’s struggle for freedom from the oppressive military regime. ASSK, with the unconditional support of her husband Dr. Michael Aris (Dr. Aris) and the rest of her family, takes the initiative to lead the freedom movement. Her achievement lies not just in taking the first step but also in enduring the hardships to implement/execute the initiative. This Case Lens helps understand the building blocks of an individual’s ability to take initiative and also enables an understanding on the critical elements of the path from ‘taking initiative’ to its execution. Most importantly, it helps answer the question, what is the role of initiative in one’s career? Can it be a career enhancer?

Prerequisite Viewing/Mandatory Viewing

The students/participants need to mandatorily watch the movie The Lady. Honoring all the expected IPR issues, every participant must be encouraged to acquire a copy of the movie through legally approved means and format. The temptation of either exhibiting the movie in the classroom or the students/participants downloading the movie from any hosting sites should be desisted lest we set unwarranted precedents in violating mandatory IPRs.

Classroom Orchestration

This Case Lens (video consisting the introduction and the accompanying five questions) can be orchestrated in the classroom in the following suggested flow:

1. Asking the students/participants to view the movie 2-3 days before the classroom discussion
2. Playing/exhibiting the Case Lens video in the classroom
3. Ideally, the class should be divided into four Learning Teams and they should be asked to prepare for all the questions. After giving them about 15 minutes, the classroom discussion/analysis should be attempted. This can be executed either by asking one of the teams randomly to present their analysis or each team should be allowed to lead a discussion for each of the questions
4. Each question would take varying times [the suggested timings are given in Exhibit (TN)-I] and it is highly recommended that the last 5 minutes should be spent on debriefing and synthesizing. The debriefing segment should be used to synthesize the expected learning outcomes of this Case Lens.

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Case Lens Positioning and Setting

This Case Lens as a pedagogical tool can be used for either of the following;

• MBA Programs: Human Resource Management Course in Performance Management Module
Executive Development Programs/MDPs: To help the participants understand the importance of taking initiative to be successful in one’s career

Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this Case Lens discussion/analysis, each of the participants/students should be able to understand/appreciate

• The importance of ‘initiative’ as a career enhancer
• ASSK’s ‘initiative to implementation’ paradigm and discuss on what it takes to carry an initiative through its logical implementation
• The important lessons from ASSK’s life that have significant resonance in one’s corporate career

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Assignment Questions

The assignment questions, as outlined in the Case Lens video, are:

I. In the beginning of the movie (00:10:47–00:11:10), Aung San Suu Kyi is shown to be a dutiful homemaker, leading her life with family at Oxford. However, once she visits her ailing mother in Burma, she does not come back to Oxford at all. What were the factors that prompted Aung San Suu Kyi to take the initiative of leading Burma’s freedom movement despite all the impending dangers?

II.....................

Preamble to the Case Lens Discussion

The purpose of this Case Lens is to help understand the importance of initiative as a career enhancer. Assuming that the students/participants would have watched the movie before the classroom discussion, this Case Lens poses a series of questions which enable an understanding on the critical elements that enable an individual to take initiative and also take it through its logical implementation.............

Case Lens: Classroom Discussion and Analysis

I. Presentation by Learning Team 1

In the beginning of the movie (00:10:47–00:11:10), Aung San Suu Kyi is shown to be a dutiful homemaker, leading her life with family at Oxford. However, once she visits her ailing mother in Burma, she does not come back to Oxford at all. What were the factors that prompted Aung San Suu Kyi to take the initiative of leading Burma’s freedom movement despite all the impending dangers?

Members from Learning Team 1 suggested the following to be the factors that prompted ASSK to take the initiative of leading Burma’s freedom movement despite the impending dangers:

• She was the daughter of Burma’s slain national hero, Aung San. While she does not demonstrate overtly, but perhaps she had a hidden vengeance against the military regime that had assassinated her father. By fighting for Burma’s freedom struggle, she got an opportunity to bring justice to her father.
• Despite living far-off in England, she was always connected to the developments in Burma. She was very much aware of the oppression that the Burmese were subjected to.
• She got an opportunity to see the oppression first-hand when she visited her ailing mother. She was appalled to see the plight of her fellow Burmese.
•........................

Exhibits

Exhibit (TN)-I: The Case Lens’ Classroom Orchestration

Exhibit (TN)-II: Discussion Questions

Exhibit (TN)-III: Role of Dr. Aris in ASSK’s Initiative

Exhibit (TN)-IV: ‘Purpose for an Initiative’ and ‘Support for Execution’

Exhibit (TN)-V: PACE in ASSK’s Personality

Exhibit (TN)-VI: STAR

Exhibit (TN)-VII: Relationship between Taking Initiative and Success in One’s Career

Exhibit (TN)-VIII: Performance Management – Behavioral Examples of Taking Initiative

Exhibit (TN)-IX: Initiative in Performance Management

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Product code: HRM-7-0072, HRM-7-0072A

Abstract

This Case Lens on 'initiative' is based on the movie, 'The Lady'. An initiative is 'an ability to assess and initiate things independently' or 'the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do'. It is just not taking the first step but seeing through its expected execution or implementation. 'The Lady' demonstrates how Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi (played by Michelle Yeoh) takes the initiative to gift her country the freedom from oppressive rule of the Generals. The freedom did not come easily and fast enough. It came with several personal sacrifices, commitment to the purpose, holding forte despite several setbacks, etc. While many take an initiative, why are only a few able to take it through execution and its logical conclusion? What can we learn from Aung San Suu Kyi's (ASSK) initiative panorama?



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the importance of ‘initiative’ as a career enhancer
  • To analyze Aung San Suu Kyi’s ‘initiative to implementation paradigm’ and discuss on what it takes to carry an initiative through its logical implementation
  • To discuss and debate on the important lessons from Aung San Suu Kyi’s life that have significant resonance in one’s corporate career

Case Lens Positioning and Setting
This Case Lens as a pedagogical tool can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs: Human Resource Management Course in Performance Management Module
  • Executive Development Programs/MDPs: To help the participants understand the importance of taking initiative to be successful in one’s career


*It should be noted that participants/ students are expected to see the movie before they participate in a classroom discussion/analysis of any of the CASELENS’ products



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Lens
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
$18.28
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