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Choosing the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for Ahmedabad*

CASE STUDY, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
ET Cases - GSMC, 18 Pages

Case Preview

Choosing the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for Ahmedabad

 

Following the initial presentation in August 2007 of the first volume of comprehensive mobility plan, the Steering Committee overseeing the development of Urban Infrastructure in Ahmedabad had some tough choices to make. Based on the deliberations within the committee, the commissioner of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) was to decide if AMC should start the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project as part of its existing Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) or create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), mentioned as a possibility by the Project Review Committee (PRC) of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). The decision was strategically crucial and practically irreversible.

Choosing where to locate BRTS posed a challenge because there were pros and cons of each alternative, and no successful model existed for replication. The cities of Delhi and Pune had met with no or limited success of BRTS and there was resistance from the people. Project success, which heavily depended on acceptance by the people of the city, was critical, and it was necessary to figure out whether creation of a separate subunit will enhance the probability of success or not. Effective launch and management of service were needed, raising claims on administrative and managerial capability. Once the decision was finalized in consultation with the Mayor and the key senior managers in charge of the elected and executive wings of AMC, the Commissioner needed to seek the approval of the state Chief Minister (CM) before applying for funds under the JnNURM.

The initial presentation was made to the Steering Committee by the Associate Director of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad as the representative of the CEPT University, which was the Design Consultant (DC). DC team members were supported by Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB), constituted in Gujarat for the specific purpose. The steering committee comprised the Chairman – Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), Municipal Commissioner – AMC, CEO – GIDB............

Teaching Note Preview

Choosing the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for Ahmedabad

 

Synopsis

This case study introduces the decision issue, the key decision-makers and the opportunities and challenges faced by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that manages the Public Urban Transport (PUT) in Ahmedabad. Since traditional bus service is already being provided by the AMTS, a background of AMTS is also given so as to enable the reader to determine whether the proposed BRTS could best be introduced as an extended service of AMTS or a new organization should be created for it. The case provides information from different perspectives, based on which the readers should identify and weigh the pros and cons of each of the two alternative ways of launching the service in Ahmedabad.

In the process, the readers are expected to familiarize themselves with the context of public urban transport in a metro city like Ahmedabad, India, and explore the reasons that give rise to structural ambidexterity in established organizations. Note that the typical ambidextrous thinking is likely to arise at the time of transition and/or launch of a new product or service in complex organizations. From the perspective of organization theory, structural separation would also raise the need for integration. Over and above that, ambidexterity literature also highlights the significance of the role played by several organizational processes that are needed for attempted structural ambidexterity to lead to greater effectiveness, or the factor the weak presence of which raises the need for structural separation.

Pedagogical Objectives

The objective of this case is to facilitate the reader’s understanding of strategic and operational concerns that push for structural ambidexterity in an existing organization as it evolves through phases of its life cycle. This case study has the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) as the parent organization, the senior decision-makers of which have to decide who will provide their forthcoming Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) service: the existing Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) that provides the traditional bus service in the city, or a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Pedagogically, the analysis of this case is intended to help achieve the following objectives:

  • • Consider the factors influencing the choice of an organizational form
  • • Introduce the issues associated with the public urban transport in the Indian context

 

You will need to remind the class a few times that they need to analyze the available information as if the service is not launched yet.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding (PCU)/Before the Classroom Discussion

This case study can be used for post graduate or under-graduate students of Organization Theory and Design, as well as Macro OB. It can also be used for Management Development Programs on Publicor Urban Transport. A 75-minute session with previously distributed assignment questions would be adequate.

Case Positioning and Setting

This case can be used for post- or under- graduate students of Organization Theory and Design, as well as Macro OB. It can also be used for Management Development Programs on Public- or Urban Transport. A 75-minute session with previously distributed assignment questions would be adequate.

Assignment Questions

  • 1. What are the pros and cons of launching BRTS as a second service of AMTS?
  • 2. What are the pros and cons of launching BRTS under a separate organization?
  • 3. .............

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Abstract

This case study describes how an organization managing public urban transport in the city of Ahmedabad lapsed into prolonged decline as its managers allowed its  ‘social goals’ to dominate over ‘business goals’ rather than balancing both, even if contradictory. This trade-off engendered neglect of changing commuter needs.  Various institutional pressures and incentives presented the managers with another contradiction: catering to the needs of traditional commuters while responding to  needs of emerging commuters. The managers had to decide if the initiative should be started in the existing subunit or in a specially created subunit.


Pedagogical Objectives
The objective of this case study is to facilitate the reader’s understanding of strategic and operational concerns that push for structural ambidexterity in an existing organization as it evolves through phases of its life cycle. This case study has the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) as the parent organization, the senior decision-makers of which have to decide who will provide their forthcoming Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) service: the existing Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) that provides the traditional bus service in the city, or a special purpose vehicle (SPV).


Case Positioning and Setting
This case study can be used for post graduate or under-graduate students of Organization Theory and Design, as well as Macro OB. It can also be used for Management Development Programs on Public- or Urban Transport.


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

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- Abstract
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- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)

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