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Managing a Crisis: Accountability vs Responsibility

CASE BRIEF, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
ET Cases, 51.12 minutes
PUBLISHED DATE: 08/05/2015
Product code: OB-3-0020, OB-3-0020A

In this Case Brief, Srinivas Kishan Anapu, the former CIO of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. and currently the Co-founder & CEO of Voice of Big Data, narrates his travails in managing a crisis out of Satyam Computers’ fraud.

Abstract

In this Case Brief, Srinivas Kishan Anapu, the former CIO of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. and currently the Co-founder & CEO of Voice of Big Data, narrates his travails in managing a crisis out of Satyam Computers' fraud. Ramalinga Raju, the Founder & CEO, of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., the erstwhile bellwether of Indian IT industry who was held in highest esteem for his exemplary leadership and stewardship, was abruptly tainted with India's biggestever corporate scam. Announcing this on the fateful January 7th 2009 through the (in) famous letter Riding the Tiger1, Ramalinga Raju admitted that there were deliberate misgivings placing enormous financial pressure and threat to the very existence of the illustrious company. What followed was a saga of traumatic moments for 53,000 employees and the leadership  team, including the CIO (Chief Information Officer), Srinivas Kishan Anapu.

Being the CIO of the company, he knew his role was to serve internal customers and to manage external customers. But never did he imagine that his role also would demand traumatic interactions with India's premier investigative agency, the CBI and such agencies as CB-CID, SEBI, SFIO, and most importantly the Judiciary. Should he defend the status quo? Should he defend his loyalty or his professional dignity? Should he defend his team or should he sacrifice them at the altar of excruciating personal trauma?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the role of a CIO of a large IT Solutions company in managing a corporate crisis
  • To develop and hone a sense of empathy for the people managing a crisis, especially for those who haven’t had any fathomable or perceptible role in the underlying crisis
  • To examine the role of personal character/personal values in managing a crisis and what kind of leadership might suit the crisis times
  • To discuss and debate on the processes and practices that can be developed and deployed in managing crises of a well-known, actively traded Public Company

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