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Crisis in Happiness (B)

ET Cases, 3 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Arti Sharma, Doctoral Student & Prof. Sushanta Kumar Mishra, Professor - IIM Indore

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Crisis in Happiness (B)


Just after the completion of the graduation ceremony, Prof. L.K.Mehta rushed to the Hospital to meet the students and ensured that all their needs are well taken care of. He also met the parents and assured that the institute will take all the measures towards faster recovery of the students. The institute declared to borne the cost of treatment of all the injured students. With immediate effect, Prof. Mehta ordered the constitution of an inquiry committee (Exhibit I) to further probe into the matter. The establishment of committee came as a quick and immediate decision amidst the ceremony..............

Tent House read as,

1. The agency didn’t use new material of standard quality for constructing the stage violating the specifications of the tender. The committee found the usage of old and inferior quality by the M/s Kavita tent house.........

2. The agency consistently ignored the complaints about the defective material and workmanship made by the GMI Business School arrangements committee..........

3. Another reason that emerged was untimely completion of the work. According to the terms and conditions of the contract given to M/s Kavita tent house.........

Followed to this, the institute announced the blacklisting of M/S Kavita tent House for ten years on August 22nd 2014. The institution learned a big lesson form the incident.............



Exhibit I: Inquiry Committee Message to Students

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Crisis in Happiness (B)


Learning Objectives

Leading others amidst the crisis- The Crisis in Happiness case initiates an extensive discussion on leading others in times of a crisis situation. The ripple effect associated with crisis endangers the continuity of the organization and hence requires effective handling by an efficient leader. The research studies have differentiated crisis management from crisis leadership suggesting that it is the leadership executed in managing the crisis that helps an organization survive in the adverse conditions2. The smoldering3 crisis at GMI demonstrates the capability of Prof. L. K. Mehta to carefully assess the panic situation and immediately delegation of responsibilities to the concerned staff. As a prior responsibility, he delegated few faculty members to be present at the hospital with the injured students. He instructed the PR officer to act as the spokesperson for the issue and delegated the public relations officer to handle media solely. On the other hand, he ordered for an immediate probe into the matter finding the reasons for the unfortunate accident.

As seen in the case, Prof. Mehta involved himself in all the crucial decisions and ensured speedy execution by taking regular follow ups for an effective and faster recovery. The case and the related discussion helps students to identify the personality traits of a crisis leader having competencies of positivity, transparency, integrity, mutual concern and respect to inspire and influence others to work. The case presents the entire scenario and pose the question as what the director of the institute should do to manage the crisis. The students are allowed to apply their understanding of the case to provide different perspectives for handling the crisis ensuring the inductive learning process throughout the case. The students may bring out their own personal experiences within the same context and how they managed to account for the responsibilities to fight adversities. This will help the students in form of experiential learning by recalling their own practical experiences............

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Product code: OB-2-0063(b), OB-2-0063(B)


After the crisis of stage collapse injuring many students, the decision of continuing graduation ceremony wasn't appreciated by the students. The students along with the parents wanted some strict action to be taken. The part (B) of the case explains the course of actions actually taken by the director of GMI business school to manage the crisis situation ensuring that such incidence does not happen ever again. The case also explores the role of a leader that can help the organization to revive from the unfortunate incident of uncertainty.

Pedagogical Objective

To present the critical nature of leadership in a crisis situation faced by one of the premier management institute in India and then providing an insight on leading amidst crisis by analyzing critical tasks and the effective media handling during the process.

Case Positioning and Setting

The case can be used in courses on crisis leadership, crisis management and emergency preparedness, disaster management, personnel management, adversarial leadership and industrial training program at different business schools.

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

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