Hbs Mt. Everest Case Study Essay

1849 Words Jan 31st, 2013 8 Pages
HBS Case Review: Mt. Everest Case Study

The case of Mt. Everest focuses on two commercial expeditions, Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness, and the tragic event on May 10, 1996. These two commercial expeditions were lead by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, and were consisted of 20 members. Both leaders were experienced climbers, but due to several factors, the expedition resulted into five deaths including Hall and Fischer. The event has thought managers to evaluate the importance of leadership together with its internal and external factors that managers should consider to survive in the high risk business world.

Case Study Questions
1) Why did this tragedy occur and what are the root causes of this disaster?
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Hall and Fischer both showed to be strong leaders. With this being said they both failed to set a good role model for their followers and failed to balance their position and the situation well. Both leaders hold an extremely high confidence that prevented them from making the best decisions and prevented them to receive feedbacks from their followers.

Hall showed his confidence by bragging that “he could get almost any reasonably fit person to the summit” (Roberto and Carioggia, p.6). He was also firm that his directions to his followers should be treated as an “absolute law”, which then prevented his followers to offer their knowledge and views. Openness was restricted due to Hall’s strong control towards his followers. This, in turn, stopped his followers from speaking up, even on the simplest situations. Krakauer mentioned that his “ability to discern the obvious was exacerbated to some degree by the guide-client protocol” (p.12) where clients should always follow their guide’s decisions. Hall failed to use his position to encourage openness and good leader-follower communications within his team.

Fischer was 100 percent sure that he will be coming back and will be making all the right choices. This also shows extreme confidence and autocratic leadership, which prevented his followers from giving feedbacks and offering their expertise. For instance, Jangbu did not say anything “out of respect to his authority” (p.11) and continued to

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