Case Study – Mismanagement of Leadership


There are efforts made to mimic the ‘best practices’ globally, by many companies, however, many a times these are merely thoughts. What is uncanny though is that even though there are numerous statements made about management practices, there is little or no leadership at various places, Big Brands and Name.

High potential talents, highly experienced professionals are sharing their thoughts with us on how they have been ridiculed and mismanaged by the leaders of the Organisation which boast of their vision and leadership. One such case which is shared by a silent reader is presented here.

Rajat, was looking after the over all operations and expansion plans of the company. He has enjoyed the past several years and have found the assignments, to be both intellectually stimulating and experience wise rewarding, and as he also worked in diversified fields, departments and organizations ranging from engineering, domestic appliances, pharmaceuticals to cosmetics and FMCG. The total Span of experience is 35 years.

He joined this company as Unit Head of their factory and was reporting to Unit Director. He was given full charge of the Unit and took over the systems which were almost non existent. From introduction of new techniques and more than 100 needs based systems to training the whole team to follow and implement systems he made almost all departments of The Unit, right from Accounts to Production started to function smoothly. In a year or so the Unit Team learnt to work on systems and not on personal commands.

Discipline of systems & maintenance of hygiene resulted in considerable growth in Production as well.

Since all operations were looked after by Rajat, the team approached him for all issues and solutions. His decisions were quick and clear.

Although in every thing development Director was kept informed verbally and in writing too, yet he felt neglected and isolated, despite the fact that all vital powers were still with him. Earlier he was handling all issues and was surrounded by people always. But now the things have changed, rather transformed but he did not take it positively and started complaining against Rajat to the top bosses. He encouraged some employees to extract and convey to him in age old style and language, “Whats going on, eh? Kya khabar hai”

This was enough to divide the team in two groups i.e. Rajat’s team and his team.  Quality of operations deteriorated. And to control the situation before it hampers more Top bosses interfered and decided a way out. They said,” Rajat has introduced and implemented the systems now he should hand it over to the Director and start looking into audit of the quality of systems he follows.” Rajat agreed and kept sitting in his cabin and asked for documents to audit. For one full month none came nor could The Director respond to the queries raised by Rajat. Now the problem is Rajat is writing daily to Top Bosses about the serious irregularities but no action.

Now no body is interfering. Why? May be, because they have their own kind of compulsions which stops them from being involved, Rajat kept sitting in his cabin and waited for documents, as he was told not to communicate with any one.

Now Rajat says that, “the lesson I get is that if hierarchy cannot make a team, it is myth. Because it takes lot of depth, experience and maturity to decide and implement division of powers and rolls judiciously. If hierarchy operates like age old caste system, then anarchy and dictatorship is much better an option. I am truly appalled by this mismanagement madness, and constantly strive to find some semblance of sanity”

So what caused the hue and cry, the attribution of responsibility, blame, credit, the attribution of causal connections and the attribution of simple mismanagement? Which one?

In such companies, people are not allowed to think only a limited and tightly regulated repertoire of beliefs, behaviors and emotions is permissible.

I would not give the solutions for this case study, this time demand from all of you a solution/s. Is the organisation at fault, can’t be as it’s a mere entity, when this kind of mismanagement blends with learned helplessness, it reinforces even further people’s already strong inclination to over-identify with the norms that have been decreed by the group’s leaders. The leaders, meanwhile, have adorned themselves in the garb of omniscience and infallibility.

Thus, the accounts of organisational actors cannot be read simply to discover an invariable and unyielding objective truth about organizations and their mismanagement, but rather to explore their meaning for the actors(specially leaders) involved, their attributes, how they perceive and handle situations, such actors who would like to flaunt but are shallow beneath.


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