Sourav Ganguly (A): A Case Study in Leadership

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN048 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Human Resource Management/ Organizational Behavior, Leadership

Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2000-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Not Applicable
Industry : Sports and Entertainment
Countries : India


This case is about the charismatic and controversial former captain of the Indian national cricket team, Sourav Ganguly (Ganguly). The case outlines the emergence of Ganguly as a leader, his spectacular rise and subsequent fall from grace. Ganguly became the captain of the team in 2000, when it was in a deep crisis. Over the next few years, with the help of the coach John Wright, he soon turned the team into a combative unit. His team building skills, impartiality and, guts displayed in supporting his team members through thick and thin, endeared him to the team. Experts credited him with instilling a sense of aggression in the team. Ganguly soon became the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket.

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The case also discusses the fall of Ganguly in 2005 and his public spat with coach Greg Chappell (Chappell) which led to his exit from the team. With a section of the media running a vilification campaign against him and the team management being clear that it did not want him back in the team, the international career of Ganguly seemed to be over. Since age was not on his side, few felt that Ganguly could make a comeback into the team. But Ganguly refused to announce his retirement and continued to fight to win back his place in the team despite all the odds.

The case will help understand various issues in human resource management and organizational behavior such as leadership, motivation, team building, etc.


  Understand the issues and challenges in leadership and team building / team management.

  Understand the theories in leadership (trait theory, etc.)

  Understand and make generalizations on the various concepts of group dynamics, change management, conflict management, etc.

  Appreciate the importance of people skills for a leader / manager.


  Page No.
A Charismatic and Controversial Leader 1
Background Note 3
Emergence as Leader 4
Some Hallmarks of Ganguly's Leadership 7
Getting the Better of the 'Iceman' 11
Beginning of the Decline 12
The Infamous Public Spat 14
Chappell Gets His Way 16
More Criticisms of Ganguly 16
The Fighter Refuses to Quit 17
Exhibits 19


Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly, Leadership, Charismatic leader, Intuitive leader, Team building, Motivation, Group dynamics, Performance Management, Attitude, BCCI, Greg Chappell, Personality, Ego, clash, People skills, People management, Communication, Cultural changes, Power.

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