The Chappell Way (A): A Case Study in Team Building and Group Dynamics

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB097
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2005-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Not Applicable
Industry : Sports and Entertainment Countries : India

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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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"[…] if you're worrying about the outcomes, about things you can't control, then you're going to get into trouble. We really focused on the areas that we can control and we're focusing on getting good in those areas. We're making sure that we engender the culture of creating successful habits."1

-Greg Chappell, coach of the Indian national cricket team, in 2005.

"We all will have a lot to say to the Board on him (Chappell). I have spoken because I have been under stress from the time the coach accused me of underperforming. There are many in the team who have been accused of poor attitude. They have suffered loss of confidence because of the coach's attitude and the double standards he has adopted from the time he took over. It would not be wrong to say that the entire team has developed a sense of insecurity under this coach."2

-Harbhajan Singh, Indian cricketer, in 2005.

"For us, building up team strength is vital. Not that we don't care about the individual, but the individual is far less important here than the team. Chappell is clearly thinking on the same lines."3

-A senior manager of Hindustan Lever Ltd.,4 in 2006.

Taking Indian Cricket to the Next Level?

In June 2005, Greg Chappell (Chappell), the famous former Australian cricketer, joined as the coach of the Indian national cricket team. Though he did not have any experience in coaching a national side, he was chosen for the position ahead of other high profile contenders. The selection panel was impressed by his "Vision 2007" presentation that was a blueprint to take Indian cricket to the next level and make the Indian team top contenders for the 2007 World Cup.5

The fact that the captain of the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly (Ganguly), lobbied to get him selected also helped clinch the job in his favor. When Chappell took charge, the mood in the cricket crazy nation was optimistic.

Since the new millennium, the fortunes of the team had seen a radical change under the leadership of Ganguly. India had become a more combative unit. In addition to world-class performers in the team, such as Sachin Tendulkar (Tendulkar), Rahul Dravid (Dravid), Anil Kumble (Kumble), etc., there was also a rich talent pool of cricketers including Virender Sehwag (Sehwag), Yuvraj Singh (Yuvraj), Harbhajan Singh (Harbhajan), and Zaheer Khan (Zaheer), who had been nurtured under Ganguly's watchful eyes.

The team was high on team spirit and very loyal to the captain. It had started winning test matches away from home and had also reached most of the finals of major tournaments, including the 2003 World Cup. However, in the 2004-2005 cricketing season the team's performance suffered a setback. This also coincided with a fall in Ganguly's personal batting performance. Ganguly's captaincy as well as his place in the team became the subject of intense debate. Soon after taking over as coach, Chappell caught the attention of the Indian media with his use of management jargon and candid quotes. His unconventional coaching methods too became a talking point.

The Chappell Way (A) - Next Page>>

1]  Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, "'Dravid Will be One of India's Better Captains',", November 14, 2005.

2]  "Harbhajan Stands by His Captain,", September 26, 2005.

3]  Debashis Bhattacharyya, "On the Right Track,", April 02, 2006.

4]  Hindustan Lever Ltd. is the leading fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturer and marketer in India.

5]  The World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One-Day International (ODI) cricket. It is a quadrannual event organized by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).


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