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

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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 : HROB098 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Human Resource Management/ Organizational Behavior, Team building,
Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2006-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Not Applicable
Industry : Sports and Entertainment
Countries : India


This case is about the second phase of Indian national cricket coach, Greg Chappell (Chappell) describing the poor performance of the team that culminated with the World Cup debacle in March 2007. Chappell had undertaken various initiatives to bring about a radical change in the Indian team as part of his 'Vision 2007' and make them top contenders for the 2007 World Cup. The coaching method, which was personally researched by Chappell and his business partner Frazer, could best be described as unconventional. In addition to unconventional training drills the team was also subjected to lectures on concepts in lateral thinking and other concepts and methods that are generally used in management training.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

After some initial success in the 2005-06 season, the team went through a string of bad performances. All the "experimentations" conducted by Chappell came a cropper and criticisms of the coach gathered momentum. This led to the recall of players like Sourav Ganguly (Ganguly), Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, who were not considered to be in the scheme of things of Chappell, into the team just a few months before the World Cup. The team had a disastrous World Cup and Chappell faced a lot of flak for the debacle. A rift in the team and the difference between senior members of the team and the coach came out in the open following which Chappell quit as coach. Experts felt that Chappell had tugged at the fabric of the team by the way in which had ousted India's most successful captain Ganguly in 2005. His people management skills, alleged cultural insensitivity, and his alleged modus operandi of leaking potentially damning information about individual players to the media were widely criticized. Others felt that he was a victim of the system in India marked by a "star culture". The players, the captain and the BCCI also came in for a lot of criticism.

The case will help understand various issues in human resource management and organizational behavior and generalizations can be made to the corporate setting.


Understand the issues and constraints in team building, team management and performance management

Understand the issues related to communication and management in the multicultural setting

Understand and the various concepts of power and politics, group dynamics, conflict management, etc

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

Understand the issues and constraints in coaching (Generalizations can be made to coaching in a corporate setting)


  Page No.
Chappells Unfullfilled Sojourn 1
Background Note 2
The Decline Begins 4
More Innovative Training Approaches 5
A Team in Disarray 6
Ganguly Makes a Successful Comeback 7
Coping with the Stress of a very Demanding Job 9
Coping with Interpersonal Issues and Communication 10
A Disastrous World Cup 10
This Time its an SMS 11
Chappell Vs Seniors 12
End of a Controversial ERA 14
Criticisms of Chappell 14
Support for Chappell 16
Is a Foreign Coach the Answer? 17
Plan to Revive Indian Cricket 18
Outlook 18
Exhibits 20

Key Words:

Indian cricket, Coaching, Chappell, Management training, Team building, Group dynamics, Organizational development, Attitude, Leadership, Power and politics, Performance management, Action learning cycle, BCCI, personality, People skills, People management, Six hats technique, Lateral thinking, communication, Outward Bound Learning program.

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