Mt. Everest Essay

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Nyles Chapman: Individual Case Study 2 – Mt, Everest – 1996 (a) What is your evaluation of the leadership style of Hall and Fischer? The Mt. Everest tragedy stemmed from Hall and Fischer’s autocratic leadership style. Autocratic leaders often make decisions by ignoring or without consulting others within a team who can provide useful guidance and information. Prior to the climber’s departure, Hall made it clear to the group that everyone must follow his instructions and how his “word will be absolute law, without appeal” (Roberto & Carioggia, 2003). His inability or unwillingness to consult or listen to others proved to be very detrimental. Leaders can signal either their willingness or unwillingness to entertain challenging questions, to listen to and consider dissenting views, or to hear the concerns expressed by others through both words and actions. An autocratic leadership style, however, can impair a situation especially when it becomes difficult to resolve opposing viewpoints or when someone has a personal or vested interest in a situation. Deliberations become intense, emotions run high, and disagreements take a personal turn. This is especially true when there is a lack of mutual trust and respect or when leaders are placed in a difficult situation that results in clashes of cognitive and affective conflict. In an uncertain group situation such as the dynamics of the expedition, the input is either maximized (Hall and Fischer) or minimized (Krakauer’s doubts to Hall). When someone does not trust the effectiveness of his or her own voice, they often look for an autocratic leader to reduce uncertainty (Schoel, Bluemke, Mueller, and Stahlberg, 2011). Unfortunately, an autocratic leadership style is often not the best solution to public good dilemmas because it threatens the stability of the group (Vugt, Jepson, Hart, and Cremer,

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