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A Manager's Dilemma-Case Study
Pradeep Picture
1412 Posts
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Posted 14-05-2009Reply


Rajat is a Lobby Manager at a reputed hotel. Young & energetic, he has done very well in his professional career so far.

During one night shift, at around 3 AM, while Rajat is brainstorming with the night auditors, a security guard and the Night Security Officer, Capt. Rahul, approach him with a situation.

Rajat is briefed that there has been an accident of a White Maruti Van right opposite the hotel premises (on the other side of the road). The security officer already had a brief look at the car and had immediately informed the local Police Station of the same. The man inside, is badly hurt. The driver had probably lost control & rammed into a tree on the roadside. However, it has been around 5-10 minutes, & the police hasn't yet arrived.

Rajat rushes to the spot with a bell boy along with Capt. Rahul & the Security Guard. On close inspection, Rajat finds the man behind the wheel profusely bleeding from the head. He instructs Capt. Rahul to call for more Security guards to help the man out, as the steering wheel is jammed against the driver's chest.

After 5-10 minutes of labour, the team successfully pulls out the man after pulling open the front of the car, which was badly damaged.

Capt. Rahul checks the driver's pulse, thankfully he is still alive, though he has bled a lot. Still no sign of any ambulance or the Police.

Rajat checks the person's wallet; he is Major Ramesh, serving the Indian Army.

Probably the driver is returning inebriated after a party, thinks Rajat; he takes a decision, he calls for the hotel car, instructs Capt. Rahul to have one security guard to accompany him to the closest Hospital.

After two hours, the guard returns with the Hotel Car and informs Rajat & Capt. Rahul that fortunately the manager was still alive by the time they reached the Hospital, and he is in the Intensive Care Unit.

Rajat & Capt. Rahul make a log note.

In the morning Rajat is about to leave for the day, when he gets a call in the Lockers. He is asked to report immediately to the Board room where the morning meeting is on. He reaches there (in his civil clothes), only to find Capt. Rahul too present there. The General Manager, Mr. Radwill, gestures Rajat to sit down, and says that Major Rawat, the Hotel's Chief Security Officer, and Mr. Rodriguez, the Director of HR, have a few questions.

The following questions are shot at Rajat:

1. Why did he not wait another 5-7 minutes for the Ambulance/Police?

2. Why did he tamper with material evidence (the car, the body etc.)?

3. Why did he use the Hotel Car and not a Taxi?

4. Why was a Hotel employee sent to the Hospital?

5. What if the injured person had died on his way to the Hospital as he had a head injury?

6. What if the Army had held the Hotel responsible in case of the Major's demise?

7. What if it was actually a criminal case of an intentional hit & run?

8. Is the hotel responsible for handling all accidents occurring in front of its premises?

It had been a tiring night for Rajat, he just lets out one statement. "I may have gone against a few rules, but I have probably saved a life, and will do the same thing again if such a situation recurs".

The statement is taken a rude retort by Rodriguez, Major Rawat and Mr. Rodwill. Apparently Capt. Rahul had commented that whatever he did was on Rajat's instructions. Rajat is excused from the meeting, after which he proceeds to the Hospital.

The next day Rajat receives the first warning letter of his career, and a 4 day training schedule in the HR & Security departments.


Please comment on the roles played by Rajat, Capt. Rahul and the Management.

Diana Picture
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  Rated +3 | Posted 15-05-2009

Interesting & complicated scenario:

My take on this ::

We are human beings first, then employees!

He has saved a life, he listened to his instinct, that he had to save a life.

* Police & ambulance were called, but not yet there! What if it had to take more time? Let the guy bleed to death?
* Probably he had some knowledge on first aid, only then you can dare to touch an injured person & judge the situation.
* He has used the hotel car, of course! Why waste time to call for a taxi & make him bleed more?
* Being a manager, he still stood by his responsibility & send one of his employees along with the man while he was at the hotel, taking care of his actual duties.

Also, since he had used the hotel car, he had to send some of the hotel staff along as well, to return back & inform the situation!

* As I had understood, there were eye witnesses when the accident happened, it seemed that he had ran into a tree & hurt himself…so there is no point of hit & run here!
* If the victim would die on the way, at least you would know that you tried doing your best, but he could not make it, instead of waiting & seeing him die, with no attempt to save his life!
* In case it was an intentional act by some one to hurt the injured man, by spoiling a part in the car which led to this accident, it could be found out by the police investigations later on.

Risks which Rajat had taken ::

• He had shaken& moved the man, who was actually tangled in the car, hurt badly & was bleeding, yes, what if that led to some internal bleeding? Or fractured a part?
• He should have explained “why” he took those decisions, instead of ending the sentence with: I would do the same next time as well.”
• He should have put this scenario in front of his management & asked them to react to the same. What would they do in that condition?! What if the victim would die front of the hotel & they did nothing to help him, wouldn’t the army hold them responsible for negligence?

He has managed to be a manager & an human being at the same time, he was able to think quick, judge & take a decision.
The best & most important point is that he stood up for it! He knew what he was doing, he knew what was the consequences, but yet, did & stood by it.

Unfortunately, many times we see people doing things, which they deny or say sorry for, just because their management didn’t like it! Or didn’t approve it.
Even if they believe they were right they just go with their management to “please” them. Capt.Rahul is this example.

Where he has no “thought” of his own, he does what he has told to be done.
He was instructed to take the victim & he took him, not because he believed he had to save a life or he wanted to do so, he did it since he was “ordered” by the manager!

This is clearly shown, when he tells the management that “he had just obeyed the orders!”

These kind of people have no decision making powers, they can never be sure of what they want, what they do or what they even think!
They are not reliable & tend to blame others for their own mistakes & never responsible for anything!

On the other hand, Rajat, though tired & probably was expecting a tap on the back! But gets these questions firing at him, still keeps his calm, does not argue & is “responsible” for his own decisions & deeds.

We are talking about self-esteem & confidence vs indecision.

I am sure Rajat had a clean, peaceful conscience for the rest of his life. You can replace a position by another employee or manager, but you can not replace that life which was saved that night!

Coming to “The Management”, they are lucky to have a capable manager like Rajat, but unfortunately since they can’t see anything beyond the “black & white” policies, rules & regulations set by them, they impose training on him! Just to fulfill the “Acts” which should be taken when someone goes against the “rules”, without judging the situations.

The best part is Capt.Rahul is not condemned or asked for any justifications, since he surrenders like a looser in the first place & denies being “responsible”.

This is how it works in many a places ! unfortunately…we see people growing to the higher levels, just because they are “with” the management, they have no voice of their own, they have no thoughts, no choice, no decisions!

I am not supporting conflicts or arguments, NO!!! All I am saying is to be responsible for what you do. Accept your faults or defend your deeds.

Think before you act, so that you wont regret or deny it later, don’t be a follower, especially if you don’t believe in it.

I liked this scenario very much… not sure how many would agree with me, but open to discuss on it !!!

Thanks Pradeep. BTW, whats your take on it!?


Sabira Picture
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  Rated 0 | Posted 15-05-2009

Thank u Pradeep and Diana...this case is really enlightening

Madhur Picture
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  Rated +2 | Posted 16-05-2009

Well said Diana though in such a situation, one can't take all the logical steps as you have mentioned in your approach. The first & foremost thought is "Save Life". In such a situation, if a guy actually breaks a few rules, but actually saves life, he should be considered a HERO.

Unfortunately, we do not know what was the picture presented to the management, before he was called in.

Maybe they were given a totally different perespective, and this gentleman did nothing to answer their questions / charges.

He should have put across his case in a much better way, and tried to satisfy all that whatever he did was in accordance with the law of the land, and the rules of the organisation are not above the law of the land.

The reasoning that he was tired after a long nights work does not authorise anybody to answer questions with a spirited one liner, which is not in line with the expectations of the management. He was just doing his job, which is manning the lobby at night, and he is getting paid for it. If some issue happens, he is required to answer that. That is why he is the Lobby Manager. Also he is in service industry, where one is always expected (& required) to have a control over their words... In service industry, you are expected to be courteous 24 hrs a day...

I find two faults in his actions :

1. he did not recount the whole incident in front of the management.

2. He did not justify his actions at all by logic.

The management is not irrational in its thought process, but it also needs the data to evaluate & decide. If you are not sure what is the input, how can you crib about the output !!!

Also he has been given an opportunity to justify his actions which he does not do. Hence the reaction from the management...


Harish Picture
605 Posts
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  Rated 0 | Posted 21-05-2009

Interesting & complicated scenario:

My take on this ::

We are huma... See Diana's complete reply

Excellent take Diana. Cheers !!!

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