The Indian cricket captain is a favourite case for dissection and discussion these days as the budding managers are taught about building teams, strengthening and sustaining them in adverse conditions

While he silently ensures that Indian cricket makes big strides under his leadership several business schools in the country are reverberating with his name, precisely analysing those skills.

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a favourite case for dissection and discussion these days with several business schools adopting his case study to teach the budding managers about building teams, strengthening and sustaining them in adverse conditions.

The XLRI Jamshedpur was the first to use his case to teach its students and the trend followed with several others picking up and unfolding the persona of the ‘small town’ man, who went onto dominate the sport influenced by the ‘rich and urban’. Other schools have picked up the theme now.

It’s not a new trend to build case studies around famous personalities in business schools but incorporating the life of a contemporary sports person is definitely new.

He has all the traits worth studying by the managerial aspirants given the background he comes from and how he emerged as a tall star in the midst of giants like Sachin, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

“His leadership style offers invaluable essence to managers at all levels” says Arks Srinivas, Director, Vanguard Business School, Bangalore.

Personality traits

“His achievements and his undeterred approach even when controversies surround him are some key elements apart from leadership skills,” Mr. Srinivas says.

“Students identify themselves easily with Dhoni and cricket as a subject can never be boring in a cricket mad nation,” says G. V. Muralidhara, Dean, Case Research Centre, IBS Hyderabad.

“We built the case study covering many facets of his like leadership skills, confidence, dealing with adversaries, carrying the pressure of millions of people on his shoulders and ultimately emerging as the country’s darling.”

Case studies around corporate personalities are quite common but politicians and sportsmen aren’t. Dr. Muralidhara reminds that Lalu Prasad Yadav and the changes he brought in Indian Railways was another popular case a few years back. “However, we tend to avoid politicians to avoid controversies as they followers are sensitive to certain aspects,” he says.

These days the ‘Modi Vs Rahul’ saga is getting lot of attention from B-Schools, says Mr. Srinivas.

“Their election strategy and how their background teams are working on psychological tactics are also being taught at our school.”

Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption and an old man’s ability to arouse the country’s youngsters with his simplicity is another popular case study.

Films also stir up lot of emotions in India and they also find way into B-Schools teaching. Dr. Sudhakar Rao, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore working with ICFAI now recalls how Aamir Khan’s ‘Lagaan’ and Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Chak De India’ were also converted into case studies on building teams.