Transforming ICRISAT: The Leadership of Dr. William Dar
(7 pages of text)
The case focuses on an agricultural institute, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), part of an international agricultural research consortium. Since its inception in 1972, ICRISAT had been a premier agricultural research institute with substiantial international and Indian funding. However, mismanagement and lack of initiative of senior leadership had resulted in multiple crises in organizational functioning and reduced funding by donors. In addition, ICRISAT had to cope with an unfortunate series of leadership changes. In the midst of the decline in staff morale and other daunting challenges, Dr. William Dar joined the institute as the director general. The case describes the various issues faced by Philippine-born Dar when he took over. It also discusses his previous stints in various roles and the style of leadership he displayed during those tenures. The case concludes by presenting the problem of revival of ICRISAT, including reinforcing its research focus.
This case is aimed at helping postgraduate students understand issues related to leadership and change in an ailing organization. The first objective of the case is to get an understanding of the situation as viewed from Dar’s point of view. The objectives are:
- To help students understand the leadership dilemma faced at ICRISAT and understand and propose the change required.
- To provide students with an opportunity to understand the leadership style of Dar. His extensive orientation towards transformational leadership could help them understand and discuss the implications of this leadership style.
After discussion and analysis of the case, students will be able:
- To consider the existing management situation at ICRISAT and the reasons for the current situation.
- To appreciate how challenges to leadership emerge when a new leader takes over an ailing organization and faces multiple issues such as low employee morale, financial crunch, high turnover, and the need to act sensitively.
- To understand Dr. Dar’s leadership style and decide if a particular style could help the organization overcome its difficulties.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
India, Large, 2012
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