Mount Everest 1996 Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Mount Everest 1996 Case Solution

Problem Statement

“Hazardous and catastrophic consequences caused severe losses in the expedition led by two firms Mountain Madness and Adventure Consultants in 1996. It is mandatory for expedition leading organization to make sure that such disastrous events don’t occur again.”


A number of factors caused the unfortunate results for the expedition and they could all have been tackled by Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness, but due to lack of a number of traits in the personalities of the leaders and the team members the outcome was disastrous.


The teams formed by the expedition leading organizations were motivated to high levels to top the mountain under the guidance of the leaders of the organization. The team members or clients who signed up for the expedition, majority of them had signed up for the first time for the journey and challenge of the reaching the summit of the Mount Everest. Clients of these organization had the slightest of idea regarding the difficulties they would be facing on their expedition.Once the expedition started and thing started getting tough, the bearing capabilities of the team members started to shatter, and these members were not able to cope up with the challenges presented to them by the harshest mountain in the world.


Harsh weather conditions and complex trekking was new to the team member of both the teams, but it was not something new or surprising for the expedition leading organization’s leaders and guides. Unfortunately the experienced leaders and skilled guides of both the teams did not respect the power of nature and tried to fight it with their continuous resilience and an over confident attitude of not giving up. Expedition leaders made a number of mistakes and were not able to follow the rules set by themselves for ensuring the safety of the team members. Team members were new to the unforgiving environmental condition of the mountain, but these were not something new to the leaders as they had experienced such condition before. The core issue lied in the decision making and leadership styles of Halls and Fischer.


Formation of teams for the expedition lacked a number of capabilities required for bearing the weather conditions of the mountain. Both the organizations ignored any methods or processes for selecting the team members, they were selected on their willingness to join the expedition without analyzing any of their lacking potentials required for safely returning back. Leaders of both the organizations preferred receiving higher fees and revenues through their expedition over the safety of the unfit and unskilled team members having weak body conditions.


In addition to this, a wide gap existed between the goals of the team members and the leaders of the expedition leading organization. Team members of both the organization were carrying different goals and objectives for the expedition. The goals and objectives varied individually and the as per their intentions of joining the expedition. Leaders and the teams were carrying different set of goals. A major difference in the perception of the team member, leaders and guides existed which also contributed to the unfortunate end results of the expedition.


Hall and Fischer acting as the team leaders should have respected the power of nature and the harsh condition that can be prevailed by it on the mountain. Both the leaders thoughtlessly ignored the weather conditions and underestimated the intensity of challenges that are offered by the mountain. Leaders of both the organization had claimed a 100% success to the team members which is clearly a statement that underestimates the destructive strengths of Everest. Overconfident approach towards the expedition resulted in reducing the effectual capabilities of the leaders and their activities reduced efficiency. Not only their activities but their decision making abilities also lacked credibility. Team leaders astonishingly expected the weather condition to remain the same and ideal for the success of the expedition helping them in achieving their organizational and individual goals.............

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