Taj staff's 26/11 hardship a case study at Harvard

The multimedia case study “Terror at the Taj Bombay: Customer-Centric Leadership” by HBS professor Rohit Deshpande documents “the bravery and resourcefulness shown by rank-and-file employees” during the attack. The study considers “why did the Taj employees stay at their posts (during the attacks), jeopardising their safety in order to save hotel guests” and how can that level of loyalty and dedication be replicated elsewhere.

A dozen Taj employees died trying to save the lives of the hotel guests during the attacks. “Not even the senior managers could explain the behaviour of these employees,” Deshpande is quoted as saying in HBS Working Knowledge, a forum on the faculty’s research and ideas.

Deshpande said even though the employees “knew all the back exits” in the hotel and could have easily fled the building, some stayed back to help the guests. “The natural human instinct would be to flee. These are people who instinctively did the right thing. And in the process, some of them, unfortunately, gave up their lives to save their guests.”

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