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1. summarise the following case study in reference to The… 1. summarise the following case study in reference to The punctuated-equilibrium model2. What evidence do you see within the case study? Using the readings (theory), what can you infer from the case study? The Case study: When ten British Army soldiers on a 10-day training exercise descended into Low’s Gully, a narrow chasm that cuts through Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, each knew ‘the golden rule’ for such expeditions: never split up. Yet the fittest three struggled out of the jungle with concussions, malaria and infected wounds 19 days later, two more terribly ill soldiers found a village the next day, and the remaining five emaciated and injured men were rescued from a cave by a helicopter on day 33. So, what happened? On a surface level, the near-tragic fracturing of the group began with a logical division of labour, according to the training’s initiators, Lieutenant Colonel Neill and Major Foster: Because the group would be one of mixed abilities, and the young British and NCOs [non-commissioned officers] were likely to be fitter and more experienced than the Hong Kong soldiers, the team would work in two halves on the harder phases of the descent. The British, taking advantage of Mayfield’s expertise (in rock climbing), would set up ropes on the difficult sections, while he [Neill] and Foster would concentrate on bringing the Hong Kong soldiers down. Every now and then the recce (reconnaissance) party would report back, and the expedition would go on down in one unit until another reconnaissance party became necessary. The men reported that from then on, perilous climbing conditions, debilitating sickness and monsoon rains permanently divided the group. A review board found differently, blaming Neill’s and Foster’s leadership and their decision to take some less-experienced soldiers on the exercise. No rulings were made about the near-catastrophic decision to divide the group, but closer inquiries show that this temporary work group of diverse members who were not previously acquainted started out with a high level of intragroup trust that dissolved over time. The resulting faultlines, based on members’ similarities and differences and the establishment of ad hoc leaders, may have been inevitable. Initially, all group members shared the common ground of soldier training, clear roles and volunteer commitment to the mission. When the leaders ignored the soldiers’ concerns about the severity of conditions, lack of preparation and low level of communication, however, trust issues divided the group into subgroups. The initial reconnaissance party established common ground and trust that allowed them to complete the mission and reach safety, even though they divided yet again. Meanwhile, the main group, which stayed with the leaders in the cave under conditions of active distrust, fractured further. We’ll never know whether it would have been better to keep the group together. However, we do know that this small group of soldiers trained to stay together for survival fractured into at least four subgroups because they didn’t trust their leaders or their group, thereby endangering all their lives.  Business Management Human Resource Management ECONOMIC 200300

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