MTN in Nigeria: Sailing Too Close to the Wind?

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CASE STUDY. In July 2016, MTN’s newly appointed CEO, Rob Shuter, was considering how it was possible that the company had been fined a mammoth US$5.2 billion (R78 billion) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in October 2015.

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MTN in Nigeria: Sailing Too Close to the Wind?: Abstract

MTN in Nigeria: Sailing Too Close to the Wind? is a case study by Conrad Viedge.

In July 2016, MTN’s newly appointed CEO, Rob Shuter, was considering how it was possible that the company had been fined a mammoth US$5.2 billion (R78 billion) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in October 2015. He also wondered what could be done to prevent a debacle of this magnitude from reoccurring. It appeared that leaders were not paying attention to the issues and, most importantly, had neglected and had failed to adhere to vital regulations. The situation that resulted in the NCC imposing the fine should have been obvious to MTN’s leadership – but was it?

Teaching objectives

The objective of the case is to enable the students to understand the role of leadership and culture in an organisation. It aims to enable students to:

  • appreciate the impact of the big decisions made by leaders;
  • understand the role of culture in leadership;
  • understand how organisational development connects to leadership;
  • identify what is important for a South African company operating in other African countries;
  • and identify what leaders should be doing to prevent the ‘crash and burn’ scenario.

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