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The Muktangan story (Part A): an organizational study and The Muktangan story (Part B): winds of change

Mihir Ajgaonkar (S.P. Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India)
Keith D’Souza (S.P. Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India)

Publication date: 24 September 2018


Subject area

The subject areas are organizational management, organizational behaviour and human resource management.

Study level/applicability

The study is applicable for courses in human resource management and organizational behaviour as part of masters-level programmes in business administration and management, executive development programmes on organization design and development for middle/senior management.

Case overview

In 2003, Elizabeth and Sunil Mehta had founded a voluntary organization, “Muktangan”, focussed on child-centric education through innovative pedagogy for the community of the urban poor. Elizabeth, an educationist, and Sunil, a highly successful business person, joined hands to contribute to the well-being of urban poor to make a difference to their lives. Elizabeth and Sunil presented a proposal to impart education for “the children of the community, by the teachers drawn from the community” to the residents of the slums in central Mumbai. With a humble beginning of running a small pre-school, Muktangan now manages seven schools with 3,400 children and 500 teachers, and a teachers’ training centre with a capacity to train 100 teachers a year. Muktangan won acclaim for its unique pedagogy and a very effective child-to-teacher ratio. Over the years, Elizabeth and Sunil led Muktangan with a strong passion and a “hands-on” approach. Of late, Elizabeth and Sunil faced questions from their donors about the sustainability of Muktangan with respect to leadership and management succession. Elizabeth and Sunil had a vision for Muktangan for self-directed growth with an empowered team. Muktangan embarked on the journey to create a leadership for self-directed growth. Sunil, Elizabeth and team Muktangan conceptualized and implemented a change management intervention with help from an external consultant to build the desired organization.

Expected learning outcomes

Outcomes are understanding issues involved in the leadership, organization design and management of change, particularly of those organizations engaged in social change and development in developing societies.

Supplementary materials

The Muktangan Story: Part A – An Organizational Study; The Muktangan Story Part B – Winds of Change; Teaching Note; References: Bradach J. (1996), Organizational Alignment: The 7-S Model, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02,163. Cooperrider D. and Whitney D. (2005), “A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry”, In The Change Handbook. The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging.Whole Systems, by Peggy Holman, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Cooperrider D., Whitney D., and Stavros J.M. (2008), Appreciative Inquiry Handbook for Leaders of Change (Second Edition), Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Greiner, L.E. (1998), “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow”, Harvard Business Review, May-June, 3-11. accessed 12 April, 2018. Kessler, E. H., (2013) (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Management Theory, Sage Publications Kotter, J. P. (1996), Leading Change, Harvard Business School Press, Boston. Lewin K. (1951), Field Theory in social science, Harper & Row, New York. Waterman, R. H., Peters, T. J., and Phillips, J. R. (1980), Structure is not organization. Business Horizons, 23(3), 14-26.

Subject code:

CSS 6: Human Resource Management.



The authors sincerely thank Rahul Yadwadkar for inviting us to write this case. The authors also thank Sunil Mehta, Elizabeth Mehta and Team Muktangan for providing the data and their support.

Disclaimer (for all EEMCS case studies): This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names, financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Ajgaonkar, M. and D’Souza, K. (2018), "The Muktangan story (Part A): an organizational study and The Muktangan story (Part B): winds of change", , Vol. 8 No. 3.



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