Case Study

Leadership in action: To the south pole

12 pages
December 2003
Reference: IMD-3-1340

On December 15, 1911 Roald Amundsen and his team of nine elite Norwegian explorers were the first to reach the South Pole, beating a rival British team by five weeks. In contrast to the British team of over 25 men led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the British Navy, the team led by Amundsen was small and lacked huge financial resources. However it was a highly specialized group of the absolute best professional explorers Amundsen knew. At the time, the South Pole was recognized as one of the greatest leadership and team challenges of the day. The physical elements of Antarctica made certain that the race would be hard fought. It required going beyond preparing for the ordinary, to prepare for and achieve the extraordinary; requiring a carefully choreographed blend of men, technology, teamwork, leadership, planning, project management, and communication skills. How did Amundsen lead? How did he manage this breakthrough project? How did he learn from the past and apply it to tomorrow? In short what can we learn from him and the race to the South Pole?

Project Management, Virtuoso Teams
Published Sources
© 2003
Available Languages
Case clearing houses

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics