Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nepal: Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory

Situational Theory: Extension of the leadership grid focusing on the characteristics of followers as the important element of the situation, and consequently, of determining effective leader behavior (Daft)

Works Cited


CHHETRI , A. (2004). Remembering madan bhandari. Nepali Times, (197), Retrieved from

Ghimire, Y. (2011, February 8). Primed to distrust. Retrieved from

Guha, R. (2001, July 29). Permanent rebellion: the story of b.p. koirala. Retrieved from

International Centre for Sustainable Development. (2010). Namaste nepal tourism. Retrieved from

Nepal. (2011). Cia - the world factbook. Retrieved February 16, 2011, from nepal culture. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Ram Lamichhane, personal communication, February 8, 2011

Rhino Travel Agency. (2006). Nepal Culture. Retrieved from

The economy of nepal. (2011, January 5). Retrieved from ("The economy of," 2011)

The Library of Congress. (2009). Nepal - government. Retrieved from

Travel Document Systems. (2010, December 6). Nepal: economy. Retrieved from

Trek and Tour Nepal. (2010). Nepal tourism 2011. Retrieved from  

Udash, R. (2008, June 7). Bisheshwor prasad koirala. Retrieved from

United States Institute of Peace, Education and Training: Domestic Programs. (2009). Study guide series on peace and conflict: nonviolent civic action. Washington, DC: Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace.

Ceremonies, Symbols, Legends and Stories

The symbols, stories and legends of Nepal embody the the culture and the values of the Nepalese people. Symbols are important to leadership, as physical objects are given larger meaning and send a message to the people. Shared stories create a shared heritage and teach a moral lesson. In Nepal, many symbols, stories and popular divinities are rooted in Hinduism.

Religious Symbols
Shree yantra
Shree yantra is composed of two sets of triangles that reflect the unison of Shiva and Shakti; this unison exists within each and every being as the inner self; the state of existence, consciousness and bliss.
This universe and all it's contents are basically composed of or five basic elements: earth, water, light, wind, and sky. The unison of the individual bod with  the cosmic body, is beautifully represented by this great yantra.

The Satkon is composed of two sets of overlapping triangles. One is the symbol of Shiva, which stands for eternal being (static by nature), and the other is a symbol of Shakti, the most active female. The Satkon signifies the five basic senses and the extra sensory perception, that significantly makes it the six-pointed star.

Swastika is a Sanskrit word which means doing good for all. In Buddhism, the four hands of Swastika signifying friendship, compassion, happiness and indifference, and represent four ideal ways to Nirvana every aspirant should mediate on.

Shankha is a Sanskrit word used to denote a sleek and smooth conch shell. It is believed that if the Shankha is blown with skill, it can scare away evil spirits and is described as a killer of germs and enemies. The Hindus as well as the Buddhists drink water from a Shankha before they break a fast and almost all temple prayers are accompanied by the blowing of the Shankha.

Vajra and Bell
The Vajra is always accompanied by a bell, for Vajra stands for the male principle whereas a bell for the female principle. A Vajra accompanied by a bell is a ritualistic requirement for every Buddhist religious ceremony. In every Buddhist religious ceremony, the Buddhist priest holds a Vajra on his right hand and a bell on the other. The ringing of a bell has always been an integral part of prayers for most religions in Nepal.

Prayer Wheel
Almost every Buddhist temple have prayer wheels which was introduced by Tibetans. These cylindrical wheels have prayers carved on them. The prayer seen in almost all prayer wheel is- om mani padme hum (I bow down to the divine jewel or Buddha seated on the lotus).

Popular legends of Nepal
Why death is not seen
It is believed that death was a visible body. When the time for one to die would come, death would come to the person and the person would accept to go to the Yamaloka (the place for the dead). Death was thus accepted and was celebrated.
Once, while death was going through the list of people who had to die he came across a young blacksmith who was not ready to die. He still had a lot of dreams to fulfill, so, when he saw Death come to him he was polite with death for he wanted Death to leave him alone. Death would not leave him. He then told death that he wanted to show him his work and took him to a multi-chambered iron building, which he had built. He guided death to the innermost chamber and asked Death to relax there. He then locked Death inside the chamber, locking seven doors. The blacksmith told no one his secret. Lord Shiva found out that Death was trapped and entrusted his consort, Parvati, to carry out a plan to release Death. Parvati, disguised as a beautiful woman working in the place where the blacksmith went every evening to drink, went to the world of the mortals. She served the young blacksmith many fine drinks, acting very seductive, and tried to find out his secrets. The intoxicated blacksmith revealed all she wanted to know. Then, Death was released and from then on, death never went to the world of the mortals in its visible form.

The potters choice
There was once a potter, who was a great devotee of the lord Shiva. Once the lord, impressed by the potters` actions granted him a wish. The potter wished that all the pots he made would never break. The lord granted him the wish, smiling mysteriously. The potter tested the promised and he found out that his wish had indeed been fulfilled.
Soon, he was famous far and wide for his unbreakable pots and everyone came to buy them. This went on for a few years but since the pots would never break, people did not want new pots. His business suddenly stopped and his family went hungry. He could not understand how the boon given by Shiva had brought him misery.
One early morning as he was praying to Lord Shiva, with utmost sorrow in his heart. The Lord was moved by the hard times he was going through, thus the lord asked why he was unhappy. The potter, falling at the lords` feet, pleaded the lord to take the boon back and asked for forgiveness. The Lord was pleased and so he took back the boon. From then on, the potter happily made pots that would break and crack and would need to be replaced in due course of time.

When Laxmi changed her mind
Once Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, granted a wish to Vishwakarma, a great architect, for building a beautiful house for her. When Viswakarma told her that he would accept anything she would give, she told him that she would give him gold enough to cover his body and a luxurious life. Then she brought an enormous jar of gold-powder and started to pour it over his body. The jar of gold did not suffice and so she went to get more. This display of magnanimity started to worry Vishnu, the lord of balance and preservation. Vishnu was worried that the boon would make him lazy and forget his talents as an architect. He made a plan and accordingly put fleas and ticks inside the gold dust, which made Vishwakarma to move for relief.
On the other hand, Laxmi was tired of filling and pouring the gold dust without succeeding in completing her task. She finally decided that the Vishwakarma was moving because he wanted more and more gold. She, deciding that he was getting greedy, put a curse on him saying that he must work hard even on her ceremonial birthday (laxmi-puja day). At first Vishwakarma was confused, but he wasn't sad for he was relieved of the fleas. Thus, in this way everything went back into order as usual.

Popular Divinities of Nepal
Brahma, the self -created god of creation, is said to have created the cosmos.

Indra, traditionally regarded as the god of heaven, is the most worshipped and most popular Hindu god among the plethora of Hindu gods. The vedas describe him as the valiant fighter who destroys devils and drought and gives people rain and food.

Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and fine arts, is often portrayed having a pure white form seated on a full blown lotus or mounted on a hansa (swan). The hansa is often regarded as our inner-consciousness and is said to be capable of driving away Avidya or ignorance.

Hanumana or the monkey god is worshipped as the god of protection. He is said to be full of shakti or strength, thus, his whole body is shown to be red. He symbolizes courage, strength and loyalty.

Ganesha, the god of good luck, wisdom and success, is a very popular deity worshipped by both Hindus as well as Buddhist's in Nepal. His upper right hand holds a hook, representing the right path to follow, and the lower hand is seen holding a noose, representing self- restrain. The rosary on his third lower hand represents concentration, which is very important for the development of spiritual knowledge, and his lower four hands are in a gesture that assures his devotees fearlessness, indicating that he is the protector.

Krishna is by far the most widely worshipped around the world. The devotees of Lord Krishna take him to be a spiritual guide, a karmayogi, a highly perfected man of good action, a supreme statesman, a protector of the poor, an eternal lover and so on.

Leadership Case Studies

Our leader, Dr. Ram Hari Lamichhane, is a modern leader of Nepal who aspires to change the lives of many young Nepalese men and women looking to join the work force. The goal of Dr. Lamichhane is to be a successful professional contributing and sharing the knowledge and skill acquired during the three decade of work to the development of Educational, tourism, youth employment and enterprise sector of Nepal and the region. Visit the Teachers Page of our WebQuest to learn more about Ram's vision for Youth Career Advancement Centers in Nepal.

 Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala (1914–1982) 

BackgroundBishweshwar Prasad Koirala was born in Nepal and had a long history of politics running through his family’s blood. In 1917 he and his family began 12 years of exile in India where he formed camaraderies with such notable figures as Ghandi. In 1947, BP founded the Nepali National Congress, which became the Nepali Congress Party in 1950. BP wanted to end the Rana Regime and bring Democratic Socialism to Nepal. His aspirations led to a series of arrests and imprisonments but in 1951 he led the armed revolution that finally overthrew the regime.Iin December of 1960, the King Mahendra led a bloodless coup d’├ętat against BP with the help of the army. BP was imprisoned without trial for nearly 8 years but even after his release he never gave up his call for democracy. He spent most of his remaining life in exile or under house arrest.
Main AchievementBP was the first democratically elected Prime Minister (1959) after leading an armed revolution against the oligarchy Rana Regime. He had lofty aspirations for the improvement of the people of Nepal. Some notable agenda items included: Land and agrarian reform, infrastructure development, reform of administration and prison conditions, developing a free and independent Judiciary system, building up of a police force, eradication of corruption, and promotion of health care facilities and education.
LegacyDuring his lifetime, is widely heralded as a champion for the people of Nepal. He believed in Democratic Socialism to improve the common good of all Nepalese civilians and outlined clear and systematic plans to achieve this. BP sacrificed his personal freedom to fight for his beliefs and upon his death (1982), nearly half a million people attended his funeral.
Leadership TraitsOne of BP’s most prominent traits was he ability to communicate an extensive vision for the future of a free Nepal. As a renowned Nepalese author, BP used his eloquence to inspire and educate people. He was a committed, compassionate, self-giving, educated, and courageous symbol of leadership in Nepal.

Sources: (Guha, 2001), (Udash, 2008)

  • 1775-1839
  • First Prime Minister of Nepal
  • He is regarded as one of the National heroes of Nepal.
  • Son of a soldier
  • Served as King Rana Bahadur's personal secretary at the age of 22 in Varanasi, India
  • Studied the expansion and true intentions of the British East India Company in South Asia
Main Achievement
  • He became the first Prime Minister of Nepal upon his (and the king's) return to the country (from Varanasi) after the monarch of Nepal was assassinated by his own half brother. After the assassination,  Bhimsen Thapa made sure to have all of the monarch’s friends killed to decisively end the regime
  • He appealed all South Asian states to fight collectively against the British and declared war on the English East India Company in 1816 and was both the commander of the army and the Prime Minister
    • They lost, but he continued to rule for another 13 years whence he brought about several military, judicial, social and economic reforms in Nepal
    • Modernized army into European style after the loss
  • Karl Marx praised Bhimsen Thapa by referring him the only man in Asia who braved to protest submission to the colonists
  • He was forced to commit suicide because of attempting to change the status quo
  • Modernized the Nepalese army
Leadership Traits
  • Autocratic, task oriented, directing &  innovative
  • His performance in the war against the English East India Company proves Fiedler’s model--when you have a task leader leading with an ambiguous structure/LMR then you will not perform efficiently

BackgroundMadan Kumar Bhandari was a Nepali politician and communist leader.
Bhandari was a founder member of the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist). When the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) merged into Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) in 1991, he became the party’s general secretary. In 1993 Bhandari died, in a car crash. However, many believe he was assasinated. Among the three passengers inside the car, only the driver survived and the other two leaders died, with no eyewitnesses.
Main AchievementBhandari engineered the transformation of the party into a social democratic party. He created a multi-party system within communism, meaning that the parties compete for election. This was very different than the typical communist theory. This was the strongest communist party of Nepal for several years even after his death.
LegacyDuring his lifetime, Madan Bhandari played a pivotal role in shaping the contours of Nepali politics of the time. Transforming the Communist Party of Nepal into a social democratic party was challenging because he had to make the party more mainstream without severing its commitment to a progressive agenda. He transformed the party into a formidable political force by mobilizing the public opinion through words and non-violence.
Leadership TraitsBhandari shared a bond with his electoral constituency—he connected with the average citizen and he struck a chord with ordinary Nepalis.  Bhandari was a good orator, a visionary, and a mass-mobilizer. He tended to be more democratic than autocratic, and understood the desires of the people.


Nepal is one of the most corrupt countries in South Asia and is ranked #146 in the world. While corruption is pervasive in many Nepalese institutions, petty corruption is extremely common in key public sectors. C
orruption is aggravated by the fact that the government services are in scarce supply outside the capital. Most of the countryside lacks public services and local public offices. (World Bank and IFC Enterprise Surveys, 2009)

Business and Corruption

According to the World Bank & IFC Enterprise Surveys 2009:

  • 15% of companies expect to make informal payment to public officials in order to ‘get things done’
  • 7
    9% of companies expect to give gifts to secure a government contract (About 4% of the contract value)

Business people can reportedly buy their way into politics by giving large donations to political parties. 
Its all about who you know...

  • According to Transparency International 2009, powerful business people in Nepal enjoy close relationships with politicians and high-ranking government officials
  • Business execs reported in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 that there is a significant extent of favoritism of well-connected companies and individuals in government officials’ decisions regarding policies and contracts.

Corruption and the Police and Judicial System
Reported problems:
  • Institutionalized corruption
  • "Expected" bribes to register complaints with the police
  • Unreliable enforcement of the law
  • Inconsistent enforcement of anti-corruption measures
  • Judges in the judicial system are perceived as the main facilitators of corruption

Corruption and Daft
Nepalese officials and many business executives use coercive and reward power to maintain power. Their evident low internal locus of control leads to corruption and selfish behaviors that are detrimental to less advantageous individuals and democracy as a whole.

Looking at leadership and the future:

According to Business Anti-Corruption 2010 it has been argued that the existing anti-corruption system and the 2002 Prevention of Corruption Act serves to target only low-level public officials, with a minimal impact on the top political and business figures.

Fighting corruption is difficult but not impossible and can happen through implementing proactive plans and programs. This requires a new order of incentive structures so that individuals change their behavior to think differently, show differently and act differently.
There is a need for restructuring the social order in Nepal and to establish a corruption free society in which public post holders recognize their accountability, fear the heavy costs they have to pay on conviction of corruption offenses and get their rewards for being honest.

    Economy and Tourism

    At a glance...
    • GDP (2010): $15.11 billion with 3.5% growth
    • Agriculture (33% of GDP) provides a livelihood for 75% of the population 
    • Pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, grain Industry (16% of GDP)
    • Carpets, pashmina, clothing, cement, cigarettes, sugar, soap, manufactured goods, hydroelectric power
    • GDP per capital: $1,200 (2010) or #208 in the world
    • 25% of population lives below the poverty line and 46% under-employment rate
        Economic Prospects:
        Main challenges: political instability, landlocked, civil strife and labor unrest, susceptibility to natural disasters, severe shortage of skilled labor, increasing overpopulation and strain on the “carrying capacity” of natural resources
        Economic potential: Tourism, harnessing hydropower (42,000 MW of feasible capacity)

        Nepal – Global Perspective

        Receives substantial foreign aid from India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and the
        European Union (EU) as well as multilateral organizations--including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the UN Development Program. 
        Source: ("The economy of Nepal," 2011), (Travel Document Systems, 2010)     

        Nepal economy in the news

        Pluralism, Ethnic Groups and Demographics

        Cultural Key: Pluralism in Nepal

        Because Nepal is a democracy, all members of the society are inherently entitled to the same basic rights and opportunities. However, some racial minorities maintain and promote their cultural distinctiveness. The challenge for the state is “allowing cultural differences to persist without violatnig common and socially defined rights... the challenge consists of finding a viable compromise, for the state as well as the citizens between equal rights and the right to be different.”

        In Nepal, membership in distinct ethnic, religious and cultural group is are applauded. Freedom is granted to preserving diverse heritages, languages and religions. There are several cultural categories of people in Nepal:

        ParbatiyasGroups considered caste Hindus, the “untouchables” 39%
        JanajatisHill and moutain ethnic groups22%
        NewarsFollowers of both Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions5%
        Madhisespeople of the plains (include caste Hindus, Muslims and plains ethnic groups)32%
        OtherMarwari, Bangali, Sikhs, Christians and “unidentified” caste and ethnic groups2%

        From 1768 through 1951, the people of Nepal were categorized into 5 distinct hierarchical ranks. Now the castes do not formally exist, but there is a fairly uniform order of caste ranking today that is prominent:

        1. Caste group that wears a sacred thread known as tagadhari
        2. Groups of ‘non-enslavable’ liquor consuming caste, called masine matwali
        3. Groups of ‘enslavable’ liqour consuming caste, called masine matwali
        4. Impure but ‘touchables’
        5. Untouchable castes (the dalits)--economically marginalized and discriminated against

        While the caste system still exists, the restoration of the multiparty democratic system has allowed many dissenting voices of different communities to surface.

        Nationality: Nepalese
        Population: 29 billion (2011) or #41 in the world
        • Growth rate: 1.596% (2011), doubles approximately every 30 years
        Age structure:
        • 0-14 years: 34.6%
        • 15-64 years: 61.1%
        • 65 years and over: 4.4%
        • Life expectancy: 66.16 years
        Ethnic groups:
        • Chhettri 15.5%, Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8%
        • Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2
        • Languages:
        • Nepali (official) 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5%

        Source: ("Nepal," 2011)