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Title: Beirut port blast: an escapable disaster in more than one way
Authors: Daia, Roula Al 
Khayr Yaacoub, Hala 
Affiliations: Department of Economics 
Department of Business Administration 
Keywords: Disaster management
Organizational politics
Issue Date: 2021
Part of: Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies
Volume: 11
Issue: 4
Start page: 1
End page: 16
Complexity academic level: The blast at Beirut Port on the 4th of August was the cherry on the cake in a series of disastrous governmental failures manifested in the of lack of trust, an unprecedented economic crisis, hyperinflation, financial fallout, political bottle necks, toxic environmental situation and a vertical cleavage between the government and the people. The blast resulted in billions of dollars in losses both at the port and the surrounding Beirut area, destroyed more than 300,000 housing units, displaced their residents, ruined many artifacts of cultural heritage, injured thousands of people and killed hundreds. Definitely, it was a case of negligence in the storage of the Ammonium Nitrate, corruption, irresponsible leadership or all of these together. However, investigations are still underway to pinpoint the responsible individuals and to bring them to justice. This case looks at potential ways that could have prevented the blast, by questioning the reasons behind the non-voicing out of objections against the nature of the material stored unsafely for several years in Container 12 at the Port. Through the lens of Hadi Karim, a fictional character, the authors lead the readers to consider the disaster’s characterization, as well as applicable disaster management frameworks. The case also emphasizes the role of public leadership and leads the readers to consider measures and processes that could have been abided by to prevent the disaster. Case overview: Against the backdrop of the recent Beirut Port explosion, this case examines how events unfolded leading up to the tragedy, highlighting how it could have been avoided, as well as the managerial and ethical dimensions involved. Leaning objectives: At the end of the case, students will be able to: 1. Characterize the disaster in terms of type and nature. 2. Analyze the blast by referring to the relevant disaster management frameworks. 3. Analyze the critical role of ethical and transformational leaders pre and post disaster. 4. Reflect on the role of employees in preventing disasters mainly through whistleblowing. Social implications: Shedding the light on an avoidable disaster, drawing lessons to avoid the occurrence of such events in the future, and raising awareness on disaster management and on whistleblowing as a tool in the ethical leader’s toolbox. Supplementary materials: Teaching notes are available for educators only. Subject code: CSS 10: Public Sector Management.
DOI: 10.1108/EEMCS-10-2020-0388
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Business Administration

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