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12 Angry Men - a Study in Leadership and Group Dynamics

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Leadership Skills

with Prof. G Rajkumar

Student Board Room Assignment 4


A Case Study on Leadership and Group Dynamics

Group #2
Akram Ali
· Shilpa Batiprolu · Varun Patel · Puneet Parmar · Kareem Lee ·

This case study analyses the 1957 movie 12 Angry Mendirected by Sidney Lumet in the context of leadership and group dynamics.


The movies premise dealt with the decision making process of a jury of 12 men from diverse backgrounds and characteristics as they reached a verdict on a homicide trial. The defendant was an 18 year old boy, accused of stabbing his father in a slum neighbourhood. The verdict was required by law to be unanimous in either way. The movie begins with 11 members agreeing on a verdict of guilty, with Juror no. 8 being the odd one out. As they discuss and deliberate the case, each juror slowly changes his vote to not guiltyas they sift through the evidence and eyewitness statements. The movie ends with a unanimous vote of not guilty.


As the movie progresses, each jurors personality, decision making ability and rational thinking is revealed, in addition to their backgrounds. Let us analyse each juror separately and decide on the type of dynamic he brings to the group:

Juror #1 (The Assistant Coach):

One was an Assistant high school football coach, who was also the foreman of the jury. He played the role of the Leader, a task he seemed to handle with discomfort. He was authoritative, non confrontational, but was a natural leader. The other characters seemed to gravitate towards him due to his organised management style and calming voice. He was careful to give importance to everyones opinions. He lost his temper at one point, insisting that his task was tough and challenged the other characters to do a better job. However, he seemed to take control of his emotions and the situation once again.

Juror #2 (The Banker):

Two was a timid banker. His personality was mild and passive. He was quite easily influenced by the other jurors, an obvious introvert by nature and orderly in manner. The latter trait is exhibited clearly when the order of voting/arguments change around the table and he expresses dislike for it. He was a helpful person, however, assisting No.8 with the old man(witness) experiment. He can be termed as an influenceable follower.

Juror #3 (The Businessman):

Three was a stubborn, excitable and impulsive man, who is also the last to change his vote. He showed a personal bias towards the entire case and, while this did not reflect in the beginning, it became apparent as the story progressed that he wanted the defendant to be punished as a form of gratification for his own problems with his son. He slowly progressed into a leader on the opposite end of the opinion spectrum. He also resorted to yelling when his opinion was debated and constantly derided the opinions of the other jurors. He can be termed as an authoritative leader.

Juror #4 (The Stock Broker):

Four was arguably the calmest of the entire jury. He was the only one who did not lose his temper and was of a calm, confident and analytical mind. In fact, his self-confidence could be almost written down to arrogance. While other jurors seemed to be influenced by emotions, Four was the only juror who accepted logic as the only rationale. He was cold and calculating, not afraid to defend his opinion, but seemed to lack tact. His leadership style can be termed as cold and authoritative with little compassion.

Juror #5 (The Ambulance Crewman):

Five came across as a humble and strong willed person. He wasnt a leader, exhibiting traits of following people with strong leadership qualities. However, he was also self-confident and defended his opinion strongly. He was very defensive about his background and showed a hint of bias towards the defendant, due to him being able to relate to the boys slum background. He can be termed as an able but doubtful follower.

Juror #6 (The Painter):

Six was a tough and quiet man, a painter by profession. His personality as well as his conversation reveal that he is an able and willing follower. He shows introversion and prefers to let the other jurors reach the decision. He does show initiative to speak up, for example, when defending No. 9. He is also a man of principle and is a slow decision maker who prefers to listen carefully and act accordingly.



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