ESMT Case Study

Mr. KLM (B): Captain van Zanten

ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-411-0118-1
Subject(s): Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s): social psychology, behavioral economics, decision making, irrationality, value attribution bias, loss aversion, diagnosis bias/filtering, intuition, employment, filtering, crash, KLM

The three-part case study "Mr. KLM" recounts the story of the world's deadliest plane accident: the crash of two Boeing 747 aircraft at Tenerife in 1977. The case describes both the actual events leading up to the disaster as well as the main character and the case protagonist, KLM Captain Jacob "Jaap" Veldhuyzen van Zanten, to account for the fact that there had actually been two crashes that day: the airplane crash and the crash of "Mr. KLM," Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten. The case illustrates the paradigm of a homo rationale who, in an unusual situation, seems to throw aboard principles of rationality while reverting to decisions and behaviors best understood in the light of intuitive, unreflected, biased, or irrational decision making. The case serves as an illustration of findings and principles of social psychology, irrational decision theory, and behavioral economics.

Teaching note Yes
Length 8p
Industry Aircraft
Geographical setting Spain
Setting period 1977
Related Mr. KLM (A): Jacob Veldhuyzen
Mr. KLM (C): Jaap
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