Knowing about Organizational behavior through the movie "EK RUKA HUA FAISLA "

 Introduction

The movie “EK RUKA HUA FAISLA” is an Indian Film, year 1986, was directed by Mr.Basu Chatterjee. The film is a remake of an American movie “12 Angry Men”. The movie is a closed room drama of a murder trial where one dissenting juror in a murder trial tries to influence the verdict with his personal prejudices and biases.

                                                                                 




 Synopsis


Ek Ruka Hua Faisla starts in a courtroom where a teenage boy from a slum stands trial for stabbing his father to death. The Judge instructs the Jury to come to a decision on whether they find the boy guilty of the crime or not. If found guilty, the boy will be awarded a death sentence. The evidences against the boy look irrefutable.

                                                                         


 The twelve member jury shuts itself in a closed room to discuss the case. As the jury members get acquainted with each other, it becomes evident that nearly all of them have already decided that the boy is guilty and are in a hurry to get over with the formalities quickly and get back to their routine lives.

                                                                               


However, during the first round of vote, Juror #8 votes ‘not guilty’ as he believes that there is too much at stake to pronounce the boy guilty without discussing all the aspects of the crime in detail. There is a heated discussion among the jury members, they are annoyed because the case which they had decided was open and shut is being prolonged. 

It is clear that most of the jurors are biased which is influencing their sense of judgement. How a small doubt in the mind of one person slowly begins to create conflict in the mind of the 11 other jurors can be seen with every round of voting.  

 

Slowly emotions of the jurors become intense when they begin to relate the case with some aspects of their personal lives. Their anger increases leading them to shout at each other and even get violent as shown by Juror #3 who lunges at Juror #8 yelling, “I will kill you”. Juror #10 exhibits the contempt he in general has for the slum dwellers and clearly showing in his rage how this bias is clouding his judgement. It then comes out that Juror #3’s contempt for the boy has arisen from the poor treatment he has received from his own son. He finally breaks down and changes his vote to ‘not guilty’.

 

The characters in the movie are many layered. Their appearances hide inner turmoil.  Slowly the characters’ strengths, weaknesses, fear, beliefs, prejudices and grudges are revealed. Each aspect of the case is meticulously thought over, the jurors even act out the scenes of the crime in an attempt to understand the truth of the case.

The audience witnesses drastic change in the Characters, the seemingly weak showing strength of character, while those who appeared to be tough and immovable at the beginning of the movie crack up, expose their vulnerability. This film is a very good analysis of human psychology, the power of influencing and the complexities of the human mind.


Knowing about Organizational behavior through the movie 

In context of Organizational Behavior, the film is a perfect example that depicts group shift, group think, cohesiveness and social loafing.

 

Social loafing, according to Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge and Neharika Vohra in their book " Organizational Behavior 16 e " ,  is the tendency for individuals to put less effort when working collectively than working individually.

                                                                                 


 For example:  When all jurors were discussing about the case in depth and detail, there was juror #12 was drawing something on paper. All the jurors were asked to give their opinions one by one and when his turn came, he did not know what was going on and whenever voting took place to determine who is in the favor of accused person being guilty or not, since he did not pay any attention and did not put in any effort, he changed his vote according to the majority.

 The second instance of social loafing which we can see is that when juror #7 was keen on watching movie and he made many attempts to finish the discussion as soon as possible. Even he changed his vote according to majority.

The third instance of social loafing that we can see is when the discussion continued between juror #3  and juror #7 and another juror were playing tic tac toe.


According to Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge and Neharika Vohra in their book " Organizational Behavior 16 e " , Groupthink is a process in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.

                                                                         


 For example: From the very beginning of the movie except juror #8 all other jurors had already made up their minds that the accused is guilty without having any deliberation. They wanted to get over with the discussion as soon as possible. For them this was merely a formality. They did not think about the possibilities that the accused could be innocent.

 All of them had a common mindset that the boy was expert in using knives, there were three witnesses , one old man who had seen him shouting at his father “I will kill you”, a woman who had seen the boy stabbing his father to death and his friends who confessed that the knife at the crime scene was exactly like the knife the boy possessed. 

One juror recalled that when the accused was asked his whereabouts at the time of the murder, the accused claimed to be watching a movie but was unable to recollect the name to the movie. All these factors proved that the accused was guilty.

 Since they wanted to end the discussion as soon as possible and all the circumstances pointed towards the culprit as being the murderer, except juror 8, all had a consensus which overrode the realistic approach or the alternative approach, that is there is a possibility that the accused is innocent. 

The had already come to a conclusion based on the facts that were visible to them until juror #8 by carefully discussing each and every aspect and possibility related to the case became successful in convincing each juror that the accused is innocent which is lead to “group shift”.

 

Group shift means a change between a group’s decision and an individual decision that a member within the group would make, the shift can be toward either conservatism or greater risk but it is generally is toward a more extreme version of the group’s original position.

                                                                            


For example:

There are many instances where one can experience group shift during the course of the movie. When juror #8 was opposed by juror #3 since juror #3 believed that since the accused had shouted that he would kill his father in itself is proof enough that he is guilty, juror #8 cleverly provoked juror #3 so much that juror #3 threatened to kill juror #8. 

                                                                           


Juror #8 pointed out that the threat was only words and juror #3 did not actually mean to kill him. Juror #8 pointed out at the possibility that the since accused was ill treated by his father and was slapped by him, he would have uttered the words out of anger, but in reality had no intention of killing his father. This convinced Juror #9 who changed his vote to ‘not guilty’.

 

The second instance which we can site is when juror #8 was trying to convince was that there is a possibility that the old man did not recognize or hear the so called voice of the accused properly. According to the old man, he heard the accused yelling and then as soon as he woke up, he saw the accused running and all this happened in 15 seconds. Juror #8 tried pointed out that the old man had an injured leg and was unable to stand in court without help.  

Juror #8 had procured a map of the old man’s house which showed that the distance between the old man’s room and the stairs was 40 meters. Juror #8 demonstrated that even when the old man would have walked fast with an injured leg he would have reached the stairs only after 40 seconds.

 Therefore, it was quite possible that the old man had heard the accused and his father fighting some time previously. At the time of the incident the old man had only heard the victim scream and fall, maybe also the sounds of the running footsteps and had assumed that it was the accused. With this juror #5, juror #2, Juror #6 and Juror #11 were convinced and they also changed their vote to ‘not guilty’.

 

Supporting Juror #8, Juror #2 had raised a question, that in the report it was stated the victim had been stabbed from upward to downward direction. He doubted that the difference in heights of the victim and accused did not make it feasible for the accused to do so. Juror #3 was adamant and demonstrated that this was possible on Juror #8. 

5 of the jurors were convinced. It was juror #5 who informed everyone in the room that the knife was of a special kind and is used by a special technique that is downwards to upwards. To prove this he informed that he had been born in this area and had been stabbed in the similar manner. Seeing his scar, juror #12 voted for not guilty.

 

The incident which lead to a complete group shift was when juror #3 demanded a reason to refute the claim made by the woman witness. The woman had stated that she had seen the boy stab his father through the windows of the last two coaches of a local train which passed between her and their window.  During the trail the woman had been continuously rubbing her nose which was attributed to a weak eye sight by Juror #9 when he saw Juror #4 doing  the same thing.

 

It was concluded that the woman’s eyesight was weak and did not wear spectacles out of vanity. It was without doubt that she would not have seen the boy committing the crime clearly.  Again Juror #4 and Juror #1 changed their vote to ‘not guilty’. Juror #10 and Juror #7 changed their vote in conformity to the majority.

 

 

Only Juror #3 was adamant till the end that the boy was guilty of the crime. On being repeatedly questioned, he broke down and disclosed that his judgement was colored because he himself faced ill treatment at the hands of his son. The others reasoned with him that the boy that juror #3 is trying to punish is not his son and in all likely hood is innocent and therefore has the right to live. Juror #3 finally agreed to set aside his prejudices and voted ‘not guilty’.

 

We can see a classic case of group shift that took place from one person (juror 8) who voted ‘not guilty’ and the rest voting ‘guilty’ to a shift where all the 12 jurors are convinced that the accused person is not guilty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groupthink is a process in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.

 

For example: From the very beginning of the movie except juror #8 all other jurors had already made up their minds that the accused is guilty without having any deliberation. They wanted to get over with the discussion as soon as possible. For them this was merely a formality. They did not think about the possibilities that the accused could be innocent. All of them had a common mindset that the boy was expert in using knives, there were three witnesses , one old man who had seen him shouting at his father “I will kill you”, a woman who had seen the boy stabbing his father to death and his friends who confessed that the knife at the crime scene was exactly like the knife the boy possessed. One juror recalled that when the accused was asked his whereabouts at the time of the murder, the accused claimed to be watching a movie but was unable to recollect the name to the movie. All these factors proved that the accused was guilty.

 

Since they wanted to end the discussion as soon as possible and all the circumstances pointed towards the culprit as being the murderer, except juror 8, all had a consensus which overrode the realistic approach or the alternative approach, that is there is a possibility that the accused is innocent. The had already come to a conclusion based on the facts that were visible to them until juror #8 by carefully discussing each and every aspect and possibility related to the case became successful in convincing each juror that the accused is innocent which is lead to “group shift”.

 

Group shift means a change between a group’s decision and an individual decision that a member within the group would make, the shift can be toward either conservatism or greater risk but it is generally is toward a more extreme version of the group’s original position.

 

For example:

There are many instances where one can experience group shift during the course of the movie. When juror #8 was opposed by juror #3 since juror #3 believed that since the accused had shouted that he would kill his father in itself is proof enough that he is guilty, juror #8 cleverly provoked juror #3 so much that juror #3 threatened to kill juror #8. Juror #8 pointed out that the threat was only words and juror #3 did not actually mean to kill him. Juror #8 pointed out at the possibility that the since accused was ill treated by his father and was slapped by him, he would have uttered the words out of anger, but in reality had no intention of killing his father. This convinced Juror #9 who changed his vote to ‘not guilty’.

 

The second instance which we can site is when juror #8 was trying to convince was that there is a possibility that the old man did not recognise or hear the so called voice of the accused properly. According to the old man, he heard the accused yelling and then as soon as he woke up, he saw the accused running and all this happened in 15 seconds. Juror #8 tried pointed out that the old man had an injured leg and was unable to stand in court without help.  Juror #8 had procured a map of the old man’s house which showed that the distance between the old man’s room and the stairs was 40 meters. Juror #8 demonstrated that even when the old man would have walked fast with an injured leg he would have reached the stairs only after 40 seconds. Therefore, it was quite possible that the old man had heard the accused and his father fighting some time previously. At the time of the incident the old man had only heard the victim scream and fall, maybe also the sounds of the running footsteps and had assumed that it was the accused. With this juror #5, juror #2, Juror #6 and Juror #11 were convinced and they also changed their vote to ‘not guilty’.

 

Supporting Juror #8, Juror #2 had raised a question, that in the report it was stated the victim had been stabbed from upward to downward direction. He doubted that the difference in heights of the victim and accused did not make it feasible for the accused to do so. Juror #3 was adamant and demonstrated that this was possible on Juror #8.  5 of the jurors were convinced. It was juror #5 who informed everyone in the room that the knife was of a special kind and is used by a special technique that is downwards to upwards. To prove this he informed that he had been born in this area and had been stabbed in the similar manner. Seeing his scar, juror #12 voted for not guilty.

 

The incident which lead to a complete group shift was when juror #3 demanded a reason to refute the claim made by the woman witness. The woman had stated that she had seen the boy stab his father through the windows of the last two coaches of a local train which passed between her and their window.  During the trail the woman had been continuously rubbing her nose which was attributed to a weak eye sight by Juror #9 when he saw Juror #4 doing  the same thing.

 

It was concluded that the woman’s eyesight was weak and did not wear spectacles out of vanity. It was without doubt that she would not have seen the boy committing the crime clearly.  Again Juror #4 and Juror #1 changed their vote to ‘not guilty’. Juror #10 and Juror #7 changed their vote in conformity to the majority.

 

 

Only Juror #3 was adamant till the end that the boy was guilty of the crime. On being repeatedly questioned, he broke down and disclosed that his judgement was coloured because he himself faced ill treatment at the hands of his son. The others reasoned with him that the boy that juror #3 is trying to punish is not his son and in all likely hood is innocent and therefore has the right to live. Juror #3 finally agreed to set aside his prejudices and voted ‘not guilty’.

 

We can see a classic case of group shift that took place from one person (juror 8) who voted ‘not guilty’ and the rest voting ‘guilty’ to a shift where all the 12 jurors are convinced that the accused person is not guilty.

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