Saturday, April 12, 2008

Organizational Behavior - Team Primer

Fall 2005

Problems facing Michael Bacon at the end of the case:

At the end of the case, Bacon faces some serious problems. The most serious problem is strong resistance from market managers who want to deny the task force’s report and recommendations, thus the task force’s objective may not be achieved. The second problem is that a task force member, Bodin, is attacked due to his finding on regional sales managers’ overstating their sales estimates that cause the company’s wrong sales forecasting. As the task force leader, Bacon must find the way to protect Bodin and take responsibility if he is hurt or compromised by the persons whose responsibilities were found related to the wrong sales forecasting. The third problem is the relationships between Bacon and Meir, between Bacon and Reiss. Meir is dissatisfied with task force members and thinks that Bacon does not trust him by hiding Bodin’s report. Reiss lost his trust to Bacon when Bacon let Meir know Bodin’s confidential report. As a result, the task force risks breaking up. The fourth problem is the relationship between Bacon and Cornelius. Bacon will face strong resistance from Cornelius when he did not give Cornelius information at the end of the case. Another problem is that the task force may fail to fulfill its given tasks because its members have not yet agree on the results to be presented and they seem to be separated by subgroups and have different approaches of the task force’s tasks. To restore the trust of the members and bring them together to work on the common tasks will be a big challenge for Bacon since team dissatisfaction has occurred and the members do not have the feeling of working, sharing, helping among each other as a team. Therefore, Bacon needs to find a way to restore the task force.

How did those problems evolve?

These problems have occurred from the task force design. Task force members who are too different in age, background, experience, interests, habits and so forth were wrongly selected. The first meeting was conducted in the absence of the management and was not prepared so that task force members were not aware of each other, did not understand clearly the task force’s goals and tasks, did not have team spirit and team motivation, and did not have a sense of themselves together as a unit. The division in subgroups made the members not to feel that they are part of the team, especially Meir who had to work alone while other worked in their groups. The fact that Bacon himself did not trust Meir put a negative influence on the team spirit and team performance, thus there were no strong commitment and trust within the task force. Then, the internal communication problem occurred when the members did not know the way in which they interact with each other to accomplish the task and to keep themselves together as a team. Due to the lack of skills of a team player, Bacon did not know how to influence the team, run the task force, improve teamwork performance, increase team member satisfaction, and encourage team learning. As a result, the members worked on their own way, did not interact with each other, did not share information among the team, and did not help each other. Bacon worked closely with Holt’s subgroup and Reiss but let Meir work alone and did not give him support or guidance to complete his tasks. Thus, Meir felt that he does not belong to the team but rather work independently. The suspicion between Bacon and Meir seemed to increase. The serious problem happened when the task force did not reach team consensus before presenting recommendations and did not brief the key managers and other constituencies before the final presentation to prevent defensive reactions and rejection of the proposal. Therefore the task force’s presentation seemed to be the presentation of separate subgroups and individuals. The task force could not defend itself before the attack of market managers. Meir was angry with the attitude of his team members and got mad when knowing that his work was much easier if the information was shared within the group and if other members work closely with him. His dissatisfaction and anger ended up by spreading confidential report to his boss. This put Bacon in serious trouble. In short, the problems have occurred from the formation of the task force, the first meeting, running of the task force and bringing the project to completion.

1 comment:

Chethan said...

Hey thanks for all your post which are helpful in solving case study and giving us a better knowledge, please keep your post updated and adding other case studies...

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