The current situation and existed issues of the learning team Only three weeks into the MBA program at a famous school in the eastern United States, a learning team was in trouble. Teamwork turmoil impaired the team atmosphere and hindered progress. Especially on one night group study, the problem boiled over. Some members just benefited from others’ efforts and easily gained key points. Others were occupied with their personal lives instead of work. Besides, some laughed at others analysis. In addition, disagreement with the key points worsened the situation, eventually, the team split into several distinct parts. Tony Marshall, the learning team mentor, had no idea how to effectively address the mess.
List of alternatives
a. Communicate with each team members and point out individual behaviors b. Establish the meaning of teamwork through a non-work environment c. Adjust the team schedule and set new criteria
Evaluation of alternatives
a. Communicate with each team members and point out individual behaviors As the mentor of the teamwork, Marshall is responsible for the team academic behavior. Having familiarity with every member’s situation and background, Marshall is to chat with individuals, point out their disadvantages and give advice for improvement. Pros: A major advantage to this approach is to make a sound and objective decision. Through communication with each team member, Marshall acquired comprehensive information, including reason why insufficient time was dedicated to the case study and also reasons for the attitude towards others’ behaviors, advices to improvement and the like. After further learning, then Marshall can give related advice or help to each one as well as point out team spirit according to their specific problems. Besides, individual talk for the members protects their self-esteem rather than criticizing them before others and creating an embarrassing situation. Cons: Since long hours and energy should be poured into talking individually, the method may fail to address the disorder quickly. Additionally, even if each individual communication is guaranteed, this also doesn’t achieve the learning team goal. This just solves the problem in the individual level, rather than the group level. The related changes made by team member have only due to individual benefits instead of team goods.
b. Establish the meaning of teamwork through a non-work environment Due to the athletic experience or background equipped with most team members, Marshall can invite all of them to watch an athletic game or have a match such as basketball or soccer to help with pointing out the meaning of team spirit and improve union sense. Pros: Most importantly, through sports game and play, Marshall can convey a specific team spirit in an athletic team, namely the positive attitude of a team that makes the members want to achieve a committed goal. Then trust, respect, and cooperation are necessary traits to every member for enjoyment of the teamwork. More important, Marshall can indicate the way to crack the case is through team power instead of getting free answer form only some teammates Another benefit of this means is to give time and space for individuals to have self-examination concerning their conducts and behaviors, which will improve teamwork. Since most of the members are athletic fans and even experienced a team game, they are familiar with and easily encouraged by the spirit.
Cons: Although the way is feasible and good, the outcome seems to be hard to measure and control. During the process, It is impossible for Marshall to guarantee each a total understanding of the team spirit, and the knowledge that each one is not only a member but a leader as well. Therefore, an uneven degree of each understanding may affect the outcome.
c. Adjust the team schedule and set new criteria
Rearrangement of the team schedule, including identifying tasks for each member, assigning responsibility and deadlines, introducing new criteria to evaluate everyone’s behavior would be a solution to the turmoil situation. Pros: When there are specific criteria to regulate and evaluate conduct and behavior, people tend to behave under the measurable criteria. So the problem that one just benefits from others’ effort may be avoided, since the new criteria rules demand each member should objectively assume duty and work in the team. Additionally, this alternative is measurable and provides control outcomes for the mentor. Cons: The alternative seems to solve the problem by keeping everything in a good order under a new regulation and criteria. However, the approach obeys the principal goal of learning team, namely making each one in it be a member and also a leader. The new criteria transform a self-managed team originally to a group that had a designated leader, which definitely goes against the original intention of the learning team.
After careful consideration, I believe discussing meaning of teamwork with all members through watching or having an athletic game is the best choice for Marshall. First of all, most members have a personal athletic background and experience, so the alternative provides a positive environment to build teamwork. Furthermore, compared with talking to everyone, the means solves problem in time and encourages the team morale. Most importantly, this method solves issues in a general level and complies with the aim of learning team. Besides, the means is accord with the role and duty of a mentor in team, to lead members in right time in right ways rather than order members do what they should do.