Reference no: EM132234202
Absence of Teamwork[ Footnote ]
At 3 a.m.,John was wondering what he was going to do to finish the team project that was due by 9 a.m. the same morning. Just five minutes ago, Shaun stormed out of John’s apartment yelling. Perhaps the pressure was too much for Shaun. John knew somehow he would get the work done by the deadline, but he was getting sick and tired of doing the work by himself and was wondering how he got himself into the mess. Nine hours ago, John, Shaun, and the rest of his teammates got together to complete the project. The major project for the finance class had been divided up among six team members several weeks ago. It had been agreed that they would get together the night before the due date to complete the assignment. John completed his section a day before the meeting and spent the day checking over his work. He was quite proud of his work. When John called Shaun, his best friend, Shaun told him that his work was also completed and of high quality. When John got to the meeting, he found Shaun, Brigitte, Anton, and Aliyah at the meeting, but Craig was nowhere in sight. When he asked about Craig, Shaun just shrugged his shoulders and said that he had no idea. As it turned out, Craig’s absence was the least of John’s problems. Neither Brigitte nor Aliyah had completed their parts of the assignments. Brigitte had completed only 50 percent of her part, and John could see that even the completed part needed a major revision. Aliyah completed 80 percent of her assignment, but she wasn’t sure whether she got it right. Anton completed 75 percent of his assignment, and his part only needed a minor revision. At this point, John felt like pulling his hair out but remained calm. He said, “OK. I think we can get the work done if we all pitch in together. . . .” Before he had a chance to finish his sentence, Brigitte said that she couldn’t stay because she had to go to work. She told the group that her shift would start at 9 P.M., and she would get off at 6 A.M. the next day. Anton jumped in and said he had to leave at 7:30 P.M. to attend the NFL Monday Night Football game. He had two tickets to the game, and he had promised to take his fiancée to the game. John looked at Shaun and Aliyah to see what excuses they had. To his relief, John found Shaun didn’t have any commitments. However, Aliyah had to leave at 9 P.M. to attend her husband’s surprise birthday party. John realized that in order to get the project done, he and Shaun would have to stay up all night doing other people’s work and combining the parts. Things proceeded smoothly until John noticed that a major piece of work that was Craig’s part was left out. John knew Craig could be a liability. When the team divided up the work, John insisted that Craig’s critical parts also be worked on by others in the team. Despite John’s careful planning, one critical piece was never assigned to anyone besides Craig. It had to be completed before other parts of the project could be consolidated. This was when Shaun became more belligerent. John understood why Shaun was frustrated. John thought if anyone should be angry, it should be him. John felt he had somehow assumed the leadership role in the team even though he didn’t want to. Now, he felt responsible for the whole project. Shaun said, “This isn’t fair. Why do we always get stuck with doing all the work?” John said, “Because we want to get an A for the course. Both Brigitte and Aliyah just want to get B’s. They are marketing majors, and they couldn’t care less about finance. Anton is a JD/MBA student, and he just wants to practice law. Oh, Craig has already found a lucrative job in the computer industry. So, he just wants to graduate and go on with his life. So, you see it’s up to us to get the project done.” Shaun became agitated and said, “John, I couldn’t care less at this point. I’m exhausted and burned out. I’ve got to go home and get some sleep or I won’t make it to my accounting exam this afternoon.” (Yelling and screaming.) “Those [expletive] teammates can go [expletive] themselves! I’m going home.” Shaun stormed out of John’s apartment. John was left alone to work on the project. He assessed the project and realized that it would take him at least another six hours to finish it. John kept asking himself how he got himself into this mess and started to get angry at himself. John finally finished the project around 8:30 A.M., and he was about to print out the cover page for the project. When he came to putting the names of the team members on the cover page, he hesitated. He really wanted to put only his and Shaun’s names on the cover page and leave other names off. John eventually printed out two cover pages, one with all the names and the other with only John and Shaun’s names. He rushed out of the apartment and walked over to Professor Michael’s office to submit the project. Professor Michael was working in his office that morning. When he saw John standing outside his office, he called John in: “Hey, John. Do you want to talk to me? Come on in.” Somewhat surprised at Professor Michael’s prompt, John told him that he was there to hand in his team project. Pretending everything was fine, he quickly selected one of the cover pages and attached it to the main project. He handed in the project and walked out of the office. Questions
How would you evaluate this team based on each of the eight characteristics of effective groups?
What type of work-related team is presented in this case? Explain.
What are the dysfunctions of this team? Explain and illustrate each.
Was John a good team member? Was he a responsible team member?Explain
What could the team have done to avoid the situation described?
What should John have done at the end of the case; that is, which cover page should he have picked?
What might be the consequences of either action? Did one or the other choice make him more ethical?Explain.
What cover page do you think John selected? Why?