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General Management Case Study

In: Business and Management

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GM591F
Leadership and Organizational Behavior Case Study Group development
Christine’s group is now facing the storming stage of team development. This is the point when there are high emotions and tension between the members of the team. During this stage there may be conflict, arguments, hostility and possibly fighting. Separate cliques may form within the group and each group may begin to compete against one another. During the stage of storming communication may be cut off and assumptions are made. Social loafing may occur as a result of the storming phase. The separation between teams may cause certain members to withdraw from the group because they may not have the personality to handle conflict. This is an issue because that team member will stay away from meetings in fear of having to confront or be confronted by the issues present. Another reason for the storming phase is due to the personalities of each member surfacing. If Christine was familiar with the storming stage of team development she may have recognized the red flags leading up to this phase. The text describes recognition of the storming pressures that should result in establishing goals and expectations. Once Christine recognized the storming was beginning, she should have taken the initiative as a leader to redirect the focus from the negative to working towards confronting the obstacles that were going to change the focus of the original task at hand.
Problem Identification
The primary issue that I recognized was Christine not immediately establishing each team member’s role. According to the case study details, everyone in the group had special skills or traits about them that would contribute to the project in some way. There was nothing mentioned about each members responsibilities. Meeting times were not established; charters were not written and clear and concise expectations were not communicated. The secondary issue with the group that was identified was that Christine was not an assertive leader. An assertive team leader would have recognized the issue and confronted in right away. At least communication to the group once the issue was recognized. Since Christine was such a passive leader things got out of her control. It seemed that Michael did not respect her as a leader. Christine did not bother to speak with the instructor to attempt a resolution. Here are a few examples of what I think would have been ways to handle this issue of storming.
Retrospective Evaluation
At this time the team is already in the storming phase so preventive measures are irrelevant at this point. The group is in week five and drastic measures may need to be taken. I would first call a mandatory meeting for the team, no excuses or acceptable. I would explain that there are issues and misunderstandings that have occurred but we must get past those issues and complete this project successfully. I would invite the professor to conference in on the meeting or attend in person, if possible. I would not attack Michael, but I would address the lack of participation and ask what it is he can accomplish before we move on. I would also point out the accomplishments that we have so far and what tasks still remain at this time. I would request volunteers of who can complete certain task. If there were items still not spoken for, I will assign them accordingly. A target due date will be assigned with communicated point loss if not turned in by the date. Professor must approve this of course, but based on the circumstances, these are the drastic measures for storming. I do not want the team to feel attacked, but all members know who the problem is, so I would assume they will know that all must be addressed although the sudden strict rules apply to the social loafer. The pros of this solution are getting the assignment completed with everyone knowing the expectations. The con could be a backlash from Michael or any other members due to the “takeover” of the situation. Another alternative to consider is bringing the team to a meeting with Michael to discuss a solution. This could be a long unproductive finger pointing meeting or it could end with some sort of resolution. If this is at all possible, I believe without establishing each member’s role, this could still be an issue. Michael may still withdraw and loaf and others may not attempt to address this with him. The con to this suggestion is a completed project without all of Michael’s input. The pro is that Michael was given the opportunity to express his feelings although nothing was accomplished from that.
Reflection
I would have to say that Christine was not an affective team leader. She waited too long to recognize an issue within the group. She also did not attempt to bring the team together with the professor to address and resolve the issues. Christine did not take charge of the situation. Instead she allowed the group to withdraw. This is a case of personality clashing and choosing the wrong person to lead a team project. Although she was capable of getting the job done, she was not so much a leader.

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