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MARKS: 80 COURSE: MBA SUBJECT: Organizational behavior Name : Aneez Ahamed R Reference Number: KM-00510-30386
Note:- 1) Kindly write case study number question number properly 2) Attached question papers with answer sheets _____________________________________________________________________________ Case- 1 “IF TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE, ARE FOUR EVEN BETTER” Preeti Razdan, 24, is a marketing manager for Barista, a chain of coffee shops, in Chennai. Recently, Preeti’s wealthy uncle passed away and left to Preeti, his only niece, INR 5 million. Preeti consider her current salary to be adequate to meet her current living expenses, so that when she buys a house she’ll have a nice nest egg on which to draw. One of Preeti’s neighbours, Bria, is a financial advisor. Brian told Preeti there was a virtually endless array of investment option. She asked him to present her with two of the best options, and this is what he came up with: A very low risk mutual fund. With this option, based on the information Brian provided, Preeti estimates that after 5 years she stands virtually zero chance of losing money, with an expected gain of approximately 30 percent. A moderate-risk mutual fund. Based on the information Brian provided her, Preeti estimates that with this option she stands a 50 percent chance of making a 70 percent gain but also a 50 percent chance of losing 30 percent. Preeti prides herself on being rational and objective in her thinking. However, she’s unsure of what to do in this case. Brian refuses to help her, telling her that she’s already limited herself by asking for only two options. While driving to her parents’ house for the weekend, Preeti finds herself vacillating between the two options. Her older is also visiting the folks this weekend, so Preeti decides to gather her family around the table after dinner, lay out the two options, and go with their decision “You know the old saying-two heads are better than one,” she says to herself, “so four heads should be even better.” Questions :1) Has Preeti made a good decision about the way she is going to make the decision? 2) Which investment would you choose? Why? 3) Which investment do you think most people would choose? 4) Based on what you have learned about groupshift, which investment do you think Preeti’s family will choose?
and Blank says that he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on the deal.” he states. The team’s new plan slowed sown the mail considerably. ‘Steve. It wasn’t until the general who formed the team complained about the mail that the system was changed. an entrepreneur. which included important letters from high-ranking military individuals. and he participated on advisory boards of several Internet start-ups. one of the main reasons that groupthink occurs is a lack of conflict. Steve Blank. and it took almost a month to come up with a plan. Here are some examples: A civilian worker at a large Air Force base recalls a time that groupthink overcome her team’s decisionmaking ability. no one wanted to question the team’s solidarity. But after continually reading about start-ups turning into multimillion-dollar payoffs. “A single devil’s advocate or whistle-blower faces a really uphill struggle. Turezyn did get it. Blank was a dot-com investor. she felt different. Virginia Turezyn. “We’re spending way too much money. managing director of Infinity Capital. She was a member of a process improvement team that an Air Force general had formed to develop a better way to handle the base’s mail. now there were 19. the company was losing money. Even though the team members all knew that the new system was worse than its predecessor.’” The team didn’t take Blank’s advice. Turezyn decided to invest millions in several dot-coms. how would you try to cultivate norms that prevent groupthink? 4) How might group characteristics such as size and cohesiveness affect groupthink? . Recall Blank. with an average delay of 2 weeks. you just don’t get it-all the rules have changed.” she screamed.’ The CEO told me. Finisher. “I was horrified. When that occurs. the desire to maintain group harmony overrides the importance of making sound decisions. What used to be 8 steps. The problem was that I-drive was giving the storage away for free. Turezyn recalls one board meeting at I-drive where she spoke up to no avail. Maybe I really don’t get it. The problems lasted for almost an entire year. May be I’m just too old. The younger executives shook their heads and replied that if they charged for storage they would lose their customers.Case 2 THE DANGERS OF GROUPTHINK Sometimes. “I started to think.” Questions:1) What are some factors that led to groupthink in the cases described here? What can teams do to attempt to prevent groupthink from occurring? 2) How might differences in status among group members contribute to groupthink? For example. “But if you [the naysayer] have one ally that is enormously strengthening. Recalls the civilian worker. how might lower-status members react to a group’s decision? Are lower-status members more or less likely to be dissenters? Why might higher-status group members be mare effective dissenters? 3) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that he encourages dissent. team members are said to engage in groupthink. states that she was a victim of groupthink.” Unfortunately.” The team had devised a new system that resulted in each piece of mail being read by several middle managers before reaching its intended recipient. During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. “I went to those meetings and started saying things like ‘Maybe you should spend that $10 million you just raised on acquiring a customer base rather than building a brand. The problem: The was not a process improvement. Can such norms guard against the occurrence of groupthink? As a manager. Blank tried to persuade his fellow board members to change the business model to be more traditional. I-drive later filed for bankruptcy. The team was composed mostly of civilians. At first. Says Turezyn. and as a result. including I-drive. According to Michael Useem. a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton College of Business. Turezyn was skeptical about the stability of the boom. a company that provided electronic data storage. also fell victim to groupthink.
These programs were developed by highly trained individuals. they help each other with the work. At 35. Although each is required to check in regularly during every work wherever they wanted. for instance. they often joke about the managers and workers who are tied to the office. onsite meetings among all the programmers are held only a new times a year. a graduate of the University of Mumbai and a former hockey player there. When the four get together. and conference software. both in terms of the tax laws they cover and the code in which they are written.Case 3 A VIRTUAL TEAM AT NANAWATI ASSOCIATES Nanawati Associates (NA) is a national tax-accounting firm whose main business is tax-preparation services for individuals. in particular. He is also responsible for training new team members. graduated from the National Institute of Law. he became obsessed with . is 32 years old. Susan. She is 28 years old. Ravi works out of his farm in Lonawala. All four of these NA’s employees are on salary. The programs that these individuals produce are highly technical. These macros greatly enhanced the speed at which a change could be written into the programs. really enjoyed hacking around with macros. flexibility is one or the pluses of these jobs. Nitya. is 26 years old and single. Single. telephone. it’s not unusual for them to step away from guests or family to log on and check in with the others. Here’s some background on the four programmers. Ravi is the primary liaison with NA. On one recent project. although the workers sometimes meet informally outside of these scheduled occasions. His wife works full time in a law firm in downtown Thane. a tax accountant and graduate of Delhi University. a tax lawyer. Aditya enjoys tennis and swimming. NA’s superior reputation is based on the high quality of its advice and the excellence of its service. referring to them as “face timers” and to themselves as “free agents. Bangalore. Often. Aditya. the whole group gets together for lunch. Ravi has occasionally invited the others to visit his farm. is negotiated separately and secretly with the management. In his spare time. a tax accountant and computer science graduate from the University of Pune. married. which. New laws and interpretations of existing laws have to be integrated quickly and flawlessly into the existing regulations and analysis tools.” When the programmers were asked to make a major program change. Perfecting them requires high levels of programming skill as well as the ability to understand the law. The four programmers work from home and are connected to each other and to the company by e-mail. Ravi Tendulkar is a tax lawyer. Nitya’s hobbies include golf and skiing. and Nitya and Aditya have gotten their families together several times for dinner. when they are facing a deadline and one of Nitya’s kids is home sick. Aditya. These programs are created in a virtual environment by four programmers in the Greater Mumbai area. These four people exchange e-mail message many times every day. with two children aged 4 and 6. Clearly. Along with his design responsibilities. Sometimes. Ravi has worked on the programs for 6 years and is the longest-standing member of the team. In fact. About once a month. Key to the achievement of its reputation is the state-of-the-art computer databases and analysis tools that its people use when counseling clients. consistent with company custom. married. with two children aged 4 and 6. She recently relocated and works out of her apartment in Pune. they often developed programming tools called macros that would help them to do their work more efficiently. their e-mail is amusing as well as work related. Her husband works full time as an electrical engineer at a local defense contractor. Formal. for instance.
he found that it actually saved him many hours too. Several months passed and they used some of their extra time to push the quality of their work even higher. the situation seems to have gotten out of control.” Not wanting to embarrass his group of employees. the in-house manager of the work team. He had wondered why production time had gone down a bit. They decided to distributed the macro to the other members of their team and swore them to secrecy. Karan Kohli. reasoning that since both quality and productivity were up. Questions :1) Why is this group a team? 2) Has anyone in this case acted unethically? 3) What. One week after he turned in his code and his release notes to the company. the team set for itself a level of production that it felt would not arouse management’s suspicion. During the meal. Ravi was skeptical of the shortcut. Suddenly. but he insisted the team’s action had been justified to protect itself. Ravi and Aditya felt that the small amount of money that would be generated by a company reward would not offset the free time that they gained using their new macro. Karan has just learned that Aditya has boasted about his trick to a member of another virtual work team in the company. They wanted the time for leisure of consulting work. they were concerned that they were entering their busy season and knew everyone on the team would be stressed by the heavy workload. Although Ravi and Aditya wouldn’t share the innovation with management. Karan decided to take Aditya to lunch. The program gives an employee 5 percent of the saving generated by their innovation over a period of 3 months. So they didn’t share their innovative macro with management. Aditya told him about the innovation. He did not tell his own manager about his suspicions. Aditya knew that his own boss would soon hear of the situation and that he would be looking for answers from him. It would allow three people to do the work of four. picked up on the innovation several weeks after it was first implemented.the prospect of creating a shortcut that could save him a huge amount of time. Aditya bragged to Ravi that he had created a new macro that saved him 8 hours of work that week. Over lunch one day. while quality had shot up. and he got his first inkling of an answer when he saw an e-mail from Nitya to Aditya thanking him for saving her so much time with his “brilliant mind. which could mean one might lose their job. the manager hinted to Ravi that he wanted to know what was happening. but after trying it out. The company also has a profit-sharing plan. he did not really need to pursue the matter further. They also feared their group might suffer if management learned about the innovation. karan asked Aditya to explain what was happening. if any. characteristics of groupthink are manifested in the work team? 4) Has Karan been an effective team leader? Explain your position. . NA has an employee-suggestion program that rewards employees for innovations that save the company’s money. but he got nowhere. But they also now had more time to pursue their own personal interests.
having their employees engage in hands-on volunteer work. “Success more often than not is a function of execution. and execution is really about people. According to Atkins.” its annual team-building exercise. But why do organizations have teammates participate in activities that seem irrelevant to the organization’s primary activities? Howard Atkins. an employee of security systems company Alarm One was award $1. Sometimes. Hewlett-Packard. chief financial officer at Wells Fargo. So they helped Habitat for Humanity build a home. cooking contests.” Part of the success that Atkins is referring to is the doubledigit gains in earnings by Wells Fargo-gains that he says are one of the effects of the corporate retreats. which in turn improves company performance. though. CEO of RE / MAX International. to Iron Chef-inspired cooking contests (used by UBS. “There is productivity boost anytime you have one of these. At a luxury hotel in Sonoma. they feel better about the company. Chief Financial Officer Charles Pope says it’s one of the last things he’d cut from Seagate’s budget. “Most of the time. a dozen Burger King Employees burned themselves while participating in a “fire walk”-a team-building exercise that requires teammates to walk barefoot across an 8-foot pit of burning-hot coals. a professional corporate retreat organizer. and Verizon) can foster effective teamwork. California. Companies believe such retreats. In 2006. “Where good retreats have a quantifiable effect is on retention. “team-building has definitely gone down. The tab? $9. on productivity” Daryl Jesperson. Seagate flies roughly 200 managers to New Zealand to participate in “Eco Seagate. to trust-building exercise (where team members let themselves fall backwards into their colleagues’ arms). The results were injured employees and some very negative publicity for Burger King.7 million in damages in a lawsuit in which she claimed she had been spanked on the job as part of a camaraderie-building exercise. To the delight of his colleagues.Case 4 TEAM-BUILDING RETREATS Team-building retreats are big business.000 for the retreat in Sonoma. The team succeeded. According to Merianne Liteman. and it may be better to think of such activities as morale boosters. says. so we invest pretty heavily into our people. In 2001. Given the level of expense. they wanted to use a team-building exercise to acquaint the executive teams. people asking for these activities aren’t interested in real teamwork building. on morale. a business psychologist. What they really want is entertainment. “What I have been trying to do is get them to see the power of acting more like a team.” . and as a result will do a better job. such as distributing secondhand medical equipment in developing countries.” Atkins believes otherwise: “I know intuitively the payback here is huge. People are reluctant to spend money on what they think is not an absolute necessity.” How heavy is the investment? Well Fargo paid $50. It’s a very small investment to make for the payback we are going to get. believes that corporate retreats aid team building. Every year. One observer of these retreats said. UPS has new managers participate in various community projects. It’s really a terrific success. It is questionable whether team-building exercise such as mountain climbing. where team members participate in activities ranging from mountain climbing. some companies are now discontinuing their team-building activities outside the organization. People feel better about themselves. Atkins-along with several other corporate executives-participated in an exercise in which he ad his team had to build a bridge out of boxes and unstable wooden planks. When the breweries Coors and Molson merged.” Hard drive maker Seagate takes it even further. It’s clear that companies that invest in team-building retreats think they’re worth the investment. but they didn’t want to go the route of the typical golf outings or ropes course. According to Susan Harper. they have unintended consequences.000 per manager. and fire walks results in improved company financial performance. Atkins was able to make it across the bridge.” Some companies are taking team-building exercise in a different direction.
Questions :1) Do you believe that team-building activities increase productivity? Why or why not? What other factors might be responsible for increases in profitability following a corporate retreat? 2) What are some other ways besides those described here to build effective teams and increase teamwork among company employees? How might these alternatives be better or worse than corporate retreats? 3) What should companies do about employees who lack athletic talent but are still pressured to participate in physical activities with their colleagues? How might poor performance by those with low athletic ability affect their status within the organization? 4) How might you increase teamwork when team members are not often in direct contact with one another? Can you think of any “electronic” team-building exercises? .
He has also been entrepreneurial during his school days and once opened a sandwich shop. . and has scientific and technical knowledge. ‘People to watch’ in International Business by TIME (2002). From the above account it is obvious that Sabeer Bhatia is brilliant. the co-founder of Hotmail is the recipient of the “TR 100” award presented by MIT to 100 young innovators who are expected to have the greatest impact on technology in the next few years. and mother. What competencies are needed to be creative? 2. father. Microsoft approached them. He shared his plan with his colleague Jack Smith. He had an urge to do something unique using the net. he completed his early schooling at Bangalore. which he left to study at California Institute of Technology after winning full scholarship. After a year. Born in Chandigarh. in schools with ethical values. He feels that the Indian IT companies can be more creative. and one of the ten most successful entrepreneurs by San Jose Mercury News and POV magazine (1998). Bhatia worked the whole night to develop the business plan. One needs to know what has gone into making him a highly creative person. He has been a brilliant student who would solve problems on the blackboard. due to limited time. Creativity seems to be his motivation in life. The two tried various options and came up with ‘Hotmail’ as their final choice. Baldev. India. He joined the Birla Institute of Technology. and innovative. Identify methods through which creativity can be nurtured. He has an unquenching desire to create new ventures. and has launched two more products: Arzoo and Blog Everywhere. a senior officer in Ministry of Defense. where he worked for nine months. and he came up with java soft— a method of using the web to create a personal database. and bubbles with new ideas. Bhatia worked with Microsoft for a year. His parents were both professionals. and Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for $400 million. To top it all. He has won several laurels— ‘Elite 100’ list of top trendsetters in the New Economy by Upside Magazine. a senior official in the Central Bank of India. where people could preserve their personal things. ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by a venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (1997). persistent. Daman.Case-5-SABEER BHATIA: AN ICON OF CREATIVITY Sabeer Bhatia. He was a perfectionist and would feel miserable if he was unable to write everything he knew in his answer book during an exam. Questions:1. who suggested e-mailing to java soft. His friends find him “persistent. who attached great value to education. He completed his masters from Stanford University and joined Apple. and a brand was launched in 1995. he is a perfectionist and entrepreneurial at heart. focused and disciplined”. he is still single.
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