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Unformatted text preview: El STUDENT CASE TEN MINUTES TO MAKE A DECISION “Okay guys. This is a very important decision we’re making. I think we should vote on
what project we want to do." “l agree, but don’t you think we should discuss the alternatives first?" “We can discuss after the initial vote. l’ll write the results on the board." ##1## The first breakout session of Management 100 is dedicated to the selection of the project
from a list of alternatives. After an initial icebreaker, the professor and teaching assistant
turn the meeting over to the newly acquainted group of twelve students who scan the
summaries of seven projects. When discussion begins, members seem uncertain, glancing
back and forth from instructor to TA, and conﬂicted, struggling with the desire to assume
a leadership position and a fear of rejection. Finally, Robert (who has dominated the
discussion so far) speaks up, saying that the group should take an initial vote. Karen
objects, arguing that even an initial vote is premature. Her voice is quickly silenced by one
or two strong willed and vocal students. She shrugs her shoulders, turns away from the
group in disgust, and watches a squirrel run around outside the classroom window. Robert
now walks to the board and makes a list of all the potential projects. For each project, he
leaves three spaces in which to record the number of people who consider it their first
choice, second, and third. This process takes several minutes. The group is at last ready
to vote. When the first round of voting is complete, the group takes a look at the results.
Robert, Charley, and Sandra decide that three of the projects should be discarded right
off the bat since they did not get any votes for first choice. Bruce mentions that the group
has not discussed any of the merits of each alternative, but he is ignored. He shifts in his
Seat and starts to doodle in the margins of the project descriptions. Robert says the group should take another vote. The second round of voting results
in the elimination of two more projects. Two projects remain. At this point, forty minutes
have elapsed, and there are only ten minutes remaining in which to make the decision
which will greatly influence the team’s satisfaction and productivity for the rest of the
semester. “We have ten minutes to make a decision, and we haven’t even begun to discuss
the merits of each," declares Jane, who has been silent up until this point. She rests her
chin in her hands; a look of panic appears on everyone's faces. 51 WHARTON REPROGRAPHICS 10 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2009 for the course MGMT 100 taught by Professor Maxwell during the Spring '08 term at UPenn.
- Spring '08