“Ross and Rachel are teammates on a complex team project in a class at CWU. They are working with two other teammates. Ross majors in Business Administration and is planning on taking a few extra courses so he can earn double major in Accounting. He is the President of the Young Entrepreneurs club. Ross’s parents built a successful family business through hard work and long hours. His father used to tell him that “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself”. Similarly, his mother told him: “In this world, you have to look out for yourself”. During family holidays, his parents would say the traditional family toast before each meal….” it’s us against the world – nothing is going to hold us down”. Ross’s plans to start his own business after graduation. He dreams of taking over the family business after his parents retire.
Rachel majors in Business Administration with a Supply Chain specialization. She is involved in the Supply Chain Club and spends her weekends volunteering at a center that provides services to disabled veterans. Rachel is also from a family that built a successful small business through long hours and hard work. Her parents emphasized value group harmony and loyalty. They believed that preserving a harmonious environment and strong personal and family relationships is more important than earning large profits. Before large holiday meals, Rachel’s parents also toast the “wonderful business that was created by many hands and lifelong friends”.
When Ross, Rachel, and their teammates begin the team project, Ross immediately volunteers to be the leader. A second team member volunteers to take the lead on doing research, and a third team member volunteers to be the leader in preparing the team’s presentation at the end of the quarter. When Rachel does not volunteer to lead any part of the project, Ross becomes angry and asks her, “How seriously are you taking this project?” Rachel replies that she would be happy to serve in any way that would benefit the team. Ross feels angry with Rachel’s response because he feels that it shows she is not fully committed to the project, but he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he tells Rachel that she can lead the team’s analytical work. Rachel agrees to this role and is happy because it aligns with her interests.
At the team’s second meeting, Ross begins by saying that “conflict is good because we need to aggressively push each other to ensure that we have the best project.” The other two team members nod their heads in agreement. Rachel seems visibly upset and does not comment. Ross looks her in the eye and says, “You are way too quiet. You will not succeed in business if you’re not aggressive”. Rachel replies, “We should work together as friends, that will give us the best results”. Ross turns to her and yells at the top of his lungs, “We are not here to make friends! We are here to get the best results and graduate with honors”. Rachel’s eyes begin to water, and she quickly leaves the room. ”
Question 1: What can this team do to make sure it is effective as possible? In your answer, please cover all of the following: team diversity, roles, cohesiveness, norms, and conflict management.
Question 2: Do you think Ross has acted ethically in his interactions with Rachel? In your answer refer to the rights, utilitarian, and virtue perspectives. What stage of moral development do you think Ross is at? Do his intentions matter? What could CWU do to help students treat each other ethically when working on team projects?
Question3: Do you think Rachel and Ross will be good managers when they enter the workplace? What managerial skills does each have, and what skills does each need to develop?
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