? Section 1. A brief statement of your observations about the
situation and the key issues in that team.? Section 2. A clear one-sentence problem statement; e.g., The
problem facing this team is XXX
? Section 3. Identification of 3 causes of this problem – each of
which comes from a theory or concept in our course. In other
words, you will be applying 3 concepts/theories from the course.
For each concept you must:
o Define the theory/concept in a detailed enough way that it
is clear you understand its distinctions and why it applies
here.
o Persuade me that it fits this situation and helps you
understand a true cause of the problem in the case.
o Explain the concept in enough depth that I am convinced
you fully understand them. Feel free to cite the textbook
and other sources anywhere in the paper, just do NOT use
quotes from the textbook to define the concept. State
things in your own words, otherwise I will not know
whether you fully understand the concepts. To show me
that you understand them, you will need to discuss
nuances and those fine-grained details to develop non-
obvious ideas. Choose depth over breadth as you decide
how many concepts to discuss.
? Section 4. Propose two possible solutions to the problem (section
2) – which grow out of the causes of the problem you discussed in
section 3. Discuss the clear, explicit, connection between one or
more causes of the problem (see section 3), and each of these
two possible solutions.
? Section 5. Recommend the BEST solution (selected from the two
you presented in section 4). Tell me why this is the best solution
and the pros and cons of this choice (for example, what might
make it difficult to implement?). Explain how you would
practically implement it as the consultant hired by the professor.
team_member_from_hell_case.pdf

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Written Case #2
THE TEAM MEMBER FROM HELL
(Part A) – Mike’s Perspective
Let me tell you about my teammate from hell. Someone with no motivation to succeed is the
worst kind of member to have in a group because it is nearly impossible to motivate him to do
the work and perform it well. It was apparent from the beginning John had no motivation. After
our group was already formed by the teacher, a late comer came to class and the teacher assigned
him to our group. His name was John. Already I was a little weary, the students who come to
class a couple of days after it begins are the slackers, they were either skipping the first days or
they didn’t have their schedule together.
At our first meeting my expectations were met. I found out John is a member of a fraternity and
he did nothing but talk about his social life. I must say though, John was entertaining. He could
make us laugh, mainly because he didn’t seem to know what he was talking about.
Unfortunately, John could also be loud and obnoxious and often his jokes were simply not funny.
He just did not understand the difference between social hour and work life.
Although John plans on working in his family’s business when he graduates, he was working 2030 hours a week for spending money and to help pay tuition. I don’t think he wanted to be in
school and might have dropped out if it weren’t for all his friends. John seemed like someone you
would always have to push a little harder to get anything done. He made no attempt to discuss
anything about the project or even discuss his life around academics. It was only about partying.
We discussed what we would prepare for our next meeting. John did not volunteer his services
for any of the tasks and when we assigned him one he seemed very annoyed and unsatisfied. At
the next meeting John showed up late and was unprepared. I was disappointed. It wasn’t the end
of the world but I couldn’t help but look ahead at the complex project we were to complete. If
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this is the attitude and work ethic he brings to the table at the second meeting, how are we ever
going to get a solid project completed? I have a dream to make something of myself when I
graduate so I am concerned with my grades and don’t want to be dragged down by someone who
doesn’t care. I would almost rather do things on my own.
We decided that the workload would be distributed evenly among all members of the group.
Each member of the group chose a certain activity to fulfill. The workload was evenly
distributed and the members of the group all began to work towards completing their selected
work. Things seemed to be going well until another group member and I realized that John was
not completing his required work. He had an attitude about school that was not very positive and
was not doing well in the class. We tried to motivate him by explaining that if we successfully
completed the project he would successfully complete the course. This seemed to work initially
but we soon learned he was still not completing the work. We discussed the situation and
offered to help him if he was having difficulties. Again this worked temporarily but he fell back
into the same pattern.
It wasn’t as though the group didn’t make an effort to get him involved. Two of us kept reminding
him to do his part of the project. He’d smile and give a little chuckle. We also sent numerous emails to him practically begging him to attend the meetings so that we could have his input, as
well as save his grade. He never responded to the messages. At the meetings he did show up to I
confronted him and asked if he would make more of a consistent effort to attend group meetings.
He was really laid back and would always just tell us that he was busy and would do what he
could. Eventually one of the members blew up at him. She told him that he was being
disrespectful and that if he didn’t want to do anything that he shouldn’t show up. After that the
only thing he changed was that he came to meetings but was quiet and still did almost no work.
He just walked in, sat there while we did work and then took credit for work that he did not do.
As time went on we noticed John was trying to make small attempts to slowly work his way back
into the group. I think he began to notice what a good time we were having working together to
complete the project. As he became more vocal and offered some opinions, we really didn’t want
to listen to what he had to say. We were far along with the project and didn’t need his input at
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this time. Also, we no longer trusted him and did not feel that we could rely on him. I didn’t take
anything he said seriously and when he offered to do something I didn’t expect him to do it. He
began to complain and make sarcastic responses such as “oh I guess nobody hears me.”
As the project deadline grew near, we agreed that we must meet early in the week and then at the
end of the week and then over the weekend one final time. However, after thinking about the
current plans just made, John realized his fraternity’s semi-formal was that same weekend and he
claimed there was no time over the weekend that he could work on the project. This statement got
me thinking. Does he expect the rest of us to finish the project for him? Does he really have the
nerve to change our plans just so he can get drunk all weekend? What are his priorities, school or
partying? Suddenly, after this occurred I felt tremendous pressure. Not only do I and my other
teammates have to orchestrate everything to finish the project, but we are the only ones who care
about the quality of our work too. We could have talked to him again about his performance but
we never did. We just wanted to get the work done and go home as soon as we could.
I finally called our Professor and asked her if we could remove John from our group. She wants
to meet with all of us on Tuesday.
THE TEAM MEMBER FROM HELL
(Part B) John’s Perspective
Let me tell you about a team member from hell. I was in a group with Mike, who likes to have
things done his way without help from anyone, which I knew was going to be a problem.
The group assignment consisted of answering fifty multiple choice questions that covered what
we had learned throughout the semester. At our first group meeting Mike didn’t want to waste
time getting to know the members of the group. Not only did he not allow himself to get to
know these people, he didn’t allow the remaining members to get to know each other because it
would be a waste of time. Instead of “wasting time going through every problem together as a
group,” as he put it, he delegated certain questions to each member. He decided that each
member would do his or her assigned part and we would all meet a half hour before the next
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class to exchange answers. He decided that, as a group, we could discuss any problems we had
with particular questions in that allotted time.
Mike did not want to hear any rationale about how this plan could go terribly wrong. His
stubbornness made it impossible to get any other ideas through. My complaints went ignored
and he took his “leader” role, which felt more like a dictatorship. He had to be in control;
whatever I said was wrong and what he said was right. He would not listen. When I said
something, he would not even acknowledge me. I felt many of his ideas were bad but I didn’t say
anything because I did not want to start an argument. Although he wanted things to be done his
way, he didn’t want to spend a lot of time doing them. He was not organized either. Instead of
finishing one job first, he would jump all around and have more than one project going. This
made the group more stressful. I hated attending the meetings. I could tell others felt the same
way. At one point I stopped going to the meetings, but my group members begged me to attend.
Our Professor knows we are having problems and has asked to meet with all of us on Tuesday.
Assignment
In the meeting with the Professor on Tuesday, the group finds out that the Professors have
worked it out so that all groups in the class will be working together in the same teams next
semester as well. This is so that the teams have to address their problems rather than ignore them.
The Professor offered to have a former student of hers work with Mike and John’s team as a
consultant – to help them work through their problems. Everyone in the group agreed that this
would be a great idea.
You are the former student who will be consulting with this team. What will you do?
Possible theories to apply: Personality theories; attribution theory (for example, the fundamental
attribution error and self-serving bias); perception and the strategies your book lists for reducing
perceptual biases; all of the motivation theories we covered (how might the group work to
motivate John); theories or ideas about group dynamics and team effectiveness such as social
loafing, facilitation, stages of group development, and what it says about setting up a team for
success (process losses – and when there is a process loss, what should be examined).

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