kraut's blog

Plan your persuasion experiment

On Nov 12th, you will be turning in an assignment reporting the results of a small experiment in which you create versions of a persuasive message differing on a dimension which research suggests should have an impact on influencing an audience and then collect data to see if one version of the message is more effective than the other.  We'll spend some time in class tomorrow 10/31 discussing the experiment.  Please come to class with an idea about the experiment you'd like to run. You'll describe your idea in class, get feedback and potentially recruit a team.

Getting the Henry Tam case

I see that some students were able to purchase the Henry Tam case from the Harvard Business School Publishing website, but that some students reported having trouble. First try to buy the case from HBS website. However, if that doesn't work, you can access a password protected copy here.

Comments on Polzer et al (2003): Henry Tam & the MGI Team

Because too few students who came to class had read the Polzer et al paper, you'll need to have the discussion I planned for class on this forum.  Below are the questions you should discuss with each other.  I will probably have quiz on Tues 10/10 to get your personal take on the case and how you could fix problems in the team.

  1. What is your evaluation of the MGI team's process? What were the root causes of the team's problems?

Questions about the technology evaluation assignment

A student asked some questions about the next assignment, and here are my answers:

 Are we to watch the videos separately or do we have to watch them at the same time while communicating with each other?

Finding a partner for the Evaluating Technology assignment

You can select your own partner for the assignment on  Evaluating Technology for Distributed Work. You can indicate that you need a partner and start the negotiation for forming a team by responding to the post at "

9/19 announcement

  1. As shown on Week 5 of the syllabus, you have a two-part assignment on common ground coming up. The first part in which you work in a remote team to select and analyze  examples from Gergle et al's article Using Visual information for grounding and awareness in collaborative tasks is due midnight Sun Oct 1. The second part, in which you analyze how your distributed team operated is due midnight Sun, Oct 8.

9/14 reminders

You have a short-paper comparing a good and bad team due on Sunday, 9/17.  Details are here.

You have two activities you should be doing this week as part of the Wikipedia assignment.  Details are described on week 3 of the Wikipedia assignment timeline.  

Updated assignment for 9/12

Note, I updated the syllabus for 9/12.  We will continue the discussion of motivational process losses, focusing on social loafing, so there is no additional reading.  We will also talk about the Wikipedia assignment, so please skim the assignment and come to class with questions if you have them.

Preparation for 8/31

Please make sure that you have watched the Goodman video and read the Snook case before class tomorrow 8/31, since discussing them will be a major element of the class.


Please look through the syllabus before the first class, so you can get a sense of what you are getting in to in this class.  Most course readings are provided as links in the course syllabus.  Many are pdfs files from a password-protected directory.  The userid and password for this directory will be given on the first day of class.  Ask the instructor if you are having difficulty accessing any reading.

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