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?

  2. What are the strengths of the MGI team? That is, how would you have evaluated it "on paper," before its first meeting? Were the differences among team members a liability or an asset?

  3. What could Henry or one of the founders done early in the team's history to avoid the team's problems?

  4. At the end of the case, after process problems had developed, what could the team have done to increase its effectiveness? Think about how you could apply ideas your read about in the Gaertneret al. (2000)'s paper on Reducing intergroup conflict could be applied to the case.  What about ideas from Malhotra et al  (2001). Radical innovation without collocation, Hinds, P., & Mortensen, M. (2005). Understanding Conflict in Geographically Distributed Teams or Bjørn et al. (2014). Does distance still matter?