Golden Years Investment Club

Topics: Groupthink, Crowd psychology, Collective intelligence Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: September 8, 2012
This case provides us an insight into the Golden Years Investment Club and the conflict of group members when a newcomer challenges the views and ideas of the group’s experienced founder. Lenn Width, the founder of the investment club, has recently invited David Korn, a young architect, to join the twenty-six-member group. Width and Korn have very opposing viewpoints when it comes to how to invest. Width has a very strict investment policy: “a stock must have been publicly traded for at least five years; its sales must be growing by 15 percent a year; and it’s got to have a return on equity of 10 percent or better” (Fight at the Investment Club, 1994). On the other hand, Korn is interested in a more aggressive style, investing in riskier stocks with larger returns.

While the Gold Years Investment Club has been run as a democracy in which each member received votes based upon how many shares they owned. The more money members invested, the more shares they owned and votes they received when it came time to vote on stocks. However, the group has recently expressed concerns with Width’s lack of interest in their opinions and ideas, easily dismissing recommendations as too expensive, too risky or too speculative. The group comes to headway when Width decides to hold a secret meeting to have Korn removed from the group. Unfortunately, even with Korn gone, Width is displaying his dictator style of leadership over the group.

While upon first glance it may seem that the root cause of the problem is strictly between Width and Korn, if we really dig deeper into the issue the problem is with Width and all members of the group. The true problem is Width’s tyranny over the group. This is brought to light when Korn arrives because Korn is bold enough to challenge him. Throughout the case we hear members’ complaints of Width. One member, who only survived the group three months, Alyce Goss said of Width: “Lenn rules the roost. It was ‘Either...
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