1. The MGI team process and root causes.
The MGI team process seems ineffective because the team generated several conflicts and was unorganized because of the different perspectives, specifically those between the Russians and the HBS students. In addition, because each member had an ambiguous role, they needed to spend unproductive times on the meetings. According to Robbins and Judge (2012, p. 122), by structuring teams, they can compete with each other more effectively and efficiently. Nevertheless, the MGI team members were unsettled. In other words, the team was not organized even though the MGI team had a common purpose, which is to complete a proper business plan. Hence, the MGI team was on the storming stage of the “Five-Stage Model” (Robbins & Judge, 2012, p. 108) because the MGI team did not have an obvious leader, a clear role for each member, and reflexivity. These are the several problems that caused the MGI team’s dysfunction: •
Communication Problem: A racial discrepancy occurred between the HBS students and the Russians because of the nationality and ethnic origins. •
Language Problem: Among the founders, Sasha preferred to speak in English, but Roman preferred to speak in Russian. As a result, they had several misunderstandings. •
Conflict between the founders’ views: Sasha and Igor disagreed with Roman’s perspective. •
Sasha’s personality: inattention, aggressiveness, and a lack of interpersonal abilities. •
Vague roles of the HBS students in the team: Sasha did not consider the HBS students to be leaders and facilitators in shaping the vision but to be interns and writers who complete a business plan. •
Unclear personal responsibilities: Each person’s responsibility was ambiguous and the team did not have an obvious leader. Therefore, the meetings were unorganized and unmanageable. •
Conflict between Sasha and Dana: They had different perspectives, so they generated negative chemistry and animosity. •
Different market perspectives: The HBS students preferred the educational market for children to attain the short-term goal. However, the founders targeted the entertainment industry for teens so that the MGI could achieve the long-term goals. •
Conflict between the HBS students and the Russian musicians: the contrast between the creative impulses and the pragmatic approach. 2. Strengths, Weaknesses, and Evaluation before the first meeting. The MGI team has several strengths: talented members, great network, high functional diversity, enormous passion about the product, the existence of the valuable product, and autonomy. On the other hand, it also has explicit weaknesses: inability to make a decision, dysfunctional team process, cultural differences, and lacks of organizational structure, leadership, collaborative behavior, and each member’s roles. The MGI team, before the first meeting, seems to be an effective team because the two founders, Igor and Roman, are outstanding musicians in Russia and have significant connections with the music industry, particularly in the U.S. and Europe. Furthermore, the other founder, Sasha, has experience with marketing, sales management, and the establishment through his career. Moreover, the founders have a good relationship with each other because they are immigrants to the United States. In addition to that, Henry and Dana, the HBS MBA second-year students, were also enthusiastic and experienced in the business field that the founders had not experienced. Therefore, the business plans would be completed soon. However, on paper, the MGI team did not have good history in dealing with outsiders. In other words, the MGI founders failed to recruit members before the HBS students joined the team as the founders always had problems with the new ideas that were not synchronous with theirs. The founders had a common business mental model, which was not easily accepted by outsiders. Thus, Henry and Dana might not be well accepted into the team. Nevertheless, the team worked...
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