The Army Crew Case

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  • Topic: Team, Varsity team
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Running header: THE ARMY CREW CASE 1

The Army Crew Case

Reed Williams

University of Saint Mary

THE ARMY CREW CASE 2

Problems

1) One of the issues is the lack of cohesiveness and willingness to contribute in a team environment. Crew relies heavily on teamwork and demands that all team members “buy in” to the concept of performing as one athlete. 2) As the leader of the group, coach Preczewski did not effectively incorporate the proper team building exercises or instill trust among teammates that is critical in a team environment. 3) A “star mentality” was evident among the members of the varsity team. Members of this group would routinely critique each other individually on the details of practice or a race. However, members of the junior varsity team did not criticize each another individually. If corrections were needed, they never singled out a crewmember, but made comments about the necessary adjustments needed to improve the effort of the team.

Analysis

1) Organizations must have employees who believe in the direction of the company and willing to make contributions that move the business forward. Likewise, members of the Army Crew team should have a mindset that has the consistency of a cohesive unit. In general, as the cohesiveness of a work group or team increases, the level of conformity to group norms will increase. (Ivancevich, Konopaske, Matteson 2011) In order to understand the importance of cohesiveness in a team or group environment, one must identify the level of agreement with team goals. Throughout the case study, there was a

THE ARMY CREW CASE 3

lack of clear understanding of the team concept and an emphasis on individual results, in particular present within the varsity team. For example, a sampling of the varsity’s boat emails to Coach P. read as follows: “Now … my bitching session about Jim since I haven’t gotten a chance to talk with you. Besides his “great personality” (which I won’t even get into) he is not consistent at all and I don’t know if you can tell this from outside the boat. I really need someone that I feel a bond with and it isn’t happening with Jim.” In contrast to the varsity crewmember’s email to Coach P., the junior varsity crew emails were more positive and cultivated an environment of cohesiveness, such as, “We have the confidence and the control to row our own race. We know how to win and will do it on our terms. We will succeed together, we will fail together.” “We are not rowing for ourselves, Coach, or Army Crew. When push comes to shove, in that last 1,000 meters, we’re rowing for every guy in that boat because we don’t want to let him down.” These emails from the junior varsity team embody the essence of a cohesive and a like-minded team. 2) Leadership is the ability to provide direction to a group of people and influence those individuals to follow in a prescribed direction and act accordingly. “There is a difference between a leader and a manager. A leader is as much about inspiration as anything else. A manager is more about process … In the end, maybe you can’t plant leadership in person, but you certainly can enhance it in a person.” George Buckley, CEO of 3M. (Ivancevich, Konopaske, Matteson 2011) Coach P. realized the inability of the varsity crew to pull together as a group, set aside individual differences, and work as a cohesive team. However, he was challenged in identifying the best way to overcome THE ARMY CREW CASE...
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