Everest Simulation Reflection

Topics: Leadership, Decision making, Management Pages: 11 (3190 words) Published: October 3, 2012
Everest Simulation Report
Managing People and Organisations

Executive Summary:

This report discusses the Everest simulation in relation to important management concepts. Particularly the report explores the role of leadership, communication and team work in task success, where success is defined in terms of task accomplishment, team member satisfaction and dispute resolution. Moreover, the requirement to eliminate communication barriers through changing mediums, cohesive and coherent team work and democratic leadership styles is explored throughout the report.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4
Groups and Teams7
Bibliography 14


The Harvard Business Everest Leadership and Team Simulation allow participants to understand and appreciate underlying management concepts which form the basis of any well functioning organisation. Specifically, the simulation required students to work in cohesive teams, display important leadership qualities and to communicate effectively in order to make successful decisions. The Everest task involves the cooperation and cohesion of random individuals through their placement in a team. These teams consisted of five members, where each individual was assigned specific role and goals. These roles included the team leader, physician, environmentalist, photographer, and marathoner. Individuals goals were often contradictory and team members received unique, however important information concerning the task. This simulation aims to discover the way in which teams react in complex and often conflicting situations. Through a series of trials and tribulations, our Everest group were able to increase our score from 22% to 85% in the second simulation. This is a result of the exploration of various behavioural leadership styles including laissez faire and democratic leadership approaches as well as the use of various mediums of communication. In addition, the results of the simulation were highly dependent on cohesive team work through the allocation of individual roles and goals, as well as the organisation of group processes including the decision making process and conflict management.


The role of the leader in the Everest simulation was to motivate, instruct, resolve conflict and achieve group goals. I, as the team leader, made the point of differentiating myself from a manager, to someone who was extraverted, energetic and driven, within and outside of the simulation. This involved organising location times and communication between members, drawing up the team contract and building relationships between team members beyond the classroom. During the simulation however I chose to adopt a less prominent role to minimise conflict and maximise satisfaction.

During the initial simulation I implemented a laissez- faire approach to leadership. I adopted this form of behaviour as I was no more skilled or experienced in the Everest simulation than any other team member. Logically, I believed that as all team members had equal ability, all team members should therefore have equal input. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming presence of freedom, conflict of interests and an abundance of communication barriers due to the poor choice in leadership styles, an environment of chaos and anarchy was created. In effect, the group failed the task. On a positive note, this form of leadership saw the group bond together and the level of satisfaction was high. Furthermore, the level of pressure for team members to perform under this form of management was minimal; hence the lack of success achieved was minute.

During the second attempt, I chose to adopt a democratic style of leadership. Once again, I was no more informed than any other member of the group concerning the correct performance of the task; hence I chose not to make...

Bibliography: 1. Alge, B. J., Wiethoff, C., & Klein, H. J. (2003), ‘When does the medium matter? Knowledge-building experiences and opportunities in decision making teams’. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes Vol. 91, pp. 26-37.
2. Hafner, K. ‘For the well connected, all the world’s an office’, The New York Times, 30 March 2000, pp. D1+
3. Jehn, K.A. (1995), ‘A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict’. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, pp 256-282
4. Judge, T.A, Piccolo, R. F. & Ilies, R. (2004), ‘The forgotten ones? The validity of considerating and initiating structure in leadership research.’ Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 89, no.1, pp 36-51
5. Marks, M. A., Mathieu, J. E., & Zaccaro, S. J. (2001), ‘A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes’. Academy of Management, Review, 26, pp 356–376.
6. Nemeth, C.J. (1986) Differential contributions of majority and minority influence. Psychological Review, 93, pp 23-32.
7. Peterson, R.S. (1999), ‘Can you have too much of a good thing? The limits of voice in improving satisfaction with leaders’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, pp 313-324.
8. Peterson, R.S., Simons, T.L., Rodgers, M.S., and Harvey. S. (2007), ‘Bridging troubled waters: Consensus decision rules attenuate the negative impact of low trust on decision implementation in top management teams’. Working paper.
9. Peterson, R. and Harvey, S. (2009), ‘Leadership and Conflict – Using power to manage conflict in groups for better rather than worse’, in Power and Interdependence in Organisations, eds D. Tjosvola & B. Wisse, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 281- 298.
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