Game Theory

Topics: Game theory, Nash equilibrium, Play Pages: 4 (932 words) Published: August 28, 2010
Assignment 2: Planning and Playing a Game


• Learn how individuals contribute to teamwork

• Experience some of the features of group work and teamwork

• Understand what managers and organizational developers do to transform

• groups into teams

• Articulate the tangible benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) of

• high-performing teams

• Finish with an interest in learning more about these concepts and

• techniques to apply what you learn

Background: For this assignment, you will plan and play a game with your family or friends, or at work based on the idea of the classic prisoner's dilemma. If you have had a class on game theory, you will be well aware of this concept. It forms the basis of many TV game shows. The prisoner's dilemma was illustrated in Truman Capote's book, "In Cold Blood" concerning the 1959 robbery of a Kansas farmhouse by Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who murdered their victims in order to eliminate the witnesses. After the men were captured, the police interrogated them separately. To get a confession, the police offered the men a reduced sentence for cooperating. Failure to cooperate would result in a death penalty charge for both.

In the prisoner's dilemma, if both parties cooperate they are mildly punished; if one betrays another, one is severely punished while the other goes free; and if both betray one-another, both are moderately punished. Can you think of settings where you work in which the organizational structure has created a prisoner's dilemma? Competition can (but does not necessarily) bring out conflict.

In game theory, there are non-cooperative and cooperative games. A non-cooperative zero-sum game has a definite winner and loser. For one to win, one must lose. We often think of politicking as an element of that. A cooperative game is where everyone who plays is better off for having played than not having played the game. That is not to say that...
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