You will use the LaFasto and Larson Five Dynamics of Teamwork and Collaboration to answer the five questions on the exam pertaining to the case study, Mount Everest, 1996. Each question is worth 11 points. You have three hours to complete part two of the final exam. The exam must be completed in one session – you may NOT exit and re-enter the exam.
The information below will provide you general guidance as to what will be expected from your response to each question. Treat the questions on this exam as you would the TLC assignments. Look at the big picture, apply the broad concepts presented in L&L and don’t attempt to solve any problems. Your responses to each question should be thorough, based on L&L, analytical, and at least two paragraphs in length if you expect to receive full credit.
When responding, don’t make actions of the characters your response – use the characters to make a point. You should craft your response around the L&L dynamics in play. For example, “Which team had the best team relationships”? To respond, look at the teams in terms of building openness and supportiveness, providing feedback to each other, how they handled conflicts, and did they build a collaborative environment? Did the team do these things or not? How and why (or not)? Then, use the actions of characters to emphasize your points.
Another example: one key factor in the outcome for both teams was the organizational environment. What constitutes the organization environment? One component is “systems”. How did that radios situation play into this? That was a systems failure for both teams; had all climbers had modern radios, much of what happened may have been prevented. A good analysis is “this was a systems problem related to the organization environment”, and not “they should have had better radios”. Yes, the second answer is true but does not address the problem through L&L.
Be sure to read each question carefully. Most of these will begin with “which team”, so do not bring both teams and both team leaders into your analysis – that is extra work for no reward. The analysis is straightforward when you focus on one team or leader, and then apply the concepts from the LaFasto and Larson text to the analysis.
Your responses all must reflect the pertinent LaFasto and Larson concepts that apply to each question.
This is a summary type question that will require your knowledge about the five dynamics: team members; team relationships; team problem solving; team leaders; and the organizational environment.
You should ask yourself a series of questions about the teams (these are just examples): did Adventure consultants build effective team members? Did the team relationships reflect openness, supportiveness, and trust? How effectively did the team solve problems? How effective were Rob Hall and Scott Fischer as the leaders of their respective teams? Did the two companies provide an effective level of organizational support to mount an Everest expedition?
Do not limit your response to just these suggestions.
This question will involve the following concepts that apply to team relationships:
This question will be about problem solving.
What factors distinguish good problem-solving teams? How do teams solve problems? What were some of the problems one of the teams faced? Was that team effective solving those problems? Why or why not?
This question will focus on the six dimensions of a team leader as defined by Lafasto and Larson (what are they?). Define the characteristics of a team leader, and then apply that to the required analysis.
To answer this question, you will focus on several of the organizational success factors described by L&L (what are they?).