Henry Tam and the Mgi Team

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The MGI Team Case Study is a lesson in the difficulties faced by a team with inadequate leadership. Indications of possible problems in the group’s functioning were evident even before the MGI team’s first meeting. At that time, the group consisted of the three founders of MGI and two Harvard Business School (HBS) second year students. The heterogeneous nature of the group was an area of possible conflict. Three or perhaps four different cultures were represented on the team. Two of the founders were from the Ukraine and remained very close to the culture. The third founder was from St. Petersburg, Russia and was considered by the other two members to be more Americanized. Dana, the first student selected to join the team, was the…show more content…
The students were initially unclear about their roles in the team, but eventually emerged as the strategic direction setters. The team naturally progressed into two different sub-groups. One consisted on the three founders of the company (the Russians) and the second comprised the two HBS students. The founder/Russian team wanted the company to pursue the entertainment market, and their focus was long-term direction of the company rather than the immediate need to produce materials for the HBS business plan contest. This sub-group’s norms were high commitment to the team, creativity, an informal and disorganized approach to the work and high conflict among group members, this latter characteristic likely a product of their Russian culture. The student team was extremely goal oriented and eventually focused on taking the company in an initial direction to market the product toward the educational market. Their objective was meeting the immediate requirements of the HBS business plan contest. The norms of this team were high cooperation between Henry and Dana, high levels of preparation for the meetings and a more structured approach to the problems at hand. Henry and Dana demonstrated their cohesiveness in the fashion that they strategized together and played good cop/bad cop to deal with Sasha’s aggressive obstinacy toward ideas brought forward by Dana.

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