Oladele just couldnâ€™t take it anymore. She got up from her cubicle and put on her coat. â€œWhere are you off toâ€ asked her coworker Wei. â€œI just need to get away from here for a few minutes,â€ replied Oladele. â€œIâ€™m going for a walk and Iâ€™ll be back in 20 minutes.â€ As Oladele walked around the downtown core of St. Johns she wondered how to fix the problems her strategy team was having with realizing their goals. Three months previously, she and four others had been taken away from some of their regular duties at the headquarters of LifeLong Learners Inc. to form a special project team. The company offered customized courses to midsized businesses. Their instructors traveled to the company site to teach anything from occupational health and safety to leadership development. Recent developments in online education, however, were starting to make their services redundant. Many of their clients could now buy similar courses online and have their employees complete them any time they liked. Many employees at LifeLong Learners thought that in- class instruction was more effective, but the market didnâ€™t seem to be agreeing with them. A special strategy team was formed to determine whether the company should begin to offer online courses and, if they did, how best to implement the change. The strategy team was to report to the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of LifeLong Learners. When the team first met, they spoke with the CEO and Chairman of the Board in separate meetings. The CEO told them that she had serious concerns about online education. She was concerned that they were moving too fast in an uncertain direction. â€œIf we do go into online education,â€ she stated, â€œit will be important to have all the details sorted out and a good quality control process before we begin. Weâ€™ll only get one chance to get it right, otherwise our reputation will suffer.â€ The Chairman of the Board had a different perspective. â€œI am very excited about this initiative,â€ he said, â€œand I think we should plunge in, find out what works, and correct as we go along. The most important thing is to have a product out the door as quickly as possible to begin to claim the online market. â€ Three months later the team seemed mired in inertia. Three of the team members had devised an online development course contract and wanted to invite employees to submit proposals and begin development right away. The three supporting the initiative included Oladele, Katie, and William. Oladele had emigrated from Nigeria four years previously and she had seen many successful online learning initiatives that reached out to students in remote areas in her home country. She thought that LifeLong Learners was ridiculous for waiting so long to get started, and she explained that to her colleagues at every opportunity. Katie and William had both been born and raised in St. Johns and they also couldnâ€™t understand the slow pace. â€œResults, results, results,â€ William was fond of saying. Well, after three months they had no results to brag about. In fact they couldnâ€™t even get the entire team to agree to move forward and try something. The other two team members were very concerned that no formal process had been untaken to fully assess the market. There hadnâ€™t been any professional legal consultation around creating the online course development contract either. â€œWe canâ€™t just make something up,â€complained Wei. â€œThis will set a precedent that will impact us all moving forward. Iâ€™m not sure online education is right for us, but if it is we should have a detailed plan formalized before we move ahead. We canâ€™t just figure this out as we go. Resources have to be in place first, not to mention training.â€ Wei had emigrated from China two years ago and he struggled to understand the careless attitude displayed by Oladele, Katie, and William. He secretly worried about their commitment to the projectâ€™s success since they wanted to move forward so hastily. The final member of the team, Ranj, had moved to St. Johns from the Philippines seven years previously. He agreed with Weiâ€™s assessment of the situation but was very concerned about saying so and contradicting the Chairman of the Board. Nor did Ranj want to contradict the CEO, so when the team had discussions he would often abstain from commenting too much to avoid contradicting either one of them. This afternoonâ€™s meeting had been the final straw for Oladele. Not only would Wei and Ranj not agree to support their new contract, they were threatening to complain to the Chairman of the Board that she was being difficult and disrespectfulâ€”and all just because she had forcefully reminded them of the importance of doing something soon. Oladele knew the team was disintegrating. After a long walk to clear her head she decided toâ€¦
1. This team has failed to create agreed upon norms around process and? decision-making. One reason for this failure is? that:
A.The team members? don’t care enough.
B.Norms? aren’t important for teams so there is no reason to establish them.
C.Not enough time has passed.
D.Leaders have presented contradictory visions for the? project, creating confusion.
2. Which of the following best describes the nature of? Oladele’s team?
3. Which of following best describes the? team’s experience after first meeting with the CEO and? Chairman?
4. In developing a set of recommendations which of the following created conflict and made the team less? effective?
A.unrecognized cultural differences
B.the toxic personalities of some individuals
C.failure to follow through
D.refusal to share information
5. What specific cultural value difference is most likely to be contributing to this? conflict?