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The Army Crew Team and the Language of Organizational Behavior (Essay Sample)


BA 300 - Organizational Behavior
Case Study #2
Each team has been provided with a copy of HBS Case Study 9-403-131, The Army Crew Team. Your team assignment is to review this case study and discuss what is happening in the language of organizational behavior. Areas that you might think about include Motivation (what kinds and styles), Attitudes and Emotions, Power, Conflict, Trust, Leadership & Values. These are only a suggestion and are not meant to be a laundry list - HOWEVER, there are many things at play here and you need to be comprehensive.
In your analysis and subsequent recommendations, please consider the following questions.
1. Why does the Varsity team lose to the JV team
2. What should coach P. have done differently earlier in the season to resolve this problem? At exactly what point should he have intervened differently?
3. At the end of the case, what action should Coach P. take on Tuesday? Why do you recommend this action? How should he implement this action? Please be specific.
4. How would you compare the Army Crew team to other types of organizational teams? What are the key similarities and differences? What lessons can we learn from the Army Crew team?
5. Provide a real world example, perhaps taken from a team members experience where a similar problem has occurred and these lessons could have made a difference.
I expect your report to follow a similar format to Case #1. Approximately 5 pages in length - double spaced, 1 inch all around margins and Times 12 font. Be comprehensive, this assignment is worth 20% of your grade and it represents what your level of understanding of the subject matter. Work as a team, communicate and share ideas - think this through.
Most of all, have fun with this. This is not difficult, do not let yourselves get stuck. Brainstorm some ideas of what is happening with this team. Consider some topics that would fit and then build your story.
And above all, remember to breathe.


Organizational Interventions
HBS Case Study 9-403-131
May 2002 marked the end of the crew season. Colonel Stas Preczewsk had been frustrated for three weeks due to the Varsity team’s low productivity. The team had been frequently out-competed by the JV team that he also coached. Coach Preczewsk had not experienced such a situation in the nine years he had served as the team’s coach. He had recruited the top eight rowers into the Varsity team. The Junior Varsity team, on the other hand, comprised of the bottom eight rowers. Coach Preczewsk was worried by the victory of the JV team over the Varsity team since it was not supposed to happen so (Snook & Polzer, 2004). This paper aims to discuss what is happening in the case study in terms of organizational behavior.
Why the Varsity Team Lost to the JV Team
Various factors made the Varsity team to lose to the JV team. For instance, the team lacked coordination. Successful crew racing needs the team members to have individual skills as well as coordination. However, the varsity team seems to have lacked coordination. Although the eight individual athletes in the team had individual strength as well as endurance, their poor coordination made them be outperformed by the JV team, which appeared to be highly coordinated. Lack of coordination in the Varsity team lowered their productivity as a result of the lack of accountability (Locke, 2011). Teamwork is a vital success factor for any team or group of players. In crew racing, excellent coordination among team members helps them to boost their synergy as a group, thus increasing their performance (Hogan, 2017). Unlike the varsity team, the JV team could have been highly coordinated, a factor that contributed significantly to their success as a team.
As well, the Varsity team’s performance could have been lowered by the lack of positive attitude-

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