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"the Apprentice" Group Dynamics Evaluation

Essay by review  •  April 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,376 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,048 Views

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In this episode of "The Apprentice," two teams were presented with the task of creating a marketing campaign in order to attract new recruits to the New York Police Department. Task significance played a huge role in this episode. The winner of this task was to be the team that created "the most compelling campaign." Team Mosaic and Team Apex both succeeded in portraying strong messages, but their tactics and the motivations behind their campaigns were much different. The differences in leadership abilities and policies contributed greatly to the diversity found in their messages.

Team Mosaic chose their leader by random drawing as always, resulting in the youngest candidate and the target of much scrutiny in the previous episode becoming their new leader. Andy is stubborn and inexperienced, but he is a good leader because he chose a plan of attack after considering the options and never wavered. He had plenty of help from his group members, but delegation of tasks is an important part of being a leader.

It is unclear how Team Apex chose their leader, though Elizabeth had also previously been the object of criticism among other candidates. Her weakness early on during this task was her inability to choose plan of action, or "flip-flopping," as her group members often called it. She and another member of her group spent many hours correcting her group's misdirection, only to change back to the original and obviously poor plan the next day, hours before their presentation. Thus, the team's efficiency suffered due to the amount of work required outweighing the quality of their product.

The goal of this task was seemingly straightforward. Due to this, it should have been easy for each team leader to produce a quality campaign. Infighting plagued both teams, but the lack of leadership on Elizabeth's part inevitably earned her team a decisive loss. Group dynamics did not play a major role in this instance, as both groups had trouble functioning well as a whole and lacked cohesiveness. The determining factor ended up being the capability of the team leader to deal with adversity and delegate responsibility. Team Apex seemed like they were stuck in a storming phase that Elizabeth was not able to pull them out of. Neither group benefited from group decision making. Team Mosaic had trouble in the beginning of the task with high time consumption before they even started putting together a product. Team Apex had already been at the police training facility and begun filming by the time Mosaic arrived. Apex, on the other hand, suffered from domination by a few members of their group, even though these few members had conflicting ideas.

Team Apex also almost completely skipped any brainstorming phase. One idea was generated without consideration of any alternatives, and team members spent too much time criticizing each other to come up with any reasonably proficient plan of action. The interpersonal behavior of the group was highly competitive and tended toward conflict, which led to everyone in the group working against each other. The group could have tried bargaining by watering down the militaristically themed campaign enough to satisfy Elizabeth and still meet the approval of Raj and Chris. This would have created a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The entire series of "The Apprentice" can be classified as a mixed-motive situation. Team members are forced to work together in order to win in each episode and achieve a team-based reward, but the ultimate goal is to eliminate every other candidate. Kevin demonstrated organizational citizenship behavior, however, when he stayed up late to help Elizabeth restructure their campaign to fit her vision more accordingly.

Team Mosaic was not content with their group leader, but they managed to turn out a quality product. More credit should have been given to Andy for providing a set goal for his team. Although they did not like their leader, each member of the team was willing to contribute in order to beat Team Apex. Being a part of a group is dependent

on each member being willing to work toward a common goal regardless of whether they agree with it. It is the team's leader's responsibility to choose a direction for the group and to delegate tasks accordingly. A team or organization is defined as "a structured social system consisting of groups and individuals working together to meet some agreed-upon objectives." In the case of Team Apex, these objectives were not agreed-upon, and their performance suffered because of this.

Additionally, the members of Team Apex, other than Elizabeth and Kevin, seemed to function under Theory X, while Team Mosaic was able to act under Theory Y and get the job

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