Background Note | HBS Case Collection | November 1993 (Revised April 1995)

Orientation to the Subarctic Survival Situation

by Linda A. Hill


An orientation to the "Subarctic Survival Situation" (designed by and available from Human Synergistics, Inc., Plymouth, MI, tel. 313-459-1030), an experiental exercise that gives students an opportunity to learn about their personal influence style and their effectiveness as a team leader or member. As a simulation, the exercise provides conditions analogous to those managers face every day: They must make critical decisions from incomplete and often ambiguous information and must live with imperfect solutions; the problem is urgent and they have to cope with the stresses and emotions associated with working under pressure; they will have to work with others to solve a common problem (in this regard, this exercise perhaps simulates most closely a newly instituted cross-functional task force). Outlines the rationale for the exercise and gives a brief overview of how the simulation will unfold.

Keywords: Leadership Style; Performance Effectiveness; Performance Evaluation; Decisions; Power and Influence; Groups and Teams; Decision Choices and Conditions;


Hill, Linda A. "Orientation to the Subarctic Survival Situation." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-073, November 1993. (Revised April 1995.)