Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2003 (Revised October 2003)

Satera Team at Imatron Systems, Inc. (A), The

by Teresa M. Amabile and Elizabeth Schatzel


Escalating conflict has erupted within the Satera product development team, resulting from the conflicting cognitive styles of the two senior mechanical engineers. The conflict has taken a toll on both project progress and team morale, endangering one of the most important initiatives at Imatron Systems, Inc. After discussing the situation with VP of R&D Rick Levinger, team leader Gary Pinto realizes he must take decisive action. This case presents a profile of the company, the team, the Satera project, and the team members, focusing on Pinto and the dueling engineers. Through a detailed description of their vastly different problem-solving preferences, and the interactions in which those differences become most apparent, the conflict presents a common problem that managers must face when working with creative people on creative projects.

Keywords: Decision Making; Entrepreneurship; Human Resources; Management; Business or Company Management; Groups and Teams; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;


Amabile, Teresa M., and Elizabeth Schatzel. "Satera Team at Imatron Systems, Inc. (A), The." Harvard Business School Case 803-141, January 2003. (Revised October 2003.)