Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2003

Henry Tam and the MGI Team

by Jeffrey T. Polzer, Ingrid Vargas and Hillary Anger Elfenbein

Abstract

Within a short time frame, seven diverse team members assemble to write a business plan for a new company and struggle to define their roles, make decisions together, and resolve conflict. Henry Tam, a second-year Harvard MBA student, who joins an aspiring start-up company and a fellow classmate to enter the school's business plan contest. The founders of the company are two internationally accomplished musicians and a 1987 Harvard MBA, all Russian, who are trying to create, produce, and sell a unique computer-based music game. Conflict builds as the team generates a range of ideas about how to market their product, but has trouble agreeing on which ideas to pursue. Henry Tam wrestles with how to fix the problems that have hindered the team's progress.

Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Business Plan; Groups and Teams; Decision Making; Jobs and Positions; Leadership Style; Human Resources; Management Teams; Conflict and Resolution; Diversity Characteristics;

Citation:

Polzer, Jeffrey T., Ingrid Vargas, and Hillary Anger Elfenbein. "Henry Tam and the MGI Team." Harvard Business School Case 404-068, October 2003.