Internal Competition – A Curse for Team Performance Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Key Issues in the Case

Lack of inter-dependency:

FIS Consulting Services was a business process outsourcing company which served clients to design course and training materials for the company. Teams that were developed for each project and formed to work as groups should complete each project with inter-dependent collections. Basically, the common goal of each team member was to share responsibility with each other. Each individual will have to share all the available information with one another to meet group level targets. However, this did not happen in the firm with the New Jersey project and teams within a team were developed who were not co-operating with each other. In fact all of them were only helping people whom they have worked with previously, which created problem at all levels for the organization. Team members actually failed to understand their roles and theneed for inter-dependence. They in fact failed to realize that the team’s goal should be their target and that they should stop thinking about their personal targets and goals. 

Poor sharing of information and retarded communication:

An incident during the project occurred when Sara asked one of the senior team members Abey Sidharth to share information regarding a deadline. Sidharth being a good companion of Rishi refused to share the information with Sara as he said that it took him two days to gather this information. Sidharth insisted that Sara should also spend similar amount of time to acquire that information. However, Sara later on came to know that Sidharth shared the same document with another team member who was a close companion of Rishi. The team was in a fraught and fractured position regarding communication. 


Groups are basically developed to achieve common goals. As the case states, team members were not in co-ordination with each other in completing the task and were rather keen on completing individual tasks and deadlines. 

Lack of Cooperation:

Another problem within the project team was that they were co-operating with one another and the concept or culture of achieving shared goals was missing among team members. Team players did not actually appreciate benefits and advantages of working with each other. All team players were keen on individual outcomes and failed to perceive the importance of working in a team with mutual inclusiveness of project goals. Individuals did not realize that they could not reach their own goals until team goals were achieved. 

Collective Efficacy:

Collective efficacy is basically a group-based shared belief in the group’s capability to execute and organize course of action for achieving expected and desired results. The project team fundamentally suffered from low collective efficacy in the absence of a shared social or task relationship. Therefore, it effected the collective sharing of task focus, which in turn affected the ability to accomplish each task competently and efficiently. 

Enhance internal competitiveness:

The structure of projects of the company was such that team members were in competition with other team members. If an individual achieved his/her goals then that meant some other person must have failed. There was basically negative correlation with others. Team members worked to out do each other and sought out personal benefits that were detrimental to all others in the situation. They were trying to beat others to achieve their targets because the structure of the firm was such where individuals were rated on three criterias. These included: below expectations, met expectations and over exceed expectations, therefore each individual was keen to over exceed expectations and make himself eligible for growth and incremental opportunity. 

Poor team leadership:

The biggest problem that actually made the overall situation intense and chaotic was the fact that leaders assigned to the project were both biased and incompetent who were not willing to perform the task with conviction and charisma. In fact they were rather keen to pass on their jobs to others and were least bothered with the completion of the project and curriculum. Particularly, Rishi who was the team leader and in charge of the project was keen to promote his companions. He failed to develop team culture and did not cultivate inter-dependence among team members. They did not promote the culture and importance of the inter-dependency among teams.

Analyze issues

Team Effectiveness Model

Work Design:

The situation in the case presents that employees were being directed by Rishi and Philly who were not performing their duties and task as per the requirement of the project, in addition they were not willing to take the initiative of completing tasks on time. The skill variety of employees was quite high but the problem is that they were not willing to perform tasks as a team and were more focused on completing personal goals...........................................

This is just a sample partial case solution. Please place the order on the website to order your own originally done case solution.

Share This


Save Up To




Register now and save up to 30%.