The Army Crew Team: A Case Study

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The Army Crew Team: A Case Study

The Army Crew Team: A Case Study

Executive Summary

After Applying OB Analysis, Coach should switch Varsity & JV The coaching staff reviewing this case determined a recommended course of action to, in only four days, prepare our Army Crew team to compete at the National competition. The problem as presented to us is that our Army Junior Varsity (JV) team, historically the second best performer of the two teams, frequently outperforms our prized Varsity team in heats.

The alternative solutions to address the problem ranged from:

Switching the team rankings, promoting the Junior Varsity to Varsity and demoting the Varsity to second-ranked Junior Varsity status. This we believe is the safest and surest way to have a better performing team ready for the competition.

Changing individual crew team members in the boats. In this, the coach hoped to find a more ideal personality combination, resulting in better performance. We believe this is not a viable choice in the timeframe, given the JV team's unwillingness to adjourn from their team and risk involved in trying to rebuild the team. We are skeptical the removed JV members would be able to unify the rest of the varsity team.

Trying an intervention with the Varsity team, hoping to enhance their performance by helping them become aware of the psychological differences. While we believe this is less risky than switching members, we do not believe it is reasonable to accomplish in the short time frame, and instead should focus our energy on preparing the JV team for the competition. Since 'Coach P', as an experienced 'master' level coach, has already tried to reach the varsity team on a mental level, and failed, we do not believe we can apply a similar method and achieve adequate results before the competition. We fear the damage has already been done-we should have analyzed our rower's personal qualities, whether leaders or disrupters, early on in the team forming process.

Tuckman's Model

Our staff's recommendation is based on Tuckman's model. The model requires developing the team throughout all five stages, including high congruence and cohesiveness to achieve maximum performance. We believe that given our situation, switching the JV and varsity teams gives us an immediate, practical solution without risking the cohesiveness of the shining JV squad.

Why do you think the problems are occurring with the varsity team?Despite our rigorous team selection process, once the season started, we began to see the JV consistently beat the varsity in practice. It is apparent that there is more to a successful crew team than stringing together the best individual performers. We can look to the field of organizational behavior (OB) to better understand why our varsity team is struggling and then to consider three options for how Army can be successful at National championships in four days.

The first concept to understand is team viability, that is, the team member's satisfaction and willingness to contribute (Kreitner and Kinicki 344). Crew relies heavily on teamwork and requires the eight members of the boat to ...
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