Discussion Questions for Week 7

Assignment instructions:

Ropes Section 4,, Chapters 22-25


Define the following terms:

min a max



Expected Value

Zero Sum

What is this sections opinion about superstar decision makers?

Why is Tosca unable to facilitate the outcome where she saves both her virtue and her lover?

Why do you think human beings are risk averse when it comes to positive outcomes, but “risk seeking” when it comes to situations of negative outcomes? Would it not make more sense to be risk seeking when it comes to positive outcomes and risk averse with regard to negative outcomes?

Chapter 22

Why do companies have gift policies, and why are some of these policies so strict?

How do you respond to Stanley’s question of whether this is really an ethical issue?

How can you deal with the ethical lapse – as you view it – of another person, other than by “turning them in.”For example, what alternatives would you consider if you were aware that another employee had accepted an inappropriate gift?

Doesn’t it make practical sense to overlook common, petty ethical lapses in order to maintain your credibility for dealing with weightier issues?

Prospective college athletes on recruiting trips are prohibited from receiving any “extra benefits” from boosters or fans of the university they are visiting. Thus when the professor of this course provided one store bought cookie to a prospective Gonzaga Basketball player in 2002, the university had to report a “secondary recruiting violation” to the NCAA. Why would the NCAA care about an athlete receiving a 10 cent cookie? Does this policy not seem a bit petty?

Chapter 23

What was the problem and benefit of Stanley telling ted what he thought of the orientation program?

Why does Stanley’s widespread name recognition result in his being chosen as the best candidate for an important New York assignment?

Stanley naively stumbled into this opportunity by chance; what could he have done differently to position himself for good opportunities?

Is self-promotion ethical?

Chapter 24

Using payoff matrices for Ted and Ben, how would you explain the outcome of this tale?

Matrix key

+10 is a very favorable outcome

+5 is a moderately favorable outcome

-5 is a moderately unfavorable outcome

-10 is a very unfavorable outcome

Ted’s matrixBen’s matrix



no strike

What is the upside and the downside of Ted’s tactics?

How can you explain the text’s claim that Ben and Ted do not seem to be trying to reach the best managerial decision, but rather “. . . a personal decision dressed up as a managerial one”?

Chapter 25

What functions does the MERIT system serve from a cultural/interpretive viewpoint

What functions does the MERIT system serve from a technical/rational viewpoint?

Why is the issue of rating versus ranking performance primarily a technical/rational issue?

What is the upside and downside of both the rating and rankings approach?


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