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Discussion Questions for Week 8

If a student asks an instructor to bump her course grade up because she will have a 2.19 GPA overall and thus will be kicked out of the business school if she gets a “D”, why is the instructor often reluctant to do so?
How would you analyze the sentry’s behavior in terms of game theory?
10 = very positive outcome
5 = positive outcome
-5 = fairly negative outcome
-10 = very bad outcome
ShootDon’t shoot
Friend
Foe
How would you analyze the incentive structure of the representative from the corporate communications department?
10 = very positive outcome
5 = positive outcome
0 = neutral outcome
-5 = fairly negative outcome
-10 = very bad outcome
ApproveDon’t approve
Unsuitable
Suitable
Chapter 27
Why does Ted spend “a lot of his time trying to explain why it is necessary and proper for things to be the way they are,” and what is the downside to his attitude?
How do Stanley and Ben benefit from pursuing “the more profitable course of trying to learn why things are the way they are?”
What current (or past) news stories reflect the lessons of this chapter?
Chapter 28
In your own words, answer Stanley’s question, “Why is Ted inflating the results of the program and not addressing the original mission?”
With the events of this chapter in mind, what is the benefit of documenting commitments made by others that affect your self-interest?
What are the risks of referring back to these documented commitments’ in the future?
What does the text mean when it says that Faust is “trading on his reputation”?
Chapter 29
Why do the foreman cook the books in situations similar to the one illustrated in the tail?
Could this faulty accounting lead to future problems?
What Dr. Faust left unsaid, according to the text, “is that it is Management’s greatest folly to believe that organizational members, when called upon to supply information that can affect their own organizational well-being, can be neutral with regard to that information.”Can you think of examples from your own experience to illustrate Faust’s point?
Chapter 30
How does this tale compare with the box that follows, “Fixing the Facts”?
What would you have done, in Stanley’s position, when your boss appeared to be displeased after all the hard work of your first two report drafts?
How did the placing of Stan’s name on Kerry’s white board for a few months influence Stan’s motivation?

 

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