15.301 | Fall 2006 | Undergraduate

Managerial Psychology


This section contains the case assignments that were discussed in recitation sections; these materials were used for 15.310 but not for 15.301.

1 Influence paper guidelines and group formation  
2 The three lenses

Case: Southwest Airlines

Assignment: Using each of the three lenses, describe the differentiating characteristics of Southwest Airlines. Could a competitor imitate them? Should they? What would they need to do?

3 Attitudes

Case: Ben and Jerry

Assignment: What attitudes did Ben instill in the organization? If you were Chuck’s advisor, what would you recommend?

4 Motivation

Case: Mary Kay

Kerr, Steve. “On the Folly of Rewarding A while Hoping for B.”

Assignment: What kind of behavior does the incentive system try to encourage? Would you be motivated by the system? (Try not to focus on the specifics of the product but on the incentives.)

5 Ethics and decision making No case assigned
6 Influence No case assigned
7 Creativity

Case: IDEO product development

Assignment: What are the key elements that have allowed IDEO to be successful? Can they grow and keep the environment that they have created?

8 Groups

Case: Mount Everest ‘96

Edmondson, Amy C., Richard Bohmer, and Gary P. Pisano. “Speeding Up Team Learning.” Harvard Business Review 79, no. 9 (2001): 125-134.

Hill, L. “Managing Your Team.” Harvard Business School, 1995.

Assignment: Think of the best or worst team you have ever been in. Describe them. What made those teams what they were? What could you have done to improve the worst one? What have you tried to emulate from the best one?

9 Leadership

Case: Re-engineering MIT

Mehegan, David. “Re-engineering MIT: How President Charles Vest Put MIT Back on Track.” Boston Globe Magazine, 2000.

Jones, David G. “Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?” Harvard Business Review 78, no. 5 (2000): 62-70.

Assignment: I have hired you as my leadership consultant. I am worried that people in my class do not participate enough. You have attended a couple of classes and are ready to give me your suggestions. List and explain the suggestions you would give me.

10 Power

Case: Margaret Thatcher

Assignment: Of the different sources of power available to Thatcher, pick one, explain how she uses it, and explain why you picked it for your essay.

11 Culture

Case: 3M profile of an innovating company

Schein, E. “Coming to a New Awareness of Organizational Culture.” Sloan Management Review, Winter 1984.

Assignment: Compare the culture of your department/school with the culture of MIT at large and with the 3M culture.

12 Bringing it all together

Case: Meg Whitman at eBay

Assignment: What changes does Meg need to do for eBay to be able to continue to grow? Think of all the concepts we have covered. Which ones provide her with tools to help eBay grow?

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2006
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments