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Expert System

Introduction, Situation Analysis, Instructions, Technical Background

Case 11 An Unexpected Tragedy

Setting: Suburban High School; Your Position: High School Principal

This morning the tranquility of your suburban high school was shattered by an event beyond comprehension. A young, male student entered the school with a semiautomatic pistol and killed three classmates and wounded three others.

Despite your many years as principal, there has been nothing in your background that has prepared you for the magnitude of this tragedy. The police have now left, and the students returned to their homes, but the task remains of figuring out what needs to be done in order to restore a sense of normalcy to the educational process.

The problem seems enormous. The press has quickly descended on your small town and is seeking statements from you and from your academic staff. There is the inevitable process of grieving that must be managed, and there are also curriculum matters, including final examinations which were set to begin next week.

It is important to have a coordinated plan. You have summoned the department heads to a meeting in your office at 4 P.M. None of them is likely to have had any more experience than you in dealing with crises such as this. Furthermore, they are unaccustomed to working together to solve school-wide problems, preferring instead to leave them to your direction. However, you know that this event has had a unifying effect on the entire community.

Your answer: Decide

Decision SignificanceHow important is the "quality" of the decision, i.e. to what extent does the decision have material, strategic impact on your clients or beneficiaries inside or outside of the organization. (click for details)   Group ExpertiseDoes the group collectively have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem and or make this decision? (click for details)
Importance of CommitmentTo what degree will the implementation of the decision require the support and cooperation of the group to be effective? (click for details)   Interaction ConstraintAre there time or geographic constraints which would prevent you from bringing the team together (physically or by telecom) to make the decision? (click for details)
Leader ExpertiseTo what extent do you, the leader, have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem or make this decision? (click for details)   Team Competence How competent is the group at working together as a team in solving problems or making decisions. The issue is not their factual or analytical technical knowledge, but rather their ability to work together synergistically. (click for details)
Likelihood of Commitment How likely is it that the group would accept your decision as the best course of action even though not included in the decision making process itself. (click for details)   Time/Dvpt PreferenceChoose the importance of time and development individually or use the values specified by either the Time or Development Driven model.(click for details)
Goal AlignmentTo what degree are the members of the group committed to the achievement of the oganization goals which are at stake in this decision? (click for details)      Value of TimeThe value of time varies with the number and intensity of other activities confronting you and your group. Considering your current workload, rate the value of time. (click for details)
Likelihood of DisagreementHow controversial is this decision likely to be among the members of the group? (click for details)      Value of DevelopmentHow important is it to you to develop the capabilities of your group or team, i.e. increasing their knowledge, their commitment to the organization, and their effectiveness in working together? (click for details)
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