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Expert System

Introduction, Situation Analysis, Instructions, Technical Background

Case 13 Repertory Theater

Setting: Repertory Theater; Your Position: Executive Director

You are the executive director of a repertory theater affiliated with a major university. You are responsible for both financial and artistic direction of the theater. While you recognize that both of these responsibilities are important, you have focused your efforts where your own talents lie--on ensuring the highest level of artistic quality in the theater's productions.

Reporting to you is a group of four department heads responsible for production, marketing, development, and administration, along with an assistant dean who is responsible for the actors who are also students in the university. They are a talented set of individuals, experienced in working together as a team, and committed to the theater. Your confidence in them was confirmed during the last six months when you left many of the management decisions up to them while you were involved directing a play on Broadway. They dealt with problems very well and reported that "things work better when you are out of town." This is welcome news since your play's run may be extended, and you may need to prolong your stay in New York City.

Last week you received a comprehensive report from an independent consulting firm commissioned to examine the financial health of the theater. You were shocked by the major conclusion of the report. "The expenses of operating the theater have been growing much more rapidly than income, and by year's end the theater will be operating in the red. Unless expenses can be reduced, the surplus will be consumed, and within five years the theater might have to be closed."

You sent the report to your staff and are surprised at the variety of reactions that it has produced. Some dispute the report's conclusions, criticizing its assumptions or methods. Others are more shaken, but even they seem divided about what steps ought to be taken. None of them, nor anyone connected with the theater, would want to close it. The theater has a long and important tradition both in the university and in its surrounding community.

Your answer: Consult Individually

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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