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Executive Summary

This report provides an analysis of the following: the experience in the two Everest teamwork simulations, the results of the two sets of simulation and the communication structure and experience in the two Everest simulations. Method of analysis includes incorporating theories and concept in the course and discussing about the observation during the simulations. There are many concepts and theories which are discussed in this report such as the grouping modeling elements, communication structure, the effects of conforming and the benefits of conflicts and the benefits of effective communication. The report ends with a recommendation that the report could be improved if there is a comparison of the results of two teams who did the same simulations. This enables a further elaboration of the concepts and theories of this course.


The Mount Everest Leadership and teamwork simulation is a simulation series which consist of five to six team members where each of them has different personal goals. The team members each play a different role in the simulation. The team consists of a leader, environmentalist, photographer, marathoner and physician. The simulation commence at base camp where six days are given to reach the summit. During the six days there are goals for different members to achieve such as reaching the summit and avoiding rescue. At each camp, team members will analyze information such as the weather, hiking speed, health conditions and goals. Furthermore information will be given in each round to team members to assist them in making decisions. In addition team members will have to decide effectively whether to proceed to next camp due to weather issue and how much oxygen cylinder each member should hold as it affects their hiking speed. These decisions influence the team performance and therefore affecting the overall team goal points. Communication in this report refers to the transfer of information from one party to another. There was no specific goal for the first Everest as this was our first attempt not knowing what we will encounter. However for the second Everest simulation our team goal was to achieve an overall team goal point of at least 75 percent and avoid rescue. This report will analysis the experience I have encountered during the simulation, secondly it will do a comparison of the results of the first and second Everest simulation in relation to theories and concepts of management and lastly it will evaluate the experience of the communication structures in the two Everest simulations relating to theories and concepts of management.

Everest team Experience

The first Everest simulation was done on week five and the second Everest was done on week eight of the semester. The Everest simulations offered a new and exciting experience for students. Students were put into groups of five or six and work with their tutorial class members to accomplish various goals. In addition, during the first Everest simulation I was really uncomfortable with my Everest team as we are all from different cultural backgrounds and have different values, but when it comes to the second Everest simulation we developed a team relationship.

The experiences that I encountered during the two Everest simulations are the effectiveness of group modeling, the effect of conforming, the poor outcome due to lack of efficient communication, the emotional reactions of team members and the conflicts which occurred between individual. For the first Everest simulation we scored an overall goal point of 46 percent while I scored an individual goal point of 43 percent. In the Everest simulation I played the role of the environmentalist, although I am one of the most experienced members, I have a really serious acute mountain sickness and therefore would require medications from the physician.

During the first Everest simulation there was use of group modeling development elements; forming and storming. In the forming stage it involves all our team members sharing personal contacts, information and tried to get to know each other. While in storming stage all the team members shared opinions and ideas of what to do during the simulation. Furthermore due to the limited amount of time given and clash of timetable for some of our team members, we had to rush through the first Everest simulation which resulted many decisions made thoughtlessly. For the first Everest

simulation, two hour was allocated for it to be completed. Furthermore many important decisions such as allocating oxygen tanks and whether to proceed to next camp were made without much discussion. On the other hand it was observed that the marathoner in our group was the follower as she conformed with the fast moving pace of the simulation when she actually needed more time to forecast the weather of whether to proceed to next camp or not.

On the third day of the first Everest simulation, new information was given to each member. As the environmentalist, I was given the weather forecast chart which I have to analysis with the marathoner as to predict whether there was going to be a frost bite on the next day, deciding whether to proceed or remain at the camp. However, due to the lack of time and discussions, I did not tell others that I obtained such information. I did not notice until the second simulation that such information was critically important, without the weather chart our team could not decide whether to proceed or remain at camp. This demonstrates the lack of communication between team members. Team members also acted emotionally when certain events occur during the simulation. It was observed that the physician acted emotionally when my health was at critical condition for the third day of the Everest simulation while others were still relevantly healthy. This shows that our team was personally and emotionally involved in the simulation.

For the second Everest simulation, norming and performing was used as the group modeling development elements. At the norming stage our team came up with a common goal of obtaining a minimum of 75 percent for our overall goal points and to avoid rescue for all team members. While for the performing stage we came up with ideas and opinion of how to solve problems that we encountered in the first Everest

simulation, we also developed shared leadership in the second simulation where we only had a single leader in the first simulation. During the second Everest simulation there were some conflicts due to misunderstanding. The photographer whose personal goal were to stay two consecutive days on camp one and two, had an argument with the leader stating that he had already stayed but in fact he did not, this conflict was solved by members of the group analyzing facts to the photographer. This conflict did not cause any uncomfortable but in fact demonstrated that our team is comfortable in sharing knowledge with each other. Prior to this conflict we reached an agreement that if conflicts arise, we will first let the leader to make a decision, but if she cannot decide on the outcome then we will vote to reach an agreement.

Results of the Two Everest Simulation

The result for the overall team goal points achieved for the second Everest simulation is 83 percent and the first Everest simulation was 46 percent. As it could be seen the second Everest team goal points almost doubled compared to the first simulation. While my personal goal points increased from 43 percent to 86 percent. The reasons for the dramatic increase are; experience gained from the first simulation, the occurrences of conflict which demonstrate sharing of ideas in the group, decisions made were more precise due to sufficient time together with shared leadership.

The first reason for the dramatic increase for the Everest two score is due to experience gained from the previous Everest simulation. Our team discussed the facts and information encountered in Everest one and developed strategies for such problems. We sacrificed some personal goals points of team members who weighted less in the overall team goal and tried to achieve the goals points of the members who

weighted heavily in the overall team goal.

In the first Everest simulation we

achieved the personal goal points recklessly which result some heavily weighted points neglected. As it could be seen this was one of our main strategies derived from the experience gained from the first Everest simulation. As stated by Schuler and Jackson experience gained by an organization can be its advantage in developing specific strategies (1987, p.214). The strategy derived from the previous experience enabled our team to establish a goal of what goal point we expected to achieve. Research suggests that teams with pass experience were able to communicate effectively, compared to teams that have no prior experience (Alge, Wiethoff & Klein, 2003). Experience gained from the first Everest improved our communication used in the second simulation through ways like team members more willing to share information.

The second reason for the dramatic increase for the Everest two score is due to the occurrences of conflict. The conflict that happened in our team is caused by a misunderstanding of information by the photographer. In addition there were many sharing of information and ideas when solving this conflict. This shows that team members are willing to share their knowledge with other team members. When conflicts are managed appropriately it can result in a quality decision and a satisfying interpersonal relationship (Borchers, 1999). The conflict in our group was managed appropriately and there was no involvement of emotional feelings. Furthermore after the conflict was solved, it could be observed that there was a better understanding of what our team goals are, as it allowed team members to further think of the information. As stated by Peterson and Harvey, conflicts are unavoidable in groups but it is beneficial if it provides new information and new ways for them to think about their work (n.d. p.281). As more information was shared, it enable more critical

thinking in the second Everest simulation compared to the first Everest simulation, therefore the result for the second Everest simulation was better.

The third reason for the dramatic increase for the second Everest score is due to the change from single leadership to shared leadership together with sufficient time. In the first simulation the leader made all the important decisions and due to insufficient time some decisions were made recklessly. The lack of time restricted critical thinking for the leader to make the decision or discussion. During the second Everest simulation shared leadership was used, where each team member at certain situation has to demonstrate leadership capability. This shared the burden of making decisions which allows different team members to make different decisions. Also there was more time compared to the first Everest which allows more discussion. Studies suggested that teams with shared leadership are more motivated and have a cognitive advantage compared to teams under a single leader; furthermore there is also more variety of leadership skills in practice (Solansky, 2008). It is observed that our team was motivated as each of us was given leadership decision making roles in certain situations. Shared leadership made the second simulation more interesting as it allows different members to make decisions on what they are good at; therefore shared leadership played an important role in increasing the overall goal point in Everest two.

Communication structures and experience

The communication structures used in the first Everest simulation is different from the second Everest simulation. One of the reasons for the failure of the first Everest simulation was due to lack of communication. Although the medium used for communication for the first and second Everest simulation are the same,

communication in the first Everest simulation was not as efficient due to the noise or distraction which occurred. As there was insufficient time the information was not transferred as desirable, for example, I did not show the weather chart that I obtained to my team members during the third round where we have to determine the weather. In addition, the medium of communication for the two simulations are the use of social network which are face book, emails and windows live messenger. These types of medium were chosen due to it being convenient to access and widely used by our team members.

The second Everest simulation had less noise or distraction compared to the first Everest as it was conducted in a quiet room and there were sufficient amount of time which allowed efficient discussion. In addition as this was the second simulation, team members were more comfortable with each other, it could be observed that team members shared more information compared to the first Everest. Both simulations were conducted face to face as it is believed that it is the best compared to other medium of communication, such as windows live messenger. The information transferred would be faster and consistent as it is done face to face and if there are any misunderstandings it could be verified instantly. It is believed that the traditional face to face communication is still very prevalent, while the development of other means of electronic communication is becoming very popular (Alge, Wiethoff & Klein, 2003). Our team used various mediums of electronic communication before and after the simulations which proclaimed the concept of increasing use of electronic medium of communication.

Our team had effective communication in the second Everest simulation. This could be seen when team members are more comfortable and willing to share information

and each team member had an equal say of what to do for different scenario. Therefore, each team members had the necessary information obtained from other team members to decide on each scenario. In an organization, managers or employee often complain that they are the last to know of the decision made or last to find out the changes in the organization, this shows that there exist an inefficient of communication in the organization (Osborne, n.d.). On the other hand our team had perfect knowledge of what is going on and could decide effectively on each scenario. Furthermore during the simulations the flow of information was direct and does not require a third party; therefore there was no hearsay information transferred, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the information.

Our team is classified as an organization where we have a distinct goal and purposes. The structure of our team communication is rather informal, as we do not have a structured organization chart but have a close personal network or grapevine. As there are only five members in our team it is not necessary or economical to design an organization chart. Information should be sent and received directly and quickly by the different parties; therefore the grapevine communication is used. According to Mishra information within a grapevine is undocumented and thereby are open to changes and interpretation as it moves through the network, therefore it travels faster then formal channels (1990). As it could be seen the use of grapevine communication encourages fast transfer of information which enables us to make fast decisions.


In conclusion, this report outlined the experience during the two Everest simulations such as the behavior of team members observed, the emotions of team members, the effect of conforming, the use of grouping models and the conflicts which occurred during the simulations. Secondly, this report also provides an analysis of the results of the two Everest simulations and provided possible reasons for the dramatic increase between the two results such as having a better strategy derived from the experience gained from the previous simulation, the benefits of conflicts and sufficient time given in combination of shared leadership. Lastly, the report provided an analysis of the communication structure and experience in the Everest team in relation to theories and concept of the course. However this report could be improved if it included an analysis or comparison of the results of two different teams doing the same Everest simulation, comparing their method used for achieving their team goal and the communication structure used.