Despite the important role that assumptions about intentions play in our judgments of others' actions and how we respond to these actions, most of us haven't thought much about the accuracy of the inferences we make, the ways our decisions about "what he meant to do" or "why she did that" might be unintentionally biased, or the potential negative effects that result when inferences about intention
The manager of a rapidly expanding tax and accounting services franchise had been impressed by the performance his right-hand man, but also worried about the pressure he put himself under. Possessing an unusual and valuable skillset, this employee was able to anticipate his manager's needs exceptionally well. Unfortunately, his manager found out he had hacked into his email to do so.
The case is
A senior manager of marketing and sales at a large medical devices firm has convened his team to help him choose a new manager that will be capable of attracting new business and promoting overall revenue growth. The decision has been narrowed down to two, equally qualified candidates: an outgoing and outspoken woman, and a well-liked man. The conversation is going in circles until someone mention
Karen Miner is a partner at a management consulting firm, and she is becoming increasingly resentful of another partner who consistently prioritizes their family life, while letting others pick up their slack at their busy office. When Miner vents about it to trusted colleagues, she finds that they agree that it is a big problem, and pervasive throughout the office. With this case, students can ro
Carla Williams, the director of athletics for the University of Virginia (UVA), considered what steps the Athletics Department needed to take in the coming years to increase revenues. In 2017, UVA athletics revenues totaled approximately $100.6 million, making it the 27th-highest revenue program in the United States among schools for which this information was available (private schools did not ne
A young, female investment banker has just been unexpectedly promoted to managing director of her group—but she'll be taking her mentor's job while he is pushed out over a 10-month stint as a "senior adviser" in their group. This case offers students two decision points and opportunities to practice difficult conversations: first, what should she do, and how, when she first learns of her promotion
After finishing a PhD in immunology and working for a few years for a large pharmaceutical company, Eric Lafferty entered an executive MBA program intending to reorient his career toward more meaningful work. Thus he leapt at the chance to work in a significant leadership position at a government agency where he would be in charge of a group that vetted academic proposals to work toward experiment
The dean of a prominent business school has learned that the system that his—and many other—business schools use to help select and notify MBA students has been hacked. The hacker posted instructions for applicants to gain access to schools' decisions ahead of time. During the 10 hours MyMBA's system was compromised, several hundred applicants viewed their admission status at multiple top-tier sch
The head of an R&D unit in a high-tech firm in India faces a tough decision about whether to recommend firing and replacing or investing even larger amounts of time and resources into training employees who have come up through India's "reservation system." Similar to "affirmative action" policies in the United States and Brazil (where the focus is on race), the reservation system in India is mean
The only female senior partner at a boutique management consulting firm has found out that she is paid less than half of what male partners were making who were younger, less experienced, and contributing less overall to the business. When she presented her case to the senior partners and explicitly asked if the pay discrepancy is become she was a woman, they would only respond to her through lawy
Note: This case contains language that some people may find offensive. It is left exactly as it was spoken in the real situation portrayed precisely because it is pertinent to how the situation affected those involved.
"Overheard at the Office," based on a true story, presents the case of an African-American woman who works as an accountant for the league office of the team owners of one of the f
The CEO of an investment management firm must decide what to do about inappropriate actions by two different employees. While both employees are strong performers, their actions implicate the values underpinning the firm's culture.
The case is designed to surface students' instinctive decision-making tendencies. Thus it is short enough to be read and responded to in class. Students are assigned r