The show our group has used for the basis of our assignment and group discussion is called Big Brother US. The couple of introductory episodes which we chose to watch (referring to episode numbers 1 - premier and 4 – Live Eviction # 1 and HoH (Head of Household) Competition # 2) depict the strategic formation and behavior of members within a large yet also divided group. Initially for the premier competition of the season, the members of the whole Big Brother group were divided into two teams—yellow and red. For this challenge the first individual to successfully arrive from one platform to the next through means of riding a huge slippery hot dog, wins a 10,000 dollars prize. The next individual to arrive to the other platform will receive 1000 dollars… 100 dollars… 10 dollars and finally 1 dollar. Nevertheless the last person to ride the sausage and arrive to the next platform with success will respectively receive the title of HoH meaning security in the game throughout the first elimination period as well as the power to appoint the nominees for eviction. The prizes are only won by the team who first gets all its members onto the next platform.
Each team includes six players and within these teams different game tactics were planned. The Red team in the game consists of Brittany, Hayden, Matt, Monet, Kristen and Lane, whilst the Yellow team consists of Regan, Rachel, Enzo, Annie, Brendon and Kathy. (Andrew is also a member of the Big Brother group but volunteered as the mascot for this specific challenge). In each one of the teams you could observe that a leader was naturally formed with no specific strategic planning to the concept. In the red team this leader was Hayden whilst in the yellow team it was Brendon, where in each team, these men provided bright, efficient ideas as to crossing their team members to the desired destination across the hotdog obstacle. As the environment in which the groups are operating within consists of a very competitive yet quite silly nature, rewarding the competitors with various forms of prizes, the true natures of the characters within such an atmosphere clearly shines through. Bold characters within this particular competition include the couple of leaders previously mentioned Hayden and Brendon, whilst the rest such as Monet (Red team,) and Annie (Yellow team,) who immediately run to grab the cash prizes of 10,000 dollars reveals that they are in the game for themselves and the money, rather than for the team members within each of their respective groups.
Exploring the episode in more detail as a group, beyond the brief overview provided above, the primary thing noticed, was that our answers to the individual questions were quite similar. However, when we had a closer look at the answers we noticed that our perspectives actually differed on a few important points and details. For instance at the first question: What is your impression about the team? We all had similar impressions, of the team subconsciously forming one leader and furthermore, about the persons who got across the obstacle first since one of those persons would win $10.000; - they selfishly put themselves first above the team. A detail that Archie noticed was that when a team member crossed the obstacle, he or she wouldn’t be able to help the team anymore. This strengthened our opinion about the first two persons who got across. A further element that struck us was that although we watched only 1.5 episode of Big Brother, our impressions of the team members’ personality were very much the same! From this exercise we could really conclude that a first impression in general is vital, because this impression will haunt you (if it’s a negative impression) throughout the rest of (in this case) the show.
The goal of the team was very obvious. Our answers were therefore really alike, although our opinions of the teams motivation has differed quite a bit. Kerren came with the idea, that the first playwe was most motivated to get across, because that person would be able to win the biggest amount of money. Nevertheless Youri thought that the last one would be the one most motivated to win, because he would become the HOH. Archie noticed that every member of the team was motivated since needed to win as a team to get the prizes, but they weren’t equally motivated. We finally arrived at the conclusion based on Archie’s point. Everybody is motivated in the team but not equally. We all agreed that the factor that made these people a group, was their common goal, however Archie mentioned a small detail, that made them differ from each other. This detail, was that the prices that each team member could win, were different. This effected the hierarchy within the group.
The ones who got a Thousand dollar were more motivated then the ones who got only one dollar and also the last person to cross the obstacle was very motivated to get his team across, because he would become the HOH.
Whilst our answers to the first questions were unquestionably similar, this was definitely not the case with the last two questions, which were a lot harder to answer. For these questions we used a different approach. As a group, we looked at each other’s questions to decide which was the best and then discussed it. Kerren’s answer was the best to the question how they interacted with each other, and Youri’s answer was the best to the question what the strengths and weaknesses were of the teams.
We also got an impression that on this episode, strategies are formed and sacrifices are made in both teams. The evidence of that impression could be seen when the final two people on the platform had to choose between winning a “Head of Household” title and winning only one dollar. For this reason an agreement was made. Hayden promised Matt to give him security if Hayden may go last to win the “Head of Household” title. One of the most important goals in the game is to be secure as far as possible, since a longer time of security means a greater probability to win the 25,000 dollars grand final prize, and thus Matt got security. Moreover, Matt cunningly accepting Hayden’s HOH, the position of greater power in the game, means a lower target on Matt’s back from being eliminated, since everyone would think he is a weaker player and not an intimidating competitor as Hayden.
By observing the way each team make ideas at the very beginning to get across to other platform, we got another impression. We had an impression that Red Team has a compactness, unity, and good chemistry between team members. The evidence of this impression could be seen in the way the members of the Red team combine ideas and divide tasks rapidly and productively, unlike the yellow team whose weaknesses are described later within the report.
In addition, we discovered that there was a use of stereotype on the show. The evidence could be obviously seen in each group during the game-play. When all of the group member ought to cross to the other platform, the team modified the order so that the women’s turn was placed earlier than men. At this point, we could see that the stereotype is that women are weaker on aspects of physical activity. The stereotype made women seem to have less opportunity to succeed across to the other platform. Therefore allowing the weaker women to cross first, the group would just leave the strongest part of the team, which are the men, on the other side of it. The men are considered to be stronger and more likely to succeed getting across to the other side of the platform.
As already mentioned, there were two teams competing in the game – The red team and the yellow team, yet one team was clearly more effective than the other. The red team definitely was the most innovative. This was one of their strongest points. They came up with different tactics to get even the weakest members across the obstacle. To be able to put these tactics into actions, they needed a good leader and they had one. That is certainly something a winning team needs – someone who can make decisions and keep the team running. A further strong point was their communication. As a group they actually had no real weaknesses. They were complete. The yellow team on the other hand lacked communication and this was their biggest downfall.
Occasionaly they didnt understand eachother’s intentions . For example, the team accidentaly made Brendon, the hypothetical group leader, cross over to the other platform by gragging him across the hotdog. Hence a poor division of tasks can be seen. They had a pretty innovative leader, but they couldn’t put their tactics into action because of their weakness.On the other hand there was not many problems within the Red team which subsequently lead to their victory. In order to provide a better analysis of the weaknesses the yellow team had and the factors a strong team should have, below is a plan to suggested strategic improvement:
b) Strategic improvments:
1. Appoint a clear leader. Thus everyone will know who is the leader which may improve their communication and division of tasks.
2. Form a quick and clever strategy together with the group members at the start before initiating a task. In this way the team members know how they will perform to achieve their goal.
3. Make it clear to all the members what their common goal is.
4. Make the team members feel equal and motivate each other. This will limit frustration and demotivation to conclude a better result.
The best strategy would be to form a brief yet rationally clever strategy at the start before beginning the task. This will solve their miscommunication as they will know what they need to do, how to do it and they know what is expected from each of them. Also if they decide what strategy they should use, automatically a leader will be formed. The team needs someone to decide which strategy would be the best which would eliminate confusion and spare time. He/she will also supervise over the team members in order to make sure that the team members stick to the team’s strategy. Besides that, a clear hierarchy is formed within the team. Tasks should be divided over the team members, thus it will lead to a better performance.A quick strategy that they should possibly use is as follows. Primarily appoint a group leader.Further the order of the players crossing the platform should be set. This will consist of the physically weaker members going first whilst the stronger individuals should stay last in order to help their team-mates.