The Internship Movie: Generational Gap Analysis
Intern? The Internship: Generational Gap Analysis The Internship remarkably captures many different aspects of management throughout the entire process in which the two main characters Billy, played by Vince Vaughn, and Nick, played by Owen Wilson, are given an opportunity to participate in an internship with Google. Originally, Billy and Nick were known as great salesmen and made a living selling high-class watches together. Life seemed set in stone for the two salesmen, until they were hit with the unfortunate news that their companies were shutting down.
Startled by this new knowledge, Billy and Nick were now jobless with little known information about what it takes to be hired in the modern world. Against all odds, and after a very intriguing interview, the two were given an internship with Google, along with many young and brilliant college students. The purpose of this highly regarded internship was for all interns to be placed into groups, and from there, the different groups would compete in various job-related challenges.
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The final goal for the Google internship was that whichever team won would be given a career with Google, which would seem almost impossible for Billy and Nick to achieve with such a large age gap between them and the other interns, in addition, having close to no technological experience. Throughout the movie, we see various topics that coincide with management, mostly due to the large generation gap between Billy, Nick, and the rest of the interns. The generation gap led to a large amount of disagreement within the team that Billy and Nick were assigned to, with most disunity stemming from A-type conflict.
A-type conflict can be defined as a disagreement that focuses on individuals or personal issues. These controversies almost split up Billy and Nick’s team, which would then cause them to lose the Google job opportunity. Fortunately, Billy and Nick pull through the generation gap. Their team effectively dealt with the A-type conflict, resulting in the team’s achievement of the Google job opportunity in the end of the movie. In this essay, we will first see the advantages and disadvantages of using teams for the Google internship.
Next, we will look at examples of A-type conflict seen in Billy and Nick’s group and the way in which Billy and Nick effectively dealt with the conflict. Finally, we will discuss the effects generation gaps have in the work place, and in addition, there will be suggestions that many managers should keep in mind when facing generation gaps. Throughout the Google internship process, “Newglers” competed against each other by being placed into small groups chosen at the beginning of their internship.
During the movie, advantages and disadvantages to working in teams can be seen depending on the given situation. Interns have the ability to be helped and encouraged by team members who want to better the team as a whole to achieve common goals. Working in a group also provides interns with new perspectives, ideas, and experiences that would not otherwise be provided to them while competing alone. Google, also, is a company that requires members to work in team. This means that while engaged in teams, interns will gain the experience that they would possibly use while working with Google.
On the downside, teams can be disadvantaging to interns in situations containing social loafing members who withhold their efforts and fail to perform their share of the work. Member problems can also cause conflict within the group, which can disassemble team cohesiveness, and negatively affect productivity. When weighing the pros and cons of using teams for Google’s internship, deciding whether or not it is beneficial directly depends on the specific group that an intern is placed in.
The team that Nick and Billy are placed into, named “Team Lyle,” is composed of a very unique and diverse set of characters, in which the only set of thinking they have in common is of their feeling against Nick and Billy participating in their group. The initial leader of the group, Lyle, was a 23 year-old intern whom had been already at Google before Nick and Billy had joined. The next member, Stewart, was an unenthusiastic, yet intelligent, college student whose constantly glued to his phone, and was initially perceived as arrogant by the other team members.
Next, we have Neha, a playful and bubbly Middle Eastern college student who was initially lustful towards Billy and Nick, but had not found any interest in their ability as interns. Finally we have Yoyo, a brilliant, yet odd, Asian who throughout the movie struggles with the harsh expectations that his parents had set for him. As one could easily tell, a lot of diversity is brought to “Team Lyle”: a clear diversity can be seen between Billy and Nick’s age gap with the younger interns of the team and with the general characteristic differences between all group members as a whole.
The team’s diversity provides many different examples of A-type conflict. Defined again, A-type conflict, or affective conflict, is a disagreement that focuses on individual or personal issues. A-type conflict in The Internship exceptionally captures the true difficulty that “Team Lyle” has in working together. A-type conflict can first be seen when Billy and Nick are put in “Team Lyle” and meet the other group members.
The large age difference that Billy and Nick have with the rest of their teammates, plus their lack of technological skills, caused Lyle, Yoyo Santos, and Neha to make it very clear that they did not want to be working with them. For example, during the groups first meeting, a childish argument between Nick and Stewart broke out about the advantages and disadvantages of children being fed breast milk through the natural process or through a bottle. After searching the Internet to find the “correct” way, Stewart proclaims, “Two fifths of our group is old people who don’t know shit.
In this instance, Stewart could not make his lack of approval for Nick and Billy’s age and lack of technological knowledge any more apparent and it is evident that his disagreement with Nick is personal. The next example in which A-type conflict occurred was in the course of the challenges when “Team Lyle” competed for the Google internship. Midst the first challenge, the group was given an extremely large file of computer coding. In the coding, there was a bug, and the first team to solve the complex task of finding and eliminating the bug, won. When “Team Lyle” received their task, all the members of the group ran to the nearest white board and begin to frantically write coding equations down on the board. Both Billy and Nick knew nothing about computer coding, so the two started rambling on and on to the rest of the team about irrelevant information for the challenge. The rest of “Team Lyle” immediately became very aggravated with Billy and Nick. They finally snapped at the two by informing them to stay out of their group challenges because they will only bring the rest of the group down. “Team Lyle” then sent Billy and Nick out on a pointless trip, just to give a reason for the two to leave.
This request for Billy and Nick to stay out of the group was understandable. A vast generation gap and an absence of technological familiarity can produce tension between who knows what and who contributes a greater amount to the groups success. This was a terrific example of A-type conflict, due to the major disagreements between Billy, Nick, and the rest of the group, in which they had all focused on the individual issues Billy and Nick presented. Although Billy and Nick create a large amount of A-type conflict, throughout the movie the two learn how to also effectively deal with their shortcomings.
A great example of A-type conflict and how it was successfully dealt with was during the second challenge that “Team Lyle” competed in. It was a game of quidditch against another team. As one might know, quidditch is a game that branches from the Harry Potter series, and can be looked at as a combination of basketball and soccer. The game requires a great deal of teamwork, and during the beginning of the match, “Team Lyle” created A-type conflict rather than strategies for assisting one another.
All five members of “Team Lyle” seemed to be more against each other than against the team they were playing, this originated from their personal dislike for each other and their lack of trust and faith in their teammate’s abilities. At one point, Stewart decided to stand in the middle of the field to look at his phone when he was suddenly hit in the face by a ball thrown by Neha who yelled, “Why don’t you stop looking stuff up and give a shit! ” As one could imagine, the conflict with “Team Lyle” strongly affected their gameplay and the team was losing 60-0 at half time. Something had to be done to bring the
group together in order for “Team Lyle” to have a fighting chance at winning, which led Billy and Nick to find a new motivation for the group. At halftime, Billy and Nick had the rest of “Team Lyle” come around them, in attempt to bring a source of intrinsic motivation to each group member. At first, most of the team did not pay much attention to the speech, as their perception of the two characters as aged, uneducated men had not changed. It seemed as if the speech was failing, until Billy began to find congruent goals and values between all group members in hopes to create member commitment within “Team Lyle.
Billy began to talk about how the group may be extremely diverse, but every member was there for the same purpose of winning the internship challenges and receiving a job offer from Google. As each member began to realize the similarities they shared, members of “Team Lyle” began to compromise on their differences to receive team cohesiveness in return. As the second half of the quidditch match began, Billy’s method of bringing the team together was immediately noticed as all of the team members began to act contrary to the way they had in the first half.
Team Lyle” began to express the teamwork needed to be successful, as all members began to pass to each other, encourage each other, and increase their work ethic for the well being of the team. With a new team that emphasized the superordinate goal of winning and creating team cohesiveness, “Team Lyle” began to excel with their competitors and tied 70-70. Unfortunately, the opposing team ended up achieving victory in the final moments of the match, but all members of “Team Lyle” witnessed the positive affects of solving A-type conflicts through compromising and finding common goals.
The common goal and compromising method used by “Team Lyle” to solve A-type conflict during the quidditch match did not only prove to be successful in The Internship, as it has been proven through research and data collection, as being an effective way to resolve conflict. A study completed in China focused on conflict management for individual problem solving and team innovation proves why “Team Lyle” most likely found success in their conflict solving methods. The study asked 200 employees in 100 work teams to measure their team’s cooperative, competitive, and avoiding approach to managing conflict,” and 100 managers to participate by “indicating the team’s success. ” The study found that teams who emphasis conflict solving on “mutual goals, understanding everyone’s views, orientation toward joint benefit, and incorporating several positions to find a solution good for all” were found to be more innovative by the managers. According to the study, “conflict has traditionally been considered disruptive, researchers have argued that conflict has considerable potential to contribute to team and organizational effectiveness.
This study in China directly correlates with “Team Lyle” as both the study and “Team Lyle” demonstrates that solving conflict through mutual goals and compromising can lead to further team success. Near the end of the film, “Team Lyle” almost loses Billy, the member that provided the strongest influence in their transformation to becoming a successful and motivated team. During Google internship challenge named the “Helpline Challenge,” in which teams competed by taking customer service calls, Billy disqualifies “Team Lyle” by forgetting to log-in to his account that would have recorded his conversations with customers.
Billy’s group members were disappointed, but as any supportive group would, they did not hold it against Billy. Unfortunately, Billy had an overwhelming feeling that he had let “Team Lyle” down, and he decides it would be best if he left the group instead of fulfilling his own perception that he would only continue to bring the team down. The move by Billy to leave “Team Lyle” would directly contradict Robert B. Cialdini’s possible prediction, stated in “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” of how humans would react in Billy’s situation.
In “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion,” Cialdini states six principles that can be used to persuade people. Robert B. Cialdini’s fourth principle, consistency, which states that people have a deep desire to be consistent, and once committed to something, people are more likely to go through with it. Cialdini states, “My own research has demonstrated that most people, once they take a stand or go on record in favor of a position, prefer to stick with it.
Other studies reinforce that finding and go on to show how even a small, seemingly trivial commitment can have a powerful effect on future actions. ” Billy made it clear that he was committed to “Team Lyle,” one would think that he would still stay with the team to fulfill his commitment, but this was not the case. To support his own theory, Cialdini might suggest that Billy left because, although he originally made the commitment to “Team Lyle,” this commitment was a commitment to better “Team Lyle.