September 15, 2012
By J.L.H.D | The Economist
The recent cheating scandal at Harvard University is relatively far from the business school: an undergraduate politics course, where some 125 students are accused of having helped each other on a final exam. But Harvard Business Review associate editor Sarah Green nevertheless is taking a look at the case. Interestingly, she uses the cheating scandal as a platform for considering the value of collaboration:
Most of us are trained in school systems that prize individual achievement and discourage, even penalise, collaboration. If working together can be considered a crime for the first 22 years of your life, perhaps it's not unreasonable to assume that you won't be very good at it when you graduate... In most organisations, collaborating the way the Harvard students allegedly did would get you a gold star: when they stumbled on a problem they could not solve, they used all available resources and worked together to devise a solution.