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Essay: Aspects of management in “The Internship”

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  • Subject area(s): Management essays
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  • Published: 19 December 2019*
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  • Words: 1,198 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)

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Summary of plot + Characters

Characters: Vince Vaughn as Billy McMahon, Owen Wilson s Nick Campbell, Rose Byrne as Dana, Aasif Mandvi as Mr Chetty, Max Minghella as Graham Hawtrey

Two old-school salesmen lose their jobs at a company that sells watches due to its closing down. They must now face the reality of the changed world that they live in: The Digital Age.

After numerous, failed, attempts at finding jobs, they secure an internship at Google headquarters. There they face challenges on their own because they are much older than their youthful, tech-savvy, colleagues/teammates. This puts Billy and Nick at a disadvantage on their quest to securing the job.

The interns are separated into two groups and when their unconventional team is unable to work well together, they decide to have a break by going for a night out to a nightclub. Ironically, on this night different sides to the computer geeks’ characters are revealed and they open up more which ultimately leads them to not only getting to know each other better, but creates a bond and unites their team.

The ending is rather cliché, but one would have to watch the movie for themselves to find out what it is.

Management & Leadership

People often think that the two terms are synonymous but they’re not. They can be differentiated by the following definitions: Management is the process of controlling people according to a value system and business culture already established, whereas leadership is establishing a clear vision and pursuing it with other people so that they will follow it willingly.

Billy and Nick’s boss shows us an example of bad leadership in the first 7 minutes of the movie. He is not informative as he doesn’t explain changes in the business, the big change being that the business has shut down. It is unfair that they had to find out from a customer, while trying to make a sale, that the business ceased to exist.

Google works on a Laissez-faire leadership style throughout the movie. Mr Chetty gives them tasks, but it is their group’s responsibility to investigate and complete the task by themselves. Even though the group members aren’t familiar with each other it gives each member confidence as they each bring different skills to the table.

At their sports day, the team takes a heavy blow by the blue team lead by the autocratic leader, Graham Hawtrey. The red team consisting of Billy, Nick, Stuart, Neha and Yo-Yo stick to a transformational leadership style which, even though they lose, leaves them feeling motivated and empowered which could be useful in future tasks.(55:02)

Throughout the movie, the team needs to use strategic thinking in order to lead to strategic action which is management competency that will aid them to move forward as they will have a clear mission and understanding of what they need to do to stay on top of their game. The outcomes of the situations should also be evaluated in order to implement corrective action if it’s necessary.

Professionalism & Ethics

Professionalism is defined as: competence or skill expected of a professional. If corporate officials do not conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, it could have dire consequences that may result in disciplinary measures being taken.

Ethics are simply defined as what is wrong vs what is right. Different things in the world will have different ideas of what is regarded wrong or right. Also, what is ethical might not be legal, but what is unethical may be legal.

At 5:36 in the movie, Billy and Nick just barge into their boss’s office without an appointment and profanities are uttered constantly in the workplace which can be deemed unprofessional. Because they trade(or once traded) goods, it is important that they are conservative in case a customer walks in. first impressions are usually last impressions, and negative word-of-mouth would do any business harm as it gets into its way of having a good public image.

Intimate relationships in the workplace are not allowed in most workplaces as they come with their own problems. Problems in the relationship may cause tension in the workplace; if one partner is at a higher position than the other, they may be accused of preferential treatment…the list goes on, hence it can be seen as unprofessional by some people to have romantic relationships with colleagues, as in the case of Nick and Dana.

Nick asks his brother-in-law for employment after losing his job. When his new-boss gets distracted, he gives Nick the job on the spot. The problem is that he gets distracted too easily, and by things that are unflattering-like pretty ladies. He then proceeds to make inappropriate gestures(18:05) with his customer, and is rude to other customers. Always put the customer first as they influence your business’s success.

Conflict Management

Conflict can be defined as the negative differences of opinion or emotions experienced as a result of disagreeing over certain issues. Conflict goes along with teamwork, because if a team does not work well together, it could lead to losing complete sight of the goal. If there is conflict, it should be functional so that clarification and understanding can be a result and way forward which benefits everyone. Dysfunctional conflict however leads to unproductivity, wasting of resources and sometimes even violence.

In the movie, because the team is multicultural; has difference in age and members come from different backgrounds, they judge each other(48:22). This can create a feeling of insecurity within the members and can prevent them from expressing their ideas and opinions even if they’re good. Which may ultimately prevent breakthroughs.

The team eventually bonds from a night out o drinking. This puts the characters in a relaxed state(I’m not defending anything) and they explore different sides to themselves that they may not have known about. This ironically leads them to making a breakthrough in their task.

Billy and Nick are much older than the other memebers and they are not respected by their members at first because the younger members feel that they are “washed” and serve no purpose. Billy and Nick also find it difficult to relate to their partners because they were not born in the digital age like them, but they are optimistic which is inspirational.

When Graham’s team loses the internship and doesn’t get the job, he blames everyone else in his team which tells us that he is a sore loser and not a good leader. Sometimes one needs to accept their losses and learn from them instead of blaming everyone else and not taking accountability.


The movie was not very funny for a comedy, however it did express many of the business themes that we learn about throughout our high school career, such as the three topics discussed throughout the assignment as well as others such as Business Environments, Marketing, Human Capital and Investment.

By doing this project, we were able to apply the different scenarios to topics that we learn about, and it improved our Higher Order Thinking(HOT) component of assessments, which is critical during business reports.

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