Communication is Key (Chapter 13 and 14 Reflection)

April 26th, 2019

Chapter 13-1 Self-Assessment

 

A = Almost Always, U = Usually, F = Frequently, O = Occasionally, S = Seldom

 

1.I like to listen to people talk. I encourage others to talk by showing interest, smiling, nodding, and so forth. U

 

2. I pay attention to people who are more similar to me than to people who are different from me. S

 

3. I evaluate people’s words and nonverbal communication ability as the talk. A

 

4. I avoid distractions; if it’s noisy, I suggest moving to a quiet spot. U

 

5. When people interrupt me when I’m doing something, I put what I was doing out of my mind and give them my complete attention. F

 

6. When people are talking, I allow them time to finish, I do not interrupt, anticipate what they are going to say, or jump to conclusions. O

 

7. I tune people out who do not agree with my views. S

 

8. While another person is talking or a professor is lecturing, my mind wanders to personal topics. O

 

9. While another person is talking, I pay close attention to the nonverbal communication so I can fully understand what he or she is trying to communicate. A

 

10. I tune out and pretend I understand when the topic is difficult for me to understand. S

 

11. When another person is talking, I think about and prepare what I am going to say in reply. U

 

12. When I think there is something missing from or contradictory in what someone says, I ask direct questions to get the person to explain the idea more fully. A

 

13. When I don’t understand something, I let the other person know I don’t understand. U

 

14. When listening to other people, I try to put myself in their position and see things from their perspective. U

 

15. During conversations, I repeat back to the other person what has been said in my own words to be sure I understand what has been said. F

 

Total score: 52

 

Dang, I was not expecting that score. I like to think of myself as a good listener, but I get ahead of myself a lot. I get so interested in conversations that I anticipate what the person is going to say next, or what I am going to say in response, and it distracts me from being a really good listener. That is something I am definitely going to have to work on as I enter the job world. I have to be careful or I will miss important details in the conversations of accidentally say something wrong. I loved this activity honestly.

 

Reflection

 

As a Communications and Digital Studies major, I had a fantastic time with Chapter 13: Communication and Information Technology. It was truly “right up my alley.” I almost wish that this was one of the first chapters in the book because of how important I think the content of this chapter is. Communication is the basis for everything, and as I have learned this semester, this is especially true for management. Vertical, Horizontal, and Grapevine Communication methods are processes that I am familiar with. This chapter did a great job of diving into them specifically for business related descriptions. The process of transmitting information and meaning is imbedded in everything we do. Recently, technology has been the number one way that we achieve this. If you are going to do anything career wise in today’s age, you have to be familiar with technology and how to communicate with it. Good thing I have a whole degree that does taught me exactly how to do that! Chapter 13 helped too. Specifically, in management, the Transaction Processing Systems, Management Information Systems, and Decision Support Systems were new territory for me. It was interesting to read about the specific systems that I could be using in a future management position.

 

Chapter 14 discussed control systems, finances, and people. I knew nothing about control systems and finances before this chapter, so I am glad we got to it. I don’t know how much I will use it in the future, but it doesn’t hurt to have it. There were a bunch of types of control that can be used for different options of inputs and outputs. Quantity, quality, and time also come into play with control systems. They serve as an important check of standards in your company. Constant controls, periodic controls, and occasional controls also divided system control matters into categories of time and relevance. This serves as a sort of check list for managers when they have to keep up with different areas of control systems. Finances are a whole world that I hope I never have to deal with. I know a lot of people enjoy finances, but I am not one of them; accounting was enough for me. They are still really important, especially in business. It is fitting that we wrapped this chapter, and the last chapter of this class, up with managing people. We’ve obviously talked about this all semester, but this chapter wrapped it up with positive feedback and coaching. The term “coaching” is a little scary, but it is a good term for managers to see themselves in. Additionally, this chapter touched on disciplining, which was very fitting after last week’s Steve Jobs case. Discipline is necessary sometimes, and as managers we need to learn how to deal with that. I liked the idea of progressive discipline, but I don’t know if it works for everyone. That is something I will have to learn in the future, I guess.

Leadership and Apple (Chapter 12 Reflection)

April 18th, 2019

Chapter 12 Case: Apple’s Leadership Transition From Steve Jobs to Tim Cook

 

Case Questions

1.Would you consider Steve Jobs as a leader, a manager, or both?

I would consider Steve Jobs as more of a leader over a manager. His leader skills helps start an extremely successful company. However, according to some frightful employees, his management skills were not good.

 

2. Would you consider Tim Cook, a leader, a manager, or both?

Tim Cook is definitely more of a manager. Jobs set up the leadership before Cook took over, and Cook carried out the company through closer management.

 

3. Would Ghiselli say that Steve Jobs or Tim Cook have the traits of a successful leader?

Based on The Ghiselli study, Jobs and Cook were successful leaders because they possessed one of more of the traits that he defined. Although I didn’t define Cook as a leader, he still possessed these traits, and had to in order for Apple to gain the success that it has.

 

4. Which basic leadership style autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire?Would Jobs’s critics say he used? What style is Cook?

I think both Jobs and Cook are democratic leaders. They have to be both autocratic and laissez-faire in order to mass produce their products. Meetings and product plans are done autocratically, and after that is done production is done laissez-faire style.

 

5. Could you make a case for the Ohio State leadership style of high structure/low consideration or low structure/high consideration in analyzing Jobs’s versus Cook’s leadership style?

It would be hard to make a case for the Ohio State leadership style in correlations with Jobs’s versus Cook’s leadership style because the “maturity” level of these two men might be hard to gauge.

 

6.Using the University of Michigan leadership style model, was Jobs or Cook job centered or employee centered?

Jobs’s and Cook’s style is more job-centered. The way Apple runs their company as a whole is very job-centered.

 

7. Which Leadership Grid style would Jobs’s and Cook’s critics say they used?

Base on the case in the book, Jobs leaned towards the authority-compliance management style and Cook leaned towards the middle-of-the-road management style.

 

8. Was Jobs a charismatic leader?

Based on the success of Jobs’s company and career, I believe Jobs was a charismatic leader. Although his relationships with his employees were not the best, his relationship with consumers made his business successful.

 

9. Was Jobs considered a transformational or transactional leader?

Jobs a transactional leader. He seemed to punish those who did not do what he wanted, and rewarded those who did.

 

10. Is Cook considered a transformational or transactional leader?

Cook is a transformational leader. He uses the benefits of his products to advance his business and learns from the mistakes he makes. I don’t think Apple would have been as successful without this switch in leadership.

 

11. Which contingency leadership style, task oriented or relationship oriented, would Jobs’s and Cook’s critics say they use?

Jobs leadership style was task oriented because he made employees do exactly what he wanted in order to produce the products he wanted. Cook uses a relationship oriented style because he listens to other people, and consumers, in the company and produces products based on what people like/don’t like.

 

12. Did leadership play a role in the change in performance at Apple with and without Jobs as CEO?

Leadership played a big role in the CEO transition at Apple. Jobs seemed to be a pretty harsh leader, so Cook’s style made the company more credible and successful.

 

13. Would you have liked to work for Cook? Why or why not?

I would have been fine working for Cook over Jobs, but I don’t think I would ever chose to work for Apple. Unless, of course, a large amount of money was promised to me.

 

Cumulative Case Questions

15. Was Jobs or Cook an entrepreneur? Why or why not?

Jobs was an entrepreneur because he started Apple within a partnership. He built his business from the ground and carried out all the tasks necessary to give Apple its start. Cook, however, is not necessarily an entrepreneur because he didn’t start the business. His management and leadership skills seem to be successful, but he didn’t build Apple from the ground.

 

16. What external environment factor did Apple change for the business and general economy?

Apple started listening to the people and their competition. This changed the way Apple created and produced products, and made them significantly more successful over Android.

 

17. What decision-making model is used at Apple when selecting new products and transitions?

At this point, Apple is focused on both the innovation and analyzation sections of the decision-making model. They need to be able to produce brand-new products while listening to the problems they need to improve from their customers.

 

18. What is the strategic level of planning of this case, and what strategy is Apple using?

Apple is on the corporate strategy level of strategic planning at this point. During this case, they were at the business strategy level of strategic planning.

 

19. Why do you think Cook moved the structure of the organization from one that was divided by function to one that was cross-functional? State some advantages to cross-functional teams.

Cook had to do this in order to become trustworthy to both his employees and his consumers. People were not pleased with Jobs’s overall management style and Cook had to repair that.  

 

Reflection

 

Chapter 12 covered leadership. I would not say that leadership is my favorite thing in the world, but I have been told that I am not too bad at it. I think leadership positions hold a lot of responsibility. I have seen a lot of people in leadership positions be blamed for stuff they didn’t do and mistakes they didn’t make. Although this is a downfall of leadership, there are many ways to be a successful leader and enjoy being a leader that this chapter covered.

 

A lot of current leadership styles are based on leadership theories. Successful leaderships seems to be linked to thinking, ethics, and consideration. Different leaders will possess different leadership styles and methods. We have gone over some of these styles and methods in past chapters, but this chapter covered some more. Specifically, this chapter covered the directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented styles. In my opinion, it is important to be a leader that listens and communicates well with their employees; this should be the easy part of leadership jobs. Based on this, being a transformational leader holds more value to me than being a transactional leader. It is still important to focus on your production and rewarding employees when necessary, but this should not be your only goal as a leader. Punishing your employees to an extreme degree should not be a goal either. I was surprised to hear about the mistreatment that Steve Jobs provided to his employees. I know Apple is a very successful company, but employees should not have to suffer and be miserable to get there.

My Rather Shocking Need For Achievement (Chapter 10 and 11 Reflection)

April 10th, 2019

10-1 Self Assessment

 

7 (most like me) 4 (somewhat like me) 1 (not like me)

 

  1. I enjoy meeting new people: 2
  2. I am concerned about getting along well with others: 6
  3. I have good self-control; I don’t get emotional and get angry and yell: 7
  4. I’m dependable; when I say I will do something, it’s done well and on time: 7
  5. I try to do things differently to improve my performance: 5
  6. I feel comfortable speaking to a diverse mix of people: 7
  7. I enjoy having lots of friends and going to parties: 1
  8. I perform well under pressure: 7
  9. I work hard to be successful: 7
  10. I go to new places and enjoy traveling: 7
  11. I am outgoing and initiate conversations rather than shy and hesitant to approach others: 5
  12. I try to see things from other people’s points of view: 5
  13. I am an optimistic person who sees the positive side of situations: 5
  14. I am a well-organized person: 7
  15. When I go to a new restaurant, I order foods I haven’t tried: 6
  16. I am willing to go talk to people to resolve conflicts rather than say nothing: 6
  17. I want other people to like me and view me as very friendly: 6
  18. I give people lots of praise and encouragement; I don’t put people down and criticize: 7
  19. I conform by following the rules of an organization: 5
  20. I volunteer to be the first to lean and do new tasks: 6
  21. I try to influence other people to get what I want: 3
  22. I enjoy working with others more than working alone: 1
  23. I view myself as being relaxed and secure rather than nervous and insecure: 5
  24. I am considered to be credible because I do a good job and come through for people: 7
  25. When people suggest doing things differently, I support them and help bring change about; I don’t make statements like “It won’t work,” “We never did it this way before,” “No one else ever did this,” or “We can’t do it.”: 7

 

Totals

Extroversion: 25

Agreeableness: 20

Adjustment: 30

Conscientiousness: 35

Openness to Experience: 30

 

The results of this assessment do not surprise me at all. I am very conscientious in everything I do, especially work. As far as my low score of Agreeableness goes, I think it’s important to not be too agreeable and not be to unagreeable. There needs to be a healthy balance of doing what’s right ethically and doing what’s right in the eyes of your boss. I think this makes me a decent candidate for any job. According to this assessment, I am hardworking, reliable, and achievement oriented, and I am perfectly fine with that.

 

11-1 Self Assessment

 

5 (very important) 3 (somewhat important) 1 (not important)

 

  1. An interesting job that I enjoy doing: 5
  2. A boss who treats everyone the same regardless of the circumstances: 5
  3. Getting praise and other recognition and appreciation for the work that I do: 2
  4. A job that is routine without much change from day to day: 1
  5. The opportunity for advancement: 4
  6. A nice job title regardless of pay: 1
  7. Job responsibility that gives me freedom to do things my way: 3
  8. Working conditions: 3
  9. The opportunity to learn new things: 5
  10. An emphasis on following company rules, regulations, procedures, and policies: 4
  11. A job that I can do well and succeed at: 5
  12. Job security for life: 3

 

Totals

Motivating Factors: 24

Maintenance Factors: 17

Yet again, these results were not surprising. As someone who is about to enter an entry level job, right out of college, Motivators are a huge part of what I am looking for in a job. The work itself, my achievement in the job, and my growth as a person because of the job, are all very important factors to me. As I advance in my career and more time goes on, I think Maintenance Factors will become much more important to me. However, right now I am focusing on getting a job and doing well at that job.

 

11-2 Self Assessment

 

5 (like me) 3 (somewhat like me) 1 (not like me)

 

  1. I enjoy working hard: 4
  2. I enjoy competing and winning: 3
  3. I enjoy having many friends: 2
  4. I enjoy a difficult challenge: 4
  5. I enjoy being in a leadership role: 3
  6. I want other people to like me: 4
  7. I want to know how I am progressing as I complete tasks: 5
  8. I confront people who do things I disagree with: 2
  9. I enjoy frequently getting together socially with people: 2
  10. I enjoy setting and achieving realistic goals: 5
  11. I try to influence other people so that I get my way: 2
  12. I enjoy belonging to many groups and organizations: 4
  13. I enjoy the satisfaction of completing a difficult task: 5
  14. In a leaderless situation, I tend to step forward and take charge: 3
  15. I enjoy working with others more than working alone: 1

 

Totals

Achievement: 23

Power: 13

Affiliation: 13

 

 

Me? Taking personal responsibility for solving problems? I’m shocked! (Not actually lol) I have been a problem solver since birth. My need for achievement is one of my most favorite things about me, but also one of my least favorite. It gets in the way sometimes, but it usually pays off in the end. As far as power goes, my “take-charge attitude” is not very strong. I am okay with being a leader, but I definitely don’t carry that leader attitude. Affiliation is just not my thing either. I am a very independent person and rarely seek new relationships. I can work just fine with other people; I just prefer working by myself if that is an option.

 

Reflection

 

We have reached chapter 10 this week and, yet again, it discussed organization and conflict. There is a very repetitive nature with these two topics throughout the book because they are so important in the world of management. I loved how chapter 10 dove deep into organizational behavior and personality. These are two topics that you don’t necessarily picture when thinking about what you have to deal with in a work environment with other people. Additionally, you need to be aware of what your personal behaviors and personality traits say to others. The Big Five Personality Dimensions, along with the 10-1 self-assessment, can help you see what you’re like to work with. I think being aware of how our actions, thoughts, and behaviors affect other people is one of the most interesting things we can take control of. Chapter 10 also discusses negotiation, conflict, and stress management. We discussed these topics with our groups at the beginning of the semester and, although they can be scary things to deal with, they don’t have to dominate our fear of being in a workplace.

 

Chapter 11 discussed motivation and performance. Motivation and performance thrive off of each other. Most every human I have ever met never does anything without some sort of motivation. I think the most interesting topic that chapter 11 brought up is the motivation process: “employees go from need to motivate to behavior to consequence to satisfaction or dissatisfaction.” As the saying goes: “you can’t please everyone.” Motivation is almost always a constant process for us. When it comes to our jobs, we need that motivation in order for a solid performance (it’s usually money by the way). The two-factor theory by Herzberg is also a big part of this motivation and performance correlation. Employees rely on maintenance factors (extrinsic motivators: pay, benefits, job security, working conditions, company policies, human relations) and motivating factors (intrinsic motivators: work itself, recognitions, achievement, increased responsibility, growth, advancement). Herzberg theorized that employees are motivated by motivation factors rather than by maintenance factors. Based on my self-assessment, Herzberg is correct. People crave success more than they crave safety or fairness; it’s really all about competition in the end. Furthermore, employees will always have a greater need for something. This can be achievement, power, or affiliation, but no matter what it serves as a personal motivating factor. Personally, my need for achievement motivates my performance, and this can be the case for anyone with any other personal need.

Teamwork and HR (Chapter 8 and 9 Reflection)

April 5th, 2019

Skill Builder 8-2: Management Styles in Group Situations

1.Your group works well together; members are cohesive and have positive norms. They maintain a fairly consistent level of production that is above the organizational average, as long as you continue to play a maintenance role. You have a new assignment for them. To accomplish it, you would:

c. Tell the group members what needs to be done. Encourage them to give input on how to do the job. Oversee task performance.

 

2.  You have been promoted to a new supervisory position. The group you supervise appears to have little talent to do the job, but the members do seem to care about the quality of the work they do. The last supervisor was fires because of the group’s low productivity, you would:

d. Tell the group members how productivity can be improved. With their ideas, develop methods and make sure they are implemented.

 

3. Your department continues to be one of the top performers in the organization. The members work well as a team, In the past, you generally let them take care of the work on their own. You decide to:

a. Go around encouraging group members on a regular basis.

 

4. You have spent much of the past year training your employees. However, they do not need you to oversee production as much as you used to. Several group members no longer get along as well as they did in the past. You’ve played referee lately. You:

d. Continue to supervise closely as needed, but spend more time playing a maintenance role; develop a team spirit.

 

5. Your department has been doing such a great job that is has increased in size. You are surprised at how fast the new members were integrated. The team continues to come up with ways to improve performance. Because it has grown so large, the department will be moving to a larger location. You decide to:

d. Hold a meeting to get employee ideas on the layout of the new location. After the meeting, think about their idea and finalize the layout.

 

6. You are appointed to head a task group. Because of the death of a relative, you had to miss the first meeting. At the end of the second meeting, the group seems to have developed objective and some ground rules. Members have volunteers for assignments that have to be accomplished. You:

c. Take over the leadership but allow the group to make the decisions. Be supportive and encourage them.

 

7. Your group was working at, or just below, standard. There has been a conflict within the group, and as a result, production is behind schedule. You:

c. Hold a meeting to work as a team to come up with a solution. Encourage the group members to work together.

 

8. Your organization allows flextime. Two of your employees have asked if they can change work hours. You are concerned because the busy work hours need adequate coverage. The department is very cohesive with positive norms. You decide to:

c. Hold a department meeting to get everyone’s input; then reschedule their hours on a trial basis. Tell the group that if there is any drop on productivity, you will go back to the old schedule.

 

9. You have arrived 10 minutes late for a department meeting. Your employees are discussing the largest assignment. This surprises you because, in the past, you had to provide clear direction, and employees rarely would say anything. You:

c. Encourage the group to continue but also provide direction.

 

10. Your department is consistently very productive. However, occasionally the members fool around, and someone has an accident. There has never been a serious injury. You hear a noise and go to see what is was. From a distance, you can see Sue sitting on the floor, laughing, with a ball made from company material in her hand. You:

c. Call the group members together and discuss the situation. Encourage them to be more careful in the future.

 

11. You are at the first meeting of an ad hoc committee you are leading. Most of the members are second- and third-level managers from the marketing and financial areas; you are a supervisor from production. You decide to start by:

b. Going over the group’s purpose and the authority it has. Provide clear directives.

 

12. Your department has done a great job in the past. It is getting a new computer system. You have been trained to operate the computer, and you are expected to train your employees to operate it. To train them, you:

b. Get the group members together to decide how they want to be instructed. Be very supportive of their efforts to learn.

 

Autocratic total: 1

Consultative total: 5

Participative total: 6

Empowerment total: 0

 

We did a very similar activity to this in Chapter one and I had very similar results. Participative had the most, but consultative was just one-point shy of tying with participative. These results were not shocking either time I did this activity. Although I don’t love working in a team, I think it is really important to listen to everyone when I do work in a team. Having everyone participate in the work you are trying to do in a team is really important. It brings in diversity and new ideas that you might not have thought of by yourself. I also think it’s funny that I had 0 points for empowerment in both activities. I can be stern when I need to, but I would never demand my team to do exactly what I want them to do. Hearing everyone’s opinion is important.

 

Chapter 9: A-1

List the five steps in career planning:

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Career Preferences
  3. Career Objective
  4. Plan
  5. Control

A-2

Identify to five steps in the networking process:

  1. Perform a self-assessment and set objectives
  2. Create your one-minute self-sell
  3. List your potential network contacts
  4. Conduct networking interviews
  5. Maintain your network

A-3

Describe a one-minute self-sell and its three parts:

  1. History: summary of what you have already done with your career.
  2. Plans: Identify what you want your career to look like in the future.
  3. Question: Encourage two-way communication by asking a question that would be interesting to the person you hope to network with.

 

The appendix of chapter 9 was the most relevant topic we have discussed thus far for my life right now. As a senior, I have been applying to jobs since January. I have practiced all of the tips that were provided in the chapter 9 appendix and I think they are extremely helpful for anyone looking to start a career in any field.

 

Reflection

 

Chapter 8 and 9 were both very helpful this week. Like I said, I am a senior who has constantly been applying for jobs this semester. It has been ROUGH, but we all got to do it. Chapter 8 outlines all the skills I will need in a group setting. Most of the jobs I have applied to involve a whole lot of team work. Group roles, norms, and cohesiveness are all very important topics in teamwork that we need to be aware of as team members. I have mentioned before that we used a lot of the information we have discussed in my Small Group Communication class, and this chapter is pretty much that entire class described in a few pages. We have a whole class on it in the Communications department because it is very important. All of us are going to work with a team in the professional world at some point, and we need to know how to successfully work with that team when the time comes. As managers, we need to learn how to handle conflict and hold meetings. However, we need to know how groups work in order to be successful at over-seeing them.

 

Chapter 9 really hit home for me and this whole applying for jobs thing. The Human Resources department in any company is extremely important in running a smooth business. You need to make sure the internal structure of your company is thriving before the external part of your company can truly thrive. This is where HR comes in. Recruiting, hiring, and dealing with harassment/conflicts are extremely important duties in a business. Obviously, you cannot run a business if you have no one to run it, and you cannot be successful if everyone running your business hates each other. This stuff can get pretty complicated in any organization, so we need to be able to handle topics like these carefully.

There is Power in Untity and That is the Tea (Chapter 6 and 7 Reflection)

March 28th, 2019

This week we read chapter 6 and 7 of Management Fundamentals. By this point in the semester, I have full realized why Management 301 is a requirement in order to complete the Arts Administration Minor. Management skills are going to be helpful to have no matter what career path you take. Chapter 6 and 7 just proved this point further.

Chapter 6 focused on change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Although I have absolutely no interest in becoming an entrepreneur at any time in my life, the information required to be one is still important in a management setting. The entrepreneurial process that this chapter discusses can be applied to everyday ventures too. Selecting a venture, planning the new venture, financing the new venture, and controlling the new venture are steps that we are all going to have to take in the near future in order to start our careers. (This is a shout out to all my graduation seniors. Life is rough right now, but we are almost there and we can do it!). Anyways, this process is all about having a plan and being able to manage that plan. Having a plan can lead to so many new and exciting moves in your company; most importantly: innovation.

When it comes to innovation, this chapter highlighted how necessary innovation is within a business. They even went as far as calling innovation the “Holy Grail for many businesses.” As a manager, we need to encourage innovation by promoting risk taking in a professional manner throughout our business. Innovation brings a new light to our business and, if done correctly, creates something in our business that a consumer can’t find anywhere else.

The most important, and intriguing, part of chapter 6 was change. As a millennial, I am definitely more open to change than the gen x folks I have encountered. However, in a management setting, change can get a little crazy. You, your companies’ CEO, all of your employees, and your consumers have to be apart of any change your business decides to make. As a manager, it is your job to make sure change is executed in a delicate manner. Someone is always going to be unhappy with changes in business; that’s a given. Knowing all the ins and outs of the change is really important as a manger. This chapter provided us with risks of change, forces of change, typed of change, forms of change, and pretty much everything you need to know in order to prepare for a big change. Change doesn’t always have to be scary and I think that is something that we as managers AND consumers need to understand.

Chapter 7 went deeper in authority and organization as a manager. Throughout this course we have read a lot about delegating from a criticism aspect; it has been extremely helpful. However, when it come to acting as an overall authority, there are a lot more things that you have to delegate within your organization. pages 216 and 217 provided us with in-depth steps on the delegation process in management. There are going to be times where you have to assign jobs, reassign jobs, and even hold employees accountable for their actions. All of these things can be done smoothly through the delegation process. If you aren’t used to being an authority figure or being stern in delegation, this chapter helps you see that it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Also, you’re the manager so if you are scared to do your job, you might wanna start this whole college thing over.

When it comes to organization, chapter 7 reiterated the utter importance of being organized and controlling organization in your company. I really loved how this book used the word “unity” within the discussion of organization. I think that is the most important step in having a successfully organized company. Unity with your employees and your consumers makes your job as a manager a lot easier. Additionally, with unity comes power and I think that is important to highlight in this chapter.

Thin-Slicing Our Way to Success ( A Reflection of Blink)

March 20th, 2019

In high-school, we were required to read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I remember thinking, “this is useless to me, I will never use this.” I was wrong. Success is defined differently from person to person. However, hard work is never absent in defining and achieving success. In Blink, also by Malcolm Gladwell, the idea of success is extended, and the focus is turned to the power of thinking. Gladwell discusses information, thin-slicing, and priming as the key elements in the power of thinking. In management, all of these ideas are used on a daily basis and are necessary in order to be a successful manager.

Information is the basis of everything. As humans, we create new information and use old information every single day. Most importantly, information helps us make decisions. Decision making is a huge part of Blink and Gladwell’s path on the power of thinking. In chapter four, “verbal overshadowing” is discussed. Verbal overshadowing is the idea that using excuses, trying to explain, or rationalizing our decisions prevents us from making the best possible decision. This idea is interesting because we spend so much time trying to find reasons to make a decision, but if we spend too much time doing this, it fogs decisions outside of what we have considered that might be a better option. As a manager, decision making is quick and frequent. You have to make decisions without the insight of others at fast and inconvenient times. The power of thinking can be too much when it comes to verbal overshadowing and we have to recognize this on our way to success.

Thin-slicing is a theory that I have discussed at large in my Communications courses. It is one of the most interesting parts of being a human and having a brain. Here is my favorite quote about thin-slicing from Blink:

“We thin-slice because we have to, and we come to rely on that ability because there are lots of hidden fists out there, lots of situations where careful attention to the details of a very thin slice, even for no more than a second or two, can tell us an awful lot.”

That quote basically describes almost all of the responsibilities of a manager, but also as a human. Life get’s tough and thin-slicing is an amazing ability that our brains hold. Furthermore, thin-slicing is a huge part of success and the power of thinking. We have to be able to utilize this skill in order to make the right decisions and plan out the way we carry out objectives.

When it comes to the discussion of the power of thinking, we cannot leave out cognition. Gladwell mentions cognition throughout the book but focuses on cognition and the idea of priming in the second chapter. Instead of simply describing the factors of cognition and priming, Gladwell uses an experiment as an example to show the reader how cognition affects behavior. As humans, we have been “primed” since birth. We change the way we behave based on almost anything we are surrounded by, such as culture, words, and images. A large part of priming is subconscious, however, in a management setting, sometimes priming is necessary and deliberate. For example, if you receive a performance review from your boss and you have to change the way you do something, your personal priming becomes deliberate and, most likely, necessary. Despite this, there will be moments in your work place where priming will come naturally due to your surroundings and the way jobs get done.

Overall, Blink allowed me to learn more about defining success and using the power of thinking, that I already possess, to my fullest advantage. Decision making through information, thin-slicing, and priming are some of the best tools we have on our belts as humans. In management, we can use all of these tools to our advantage, as long as we are able to recognize what they are and how to safely carry them out. Information can be our best friend, but if we do not use that information the right way, we are not truly successful decision makers.

 

Roasting Myself (SWOT) and Chapter 5

March 15th, 2019

Skill Builder 5-2: The Strategic Planning Process at Your College

Step 1: Developing the Mission

  1. “The University of Mary Washington is one of Virginia’s outstanding public liberal arts universities, providing a superior education that inspires and enables our students to make positive changes in the world.”
  2. I believe this mission statement is easy to remember. It holds some of the key reasons I chose to become a student at the University of Mary Washington.
  3. I like this mission statement, so I do not have any recommendations for improvement.

Step 2: Analyzing the Environment

  1. Five-force competitive analysis
    • Rivalry among competing sellers in the industry
      • Other universities: non-liberal arts universities
      • Selling a liberal arts education is much more challenging in today’s age. Not everyone sees a liberal arts education as the “best bang for your buck.” The University of Mary Washington has to compete with Private colleges and public universities for the enrollment of students that are willing to receive a well-rounded education over a one-track program.
    • Threat of substitute products and services
      • Non-liberal arts institutions do not have as many general education requirements. For example, many prospective students see the language requirement at the University of Mary Washington as a huge obstacle and chose to go somewhere that does not require as much work.
    • Potential new entrants
      • New entrants could include more local universities or community colleges.
    • Power of suppliers
      • Suppliers include the entire staff at UMW. Including the president, office staff, dining staff, and most importantly, professors. Additionally, other students, who already attend the University of Mary Washington, serve as a prime example of what UMW offers.
    • Power of buyers
      • Buyers have the power to come to UMW and start their own path. Students at UMW have a say in a lot of activities that go on around the school. Additionally, students will receive a well-rounded education that can put them on more than one career path and provide them with endless opportunities.
  2. SWOT Analysis for the University of Mary Washington
    • Strengths:
      • liberal arts university
      • small school, more opportunities
      • large amount of major options
      • small student to professor ratio
      • inexpensive (for a university)
      • close proximity to DC and Richmond
    • Weaknesses
      • liberal arts university (I don’t consider this a weakness, but some people do)
      • small amount of minor options
      • questionable food options
      • language requirement
    • Opportunities
      • small student to professor ratio
      • close proximity to DC and Richmond
      • large study abroad program
    • Threats
      • liberal arts approach may make consumers unwilling to chose this university for themselves/for their kids
      • community colleges in the area are less expensive
  3. The competitive advantage of the University of Mary Washington is the liberal arts education they provide. Not all universities are liberal arts. Liberal arts educations provides way more information and opportunities than a non-liberal arts education would.

Step 3: Setting Objectives

  1. Goals/objectives of the University of Mary Washington:
    • well-rounded liberal arts education
    • strong student-to-professor relationships
    • have students have a positive impact on the world after graduation
    • have students carry on the legacy of UMW after graduation

Step 4: Developing Strategies

  1. The University of Mary Washington uses liberal arts, small class size, and close proximity to DC and Richmond as a basis for their grand, adaptive, and competitive strategies.
  2. The Communications and Digital Studies major falls under a wide range of the BCG scale because of the amount of opportunities it presents. You can start a career in anything from social media to marketing to broadcast, just to name a few, with Communications and Digital Studies.

Step 5: Implementing and Controlling Strategies

  1. As a student, who does not see the ends and outs of UMW’s strategic planning, I rate the strategic planning of UMW as a 10/10. I can say this because UMW was my first, and only, choice when I was looking for colleges. They did enough strategic planning for me to find them, and never look anywhere else. I never found anything better for myself.

Personal SWOT

Hannah Duncan

  • Strengths:
    • resilience
    • ability to adapt
    • product of a liberal arts education
    • willingness to learn
    • good listener
    • has good music taste
  • Weaknesses:
    • sometimes lazy
    • lets people walk over her
    • rolls her eyes a lot
  • Opportunities
    • has a liberal arts education that provides her with tons of skills/information
    • willing to live anywhere
    • willing to learn anything to gain a new opportunity
  • Threats
    • will fight you for a job

Chapter 5 Reflection

Chapter 5 explored missions statements and building a brand for your organization/company. As an Arts Administration Minor, this is a huge part of what we do/study. We have built many fake organizations and all of them start with a mission statement. A mission statement is the basis of what you’re selling. If you fail to uphold that mission, your business will fail. Using UMW as a basis for the skill builder activity was really eye opening. I am an extreme advocate for liberal arts education. It was never even a thought for me to go to a college that was not liberal arts. As you can tell from some of my answers in the skill builder, I can get quite moody with people that don’t support liberal arts education. Even if I had to endure 2 years of Spanish, I wouldn’t change it for the amount of skills I have gained and information I have learned here. This is what brings me to my personal SWOT analysis. A lot of my strengths come from the fact that I have a liberal arts education. My weaknesses mostly come from bad habits, and that’s okay.

Diversity and Decision-Making (Chapter 3 and 4 Summary)

March 2nd, 2019

Case: Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook Asks Women to “Lean In”

Case Questions:

  1. Sandberg focused on working women in her book.
  2. Sandberg broke the glass ceiling by being voted the fifth most powerful woman in the world.
  3. The global practice most similar to Sandberg’s desire to promote diversity is global operations and products. Sandberg wants there to be a standard for all women and men to uphold in order to achieve equality. Additionally, she wants this equality to spread worldwide.
  4. Individual versus collectivism represents Sandberg’s ideas the most because equality needs to start with the individual first. If women are not taking a stand all around the world first, we are never going to be able to stand up as a group. Men also need to start standing up as individuals in the fight for equality. Equality will never be achieved if both sides are not involved.
  5. Assertiveness is the globe dimension that applies to Sandberg’s “lean in” theory the most. Women need to be tough, confrontational, and competitive in order to lean in and break the glass ceiling.
  6. Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling come into play when successfully achieving any plan. For Sandberg, she is challenging women to apply the four management functions in order to “lean in” and break the glass ceiling.
  7. Sandberg’s gender issues are worldwide. There are women in other countries that have little to know rights. For those women, it is going to take so much more work to break the glass ceiling. However, as women who have rights in America, we need to be successful and inspire women in other countries. Women have to come together and “lean in” as individuals and a group.

 

Case: Lily Pulitzer at Target

Case Questions:

  1. The objective of Targets collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer was to make affordable designer goods widely available for consumers. Target knew Lilly Pulitzer was a successful brand on its own and saw business opportunity in a collaboration with their brand. The decision was to make to collaborated items available in stores and online. The problem was the demand was too high for the items to be sold in store and online.
  2. When Target deactivated their website, they made the decision to lose business with all online shoppers. The website was deactivated for customers that were looking for all items, not just Lilly Pulitzer.
  3. Target could have utilized steps 4-6 in the decision-making model by selecting the best platform for their sales. Online purchases shut down their whole online business. Instead, they could have opted to sell the items in-store only. This would have made steps 5 and 6 (plan and implement the decision and control the decision) go much more smoothly.
  4. Target did not use the Delphi technique during their Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. They jumped into the launch of the collection without a solid plan or anticipation of demand. If they had asked a serious of confidential questions to refine a solution, they would have realized the demand for the collection was much higher than they thought. This would have made Target re-think the way they were going to sell the collection, whether that be online or in stores.
  5. If I was in charge of the Lilly Pulitzer and Target collaboration, I would have made the launch an in-store only deal. By making it in-store only, employees would be trained to better deal with large crowds and high demands. Technology can only keep up with so many people at once, and it is much more difficult to control.
  6. The idea to revitalize Target’s image with the Lily Pulitzer collaboration was good in concept. However, the exaction was not thought out. Lilly Pulitzer is a very popular brand and Target is a very popular store. Personally, I do not think Target needed to revitalization in terms of their image because Target does fine on their own. I am only one customer out of millions, however, so Target obviously felt like they needed to do something at the time.
  7. Lilly Pulitzer is probably not satisfied with the outcome of this collaboration because the negatives reflect them, as well as Target. The technical difficulties and mass consumption of the products will reflect the way people see Lilly Pulitzer forever.
  8. The customer value of the Lilly Pulitzer collection at Target was at a high 10 because the demand was so high. After the fact, the customer value dropped, however, because of the way the launch was handled.
  9. Target’s management was not ultimately effective during this launch because the technical difficulties that they encountered. Although all of the items we’re sold, customers experienced too many issues, making the reliability of both companies decrease.
  10. All managers were used in the launch of this collection. From the corporate level to every store in America, all managers had to be on top of this launch. Corporate needed to come up with a solid plan, store managers needed to train their team for the launch, and general managers needed to make sure the in-store launch ran smoothly.
  11. Lilly Pulitzer did not enter a licensing contract with Target because he would have been liable for reimbursements if things went wrong, and they did.

 

This week, chapter 3 opened my eyes to the issues of diversity in business. Previously, I knew a lot about the issues of diversity that I see every day through personal observations and media. However, chapter 3 really dove into those issues and how to handle them. Diversity and inclusion are so important when it comes to business. As a manager, you need to uphold diversity and inclusion within your workplace as well as in your consumers. Removing bias is the first step in achieving this. Additionally, you need to be able to identify issues in diversity and inclusion. Gender, sexual identity, and race are just a few of the most common diversity topics. Recognizing minorities and following values like Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and GLOBE are steps in managing diversity.

Chapter 4 focused on the decision-making aspect of management. This chapter was very interesting to me because this is the side of management that consumers do not usually see.  The Target and Lilly Pulitzer case study was such a great example of how important decision-making is in management and how quickly one wrong decision can change and entire concept in business. Chapter 4 identified the decision-making styles, the decision-making model, and the decision tree. All of these concepts can be followed in order to help managers achieve the best decision. After reading this chapter, I realized that planning and executing are a long way from each other and managers have a lot of thinking to do when they are creating a something new for their business.

 

Additionally, this week I read over the receiving feedback and giving feedback articles. These topics are topics that a lot of people in my generation, including myself, have a hard time with. For me, giving feedback/criticism was very difficult. Then, I got a job at the Writing Center and it became a lot easier. However, there are still clients that seem more intimidating than others and it becomes more difficult to give feedback at times. The five steps to giving feedback are a perfect guide to calmly communicating with someone. No one wants to be criticized, so doing this in a calmly manner is the best way to get your message across. Furthermore, receiving feedback is purely beneficial and something we all need to keep in mind. Listening before responding to feedback is a very important step.  Asking questions is also important in order to continuously improve your work. Receiving and giving feedback the right was is only going to help you be more successful in all you do. Both of these articles were very insightful.

Why Should I Study Management? (Chapter 1 and 2 Summary)

February 22nd, 2019

Chapters one and two of Management Fundamentals by Robert N. Lussier set a fantastic basis of what it means and what it takes to be a manager. Chapter one explored what managers do, the types of managers there are, and the history of management. Additionally, chapter one answered the question: “Why study management?” This was a big question for me because I came into this class with a low expectation of learning important skills for myself. Chapter two focused on the environment that a manager must uphold, business ethics, and sustainability. All of the topics discussed in chapter two fundamental in running a successful business as a manger. Overall, both chapters opened my eyes up to a lot more than expected.

“Why study management?” was a huge question I asked myself before taking this class, and chapter one gave me a good answer. Management in necessary in both the professional world and our personal lives. Without it, we will not be able to work successfully with people or manage obstacles we face. In the professional world, managers do a lot in order to run an organization smoothly. Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are functions that managers must uphold. All of these steps are important in being a good manager, too. You can call yourself a manager and control people, but it will not mean anything if you are not getting anything done. Additionally, managers must play different roles in order to control certain situations. These roles include: interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. As a manager, you must be able to distinguish which role is necessary in order to complete the task that your company has given your team. If you know how to interact with your team and get the job done, you are doing good as a manager. However, it can be more complicated than that. This is where chapter 2 came in handy.

Chapter two reiterated that being a manager is not a simple task. As a manager you need to keep in mind the internal environment, organizational culture, and the ethics that your organization is endorsing. The Magic Management Squad, aka the group that I am in, was assigned this chapter to dive deeper and create a presentation on. We talked a lot about ethics because ethics can be very different from person to person. However, as a business, the manager and their team need to be on the same page ethics wise. If your manager has a different idea of what is “right” than you do, there is going to be a lot of clashing. Taking credit for the work of others, lying, and stealing are just some awful things that can happen in a business. As a manager, you need to make sure everyone’s ethics are in check and your employees and responsible. Furthermore, you need to make sure the internal environment of your company is running smoothly. The resources you have and the structure you create are key parts of this internal environment. You need a smooth internal environment in order to reach total quality management for your customers. Also, the organizational culture of your organization will provide you with even more success. The processes your company practices and the principles you uphold in your business will affect the amount of revenue your organization receives. Customers do not want to give their money to a company that has low standards or bad ethics. As a manager, it is important that you can see the signs of all this information and figure out how to be the most successful with what you have.

Overall, chapters one and two were just the start of what management means. Having a mission and successfully practicing that mission is one of the most important things you have to support as a manager. It takes a lot of work to get there, so all of this information has been very helpful in preparation for that.

Skill Builder 1-4

  1. C (autocratic)
  2. D (participative)
  3. C (participative)
  4. A (consultative)
  5. B (participative)
  6. D (autocratic)
  7. A (consultative)
  8. A (participative)
  9. B (consultative)
  10. D (participative)
  11. A (autocratic)
  12. C (consultative)

Totals: 0 empowering, 3 autocratic, 4 consultative, 5 participative

 

Self-Assessment 2-1

  1. 4, O
  2. 4, O
  3. 4, O
  4. 3, O
  5. 3, O
  6. 2, O
  7. 4, O
  8. 4, O
  9. 4, O
  10. 4, O
  11. 4, O
  12. 4, O
  13. 4, O
  14. 4, O
  15. 4, O
  16. 4, O
  17. 4, O
  18. 4, O
  19. 4, O
  20. 4, O
  21. 4, O
  22. 4, O
  23. 4, O
  24. 4, O
  25. 4, O

Total ethical score: 96

 

Skill Builder 2-1

  1. At UMW, all of the behaviors in items 1-3 are harmful to the person cheating and the school as a whole. Our honor council at UMW takes cheating very seriously, rightfully so. There is no advantage is cheating, especially if you get caught. Students pay around $25,000 a year to learn, and cheating has no positive contribution to that.
  2. I consider taking credit for another employee’s accomplishments, lying to others to get what you want or to stay out of trouble, and taking spouse or friends out to eat or on business trips and charging their expenses to the organizational account the most unethical behaviors from the self-assessment. Lying and stealing are some of the worst things you can do, especially as an employee. Even if you benefit from lying or stealing in some way, the company you work for is harmed. This will end up harming you in some way by the end. Getting caught will get you into trouble, and I promise you that it will not be worth it.
  3. I will absolutely take action to unethical behavior as a manager. There is no reason for my employees to be practicing unethical behavior, and I will not stand by to watch it happen.
  4. In order to prevent unethical behavior, I will form positive relationships with my employees. The more comfortable they feel talking to me, the more information they will share with me. Additionally, I will supervise all of my employees and be sure to pay close attention to and issues or suspicious activity.
  5. I have not actually observed or reported any of these behaviors. I currently work on campus, so we do not have a lot of room to practice these behaviors.

Skill builder takeaways:

For the skill builder in chapter 1, I am not surprised at my results. I want to hear what everyone has to say, while being supportive and making the most out of what I have. Being empowering is definitely not my style. In some situations, being empowering might be necessary, however, and that might be one of my weaknesses.

Both the self-assessments in chapter 2 were easy to answer. I have a pretty good idea of what is right and wrong, especially in a professional setting. I was a supervisor at a grocery store for three years, so I knew what to look for in my cashiers and how they needed to behave. It is really not hard to refrain from lying and stealing so I did not have trouble reflecting on those assessments.

Critiquing People For Money

February 14th, 2019

A large part of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie talked about how to give criticism in a positive way. As I have mentioned before, I work at the Writing Center here at UMW. My job for eight hours every week is to read student papers and provide criticism to them directly. This week, Carnegie’s advice ran through my mind during every paper I read and every critique I gave. Before reading this book, Dr. Gwen Hale (my boss) gave me and the other consultants plenty of training on how to critique the work of others. It is tricky in the Writing Center because we have students, whom are already in a vulnerable position, come into the Writing Center to get their work critiqued by other students. Sometimes the consultants are younger than the student, which adds an even more uncomfortable aspect to the appointment. However, we have been trained on ways to make the student comfortable and relay critiques in a positive manner. How to Win Friends and Influence People provided me with even more ways to relay critiques. Specifically, this week in the Writing Center I critiqued a paper from an unusual client. Typically our clients are students at UMW that are between the ages of 17 and 22. This client, however, had just written her first paper in ten years. She was an older woman who decided to come back to college to get more marketing experience to accompany her communications major. I could immediately tell that she was uncomfortable and frazzled as she sat down for our appointment. She had not written anything in APA format in over ten years, so she was very nervous about receiving critiques from someone much younger than her. Despite this, I used when I learned from Carnegie, along with my Writing Center training, to make her feel much better. I began the appointment with casual conversation and used flattery and appreciation to ease us into the critique portion of our appointment. As I began the critiques on her APA citations, I made sure I commented on how good her content was and how well she communicated in her papers. I knew she had communication experience because of the personal conversation we had at the beginning of our appointment, so I used that to my advantage. After I was done presenting my critiques, her body language changed and I could tell she felt much more comfortable than when she walked in. It was a very successful appointment, and I believe she will be back for future papers. I get paid to critique people’s work, so it is very important that I know how to do this respectfully. Carnegie did a great job of explaining this in his book, and I was able to use his advice in my own work.

 
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