December 11, 2005

Last Management 250 Entry

Well, this completes my blog entries for Management 250. It has been a thought provoking and interesting experience. I'm not especially tech savvy, so it was challenging at first to set up my blog account. Since then, it has been smooth sailing. The most difficult part is finding topics to discuss. Unlike most of my classmates, I have tried to avoid rehashing things we discussed in class. Unfortunately, I've had to do that on a few occasions. Other than that, I'm very proud of my work and stand by it.

The Teaching Team

I really appreciated the teaching team this semester. I enjoyed Prof. Powley's lectures. He was not overly demanding or moody and I appreciate that. I also was helped a great deal by Prof. Piderit. Whenever the HR simulation was confusing or I had a comment about the class in general, she was there to give me advice or listen to mine. Tracy was also pivotal to the success of the course because I'm sure she did most of the grading and kept track of attendance, etc. All in all, I would say that without any member of the teaching team, I would have been lost.

I Despise the Learning Plan

The blogging assignment gives us all an excellent opportunity to vent our frustrations. I've seen it on many of my peer's blogs and now it's my turn.

I absolutely hate the learning plan. I don't even believe in the self testing methods like the LSI or MBTI anyway, and now I'm expected to make plans for the rest of my life based on these crackerjack tests that I have absolutely no faith in? I already have a roadmap for my life, and if you've reached this point in your college career without setting out some sort of plan, you are only hurting yourself. I guess some people need college courses to hold them by the hand and guide them through every step of life, but I most definitely do not. I don't want to be coddled, I want to be respected. So, I wrote the stupid thing to the exact specifications as set out in the rubric and it got torn to pieces when it was graded. Ridiculous. I can plan my life just fine without this overly structured and boring paper, don't you worry. Nonetheless, I play the game. And don't fool yourselves professors, the learning plan is just a game to me. I promise I will play by your rules, but I would much rather spend my effort on something useful. As I said, I already have a plan for my life. Let's stop babying the students and focus.

December 01, 2005

Self Inventory

It never ceases to amaze me how much stock is put into categorizing humanity. We have a battery of tests to tell you what kind of a person you are: there is the LSI, the MBTI, and now we've been introduced to the Strong Interest Inventory. I do not buy into any of them. A human being is far too complex to categorize. While I do think that these tests can point a person in the right direction, I do not believe that they could be taken as anything definitive. I'm afraid of how these results may be pointing students away from what could be their potential dream job. Just because you have a strong artistic score on the SII does not mean that you couldn't be an accountant. That's ridiculous. I think if a person searches deep enough inside, they can find what they are supposed to do for the rest of their lives. There is no need to rely on generic personality tests.

Chinese Productivity

Today I read an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Chinese Boom May Boost Industrial Accidents". Basically, the article described the current situation in the Chinese energy sector, where safety takes a back seat to profitability. Large scale industrial accidents are not uncommon in China, especially in mines all across the country. It was even reported that many of the companies had not been inspected in over three years. When I hear reports of how successful China's growth has been over these past few years, these are the stories that come to mind. Of course we can improve profitability and efficiency and overall economic growth, but at what cost? What good is economic dominance if it is built with the blood of innocent lives? Although sometimes it may seem that our laws in this country cause a lot of red tape, I'm grateful that they are there. The alternative is much worse.

November 06, 2005

Outsourcing

From a management perspective, outsourcing seems like a terrible idea. The first reason for not outsourcing is that it has a very negative effect on company morale. From all of our learning this semester, it seems as though morale is quite important to the success of a business. The second reason is that it must be a logistical nightmare. We strive to make everything efficient and productive, yet we do so to cut costs. It seems to me that the cost savings in outsourcing would be lost in all the inefficiencies of long distance communication and decision making. The last reason is that it seems short term. At what point do the cost savings cease to outweigh the extra effort put forth? When I picture the long term effects of outsourcing, I see nothing but difficulties.

Varying Management

I am beginning to wonder how applicable the forms of management we are learning will be in industry. It seems obvious to me that very few things are applicable across the board. Managing a retail firm would be very different from managing a restaurant or hotel. Is management something that can even be learned? There are many successful managers in the world, but how much of their success can actually be traced back to formal education? I tend to believe that good managers are simply people who were born with the ability to adapt and solve problems.