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Archive for the ‘MGT5031’ Category

MGT 5031: Assignment #3 – Success!

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

This morning, I nervously signed on to my student web page…and peeked at the assignments page…and there it was…my grade for Assignment#3:

Vital Signs: Management in the Biotech Industry….100%!

Here are Dr. Crake’s comments:

Outstanding work Cindy! You have provided a very well developed discussion of the current management of the biotech industry, together with an excellent discussion of the challenges and opportunities of the industry. Exceptional insight into the possible future management of the industry. Excellent structure with strong line of argument. Beautifully written and presented. Excellent research. Impressive work!

I had issues with finding enough peer-reviewed articles for this assignment. I think that online library databases such as EBSCOHost do not have current (as in this month or last month) journals. It seems like many of the journals are at least six months to a year old. This particular assignment required current information and this was a struggle to find.I am proud of the finished product. My final modification included the use of level three headings in one section. I had struggled with clarity on that particular section of the paper and the headings made a difference.

All in all, what makes me so very happy with Dr. Crake’s remarks is the statement: “Beautifully written and very well presented.”

Thank you, Dr. Crake for making my day!

New Course: MGT5019 Ethics in Business

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

I am officially enrolled in my second course at NCU: MGT5019 Ethics in Business, with Dr. Charles Chrzanowski as Mentor. Dr. Chrzanowski’s bio includes: J.D.- Law, University of Bridgeport School of Law; B.S.-Law Enforcement Administration, University of New Haven; A.S.-Mechanical Engineering, Norwalk State Technical School. He has the course discussion forum set up with one folder per week. I am not sure if this means he is expecting weekly posts or not.

The course has eight assignments, and includes article reviews, case studies, a final project paper and a “journal.” There will be a lot of writing in this course, both related to the readings as well as reflective or personal application. Our text is:

Carroll, Archie B. & Ann K. Buchholtz (2003): Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Mangement (5th ed.). Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing. ISBN 0-324-11495-8

A few days ago I posted in the Learners forum looking for this text, but last night I found it pretty cheap on Amazon…..$6.79 including shipping. The book retails new for $132.95. I think that is a pretty sweet deal.

I plan to turn in my final paper from MGT5031 today. But time is getting away from me, as we are supposed to go to the Big City to see our daughter and pick up two recliners that her grandparents let her use. She does not have room for them, as she just got new living room furniture. I hope Husband will feel like riding to the Big City with me to get the chairs. It will be like a 2-hr date with my sweetheart.

My responsibilities as a mother, sweetheart, and employee have not changed. Going to school is easy. Going to school while life continues to happen is not!

  

Unfilled Request

Friday, September 8th, 2006

I received the following polite note back from the Librarian:

Cynthia, we received your request for the article below. Unfortunately, we could not find a lending institution that would provide the article. There are other options to obtain the article. You can check your local public, college or university library to see if it owns the journal, or if it can obtain the article through its interlibrary loan service. You might also try purchasing the article directly from the publisher. Let us know if you have any questions.

This particular article looked very promising from the abstract. I am disappointed. I found one outside Library (online) that I could get the article, but I would have to pay $30 to access the site.

So tonight, I am reviewing my paper and hope to turn it in tonight or tomorrow. 

…without the article as a source.

My Proofreaders & etc.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I finished Assignment #3 on Monday, Labor Day. Today is Wednesday and my two proofreaders have been busy – too busy to read my paper. Hmmm, maybe I should put a dollar bill or a candy bar between the pages or something.

Well, I can’t say that is the only reason that I have not turned it in yet. I requested an interlibrary loan of an article, and I have not gotten it yet. It is the first time that I tried the loan of a document. There was a link at the bottom of the EBSCO article. I thought that the article would be delivered “immediately” and electronically. Such is the purpose of an online library, right? I made the request on the 2nd and today is the 6th. How long does it take? Based on the abstract, I think that it would add to my paper, but I am SOOOO ready to turn it in! I guess I will send another note to the librarian and ask.

Drum roll, please. I am a member of our Hunting Club at work (the company owns a lot of land and the employees rent the hunting rights to certain tracts). We had a meeting this afternoon, and I am no longer “just” a member, I am an “elected officer.” I was elected to the audit committee for a three year term. Now, that is impressive, isn’t it! Now, I am not really sure what the audit committee does, but I supppose I will find out soon….

So far, so good

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to write. I enjoy the art of making myself understood through words and their rhythms. There is a permanence and a peacefulness in making my mark on the page.

But – I don’t like to write papers! I am confined to the assignment guidelines and cannot “just write.” In the case of Assignment #3 (Modern and Future Management), I have the page in the syllabus tacked up on my desk, highlighted with green. “Stay focused” – “stay on topic” it says to me every time I look up and see that green.

I think I am a little brain-fried right now because I have been working on my paper almost all day. I spent most of the morning scratching through and eliminating some of my topical ideas (aerospace, internet, satellite TV, telecoms, nuclear medicine, etc.) and narrowing down to one subject. I think it will work for this paper and I have been researching and re-reading Wren through and through to create a backbone for the paper. The paper is skeleton-y and outline-y right now…but words are there on the page in black and white.

The problem is finding current and peer-reviewed articles on “new” industries which have emerged in the past 5 to 20 years. Typically, scholarly papers look backward and analyze, they don’t seem to look at today and analyze. Of course, it is easier for academia to comment on “historical facts.” For industries which are current, many of the sources are current, too, such as magazines. I have been able to find a few peer-reviewed articles and I am hoping that will “work” for Dr. C.

My sweet husband has been very supportive and encouraging all day, bringing me ice cream (with three cheeries on top) and making supper (chicken fingers and fries). He even has stopped a number of times to listen to me as I read a passage that needs some turn of the words to make it clear and concise. He is my proofreader and critic and I grab him and read to him. He doesn’t even complain about it ! The puppies keep checking on me and asking if I want to play or sing, just take my pick.

So life goes on here in the country; me stuck at my desk wrestling with Wren and writing my paper. So far, so good.

MGT5031: Assignment #3

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

I am almost finished with chapters 19-23 in the Wren’s “The History of Management Thought”, the text for MGT 5031.  I have about 20 pages to go.

I really enjoyed reading the first half of this book, but this last part is not as interesting. Unfortunately, I am not gathering as much information as I read as I did in the first two parts.

I am puzzling over this final paper. I have read some of the discussion boards to see what others are writing but I have not found “my” subject yet.

Here is how I read the text…..I have several pads of the small colored 2″ x 1.5″ sticky notes with me as I read. When I come across a section that is relevant to my paper, or that gives me some insight that I believe will assist me with my paper, I put a sticky note on the page. My book usually ends up with about 50 sticky notes sticking out of the side. If the sticky note is holding my page, it goes at the top. If the sticky note is relevant to my paper, it goes on the side. If it marks a page that I need to re-read or define a term or if I discover something that I don’t understand completely, I put the sticky note sticking out the bottom of the book. The various colors also mean things to me. This system certainly may not work for you, but it does for me!

Wren bookHere is my Wren book – See the sticky notes?

Assignment #3 (Modern and Future Management)

For your third and final assignment, select an industry that has emerged within the past 5 to 20 years.  Discuss the industry’s current management, challenges, and opportunities.  Offer your own thoughts on where you think this industry will continue to evolve in terms of its business management.

Hmmmm, 5 to 20 years. My son is 21 and my daughter is 22 so I am focusing on industries that have “emerged” during my motherhood lifespan.

I know of quite a few industries that have come and gone (disco dancing, stack heels, bad hair …….), but I need to find one that will have academic writings on its management, challenges and opportunities. The most obvious (to me) is cell phones and internet access, but I want this paper to pack some punch and do not want to choose the obvious.

The countdown is 26 days to finish this course……

MGT5031: Assignment #2 – Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

As you may recall, I have been working on Assignment #2 in Dr. Crake’s MGT 5031 History of Management Theory

For your second assignment, select an industry that has undergone significant change in terms of organizational understanding, people management, complexity, and use of scientific theory in management. Generally, these are industries or businesses that radically evolved during the first half of the 20th century. Describe the changes that occurred to the business or industry in terms of its evolution in management.

I struggled to find an industry that I could discuss that would capture the salient points of the assignment, yet give me a platform to analyze how scientific management changed the industry.

Here is the abstract for my paper:

“The Forging of Scientific Management in the Steel Industry”:

Radically evolved during the first half of the 20th century, the steel industry has undergone significant change in terms of organizational understanding, people management, complexity, and use of scientific theory in management. As the subject of Frederick W. Taylor’s initial studies of time management, division of labor and the elimination of wasted motion, steel became the poster child of scientific management.  Nonetheless, the industry suffered through waves of rapid growth and union dissatisfaction. At its peak, it was the largest industry in the world with a budget of global dimensions and its business practices influenced a nation’s views on the relationship between labor and management.

OK…OK so now you want to know how I did??? (theatrical pause for effect)….

Here is an excerpt of the feedback I received:

Excellent work Cindy!  You have provided a very well developed discussion of the history and development of the Steel industry, together with an excellent discussion of the evolution of management in that industry, during the industrial revolution.  Excellent analysis of scientific management principles as applied in the industry.  Well structured with a good introduction and excellent conclusion.  Very well written and well presented.  Excellent use of examples throughout to illustrate your discussion and argument.  Very well researched.  Great work! 

I am so happy! I spent hours and hours on this paper and I am thrilled with the results!

But of course it wasn’t all fun and games….once again, I had tech issues trying to turn in a paper.

I use dial up service to access the internet. As I was posting assignment #2, the service kept hanging up or stalling. Finally, I could see the file on the assignment tab. I wrote a little note to Dr. Crake, and he responded that he received 4 copies of my assignment. I know he was scratching his head on that one, trying to figure out why in the world I would send him 4 copies!

So…does this mean that I have 4 x the points on this assignment??? LOL

Research and Revision

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

I am continuing to work on assignment #2, reading and researching the topic. I am struggling with finalizing the “best” industry that fits the requirements for the paper. Unfortunately, I have not had many “blocks” of time to devote to the project, just a bit here and there. I have this paper and one more to write before the end of the class on 09/23/06.

I am also thinking about the next class to take. I have not yet decided on a specialization, but I am certainly looking into each one. I plan to call my academic advisor this week to discuss the selection of my next course. I am thinking about MGT5005 Business Organization and Management or perhaps MGT5019 Ethics in Business. The ethics class is not a required course (unless I go into the Management specialization), but it may give me the required ethics course to teach the new Org Beh class at the school where I am an instructor. But then again, shouldn’t I work on getting the required courses completed first?  

Reading Wren

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

I am working through Wren and hope to get a writing start on Assignment #2 today. I am still weighing possibilities for which industry to discuss. I did some research this week and have some ideas. I typically do congruent research as I am reading. This augments the learning from the text and helps me with historical perspective and balance.

One of the students in our MGT5031 class is actually a neighbor of mine. I use the term “neighbor” in the rural south Alabama tradition – she lives about 20 miles away~ For all you city folks, this is pretty close, in a distinctly rural sort of way.

Mom and Dad are doing just fine (thanks for asking!). They are apprehensive about Tuesday but I know that we will work through the details. Mom has been in a wheelchair for a few years but she still wants to stay the night at the hospital with Dad. I don’t know how that will work out but I will let you know.

On my plate today is the Wren reading and paper start. Plus all of the other things that make my life interesting…and complicated!

Tossing Around the Possibilities

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

I have been thinking about Assignment #2 and a selection of an industry. I have a few ideas that I am tossing around in my head, but I have not decided yet. To be honest, I was leaning toward a particular industry and was doing some preliminary research. I signed onto the student webpage/learner web page and found that Dr. Crake had just posted an “example” paper from a student on the exact same industry and with some of the exact same references that I was looking at. 

There is no way that I will choose this industry now. I don’t want Dr. Crake to think that I had copied someone else’s work. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I am just very happy that it was posted before I got too involved in the project.

I took a pause regarding working on my papers because my parents had heart catheterizations yesterday (Mom) and today (Dad). Next Tuesday, Dad will have two stints put in to help two blockages. I have been sitting in the hospital with my parents and instead of reading Wren, I took a novel to read. Of course, in the hospital, there are many interruptions and I just could not see trying to read the text with all of that goings-on.

Tonight, I had a number of papers to grade for a GEN/300 class that finished up on Monday evening. This was a FlexNet class, which is the online and campus blended modality. The grades were pretty good for this class, even though several students had tech/computer issues at the beginning. It is always interesting to see the difference between the first night of class and the last night of class. The learning curve is often very steep when adults return back to school and also take online classes. I know that a number of my fellow learners at NCU are experiencing some of the same things as my students.

Asynchronous learning can be disconcerting at first. Adult learners are well-suited for this method of androgogal instruction, which provides the student with learning based on their needs. Adult learners are self-paced and responsible for the extent of the receipt of knowledge transfer. In other words, asynchronous online learning can be a challenge!

Which Brings us to Today…

Monday, July 10th, 2006

So far in this journal, I have been pulling the reader up to today.

Here is where I am, now….not quite halfway through my first course at NCU. Along the way, I have met and networked with a few nice folks. Eric Brown provided inspiration and encouragement to begin this blog. Be sure to visit Eric’s Ph.D. Journey for additional insight regarding his experiences at NCU.

I have found NCU learners in some of the groups and newsgroups that I read. I have had a few emails from other learners welcoming me to NCU. My academic counselor, Rita, has been very nice to answer some very dumb questions. I tell my students that an education is one thing that no one can ever steal or take away from them. Every moment that is spent learning is spent wisely.

Now that I have made the commitment to return to school, I know that it will not be easy or fast. I will have to be content with taking one course at a time, working two jobs, and trying to be a wife and mother to people who matter.

Is it worth it?

I think so.

“Education, therefore, is a process of living

and not a preparation for future living.”

                          – John Dewey

MGT5031: Assignment #2

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

The thought of quitting flittered through my brain. I can’t follow directions. I can’t follow directions.

OK, enough beating myself up. There is another assignment due.

For your second assignment, select an industry that has undergone significant change in terms of organizational understanding, people management, complexity, and use of scientific theory in management. Generally, these are industries or businesses that radically evolved during the first half of the 20th century. Describe the changes that occurred to the business or industry in terms of its evolution in management.

Module #3 includes reading chapters 7-18 in the Wren textbook. This section covers Taylorism (scientific management), the Gilbreths and others. Years ago, I read Cheaper by the Dozen and it became one of my favorite books. Now, I am meeting the Gilbreths once again.  

Too Big

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

Dr. Crake returned my paper without grading it. The file exceeded 1MB in size. Barely exceeded, but still, exceeded.

You see, he has this on the student webpage and the syllabus, “Please keep your assignment file submission size to below 1 MB, otherwise it becomes cumbersome to work with.”

I certainly understand this rational.

I had checked the file size when I finished my paper. Then, I copy/pasted the special NCU cover page, saved the file and sent it. What a dummy. My first baby step toward my Ph.D. and my professor thinks I don’t know how to follow directions.

Impressive.

The NCU cover page tipped the file size.

I swallowed whatever pride I had left and the only way I knew how to correct the problem was to change the figures in the paper. I changed them to gif’s instead of bmp’s. This worked and I sent the file again, along with my apologies. I hope Dr. Crake does not hold a grudge against students with files that are too big. I won’t make that mistake again. I will look at the file size including the special NCU cover page.

This little episode won’t be forgotten. I had combed over my paper numerous times looking for missplaced commas or weird grammar. But I missed what was really important to my professor.

Size matters.

MGT5031: Assignment #1

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

After reading the six chapters in the Wren book as well as the resources available on the course page, I decided on a topic for Assignment #1:

For your first assignment, select an industry that you believe was profoundly changed during the industrial revolution. Describe the nature of the industry before, during and after the industrial revolution. Discuss and describe how the management of the industry and within the industry was changed by the industrial revolution.

The most obvious choice would have been the textile industry. I found a bunch of material on textiles. Not me – I chose the oil and petroleum industry. Here is the abstract:

Abstract

Although the uses of oil and petroleum were known for centuries in the Muslim world, the successful drilling and collection in large economic quantities did not occur until 1859 in Pennsylvania. During the Industrial Revolution, entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller realized oil’s potential as an energy source and purchased the complete supply chain from mining to distribution. The resulting monopoly led to the introduction of legislation to combat big business in the United States. After the Industrial Revolution, the industry continued to provide fuel to power the machines and the technology that led to sweeping economic developments in transportation and industry. Oil became the fuel that turned the United States into a great industrial power in the 20th century.

The assignment took many hours of research because of the nature of the topic. So many sources focused on Rockefeller, and generally ignored the industry itself. My daughter and husband read my paper and made some corrections and suggestions. I held my breath and turned it in to Dr. Crake.

The Syllabus

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

I know what to expect in a syllabus. I create them; I pass them out to students. I talk about them in class. I refer to them as a “contract” between me and the student.

So, why was I so intimidated by the syllabus that I received for MGT5031? 

I think that it must be the fact that I held in my hand proof that I was really doing this. It’s kind of like when you are ready to take a vacation trip but it seems like it is not real until you get the plane tickets or the final confirmation. My first thought when I read the syllabus was, what the heck was I thinking?

Actually, the syllabus is well laid out and very complete. The assignments are listed and it is cram packed with information that will help me succeed. Of course, the class appeared to be a lot of work. There are three papers to write and the topics are related to the history of management, beginning with the industrial revolution until today. There are five “Modules” dividing the course into swallow-able portions.

The student webpage is very nicely formatted and even includes discussion areas where students can exchange information. One of the topics is Buy/Sell Books. I zeroed in on this topic right after I looked at the prices in the official bookstore, run by MBS Direct. Way too expensive for me! I posted a note about the books that I was looking for, and immediately got some feedback from a few folks selling their books. Paul F. and I made a quick deal and soon my check for $75 was headed his way and his books were headed my way. 

We use APA in all classes at the University of Phoenix, so I have the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The primary text for the course is The History of Management Thought, 5th edition by Daniel A. Wren. A quick perusal and I knew this book and I would get to know each other very well. Luckily, it is not big and heavy so I can carry it easily in my briefcase.

I hole-punched and three-ring-bindered the syllabus and read it four times. I started reading the first six chapters in the Wren book, which is the first reading requirement for Module 2. I thought it might end up being dry. To my surprise, the text is very readable and Mike (my husband) and I have discussed some of the topics. He is a history buff and jumped right in with some insight.

I think I am going to make it.