Support an Alum May 29, 2007Posted by Jordi in Uncategorized.
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Looks like we have an opportunity to support one of our students, Ryan Gryskevicz for a national award. Click through on this link and vote for Ryan! He is currently #3 in the voting – lets make him #1
Merger Challenge: Unite Toothbrush, Toothpaste May 8, 2007Posted by Brian Mulligan in Merger, Organizational Culture, Organizational Environment.
The article that I found in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Merger Challenge: Unite Toothbrush, Toothpaste – P&G and Gillette Find Creating Synergy Can Be Harder Than It Looks“ directly relates to company culture conflict. Many thought that the merger of the world’s No.1 toothbrush and the world’s No. 2 toothpaste would provde to be a match made in heaven.
The rosy picture painted by most anaylsts turned completely grey once the companies actually tried to merge together. Oral-B employees were forced to move from Boston to Crest’s Cincinnati hom office, while there was a clash of management style. Oral-B favored meeting while Crest liked memos. In contrast, Crest liked deliberated moves while Oral-B liked quick decisions.
“Gillete staffers had to learn to cope with P&G’s famously rigid culture”
In th end, both companies have to deal with all of the problems that they are having with each other. How do you propose a compromise? What is the best solution?
What every American should know… May 4, 2007Posted by Janine in Cases, civil society, Class announcements, Government, Military, Public Interest.
Here is a link for a documentary on the 9/11 incident.
Now it is about an hour and a half, so watch it when you have some time. This does not really apply to organizational theory or practice, but I think that this is a video that we as Americans should watch and know.
Now, after having watched it, you are entitled to make your own judgments and form your own beliefs and opinions, but please if you have time, watch it and let us all know what you think. I know I am very curious to hear what you all have to say!
Steroids in Baseball May 3, 2007Posted by collage9 in Sports, sustainable development.
One organization, Major League Baseball, is in the midst of a crisis that is causing a lot of harm to their game. As probably all of you know, we are in the middle of what is known as the “steroid era” of baseball. This is obviously not a good image that the league currently has for itself. A lot of people are questioning the integrity of the game and are very critical of the MLB. Steroid cases are continually being heard in the courts and the problem has really gotten out of control. The MLB let the problem get out of control in the first place (with lenient testing policies beginning in the 1990’s) and it is now their responsibility to fix it. However, it is not something that seems like it will go away in the near future. It is very interesting to me to watch how the league continues to handle the situation, as we all know they have many people who are very critical of their game right now. How do you think they should handle the situation? Should they be as cooperative as possible with the government and try and catch everyone who has taken steroids? Should they be very active and harsh in distributing penalties? Should there be asterisks placed in the record books for people who played during the steroid era? Should the MLB try and downplay the situation and make it seem as if it’s being resolved? The league has a very serious image problem right now and I am interested to see how they continue to handle the situation.
U.S., EU Link on Trade, Split on Climate May 3, 2007Posted by silviamocanu07 in civil society, Government, Public Interest.
The article that I found on BusinessWeek relates to different kinds of organizations, namely state and supre-state: the U.S. and the E.U. Policy coordination between the two economic spaces has long been under negotiation(Link: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/may2007/gb20070502_918558.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories) . However, some the ideas that are most valued in Europe, do not seem to make the priority list in the U.S., namely taking steps toward the looming issue of climate change.
Despite the fact that both entities are able to agree on the regulatory framework regarding intellectual property and financial services, an agreement is still pending with issues relating to the environment. The U.S. has a long-standing history of not being proactive with regard to environmental issues, as was clearly demonstrated through the fact that the U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
“Mr Barroso said “We agree there is a threat, there is a very serious and global threat. We agree that there is a need to reduce emissions. We agree that we should work together.” But both sides remain split along familiar lines on how quickly developing nations should react, with the EU arguing richer nations need to take the lead before asking poorer states to move and the US refusing to budge until emerging economies like China and India come on board.”
There is a clear bridge between the two approaches to the climate change problem, with the U.S. trying to evade its responsibility, as having the world’s highest emissions levels. Do you agree with the U.S. approach that they will not take action until other significant Asian economies are on board? Do you think that this is merely an excuse to avoid tackling the problem?
The Workplace May 1, 2007Posted by wilson7 in Employees, Organizational Environment, Workplaces.
Do you think the way an office is set up has a direct correlation to employee moral, productivity, and job satisfaction? An April 2006 survey of more than 2,000 office workers commissioned by Gensler, a leading design firm, illustrates both the problems and the promise of workplace design. Nearly half of the respondents said they would work an extra hour a day if they had a better workplace environment. More than 90 percent reported that their office space affected their attitudes about work and that a different setup could make their companies more competitive. Yet employers seemed blind to the potential: Only 38 percent of workers said they would be proud to show important customers their workspace. About a third complained that it didn’t promote health and well-being. And almost half thought that creating a productive workplace was not a priority at their companies. It was a study by the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation, that showed how the physical design of workspace had a direct effect on job satisfaction, productivity, and profitability in settings ranging from high-rises to laboratories. Companies with workplaces that encouraged more informal mingling of employees, for example, outperformed those that sequestered their staffs in amaze of cubicles.
General Services Administration decades ago: Of the total cost to a company for running an office building over a 30-year life span, the initial construction represents just 2 percent; operating expenses come to about 6 percent.
The remainder goes to paying the workers inside. The point should be obvious: People are the biggest cost inside a work environment, so leveraging your human capital ought to be near the top of your priority list. But, of course, it isn’t. What type of work environment would you like to be apart of? Are you a cubicle type of employee or more interactive? If you were an employer what type of office would you set up?
Promoting Products April 30, 2007Posted by Stephanie in advertising, brand, Consumers.
The effort companies go through to advertise in both subtle and obvious ways on television is remarkable. Characters in movies and television shows are often depicted with very specific brands of beverages, clothes and other products. Products are strategically placed in the background of scenes, carefully positioned to subconsciously attract a viewer’s attention. Another strategy is through the endorsements of talk show hosts. Oprah has her “Favorite Things” episode about once a year which hopefully stemmed from her actual favorite finds. Now however, hosts like Oprah and Martha Stewart look to make some extra money (as if either needed it) by promoting products on their shows.
30-second spot on The Martha Stewart Show = $10,000
One-time in-show oral mention with product close-up = $100,000
Two-minute-plus branded segment, with two or three talking points = $250,000 +
(Data: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., BusinessWeek)
In some cases Martha has never even used the product herself and yet she boosts of how phenomenal it is. Even worse, in the case of the Scotch-Brite toilet scrubber segment, Martha doesn’t even like the fact that the product is used once and then wastefully thrown away. This reminds me of hair product commercials featuring celebrities. Do any of those women actually dye their hair from a box? I highly doubt so.
Is this the same as false advertising? It seems quite deceitful. Yet thousand, maybe millions of viewers take the advice of the “Queen of the Product Pitch.” On whose recommendation would you purchase a new product? Do they have to be an “expert” in their field? Is a simple commercial not enough anymore?
Adjusting to the Collapsed Highway April 29, 2007Posted by Stephanie in transportation.
The devastating pictures from The New York Times of Oakland, California immediately caught my attention today.
“A fiery pre-dawn tanker truck accident caused the collapse of a heavily trafficked freeway overpass near downtown today, sending hundreds of feet of concrete crashing onto a highway below and hobbling a vital Bay Area interchange.”
Luckily no one was killed when the track carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline crashed. However the results of the intense fire cause catastrophic damage to the highways. Most likely it was the extreme heat from the fire which melted the steel girders and bolts that support the concrete roadway which lead to the destruction of the road system.
“On an average day, the two spans that were destroyed this morning carry 160,000 vehicles.”
We all complain as Route 80 in our neck of the woods is insistently under construction. This however is planned construction and in comparison a far more manageable situation. It will be interesting to see how the city reacts to the situation once the weekdays with rush hour traffic and busy work life resumes tomorrow. With such an unforeseeable situation it will be interesting to follow how the repairs will be made considering budgets, the need to be time efficient and yet ensuring the safety of workers and eventually drivers.
I would not be envious of handling this situation of project management. The stress, pressure and watchful eyes of city planners, safety regulators, Californians and other stakeholders are sure to demand a quick yet safe solution.
Would you be interested in construction/project management? It seems as though there are very clear tasks and goals. But the unexpected challenges that arise with uncontrollable factors such as weather may be too stressful.
How do you think the city will adjust to the situation? What other problems do you see stemming from accident?
Honeybees – Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons April 26, 2007Posted by Jordi in agriculture, Organizations and Mother Earth, science.
The bees are leaving! This is so weird. Life is stranger than fiction. Where are they going?
Honeybees – Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons – New York Times
More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.
The article points out that the reasons why vary and many are a bit nutty: terrorism, cell phone towers, GM crops. This just isn’t about your Honey Nut Cheerios! Its Global. Many countries in Europe and Latin America report similar problems.
Bees are used to pollinate many food crops. They are considered a critical link in the food chain. The most important insect for agriculture. Combined with the cooler temperatures this spring, which wiped out the fruit crops in many southern states, we could be in for some rough times with food prices. Maybe inflation would start to creep up, leading to the Fed, out of fear of inflation, raising rates. The somewhat shaky demand in the US would fall, sparking a recession. A global recession. Yikes, all from some wayward bees! I want to know more about this.