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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 15th Class Discussion

In calss today we continued the research presentations. There were a lot of interesting ones and I actually learned a lot about some subjects I was unaware of. One that really stuck out was the health care savings plans and how they can be really helpful when looking at health care insurance.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13th Class Reflcetion

The class today was half of the students doing their presentations. I learned a lot from the presentations and felt that some of the people did a really good job. There were a few that were a little confusing and hard to figure out what their point was but overall it was good. I did my presentation and felt that it went ok. I could have preparred a little better but it worked out. I am glad it is over with now. The semester is coming to an end and I am getting excited for the summer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 6th Class Discussion

In this class we went over business ethics and different theories. The three that we discussed were utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We looked at both Costco and Walmart and compared the way they treat their employees and which ethical perspective they both match. I found the discussion vey interesting and find it hard for me to decide what is best out of the two strategies. One thing i go back to is is if it would be better to pay a few employees better or provide more opportunities?

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 1st Class Reflection

During this class we went over what it takes to create a high performance work environment. The part that stuck out most to me on this is the idea of having a learning organization. It seems like all business implement training in some respect but for them to foster and encourage a learning organization is something so much more. Often training is focused on what employees should not do and ways for the company to protect themselves. Not only do the organization need to encourage continued learning but also sharing of that knowledge with others. In class we talked about how some people will deliberately not help others because it makes themselves more valuable. This is something that companies need to overcome and encourage more knowledge sharing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 30th Class Reflection

Since we are now done with the book for the class, these will be the only post I do going forward. I reviewed what I was supposed to be doing on these and realized I may have been doing them a bit wrong in the past. It is supposed to be more of a reflection on what I got out of the class rather than a recap of what we went over in the class. I will try and personalize the rest of these post.

The thing that stuck out to me the most in the last class was the Hofsteads Five Dimensions of Culture. I thought it was interesting to be able to do an accurate comparison of different cultures based on these five somewhat simple dimensions. With my experience with different cultures I tried to uses these dimensions to see if I could see the differences. The culture that I feel I am most familiar with other than my own would be the latin culture. I think there are may differences between the American culture and the Latin culture on these five dimensions.

The other topic that we discussed that really stuck out to me was the criteria for selecting an employe for a foreign assignment. A lot of it was common sense but when you put it all together you realize how many potential issues can come up if you do not pick the right person for the assignment. Not only that but you also need to make sure you prepare the person you select properly for the assignment.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 16th Class Reflection

In class today we talked about the research paper and when it was due. Then went on to Chapter 14 discussion and talk about unions. One of the main things that we discussed was how organizations can discourage the formation of unions. Here are some of the points that I found interesting:
What to do
  • Be consistent in the treatment of employees.
  • Ensure due process in performance management
  • Protect employees from harassment or humiliation
  • Treat all employees with dignity and respect
What to Avoid
  • Threatening employees with harsher terms of employment or employment loss.
  • Promising anything if they don't form a union
We then went into Chapter 15 and talked about HRM in a global environment. Which I felt was more like a review chapter. It showed how everything we have talked about so far can apply to the global environment.

Chapter 16 Discussion Topics

Chapter 16 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

High Performance Work Systems is a combination of people, technology, and organizational structure to use all the resources available and achieve the goals (definition from the book). For this to be successful HRM can play a crucial role. They do this by properly designing Jobs, recruiting the right employees, focusing the training and development on high performance systems, and proper performance management. They can also help set-up the proper compensation to promote this.

Technology can also play a big role for HRM in setting up high performance work systems. There are 3 applications that are widely used:

1. Transaction Processing

2. Decision Support Systems

3. Expert Systems

Along with these applications the HRM can also use information systems such as an HR dashboard or other online options.

Emotional Hook

There are many conditions that contribute to high performance. The most important condition however is support by the whole company, especially the owners and management.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Teamwork and empowerment are a crucial part of a high performance team, however the teams must have the proper resources to accomplish what they need or they will not be effective.

Facilitative Questions

How is continuous learning used in developing high performance teams?

Why are ethics so important when implementing high performance work systems?