Question;All learning activities;Week 1;Learning;Activity 1;You have been recently promoted to;the position of plant manager in a large Mexican operation owned by your;employer, a Fortune 500 company. After taking some time to assess the;situation, you have determined that the implementation of Kaizen continuous;improvement activities would substantially improve the quality and efficiency;of the operation. Pioneered by Toyota and widely adopted around the world by;numerous companies, this technique is based on having employees analyze their;own working situation and area, identify problems, and suggest changes. It has;been shown to be particularly effective and also results in increased employee;satisfaction.;After several attempt to implement;the techniques, you are becoming concerned that it is not being adopted as;readily and enthusiastically as you have seen elsewhere. You begin to suspect;some cultural issues and refer to Geert Hofstede?s web site for guidance;http://geert-hofstede.com/countries.html;Using this resource and the material;in your text, respond to the following questions;1. What cultural;issues do you think exist that might impede the implementation in this plant?;2. How would you;address them in order to take advantage of the benefits of Kaizen?;Remember to make one initial post and;to respond to two of your classmates.;(Instructor?s note: This is an actual;scenario taken from the Instructor?s experience with a plant employing some;2,500 people, mostly women, in Mexico.;Learning;Activity 2;You are a manager employed by a;Fortune 500 company that has a reputation for highly ethical conduct and a;highly regarded ethical code. You have recently been transferred to your;company?s operations in Tianjin, China. While attending a meeting with a key;supplier, you are dismayed that the senior representative of the supplier has;brought a gift, an obviously expensive jade statue, to commemorate the signing;of a new contract. You are aware that gift giving is more the norm in China and;that refusing a gift can be highly insulting. Yet, you do not want to violate;your country?s ethical policies. How do you proceed? Do you employ your;company?s home country ethics, local ethical norms, or some combination?;Respond with one initial post and at;least two responses to your colleagues.;Week 2;Learning;Activity #1;This week?s schedule calls for you to access and complete two self;evaluations of your personality type - the Jung Typology and the Big Five;Personality Assessment. Complete these assessments, recording the results for;reference. Then, share the results and comment on how, based on the information;contained in this week?s readings, your personality is likely to impact your;work life and choice of work. Comment on whether you believe you are a good fit;for your current job, whether there are different professions or jobs which you;think you might be better suited for, and how you might consider changing your;situation if it seems called for.;Remember to make your initial post and then respond to at least;two of your colleagues.;Learning Activity #2;You are interviewing a candidate for a position of some;responsibility and access to significant amounts of both merchandise and money.;The applicant happens to be Japanese and is highly qualified with outstanding;references. You notice the individual is reluctant to look you in the eye when;responding to questions. What is your perception of this behavior? Should;you be concerned about hiring this individual for such a sensitive position?;What is the interviewee?s perception of this behavior and how does it differ;from yours? Remember to make your initial posting and to respond to two of your;colleagues.;Week 3;Learning;Activity #1;This week, we are spending much of our time discussing and;learning about motivating people. There is, however, a contrarian viewpoint;that says if you get the right people, they are self motivated. Jim Collins;author of Good to Great holds this view. Watch the video below;The Right;People are Self Motivated (Scroll down to the video with this;title);Do you agree or disagree with Collins? viewpoint? Make your case;in the discussion but be sure to use more than just your personal opinion and;experiences. Back up your reasoning my drawing on the theories and concepts in;this week?s readings.;Learning Activity #2;Based on the good work that he did in handling previous;multicultural issues, Frank Jones has promoted to the General Manager of his;company?s Tokyo operations. Performance in this operation has been just barely;acceptable and he would like to find a way to motivate higher levels of;performance. In a previous position in the New York operation, he implemented a;performance improvement motivation plan that included individual bonuses;individual recognition at an annual sales meeting and attendance at the;meeting, held at a post resort, for spouses of the top 10% of the force.;Frank has engaged you as an OB consultant and asked you to review;the plan and recommend modifications that would make it successful in Tokyo.;What do you tell him. Support your recommendations by referring to significant;motivational theories and concepts and to material identifying relevant;cultural dimensions of Japan.;Week 4;Learning Activity #1;Patrick;Lencioni's book The;Five Dysfunctions of a Teamhas become a classic treatise on;best practices to use in creating and leading teams.;First, watch the short video below;Next, refer to the PDF found at this link;The Five Dysfunctions of A Team;Learning Activity #2;Respond to both of the following questions, and respond to;three of your colleagues for each post. Make your initial post by creating a;new topic.;1.Referring;to the video and the PDF summary of the five dysfunctions, pick the dysfunction;that you believe to be the most significant and harmful and explain your;choice. Give an example of where you have seen this dysfunction in action in a;team in which you have participated or which you have observed.;2.Select;a team that you have been a member or leader of or have interacted with and;determine whether this "team" was a real team as described in the;material in the text or was actually a group that did not meet the tests of;being a team. Describe the factors that where present that led you to your conclusion.;Week 5;Learning Activity #1;Ethical leadership is a subject that scholars have debated for;years. Is all leadership, by definition, ethical or is it possible to have;unethical leadership?;Download the article from the link below;http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/sl_proceedings/2007/griffith.pdf;In it, I argue that ethical leadership is made up of two;components, an ethical leadership process and and ethical leadership objective.;Study the article and then respond to the following;Pick a famous leader whom you believe is or was either ethical or;unethical. Argue your case in the discussion post using the criteria set forth;in the article above. Make sure you discuss both the leadership process;employed and the ethicality of the leader?s objectives.;Learning Activity #2;This week?s material covers the perils of groupthink;overcommitment and avoidance of failure, and the concept of a premortem, an;analysis of potential failure scenarios before embarking upon a project or;activity. The following podcast touches on all of these topics and attempts to;make the case that failing early is good and avoiding failure at all cost is;unhealthy. In addition, it applies market based economics to the prediction of;failure in a novel way.;Premortems are becoming increasingly popular and, in fact;a formal method for conducting them and prioritizing risks has been developed.;Failure Mode Effects Analysis was originally designed to allow engineers to;predict failures in complex systems and to prioritize the risks to allow them;to be reduced in an orderly and cost effective manner. It has now been widely;applied to other situations where a premortem makes sense, such as in the;management of complex projects. Read the short tutorial at the following link;https://www.moresteam.com/toolbox/fmea.cfm;Then, identify a significant project or process where you are;employed and use the technique to conduct an FMEA. Use an Excel spreadsheet to;show the various failure modes, severities, and probability of detection and;their associated ranking numbers. Sort them into descending order of RPN, and;then propose actions that can be taken to remove or control each risk.;Week 6;Learning Activity #1;As the;text notes, the ability for an organization to change in order to meet changing;business environments and threats is key to its success. Click on the Resources;section of the classroom (at the top) then go to the library. In the search;function, enter the term Resource Rigidity. Read the first article that appears;in the search results Unbundling the Structure of Inertia: Resource vs. Routine;Rigidityby Clark Gilbert. The article theorizes that these;types of inertia are responsible for much of the inability of organizations to;change and uses the newspaper industry as an example.;Select another company which you believe has been unable to;effectively change to meet changing market requirements or threats. Apply the;concepts of the article to diagnose the inertia of the company, explaining how;you believe the resource and routine rigidity impacted the organization and how;you, as a leader would have overcome these issues.;Remember to respond to two of your colleagues? posts.;Learning Activity #2;There are a variety of instruments that can be used to assess;and diagnose organizational culture. One of these uses what is called the;competing values framework.;Proceed to the website;http://www.ocai-online.com/products/ocai-one;and follow the directions for registering and taking the;individual Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. (Note: use your;personal email when registering and do not attempt to register and take the;assessment from a work computer or from behind a computer protected by a;firewall, it may result in issues. If you have trouble with the site, create;another free email address such as a gmail address, and register from that;site.;After you have completed the assessment, post your results;including the diagram by cutting and pasting it into the discussion area or;including it as an attachment. Using the results, describe your organization?s;culture with special emphasis on the discrepancy between your preferred style;and the existing cultural style. Comment on how you believe the culture aids or;hinders the organization?s efforts with special attention to the ability to;change and innovate.;Remember to respond to two of your colleagues? posts.;Week 7;Learning Activity #1;Stress is a pervasive and often destructive part of our working;lives as we deal with deadlines, balance our work and personal lives, and deal;with the today?s economic pressures. We often wonder if the level of stress in;our lives has increased or if we are just more aware of it. Professor Mark;Williams of Oxford University has studied this phenomenon and has some answers;for us.;Go to http://www.bemindfulonline.com and view the video;in the upper right corner to hear Professor Williams? thoughts. Then, go;to http://bemindful.co.uk/mbsr/test/ for;the stress test.;After taking the test, create an original post to share your;stress level. In addition, drawing on the material in the text, identify the;top three stressors in your life and suggest several courses of action you can;take to reduce the level of stress affecting you. Remember to respond to at;least two of your colleagues.;Learning Activity #2;We are approaching the end of the course and your final project;is due in Week 8. so we are going to go a bit easy on this week?s learning;activities. In order to help you get started on your project, make an initial;posting identifying which of the organizations you intend to analyze. In;addition, include a brief proposed outline and a list of what you think are the;critical issues facing the organization from an OB perspective. You will be;doing additional research during the next two weeks, so you will not be held to;these items, but they should give you a headstart on the paper. Remember to;respond constructively to two of your peers, offering suggestions as to how;they might improve their analysis or offering additional items to;consider.;Week 8;We are wrapping up this week and I would like to have you spend;most of your time on the final project. Accordingly, we have only one activity;this week.;The organizational issues surrounding the Secret Service have;been widely reported and debated in the news and a new Acting Director has been;appointed. He is a former agent with eperience on the Presiential detail. He;has a very big challenge ahead of him, so let?s help him out.;After reading about what has been going on at the VA, put;yourself in the shoes of an OB consultant brought in to help the new Director.;Identify the top three OB issues that you believe must be immediately;addressed to improve the performance of the VA. Then, identify the actions you;would recommend to the Secretary in order to address these issues. Be sure you;draw on the concepts and theories form the course in formulating your response.
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