If there’s one person in this world who understands business, it is Michael Scott. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, is the Regional Manager of a paper company named Dunder Mifflin in NBC’s hit show, The Office. For those of you who have seen the show, you may be wondering how in the world Michael Scott understands business. For those of you who have never seen the show, Michael is probably the best procrastinator of all time. Think of the laziest college student you know and multiply it by ten. He absolutely despises doing work. Once a month, Michael is tasked with validating quarterly reports by signing the documents. He procrastinates all day by prank calling one of his employees and fighting one of his employees at the karate dojo. At the end of the day, the rest of his employees must forge the signature for him.
After looking through the wide range of blogs from past semesters, I came across a blog post titled, “Class Options at Bucknell” from the second semester of 2013. The post was an expression of what seemed to be a widespread feeling of frustration among upper class management majors at that time that could not take the classes offered in the new curriculum that interested them. The author explained that while he or she appreciated a liberal arts education, he or she would rather take a marketing class that he or she was interested in over a “random religion class that [he/she] was not very interested in.” While my situation is completely different than the author’s, I found the post relatable and thought I would comment on my view on class options at Bucknell.
I understand that there are challenges in having an accredited business school as part of a liberal arts university. There are many requirements that must be satisfied in order to earn a BSBA. I accept that I hold the responsibility for choosing my major. This is a choice that I do not regret. However, over my four years at Bucknell, some of my favorite classes have been the liberal arts classes that I have taken, including my freshman seminar, Blue Highways: Life as a Journey, and Religion and American Politics. Both these classes influenced my thinking and my values incredibly.
After I took those classes I wanted to take more classes in those areas. Unfortunately, I had already filled up the requirements for those areas and did not have enough electives left. While I continued to follow these interests in work and reading outside of class, it was frustrating to not be able to take classes I was interested in taking. As a finance major, I would argue that taking two separate math courses was somewhat redundant to the math I was doing in some management courses. I would have much preferred to take a creative writing class, a film class or an additional language course. I truly appreciate the liberal arts education that Bucknell stands for; I only wish that I were able to take full advantage of it.
The fifth blog prompt titled “Let’s Talk About Politics, Baby” caught my attention while skimming through last semesters blogs. It is almost taboo to talk about politics among our young generation. Millennials, especially at Bucknell, are frighetened to step on each other’s toes or engage in confrontational conversation. I believe respectful confrontation is healthy. It forces individuals to engage in perspective-chaning and have an open mind about what the other person is saying. It brings new opinions to fruition and allows for a wide variety of discourse (where avenues of thought would not have been mentioned otherwise).
The blog asked readers to take a political quiz: http://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typology/. The results showed what political party you align most with based on your responses. Some of the questions were very black and white and difficult to answer because I did not feel either described my beliefs. One particular question asked “Which comes closest to your views?” with the answers 1) Business corporations make too much profit 2) Most corporations make a fair and responsible profit. I was torn on how to answer this question because it categorizes thousands of business into two finite, exclusive categories. In my opinion, some businesses do not distribute their massive profits honestly and fairly among their employees, supply chain vendors, or towards the environmental damages the corporation has created. This only represents a portion of businesses today. Other businesses, have clear missions about being triple-bottom-line and honest throughout their corporation. Is it wrong to make massive amounts of profit if a corporation cares for its stakeholders?
Another question that made me pause asked the reader to choose between 1) Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient or 2) Government often does a better job than people give it credit. In this particular moment in our U.S. shared history with the congress and the executive branch split, I am inclined to answer our government is wasteful and inefficient. In the news, we often hear of the dynamics of our political system and the wasted energy, time and money spent on such a drastically bi-partisan system. When I think of other programs and changes our government has made throughout history, such as the New Deal and the creation of the SEC, I am again torn on how to best answer this.
The blog asks readers to consider political views and managerial decisions. Do the two relate? Are political views influential on manager’s decision-making? I would argue absolutely yes. If a manager identifies as a liberal and has strong feelings about the environment, he/she may be more inclined to measure their corporations carbon-footprint and lessen their environmental impacts. If you are a manager have different political views than a stakeholder, what is the best course of action when discussing decision-making? Discussion-based, rational conversation. Businesses are not political entities in themselves, but they is political influence surrounding business. We must be aware of this influence, be open to discussion and change, and be ready for positive-conversational confrontation.
Our goal for each of you:
- Get an account.
- Publish a post
- Put categories and tags on your post. The category must be “1-React to Past Blog”
- More useful information on categories and tags from wordpress
- You do this in the widget areas to the right of the editing space.
- Write 2-3 paragraphs
- Make a hyperlink in your post back to the SOURCE blog. More on how to do this (it is easy).
If you do not have an account yet, contact the TA, Kate Celmer or me.
Pick (at least) one. Surf to it. Browse through its content, especially using its categories or tags (the most recent content on each one is about their final white papers and may not be the best choice.)
When something sparks an interest, write a post about why it interested you. Be sure to link (embed a url hyperlink) to the original post you read.
Post by Friday, Jan 30, midnight.
Check back on Thursday. Comment on one other post. Only comment on one NOT COMMENTED ON (with zero comments). When yours has one comment, respond to that comment. In general, with comments, try to keep the conversation going. Empty (or sincere) flattery (your post was great!) is not necessary. So, total two comments this week. Yes, it is less then normal. The point is to encourage you to comment on comments, to keep a conversation going.
There is no BC this week (with students).