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Introduction to Business

Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

Introduction to BusinessPreparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

  1. When people talk of climbing the corporate ladder, they are referring to moving vertically upward through the organizational structure. Many employees plot career paths that will take them to increasingly higher levels of management. Do you think you would be more interested in climbing higher in an organization, or being a middle-management bridge between the employees who do the work and the executives who set the strategy? Explain the reasons for your choice. (Resources, Interpersonal)
  2. Teams are an increasingly popular method of organizing corporations, but not all people are suited for teamwork. As a manager, what do you do with employees who are talented but unapproachable? Can you think of a way to involve people who are uncomfortable in team settings so that your teams have the perspective of these employees as well? (Interpersonal)
  3. Think about how gossip and rumors travel through a grapevine. Draw as many grapevines as you can think of that reflect the different ways rumors move through an organization. Can you think of information that a manager would want to disseminate through the grapevine? Is there information that is inappropriate to disseminate through informal channels? Provide examples. (Information)
  4. Do you think companies that outsource will inevitably become virtual corporations? Why or why not? (Resources, Systems)
  5. It used to be that only high-level executives and CEOs were able to work out of the office. Mobile computing, however, is trickling down the organizational chart. In your opinion, is there a point in the organizational structure at which working remotely (at home, on the road) should stop? Should all employees in the hierarchy be allowed to work in a virtual environment, or should there be limits? Explain your reasoning. (Technology, Systems)
  6. Team Activity Have you ever worked on a team with an underperforming member, such as a slacker, a complainer, or a critic? Assemble a team of three to five students and brainstorm a list of “bad” team members you have experience working with. Once you have a list of types, discuss how that person affected the work of the team and the outcome the team produced. Brainstorm ways to better manage and mitigate the negative effects of “bad” team members. Share your results with the class. (Interpersonal, Systems)
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