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After living through near starvation for 17 days, 33 miners had to prepare for the rigors of their rescue. Dr. Jean Christophe Romagnoli developed a training routine utilizing an elastic band that would condition the miners’ muscles to avoid cramps and spasms during their ascent. Dr Romagnoli also monitored the miners’ health and suggested they alter their intake of fluids to overcome the grueling conditions in the mine.

QUESTIONS:

1. Imagine being trapped one-half mile underground. What Big Five personality dimensions do you believe would be most important in surviving an ordeal like this for more than two months?

2. What role do activities such as exercise and clearing mine debris have on the miners’ emotions and moods?

3. Discuss the various stressors that exist for the miners. Do you consider these constructive, destructive, or both? Identify the elements of stress management/personal wellness offered to the trapped minters.

SOURCE: M. Moffett, “Chile Miners Work Out Before Rescue,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704689804575536490309185222.html)

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera had barely been in office five months when 33 miners became trapped in the San Jose Mine run by Codelco. The president was no stranger to disaster, having ushered the country through recovery after one the strongest earthquakes on record. Once again, the national spotlight was upon him as the country waited to see what he could do to locate and, hopefully, rescue the trapped miners. President Pinera marshaled all resources and spared no expense. That included adjusting his own schedule to meet with affected families and culminated in an around-the-clock vigil until each and every miner emerged safely.

QUESTIONS:

1. What bases of power did President Pinera draw upon during the ordeal with the trapped miners? Why does this make him the right person to lead the rescue?

2. Think about the various situations that existed throughout 69-day duration from mine collapse until the rescue of the last miner. Apply Path-Goal Theory to describe the actions taken by President Pinera. You should be able to utilize all four leadership styles.

3. Make a case for the Chilean president as both a charismatic and moral leader.

SOURCE: C. Pica, “Chile’s President Pinera Reaps Political Benefits,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704763904575550430395209708.html)

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Imagine being trapped underground for more than two months. Difficulties associated with such a plight include food and water availability, personal hygiene, and psychological issues. The Chilean miners were able to overcome these problems through a vast array of technological wonders, including bacteria-killing clothing, cleansing products that required little or no water, and electronics equipment that allowed the miners to send and receive messages with individuals above ground. Perhaps the most important technological innovation was the Phoenix rescue craft.

QUESTIONS:

1. Was creativity an important aspect of the mine rescue operations? Discuss how many of the solutions provided to the trapped miners constitute creativity.

2. Imagine and describe the process that led to the development of the Phoenix transport system. How do factors such as time and availability of resources influence this process?

3. Think of the Chilean government as the organization leading the rescue operation. What are the characteristics of innovation that this organization brings to the problem?

SOURCE: M. Moffett, “Inventions Ease the Plight of Trapped Miners,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704116004575522343755639692.html)

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Demonstrators in Japan staged a massive anti-China rally as tensions between the two nations continue to rise. Long-simmering tensions between the countries have been fueled lately as a result of an incident last month when a Chinese boat operating off the coast of islands that both China and Japan claim as theirs purposely collided with a Japanese Coast Guard vessel. The captain of the Chinese boat was arrested by Japan, who threatened to officially charge him and take him to trial. Members of China’s government were infuriated by Japan’s actions, since ownership of the islands is disputed. China responded by limiting Japan’s access to crucial rare earth materials, over which China has dominate control. Japan relented and released the Chinese captain, to the anger of its own citizens who believe their government gave in to Chinese pressure.

SOURCE: WSJ.com

DATE: October 16, 2010

LINK: http://online.wsj.com/video/anti-china-protest-in-japan/9715831B-3DAD-43AC-B1B8-D06BDB272588.html

 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

  1. Given current economic output figures, China is on track to surpass Japan at the end of 2010 as the world’s second largest economy. Discuss how China’s recent economic success may be impacting its relationship with Japan.
  2. A pivotal issue in the dispute between Japan and China is the fact that China controls over 90% of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals, which are becoming increasingly important in the production of high-tech and alternative energy products. Discuss how globalization of production processes can be hindered by political tensions between countries.
  3. As China’s role in the global economy continues to grow in importance, discuss the potential challenges in trying to resolve political issues and trade disputes with the country.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged France to more actively support Turkey’s application to join the European Union (EU). Turkey’s EU membership talks are currently stalled in the nation’s long quest to become a member of the world’s largest trade bloc. Mr. Davutoglu called on French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to help accelerate the membership talks. France is opposed to Turkey’s membership, and Mr. Kouchner responded by telling Turkey that the “ball is in your court” to rescue its troubled bid to join the EU. Mr. Kouchner’s comments made it clear that Turkey faces resistance to progressing the membership talks, and that the burden will be on Turkey to meet the required conditions of all the member countries. However, Mr. Kouchner did promise to support Turkey in opening three areas of membership negotiations. Turkey recently has been increasingly vocal in calling for the EU to revive the membership talks.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

  1. One of the debates within the European Union is if the trade bloc should seek to “go broader” by bringing in as many countries as possible to promote the benefits of free trade or if it should “go deeper” by limiting new entrants, which would allow the current members to address more substantive policy issues. Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia, and Iceland have all applied to join the EU. Analyze the tradeoffs with expanding EU membership beyond the current 27 members.
  2. Discuss the benefits that would realized by allowing Turkey to become a member of the EU.
  3. Three factors that influence the success of a regional trade agreement are level of economic similarity, geographic proximity and cultural similarity among the member countries. Using these three criteria, evaluate the extent to which Turkey would meet these criteria as an appropriate candidate for the EU. What are the areas of concern with Turkey’s membership application to the EU?
  4. In order for a country to become a member the EU, its membership must be approved by every member country of the EU and by the citizens of the candidate country. Discuss the barriers Turkey will face in achieving those approvals.
  5. What are the potential negative implications if Turkey continues to be snubbed by the EU?

SOURCE: Champion, M. (2010, October 13). Turkey seeks EU bid support. Wall Street Journal, p. A13. (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440004575547751406126316.html)

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World finance leaders at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington last week urged nations to continue their commitment to multilateral cooperation on currency issues. In his opening remarks, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn outlined four risks to the global economy: public debt, a jobless recovery, inadequate regulation of the financial sector, and the vanishing of commitment to cooperation. Rising currency values have resulted in some countries taking unilateral actions to attempt to push down the value of their currencies to protect their exporters. Many governments consider China’s policy on managing its currency to be unfair, claiming China’s undervalued currency allows it to increase its exports at the expense of its trade partners. Rising frustration and unilateral actions are raising concerns about potentially damaging trade disputes and so called currency wars, but Mr. Strauss-Kahn highlighted that there is “no domestic solution to a global problem.”

Source: imf.org

Date: October 8, 2010

Link: http://www.imf.org/external/mmedia/view.aspx?vid=629252460001

 

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for a nation when its currency is declining in value.
  2. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using multilateral forums such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address currency disputes.
  3. The U.S. House passed a bill that would permit the United States to levy tariffs on goods produced by countries found to have undervalued currencies, a legislative action aimed at China. If this bill were to be passed by the Senate, would it likely be effective? Discuss the possible implications of this legislation.
  4. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn stated that there is “no domestic solution to a global problem.” To what extent do you agree with him?

Related Article: Lauricella, T. (2010, October 8). Dollar’s fall roils world. Wall Street Journal, pp. A1, A10. (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704696304575538334028041428.html)

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As fiscal policy efforts by governments seem to have stalled in stimulating economic growth, central banks worldwide seem more willing to use monetary policy tools to address stagnating economic growth. Countries are also taking actions to restrain their currencies from rising to protect their export sectors. Japan will begin a $60 billion program to buy government bonds, corporate IOUs, real-estate investment trust funds and exchange-traded funds. Officials from the Federal Reserve are signaling that the United States is poised to resume next month the large-scale bond-buying effort it stopped in March of 2010. The Reserve Bank of Australia held rates steady, in contrast to market expectations of a rate increase. The Bank of England suspended its bond-buying in February, but it may resume purchases if economic conditions worsen. Brazil raised a tax on foreign fixed-income investments to try to slow the flow foreign investment which has driven the nation’s currency to 25-month highs. Nations seem reluctant to continue to use fiscal spending to stimulate their economies, due to growing public doubts about the effectiveness of the spending and concerns about government debt levels, but cutting back on fiscal spending while using monetary policy is like having “one engine firing in reverse.”

Source: WSJ.com

Date: October 6, 2010

Link: http://online.wsj.com/video/am-report-central-banks-open-the-spigot/19E2221E-9911-4F69-BF95-5BC8A6A61BB7.html

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How can fiscal and monetary policy tools be used to stimulate an economy?
  2. Discuss the concerns with using monetary policy to stimulate an economy.
  3. How does the fact that the world’s emerging economies seem to have recovered faster from the global economic downturn than the economies of the United States, Europe and Japan impact global currency rates?

Related Article: Fujikawa, M., & Wessel, D. (2010, October 6). Central banks open spigot. Wall Street Journal, pp. A1, A12. (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298504575534271590665434.html)

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It is not uncommon for a sitting President to experience turnover in Cabinet-level appointments during the mid-term. Presidential administrations go through stages and resignations/replacements sometimes follow mid-term elections, when voters indicate their approval or disapproval of policies enacted. What is a bit unusual is that the present administration is seeing considerable turnover in advance of the mid-term election. This is perhaps an indication of the volatile nature of politics at the national level. These resignations, and the decisions for replacements, provide an excellent opportunity to consider organizational structure.

QUESTIONS:

M1. Review the three traditional organization structures. Which structural arrangement best describes the President’s Cabinet? Why does this structure make sense?

M2. Think for a moment about your reaction when you hear the word “bureaucracy.” Now examine the definitions for “organizing” and “bureaucracy” found in the text. Would you characterize the bureaucratic nature of our government as a positive or negative? Why?

M3. Is the structure of the federal government mechanistic or organic? Why is this design appropriate?

SOURCE: J. Weisman & A. Entous, “More Change at White House,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704657304575539880449102618.html)

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Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay’s masterful performance (hard for this Reds fan to swallow) in Game 1 of the National League Division Series is a gem worth analyzing. While most insiders quickly recognize that a no-hitter involves team contributions, Roy Halladay’s entire season should be evaluated from the perspective of individual behavior. Nevertheless, the article also affords opportunities to discuss Human Resource Management, Motivation, and Teamwork.

QUESTIONS:

M1. In this day and age where professional athletes have very little commitment to a single team (consider Lebron James), Roy Halladay joins Philadelphia and has a record book-type season in his first year with the Phillies. Granted he had several good seasons with his previous team, the Toronto Blue Jays, but none that distinguishes him quite like this year’s effort. Discuss the role of his psychological contract with the Phillies and why that might help explain the situation. What is different about being with the Phillies (as opposed to the Blue Jays)?

M2. Clearly athletic ability contributes to Roy Halladay’s success. What about personality? Construct a personality type that you believe would be associated with success at the Major League level.

M3. Professional athletes earn tremendous salaries (in relation to what you and I can generally expect during our careers). Is this the key component of job satisfaction for a player like Roy Halladay? What other factors might contribute to his feelings about working for the Philadelphia Phillies? Is this something that the Phillies should care about?

M4. Big games like playoffs and no-hitters are stressful. Do moods influence these performances? If so, how? Consider the comment made by catcher Carlos Ruiz. Does this reflect mood contagion?

SOURCE: M. Dodd & S. Livingstone, “No-Hit Wonders: Reflections on MLB’s Exclusive Two-Man Club,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/phillies/2010-10-07-halladay-no-hitter_N.htm)

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In another example of the viral effects of the internet, a passenger on board a Cebu Pacific Airlines flight recorded attendants dancing their way through the safety briefing. Millions of views generated tremendous publicity both for the fledgling airline and the Phillipines.

QUESTIONS:

M1. Was this safety demonstration effective communication, efficient communication, both, or neither? [Note: if you have ever been on an airline flight, think about how much attention you give to these safety briefings.]

M2. Identify communication barriers present in the demonstration. Considering your response to the preceding topic question, would you recommend Cebu Pacific stop conducting the safety demonstration this way? Why or why not?

M3. How does the video clip and its popularity represent social capital for Cebu Pacific Airlines?

SOURCE: C. Batino & C. Yap, “Flight Attendants Dancing to Lady Gaga Good for Airline IPO,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/2010-10-08-gagaflight08_ST_N.htm)

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