ARTICLE SUMMARY: After a brief honeymoon period in which everything seemed to go his way, President Barack Obama finds himself in a fight to get healthcare reform approved. The rhetoric is strong on both sides of the debate and, apparently, words are carefully chosen for the impression they will create on those still considering the issues.
Why would Democrats use information from focus groups to advise President Obama on how to present his health care reform?
In one notable town hall meeting, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee was seen talking on her cellular telephone while a constituent asked her a question (note: video is available on www.youtube.com). What communication barrier does this represent?
One reason that Americans are upset about the healthcare reform process is that some congressional representatives indicate they plan to vote in favor of H.R. 3200 despite concerns from their constituents. What aspect of communication might this violate?
For additional discussion, consider having students take a look at the House of Representatives’ version of the bill (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.txt.pdf) then ask them to comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of this document. If students are familiar with the town hall meetings held during the summer congressional recess, have them talk about the best way to conduct these using Management Smarts 5.1 as a guide.
ARTICLE SUMMARY: On the four-year anniversary of the event, President Barack Obama reflected on how government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency in particular, responded to the crisis that emerged from Hurricane Katrina. He pledged that progress in the long, drawn-out recovery process would be more efficient. The lessons of Katrina offer an excellent opportunity to discuss the role of planning in organizations.
Discuss the role of strategic, tactical, and operational plans in disaster preparation. Who should be involved in developing these plans? At what level(s) should each type be implemented?
While hurricanes have affected the United States for centuries, Hurricane Katrina was a once-in-a-century storm with unimaginable consequences. What are some planning tools/techniques that could be utilized to help governmental agencies and communities better prepare in the event major storms strike again?
New Orleans is a community that is vulnerable to natural disasters. As the Government looks to increase its effectiveness in responding to these events, why would participatory planning be needed?
ARTICLE SUMMARY: Oregon car salesman Kevin Lamson was fired by Crater Lake Motors. Company owner Jim Coleman claims Lamson was released for reasons related to performance. Lamson counters that his firing was because he refused to participate in a sales program he considered to be unethical. Lamson sued, claiming wrongful discharge, and won in trial court. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the decision stating “there was no evidence Lamson had been ordered to violate any ethical standard or law.”
The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that no ethical standard or law had been violated. Does this mean the practices questioned by Kevin Lamson are ethical? What alternative view(s) of ethics may have influenced Lamson?
Is Kevin Lamson a whistleblower? What are the arguments for and against calling him a whistleblower?
Looking at the stages of moral development, where would you place Kevin Lamson, Crater Lake Motors, and the Oregon Supreme Court (based on the ruling in this case)?
ARTICLE SUMMARY: This week the world mourns the passing of another television giant. Unlike Walter Cronkite, Don Hewitt worked behind the scenes at CBS. Those that knew him, claim that many standard practices in television news reporting were innovations introduced by Hewitt.
What are some of the ways the environment at CBS might have allowed Don Hewitt’s creativity to flourish?
How would you classify the business innovations of Don Hewitt?
What type of change best describes the achievements of Don Hewitt? Referring to Figure 10.2, what are some of the characteristics that allowed Hewitt to be so successful?
ARTICLE SUMMARY: Four executives of Australian mining company Rio Tinto were arrested by the Chinese government and charged with bribery and corporate espionage. Chinese government officials claim the actions of the arrested gave Rio Tinto an unfair advantage in negotiating prices for the sale of iron ore. The case is causing many firms to rethink how they conduct business in China.
In what ways might Rio Tinto representatives be guilty of corruption?
Considering Rio Tinto, what does this say about the political risks that come with doing business in a foreign country? What is the best way to minimize these risks?
Thinking back, how does the Rio Tinto case underscore the cultural issues in ethical behavior?
ARTICLE SUMMARY: In June, Congress approved the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The program was so popular that funding ran out within one week and Congress had to approve an extension. Opponents contend, as with the stimulus package, that the Government acted too hastily putting the program in place. The White House countered by arguing the bill was needed to help restructure the automotive industry and to encourage consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.
What type of managerial decision does the “Cash for Clunkers” program represent? What factors did you use to make this determination?
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the program.
Evaluate the effectiveness of this program. Do you believe Government leaders considered the impact the program would have on the used car market and charities? Why or why not?
SUMMARY: On August 7, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She becomes the third woman and first Hispanic to serve in that capacity. Her nomination and swearing in offer an excellent opportunity to discuss diversity and multicultural organizations.
When President Obama hailed Sotomayor’s confirmation by saying it was “breaking yet another barrier,” what did he mean?
In what ways does Justice Sotomayor’s membership in the Supreme Court express the characteristics of a multicultural organization?
Opponents of Sotomayor’s nomination expressed concern about her comment that a “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” In what ways might this comment reflect ethnocentrism? Why might this be a concern?
SUMMARY: Urban Meyer, head football coach at the University of Florida, recently received a contract extension that will pay him $4 million per year. The coach of the current NCAA national champions will become the first coach at a Southeastern Conference school to earn that amount. The new contract extension highlights just how competitive the market for top-notch coaches is in college sports.
The average salary for major college coaches now tops $1 million per year. Salaries for professional athletes and collegiate coaches in major sports are skyrocketing. In what ways might these high salaries address the major responsibilities of human resource management?
In terms of merit pay, what factors might justify Coach Meyer’s high salary and contract extension?
What are the potential consequences if schools such as the University of Florida do not offer competitive salaries to their coaches?
SUMMARY: Christian Lacroix, famed Parisian designer of haute couture, has seen change. Eleven chief executive officers could not manage Lacroix’s creativity to a profit. After 22 years in the fashion industry, Lacroix’s future is in doubt. His company, part of the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. conglomerate, filed for bankruptcy protection in May. Whether a buyer will emerge or not, one thing is certain – the “business as usual” mentality must go.
How well did LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A.) handle the strategic management of Christian Lacroix?
Identify the grand or master strategy employed by Christian Lacroix. How might this be a problem in the fashion industry?
Assume the company will emerge from bankruptcy. What strategic changes would you make if you were running this company? Why?