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We are well into our MikesBikes simulation ,and many questions are still very prevalent in everyones mind; are we effective in what we are doing? MikesBikes serves in offering a very tough environment for us to test our knowledge about businesses, and how to deal with problems that our businesses face. If I do recall correctly we are well into the 5th rollover week of MikesBikes simulations, and during that time we had made errors in nearly every sector of our business, some having greater impact than others, yet we still seem to continually struggle in being effective administrators in our selected fields of ‘speciality’. An effective administrator is defined as being a person “that undertakes the responsibility for achieving certain objectives through these efforts” (Katz,2000).

Robert L. Katz in his ‘Skills of an Effective Administrator’ talks about the Three Skill Approach; Technical, Human and Conceptual skill.

He discusses Technical skill as being "an understanding of, and proficiency in, a specific kind of activity, particularly one involving methods, processes, procedures, or techniques... Technical skill involves specialised knowledge, analytical ability within the specialty, and facility in the use of the tools and techniques of the specific discipline... in our age of specialisation, it is the skill required of the greatest number of people. Most of our vocational and on-the-job training programs are largely concerned with developing this specialised technical skill." (Katz, 2000)

When analysing my performance up until this point in time, I must be critical in how I performed as I do not believe that I meet Robert Katz standard of being an effective administrator. In my practice of operations manager, I do believe that I fill certain categories, such as having the ability to calculate the amount of change needed within specific factors in comparison to the products manufacturer .But the reason that I don’t think that i meet Katz’s definition, is because I don’t believe I understand the whole roll completely, and although I understand some of the relations between my actions I believe there is much more to learn, as for example I struggle in understanding the exact relationship between Operations and Manufacturing and Marketing and planned production, this means that a lot of my inputs are estimates, I do not follow a formula that gives me exact needs.

In this Journal I feel that I had the ability to go on and discuss how both Human Skill and Conceptual Skill are associated with my role as an Operations administrator, but due to the limit in which we stick to I chose Technical skill. This is because although the other two are very important, I understand that my weakness as an operations administrator for our MIkes Bikes business is in my Technical competence. I think there is definetly space for me to improve and become an effective administrator, but to do this I need to put more effort in improving my understanding of the role I play in dealing with the businesses problems.


Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.


  1. Hi Ahmed,

    First off as the operations manager for my team it was quite interesting to read your journal. I too still struggle with understanding my role, even though I researched a whole bunch about operations I still have yet to understand it. A lot of my inputs are also estimations but I base these on theoretical justifications ( although I think there may be hidden formulas in the spreadsheets). I think you had potential for a great journal here as I think there may be other students just like us who still have yet to fully understand their role therefore limiting their contributions to their team and the effectiveness of thier mikesbike company. You have outlined an important issue however you have not really come up with actions or theories to overcome your problem. You state that you need to put more effort in improving your understanding of the role but HOW are you going to do this? How will becoming an effective administrator by improving your technical skill help you and your team? I think your'e stuck in a single loop way of learning and thinking (I am too lol ).

  2. Hi Ahmed,


    I really enjoyed reading your journal for the week, especially your thoughts on the operations role as it is my role too. You mention more or less that technical skill is an important thing to have in order to succeed at one's job. I agree with you for this, but relating this to your own performance and being critical of it, i would suggest to be less hard on yourself in terms of skill. Mikes bikes is a simulation and we are management students, not necessarily experts in our fields, and we are relying only on tacit knowledge built up through the course as we had no formal training. To bring the quality of the journal up a bit, I would suggest that you touch more on what you plan to do to improve your skills in the ops area, whether this is using outside resources, the manual or speaking with others, might be worth mentioning.


    Good luck for the rest of the semester (smile)