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MGMT 300 – Learning Journal Week 03                                      Scott Wong- 2651050

Accepting A Follower’s Role With New Characteristics  

It is now week 3 of MGMT 300 and I am surprisingly starting to like this course. Meeting up with team mates to discuss business decisions for Mikes Bikes has been enjoyable and engaging because it feels like I am actually working on a real world business project. Earlier in the week while I was meeting with my team, I did notice that I tended to hold back my opinion while others took charge. I took a step back and reflected upon my actions and realised that I needed to know what I could do to become an effective follower.

At first I thought an effective follower was traditionally someone who just did what he or she was told and also to pretty much fulfil one’s role and do so effectively. However by doing the readings and also attending Mike Bikes meetings I was convinced and learned that effective followers differ from a stereotypical follower.  I guess I was confused because I based being an effective follower on a typical bureaucratic business structure, where the top of a hierarchy has the power to make all the decisions and employees lower in the hierarchy have little power and tend to become routinized and standardised (Hodson &Sullivan, 2012). The café that I previously worked at was very bureaucratic because the manager did not take care about the opinions of others and it was his way or the high way. 

After the first meeting on Tuesday I decided to try and voice my opinion more in regards to other functional areas that do not relate to my HR role (e.g. Marketing and R&D) and by doing the readings I found that many qualities of an effective follower are also found in a good leader and that followers and leader should be seen as equals but they differ in terms of the type of activity they do (Kelly, 1988). According to Kelly (1988) an effective follower accepts their role, is modest, gets along with others, voices his or her opinion without apologising and finds a balance between one’s own personal goals and the goals of the organisation. Therefore I think I should voice my opinion more in the group even if it opposes what the majority of the team because this could avoid things such as Groupthink (Packer, 2009) and furthermore I should help out any other team mates if they need it. Ultimately I want get a good peer review so learning how to be an effective follower is crucial.  

 

References

Hodson, R. and Sullivan, T. (2012). The Social Organization of Work. Wadsworth: California.

Kelley, R. E. (1988). In Praise of Followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142-148.

Packer, z. J. (2009). Avoiding Groupthink: Whereas Weakly Identified Members Remain Silent, Strongly Identified Members Dissent About Collective Problems. Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 20(5), 546-548. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02333.x

9 Comments

  1. Great journal entry. Your entry is very relatable and I like how you used all the readings and pointed out some of the essential points from it. I also like how you related the readings to both your job and your role in the team (i.e. your experiences) which means that you have a clear understanding of the theories as such. Good luck to you and your team! 

  2. This journal entry was very well written and easy to read. It made good use of the resources. You showed how you have absorbed the readings and have been able to put the learning into practice. I think that you have demonstrated very well the difference between a group and a team where followers do not have to be passive but do have a valuable contribution to make. Well done!

    1. hey where did you guys get your allocated journals?? i havent gotten an email yet

        1. lol isn't that for last week??

  3. Really good learning journal! You did a great job at weaving the concepts within this week's readings into your own experiences this past week.

    Consider building upon everything you're saying about being an effective follower by discussing why it is that you choose against being a leader.

    I do agree with you that the qualities of an effective follower that Kelley discussed does resemble that of everyone's typical idea of a leader, but maybe also discuss how they differ and so with that begin to explain which role you'd rather play in future.

    Overall, good journal! (smile)

     

  4. Hey Scott

    Im not spying I swear, Im a reviewer promise. hahahah. 

    I really liked the seamless manner in which you pieced the reading and your own personal reflection. The way you engaged in self reflection while Mikes Bikes is happening and all this change is occurring at once. Its good to see your still in touch with what's important for you and your learning. Just a question do we need to mention all the readings assigned to that week or can we pick and choose?

    I totally relate to you, but our group started the other way where everyone contributing their opinions regardless of department (Marketing, HR, R & D, Finance, Operations etc). Yet sometimes I feel like should I be doing more overall or focussing more on my HR department. So all the best to you and lets hope we get amazing peer reviews and learn a lot about ourselves and the business world. (smile) 

     

    1. i didn't use all the sources from the reading list (tongue) I used other sources from past courses as well haha

  5. Hi Scott

    Good entry. Excellent use of structure as you split your reflection into: understanding the situation, understanding how you think/what you have learned including why (using examples), and finally explaining your actions to attack the issue. This is a great example of the suggested structure of our learning journals by Daudlin (1996). Good use of relevant references, it's not always necessary to use the weeks readings for your refection and pulling in resources from other places is a good support tactic, adding to the strength of your journal. I challenge you to attempt to reflect more deeply next time, attempting to reach the higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy. I don't think that there was any area of your entry that you should reduce in particular, but by extending the length you can go further in depth to answer questions like: Why do I have a tendency to hold back my opinions, What other characteristics of an effective follower do I have, How do you goals align with that of my team and are others in my team "effective followers"?

    Just things to think about for further journals. Well done over all.