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Week 7 and everyone is back from mid-semester break and ready (hopefully) to tackle the MikesBikes business simulation. My group did not end up meeting often but we kept in constant communication (which I believe is key) in regards to what areas the department managers need to focus and research on further before our next rollover. Our team members have really stepped up in researching and making decisions together and our success reflects the team efforts. However as we continue to dominate our market, there are several firms who are not performing well at all. This is a massive problem for us, and according to Daudelin (1996), one that needs further analysis.

At first we thought this is a good thing for our group success by eliminating all competition. However a problem was made apparent to us by Peter that if there is a low supply of goods then there is less demand from our market, limiting the our potential increase in sales, ultimately creating a ceiling for the amount of SHV all companies can achieve in our particular market. The solution is to assist non performing groups in order to increase the market demand. This is far easier said than done. As discussed by Argyris (1991), success in the marketplace increasingly depends on learning, yet most people don’t know how to learn. No one likes to hear that their strategy is 'incorrect' or not appropriate. 

We decided to take action and hold a group meeting with all firms in our market to reach a consensus. This proved ineffective with the lowest performing teams absent from the meeting. We have decided to treat those groups as 'dogs' within our market and continue to try reason and discuss with the remaining groups a plan of action. This proved challenging as some groups claimed they knew what they were doing-even though their SHV performance reflects otherwise. 

In order to explain the problem, we must understand that if learning is to persist, group members must also look inward. They need to react critically on their own behavior, identify the ways they often inadvertently contribute to the teams problems, and then change how they act. In particular, they must learn how the very way they go about defining and solving problems can be a source of problems in its own right (Argyris, 1991). Hopefully next week, all groups can meet up once again and decide on more actionable plans to follow before the next rollover period (without collusion taking place), for everyones' benefit.


References:

Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Harvard business review69(3).

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflectionOrganizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48

3 Comments

  1. Hi Aron!

    I think you've followed Daudelin's structure really well; I can see the problem well defined (low market performance) as well as one proposed solution carried out (calling a market meeting). When that didn't work it's cool to see another proposed solution being carried out (continuing and treating the lower performing groups as "dogs). I like how clearly this structure is followed making the learning stages easy to see.

    I do think your last paragraph is a little contradictory, though - you say that "group members must also look inward", but then seem to talk about "their own behaviour" - implying that the blame lies wholly with others. I know that in the reading, there's an example where a professional admits to holding back complaints about the manager's actions, and while we generally think yeah, that would be the professional's fault - how could the manager do something about it without knowing it? - the manager also admits that he/she could have been more approachable and made it easier to get feedback. So maybe your journal could reflect on ways that we could improve the situation - if the summit didn't work, why was that (we did give only a day's notice and all)?

    Your journal has good grammar and is easy to read (smile)

    Hope this helps!

  2. Heya Aron,

    There isn't much too add to Sarah's comments on your journal entry but my views differ in regards to your last paragraph as I feel that it was a strong point. I interpreted it as you trying to say that, the other teams in your market must look inwards into their own companies and assess and define the problems within their group as your team can't effectively try and promote change through summit meetings and so forth if there is a shift in attitudes within the other 'dog' companies. However, because the way that your journal was written, it is easy to interpret that last paragraph as you speaking from your teams view making it sound like you are blaming others like you would in a single loop learning. Other than that, your journal was well written, had a logical flow and followed Daudelin's framework. If the other teams in your market do meet up I do think that you should definitely raise the point about learning only being able to persist by looking 'inwards' as I feel you have a good understanding of this point from the reading. You could possibly also share how your teams success may be due to the fact, that they 'react critically on their own behaviour, identify the ways they often inadvertently contribute to the teams problems, and then change how they act'. Nice work though! All the best (smile)

  3. You have directly copied text several times in this short piece. You must indicate when you copy text through the use of quotation marks and page numbers. If you are in any doubt as to how you should correctly indicate quotes/copied material then you should arrange to see me. If you fail to indicate copied material in the summative learning journal, then you will find there will be problems.