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It never ceases to amaze me how fitting each weeks readings are to the issues and achievements that I have faced in the week, and this week is no exception. With a week that was riddled with many uncertainties and huge decisions, it increased not only the amount of discussion but also the intensity and stakes of what the outcomes would have on our company. For the first time, I felt that my team was faced with a major challenge in deciding whether or not a takeover of a lower company would be our next strategic move. With the idea of it being so enticing due to the low initial costs and with what seemed like an easy enough group to help manage, my group definitely began to consider the option. However, I feel that although my team has had a bit of a rough week, not getting the desired result we wanted in this week’s rollover, the lessons that we have learnt from it have been extremely beneficial. It wasn’t until I spoke with one of the girls in the team that we were planning to takeover, in which she expressed her frustrations and what she believed was the reasoning behind their lack of success (poor management, inequalities in meetings in respect to being heard, lack of knowledge within departments, lack of technical skill & constant absences of team members), it made me realize a couple of things.

Firstly, it made me think about the team that I was in and whether or not I could relate with anything she was saying and quite frankly I couldn’t. Having the HR role in my company (which quite frankly, is hard as it doesn’t have any real set departments to work in) I initially found it quite hard. I felt that I didn’t really have much to say because all the other members had the bases covered as it was their job roles and it made me feel that I was going to be looked down on because I wasn’t having much input. However, that problem began to slowly diminish as I started asking more questions and started to get to know what all aspects of the simulation did and it wasn’t only me doing this in my group. I feel that on the technical skill area identified by Katz (1974), my strength comes from a group that is extremely inclusive and open with their departments making it easy for everyone to understand the cause and effect nature of the decisions we are making. An example of this would be with our CFO being away, yet I feel that I was able (and my team members) to make informed decisions due to the technical skills we have learnt so far. Conceptually, the discussions and input I had in regards to the takeover possibility I feel showed the skills to as Katz (1974) states, to ‘see the enterprise as a whole, it includes recognising how the various functions of the organisation depend on one another, and how changes in any one part affect all the others’. This could not be any truer. We looked at every angle that an acquisition could benefit or hinder us and in this I feel we were able to make the best decision for our company. Finally, the human skill defined by Katz (1974) as the ability ‘to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within the team’ has definitely been what I believe to be our greatest advantage in the Mikes Bikes Simulation. With a team that works well, is respectful, honest and goal orientated, there hasn’t been any real conflict or fear to express ones opinion. It has definitely been a pleasure working with such driven and lovely people and I must say it makes the idea of extra meetings outside of class time not seem so bad. I have started to look at what I can do better and I know that although I don’t have a set department to work in as a HR manager, I need to familiarise myself better with operations and the staff and training aspects of the simulation and I have started to look deeper into this for next weeks rollover as I know that a reduction in idle time will benefit our production as a whole. All in all, the next weeks should be exciting!


Katz, R. L. (1974). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 52(5), 90.


  1. Hey Karen! Your reflection was so interesting to read and it's probably one of the best ones I've come across! I like how in-depth you go about the problem/issues you faced last week and how you continuously relate how you feel about the course to the readings. I feel exactly the same way as you about the whole 'feeling like your team looks down on you because you don't really have much to say', because the role of HR doesn't involve that much decision making and it may come across to your team members as you not putting enough effort in but trust me if they were in the same position they would know what it's like haha. I think we all also aren't doing too well in terms of our shareholder values, hopefully things change this week! Well done, such an awesome reflection (smile) good luck for this week!

  2. Hi Karen,

    Well done on your journal this week - I was able to relate to a lot of what you have said(being HR as well) and the way in which you have decided to improve and develop in your position has also given me some things to think about in my own role. This journal was well thought out and from reading it I can see how you are integrating the weeks readings into your reflection of your own work experiences as well as your experiences in the team and within the simulation. 

    I think you have grasped the concepts well and have been able to express your understanding well through your experiences!

    This sets you up well for the summative journal and I'm sure you will do fantastic!

    Good luck! (smile)




  3. This is a very descriptive journal entry. I find it hard to be sure what the problem (and hence the learning) is. 

    If I were to sum up my understanding it would be:

    1) It is hard to know what to do in the HR role

    2) This is because there is no particular department. 

    3) That makes contributing rather difficult

    4) So, I'm trying to make myself useful by understanding all the other areas

    5) This is possible in my group because my team is open to this type of thing

    Am I right to think that is what you are getting at? If so, I wonder if some links to the article on mutual accountability would be good.


    If I were to put my Argyris/Double Loop learning hat on, I would ask the question "What went on after step 1; was the current step 2 the only/best/most sensible path to take"?

    Deep down, this feels like a question of how do you respond to ambiguity. 

    I wonder how it would have been if your team had been more 'protectionist' around their areas of responsibility.