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Case Study: Too Many Majors

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Cheryl Janus

on 15 March 2011

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Transcript of Case Study: Too Many Majors

Case study: Too Many Majors Chairperson of a Communication Department at a University has seen enrollment in department's majors increase significantly while the staff and faculty to support this increased enrollment remains the same. Two committees were formed to assess the situation : an enrollment management committee to assess the problem and an undergraduate committee to make suggestions for handling this increase in enrollment. The enrollment management committee made several suggestions to add more levels to qualifying for communications majors while the undergraduate curriculm committee agreed there was no issue at all. Summary Q1. (Michele) Q2. (Yemi) Q3. (Latisha) Q4. (Cheryl) Characterization of committees' decision-making styles Advice for chairperson and advantages and disadvantages to her decision-making style helpful decision-making strategies for enrollment management/communication behaviors to watch for in future meetings influence of symbolic convergance on social and emotional commuication as well as bona fide group approach to where group lies within layers of organization on my assessment of issue Continue with current decision-making style.

Everybody gets to err their views
There will be uniformity and sense of belonging
This will also lead to more productivity
Friendly working environment

The “group think syndrome”
The satisficing process of decision making
A corporate divide Symbolic convergence = forming a group identity through shared jokes & anecdotes.
Bonafide group perspective = conversations outside of group setting are just as important as those in a formal group setting.

Sounds like the first group took a strictly business, formal approach. There didn't seem to be any group cohesion there except the mentality to get the job done and get the data needed to make the recommendations.
Data is good, but what about getting opinions & stories from faculty, staff, & students within the department?

Second group member, Dr. Tanaka, is an esteemed, long-time employee of the department and seems to have a lot of respect from her co-workers.
Was the group intimidated by her longevity? Were they just going by, that's how it's always been, if it ain't broke, don't fix it? - Is one option more effective than the other?

- It would make the most sense to use the suggestions set in place by the first committee (ad hoc enrollment management committee)
- More effective approach than the other option – which is basically to do nothing

- A way to regulate who would be majoring in communication
- Nothing new, as many schools have these requirements set in place
- Logic is simple – if you do not have the components to meet the requirements, you will not be able to be a major in communication
- Could be viewed as unfair – but it will only make the students work harder for what they want
- The alternative is not helpful
- Too many students/not enough teachers
- Enrollment will only continue to rise Sometimes one decision-making strategy is never enough for moving toward change and a desired state.

Models of Decision Making
•Participative
Refers to the degree which employees share information, knowledge, rewards, and power throughout the organization.
Employees have some level of activity in making decisions
Employee involvement gives them power to influence decisions
Sharing decision making increases employee knowledge to help towards making effective decisions

What communication behaviors would you watch for in the upcoming meeting to assess whether an effective decision-making process is being used?

Are decision makers always honest when evaluating the effectiveness of their decisions?

Types of behavior:

A: suppressing the importance of negative information
B: self-justying


•Rational Model
Identifying the problem
Generating alternative solutions
Selecting a solution
Implementing and evaluating the solution

•Normative Model
Development stage
Concept development stage
Detailing stage
Evaluation stage
Implementation stage

•Intuition
The ability to know when a problem or opportunity exits and select the best course of action without conscious reasoning
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