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America via Erika: THAT Valedictorian Speech and the influence of her ideas on corporate America

Create and submit for evaluation on or before September 9, a paper version of a double-spaced report on the topic enunciated below.  Employ 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/coxsackie-athens-valedictorian-speech.html

By utilizing your interpretation of Erik’s speech, how could one or more of her ideas be exploited to dramatically enhance corporate America, or a stereotypical workplace?

In addition, please consult these sites too:

http://www.casttv.com/video/7eyk0l5/rsa-animate-changing-education-paradigms-video

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/weirdnewsvideo/8140456/200-students-admit-cheating-after-professors-online-rant.html

http://blogs.forbes.com/ciocentral/2011/01/20/danger-america-is-losing-its-edge-in-innovation/

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/james-altucher’s-8-alternatives-to-college-535903.html?tickers=COCO,APOL,ESI,DV,EDMC,STRA,%5EDJI

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-01-18-littlelearning18_ST_N.htm

http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/mcafee/2013/07/alarming-research-shows-sorry.html

Results Only Work Environment (ROWE)

Create and submit for evaluation on or before September 16, a paper version of a double-spaced report on the topic enunciated below.  Employ 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

As the Director of Manufacturing at a XYZ Inc. in Sunnyvale California, you are asked by the company CEO to analyze the notion of a radically different company-wide work environment at XYZ Inc.  This work environment would be totally focused on results.  Indeed, this would be the only metric for measuring success.  It might be termed ROWE…..a results only work environment.  All other artificial constraints should be eliminated from the corporate culture.

The basis for the CEO’s request is the ubiquitous Internet and Information Technology.  She posits that perhaps people are more creative on the beach with their laptop, or sitting with a latte in Starbucks, than sitting in an oppressive stuffy corporate office in a stressful psychological state after commuting to work for 90 minutes on a crowded freeways.  Would her proposal yield higher productivity for XYZ Inc.?  Is the traditional work environment really a dated ineffective constrained Victorian imposition on people?  Would her proposal yield a happier more creative workforce?  Can you trust people to deliver the results of their labors when they are not working in the supervised office 24/7?  Should team meetings be round a conference table or is teleconferencing an appropriate compromise?

A Potential Resource:
•    “Why work sucks: and how to fix it”  by C. Ressler and J. Thompson, Portfolio-Penguin, 2008, $15.00

Vacation days and employee effectiveness

Create and submit for evaluation on or before September 23, a paper version of a double-spaced report on the topic enunciated below.  Employ 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

The annihilation of time and space triggered by the diffusion of advanced technologies throughout the world has created a global economy.  Employees are often located at all points on the compass and engineering students are now in a position to prospect for employment worldwide upon graduation.  How does this freedom affect the manufacturing sector?

The topic for this homework is to analyze the dramatically different vacation policy of nations and consider the impact of this immense diversity upon the workforce.  Does this diversity enhance manufacturing productivity?  Does this societal diversity affect the quality of life for employees?  How do long hours in the office affect the health of workers?  Are employees entitled to a vacation each year?  How long should that be?  Should it be enforced by federal regulations?  If Australians enjoy six weeks of vacation each year, should US companies offer this period of recuperation too?  What’s the work-life balance?  After all, human beings are not electro-mechanical robots!

Potential Resources:
•    Below is an article on the low vacation policy of UDS companies.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/05/23/vacation.in.america/index.html
•    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100765600
•    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-28992488

Six Sigma and innovation: can they coexist at the same manufacturer?

Create and submit for evaluation on or before September 30, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

The Six Sigma program and innovation are frequently considered to be situated at the two extremes of the manufacturing spectrum.  On the one hand, the relentless drive by most manufacturers to decrease defects, cut costs, and increase efficiency spawned Six Sigma at Motorola in 1986, and afterwards GE embraced this statistical approach with great vigor (no more than 3.4 defects per million), so that it quickly became a staple of corporate life in the 1990s.

However, this relatively rigid approach contradicts markedly with the relentless desire of CEOs for growth and innovation, which involves variation, failure, risk and serendipity.  If Six Sigma reigns in an organization then will this be responsible for incremental innovation, rather than dramatic innovative new products like the iPod etc.  On the other hand if freedom reigns, then how will this influence quality, costs etcetera?  Begin your report by first defining Six Sigma and then defining innovation.

Potential Resources:

http://blogs.forbes.com/ciocentral/2011/01/20/danger-america-is-losing-its-edge-in-innovation/

The history of manufacturing in the state of Michigan

Create and submit for evaluation on or before October 7, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

Please consider the period from over 500 years ago to the current time.  Include the names of companies, cities and numerous diverse industries, as you deem appropriate.

If no use is made of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
(106 – 46BC)

The history of worldwide manufacturing

Create and submit for evaluation on or before October 14, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

Your report must include a discussion of the significant impact of manufacturing on political power on planet Earth and consequently the evolution of several nations.

Those who fail to learn from history are always destined to repeat it.
Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

Scientific management

Create and submit for evaluation on or before October 21, a paper version of a double-spaced report on the topic enunciated below.  Employ 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

US President Theodore Roosevelt in his address to the governors of the White House (1904??) prophetically realized that, “The conservation of our national resources is only preliminary to the larger question of national efficiency…”

These remarks motivated F.W. Taylor to embark upon the creation of the basic principles of scientific management.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this oracle’s work.

Peter Drucker: a management oracle

Create and submit for evaluation on or before October 38, a paper version of a double-spaced report on the topic enunciated below.  Employ 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

In the past 150 years, the notion of “management” has transformed business enterprises, societies, and indeed countries as evidenced by the U.S Bureau of the Census now recording the largest single cohort in the domestic labor force as belonging to the category of “managerial and professional” employment.  When Karl Engels operated his extremely profitable and large cotton mill in Manchester England in 1850, he didn’t employ managers. Instead the workers enforced discipline over their colleagues.  Subsequently managerial innovations emerged to transform work environments that ensured coherent strategies and goals were established, people were trained and educated, their performance was measured, and effective marketing of the organization’s services were instituted.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an international titan in the field of management.  Write a report that documents the contribution of management protocols to manufacturing enterprises.

Potential Resource: “The Essential Drucker” by Peter F. Drucker, Harper Collins, New York, 2001

Environmental issues and U.S. manufacturing

Create and submit for evaluation on or before November 4, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

Your report should include the following topics.
•    Is global warming a reality?
•    Should it really concern our manufacturing industries?
•    How do American industries compare environmentally with those of other developed western nations?  Good?  Bad?
•    How do they compare with those in the developing world?
•    Should the regulations governing pollution and ecologically sound “best practices” distilled from numerous nations worldwide be enforced in all nations?  Should the poor developing nations abide by the same rules?
•    As the world’s only superpower, should the USA assume a leadership role in establishing environmental regulations for all nations?

After suicides, scrutiny of China’s grim factories

Create and submit for evaluation on or before November 11, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

Upon reading the New York Times article by David Barboza, entitled “After suicides, scrutiny of China’s grim factories” that was published Monday June 7 2010, reflect upon the text. Apple, Dell, and Hewlett Packard  purchase parts from Foxxconn Technology, because the company manufactures high-quality cost-effective parts.  If you served as a consultant to these suppliers of premier electronic products, how would you advise them to respond to this current situation in this Chinese factory?  Provide supportive rational for your advice.

Potential Resource:
•    http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/
•    New York Times, Monday May 26, 2013 Page B1 “After a collapse, a  breakthrough”
•    http://us.appy-geek.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=1&articleid=9332678
•    <http://us.appy-geek.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=1&articleid=9332678>

Does experiential learning have a viable role in this age of sophisticated computer simulations?

Create and submit for evaluation, on or before November 18, a paper version of a double-spaced report of 12pt Tahoma text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence.  In addition, create a sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.

What is education?  How is it defined?  Does a student of manufacturing processes really gain anything useful from operating lathes and milling machines in a college machine shop in the year 2015?  What is really learned?  Surely the machine shop assignments should be removed from the curriculum in order to focus more on theoretical treatments.  College fees could be reduced by eliminating these noisy smelly dangerous rooms full of expensive equipment.  After all, surely sophisticated computer simulations provide a much more cost- effective approach to educating students.  Or do they?

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