Monday, December 7, 2015

Course Reflection

The most interesting take away from this course for me would have to be model 1 versus model 2 management from Argyris and Schon. I had experiences with working under both types of managers before. Personally, I found the single loop approach to be more effective in corporate settings in which deadlines are tight (for the particular internship we had to meet the deadline of November 11th which is equivalent in China to Black Friday in America). I certainly see the merits of a more open and innovative approach using double loop, but from what I read and what I experienced, work environments must be conducive (in industries that thrive on innovation and tasks being jointly controlled such as application development) in order for it to produce results.

As for class structure and blogging, I would prefer more of a class discussion oriented blogging instead of purely interaction between student and professor. Having other students who have written blogs on similar topics as well as the professor give input and feedback would in my opinion be  more engaging. I found that approaches like this used in Moodle classes such as epsy 220 which I'm taking currently can produce very stimulating results. For class structure, I'd like to reference a political science class I took with Professor Seitz. The class was structured in a seminar style in which students sit in a circle around the professor and take turns offering voluntary input. Although I'm not sure whether such a style would fit what you have in mind for an economics course, I highly enjoyed that class due to the level of involvement from everybody. Perhaps a circle would not be necessary, but having a staggered seating in which students can choose to sit at the back and everyone is looking forwards at the board instead of at each other discourages participation and sharing. If what I'm referencing aligns with your goals for the course, some of these aspects can be used as improvement to future courses.

Homework and blogging do take time, but amount of time is dependent on the content of the assignment. To put into perspective, the last excel homework took me 10 minutes while the one on transfer pricing took me nearly three hours because I couldn't figure out where to plug in each cell. Blogging on the other hand typically takes around half an hour. The blog on Argyris and Schon took longer due to the reading preparation involved.


  1. I like the seminar style that you described in Professor Seitz' class. Based on how many came to class versus how many were enrolled, it might have been possible in our class. However, the seating we had does not encourage the approach.

    Your comments about operating "under the gun" make sense to me. Then a much more command and control approach, like in the military, would seem necessary. My question for you is whether the operating under the gun happened most of the time, or if it was only an occasional thing. In either case, the question is whether Model II should then happen the rest of the time or not.

    On the Excel, I'd ask whether the time you put in is indicative of what you got from doing the homework. Make work is really indicative of inefficiency but to produce a deeper understanding you do have to put in the time. I wonder if you might be able to sort out which was it your case.

  2. Operating under the gun definitely happened most of the time. Our project had an extremely tight schedule and he was under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines which meant none of the group members had time to dilly dally. My internship ended when the project did so I'm not sure whether he approaches management differently but given what the full time employees said about him I highly doubt it.
    For excel, I honestly found some of the equations and concepts very challenging and hard to grasp. Some were better than others, but the transfer pricing one I still did not understand after finishing it. Too many equations and technical language on some of the excel homework made it very difficult to understand, I found the graphs that plotted themselves after us getting the correct answers were the most useful in helping my understanding of the material.