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Problem Formulation and Identification

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Problem Formulation and Identification

G. Armstead, D. Clay-Kersey, A. Fassia, A. Nunez, J. Rogers & D. Turley

University of Phoenix

MGT 350

Bruce Fanger

April 4, 2007

Problem Formulation and Identification

Depending on the type of industry and what a firm's goals are, the type of decision-making style (or styles) can be very diverse. An accounting firm could be vastly different from a non-profit organization offering humanitarian services. After reviewing the problem formulation and decision-making processes of several organizations, one thing became obvious: an emotional process was present or desired in all the organizations of our team because, ultimately, any service is performed for people. The strengths and weaknesses of each type of decision-making will be addressed, as well as the application of critical thinking to informing stakeholders of problems.

OMM Engineering, Inc. - Debi Turley

OMM Engineering, Inc. is a small civil engineering company with a main office in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a field office in Parma, Michigan. The firm currently employs 28 individuals who fill positions as engineers, inspectors, AutoCAD designers and administrative staff. The company has been in business for 25 years and is owned by two principals who are approaching retirement age and wish to turn over the ownership and management of the company to a few of the senior employees. The firm's engineers provide design and construction engineering services for municipalities wishing to add or repair roads and bridges, parks and other recreational facilities, water systems, and wastewater systems.

Given the nature of the firm's business and the education and personalities of the employees, it is not surprising that the decision-making processes at this firm are typically logical or scientific. All of the senior managers are engineers and are cognizant of the issues at hand in expanding the company's client base in western and southern Michigan, which are the two areas where OMM desires to do business. The managers must have a municipality's best interests at heart (emotional thinking) when suggesting new civil engineering projects, as well as being aware of state and federal rules and regulations which would limit or prohibit such projects. OMM's managers also provide municipalities with information regarding grants and loans to fund such projects and its employees assist city, township and county officials with the funding application processes.

Logical and scientific thinking are imperative to an engineering company's decision making process, but there is an also an emotional side to providing services which help make life better for a municipality's constituents.

Mojo's Piano Bar - Jim Rogers

As the general manager of a restaurant all decisions regarding policies and procedures were ultimately mine to make and implement. However, knowing that it was difficult to observe every moment of every day I felt it was necessary to make it a team effort to identify any problem areas that needed attention. I encouraged the staff to seek out and bring to my attention any areas of our operation that they felt a need to change in order to improve our work environment. Many of the staff had been working in the industry much longer than I had been so I welcomed their input and used it to formulate my own ideas on how to operate a restaurant. Empowering the staff and giving them ownership in the decision-making process gives the management a "think-tank" that they can pull ideas from other than simply using their own. Obtaining other points of view can simplify the decision making process by using the thoughts and ideas of those who have more expertise in their specific vocation. Conversely, allowing the staff to have opinions on operational procedures can have a negative impact in that if you decide not to use their ideas they may feel slighted or disrespected. If you lean toward a certain employee's ideas more so than others a sense of favoritism may develop from the other staff members and therefore a breakdown in team unity may ensue. So long as the management team can convey its reasoning for accepting certain ideas over others the staff should be able to understand. Employees should also know that all final decisions are the responsibility of the manager and that he is competent in determining the best courses of action to take. Therefore, the decision-making processes I used were logical, emotional and creative.

Delphi - Alex Fassia

There are a lot of questions about how Delphi and the Auto Industry in general reached this point. But Delphi's bankruptcy is a much bigger deal than your normal case of corporate failure and bad, self-dealing management.

If Delphi slashes wages and defaults on its pension obligations, the rest of the auto industry may well be tempted - or forced - to do the same. And that will mark the end of the era in which ordinary working Americans could be part of the middle class.

There was a time when the American economy offered lots of good jobs - jobs that didn't make workers rich but did give them middle-class incomes. The best of these good jobs were at America's great manufacturing companies, especially in the auto industry.

I feel very sad for the people who have spent their entire life working under severe condition hoping for better future for their kids & grand children - Today they are facing unbelievable trauma - They are not sure if they have enough coverage in to cover their own expanses - As Marx and Engels describe "this is just a principal of the thing."

"Workers of the world, unite!" (Marx and Engels, updated Apr 24, 2006)

But labor and employee benefit matters can be an essential component of a restructuring proceeding, regardless of the debtor's size. In these days of increasing health and pension costs, even a small employer will have to consider whether modifications to its collective bargaining agreement or retiree health plans, or termination of its pension plan, may have to be part of a successful reorganization. Logical thinking is and should be used here.

Grand Rapid Public Schools - Doris Clay-Kersey

I work for Grand Rapids Public Schools in the Specially Funded Program office. In my office, we



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