Welcome back! Grab a cup of coffee (tea? soda?) and get settled in for a bit of a read….
Wow – the first week of Discovering Business in Society was a real eye opener! I have so many things I want to talk about – the exam, businesses vs. organizations, globalization, technology and challenges in management…
But first, I have to comment on my impressions of the course. Any course which offers blogging prompts is A1 in my books. I believe blogging along with courses only increases the writers understanding of the materials – and of course, the increased understanding by the reader is uber important! I also really appreciated the weekly recap – love that it isn’t pre-recorded and references our comments. Did the review change my viewpoints? Well…maybe not change per se, but definitely provoked further research and thinking. I really appreciated the discussion on globalization and who the winners and losers really are. (More on that later!)
Last week we talked about the exam that could be written for this course that would lead to an exemption of the ACCA F1 Accountant in Business paper. You do earn your “Statement of Attainment” with it. More details are available here. Exams are delivered by Pearson VUE at one of their 175 testing centers. For a reasonable £119, you can get your certificate and be one step closer to earning your ACCA qualifications.
Businesses vs Organizations
Well, we jumped right in, didn’t we? Businesses can be organizations, but are not necessarily organizations. Organizations can act like businesses, but not be one. Both can have commercial activities. Both can be Global. Both can have multiple branches. Both are complex.
This topic is complex.
Seriously though, it is complex. With so many similarities it is easy to just think of them as one in the same. But they aren’t. Organizations exist to meet a social purpose (think Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, the Accredited Sommelier Association of Canada or the Cancer Society) but they still can offer products (Girl Guide Cookie anyone? Perhaps a Daffodil? An apple?) and services (life skills, professional development, research and development).
Key lesson for me: consider activities vs entities. What are the values and missions of the group? Are they there to meet a social purpose? You work for a business to earn your wage, but you volunteer with an organization to feel good.
How has the job of managing a business is becoming more challenging over time
This was a great discussion on the forum. I tried to come up with my own list before reading, but I have to admit, I was able to grow my list from the conversations. My list of 4 factors (with additional thoughts)
- Human Resources
- Needed it Yesterday!!
Yikes! I think I just aged myself a good 5 years whilst developing this list! Management sure has changed from the days of just directing “take A and move it to B and then perform C”.
- On the surface, poorer countries appear to win with increased economic measurements (GNP, GDP). Inequality between nations seem to disappear or at least greatly reduce.
- Corporations who can get more labour for less money..
- The individuals who live within the countries that appear to have reduced inequality. The truth is, while comparing country to country there is a reduction, when looking within a country, the disparity from the richest to the poorest grows substantially.
- The environment loses when developing countries allow the dumping or storage of toxic waste within their borders.
- The uneducated are often left behind because they don’t know the basics needed to work for these global entities (like literacy and numeracy)
As countries go through economic challenges, there is always a push to move jobs back home, bringing back the idWe ea that products made at home are of a high quality (Who doesn’t proudly buy items stamped Made in “insert your home country name here”?
Changes in Technology
When I was in university, there was a major project underway to open a new business school building. It was going to have the latest and greatest technologies and prepare our business graduates to head out into the big scary world able to use whatever technology was sent their way. That was our way – our school had a legacy of technological advancements to uphold.
It was an amazing sight when it opened. There were ethernet cable ports built in to every table for students who carried (lugged) their laptops to class (wifi wasn’t a reality then – Cabled Networks was an exciting upgrade from dial up modems!). We had whiteboards (as in dry erase marker boards not the app) installed in every classroom to avoid getting chalk dust into the computers. I remember the excitement of using group study rooms to prepare for a test or work on a project. It was so avant garde. Cutting Edge.
It was so 1998.
Fast forward to watching the video of the Exeter lecture hall. Tables with embedded touchscreens for group work? Lecture halls with multi purpose screens? Microphones? No struggling to hear the professor and having recorded lectures that you can easily review after the fact? (I remember carrying a little pocket sized recorder with micro cassettes to class and having to ask permission to get a poor quality, grainy recording. Most times, all I could really hear was me breathing!)
Has technology made me more productive? I doubt it. Any increase in productivity has likely been lost to the time spent researching topics online, making things look “pretty” and analysing things I never would have considered looking at 5 years ago. Yes, I can type an article on my laptop much quicker than I could on a typewriter with a lot less wasted paper, but I wouldn’t have worried about having just the right image to highlight my point before either!
So, this week covered technology advances (and I only focused on computer technology…others would have led to a far longer post to read!), globalization, the increasing challenges in management and business vs organizations. Next week we are looking at rules and regulations, taxes and laws. It should be interesting!