COM 610 Reflection Blog 2

Human Resources are the “heart and soul” of an organization.  This particular department takes the “machine” element and makes it more…well…human.  Why do we have Human Resources?  Well, to not only protect the company interests, but to also protect the employees interests as well.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. saw a vast change in laws because of the Civil Rights movement.  One of the most recognizable statements we see as we apply for jobs is from the EEOC, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which prohibits discrimination in employment (Heathfield, 2016). At the beginning of this movement, the HR department was seen as a protector of these rights; as time moves on, HR is this and more. As we continue on in the 21st century, companies are faced with globalization, technological advances, and more competition.  As I said before, HR is the “heart and soul”.  While the “heart” may be hiring/firing, the “soul” is what they deal with on a daily basis.  These 21st century challenges create unique problems for HR.  Their job now is much different than in was in the 1960s.  According to Dave Ulrich, HR will be more of a business strategic partner that works to establish effective organizational processes.  They will also serve as an employee champion which will answer questions and concerns by the staff (May, 2016).

While I feel that HR has many jobs, a very important job is recruitment.  Without recruitment, the jobs would not get filled as efficiently.  Recruiters screen applicants and start the hiring process.  This makes for a much easier hiring process.  When I was about to graduate college, I was on the hunt for a teaching job.  I attended a Teacher Fair and was introduced to a recruiter for Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina.  I was just about to leave to finish my studies in Australia, but this recruiter kept in contact with me throughout the rest of my studies.  When I was back in the states, she got me three interviews with schools and I ended up with a job right after I graduated.  This part of HR is so important.  I felt wanted and cared about, not just another number.  I had value which made me excited to start my career with Cumberland County Schools.

Human Resources really means, Human Connection.

Heathfield, S. M. (2016). Want to Understand the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Retrieved September 18, 2016, from https://www.thebalance.com/civil-rights-act-employment-1917922
May, K. E. (2016). What is I-O? Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://www.siop.org/tip/backissues/tipjan98/may.aspx
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COM 610 Reflection Blog 1

In Poor Richard’s Almanac, Benjamin Franklin cleverly writes “There are no Gains without Pains”.  What does this mean in today’s organizational landscape?  Is the classic management model still a viable way to run business?  Looking at my life and my current job, I’d say that the classic management model is still alive and well.  I work in education. Public education’s model hasn’t changed much.  Its “efficient machine” like model shows that the classic management is at play (Eisenbuerg, Goodhall and Trethewey, 2014, p.65).  Technically, education is not supposed to be a business, but it is.  Education provides a service to its “customers” aka students; an education.  The teachers are not the managers, but the workers. I could even go as far as saying the teachers are better suited to the “doing work” instead of the “thinking work” (Eisenbuerg, Goodhall and Trethewey, 2014, p. 71). Anyone in education would argue that teachers have to do plenty of thinking, and that’s true, but we think in the guidelines that are given to us by our leaders.  Going back to Franklin’s quote, representatives and government officials that create these mandates, curriculums, and laws on education create the “pain” for teachers.  They feel that with these pains, comes gains.  Even with my negative intonation, I think there is a place for the classic management model.  The previous high school I worked at was very successful.  We were one of three high schools in North Carolina that earned an “A” for test scores and improvements in the school.  Teachers did the work to acquire the excellent results, and it worked.

Education, specifically at a high school level, shows Taylor’s assumptions of this model clearly between the ranks of superintendent, principal, assistant principal, department chair, and teacher. For example, as a teacher I would never go directly to the superintendent; I’d have to use the “chain of command” to voice my issue or opinion.  Looking at Fayol’s ideas, it connects well with the teacher evaluation process.  The management principles are planning, organizing, goal setting, coordinating, and evaluating (Eisenbuerg, Goodhall and Trethewey, 2014, p. 72).  Teachers go through a yearly evaluation process by their administration.  Teachers have to follow a plan and are ranked on how well they execute this plan.

Personally, I think the classic management model works well for education. Sure, like any company there are parts that could be changed and improved.  However, education needs to run like a well oiled machine.  There needs to be order to help create responsible, intelligent citizens.  The pros for both administration and teachers are that there are clear goals that need to be met each year, not only by the teachers, but by the students as well.  The cons are that it leaves no wiggle room.  I taught high school English, and there were some books I couldn’t read with my students because they weren’t on the “list”.  This list was created by “management” that had no real connection with my students. There were books on my own list that could have helped poor readers succeed, but I wasn’t given that chance.

This model is viable today not only in education, but also in the commercial world.  In the article, “Renovating Home Depot”, the classic management model is seen from a more military standpoint.  The military mindset helps employees operate well in a high pressure  environment and “follow orders”.  This has made Home Depot more successful over the years.

Do I think that the classic management model still has a place?  Absolutely.  Would Benjamin Franklin agree? Probably.

Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall, H. L., Jr., & Tretheway, A. (2014). Organizational Communication Balancing Creativity and Constraint (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Bedford

Renovating Home Depot. (2006, March 6). Retrieved September 11, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2006-03-05/renovating-home-depot

 

Week 7 Blog

Arnett (2009) says it best when he says we live in “an era defined by difference”(p.210). What this means is that as a society we are constantly facing conflict and different points of view on a daily basis. This has become even more prevalent with the introduction of social media. Social media has been around, roughly, 15 years. This “medium” allows for more people to get out more ideas quickly. What we do with these ideas, and how we accept them, is where communication ethics literacy comes into play.

Since the Internet offers an illusion of anonymity, people feel they can put their ideas out there without thinking about how it will affect others. On my personal Facebook feed, I see my friends and acquaintances post about their opposition to guns, transgender people, and breastfeeding in public. Even though I don’t agree with most of their viewpoints, I still “follow” them and allow their posts to pop up on my page.

Conflicting views are the spice of life. Yes, it’s awesome when you can get people to side with your viewpoint, but at the same time…how boring would it be if we all believed the same thing? I’m the director of debate at my university, and I would lose my job if we all agreed J!! The key to increase communication ethics literacy is to learn to accept differing ideas.

The steps to increase communication ethics literacy are the same for all arenas of life.   The text gives a great example when it talks about different dorms. Many colleges have “honors” dorms, and “single sex” dorms. They leave options available to students to pick their “good”. They know that “multiple views of the good exist and contend for attention in the ongoing postmodern marketplace of ideas” (Arnett et al., 2009, p. 211).

Going back to my own personal Facebook page. Working in communication and also having a degree in English, I get the concept of differing ideas. However, many people only want to see their side, and disregard anything that opposes them. It’s easy to get into the trap of arguing on the Internet over silly notions because we get wrapped up in what people say. For me, I just want people to be less narrow-minded and acknowledge the fact that there IS another side to their story. As a debate teacher and coach, I guess this is just innate. I want them to see that they cannot “assume that the Other will think as they (we) do or value what they (we) hold dear” (Arnett et al., 2009, p.212). Now I know I can’t change other people, only myself. To increase my communication ethics literacy, I need to take my “responsibility to learn and discern” and apply it to personal and other settings I encounter. I know that I don’t know everything. Being open-minded and accepting differing view points will make me more literate when it comes to communication ethics.

Arnett, R. C., Harden Fritz, J. M., & Bell, L. M. (2009). Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference. Los Angeles: Sage.

Week 6 Blog

I don’t often get ill, but I do recall one time when I was exceptionally sick my first year teaching high school. I was a brand new teacher wrapping up my first year as a high school English teacher. I came down with laryngitis, which is not good, especially since I was also the speech and debate coach at the time. At the end of the school year we give finals and I was also scheduled to take the speech and debate team to Alabama for their national tournament. Being ill, and having laryngitis (which meant I couldn’t talk), made the last few days of school quite difficult.

Seeing that I was in pain and unable to speak, my principal offered several suggestions for me to successfully finish my school year and take my team to Alabama. My first problem was going to be the final exams. Being the administrator for the tests, I would have to speak the majority of the time. My principal was helpful, in that she was able to get parent volunteers to help with testing. These parents would be trained and able to be the administrator for the tests. This worked perfectly for me because I was unable to speak. I was able to serve as the proctor and my job was merely passing out materials.

Since laryngitis takes about a week to heal, I was not out of the dark with my trip to Alabama. I was anxious because I was going to be in charge of several students, taking them to another state by plane, and I couldn’t speak…

Luckily, my principal was (is) amazing and was able to find an assistant to come with me. I had to go as the head coach, because that was the only way my students could compete. Having the assistant made the trip with the students much smoother. My assistant was my voice for the first part of the trip, which made the whole experience much more enjoyable for everyone. I was fortunate to have been able to go and to have the help!

According to Arnett (2009), professional communication ethics promotes “goods of survival and competitiveness in the marketplace” (178). Now, a high school is not a “marketplace”, but it does need to survive and it does have a sense of competition. Schools are graded on how well students do on the end of year tests. Even though I was sick, I couldn’t just leave my school and students hanging. I, along with my principal, had to come up with a solution. I was willing to be there and give my time, while receiving help from the parent volunteer and my principal. Again, with the national competition, I received help from another volunteer.

Having a strong leader, like my principal, allowed me to negotiate and figure ways to finish up the school year strong even though I was ill. Strong leaders promote a strong communication ethic and help to achieve the common goal.

Arnett, R. C., Harden Fritz, J. M., & Bell, L. M. (2009). Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference. Los Angeles: Sage.

Week 5 Blog

I’m apart of a very unique community.  In 2009, I was introduced to the world of circus arts.  I started taking classes on the trapeze, silks, and many other apparatuses.  Since then, I’ve performed in many shows and also taught a few classes as well.  The organization is called Air Born Aerials, and I’m apart of a community of aerialists.  Being apart of a smaller group that is in turn apart of a large group of people, one can see how “organizations are holders of a ‘community of memory'”.

There are aerialists all over the world, and the longer I train and work with aerial arts the more I learn about this community. Arnett (2009) states, “what makes a community of memory possible is not ‘me’, but those who have come before the persons who now work at the telling of a given memory at a given time and emergent new insights that become part of the communicative life recorded in a community of memory”(146).  Being apart of my group for so long, I’ve noticed that things “change”.  The dynamics are not the same and the group of people shift year after year.  I live in a military town, so this is not unusual.  Creating this community of memory comes with the new and old people coming together.  The goods we protect are safety (first and foremost), tricks, and performances.  The safety aspect of the community never changes, but the tricks and performances do.  We all like to portray different tricks (maybe from other aerial communities) and our performances change as we grow as aerialists.  The performances also change because we fix problems that arise.  According to Arnett (2009), “we live in communities that are alive with memory– memory of the past that engages the present and the future”(147).

As with any organization, there can come a point of conflict. The aerial arts is a large community in the world, and each smaller community has their own sense of what is safe.  For example, my group doesn’t feel that we should hang equipment from trees or other parts of nature.  We believe this because nature is unpredictable and we do everything in our power to be safe.  Other communities in the aerial world hang equipment from trees and nature all the time. This creates a “rhetorical interruption” because we do not all “share the same narrative ground” ( Arnett, 2009,p.96).

Say I move and decide to join a new aerial group.  They may feel that hanging equipment on trees is all right and this is a normal practice for them. Maybe they haven’t experienced problems, however, my community has taught me that this is “unsafe”.  To deal with this interruption, I will have to change my mindset and narrative.  Being around a new group of aerialists will help me see that this is not unsafe, but just a different environment to practice aerial.

Arnett, R. C., Harden Fritz, J. M., & Bell, L. M. (2009). Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference. Los Angeles: Sage.

 

 

 

Week 4 Blog

The public arena should be a “sacred place” to share ideas and opinions, however, when people cross this line and attack opinions of others “with undue confidence and unsubstantiated opinion” the sacredness disappears.  I read the article “Mother accused of killing 2-year-old wanted keepsake photos of child, photographer says” written on 3/29/16 in The Fayetteville Observer.  This article is about a controversial situation going on in my town.  A mother and father were recently arrested and charged with first degree murder of their 2 year old toddler.  This topic in itself is very upsetting.  It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that this can happen right in my “backyard”.  This particular article was about the mother getting angel pictures done of her deceased baby.  The photographer at the time had no idea of the situation, so she was glad to do the pictures for the mother.  Later to find out that the mother was doing this to create a false sense of “innocence”.  She wanted to look like a grieving mother to perhaps fool everyone.

 In the comment section of this article, there are many opinions on this situation.  Many hope she “rots in hell” and “gets the death penalty”, but there is one who states “what happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty?’” The voices that are missing in this discussion are the people actually involved.  Also, what about the voice of the photographer?  We might know more of the situation if the photographer could voice the exchange she had with the mother to the public.  As you can probably guess, the comments are emotionally charged.  The killing of the baby isn’t something taken lightly by most people.  These emotionally charged thoughts turn into emotionally charged opinions.  There is no support to back up what they are saying.  While this particular case is already viewed as a murder, there are others where it may not be as it seems.  The public arena has its opinions on everything.  Saying things without support takes away the sacredness of the public arena.  Yes, we want diverse ideas and persons, but without support it is not worthy.

 In many cases, I feel that an informed moderator could enhance the dialogue on public commenting sites.  This would allow for richer discussion, rather than the rattling off of unsupported ideas and opinions.  Having someone on the “inside” could help move the conversation along with a strong understanding and a chance to teach the public about what truly is going on.

Vendituoli, M. (2016, March 29). Mother accused of killing 2-year-old wanted keepsake photos of child, photographer says. The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.fayobserver.com/military/mother-accused-of-killing–year-old-wanted-keepsake-photos/article_b874346d-4b54-57a8-96f2-eab406e49d22.html