Friday, August 31, 2007

Unit Two---Human Resources

What kinds of jobs are you interested in doing? How are you going to get there?
I am interested in information development ranging from educational materials, training materials to web development. This type of work will include using Google Analytics to monitor web page usage, info retrieval and metadata to make info more accessible to the users. In addition human computer interaction and user interface design to make the initial search more logical and accessible.

What laws influence this area, and where do they come from?

I really don't know the answer to this question.

What kinds of things do you want to see in an employee?
How do you find someone with those skills?

I want a positive, can-do, flexible work environment in which the employees are considered valuable assets and not commodities. I think most professional jobs have some sort of good faith in their employees and flexibility and positive behavior.

What do you do to keep your employees working and keep them from leaving?
Keep them happy, and this does not necessarily mean food!

When you have an employee who will not work, what are you going to do?
I would like to discover what the problem is. Are they overqualified, unqualified, do they have health problems?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Unit One

Date: August 25, 2007

My Organization

My organization is a Landscape Architecture and Design organization. The goal is to provide the most creative solutions to a diverse set of problems ranging from environmental to functional and purely aesthetic. The approach is a holistic approach to environmental design including many seemingly diverse considerations.

The organization approach is more holistic in nature and will follow the foundations of Follett. In addition, we will also use the Systems Analysis approach because of our need to problem solve and identify solutions. Since each project will be different, the policies and procedures will be written to allow room for change. Higher levels policies and procedures and considerations will be implemented for each project. However, there will be various procedures that must be followed. Contracts must be signed. Legal/environmental laws must be followed (no choice here). And all this will be done in the context of a systems approach to projects in a holistic work environment.


This organization addresses landscape design problems and issues from local governments, individual homeowners, developers, and businesses.


This organization has a web presence and a physical presence in an office/design space. The number of employees and contractors varies as the work allows. The employees all participate in most projects to add any ideas that the others may not have thought of and because the expertise of varying disciplines may be needed. However, the actual person managing the project is the one who is best fit to achieve the goals for the client.

The following list of employees may change as business evolves but are currently the employees of this company:

Attorney: Contract, environmental, government regulations

Environmental Engineer:

Landscape Architect: Owner, designer, web developer


History Questions and Answers

Which theory do you identify with the most?

I like the idea of set a procedures and rules to follow as with Webber and Taylor. However, their ideas lack the flexibility, innovation, and creativity that I require to thrive in a workplace. Gilbreths’ ideas are both great because their focus is on organization and efficiency. No one likes to feel that their short and precious time is being wasted.

I think I like Follett. I think her thinking was ahead of her time. He approach is the antithesis of the approach of her male counterparts from that time period. Her approach is holistic and focuses on the individual and the community while her male counterparts were autocratic, almost dictatorial in nature, with workers being forced to sacrifice individualism to conform to the work structure.

After looking at the linked articles, which theorist do you think was the most interesting?

I had to laugh when I read the information about the motion studies conducted by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. On a practical level, I relate to them very well. At my current place of employment, I am always on the lookout for better organization of materials for my workstation. Additionally, because this lab is very large and there is lots of walking to obtain supplies and etc., I always try to implement an “economy of movement”: More items within reach of my hands without having to walk here and there and constantly get up and down from my chair.

However, the more interesting theorist is Mary Parker Follett. She is the only female theorist mentioned other than Lillian Gilbreth. What interests me it the differences in theory development based on gender, specifically between Follett and her male theorist in the early part of the twentieth century. Their differences seem to be divided along classical gender lines and I find this very interesting and worthy of further study.

Which do you think are totally wrong?
I don’t feel any of these theorists are totally wrong. I think they all have great ideas. However, most of them need to make room for the fact that life as a manager is never black and white and sometimes the rules simply don’t apply or even work. I would say most managers and supervisors are unskilled in communicating with their employees or with even being concerned about it but are comfortable with the autocratic (and safe) nature of being the manager.

What would you like to work under as an employee? Mary Parker Follett

Which would be easiest for you to implement as a manager?
This is a hard question. The approaches of Weber and Taylor may be easiest to follow if I am unable to think for myself and take chances. There approaches are autocratic and rules based, so when in doubt, you can fall back on policy and procedure, even if they are wrong.

Which would be the most difficult for you to work for as an employee?
Autocratic rule based Max Webber. Reading about him was a bit scary because of affiliations with the 1930s German government. Taylor because of his focused “one-best way” thinking and his preoccupation with “enforcement.” Their views are just simply to patriarchal for me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


My first discussion assignment for INLS585 will post here.