I must say, when signing up for this course I had no idea what the class truly entailed. From the class description I gained a small insight of what topics the course might cover, but still, there was no indication of the extensive, in-depth material that we would touch base on throughout the year. I would say that the subject matter discussed in this course was far more interesting than anything I have touched base on thus far in Economics. As a result, I learned an incredible amount about Organizations that I had no knowledge of previous to my undertaking of the course.
To be honest, i possessed an unquestionably meek education of organizational processes prior to this course. Now I can proudly attest to the fact, that although I am by no means master of organizational schematics, I have achieved a greater discernment of many facets discussed throughout this course. First off, I had no idea there were so many transaction costs behind a single, ordinary negotiation. From search and information costs, to bargaining costs, there contains a multitude of hidden costs that occur during any given exchange. Many of which are unseen and often unaccounted for by the average individual.
One particular topic I perceived to be interesting was from one of the book readings. It is known as the Ratchet Effect. To briefly summarize this effect, when manager's exceed production in one period, they are "rewarded" with higher quotas in the next. It was fascinating to me since I am still torn by how this might affect performance in a particular workplace. In one sense this is great for the organization. Management has discovered means to surpass the desired performance set in a specific period, and as a result, the company attempts to pursue extended future performance. If a company wishes to grow, then elevated performance is dire to this pursuit. However, if managers notice such a pattern of increased quotas, the stress induced on them may deter motivation to keep increasing workplace production. This is just one topic from the course that perplexed me and induced myself to critically think about how organizations manage their staff, employees, and production capabilities.
Obviously the vast information introduced in the course can fill pages upon pages. A great deal more than needs to be touched upon in this blog. Yet, all the intelligence this course has to offer provides a fortified structure for an increased understanding or organizational procedures.
Now to turn to the class format. I was particularly fond of the way the course was structured. The way the class revolved around the blogging and assigned readings was paramount. It facilitated understanding of the course material, and made it very easy to grasp a lot of the mathematical concepts that I was not as familiar with anymore. I feel the pedagogic approach should persist in future class formats, especially since the structure of the class made learning easier than many classes I have partaken in thus far. Additionally, the blogging portion was awesome! Many times in a college classroom, interaction between students is meager relative to the interactions between students and the professor. Commenting on each others' posts allowed us to familiarize ourselves with our fellow classmates, and provided a solid basis for the level at which our writing should strive to attain. I have not had a lot of chances to expand upon my writing knowledge since setting foot on this university, but the blogging has given me this opportunity to practice my writing and hopefully increase performance.
Writing the blogs and completing the excel files was somewhat time-consuming, but incredibly straightforward. In regards to blogging, after about a half hour of preparation, it was easy to let the words flow and complete the prompt. I would usually start by thinking about how I was going to go about introducing the context of my blog. From there I pinpointed what topics I would discuss and from there everything just seemed to fall into place as I wrote. For the excel homework, it usually took me about an hour to complete. I typically was very anal about reading everything on the homework, and this contributed much to the time consumption. Other than that, similar to the blogs, the excel homework was very straightforward. The proper equations always seemed to be readily available in the text. The comments posted on the class website also facilitated the completion of the homework, especially since Professor Arvan always made himself available to assist struggling students. I felt that not finishing the homework was inexcusable because of this.
I particularly wouldn't change much about the course. My only complaint would be that I feel there should be more material covered on the exams. I wasn't a fan that there were only three problems worth a substantial amount of points. I felt this way, because if you did not understand one part of a particular problem, it would lead you astray for the rest of it. In this type of occurrence, messing up one problem would lead to a huge disparity in grades achieved by different students on the exam. Other than this I would not change much else. I was a huge fan of the class format induced by Professor Arvan.