Socio-Technical Systems and Organizational Values

Socio-Technical Systems and Organizational Values

Modern organizations define themselves using statements of vision. They state their vision in terms of human resources and technology, a socio-technical view. Modern organizations also define themselves in terms of values. New employees entering the organization learn the value system from employees with longevity in it. How organizations incorporate socio-technical systems as a reinforcement tool of their value system is the focus of this paper.

Values

In business, small and large, values determine course the business sets for itself. Yukl (2006) defines values as key statements of an organization. The value statement is ideological, what the organization considers important. Many values find their way into organizations including customer service, innovation, satisfaction of internal and external constituents, and excellence. Yulk’s view of values suggests something deeper. Organizational values and value creation are the soul of competitive edge, competitive advantage.

Hill and Jones (1998) write of management values as statements of how managers will conduct themselves and how they will do business. Managers in high performing businesses conduct themselves with stakeholders in mind. Winston (2002) suggests that high performing leaders accept the values of the organization as being of higher consequence and importance.

Systems

Values of an organization (customer service, innovation, satisfaction) imply an organization is a system. Senge (1990) tells us that organizations are organic systems of interconnected and interrelated sub-groups. This suggests more than brick and mortar structures, it suggests organizations of people, technology, and social interaction. Technology, according to Davis (1996), is a “conceptual bridge” between science and economics. This link gives form to how organizations manage. Conversely, Wren (2005) presents the view of technological change being disturbing to the social system of an organization. Socio-technical systems offer leverage to dispel the disturbing nature of change.

Socio-Technical Systems

Lee (2000) explains social of the socio-technical systems as the habitual attitudes of people. He includes the relationships between people with their values and behavioral styles. He also describes it as the formal power structure identified using traditional organizational charts. However, he continues with the aspect of an informal power structure based on influence and knowledge. The technical system makes up second part of the dyad. This system, according to Lee (2000), is “machinery, processes, procedures and a physical arrangement.”

A socio-technical system, abbreviated STS for the remainder of this paper, is people and technology blended. Yet, this is a much too simple definition. Some elements of STS are closely interrelated; therefore, it is not easy to distinguished items within a STS as purely technical or purely social. Aldridge (2004) explains STS as approaching organizational work groups as social systems and macro social systems. A third level of work observed is primary work systems. The primary work system according to Aldridge is one or more work units involved in face-to-face work. Work units collaborate jointly and have support of management, relevant technology, resources, and workplace specialists. Aldridge includes the writings of Trist (1981) when defining macro social systems, “…macro social systems include systems in communities and entire business sectors as well …

The Purpose of Digressions in Beowulf

The Purpose of Digressions in Beowulf

Few other features are more characteristic of Beowulf than the use of numerous digressions and distinct episodes. While some scholars have made attempts to show that the digressions, or some of them at least, have something in them which is inappropriate to the main narrative and are detrimental to the poetic value of Beowulf, this essay will argue that the digressions and episodes provide a conscious balance and unity and, in fact, contribute to the artistic value of the poem. Beowulf scholar Adrien Bonjour divides the digressions and episodes into four categories: the Scyld episode; digressions concerning Beowulf and the Geats; historical or legendary digressions not connected with Beowulf and the Geats; and Biblical digressions. It is within this structure where we will explore specific digressions and determine their role in the poem.

Before we inspect specific digressions, it is important to provide a brief justification for their presence in general. As Bonjour observes, the poet adeptly uses digressions to add to the coloring of the poem, to serve as a foil to a given situation, to contribute to the historical interest and significance, to provide symbolic value which contributes to the effect and understanding of the poem, and to heighten artistic effect. In addition, the digressions contain welcome information about the hero’s life. It is through digressing that the poet presents the values and perspectives that are to be understood. Action is, after all, only action.

In his division of the digressions and episodes, Bonjour gives the Scyld episode its own category, probably because it is the longest digression from the main narrative in the poem, and possibly because it raises so many questions. At first glance, the opening of the poem with Scyld and the genealogy of the Danish kings seems strangely out of place in a poem about Beowulf, a Geatish hero. But upon further study, a significant parallelism can be found between Scyld and Beowulf. First, both Scyld and Beowulf came miraculously to liberate the Danes. Scyld, being the first liberator in the poem, foreshadows Beowulf who comes later. A second touch of parallelism between the two kings can be found in their inglorious youth. Scyld was found a wretched and abandoned child and Beowulf is conspicuous for his inglorious youth. The striking reversal in their fortunes is clearly stressed by the poet.

Bonjour points out that another artistic purpose in this episode is the glorification of the Scyldings. Had the distressing condition at Heorot served as the only introduction to Beowulf’s mission, this may have created an impression of weakness on the part of the Danes. As we will see later, if the Danes had not been glorified at the beginning of the poem, the greatness of Beowulf may have been diminished.

Finally, the striking contrast of the funeral scenes are endowed with a “symbolic value which heightens the artistic value” and the unity of the entire poem. The beautiful description of Scyld’s funeral suggests a beginning and is the symbol of a glorious future. …

College Search 101 – How to Find the Correct College for You!

College Search 101 – How to Find the Correct College for You!

Fewer than ½ of first-time, full-time college students complete a baccalaureate (four-year) degree within 6 years at the institution they entered. And, 1 out of 5 U.S. citizens has “some college, but no degree.” It is amazing to me that so many students that start college do not finish. I can tell you from my experiences as a Vice President that colleges wrestle with these facts on a daily basis. No one wants students to leave their college and everyone wants to see their students succeed.

With all of the resources that colleges pour into trying to help students succeed at their school, it is my opinion that too many students are choosing the wrong college for the wrong reasons. A lot of students choose a college because it was the BEST College they could get accepted to, or because it was close to home or the least expensive. I know of students that have chosen a college based solely on the fact that one of their friends was going there, too! Certainly, those are important, but I believe students truly need to look at more than that. The college search process needs to be about finding the “Correct College” for you.

Let’s talk a little bit about what I mean by trying to find the “Correct College” for you. The “Correct College” for you fits your unique abilities and needs. Your personality and learning style. The “Correct College” for you challenges you without overwhelming you. It offers you the best opportunity to grow, achieve your fullest potential, and GRADUATE!

I think too many students lose sight of the fact that the real key to unlocking all the doors and opportunities that a college education provides you is that you have graduate to take advantage of them. That doesn’t mean I think you should choose the easiest route possible. Not at all. I just believe more students and parents need to consider that having a window sticker of well-known college in their rear window really doesn’t mean much. It’s the degree that hangs on your wall that really matters!

There are 6 distinct areas that I think should play key roles in beginning to shape the list of features you want in a college. They are

1. Distance from home

2. Size preference

3. Surrounding environment

4. Area of study

5. Level of academic challenge

6. Affordability

I like to start with distance from home because it’s very critical to get this right. There is no one perfect answer here. The objective is to really get a sense of your comfort level. It’s absolutely OK if you think you need the support being close to home offers.

However, I would encourage you to consider at least initially looking at some schools that are just outside your comfort zone. This can play to your advantage both in the acceptance game and in the financial aid game. Colleges want students that are from outside their region. The farther away you are from …

How Far Has Science Come in Understanding the Causes of Prostate Cancer?

How Far Has Science Come in Understanding the Causes of Prostate Cancer?

The study of prostate cancer has come a long way since its identification in 1853. Information concerning diagnostic methods, treatment options and even the pathophysiological characteristics of this condition has been provided in useful details by researchers, but the specific causes of prostate cancer remain unknown up to this day.

The causes of prostate cancer, or any other type of cancer for that matter, have remained a mystery to those who are studying the disease. Despite being able to explain the process by which cancer of the prostate develops, the exact reasons behind the condition's occurrence remains a challenge to cancer researchers.

Cancer of the prostate is a condition that affects only men. The prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system, helps make and store seminal fluid. It surrounds part of the urethra and is located under the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. Its position allows it to influence the processes of urination, ejaculation and defecation.

Although the causes of cancer of the prostate have yet to be fully understood, scientists were able to identify some of the factors associated with the risk of developing this condition. A man's chances of developing prostate cancer are affected by his age, genes, race, diet, lifestyle and the medications that he is taking. Cancer of the prostate is quite uncommon in men aged below 45. However, the chances of developing prostate cancer increase as a man ages. Based on statistics collected on prostate cancer patients, 70 is the average age of diagnosis.

Prostate cancer is a slow developing condition. Some men who have it never even knew that they had the condition and they could die of other causes before their cancer manifests itself. But a man who has a first degree relative, like a brother or a father, who has been diagnosed with this condition is believable to have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer, particularly if the relative was diagnosed at an early age.

Among the races, African Americans have been known to account for the highest percentage of diagnosed cases of prostate cancer. Asians, on the other hand, recorded the least number of diagnosed cases. Researchers speculate that this might be due to the difference between the diet and lifestyle of Western and Asian men. Westerners usually take in more red meat while Asians are more likely to eat vegetables and fruits. Men who have higher levels of the short chain fatty acid linolenic acid have also been found to have higher rates of cancer in the prostate. Other dietary factors that have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer include low intake of elements such as vitamin E, lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.

In terms of genetics, no single gene has yet to be proved to be responsible for the development of prostate cancer, although BRCA1 and BRCA2, both risk factors for ovarian cancer and breast cancer in women, have been implicated.

Although the causes of prostate cancer have not …

Career Networking Does Not Produce Instant Results

Career Networking Does Not Produce Instant Results

Are you expecting instant results from your networking? If so, you may be disappointed. Networking is not a one time activity. The most successful networkers are consistent and network for life.

As a business and career coach I ask my clients about their networking plan. Some clients tell me they tried networking once and it did not work. I spend a good portion of each day talking with people. I talk to all kinds of people including corporate professionals, small business owners, strategic partners and other regular people. It is very rare for these discussions to immediately produce sales or new clients.

What does happen is that I develop on going relationships with people. I look for ways I can add value to their career and personal life. I follow up after the initial contact with an interesting article, a referral or note just to say hello.

There are times when I meet a person several times before I even talk about my career. It is not unusual for me to get a call from someone I met 6 or 12 months earlier with a coaching referral or public speaking request. Everyone knows other people. You never know when one of your contacts will connect you to the perfect job opportunity, strategic partnership or new client.

If you are looking for networking to drive huge changes over night, it is time to reset your expectations. Slow and steady is the way to develop and nurture networking relationships which are mutually beneficial to both parties. …

The Glory Years of the Green and White Michigan State University Football Teams – Part 2

The Glory Years of the Green and White Michigan State University Football Teams – Part 2

"Biggie" Munn 1947 to 1953 – Two National Championships and the Best Winning Percent Ever

Clarence "Biggie" Munn was an All-American at Minnesota before replacing Charlie Bachman. Despite getting waxed 55-0 by Michigan in his debut, he quickly logged a 7-2 record in his first of 7 seasons. By 1950 Munn had the Spartan program in the Top 10 nationally with an 8-1 campaign that included victories over No. 1. 3-ranked Michigan and Notre Dame.

He would put together back-to-back 9-0 seasons in 1951 and 1952 to go 18-0 and win two National Championships as well as National Coach of the Year Honors in 1952, beating 3 nationally-ranked opponents-Penn State, Purdue and Notre Dame.

In 1953 he would go 9-1, beat UCLA 28-20 in the Rose Bowl and push his 3-year regular season record to 27-1 and his 4-year mark to 35-2 (a 94% won-loss record) .

Munn ran Michigan State's unbeaten streak to 28 games before losing to Purdue 6-0 in 1953. In 7 seasons, his overall record would be 54-9-2 (an 85 +% won-loss record, the best ever at Michigan State) and he would produce 18 All-Americans, including the great two-way tackle Don Coleman.

Following his coaching career, the legendary Biggie Munn would serve as MSU's Athletic Director for 18 years, building the Spartans into a nationally prominent program. He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959.

"Duffy" Daugherty 1954 to 1972 – MSU's Most Popular Coach Wins Two National Championships

Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty became one of the nation's most popular coaches in the history of college football during his 19-year career as the Spartans' mentor. Daugherty was famous for his wit, personality and wisdom.

He became a great interview for sportswriters, coming up with quotes such as, "Football is not a contact sport, it's a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport" and "A tie is like kissing your sister" and "When you are playing for the national championship, it's not a matter of life and death.

He was a guard and captain of his Syracuse football team, was an assistant coach to Biggie Munn when Munn coached Syracuse before coming to Michigan State, and followed Munn as his line coach. After being part of Munn's 2 national championship teams, he became head coach.

Daugherty's 1955 team went 9-1 and beat UCLA 17-14 in the Rose Bowl. His greatest teams came in 1965 and 1966 when he went 19-1-1, won 2 Big Ten titles outright and 2 National Championships. His only defeat during the 2 years was a 14-12 loss to UCLA in the 1966 Rose Bowl. He will be forever remembered for his monumental 10-10 tie in the 1966 "Game of the Century" when the No. 2-ranked Spartans faced the No. 1-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

No less than 8 of the players from the 1966 team were chosen in the NFL draft, including defensive end Bubba Smith, linebacker George Webster, halfback Clint Jones, flanker Gene Washington, offensive lineman Jeff Richardson, defensive …

Sales Careers – How to Earn Lots of Money in Sales

Sales Careers – How to Earn Lots of Money in Sales

You must establish a good sales career in order to earn good money in sales. This article will guide you regarding establishing a good career in sales. Read on to get some tips:

The steps:

• When you are applying for a sales position in a company, do close the sale in both the cover letter that you submit and also in the interview that you will face. The recruiters want to see whether you can close the sale or not. Therefore, you must complete the task of closing the sale. In your cover letter, write that you are seeking an interview. Also mention that you are going to call the company and ask for an appointment with the employer.

• Always remember your transferable skills. You may be a fresher in this profession. But this does not mean that you can not be successful in this profession. You must have acquainted some experiences from activities that are similar to sales. Have you raised funds for any cause? Have you given presentation before an audience? Have you been successful in convincing people with your opinion? These are some of the skills that you require in this profession. While you are facing an interview, mention these. These are the sills that you need in any type of sales career or in any stage of your sales career. Be it in a medical sales career or in any stage of your sales career starting from sales training careers up to sales management career and the top sales career, you require these basic skills.

• A good employer will provide you good training so that you learn the job and also learn the tricks and trade that is required to boost sales. You grow through the learning process. So look out for employers who give good training.

• If you want to establish a successful sales career and earn a lot of money in this profession, you must always establish good networking. Connect with professionals in this field. Networking, if done properly, will take you a long way.

• You must be able to deal with rejection. This is something that you are bound to face. But you can not take it personally. You must move on.

• Select a product that interests you. You will not be able to sell products that embarrass you. Your enthusiasm regarding a product will take you a long way if you want to sell it.

• Your appearance matters a lot. You must be presentable and properly dressed for the occasion. Your employers while recruiting you will take into account how you have appeared for the interview. While you are selling a product to your clients, your appearance matters a lot. Basically, in this profession, the saying, first impression is the last impression, holds a lot of value.

• You must seek help from a mentor. Select a person who has a lot of experience in this field and who can guide you well. …

Career Goals – Ways to Set Goals For a Career Change

Career Goals – Ways to Set Goals For a Career Change

Even though we would all love to find that perfect career right out of school, the odds of that happening are slim to none. Since that is the case you should never beat yourself over wanting to make a change in careers at this point in your life. You will never be truly successful until you are doing something that makes you happy.

Whether you have been looking for a new career for the past year or you have just begun to think about a change, it is important to make sure that you are taking some very simple steps which will help you get closer to your ultimate career goals. You will want to make a workable career plan for yourself that would ever bring yourself to the career that you want.

Changing your career may not be as easy as just waking up one morning and turning in your resignation. There must be a lot of planning in terms of finances, especially if you have a family to take care of or large bills such as a mortgage to pay. Even with the best case scenario where you find a job right away, you could be looking at a delay in your first pay and it may take a while to get everything adjusted.

This means that your first objective should be to save some money in order to make sure your career transition goes smoothly when it does happen. While working on that you need to set more goals such as getting your resume polished up and buying yourself a few new outfits for those interviews you will be going on. Setting a certain number of resumes that you are going to send out on a daily or weekly basis is also important.

While some of these things may seem a little obvious, it is essential that you have smaller goals that ever lead to your obtaining the desired result from your main target which is to find another career path. If you just stuck with that one large goal you could easily find yourself frustrated and scared. Feelings of frustration and fear means that you are not going to be making the most of your time in order to get to the end result you want.

Setting smaller and more attainable goals as you move along is the best way to build confidence within yourself. The more confidence you gain along the way the better prepared you will be to face the interview process. If you just have the one large objective and take a long time to get to it you may feel as though you are failing.

So you have to realize what your new career goal is and then take all of the little steps needed to get there. One step at a time and you will finally get your dream career. And then when you can finally take a look back you will be able to see what all of the work …

Welcome To The World Of Online Associate Degrees – Information And Courses

Welcome To The World Of Online Associate Degrees – Information And Courses

When you think of a college education, you immediately think of bachelor degrees. The majority of society actually knows very little about the degree system and tend to band the options offered for post-high school education together. However, taking a bachelor is not the only option as a first rung on the ladder of high education. You can opt to take an associate degree online as an alternative to a bachelor degree. An online associate degree education differs very much from a bachelor degree in a number of key areas, and the purpose of this article is to show you that difference.

Associate degrees online are marked as two-year courses, which is markedly different to bachelor degrees because they are usually expected to last four years. However, it is possible to complete both degree programs in a much shorter period of time if you take them online and demonstrate paper hard work and dedication to your education. Taking an associate degree online can be useful if you are unsure of the direction that you want to take in life and are not set on one specific career path. In effect, getting an online associate degree education is the equivalent of taking a community college degree and can always be used as a foundation for a bachelor degree at a later date.

If you take a bachelor degree then you either earn the title of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Associate degrees online work in exactly the same way. You can achieve an AA (Associate of Arts) or an AAS (Associate of Applied Sciences). Within these boundaries, the choice of online associate degree education is immense. There are thousands of associate degrees online just waiting for your application. They are all designed to provide a foundation in general education but provide specialization in a certain subject in your second year. Some of the best associate degrees online are listed below:

1. AA Liberal Arts – Saint Leo University Online

2. AA General Studies – University of Phoenix

3. AAS Criminal Justice Technology – ECPI College Of Technology

4. AA Early Childhood Education – Penn Foster Schools

5. Associate's Homeland Security – FMU Online

6. AAS PC Maintenance Technology – Penn Foster Schools

7. AAS Criminal Justice / Corrections – Kaplan University

8. AAS Health Information Technology – DeVry University

The eight courses listed above are just examples of the many associate degrees online and serve to highlight the choices available. There is something for everyone under the heading of associate of degree and all of the major colleges and universities offer them. All you have to do now is find the right one for you! …

Careers, Fulfilment, Jobs, Luck and Retirement

Careers, Fulfilment, Jobs, Luck and Retirement

Jobs are not just sources of the almighty dollar. They also make our lives worth living, especially if we enjoy them. That is the reason why some people are able to develop first-rate careers that earn them first-rate incomes and first-rate reputations. They are seen as highly-productive and are there coveted by other companies within the industry.

People should do their utmost while at their productive age. Whether we like it or not, there is a point where we reach our learning and productivity curves. Then, we lose our attractiveness to the industry. We lose the magic that was once able to move mountains. That is when we decide to retire.

Is retirement a wise option? Retirement is like an indefinite paid vacation. You get regularly paid a modest amount in pensions that can get you by. With your savings, you can tour around the world and splurge. Or you can start something worthwhile … working on something you really love to do.

Since love for our work, there are things that lie dormant mostly in our subconscious that really matter. These are dreams that germinated in our early days on earth. We would have loved to be and do just what that dream dictated. But as is almost always the case, resources and time would not allow us the "luxurious" indulgence. Retirement is the right time to revive these dreams and live the remaining days of our lives doing what we really would love doing.

Some people had these dreams in the form of visualizing themselves to be inventors. They love tinkering with electronic and mechanical devices or a fancy to reactions of boiling, mixing or shaking certain chemicals. That made them excel in chemistry, electronics, mathematics and physics in high school and in college. But they were all forgotten when they landed on sales careers, for instance, that dominated and fueled their productive lives.

Reviving the dream starts with groping in your subconscious trying to "feel" and locate that soul-gratifying dream. Some people could no longer "feel" it losing it altogether. Others have moderate success finding it but discover that something is missing and therefore no longer appealing to them. But there are the lucky ones who get to find the missing link and build new carers that are usually outstanding and serve to help or make humankind happy.

But a few belong to the luckiest breed of human beings who do not have to retire to live the perfect job and life. Examples of this group of perfectly completed individuals are Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. …