A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article on how people make decisions caught my attention, not because of the headline or topic but because of the number of Tweets – more than four thousand. This seemed like a large number for a “Life and Culture” section article in the WSJ. However, after reading the article, I could see why – it focused on couples and how their decision styles can affect their relationship and happiness. Changing the focus from social to work, I want to suggest that decision styles can also play a role in the relationships of people working in teams or work groups.
Most of us are aware of the concept of online lurking – people reading messages sent to an online forum or discussion group without contributing, but what do you know about MBA lurking?
What is MBA Lurking?
MBA lurking is what a subset of MBA students do while enrolled in an MBA program. MBA student lurkers are the nonparticipants. They rarely take part in class, team, or online discussions and they seldom provide meaningful feedback when ask to do so. They fill a seat and use program resources while contributing little, if anything, to the learning of others.
Bookmarking, sharing, and annotating web pages found during a productive web search is particularly troublesome for me, and I am sure this is true for many others, especially MBA students. Why? Because search technologies make it so easy to find large quantities of material that may prove useful to a project or search objective. In collaborative work environments, such as MBA programs, search is only one part of the workflow. Making notes and sharing findings is another critical aspect. With this need in mind, I am always looking for tools and techniques to help me manage what I find. One of the tools I discovered and frequently use is Diigo, a browser add-on tool and cloud-based information management service. Having used Diigo for more than two years, I can recommend this tool to MBA students and MBA faculty members. Click on the title to learn more about how Diigo can help MBA student live and work smarter.
MBA students working together with one or more classmates in order to complete an assignment is a norm in most MBA programs. Working together successfully often depends on how well the group shares information. This usually means sharing a document or file of some kind, such as an MS Word document, PowerPoint presentation, PDF file, picture, graphic, or a spreadsheet. While MBA students working together may be the norm for most MBA programs, providing students effective and efficient ways of sharing documents is not. The answer for most MBA programs is to let students find their own solution, which usually means using email and file attachments. Much better solutions are available, many of which are consumer-focused, user friendly, and free.
Building a Civilized MBA Program and Surviving One That Isn’t
Stanford University professor Robert I. Sutton starts his New York Times bestseller book, The No Asshole Rule saying, “When I encounter a mean-spirited person, the first thing I think is: ‘Wow, what an asshole!’”
My version of his statement, “When I encounter a mean-spirited and obnoxious MBA student, the first thing I think is: Wow, what an asshole!” Most of the time I did not share this thought with anyone. However, during MBA class periods when a particularly obnoxious MBA student acted like a jerk, you could see by the expressions on faculty members’ and students’ faces there was a consensus that this student was indeed an MBA asshole.
MBA programs have their share of assholes. As hard as they try to filter them out, MBA program recruiters and admission committees do on occasion accept one or two assholes into a class. Furthermore, deans and department chairs will sometimes assign asshole faculty members to teach an MBA class. With this in mind, and staying with the title of Dr. Sutton’s book, I want to ask, “Does your MBA program have a no asshole rule?” If not, should your MBA program adopt a no asshole rule?
Click on the title to read more about developing a “no asshole” rule for MBA programs or classes.
SlideShare, voted one of the world’s top 10 tools for education and elearning is a resource that I highly recommend to MBA students, MBA program directors, and MBA faculty. SlideShare is both a gateway to presentations and a platform for sharing presentations. Given the number of presentations MBA students, faculty, and program directors make each week the benefits of using SlideShare are almost unlimited. Let me introduce SlideShare and outline a few of its uses to illustrate the benefits.
This article introduces MBA students to SlideShare, a gateway to presentations and a platform for sharing presentations. Click on the heading to read more.