Celestial Narratives is Out of This World

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Amelia and I stopped into the “Celestial Narratives” exhibit while on campus taking her 3-year portraits in the Monticello Sculpture Gardens.

There’s an art exhibit at Lewis and Clark Community College that you don’t want to miss.

“Celestial Narratives” by Artist Michiko Itatani is open now through Sept. 22, 2017 at the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery on L&C’s Godfrey Campus, 5800 Godfrey Rd., Godfrey, Illinois. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.

www.lc.edu/michikoitatani

 

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Artifact: OL 654

Artifact OL 654: The Disney Method

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 654: The Disney Method

An integrated learning forums presentation on “The Disney Method” creative strategy demonstrates the fifth program learning outcome, integrating creative strategies that promote innovation (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016); specifically strategizing the change process through tactical approaches (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). Course outcomes represented include evaluating the creative process, analyzing blocks and aids for creativity, and integrating creative thinking strategies (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

The presentation walks the viewer through “The Disney Method,” a creative brainstorming process that centers on three stages of thought embodied by facets of Walt Disney’s famous, innovative personality – the dreamer, the realist, and the critic (Dilts, 1996). Each stage allows members of a team to view an issue from three different points of view, similar to de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” (de Bono, 1999). The process is not only used to generate ideas to tackle problems with innovative solutions, but also it is useful for developing solutions more fully, allowing for adjustments to address any foreseeable drawbacks. Key benefits include the no cost and minimal time commitment needed to work through the method.

The presenter uses a real world example from her own professional field to teach the method, walking through each step in detail so the viewer can walk away ready to work through the process. The strategic action proposal near the end of the presentation outlines the steps necessary to apply the method for organizational use, along with goals, and a timeline for implementation.

 


References

de Bono, E. (1999). Introduction. In Six thinking hats (pp. 1-15). Newport Beach, CA: Back Bay Books.

Dilts, R. (1996). Walt Disney: Strategies of Genius. Retrieved from http://www.nlpu.com/Articles/article7.htm

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185

Artifact: OL 645

Artifact OL 645: Critical Analysis for Managed Change Within Starbucks Corporation

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 645: Critical Analysis for Managed Change Within Starbucks Corporation

A critical change plan analysis entitled “Critical Analysis for Managed Change Within Starbucks Corporation” demonstrates the second program learning outcome, integrating and applying analytical skills to make strategic decisions (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016); specifically, the ability to utilize systems thinking for the ongoing improvement of an organization (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). Course outcomes represented include the abilities to analyze and understand organizational behavior as systems, and compare and manage emergent change approaches (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

The final paper for a course on organizational change and development includes an analysis of the company’s background, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. It describes the company’s hybrid organizational structure, which comprises functional, geographic, and product-based divisions (Meyer, 2015). The organization studied is lauded for its supportive and innovative leadership, as well as its inclusive culture of belonging and diversity (Ferguson, 2015).

The paper details a turning point in the company’s history, in the mid-2000s, during which major change was necessary to put the organization’s success back on track. The strategy employed entailed putting the focus back on the product, and prioritizing customer experience over profit (Kaplan, 2014). Comparisons are made using another company with a similar customer demographic and innovative organizational culture. Systems thinking is demonstrated by a description of a specific change process regarding the use of non-recyclable paper coffee cups. Obstacles to change and ways to measure that change are also discussed, as well as the company’s next steps moving forward.


References

Ferguson, E. (2015, September 13). Starbucks Coffee Company’s organizational culture. Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-company-organizational-culture

Kaplan, D. (2014, June). Starbucks: The art of endless transformation. Inc. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgea&AN=edsgcl.370323015&site=eds-live

Meyer, P. (2015, September 13). Starbucks Coffee Company’s organizational structure. Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-company-organizational-structure

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185



Critical Analysis for Managed Change Within Starbucks Corporation

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs

OL 645 Organizational Change and Development

Al Watts

December 11, 2016


Critical Analysis for Managed Change Within Starbucks Corporation

Starbucks Corporation has long been known as a leader and trendsetter in the coffee industry, but nearly a decade ago began a troubling downward trend that threatened its relevance. As a result, former CEO Howard Schultz jumped back into the driver’s seat and put in motion a number of organizational changes to restructure the company and get back to its roots. Today, Starbucks and its affiliates are enjoying the fruits of the company’s revitalization, but have the past decade to look to as a reminder to keep moving forward, or risk falling behind.

About Starbucks Corporation

Starbucks’ business goes well beyond selling coffee to providing the entire coffeehouse experience for its customers (MarketLine, 2016). Built upon unique coffee blends, that experience has expanded over time into tea, food items, merchandise, free Wi-Fi and exclusive digital content from publishers like iTunes, New York Times, Spotify and more. A robust app, mobile payment options and a digital My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program add an important mobile component to the company’s already unique offerings (MarketLine, 2016).

Starbucks currently comprises 7,000 company stores, licensed stores, consumer packaged goods and foodservice operations (MarketLine, 2016), and employs upwards of 191,000 people (Lebowitz, 2016). Subsidiaries include Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tazo Tea (Starbucks, 2011) and Teavana (Kaplan, 2014).

Major competitors making headway in the coffee industry include Dunkin Brands, which operates under locally-owned franchises (MarketLine, 2016), and McDonald’s, which competes globally with its more affordably priced McCafe specialty coffees (MarketLine, 2016).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Starbucks’ particular strengths lie in the company’s firm grasp of technology, efforts for innovation, employee-friendly policies and practices, and environmental stewardship. The company has demonstrated its dedication to technology and innovation through the launch of a mobile-based loyalty program and investment and engagement with customers on social media (Hanna, 2014). Employee friendly practices include benefits like health insurance and college reimbursement. All Starbucks employees are referred to as “partners,” which demonstrates their importance to the company. In Augusta, Georgia, the company operates a manufacturing facility that is certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, allowing Starbucks a cost effective operation solution that is also environmentally friendly (Labs, 2015).

Because the company employs a differentiated business-level strategy (Jones, 2012), Starbucks maintains a lead over its competitors due to the quality of its product, despite not having the lowest prices, especially when compared to McDonald’s McCafe offerings. However, paying higher prices might not be feasible for some customers, especially during uncertain or difficult financial times, causing many to cut back on their purchases. The company’s other, more recent, struggles and weak areas include a recent increase in product recalls, various litigations, people’s growing concerns over living healthy lifestyles, and competition in global markets (MarketLine, 2016).

Inside Starbucks

As a frontrunner in its market, Starbucks strives to stay on top through adaptations in its structure and business model as needed, with a focus on technology and human resources.

Hybrid Organizational Structure

Starbucks’ unique organizational structure has developed in response to the company’s changing business needs over time (Meyer, 2015). As the company grows, so does its structure, so that it can continue optimizing processes for the product quality it has become known for (Meyer, 2015). The hybrid organizational structure incorporates functional structure, geographic divisions and product-based divisions teams (Meyer, 2015).

Human resources, finance, and marketing functions are utilized company-wide and based at corporate headquarters (Meyer, 2015). Starbucks’ global market comprises divisions for China and Asia-Pacific; Americas (divided further into western, northwest, southeast and northeast divisions); and Europe, Middle East, Russia and Africa, (Meyer, 2015), each with its own vice president. Each store manager has two bosses – a geographic VP and HR manager (Meyer, 2015).

Product-wise, Starbucks also has separate divisions for coffee, baked goods and other merchandise (Meyer, 2015). At the store level, teams are organized around serving the customer (Meyer, 2015), with a focus on positive customer experiences (Meyer, 2015).

Leadership and Human Focus

From a leadership standpoint, Schultz avoids micromanaging by recruiting top performers who challenge his ideas and push for excellence (Lebowitz, 2016). By doing so, he reinforces the strength and diverse opinions of his individual team members, who are skilled and motivated to succeed, and at the same time help the company move forward (Lebowitz, 2016).

Starbucks’ organizational culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is a distinguishing characteristic (Ferguson, 2015). Its main features are servant leadership, relationships, collaboration and inclusion (Ferguson, 2015).

Former President Howard Behar, 1995-2003, said that early on, the company was focused on the product and not so much the people (Greenleaf, 2015), but leadership knew that people were the key to having a successful business and long lasting organization (Greenleaf, 2015). “Ultimately, I knew that how you treat your people is how they’ll treat your customers,” Behar said in a 2015 interview (Greenleaf, 2015). That culture was built by encouraging employee input through Open Forums where they were invited to speak their minds and contribute (Greenleaf, 2015).

Leaders throughout the company support their employees and encourage growth, both personally and professionally (Ferguson, 2015). Starbucks’ College Achievement Plan program even offers four years of college coursework to help employees graduate college debt free, with no obligation to stay at the company upon graduation (Foroohar, 2016). The company’s goal is to help 25,000 employees earn college degrees by 2025 (Foroohar, 2016). Tuition is only one of the perks employees enjoy, which also include a Spotify Premium subscription, comprehensive healthcare coverage and stock options for even part-time workers (Foroohar, 2016).

Starbucks’ focus on relationships creates warm interactions between employees and their peers, as well as employees and customers (Ferguson, 2015). Collaboration and communication are key, and openness to ask questions and voice concerns if need be are very much encouraged (Ferguson, 2015). This kind of treatment empowers employees to succeed and strive for the innovation that keeps Starbucks on top (Ferguson, 2015).

Last, but not least, the company’s anti-discrimination policies strongly prohibit discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. (Ferguson, 2015). This is especially important because more than 40 percent of the company’s baristas are minorities (Foroohar, 2016). After the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, for example, the company held open meetings in five different cities to give employees a chance to voice their individual concerns and share their personal experiences (Foroohar, 2016). Uniquely, these efforts focused on the employees as people, rather than simply as parts of a greater whole.

Changing Back to Basics

Even the best companies can become complacent if change and innovation are not at the heart of what they do. Likewise, growth can sometimes be harmful, if not controlled – and that’s what happened at Starbucks sometime after Schultz stepped down as CEO in 2000. By 2007, it had become obvious the company had taken a wrong turn toward prioritizing profit over the product quality and customer experience Starbucks was built upon (Kaplan, 2014). Over-saturation of the market essentially meant that Starbucks was competing against itself (Geereddy, 2013) and a dip in the economy meant that fewer people were spending their money on high end coffee products (Hanna, 2013). As a result, stock prices plummeted (Kaplan, 2014), and action had to be taken. In 2008, Schultz returned and the company began an important transformation (Kaplan, 2014) to get back on the right path. The change, although looking forward, took Starbucks back to its roots with a focus on serving its customers as well as expanding its markets into China and India (Kaplan, 2014). Some of the company’s focus was also invested in the introduction of new products and services (Kaplan, 2014).

Ultimately, the company shut down 800 stores and laid off 4,000 employees, most of whom were top executives (Kaplan, 2014). Schultz then reinvested in his middle managers, by bringing them together for a morale building retreat in New Orleans, Louisiana. The retreat is now considered having been a turning point for Starbucks’ transformation (Hanna, 2013). Schultz also reinvested in the company’s baristas, shutting down stores for half a day to retrain them in making espresso (Kaplan, 2014). Rather than cutting benefits to employees, including temporary ones, Schultz stayed true to Starbucks’ core principles by continuing to offer health insurance (Kaplan, 2014) and other employee benefits. Together, these efforts went a long way toward reinvigorating the Starbucks workforce – the very people who had an opportunity to turn things back around for the company.

Starbucks’ organizational culture grew over time to embody this human focus (Ferguson, 2015). Today, it is a big part of what makes Starbucks distinct and what gives it a competitive advantage over the company’s competitors (Ferguson, 2015).

Keeping Up with Customers

Starbucks’ darkest times came at a point when stores were virtually on every street corner and its struggles weren’t obvious to the general public. To them, the company was losing its “cool,” while in truth, it was losing its competitive edge. Staying competitive ongoing requires Starbucks to earn and keep customers’ loyalty while finding innovative ways to continue thriving financially. That means the company has to manage bureaucratic and operational costs while maintaining the product quality and customer experience that sets the company ahead of its competition, all the while staying true to its organizational culture, and remaining flexible to the pressures of the market and outside world.

Similarities in Other Markets: Facebook Case Study

One of Starbucks’ issues pre-2008 was not managing its extreme growth properly. Although growth, on the surface, appeared to be a good thing, Schultz noted in a 2007 memo that it had cost the “soul” of the company that made it so successful in the first place (Quelch, 2008). Another company which has experienced rapid growth, has similar concerns, and caters to a similar demographic is Facebook. Although the two companies work in different markets, they can learn from one another when it comes to managing growth and change.

Like Starbucks, Facebook reached a turning point within the last decade and was forced to adjust its business strategies to turn a profit (Fiegerman, 2013) when it announced its IPO in 2012. The company restructured a bit to put more focus on its main source of revenue – advertising (MarketLine, 2016) – without compromising its free services, which allow users to connect with one another and publish their thoughts, ideas and other content on the social networking platform (MarketLine, 2016). In 2008, Facebook took a step in the right direction toward improving its business structure by hiring COO Sheryl Sandberg (Biography.com, 2016), whose claim to fame would later be instituting stronger corporate processes to add stability to the organization, which was previously dominated and run by hackers (Keating, 2012).

After the announcement of its IPO, CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg pulled a team together to talk strategy moving into its new public status. Not everyone was on board. Just three months after filing the IPO, the company lost its CTO, platforms director, and head of its partnership marketing division (Fiegerman, 2013). Zuckerberg himself even emerged from the transition more polished than he was going in (Fiegerman, 2013).

Although initially, the IPO was widely considered a flop by investors (Safdar, 2013), Facebook’s revenue has steadily increased since. By 2015, mobile ads accounted for 76 percent of the company’s advertising revenue, or $2.9 billion (Fiegerman, 2015). That’s a huge jump from 2012, a year when Facebook brought in almost no revenue from mobile devices (Fiegerman, 2015). As mobile continues to thrive, with expected continued growth in the future, the company continues to follow an upward trajectory.

Facebook’s story is an example of how companies like Starbucks can benefit from monitoring public perception, and remaining flexible enough to offer the right products and customer experiences at the right times. Starbucks already showed its ability to adapt in 2012, when it broke into the health food market with its first Evolution Fresh store in Washington. The move was in response to customers’ increasing interest in pursuing healthier lifestyles (MarketLine, 2016).

Change Strategies

Change strategies to help manage these processes include planning for and managing resistance, education and communication, building trust, and even coercion, if need be (Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008). None of these strategies are one-size fits all solutions, so managers need to consider the change or changes at hand, as well as the likely outcomes of each strategy (Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008).

When Starbucks partners lost their jobs during the company’s 2008 restructuring, Schultz communicated to not only those affected, but also those who remained, through a company-wide email that explained the restructuring process and why it was necessary. Likely, there was some initial resistance from Starbucks partners, both those who lost their jobs and those who were unsure of how the change would affect them.

Other changes, while not necessarily as serious or traumatic as layoffs and store closures, also require unique strategies, customized to the particular situation at hand.

Recyclable Cups & Systems Thinking

Starbucks is currently pursuing a change in one of its products that aligns with the company’s sustainability doctrine and would ultimately reduce the company’s environmental footprint. Paper coffee cups are not easily recycled as some people think, because they are made of cardboard with a thin layer of plastic that helps keep the coffee warm and the cup from getting soggy (Kittasova, 2016). Because of this, “an estimated 60 billion paper cups in the U.S. end up in landfills each year” (Kittasova, 2016). In response, in addition to offering reusable cups for sale in its stores, Starbucks is attempting to change the paper coffee cup game.

In 2009, the company hosted a summit to continue movement toward a recyclable cup solution (Starbucks, 2009). Peter Senge, a Ph.D., senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), moderated a discussion including representatives from various facets of the paper cup chain, or companies with symbiotic interdependencies (Jones, 2012), with the intention of addressing the issues and forming a plan for moving forward together (Starbucks, 2009). The effort allowed the various companies to feel involved in the process, making it more likely that they will buy into the change rather than resist it (Jick, 1991).

The project’s original deadline was 2012 (Starbucks, 2009). Although Starbucks didn’t meet that deadline, it has since adjusted and readjusted (again in 2015). In 2016, the company signed a “Paper Cup Manifesto,” along with industry peers like McDonald’s and KFC, to continue working toward a better solution (Kittasova, 2016).

Currently, Starbucks is testing a new, fully recyclable kind of coffee cup in the U.K. with British packaging company Frugalpac (Kittasova, 2016). The recyclable cup is built in a way that is similar to the traditional product, except the plastic layer on the cardboard can be more easily removed at the recycling plant so the rest of the cup can move through the recycling process (Kittasova, 2016).

Still, until a mass disposable solution is found, Starbucks is reducing its footprint by encouraging customers to consider reusable options. Customers can currently receive a small discount for using personal tumblers at Starbucks stores (Starbucks, 2009).

“Starbucks’ holistic approach to solving this global issue has the potential to make a significant impact on not only its company operations, but on the entire foodservice industry,” Senge said in a 2009 press release (Starbucks, 2009). In systems thinking, as a market leader and major player, Starbucks’ efforts have greater consequences on the larger system. In other words, the company’s efforts have the ability to cause a ripple of change not only in the company, but also among its peers and competitors (Starbucks, 2009).

Obstacles to Change

Obstacles to change can range depending on the change at hand, and can include structural or technological issues, communication issues, social issues and managerial issues.

Structural issues, such as organizational silos, can get in the way of change. While horizontal differentiation allows for specialization, it can cause a subunit orientation (Jones, 2012), which can detract from employees’ abilities to see the bigger picture. After all, “change succeeds when an entire organization participates in the effort” (Jick, 1991).

Technological barriers can include a company’s infrastructure and abilities, or inabilities, to keep up, as well as the abilities of a company’s workforce. Starbucks’ dedication to keeping on the forefront of technology and to educating its workforce puts the company in a good position to avoid this barrier.

Ineffective communication, or lack of communication, is also a major change barrier. Effective communication is absolutely critical when it comes to uniting an organization behind a shared vision and direction (Jick, 1991). Communication can also help set the tone for employees’ initial reactions to a change, and help them feel involved and take ownership in its outcome (Jick, 1991), an aspect that Starbucks handles well.

Social and managerial issues can arise when an organization is too hierarchical, which Starbucks addressed early on during its rebirth, when many of the laid off employees were executive-level employees rather than front line workers.

Measuring Change

It’s important that change is monitored and measured for success, although that is often a lofty goal (Prosci, n.d.). Many change measurement processes use employees and project effectiveness to gauge change progress (Prosci, n.d.). Leaders can also consider participation and documented communication efforts in the review process (Prosci, n.d.). In both examples of change at Starbucks, and the one at Facebook, progress toward the desired goal marked successes in the companies’ change strategies. Also in both cases, employee feedback at all levels would have been an effective tool.

Recommendations for Moving Forward

Starbucks appears to be on the right track currently and is once again enjoying success in its market, as well as in new ones. However, it is imperative that the company continue monitoring the employee and customer climate regarding satisfaction, tastes, trends and financial status, so that it can be poised and ready to respond when needed. It also needs to be careful to avoid complacency, by planning ahead rather than always reacting to outside stimuli.

To continue avoiding oversaturation, opening boutiques under different brands (Choi, 2013) is a good strategy, but Starbucks should be careful not to stray too far from its core competencies (Jones, 2012) and know when to pull back if certain efforts aren’t producing results.

Lastly, Starbucks would do well to remember the human focus that continues to keep the company ahead of the game. Moving forward, really relying on the customer-employee relations that have brought the company success in the past will continue to give Starbucks a unique competitive edge that others have yet to replicate.

Final Analysis

Starbucks has found great success in utilizing its greatest resource, humans, for both change efforts and general operations. When the company needed to pay more attention to its customer service efforts and overall customer experiences, it’s not surprising Schultz refocused his efforts on middle managers and frontline workers. These employees are often more in tune with each other’s needs and emotions, as well as those of the customer, than top executives (Huy, 2001). In particular, by making an effort to raise morale among middle managers after major layoffs, Schultz got 10,000 store managers (Kaplan, 2014) on his side, ready and willing to use their social networks to communicate and implement the change at a functional level (Huy, 2001). Their impact cannot be understated and should be considered ongoing.


References

Choi, C. (2013, October 23). Starbucks looks to make tea trendy, with plans to open ‘tea bar’ in New York City. The Canadian Press. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=MYO081503433013&site=eds-live

Ferguson, E. (2015, September 13). Starbucks Coffee Company’s organizational culture. Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-company-organizational-culture

Fiegerman, S. (2013, May 18). How Facebook has changed since going public one year ago. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2013/05/18/facebook-ipo-anniversary/

Foroohar, R. (2016, February 16). Starbucks for America. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=100812944&site=eds-live

Geereddy, N. (2013). Strategic analysis of Starbucks Corporation. Retrieved from http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/nithingeereddy/files/starbucks_case_analysis.pdf

Greenleaf (2015, May 2). How Starbucks built a servant leadership culture: Q&A with Howard Behar. Retrieved from https://www.greenleaf.org/how-starbucks-built-a-servant-leadership-culture-qa-with-howard-behar/

Hanna, J. (2014, August 24). Starbucks, reinvented: A seven-year study on Schultz, strategy and reinventing a brilliant brand. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2014/08/25/starbucks-reinvented/#74c8da66751b

Jick, T. (1991, April 22). Implementing change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Jones, G. R. (2012). Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kaplan, D. (2014, June). Starbucks: The art of endless transformation. Inc. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgea&AN=edsgcl.370323015&site=eds-live

Kittasova, I. (2016, July 21). Starbucks cups aren’t recyclable. Here’s the solution. CNN Money. Retrieved from  http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/21/news/starbucks-recyclable-cups/

Labs, W. (2015, December). Starbucks brews up advanced technologies. Food Engineering Magazine, 87(12), p. 35-45. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgea&AN=edsgcl.446637537&site=eds-live

Lebowitz, S. (2016, March 3). Two brilliant management strategies Howard Schultz used to build the Starbucks coffee empire. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/management-strategies-of-starbucks-ceo-howard-schultz-2016-3

MarketLine. (2016, August 4). Company profile: Starbucks Corporation. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=117930747&site=eds-live

Marketline. (2016, August 5). Company profile Facebook, Inc. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=118290266&site=eds-live

Meyer, P. (2015, September 13). Starbucks Coffee Company’s organizational structure. Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-company-organizational-structure

Moss, D. (2016, March). Brewing a better business. HR Magazine. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.smumn.edu.xxproxy.smumn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=keh&AN=113488978&site=eds-live

Prosci (n.d.). Change management measurement and metrics. Retrieved from https://www.prosci.com/change-management/thought-leadership-library/measuring-change-management-effectiveness-with-metrics

Quelch, J. (2008, July 2). How Starbucks’ growth destroyed brand value. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2008/07/how-starbucks-growth-destroyed

Quy Nguyen Huy. (2001, September). In praise of middle managers. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2001/09/in-praise-of-middle-managers.

Safdar, K. (2013, May 20). Facebook, one year later: What really happened in the biggest IPO flop ever. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/facebook-one-year-later-what-really-happened-in-the-biggest-ipo-flop-ever/275987/

Starbucks. (2009, May 10). Starbucks brings thought leaders together to develop a comprehensive recyclable cup solution. Retrieved from https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-brings-thought-leaders-together-to-develop-a-comprehensive-recycl

Starbucks. (2011, July 11). Starbucks announces new leadership structure to accelerate global growth. Retrieved from http://investor.starbucks.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99518&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=158400

Starbucks. (n.d.) Goals and progress: Cup recycling. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/global-report/environmental-stewardship/cup-recycling

Artifact: OL 635

Artifact OL 635: Sweden Wikispaces

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 635: Sweden Wikispaces

A Wikispaces site on the country of Sweden demonstrates the first program learning outcome, interpreting the contexts and environments in which companies operate (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

Built over the course of a few weeks as a bi-weekly regional update, the site demonstrates several course outcomes, including the ability to demonstrate cultural and contextual communication, evaluate components of organizational culture, and respect viewpoints from the most dominant view within a culture (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

In an attempt to “identify and understand cultural influences that shape behavior and work views”, it contains pages detailing Swedish culture and traditions, Swedish business culture, and even Swedish culture as it is seen from America (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016), a program learning outcome. There is much emphasis on the less hierarchical nature of Swedish business culture, success earned through achievement (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2012), and generous employee and social benefits (Swedish Institute, 2016).

The bi-weekly updates page contains the analysis of two timely news stories on different topics related to Swedish business culture: a housing crisis in Stockholm and its effects on businesses recruiting new talent, and advances in a better work-life balance for employees. A personal reflections page contains thoughts and opinions on the news updates for the week, tied in with personal experiences, and a comparison of Swedish business culture to American business culture.

https://inlowol635.wikispaces.com/Welcome+to+Sweden


References

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185

Swedish Institute. (2016). Work in Sweden. Retrieved from http://work.sweden.se/living-in-sweden/swedish-business-culture/

Trompenaars, F., and Hampden-Turner, C. (2012). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

 

Artifact: OL 634

Artifact OL 634: Apple vs. FBI: The iPhone Controversy

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 634: Apple vs. FBI: The iPhone Controversy

An intercultural organizational impact analysis paper entitled “Apple vs. FBI: The iPhone Controversy” demonstrates the sixth program learning outcome, evaluating the ethical and legal implications of one’s actions (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). The analysis, based on various news stories detailing the investigations and aftermath of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, details how foundational ideologies impact ethical and legal judgment, as well as a corporation’s community responsibility (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

Course outcomes demonstrated include the synthesis of cultural, economic, political, and social perspectives, the analysis of different viewpoints and the articulation of the challenges experienced by global organizations (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

A U.S.-based global company, Apple experienced pressure from the FBI to aid in the criminal investigation of a terrorism suspect by giving investigators backdoor access to his iPhone (New York Times, 2016). The company took the stance that forced compliance would be a violation of the right to free speech (New York Times, 2016). In the end, its refusal was about protecting the company’s triple bottom line – not only financial, but also environmental and social (Meyer and Kirby, 2012).

Apple realized that while helping the FBI might put a criminal behind bars, it might also open up vulnerabilities for hackers to violate other customers’ private information. It would also violate the company’s employees, many of whom threatened to quit if forced to comply. Lastly, complying with the FBI order would have set precedents for similar situations in other countries like China, impacting customers internationally.

This paper demonstrates the difficult decisions and considerations that global companies sometimes have to make to continue operating successfully in a global market.


References

Meyer, C., & Kirby, J. (2012). Standing on the sun: How the explosion of capitalism abroad will change business everywhere. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185

The New York Times. (2016, March 21). Breaking down Apple’s iPhone fight with the U.S. government. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/03/technology/apple-iphone-fbi-fight-explained.html?_r=1


Apple vs. FBI: The iPhone Security Controversy

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs

OL 634: Economic and Political Contexts

Rick Bernardo

Curt Fernandez

August 14, 2016


Apple vs. FBI: The iPhone Controversy

In December 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, committed a mass shooting in San Bernadino, California (New York Times, 2016). They killed 14 and injured 22 others in the incident (Blake, 2016). During the aftermath, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations attempted to force Apple Inc. to give them backdoor access to Farook’s iPhone, and Apple refused.

The FBI alleged that Apple’s refusal violated its “right to due process” (New York Times, 2016). After the Justice Department sued for Apple’s help, a judge ruled that Apple would be required to create software to aid the FBI’s efforts (Reisinger, 2016). Apple stood firm, however, in its claims that forcing its engineers to write new code would risk the security of iPhone users worldwide, and would constitute a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech (New York Times, 2016). So who was in the right?

FBI’s Case

The FBI dug itself into a deeper hole when it ordered that Farook’s iCloud account be reset shortly after the shooting (New York Times, 2016). Instead of giving investigators access to the information they sought, it had quite the opposite effect. Because security on newer-model iPhones wipes a phone’s data after 10 incorrect password attempts, the FBI sued for Apple’s assistance in breaking the encryption (New York Times, 2016).

This wasn’t the first time the FBI sought to gain access to information on private iPhones. In fact, there are currently other pending cases (New York Times, 2016), and the bureau is thought to have made between 9 and 17 similar requests between October 2015 and February 2016 alone (Sullivan, 2016). Though the FBI claims its reasoning is for the protection of Americans against terrorism (New York Times, 2016), lawful precedent is not necessarily on the government’s side. In a drug case in Brooklyn earlier this year, a judge ruled in Apple’s favor to block law enforcement officials from accessing an iPhone (Bennett and Goldstein, 2016), even though the phone in question was an older model, which would have been easier to crack (New York Times, 2016).

Some say this trend in heightened smartphone security actually causes more harm to the process of prosecuting criminals than it creates effective protection for everyday users (Bernstein, 2016). Smartphones like the iPhone can offer a wealth of digital information that can be helpful in prosecuting or defending criminal cases. Especially in situations where time is an issue, important evidence could be unnecessarily lost (Bernstein, 2016).

Inside Apple Inc.

Apple, headed by CEO Tim Cook, maintained its pro-privacy stance for multiple reasons––stakeholder privacy, maintaining the right to free speech, and to protect its employees, to name a few. In addition, the company maintained that the FBI could not reasonably prove there wasn’t a way around Apple’s compliance (Sullivan, 2016).

For everyday users, the benefits of security may outweigh the risks, especially now that our phones can store very personal medical and financial information (Bernstein, 2016), according to privacy advocates. Creating a backdoor for the FBI would mean ignoring a significant hole in security, which could create access for the wrong people (New York Times, 2016).

For Apple’s employees, compliance would have meant going against their professional nature, according to Mark Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Markoff, Benner, and Chen, 2016). Apple said it could take as many as 6-10 engineers up to a month to create an entirely new operating system to allow the FBI access, and maintains that forcing them to write code against their will would be a violation of their First Amendment rights (Markoff, Benner, and Chen, 2016). During interviews with more than half a dozen current and former Apple employees, some indicated they would refuse, or even quit, if ordered to comply (Markoff, Benner, and Chen, 2016).

Apple may have acted in an effort to maintain the trust of both of these important stakeholder groups (Zand, 2010), which is commendable from an organizational development standpoint. Other Silicon Valley giants, including Google and Facebook, stood behind Apple’s decision as well (New York Times, 2016), and are not new to supporting tech security. Even in the face of $10,000 per day fines, similar to those Apple could have faced in this situation, the small email servicer Lavabit, for example, chose to close down operations rather than comply with orders to give the government access to information on Edward Snowden during the Wikileaks scandal (Markoff, Benner, and Chen, 2016).

Not everyone in tech, however, feels this way. BlackBerry CEO John Chen came out as an opponent of Apple’s decision when, in a blog post, he wrote, “we reject the notion that tech companies should refuse reasonable, lawful access requests. Just as individual citizens bear responsibility to help thwart crime when they can safely do so, so do corporations have a responsibility to do what they can” (Blake, 2016). Where Apple could have gone wrong in the eyes of opponents was its apparent lack of patriotism, which is necessary to a point (Brown, 2009). At the same time, it is commendable that the company stayed true to its idealistic commitment to stakeholders, rather than crumbling under the pressure of the U.S. government (Brown, 2009).

Larger Implications

The difficult decision between the personal privacy of iPhone users around the world and national security illustrates the conundrum facing leaders of multinational and transnational companies today. Because Apple is based in Silicon Valley, it is largely connected with the United States, which also represents its largest customer base, and therefore, determines its dominant identity (Nijhof, Forterre, and Jeurissen, 2008). As a multinational or transnational corporation, however, they needed to consider their stakeholders around the world, including those in China, the company’s second largest market at $59 billion (New York Times, 2016). One concern was that compliance in the U.S. would make it even harder to say no if faced with a similar request in China, where refusal could have serious negative implications for Apple’s bottom line (New York Times, 2016). This concern might lead some to believe that what Apple did was in its best interest as a company focused on profit, whether or not that was the case.

The Workaround

The day before a hearing scheduled on March 22, the government was granted a postponement saying it might no longer need Apple’s help to break the encryption (New York Times, 2016). On March 28, the Justice Department dropped the case, apparently hiring third-party hackers to break the iPhone’s encryption without Apple’s compliance (Benner and Lichtblau, 2016). Moving forward, there is a risk that the government could classify the tool rather than share it with Apple so the company can patch the security issue and protect its customers (Benner and Lichtblau, 2016).

In April, the FBI announced that as a result of hacking into the phone, it found that Farook “likely did not make contact with another ‘plotter’ during the 18-minute period” following the shooting (Reisinger, 2016). It is unclear how significant the finding was, however, and as of April 20, investigators planned to continue searching (Reisinger, 2016).

Conclusion

Apple’s leadership chose to make their stakeholders around the world, as well as their own employees, a priority over their national government. In this way, they acted as a transnational company would––in which the decisions of leadership were made in contemplation of the world market as a single economic unit (Drucker, 1997). As Apple is a U.S.-based company, it is not a surprise that their reaction did not sit well with the FBI, an entity of the U.S. government. That doesn’t mean, however, that the decisions made by Apple to not comply were the wrong ones. It is apparent that Apple’s leadership saw the bigger picture and made the difficult decision to go with the choice that would be the most beneficial to the largest number of the company’s stakeholders, both locally and worldwide.

This is not likely to be the last case of its kind, and future cases will likely set legal precedents moving forward. As technology continues to evolve and globalization continues to change the world market, it will be interesting to see if tech companies like Apple continue to hold steady on these decisions or if they end up making concessions to local and global governments.


References

Bennett, K. and Goldstein, J. (2016, February 29). Apple wins ruling in New York iPhone hacking order. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/technology/apple-wins-ruling-in-new-york-iphone-hacking-order.html

Bennett, K. and Lichtblau, E. (2016 March 28). U.S. says it has unlocked iPhone without Apple.  New York Times.  Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/technology/apple-iphone-fbi-justice-department-case.html

Bernstein, B. (2016 April 7). What if Apple is wrong? MIT Technology Review, 119(3). Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601145/what-if-apple-is-wrong/

Blake, A. (2016 July 21). Blackberry CEO chides Apple over encryption stance in San Bernadino iPhone case. The Washington Times. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/21/blackberry-ceo-chides-apple-over-encryption-stance/

Brown, G. (2009). Global ethic vs. national interest. [Video]. TEDGlobal. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/gordon_brown_on_global_ethic_vs_national_interest?language=en.

Drucker, P. (1997). The global economy and the nation-state. Foreign Affairs, 76(5), 151-171.

Markoff, J., Benner, K., and Chen, B. (2016 March 17). Apple encryption engineers, if ordered to unlock iPhone, might resist.  New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/technology/apple-encryption-engineers-if-ordered-to-unlock-iphone-might-resist.html

The New York Times. (2016 March 21). Breaking down Apple’s iPhone fight with the U.S. government.  New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/03/technology/apple-iphone-fbi-fight-explained.html?_r=1

Nijhof, A., Forterre, D., & Jeurissen, R. (2008). Managing legitimacy issues in global supply chains: The case of the athletic footwear industry. Corporate Governance, 8(4), 506-517.

Reisinger, D. (2016 April 20). FBI got useful information off San Bernadino iPhone. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2016/04/20/fbi-san-bernardino-iphone/

Sullivan M. (2016 February 26). These are Apple’s top 10 legal points in the iPhone encryption case. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/3057187/these-are-apples-top-10-legal-points-in-the-iphone-encryption-case

Zand, D. (2010). An organizational development odyssey: In search of inward light. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 46(4), 424-435.

Artifact: OL 625

Artifact OL 625: Transformational Keynote – “Control Freak’s Guide to Letting Go”

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 625: Transformational Keynote – “Control Freak’s Guide to Letting Go”

A transformational keynote speech entitled “A Control Freak’s Guide to Letting Go” demonstrates the third program learning outcome, developing an awareness of individual communication styles (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). This speech demonstrates several course outcomes, including the use of narrative and storytelling as a communication tool, matching vocabulary and voice to an audience’s needs, and arguing for, or influencing, an audience on a specific topic (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

Communication Strategies was an opportunity to overcome the fear of public speaking and work on ways to improve in that area, culminating with this speech as the final project. The speech itself was a practice in pacing, structure, and storytelling, and an opportunity for the speaker to draw wisdom from personal experiences (Larsen, 2009).

The speech’s topic aimed to communicate the positive outcomes that can happen when one realizes the limits on what he or she can control in life, and embraces what he or she cannot. The core message was delivered through storytelling and a lesson outlined in four simple steps: realizing control is an illusion, staying true to one’s self, trusting in one’s team, and trusting in the process.

In a sense, the speech was an allegory for letting go of the fear of public speaking, and moving beyond one’s comfort zone (Larsen, 2009). Through connecting with one’s self, and embracing inner personal growth and awareness, a speaker gains the ability to catalyze change (Larsen, 2009) in others.

Transformational Keynote Speech: “Control Freak’s Guide to Letting Go”


References

Larsen, G. (2009). Transformational speaking: If you want to change the world, tell a better story. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185

Artifact: OL 615

Artifact OL 615: Social Media in Crisis Communications

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 615: Social Media in Crisis Communications

A literature review on the “Implications of Social Media Use in Crisis Communications on College Campuses” demonstrates the seventh program learning outcome, the ability to conduct research and communicate results effectively (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

The paper demonstrates the program learning outcome from developing a single research question to evaluating the information and sources and communicating with clarity (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). It also demonstrates the course objective regarding the synthesis and critical analysis (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016) of a wealth of information (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 10) from a variety of reliable sources and points of view on a topic (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). Its composition flows nicely and lays the subject out in digestible sections of material. The subject matter is broken down into further detail and illustrated through examples and case studies to communicate the subject more clearly to the reader and demonstrate a strong grasp of the material (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016).

In addition to highlighting research and academic writing processes, the assignment was an opportunity to learn more about a subject matter that is applicable and timely in the realm of professional communications and public relations. Background information on the subject, along with case studies from colleges and universities that have worked through crises and demonstrated effective use of social media for communications, make it possible for others to work these methods into future emergency communications plans and be prepared for the worst.


References

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185


Implications of Social Media Use in Crisis Communications on College Campuses

Laura M. Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs

OL 615 Critical Thinking and Research

George Diaz

December 13, 2015


Abstract

Since the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in the mid-2000s, the field of professional communications has been forever changed. Because of the sites’ conversational style and widespread instantaneous access, Facebook, Twitter, and others have become go-to sources for information during crisis situations, including those on college campuses, where the key demographic is, on average, of the “net generation” (Mastrodicasa, 2008). As a result, communications professionals on college campuses have successfully worked social media into their Emergency Notification System plans, mainly as supplemental modes of communicating with stakeholders – students, faculty, staff, families, the media, and other members of the general public – secondary to direct voice, email and text messages. Meanwhile, stakeholders themselves continue to use social media during crisis events to crowd source information and offer support to victims and families during and following an incident. However, due to the ever-changing nature of social media and the Web, more research is still needed to understand social media’s true impact on crisis communications on college campuses.

Implications of Social Media Use in Crisis Communications on College Campuses

During a campus crisis, a university or college’s communications office has the responsibility to disseminate important information quickly and efficiently among the college’s stakeholders, which may include students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, community members, and the media, among others. The goal in any crisis situation – from a terrorist threat or active shooter event, to a natural disaster or an epidemic (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014) – is to quickly share urgent information designed to protect these stakeholders (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014), and later on, help them move forward.

Methods of getting this information to stakeholders should be outlined in a college’s Emergency Notification System (ENS) plan, which typically involves such communications modes as direct voice calls and messages, text messages, and emails. Within the last decade, social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter, have become popular forms of communication, and have changed the way businesses and institutions regularly communicate with stakeholders. Because social media allows for quick and direct messaging to a large audience (Utz, Schultz, & Glocka, 2013), and because the web is a growing source of information among younger people (Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009), it is important to understand how social media affects crisis communications in a college campus setting.

While oftentimes, the crisis in question will determine the proper response strategy or strategies (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014), social media certainly has a place in every college’s ENS plan, at least as a secondary mode of communication to supplement direct phone calls, texts and emails, to relay information to the media, and to follow up with stakeholders following a major crisis event.

Background

Because crises are unplanned and often disastrous, a crisis management plan involving a communication strategy should be established on every campus so administrators can be prepared and prepare their stakeholders (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014). Proper planning makes it easier for an organization to react more efficiently in the event of a crisis. Plans should aim for stakeholders’ safety, but also transparency, to instill trust in the organization (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014).

Faculty and staff should be aware of the school’s plans for handling a crisis, key audiences should be identified for certain messages and a single point of contact should be designated for communicating with the media and other stakeholders (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014) during a crisis.

Both federal and local entities, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have long utilized emergency communications plans like the Incident Command System, developed in the 1970s by firefighters fighting California wildfires (Winerman, 2009). These types of systems were created with a top-down chain of command and meant to be used as a one-way communication tool to broadcast important information to the masses (Winerman, 2009, p. 378).

The advent of social media – beginning with Friendster in 2002 and MySpace in 2003 (Tiedje, 2011), through Facebook and Flickr in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006 (Tiedje, 2011) – the general public has gained a voice online. Communications ever since have been trending away from the broadcast model, and toward a more conversational one. Comment sections, forums, blogs, photo and video sharing sites and social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, have opened the gates for members of the public to weigh in with their knowledge and opinions regarding the news of the day and what’s going on in the community, and they’re taking advantage – especially when it comes to a crisis.

For communications professionals who are used to controlling messaging and content, this loss of control can be disturbing. However, researchers know that social media channels allow users to reach a large, widespread audience, directly and quickly (Utz, Schultz, & Glocka, 2013). Moreover, they allow communications professionals to reach their public without the bias of “gatekeeper media” (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014). Social media, in other words, is a direct line to stakeholders.

From a public perspective, although social media has given the people a voice, it also has made it harder for the average person to determine the credibility of sources they’re reading online – so there are benefits as well as drawbacks.

Peer-to-Peer Crisis Information

Thomas Drabek, a disaster researcher at the University of Denver, Colorado, said people who receive warnings from official sources actually tend to check in with family and friends to discuss their next moves before actually taking action in crisis scenarios (Winerman, 2009).

As evidenced by real life crisis situations like the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the University of Canterbury earthquake in 2010, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, among others, people flock to the Internet and social media moments after a crisis to find the information they would normally have to wait hours or even days for via traditional media sources. Planned or not, social media has organically become the go-to place for information and news in the event of a disaster.

Where, on social media, they flock to depends. To increase the chances people are looking to an organization’s official social media presence for information is dependent on whether that organization has started and nurtured relationships with stakeholders via social media pre-crisis (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014). Many educational institutions are doing so in order to reach stakeholders where they’re already spending their time.

Message Content and Purposes

Message content during a crisis on a college campus can range in scope, especially depending on the crisis at hand. However, need-to-know information can often be categorized as either instructing information or adapting information (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014). Both types of messages are important and shared on a need-to-know basis. Both work toward fulfilling four primary functions for emergency communications –  communications, political, information and helping (Dabner, 2011, p. 71).

Instructing information includes details about what to do during a crisis to protect oneself (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014). These types of messages can range from details regarding a suspect in a campus violence situation to instructions for evacuating in the event of a disaster. Instructing messages are often timely and integral to a campus’ emergency management plan.

Adapting information is what comes after an event, and typically helps stakeholders move on and cope after the fact (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014). Adapting information might include volunteer opportunities, information about relief efforts, details on counseling, words of encouragement and more.

Content Sharing

In order to get these messages in front of as large an audience as possible, communications professionals hope their content, especially high importance messages like those during a crisis, will be shared and spread among connections and their friends, so as many people as possible can benefit from them. Therefore, when planning the use of social media in an ENS plan, college communications professionals need to consider the shareability of the content and ways to make the content more interactive.

Snoeijers, Poels, and Nicolay (2014) found that adapting information, for example, was more likely to be shared among friends and connections on both Facebook and Twitter than instructing information. They also found that, in some cases, it may matter who the messaging comes from – either the CEO (president or dean of the college) or an institutional page not connected with a specific individual (Snoeijers, Poels, & Nicolay, 2014).

In addition to who is posting the content, the content itself also matters, as well as where it’s being shared. Based on the analysis of 2,074 posts from a shooting at Albemarle High School in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014, spikes in mentions were observed when the names of the shooter and victims were made public (Mazer, Thompson, Cherry, Russell, Payne, Kirby, & Pfohl, 2015). Five main topics of discussion included “details on the active shooter incident, emotional reactions, personal connections, thoughts and prayers, and calls for change/action” (Mazer et al., 2015). During that incident, Twitter, followed by Facebook, were the top social media sites utilized (Mazer et al., 2015). In the Snoeijers, Poels, and Nicolay (2014) study, Twitter was also determined to be a more preferable platform for secondary crisis communications as opposed to Facebook.

A Difficult Area to Study

Given that research in the area of crisis response and communication involves studying unexpected phenomena that impact people negatively, challenges often include the sensitive, disruptive nature of what’s being studied; getting the proper informed participant consent; gathering data during disruptive, transient events; among others – more research is needed in this area (Dabner, 2011), especially in regards to social media.

According to Mazer, et al. (2015), communication elements still receive very little attention in school crisis management plans (Barker & Yoder, 2012), which might otherwise include security, maintenance and logistical instructions to follow during the event of a crisis.

Despite evidence from real events that social media can be a priceless communication tool during a crisis event, research indicates that many school crisis plans don’t even address the management of social media efforts as a part of an emergency communications plan (Mazer, et al., 2015). Those that do can look to how other institutions have handled these types of situations in real life in order to model their plans (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

Discussion

Case Studies

Natural disasters. In response to a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which struck the Canterbury region in the South Island of New Zealand on September 4, 2010, the University of Canterbury and community utilized social media – including Facebook, YouTube and Flickr – to communicate information to its stakeholders and the public (Dabner, 2011).

Although the university closed for two weeks following the earthquake, information was made readily available on the university’s website, in addition to a Facebook page that was created to enable dialogue and information sharing (Dabner, 2011).

The earthquake struck at 4:35 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2010, and within half an hour of the event, the university’s emergency management plan was in action (Dabner, 2011, p 73). The first update was posted at 7:40 a.m. that same day. Hundreds of emails had gone out and the website, specifically an area filled with earthquake resources named UC Re-start, provided for one-way communication, but no there was no means of networked communication (Dabner, 2011, p. 73).

“The creation of a dedicated Facebook site was one idea suggested” (Dabner, 2011, p. 73). That page became known as the UC Quake Recovery Site on Facebook, which, at its peak on April 12, 2010, had 5,403 “likes” (Dabner, 2011, p. 74). UC YouTube and Twitter were also utilized (Dabner, 2011, p. 74). Audiences for the page included current and former staff and students, parents, student peers from other universities, community-based workers and social service agencies (Dabner, 2011, p. 74).

Over time, social media users added their own messaging and resources that could be utilized, in addition to the university’s resources (Dabner, 2011, p. 74). After three months, the Facebook site included 118 links to resources – all the content from the university’s website, in addition to the crowd-sourced links (Dabner, 2011, p. 75). Sociologist Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, said the Internet revolution has caused formerly linear communications plans to evolve into communications webs (Winerman, 2009, p. 378).

Messages regarding cleanup and other earthquake-related sites and material, questions, words of encouragement and more continued to be shared on the university’s website and on the Facebook page until November 19, when the last posts were made (Dabner, 2011, p. 73).

Following the event, Director of Communications Lynne McClelland suggested that social media remain a part of the university’s ongoing strategy as a supplemental means of communicating with stakeholders and the public (Dabner, 2011, p. 75). In 2011, after another earthquake, the university again utilized the website and the Facebook page as main portals for communications (Dabner, 2011, p. 76).

Campus violence. In less than three hours in the morning of April 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before committing suicide on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech. Facebook was a go-to for critical information during (Winerman, 2009) and important information and campus activities following the crisis (Malizia, et al., 2011)

According to Winerman (2009), much of the information being posted was accurate and self-correcting. Vague posters of information were asked for clarification, and sources identified themselves when sharing the name of a victim (Winerman, 2009). In fact, students and parents were able to use Wikipedia to create a list of the victims even before the official release from the university (Dabner, 2011).

Virginia Tech, meanwhile, sent information to its stakeholders via the college’s website, mass emails to university accounts, phone messages to campus phones and media outlets including radio, television, and print (Mastrodicasa, 2008). One complaint was that the email arrived in some inboxes two hours after the shooting (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

On Facebook, more than 500 groups popped up – from tributes to victims to issue-oriented groups centered on gun control or mental health (Mastrodicasa, 2008). People changed their profile photos in support of the school and its victims (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

Parents posted about their concerns for students (Mazer, et al., 2015). Students posted about their safety, about their friends, and about details regarding the shooting (Mazer, et al., 2015). The highest volume was posted in the hour following the incident (Mazer, et al., 2015).

After the shooting at Virginia Tech, other schools took a look at their emergency management systems and considered their communications options (Mastrodicasa, 2008). Some called for faculty and staff training to recognize the warning signs of a possible impending crisis (Mastrodicasa, 2008). At Virginia Tech, a new VT Alerts system was implemented, which is a voluntary system that sends voice messages, instant messages through AOL, Yahoo and MSN, and emails to both VT official email accounts and personal email accounts (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

Internet and Mobile Preferences

Cell phone technology and text messages are a rising preferred form of communication during a crisis. During the 1999 collapse of a bonfire on the campus Texas A&M, news spread via mobile even before families could be notified of the incident (Mastrodicasa, 2008). Text messages are most convenient communication method according to 45 percent of the population (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014).

Some campuses are developing texting capabilities in-house, or working with third party vendors to enable this mode of communication during crisis events. Students from the “net generation” are even willing to give out their personal cell phone numbers in the interest of safety (Mastrodicasa, 2008). However, one drawback is the number of messages that institutions are able to send at one time. For example, if an institution is only able to send 1800 texts/minute, it would still take 30 minutes to reach 50,000 (Mastrodicasa, 2008), which is far too long during an emergency.

At St. John’s University in Queens, NY in September 2007, text messaging was used successfully to notify faculty and students of a gunman on campus. Six minutes after the message went out, the gunman was arrested (Mastrodicasa, 2008). However, only two months later, Louisiana State University used its new system to send texts to 8,400 students after two students were shot to death, and some of the messages were never delivered due to a technical error (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

A 2013 Gallup poll showed that American adults prefer the Internet as a source of information, while a 2011 Nielsen poll shows that Americans spend 22 percent of their online time using social media (Mazer, et al., 2015). “For parents, emergency responders, media and the general public, social media can quickly become the prominent information source during an active shooter event” (Mazer, et al., 2015). And social media is not limited as to the number of messages that can be sent.

However, sometimes, even these capabilities aren’t available due to the nature of the crisis, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When the hurricane caused massive destruction from Alabama to Louisiana, power lines and cell towers were affected (Mastrodicasa, 2008). Landlines became primary modes of communication and help from other nearby institutions that still had certain tech capabilities and could help provide an integrated response were lifesavers (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

CNN Effect

As technology evolves, it offers new opportunities and new challenges for communications professionals, which over time refine an educational institution’s obligations for communicating to stakeholders during a crisis (Mastrodicasa, 2008). As today’s traditional-aged college students are part of the “net generation” and are increasingly more comfortable and reliant on technology (Mastrodicasa, 2008), their parents also play a greater role in their lives than the parents of students from generations before (Mastrodicasa, 2008). The “CNN-effect” or 24-hour-news coverage, requires communications professionals to act fast during crisis situations. According to Mastrodicasa (2008), speed is the number one factor in determining the efficiency of communications during a crisis.

Benefits of Social Media Use During a Crisis

Evolving communications technologies are creating new opportunities, as well as new challenges, for communications professionals.

“During or immediately after an emergency, there is a huge number of social interactions taking place: people communicating the emergency status with others; damages evaluation, information requests about relatives, and so on” (Malizia, et al., 2011). These non-official back-channel communications become more and more widespread as people take emergency communications into their own hands, either independently, or in conjunction with official emergency management (Malizia, et al., 2011).

Location-based information – text and multimedia – coming from social media and online channels via mobile devices contain valuable metadata that can provide even more useful information, in addition to the message’s content itself (Malizia, et al., 2011). By collecting and merging messages and posts, photos and other media coming from victims and bystanders during a crisis into maps or a mashup program, communications professionals can create a location-based online environment paralleling the real one (Malizia, et al., 2011). This can benefit many stakeholders and even help emergency responders do their job better.

During the California wildfires in Fall 2007, many turned to local media channels, who were taking tips from local residents over the Internet (Winerman, 2009). Google maps were then created based on the locations in the content’s metadata to help people visualize the crowd sourced information. During the London bombings in 2005, users utilized photos albums on Flickr to share photos with the community but also to inform the world of what was going on (Malizia, et al., 2011). Hashtags, or keywords with a hash symbol before them typically utilized on Twitter, make this information more easily searchable and can help group information together on the web (Malizia, et al., 2011).

Potential Problems

In addition to its benefits, however, the use of social media in crisis communications has its potential for problems. For one, evolving technologies for communication create and perpetuate the expectation of instant communication, which has risen to a challenging level (Mastrodicasa, 2008).

On the communications professional’s side, there is typically little control over the public response to such messaging (Snoeijers, Poels & Nicolay, 2014). Giving too little information makes an organization look unprepared, while too much information makes it seem like the organization is overreacting (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014).

Miscommunication and poor management of media are also potential problems caused by the use of social media during crisis situations (Mazer, et al., 2015). Mazer, et al., say a number of rumors circulated after the Albemarle High School and Fern Creek High School (in Louisville, Kentucky) shooting events. Because of the speed at which posts are published on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there is a high instance of mistakes that get published and then shared, perpetuating the misinformation, which can be corrected, but never erased from the record. After the Albemarle shooting for example, a tweet that contained the incorrect location as Charlottesville, VA was shared, when the incident occurred in North Carolina (Mazer, et al., 2015). Even though a correction was posted, it was already too late. The misinformation had spread to the point that #VA had become a topic on Twitter associated with the event (Mazer, et al., 2015).

Conclusion

More research is needed to fully understand social media’s role in crisis communications, but there seems to be a shift happening. Crisis communications are relying more and more on social media and less on traditional modes of communications (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014). It seems apparent that sites like Facebook and Twitter, with their instantaneous nature, naturally lend themselves to peer-to-peer crisis communications. Therefore, communications professionals can do themselves a favor by getting on board early and working Facebook and Twitter into their Emergency Notification System plans.

While crisis communications are difficult to study, looking at how social media has been utilized during past events is helpful. After doing so, I have concluded that direct messaging via voice, email and text are a good first layer of communication in these ENS plans, but should be supplemented by utilizing the controlled environment of school websites and the rich capabilities of social media channels to address public uncertainty (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014). Blogs are also an innovative way to communicate with stakeholders during a crisis (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014) and can work hand in hand with a school’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts to manage service, responsiveness, and relationships with stakeholders.

ENS plans should further establish goals for a school’s social media use and who will be in charge of posting messages (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014) and responding to stakeholders’ questions and requests on those channels. The key is to balance this social media interaction for the purpose of arming stakeholders with the information they need, with the organization’s desire for a sense of control (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014) and maintenance of the brand. Methods and guidelines for what messages to disseminate over social media and how to respond to the public are an important part of any communications plan for dealing with a campus crisis.

During a crisis and even after, a communications team should be on hand to monitor social media communications to make sure questions are being answered and comments are being addressed. It is also a good idea for a communications team to aggregate helpful information being shared by the public so that it can be utilized by a larger audience.

Lastly, the administration of a college or university should be key participants in the development and management of crisis plans ongoing, as new technologies emerge and old technologies change. Because that is technology’s nature, crisis plans should be updated as a routine after their use (Agozzino & Kaiser, 2014), or even annually. The key is to keep up with the trends and technology, but to be careful not to get too far ahead of the curve, or stakeholders won’t be able to benefit.


References

Agozzino, A., & Kaiser, C. (2014). Social media as a practical approach in engaging key stakeholders in school crisis communications plans. Journal of School Public Relations, 33, 44-62.

Barker, G.G., & Yoder, M. E. (2012). The Virginia Tech shootings: Implications for crisis communication in the educational setting. The Journal of School Public Relations, 32, 78-101.

Dabner, N. (2011). ‘Breaking ground’ in the use of social media: A case study of a university earthquake response to inform educational design with Facebook. Internet and Higher Education, 15, 69-78.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., Lin, X., Najarian, K.M., & Del Greco, M. (2014). Screaming into the wind: Examining the volume and content of tweets associated with Hurricane Sandy. Communication Studies, 65, 500-518.

Malizia, A., Bellucici, A., Diaz, P., Aedo, I., Levialdi, S. (2011). eStorys: A visual storyboard system supporting back-channel communication for emergencies. Journal of Video Languages and Computing, 22, 150-169.

Mastrodicasa, J. (2008). Technology use in a campus crisis. New Directions for Student Services, 124. doi:10.1002/ss.294

Mazer, J.P., Thompson, B., Cherry, J., Russell, M., Payne, H.J., Kirby, E.G., & Pfohl, W. (2015). Communication in the face of a school crisis: Examining the volume and content of social media mentions during active shooter incidents. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 238-248. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.06.040.

Pempek, T.A., Yermolayeva, Y.A., & Calvert, S.L. (2009). College students’ social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 227–238.

Snoeijers, E.M., Poels, K., & Nicolay, C. (2014). #universitycrisis: The impact of social media type, source, and information on student responses toward a university crisis. Social Science Computer Review, 32(5), 647-665.

Tiedje, C. (2011). Social media timeline. Sun Sentinel. Retrieved from http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-08-31/sports/fl-social-media-timeline-0901-20110830_1_users-google-aol-instant-messenger

Utz, S., Schultz, F., & Glocka, S. (2013). Crisis communication online: How medium, crisis type and emotions affected public reactions in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Public Relations Review, 39, 40–46.

Winerman, L. (2009). Crisis communication. Nature, 457(7228), 376-378. DOI: 10.1038/457376a.

Artifact: OL 614

Artifact OL 614: Closing the Wage Gap

Laura Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Artifact OL 614: Closing the Wage Gap

An action project proposal entitled “Closing the Wage Gap Between Professional Men and Women in the United States” demonstrates the eighth program learning outcome, creating an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016). The proposal was submitted four weeks into the first course of the Organizational Leadership program. The overall assignment was about collaborating for the common good (Dibble & Gibson, 2013). Each student wrote a proposal and then chose which among the proposals, presented anonymously, the class would pursue for the final.

Although it was ultimately not selected for the class action project, this proposal tackles an important ethical dilemma within organizations (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016), the issue of equal pay across genders and ethnicities. In addition to background on the subject, it includes research on legislative movement regarding the issue, such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and President Barack Obama’s Lilly Ledbetter Act (National Women’s Law Center, 2013). It then outlines a basic plan for addressing the issue, mostly involving community and organizational awareness, as well as the empowerment of the groups and individuals affected by the issue.

Leaders play a significant role in addressing such issues plaguing today’s organizations. In addition to emotional intelligence competencies, they must also live by a set of ethical principles (“Saint Mary’s University”, 2016) and are responsible for making the right choices to move their organizations toward diversity, inclusion and fairness.


References

Dibble, R., & Gibson, C. (2013, June 17). Collaboration for the common good: An examination of challenges and adjustment processed in multicultural collaborations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34, 764-790.

National Women’s Law Center. (2013, January 29). Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (fact sheet). Retrieved from http://www.nwlc.org/resource/lilly-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-0

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (2016, September). 2016-2017 catalog & student handbook, Organizational Leadership, M.A. Retrieved from http://catalog.smumn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2237&returnto=1185


Closing the Wage Gap Between Professional Men and Women in the United States

Laura M. Inlow

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


Closing the Wage Gap Between Professional Men and Women in the United States

According to whitehouse.gov, “full-time women workers’ earnings are only about 78 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings.” (White House, 2015). That gap only increases when women are also racial minorities, with African-American women earning 64 cents for every dollar, and Latina women earning only 56 cents for every dollar earned by Caucasian males (White House, 2015).

This is all despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a federal law which “prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility,” (Equal Pay Act of 1963, 1963).

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama signed his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which was another step toward closing the gap (White House, 2015).

The Act promotes voluntary employer compliance, extends the timeline for employees who wish to challenge pay discrimination, and allows employees to assess the validity of their own claims (National Women’s Law Center, 2013).

The White House (2009) also suggests that discrimination continues to contribute to this disparity. There is strong evidence that the root of the problem is a lack of awareness.

Some men, and even some women, don’t even realize there’s a problem and therefore, cannot take action to resolve the issue (Ballman, 2012). Because it’s frowned upon, or even a punishable offense at some companies, to talk about salaries, women may work their entire careers without knowing that men doing the same jobs are actually earning more.

Other women who are aware they are earning less may not know that there’s anything they can do about it, and still others may not know what they can do, or where to find the proper resources to protect and stand up for themselves.

America’s future leaders should have a strong, vested interest in learning why this gap continues to exist and about possible ways to lead the charge toward its eradication. Leaders across various professional fields can focus on spreading awareness of the problem and laws in place to protect professional women; creating, implementing or participating in workplace programs aimed to generate more opportunities for women to learn and grow professionally; and making it easier for women who have been victims of pay discrimination to obtain information about their legal rights.

Implications

Current and future organizational leaders, especially those from diverse backgrounds, are in a unique position to enact change toward closing the gender wage gap in the United States and empowering victims of such discrimination to advocate for themselves.

The purpose of this study will be to collect valuable information about the past and present of the gender wage gap in the United States, as well as future actions that can be taken by business or organizational leaders, peers or victims to combat the issue.

Business and organizational leaders have the capability to act as advocates for their employees and followers, who should be compensated based on the quality of their work and qualifications, and not based on their race or gender.

The Project

This action project will comprise three stages: research, planning and action.

The research phase will involve gathering information about the facts regarding the gender wage gap, a topic that has been extensively researched to date.

The planning phase will involve brainstorming ideas for spreading awareness of the problem and resources available inside and outside of the workplace, as well as possible processes that can be put in place within the workplace to work toward ensuring wage equality among genders.

The action phase will involve implementing awareness programs and other processes in the workplace.

Leadership Development

Through this project, participants will learn compassion and the courage (Johnson, C.E., 2015) to put their companies’ human resources first by working to improve workplace conditions for women and minorities. By empowering them professionally to move out of the powerlessness stage, where victims are often stuck (Hagberg, 2003), participants will improve their character and in turn, their effectiveness as leaders (Johnson, C.E., 2015)

To achieve this end, participants will work collaboratively in a virtual team to collect a database of knowledge and resources to enact change at various levels of their organizations. The group will aim to empower other leaders and followers and nurture them into this change process (Northouse, 2010, p. 184).

Lastly, participants will learn to improve their communication skills, an essential leadership quality.


References

Ballman, D. (2012, July 25). How do I prove I’m paid less than my coworkers? Retrieved from http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/07/25/how-do-i-prove-i-m-paid-less-than-my-male-coworkers/

Equal Pay Act of 1963. (Pub. L. 88-38) (EPA). United States Code. Volume 29, section 206(d). Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm

Hagberg, J. O. (2003). Real power: Stages of personal power in organizations (3rd ed.). Salem, WI: Sheffield.

Johnson, C. E. (2015). The leader’s character. In Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed., pp. 78-104). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

National Women’s Law Center. (2013, January 29). Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (fact sheet). Retrieved from http://www.nwlc.org/resource/lilly-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-0

Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

White House Staff. (2015). Your right to equal pay: Understand the basics. Retrieved from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/equal-pay#top on March 19, 2017.