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SEATTLE BUS101 all discussions

Discussion 2: Social Responsibility
Apr 8, 2013 at 12am99 unread replies.5151 replies.
Look around–do you see any local businesses practicing social responsibility? Publicizing a business’s good deeds is a great marketing tool, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find an example. It can be extra effort in recycling, pairing with a local nonprofit agency, paying for employees to volunteer their time in the community, building parks, selling fair-traded merchandise….a bunch of things. Go ahead and ask next time you’re in your favorite place of business. Be a little tactful here, because it can sound like a criticism–you might explain this is a school assignment.

I also want you to think of a good a new way a business could practice social responsibility in a way that is a good fit with what they do and what they stand for. For example, Harley Davidson could offer courses on defensive driving to high school students.

So the Discussion Board has two parts:
Identify a business in your community that is practicing some form of social responsibility, and
Think of a new way a business could contribute in a way that fits what they already do.

Discussion 3: What’s Your Business Idea?
Apr 15, 2013 at 12am2525 unread replies.8787 replies.
OK, you’ve read the material and interviewed an small business owner (or you will shortly).

The Discussion Board topic for the week is: share an idea for a new businesswith your classmates and why you think it would work. Does it solve a problem? Address a need? Is it aimed at an easily identifiable market?

If you’re really thinking of starting this business and you’re concerned about your idea being stolen, think of another business idea that meets a need and talk about that one.

Discussion 4: Your Best Boss

Talk about your best boss. What made this person so good? Have you adopted any of these techniques in your work? Did you give this boss your best? Why or why not?

Discussion 5: The Workplace

OK, we talked about good bosses last week. Let’s talk about other factors that create a good workplace.

I’m especially curious if it’s ever enough just to make lots of money–I’m assuming a couple of you have had a chance to make what you considered lots of money. If you haven’t, is your course of study right now aimed mostly at pulling down the big bucks? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing! We all have rent to pay, and everyone makes a different decision about how much money is enough.

Life is comparison–a very unpleasant workplace in the past may have made you appreciate current conditions in a new way. I generally don’t post topics that encourage negative comments (it’s too tempting–think about where we could have gone with the topic of “your worst boss” last week!), but if you want to talk about a current good situation in light of a past bad one, go ahead.

So, besides a good boss, what other factors have contribute to your job satisfaction? Good pay? Flexible working hours? An on-site gym or daycare? Stock options? Knowing your company is does good work? Just having a job? C’mon, there’s got to be something you like about it!

Discussion 6: Best Ad — Worst Ad

1) Describe your favorite advertisement, and why. Do you think it is effective in getting people to buy this product?

2) Describe an advertisement that you think is bad for whatever reason, and why you think so. Is it offensive? Ineffective? Unethical? Who do you think this ad is aimed at? Why would a company use “bad” advertising? Do people buy the product anyway? Why?

Discussion 7: Poor Systems

Think about a job you’ve worked in or a business you’ve patronized that had poor operations, organization, or teamwork in some way.It can be a disorganized restaurant kitchen, a bad filing system, an inefficient repair department, a store that’s always out of stock of an item you want, etc. Talk about the following:

1. Describe the situation and its affect on you–if you were a customer, did you vow never to return? If you were an employee, did it affect your morale?

2. How would you fix the situation if it were up to you?

3. Why do you think management allows this situation to continue?

Discussion 8: Globalization

Following you’ll find two definitions of globalization:

1) refers to the increasing economic integration and interdependence of countries. Economic globalization in this century has proceeded along two main lines: trade liberalization (the increased circulation of goods) and financial liberalization (the expanded circulation of capital).

2) The process of worldwide integration of economic or political systems. Economically, globalization is driven by free trade and foreign investment. The concept of globalization can also be applied to cultural products (such as movies or music) or values (such as beliefs about human rights).

Our discussion topic for the week is: Overall, do you think globalization is positive or negative? Does it increase standards of living around the world, or suffocate other cultures under an onslaught of Big Macs and Coca Cola?

Read up a little about Globalization by Googling that term. Then support your opinion with specific examples.

Discussion 9: Executive Responsibility

The recession still seems to be hanging around.

The culprits seem to be deregulation, irresponsibility and greed, from the homeowners who used refinancing to live beyond their means to corporate executives who oversaw the financing of risky mortgages in pursuit of returns.Homeowners who overextended themselves may face financial ruin. On the other hand, the corporate executives who led their firms to financial disaster lose their jobs, but they walk away with severance packages of $10 million, $20 million and up. Kerry Killinger, in charge of our own Washington Mutual, walked away with $23 million while hundreds (if not thousands) of employees faced unemployment with the sale of WaMu to JPMorgan. More recently in the news was the demise of the Hostess bakeries – no more Twinkies! :>o But Hostess executives made millions while workers were asked to take pay cuts.

Following are a couple of articles on CEO compensation:″>James Sinegal, progressive CEO of Costco”>Excessive CEO Pay

Our discussion topic for this week is: What’s you view on the multi-million dollar severance packages extended to top-level CEO’s who lead their firms to disaster? Should executives walk away empty-handed if their firms fail? Should they be penalized? Or is a hefty severance package a requirement for attracting top-level talent?

Discussion 10: The One Big Thing

What’s the most interesting idea we’ve covered this quarter or the one big thing you’ll take away from this class? Have any of your ideas about business, career or politics changed based on what you’ve learned?

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