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MGMT20140 : Self-Reflection

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MGMT20140 : Self-Reflection

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Course Code: MGMT20140
University: Central Queensland University

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Country: Australia


Demonstrate regular use of the weekly blog by providing clear cross-referencing between report and at least 8 time-stamped meaningful blog entries THROUGHOUT the term
Demonstration of candid and critical self-analysis, including re?ection on knowledge AND personal development directly linked to examples of own behaviour to identify personal strengths and weaknesses 
Ability to devise an action plan, supported by literature, that addresses key development needs and identi?es speci?c activities and appropriate timeframes for implementation 
Demonstrate a breadth and quality of research by using a minimum of 10 high-quality sources


Creative self-analysis and reflection on personal development
Unique Research
This paper entails a reflection of my academic journey since enrollment of this term. It depicts valued learning experiences and opportunities that I never anticipated to have. The journey kicked off with introduction to importance of research in the engineering field (see week 1). Research is systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigations about the presumed relations among natural phenomena. I learnt the importance of conducting research in my career as an engineer (Light, 2011). It is an essential lesson I plan to implement in real life scenario my future days as an engineer. Conducting a research can be challenging and a rewarding experience too. However gives us a chance to depth original study about a topic of interest and expand our knowledge (Salas, Cooke & Rosen, 2008). It improves our communication skills and shapes our perspective towards our areas of research.
As an engineering student, conducting research will help in various ways. It makes me active in class thus maximizing my learning experience consequently leading to better academic experience. This is because I have a good grasp of the lesson in class thus evade being passive. Research also leads to development through innovation of new ideas hence encouraging development (Scotchmer, 2004). It also encourages independent learning. I as the student has an opportunity to go an extra mile and learn on their own my own. The necessity of research and vision was emphasized in the lecture. This was done through illustration. We viewed a video of a cartoon automobile manufacturing. The video brought a practical touch to the lesson (see week 1).
Importance of team work
The aspect teamwork was introduced allowing us to work in groups to form a basis on the subject at hand (see week 1). In our group, we discussed our various views and understanding on the subject. We agreed that research is unique. This shed light on the importance of listening to other people’s views and opinions. Working as a team during research depends on these two aspects (Griffin, Care & Wilson, 2016). My group mates and classmates ideas and opinions were different from mine. This enlighten me to value others opinion since they have insights that I do not (West, 2012). Listening to others opinions and views will be essential. This applies when dealing with workmates at work and at the classroom situation.
Developing and implementing ideas. 
Developing and idea and diving into it is the next lesson that a learnt. The Cambridge Dictionary states an idea as a suggestion or a plan to doing something. The concept of team work was also brought in since we need everyone’s ideas and opinions. This aims at having the best suggestion and ideas to implement. Everyone’s support is needed to face the challenges that come with implementing ideas. Collaboration is thus key in coming up with the best ideas and implementing those ideas successfully (Wilson, 2016).
When implementing ideas, problems are expected to come up. Solving them depends on the collaboration of all members that are involved. Group problem solving is a key aspect in collaborative problem solving. It is the most common and natural situation in which we accomplish work in different contexts in the society today. Emphasis is thus put in leaning to work and solve problems in a group (Salas, et al. 2008). A practical instance was portrayed by reviewing a IDEO shopping project . The video depicted ways of approaching a problem and a solving it a team. (see week 2).
Innovativeness and persistence
I learnt on the importance of approaching a problem with an innovative mindset. This can be enhanced by following basic ideas. These ideas include like proper turn taking during conversations and encouraging wild ideas. Staying focused on the issue at hand should be adhere red to (see week 2). Creating a favorable environment for all group members enhances freedom of speech. Doing so ensures that everyone can freely speak their mind thus diverse ideas. This helps to reach the most favorable plan on how to solve the problem the group is facing
A key factor of persistence was also taught (see week 2). I learnt that not all ideas I plan to implement will be successful. Some ideas will fail and the plan will not succeed. This is applicable in all aspects of my life. For instance in the workplace, in my academic life or my personal life. This lesson is one of the most essential lesson in this term. It been of great influence in my perspective and attitude towards problems at the individual and group level.
Learning and experience
Learning refers to the acquisition of the process of gaining knowledge and skills by studying, practicing, or experiencing something (Heick, 2018). I learnt the importance of experience when learning. It exposes us to vast challenges and expands our learning capability. Learning was explained in three ways. These are single loop learning, double loop learning and triple loop learning (see week 3). Heick explains these concepts in the following way. In single loop learning, the expected outcome is compared to the reached. Problems are thus identified and ways or fixing them agreed upon. It is thus characterized by fixing and avoiding mistakes. The focus of double loop learning is on solving problems that are complex and ill-structured. By doing so, problem solving advances are changed.
Triple loop learning on the other hand involves learning how to learn. I t requires examining the rules, values, and principles that guides our actions . This enlightens us on how problems and solution are related. Understanding these three levels of learning equips us with helpful knowledge in relation to solving problems.
When solving problems, applying the right reasoning is also key. Reasoning can be in inductive, deductive, or abdicative (see week 3). Applying the right reasoning enhances efficient and effective problem solving. Inductive reasoning involves reviewing specific events into generalized conclusions. Deductive reasoning on other hand entails looking at generalized principles. The principles are used and to make conclusions on specific events. Abductive reasoning deals with logical observations. These observations help to form a conclusion on the matter of interest at hand. These three reasoning are of great essence when dealing with different problems in scenarios of life.
Our lecturer, Michael Burgess stated that a problem is only a problem if it is someone’s interest to see it (see week 4). Some people may see a problem in a situation that someone else may not see. In order to solve the problems we have identified, we have to work relentlessly. This is mostly when implementing the solutions we have decided on. The solution is arrived at my considering the most applicable learning and reasoning models (see week 3). A practical session was undertaken in groups to elaborate on the problem aspect. In our group, we identified and discussed our views on a painting. Other groups had a chance of discussing the same painting . They came up with problems and ideas that different greatly from our own (see week 4) . This session asserted the lecturers definition of a problem.
Design thinking process
I also learnt the concept of IDEATE in week 4. This concept helps to design an effective thinking process. It assist in coming up with brilliant ideas to innovatively deal with a problem. The steps in designing a thinking process entails, emphasize, define, and ideate, prototype and test (see week 4). Rikke Dam explains the design thinking process in the following way. Emphasize entails gaining information on the problem at hand by consulting, observing and reviewing. When defining a problem, use all information gained at the emphasize level to identify the problem statement. Ideating entails getting ideas on how to solve the problem. One uses information form the two previous stages to do so. The prototype stage is the experimental stage. The solutions are implemented within prototypes. They are improved, accepted or rejected depending on their effectiveness. The final stage is the testing stage. In this stage the best idea identified at the prototype stage are implemented.
 The design thinking process is very effective. However, I learnt that not all problems can be solved using this model. Global issues like drug abuse, cancer, and climate change and gender inequality require more complex models (see week 5). We need to come up with innovative new ways of dealing with the issues. These issues facing us are at an individual level, community level, national level and global level. In doing this needed information and problem solving capabilities must be brought together (Salas, et al, 2008). We should also think outside the box when finding solutions. This prevents repeatedly using norm ways of solving a problem. Being creative enhances development through innovation of new ideas (see week 5).
Critical self-analysis and reflection on knowledge and development
Value chain analysis
In week 6, I was introduced to value chain analysis. Michael porter, the key proponent of this theory, explains value chain analysis . He defines it as analyzing business activities to determine how the business can create a competitive advantage. It assists to see how to sell a product or a service for more than the cost of adding the value. Value chain analysis thus increases profit for the business. Two types of activities are involved in value chain analysis. These are the primary and secondary activities. The primary activities entails research and development, production, customer service, marketing and sales (see week 7). These activities are aimed at delivering a product for the business. Activities are linked to help improve efficiency and effectiveness . For instance, marketing and sales focuses on assuring that the product targets the right group of consumers.
Secondary activities include human resource, infrastructure, technology, and procurement (see wee 7). They are also referred to as supportive activities. Human resource involves recruiting and training of workers. It focuses on developing the employees with the required capacity for the business to be successful. Technology can be used to create competitive advantage in many ways. This includes researching and development of new products. Procurement aims at obtaining the highest quality of raw materials for the business. The materials are purchased at the most suitable price in relation to the budget . Both primary and secondary activities are codependent thus should be equally attended to increase competitive advantage in the business.
The instructor used group learning to facilitate our learning on solving problems. We were requested to make a list of problems that we were experiencing at a personal level. I listed by problem as facing extreme weather condition since the weather in Australia is different from that of my native home.
Collaborative problem solving
My group members helped me to reason out why I was undergoing this challenge (see week 7). We applied skills we had been taught earlier to solve the problem. The key activity was research where we found out that the ozone layer in Australia is depleted due to fluoro carbon emissions. These carbon emissions can be controlled by recycling, using electricity sparingly and use of public transport.
Problem solving skills were enhanced through an activity . We viewed a video recording. We were required to identify the problems we notice. Identifying possible solutions on how to solve then was our next task. We later presented our varied ideas and came up with the most applicable solutions. This activity helped to expound on our collaborative problem solving skill that we had learnt earlier (see week 2)
Everyone thinks that we do economic transactions due to requirements, necessity, and adaptation among other reasons. I however learnt that we do so due to trust. (See week 7). The concept of trust is essential at both a personal and team level. One needs to trust their decisions, reasoning and ideas to effectively implement them. In collaborative problem solving, one needs to trust the views ideas and opinions of others. One should not force theirs as the best ones (Wilson, 2016).
Introduction to Visualization. 
In week 8 I learnt on visualization of ideas. The tutor defined visualization as the formation of a mental image of something (see week 8). When solving problem, we need to do so innovatively. Innovativeness requires us visualize the concept we have in mind. Visualizing also assists in self-motivation . When solving a problem or achieving a goal visualization shows us what we want.
Visualization can also be in the aspect of presentation. Visualization stimulates discovery of unexpected patterns, innovations and creative concepts in our imaginations (Finke, 2014; Tierney, & Vallis, 1999). The tutor, Michael, explained how prototyping 3D printers are used in presentation. This concept is of great essence as its useful both at the classroom level and at is the corporate level. It assists in innovation. One is able to see what they are imagining in their mind. This enhances making adjustments and improvements to finally arrive at the best product.
Prototype development
The tutor taught us ways of developing a prototype. The oxford dictionary of English defines a prototype as a first preliminary version of a device or a vehicle from which other forms are developed. The video displayed showed a team working to develop a prototype mobile application (see week 8). The team approached the challenge in an impressive way. Basic team work skills were observed. These included communication skills like proper turn taking during conversations and discussion. The aspect of trust is also evident among the group members supporting a lesson learnt earlier on trust (see week 7). The team had also conducted sufficient research before embarking on developing a mobile application prototype. The information they had was of great help in implementing the idea. This shows the importance of the first lesson on research (see week 1).
Learning on visualization and developing prototypes led to an insightful session on developing prototype ideas. Of our group, members had an idea of developing a bulb. This bulb had automatic sensors that depends on sunlight to increase or decrease brightness. This is in effort to solve the problem of wastage of electricity by saving it.
Presentation experience
The climax of this academic journey came in week 9. We presented the prototypes we had developed in groups in attendance of the tutor and fellow classmates. Our group had decided to make a prototype of an advanced sensor to check and monitor fuel quality. During preparation, we had an opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt in previous weeks. We used the design thinking model to identify the most suitable idea (McClellan, 2016). We the proceeded to research on the idea we had agreed on. We used collaborative problem solving to solve the various challenges we had encountered.
In conclusion, this term has been a successful learning experience for me. The tutor used different teaching methods that efficiently facilitated learning. They included the use of questions to introduce his classes. This helped to create curiosity and increase alertness among the students. The tutor also clearly illustrated the various concepts being taught. For instance, he used videos for elaboration (see week 7, 8). The use of group work was also key as it helped us practice on our team work skills (Woolf, 2008). The lessons I have learnt in these weeks are of great essence to my academic, work and social life.
Action plan
The learning experience has been exceptional. The learnt lessons have to be applied and useful to complete the learning process. I intend to use the vast knowledge in various situation. I learnt teamwork skills when working in groups. These skills will help when dealing with future workmates and classmates too. This will create better relationships with the people interact with. (Rikke, 2018)
 My engineering life will be greatly impacted with the knowledge I have learnt. The concept of innovativeness and idea development is greatly applicable. It will enhance discovery thus development in the engineering field. This will lead to new ideas and products availability in the market. Innovativeness will help maximizes on my knowledge and capability.
I plan in being an active member in the engineering field. In doing so, I plan on making influential moves. These will include improving products already in the market. In doing so, I will need to do extensive research (Suzanne, 2004). The research skills I have learnt will be used in doing so. This will ensure that the consumers get the most suitable products.
Apart from improving other products, I aim at inventing products too. I will need to research to know the product gap to fill (Nyandemo, 2007). The research skills will come in handy. I will also use the design thinking process. This will assist me to come up with the most applicable ideas. The best ideas will ensure the best product is arrived at.
In my social life, I plan to have good relations with other people. To do so, I will need to solve conflicts between us amicably. Collaborative problem solving skills will be key in attaining this. Good team work skills will also help me while dealing with shared responsibilities. Applying these concepts in my daily life enhances peaceful coexistence and harmony.
Upon graduation, I plan to join the corporate world. I will be required to make presentations on my ideas, research and proposals. I will use the presentation skills I have learnt. This will make communication of my ideas clear and practical. Visualization will also come in handy when making the presentation (Frank, 2011). It will create a good image of my presentation. This will help my audience follow up on my presentation.
Case, Jennifer M., and Gregory, Light. (2011). Emerging methodologies in engineering education research. A journal of engineering education,100. 1:186
Dam, R, & Siang, T. (2018). 5 stages in the design thing process. Retrieved from https://www. interaction-design. org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process on 4th October, 2018
Finke, A. R. (2014). Creative imagery: Discoveries and inventions in visualization. Psychology press.
Griffin, P, Care, E., & Wilson, M. (2016). Measuring individual and group performance in collaborative problem solving. Discovery project DP160101678. University of Melbourne Australian Research council.
McClellan, C. (2016). Teamwork, Collaboration, and Cooperation as a Student Learning Outcome for Undergraduates. Assessment Update, 28(1), 5–15
Niles, F. (2011). How to use visualization to achieve your goals. Received from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/visualization-goals_b_878424
Nyandemo, S. M. (2007), Research Methodology: methods and approaches. Richmond designers and printers.
Salas, E., Cooke, N. J, & Rosen, M. A. (2008). On teams, team work, and team performance: Discoveries and developments. Human factors, 50(3), 540-547.
Scotchmer, S. (2004). Innovation and incentives. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.
Tierney, A. J., & Vallis, J. (1999). Multidisciplinary teamworking in the care of elderly patients with hip fracture. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 13(1), 41
West, A., M. (2012). Effective teamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research.  Wiley-Blackwell
Woolf S.H. (2008). The Meaning of Translational Research and Why It Matters. JAMA. 2008;299(2):211–213. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.26

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