THE EXCELLENT CONSULTING GROUP
COMMUNICATION FROM ART:
Let's wrap up this project and put another feather in our caps.
So far Microsoft and Skype like what we've been doing. I have this last project which involves analyzing Skype's feedback loops
and organizational learning opportunities.
I want you to take a look at the feedback loops
in Skype, Inc.
Refer to the background readings on System Feedback Loops
Background Reading for Case 5 (Below is info )
While most of models of organizational diagnosis that we have been exposed to in this class recognize the existence of feedback loops
, none of them really offer a thorough discussion of the complexity of feedback
or how it can be used to promote organizational improvement and development. To get a better view of this topic, we turn to the work on systems thinking and organizational learning. Much of this literature is based on the work of Peter Senge whose seminal book The Fifth Discipline popularized the notion that organizations are capable of learning.
In all of the readings, pay partiular attention to the two types of Feedback Loops
: Reinforcing Feedback
that causes growth, and Balancing Feedback
that provides stabilizing effects.
This first reading is a good overview.
Bellinger, G. (2004) Introduction to systems thinking. Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/intst/int.htm on 2/20/12.
This second reading is quite long and reviews much of the work in the area of learning organizations. Read it all if you like (see menu on left side of the page), but the most relevant part of the paper for this course is part VI, which covers systems thinking:
Larsen, K., McInerney, C., Nyquist, C., Santos, A., & Silsbee, D. (1996) Learning Organizations (Part VI: Systems Thinking) Retrieved from http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/larsenk/learnorg/index.html on 2/20/12
IF YOU ARE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT FEEDBACK LOOPS
, [retrieved on 2/20/12]here is another tutorial on this complex concept.
Optional Case 5 Reading:
Bellinger, G. (2004) theWay of systems. http://www.systems-thinking.org/theWay/theWay.htm Retrieved on 2/20/12.
Bellinger, G. (2004) Archetypes. http://www.systems-thinking.org/arch/arch.htm Retrieved on 2/20/12.
This is the home page for the extensive site from which much of the material for this module was taken. http://www.systems-thinking.org/index.htm Retrieved on 2/20/12.
CASE 5 ASSIGNMENT:
Identify one Balancing Loop
and one Reinforcing Loop
. These feedback loops
should be critical to Skype's performance and success. So you should have a good idea of what these are from your previous analysis.
Explain each one of these loops
- what are the causal factors and how do they affect each other. for the Reinforcing loop
, you should look for an area where there is growth and for the Balancing loop
, you need to look for goal behavior. Once you have identified and explained these critical feedback loops
, you need to identify how Skype has generated organizational learning, AND how they can go further and generate additional organizational learning. What do they need to do to improve their performance further?
Be sure to include references. Turn in the 5-6 page paper by the end of the module.
KEYS TO THE ASSIGNMENT:
This is what you need to do:
Determine the two critical feedback loops
. Describe each Feedback Loop
that you identify in your organization and explain why you selected them. Make sure you explain the Loop
, the cause and effect process within the Loop
. You could also include a Causal Loop
Diagram. If you do, show the arrows and direction of effect (+ or -). Also, determine what the warrant is for your case.
Briefly discuss the theory of organizational learning so that you provide a summary of this information to the executives - establish this as common ground.
Identify the learning activities in each feedback loop
that Skype has already taken.
Then identify the opportunities for organizational learning in each Feedback Loop
. Make a Case that these are learning opportunities. Logically show how the feedback
process provides an opportunity for the organization to learn and improve its performance. Be precise. Depth and breadth in your discussion is always a good thing.
Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven (7) points:
Precision - Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?
Breadth - Is the full breadth of the subject, i.e., all the keys to the assignment, addressed?
Depth - Does the paper address all elements of the topic in sufficient depth? Does it include and apply the background readings and other background resources? Are they included as references?
Critical thinking ??" Are the concepts of this module applied accurately, logically, and relevantly?
Organization - Is the paper organized in a coherent and systematic manner? Are headings included in all papers greater than 2 pages?
Clarity - Is the writing clear and the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of response to the questions, or are thoughts conveyed through excessive use of quotations?
Referencing (citations and references) - Does the paper use citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are all references listed in the bibliography used and referred to via citation?
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS
You may use a simple diagram to highlight important factors. However, do not use the diagram in lieu of valuable analysis (or to take up valuable writing space) - it should be in addition to your paper of 5-6 pages of analysis.
Just because you have written the minimum five pages does not mean that you have adequately covered the topic. Err on the side of writing more rather than less.
Choose the data you use carefully. Is it relevant and important?
Include a cover page and reference page, in addition to the 5-6 pages of analysis described above.
Include headings within the paper
Cite AND reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you do not quote but paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than 5 words, and citations for that information which you have "borrowed" or paraphrased from other sources.
There are faxes for this order.
Customer is requesting that (Christiew) completes this order.
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