Reflective essay

7 July 2016

This paper will concentrate on the importance of writing a reflection, what do people gain from writing a reflection and how it helps in the future. Also it will look at my experience while working on the GLO-BUS business simulation with my group. The positive and negative incidents that occurred and how did we solve the problems that arose while making decisions. Theories have been used to analyse the incidents. Lastly a conclusion has been given explaining what could have been done better, what will I use in the future and what have I learnt from this experience.

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Introduction: The main aim of this document is to reflect upon the experiences that were faced while conducting the GLO-BUS business simulation in a team. To be successful in this day and age where competition is at its peak, an individual needs to reflect on the experiences that were faced either in a working environment, university, school or college. It helps to understand what has been learnt and what could have been done better or improved in the future and most importantly what can be done when placed in a similar situation.

This essay looks at the critical incidents (positives & negatives) while working in a team and gives a conclusion of what could have been done better to improve the performance. Reflection can be defined as “an active process rather than passive thinking: Reflection is a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice” (Reid, 1993).

By reflecting what was experienced within the team while working on the GLO-BUS, it will help identify the problems and the measures that could have been taken for better output, it will help express my feelings and the knowledge I have gained. It not only lets you understand what happened around you but also gives an awareness of one’s own reactions. This reflection will give me an opportunity to learn how I reacted in certain situations and when working on similar business simulations in the future or working in groups or teams, what are the steps that can be taken to achieve better performance, goals and targets.

This whole scenario links to the Kolb’s learning styles model which was published in 1984. This model can be used to describe what I experienced, my observations, what I learnt and how can I adapt it in different cases in future. Moving on to the task, GLO-BUS business simulation was assigned to us with the task given to work in groups/teams on the operational side of a digital camera company for global market leadership, competing against other rival company’s run by other groups/teams and to sustain better performance in sales and marketing economically, environmentally and politically.

We were allocated into groups of four to five with people from different qualities we sat down within as a group and tried to identify key qualities which we could bring for this project and allocated positions which were attributed as leader, organiser, analyser and communicator. I was in the group of four; (leader), (analyser), (communicator), (organiser). We were all unfamiliar with each other and were from different business management pathways, which was a benefit for us in regards to the various decision entries of the simulation.

The decision entries were divided in each group and were divided according to their best understanding such as I am studying HR so I was given the PATs to work on in the similar way was dealing with all the financial issues as he’s doing Accounting and so was the case with others members of the group. In terms of just dealing with HR I was content with the decision I did personally believe I could have put my analytical skills to better use, it’s something I have enjoyed during my years of study this was brought up during the meeting but I was informed that in this particular project HR would be best suited.

As me and my group members were all new to GLO-BUS, I was a bit nervous in the start as I am not as efficient when it comes to working with numbers. However I shared my disability with the group. My colleagues understood my situation and assured me that we will work as a team rather than individuals and will help each other on our weaknesses. This statement gave me motivation and I was looking forward to work with my team. This was one the first time I brought a weakness to a group and openly shared it with such compassionate support it really help boost my self-belief and confidence.

To achieve long term success in the strong business world for any organisation, small or large business or a company, it requires some sort of strategy and implementation as it is important. This statement leads to the theory ‘strategic management’ which can be defined as “the analyses, decisions and actions an organisation undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantages” (Christodoulou & Patel, 2012). So from the start we as a team decided to have a strategy to attain short and long-term goals and targets. “Competitive advantage cannot be understood by looking at a firm as a whole.

It stems from the many discrete activities a firm performs in designing, producing, marketing, delivering and supporting its product. Each of these activities can contribute to a firm’s relative cost position and create a basis for differentiation” (Porter, 1985). We had to split and understand our strategy and focus within our specific departments to help create this basis for differentiation. Before every meeting each member of the team had to analyse different camera markets and we conducted a SWOT analysis against our rival companies. By carrying such analysis we were able to work on our weaknesses which then lead to better performance.

When working with in groups/teams negatives and positive incidents always occur it was also the case with our group. However teams/groups should always find a way to work on their negatives so that they don’t affect the overall performance of the task. I will discuss the positives and negatives of the glob-bus project. In the practise weeks we achieved excellent results but as the actual week started, the GLO-BUS simulation was getting tougher and tougher and the competition was at its peak due to which we scored low marks in some of our decision results.

The main negative point of our team was that due to our underperforming team members were going to other company’s which had better output or to people who were aware of GLO-BUS simulation in the past and were trying to use their experience and advice to create strategies for our company which lead to a total downfall as our operations, sales and performance did not match this also had a underlying effect on myself as it felt a lack of trust within the team. This occurred because the leadership qualities were low of our leader and there was lack of control and responsibility.

According to the Ohio State University in the late 1980’s a series of studies at the University indicated that two clusters of behaviours had an important role in successful leadership. Those dimensions are: Initiating Structure – (organizing work, organizing and defining relationships or roles, establishing well-defined patterns of organisation, channels of communication, and ways of getting jobs done. ) Consideration – (building friendship, mutual trust, respect and camaraderie). In this case concentration on initiating structure and consideration by the leader was low due to which he lost control.

Being an International student I have to visit my family back home each year or after a year. So during the Christmas holidays I went back home due to which I missed two meetings held on 12th December 2012 & 17th January 2013. I felt extremely cut out of the group. As there was a three year strategic plan due to which I believe my group felt that there was lack of input by me in the plan and the reason for this was difficulty trying to communicate with them and also discuss any issues regarding the simulation. Also when I left my group i had to learn how to work on the PAT’s side of the decision entries which was another hurdle for them.

These scenarios lead to ‘poor communication due to time and lack of resources like internet’. “If communication skills are poor, employees lack enthusiasm in doing their assignments and will question the value of such products” (Alexis Writing, 2013). Communication is a vital process for any task if there’s no communication between members the group will be demotivated and will be unaware of their goals and targets due to the lack of information required. So, to ease the communication process between the members of group, a group on ‘whatsapp messenger’ application was made.

By taking this step we were able to communicate effectively whenever during the day. It helped build trust within each other; we were able to keep track of things and were able to know each other more and there were lack of conflicts. “Good communication is the sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding” (Jones and George, 2007). The group’s morale and dedication was quiet high and were motivated to beat our rivals and to attain better performance and be one of the top companies globally.

We achieved high results in some weeks which lead to a complete motivational theory for us. However we also faced low mark but we kept motivated as Robbins & Judge, 2007 states that “individuals are motivated based on three needs which are achievement, power and affiliation. ” The experience of GLO-BUS business simulation has been an interesting one. I have gained knowledge and learnt skills of how to tackle different situations. I was worried at first like every other student but working with different people gave me confidence and courage. I felt that I won’t be able to fully commit my responsibilities due to busy schedule.

However, I managed to be responsible and I organised my commitments efficiently and effectively. I believe that the division of tasks made it easier for me and it lowered the burden and I was able to work on Compensation and Labour part which linked to HR duties, it was something I was interested and keen on working. I felt left out of the group when my team members went to other groups/teams to discuss our weaknesses and to borrow help. I lost trust in them and it demotivated me as they were making decisions without discussing with other members of the group.

There was lack of team work and communication. The group ethics and structure brought conflicts within the group members. However I shared this problem with my group and we decided that no member of the group will take our simulation matters to others. This showed me that conflicts can be sorted by having some sort of formal communication with individuals. I believe that due to my sudden visit to my country it was difficult for my group to cope without me especially with no means of communication when the strategic plan was due.

As Pakistan is an underdeveloped country the technology is not that advanced because of which my communication system and internet were low. I felt really bad that I wasn’t able to help my group. However with little communication we managed to overcome this problem and the group kept me up dated with all the decisions that were made. I had such a busy routine as I am alone in this country I have to do everything myself and it would have been difficult for me to speak with group via email or another means of communication so the ‘whatsapp’ group has been quiet helpful throughout the whole process.

I was able to speak with them even when I left the country. Every day I used to hear from my other friends out of the group that they have achieved highest score globally which used to give me motivation to beat their score and be one of the top companies. My dedication to this business simulation from the start was quiet high as I have never done something like this before in my life. All the hard work and motivation brought us to an excellent result in the end and we also achieved a CSR award in week 12 which was a moment of joy for the group especially for me.

Conclusion: I have learnt and gained a lot of skills from this GLO-BUS simulation game. It has been an outrageous experience. I have enjoyed working with my group; they were considerate and helping in every matter or issue that arose. I have improved my communication skills, organising skills by organising all the meetings and by working on the conflicts and I have also learnt the effective ways to work within groups/teams. It has given me confidence and improved my decision making style.

I believe that a little more consideration, commitment and hard work on it would have given better output. I will use same communication style in future while working with in a company, group or team this experience has been unique it has help me improve myself and help and support group members to a level which I have never experienced. I will also avoid making any trips abroad which will affect and bring difficulties to other people.

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