Swedish meatballs? Lefse? Aebelskiver? But which one should I make for the International Club’s Pot Luck lunch on November 1? This is probably one of my favorite student club events of the year. We all have a favorite dish that was prepared at family dinners when we were kids and now students, staff and faculty have the opportunity to recreate those dishes and share them with each other. There are foods I have never tried before and some that show up each year. But one thing is for sure – it will be a great time! I recall from years back the sticky rice, the szechuan chicken, the music from Turkey and the slide show of great places around the world. It truly is an event that allows students a break from the rigors of class to a world of culinary delights in our own MBA Commons. Our International Business Club officers, Summer Schneider (President) and Eric Sharma (Communications) are busy collecting information on what dishes will arrive next week. If you haven’t signed up to bring something, contact them now! You really don’t want to miss out on this event!! Which reminds me…I still need to decide what to bring. Any requests?
Dear Ethics Officer,
I have a group member who does not ‘pull their weight’, yet their name ends up on all group assignments. I want to learn to address this situation without conflict, so I know how to deal with it in the ‘real world’. Where should I draw the line between understanding that there might be other things happening in their life that affect their group participation, and confronting them and learning how to hold others accountable for their share of the work?
Sincerely, Pulling all of the weight
Dear Pulling all of the weight,
Teams can accomplish tasks that individuals alone cannot, which is why teams are used at school and work. Unfortunately, teams can also be very dysfunctional. Things happen in individuals’ lives that sometimes take them away from doing their best work in the team setting; however, they have an obligation to the team and the work that you are doing together. One way to handle this situation is to discuss expectations before you start working together. Standards for a team need to be set immediately so that everyone understands the informal contract that they are under. This ‘contract’ defines the amount of work that is fair to each person and no one person should get more or less of the work. Once expectations aren’t met, you should have an open conversation that focuses on the work, not the individual. Reference the standards that you originally set and explain to them that you expect them to complete the work that was originally agreed upon.
Often in teams in the ‘real world’ you will not have any position power over a person, so discussing standards before beginning a project will help to keep your team on track. This discussion will hopefully help avoid any issues but it will also help to make the conversation easier if someone is not performing to expectations. This situation is difficult and may get emotional but the key is to manage the emotions so that the problem is resolved and the relationships on the team are strengthened. Where possible, keep the conversation fact- and problem-based. If you find yourself in the difficult situation where the other person does not respond positively to a frank conversation about performance, allow yourself to accept the situation and move on. That might mean managing the project without this person or a conversation with “the boss” or in this case, the professor. Complaining about the situation or seeking vengeance will only have a negative impact on you. It is also okay to choose to not work on a team with that person again.
Your Chief Ethics Officer
How many of you have been involved with a project (in school or work) in which an individual did not pull his or her weight? Did you confront or ignore it? Did your school experiences help you to deal with the issue at work? Comment below – we’d love to hear your input!
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is the viewpoint of the author, not necessarily the viewpoint of the University of St. Thomas. All situations can be viewed differently, and the above response is one viewpoint to consider, but does not represent the only viewpoint.
A team of three University of St. Thomas Full-time MBA students placed first in the graduate division at the national Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition in September. Team members Annelise Larson, Dan Jackson and Kristian Olson presented “Micro-Finance and Ethical Advice to Interested Parties” for the win.
The competition was held Sept. 20-23 at the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s annual meeting in Bellevue, Wash. It was hosted by Loyola Marymount University, the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association and the University of St. Thomas.
Dr. Kenneth Goodpaster, Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics at St. Thomas, and Jim Arnold, professor in the Full-time UST MBA and UST MS Accountancy programs, were faculty sponsors of the UST team.
Larson, Jackson and Olson also were awarded “runner-up” recognition when the winners of the graduate, international, undergraduate north and undergraduate south divisions competed in a cross-divisional final four competition.
The team has been invited to deliver its winning presentation at another ECOA conference on “Building and Benefiting from an Ethical Organizational Culture,” Nov. 2-4, at the University of St. Thomas’ Minneapolis campus.
Also competing in the graduate division were teams from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France), Seattle University (Seattle, Wash.), St. Louis University (St. Louis, Mo.), University of Oxford (Oxford, England) and the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Members of the winning St. Thomas team were selected last spring through the Center for Ethical Business Culture’s Ethics Case Competition hosted by the CEBC, the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and UnitedHealth Group.
The CEBC Ethics Case Competition is one of several ethics education initiatives on which the Opus College of Business and CEBC collaborate to engage tomorrow’s business leaders in the challenges of building enduring ethical and profitable business cultures.
Originally posted in the Bulletin.
By Jeff Kaczrowski Assistant Director, Graduate Business Alumni
The Third Annual Full-time MBA Student and Alumni golf outing recently took place at Theodore Wirth Golf Course. Fifty students and alumni competed for the top honors but there was no match for the ’07 grads.
With an impressive ten under par, the alumni foursome; Cameron Zuege MBA ’07, Nate Johnson MBA ’07, Ben Roselle MBA ’07, and Allison Burchill MBA ’07, repeated their title for a second year in a row.
This however, did not come without a bit of suspense. As foursomes finished their round, golfers congregated outside of the clubhouse to hear the scores of participants as they came off the course. The gallery outside of the clubhouse was building and it continued to fill with students and alumni as the last foursomes made their way off the course relaying their scores.
Suspense built as Dean Puto and his teammates came off of the 18th green. With a stoic gallery, the score keeper asked the Dean, “how was the round?” With a smug response, Dean Puto responded, “Did anyone beat 11 under?!?!” The gallery gasped, knowing that the current score to beat was 10 under.
The Dean continued, “We didn’t either, but it would be quite the round!” Suspense turned to laughter, and with that, the defending champs knew their crown would rein for yet another year.
Following the festivities at the course, golf participates were greeted at the Park Tavern by FT MBA students and alumni who did not golf to share the stories of the day, and to award prizes to the winning foursome. It was a great event filled with much laughter, new introductions, and many swings!