Political Racketeers or Labor's Honest Broker

The group project is aimed at the process of management and its functions in real organizations and the legal, moral and ethical dilemmas we face as individuals and in our roles as part of the managerial process. Students will be divided into teams of two and provided a topic to work on but they will be working against each other. Each student will take either a “pro” or “con” side to a topic taken from business, government or education. Further, each situation will be fraught with ethical considerations and ramifications. As individuals, each team member will search, discuss, analyze, and report information back to their classmates and course instructor with slide presentations they will post in the Discussion Board.

Again, each student will be provided with a topic to be handled by teams of two. Each team member will be presenting opposing arguments, one for and one against that topic. The point is that as managers, clarity of thought influences not only the quality of their life but all those who work for them. As decision makers, managers often need to be willing take a postion and try to influence others to make a decision that they try to promote. To be effective, they should be willing and able to describe their rationale for the choice they made.

After a topic is assigned, students will develop PowerPoint slides to support their position (20 slides max, not including references slides listing your sources). The rest of the students will ask at least one question of each person, but no more than three questions, so each person may clarify/defend their position. The exception is that you may not ask questions of your counterpart who is arguing the opposite side of your position. Instructors will judge the quality of your slides (20%), references (20%), and arguments (30%) in support of your position and the instructor may also ask questions if they feel a position lacks merit. Additionally, instructors will look at the quality of your questions and answers to other students (20%) and at the end, a student’s rationale for choosing one side of an argument over the other (10%). The slides will be posted in the Discussion Board for everyone to view by the date listed on the schedule. All questions must be submitted to the Discussion Board and the answers posted by the scheduled dates as well. Finally, after all the questions are in and the questions answered, each student will select the position for each topic that they feel is the better of the two and explain their rationale for that decision in the Discussion Board, again as per the schedule

The point of this exercise is to help each of you develop clarity of thought. Be advised that instructors may ask pointed questions from each student to determine whether the basis of a position is opinion or rationally based ideas on these topics. Just as with other assignments, facts, figures and expertise, carry a lot more weight when arguing a position than does opinion alone. Give the instructor and other students facts when arguing positions. Facts, data and analysis in addition to insight are all potent tools in any managers arsenal. Finally, please note that some positions will be easier to argue than others, when grading, instructors will take that into consideration as well. So even if it seems the other side has an easier position to defend, instructors will compensate for that issue.

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy. In the attachment, you will find an article which talks about the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and their decision that held Boeing’s attempt to open up a new plant in North Carolina for years costing the company untold millions. They’ve now dropped this suit but the main question remains, was this fair?

Students assigned this topic will argue this issue from one of two perspectives: (1.) The NLRB is acting properly, protecting employees in Washington state from unfair competition with workers in North Carolina because it would harm the general welfare of workers, business and the U.S. economy. (2.) The NLRB isn’t really even pretending to act honestly any more and has become a left wing hit machine in the pocket of big labor and doing its bidding whenever and wherever it sees fit under the guise of feigned neutrality. Convince the class that your position is the correct one.

Research your topic for supporting material and develop an argument and persuade the class the your position is the better of the two arguments on your issue. Develop PowerPoint slides supporting your argument


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