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In this essay I would like to discuss the factors that motivated me to do my masters in marketing and also why I choose Bangor University. Since childhood, various aspects of the business world intrigued me but the most intriguing of them all is marketing. Here, the primary reason for which I wanted to pursue MBA in marketing from Bangor University; I firmly believe that I will be benefiting in my professional as well as my personal life. I am keenly interested in enhancing my knowledge further beyond my home country, thus I found Bangor Business School is an excellent place to hone my professional skills and thereby have a bright future. I firmly believe in motivation and Maslow's Hierarchy Theory motivated me a lot to take my masters. My approach to learning is same as that of the Sensor Stimulation Theory (Laird, 1985). Larid suggested that majority of the learning is done by observing, which is almost 75% and I agree with him. The issues that anticipate in a group work can be of many reasons; I personally faced many group work problems for the last two years when I was working at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), India. The problems which I faced while working at BPCL in group work are lack of discussion about the project work and personal ego problems with the team members. Rectification could be done when all the group members meet often and discuss their respective problems or a strong decision from the management side will also works for the problems faced in groups.
What motivated me to study my Master's degree at Bangor
According to Meahr & Mwyer (1997) "Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain the initiation, direction, intensity, persistence, and quality of behaviour, especially goal-directed behaviour". The theory that motivated me to study my masters is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory (Abraham Maslow, 1943).The theory is basically a classical definition about the human motivation. Maslow Theory is explained on the basis of five needs of a human being. The basic five needs are as follows,
1. Physiological needs.
2. Safety needs.
3. Social needs.
4. Esteem needs.
5. Self-actualization needs.
Physiological needs can be defined as the basic needs such as air, food, water, clothing and shelter or it can be defined as the basic requirements of a human being, without the basic needs none can survive in the universe. Emotional, physical and environmental safety comes under the safety needs. In detail the safety needs can be of security from jobs, family, health etc. Being a mortal soul the support from the life partner, parents, peers etc. is pertinent and this known as social need for a human being. It may also include the care and affection also. One can achieve his/her goals in life only with the support from family and friends. Internal and external esteem needs are the principal needs for any human being. Internal esteem needs means the need that is developed inside the person, which could be self-respect, confidence, freedom etc. Some people are highly confident about the path where they are traveling and they will be certainly achieving their goals without any obstacles. External esteem needs comprises of power, status etc. People in the society are highly conscious about the status and the power that they are holding in the society and this motivates them to achieve their goals. Finally comes the self-actualization needs, self-actualization can be defined as the desire for self-fulfilment. Self-actualization means the strong desire to achieve our goals by measuring our capabilities. It also helps to gain more knowledge and make the life more creative. When we grow psychologically the opportunities also grow continuously. The last factor of Maslow's theory that is self-actualization influenced me a lot, from my school level itself I was very much interested in the business sector and I came to this field. After reading this theory during my graduation days my intention to take the masters increased. I can hopefully say that this theory motivated me a lot to take my masters.
After my graduation in Mechanical Engineering I had been working in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, India. At that time my mind always thinking about the masters and I started checking for good universities and I found Bangor would be the best choice for me to take the masters and to achieve my goal. When I was going through the university website many things attracted and it found to be interesting as well. The main thing is it is one of the oldest and famous institutions in UK. It had an overall experience of more than 120 years in teaching with the international students and when I looked the ranking chart I found Bangor University is having a good rank. Many of my friends told me Bangor Business School is the best choice to take your masters. The other important thing about this place is the cost of living; it is very low when we are comparing with other universities and cities. The university is having a wide range of library and IT resources. Bangor is also having a strong research wing and I like to do my research in marketing sector here itself. Bangor is also having a good job zone which will help the students to get their part time job easily. Many career workshops are conducted by the university, by this we will be getting assistance in making a curriculum vitae, how to attend an aptitude test and competency about interviews. More over Bangor is having a beautiful geographical structure and the city is quiet and free from the noise pollution. All these factors made me to take my masters in marketing from Bangor.
MY APPROACH TO LEARNING.
Learning can be defined as the permanent change in one's behaviour or potential from a direct or indirect experience. My approach to learning is almost like the Traditional sensory stimulation theory (Larid, 1985) which explains that the learning comes to the maximum level when the senses are stimulated. Larid's theory mainly focus on the five basic sensory motion of a human being, which tells us that in majority of the adults which is about 75% learning is through seeing. Hearing comes next with only 13%, and the rest three senses such as touch smell and taste comprises only 12%. If a person is having a good multiple senses, he can be a good learner. According to Burn's "The concepts of individuals have different needs and concerns at different times, and that they have subjective interpretations in different contexts". From my personal experience I can site out that Larid's theory is a very good approach to learning. I had done my graduation in mechanical engineering and at that time we had to study a lot about the working of big machineries like lathe, grinding machine, universal testing machine etc. At the time of lecture in class about the working principle of machines I was not fully digested about the working, but when I go to the lab and see the working of these machines I was fully convinced about the working. This is the same case when we are studying about the working principle of automobile engines. From my childhood I prefer to see objects rather than hearing about it. I had some other approaches also towards my learning which is known as approach for accelerated learning. It consists of four main objectives, they are
Do it for life.
(Source: - accelerated learning et.al)
The first thing that should be in one's mind when he/she starts their learning is goal and objectives which can be called as target. Making the target is the first step towards our goal, from this moment one can set their direction towards their goal. Target can be divided into three factors. The first factor is one should find and analyse the reason why he/she set this goal. The second element is one had to explore their goal, which means one must have a good idea about the goal and also about the life after achieving the goal. The third factor is one must have clear cut knowledge about the objectives which he/she had to complete on the way to goal. Planning has a great importance in learning. After setting the goal one must prepare a course map, in this they had to plan their study time, time for doing their assignment, reading articles also time for entertainment. If there is no entertainment a person can be narrow minded. For all this a good planning must be there. Usually from my childhood itself I had a good planning about my studies and this helped me a lot to reach my goal and that helped me more when I was working in construction field. In construction field planning has a great value and there we had to plan the work for the coming two or three weeks in advance. If one's planning fails company had to suffer a lot. After planning about the studies he/she should fall in line with the studies. During this procedure one can pause occasionally and check whether they are moving in right track or not. If he/she is going in the wrong direction of their target they had to recheck their planning and the correct it. I usually follow this way on my studies because by this I can calculate how far my target is and how much distance I had cover on my way to the target. The final factor is 'Do it for life', means after reaching the goal one must make some time to enjoy what they had achieved. So when one is using their knowledge, then they can reinforce their self-image which will give them a great sense of satisfaction.
ISSUES IN A GROUP WORK.
While working with an individual or a group of people, one's attitudes and behaviour changes which is termed as social influence. When we are working in a group many problems can come into play. It will affect the smooth working of an organisation. So when we are starting a group work we must be aware of the issues that can arise in a group and we must be ready to solve the issues. The issues in a group work can be as follows
Problems due to poor planning.
Less control on the process.
No new ideas or information on discussion.
Lack of discussion about the ideas.
Unable to complete the task on time.
Poor participation by the group members.
Frustration between the members in the group.
Playing a domination role by a team member.
Being of the target.
(Source: - Berk and Lintem et.al)
Planning plays a pivotal role in a group work while doing a project. If one is not having a proper planning then he/she will not able to run the project smoothly. When I was working in a mechanical firm we gave more importance to planning department because there we are using heavy cranes for the erection of equipment for a high fare and if the planning fails everything is gone. So when we are starting anything we must plan it very well. Not at all for job, when one is doing a group assignment during their studies also a good planning must be there. When one is doing a group assignment a person must be there to principal the team and lead the group members in the right direction. Otherwise every group members will be in confusion about the proceedings and this may cause many problems. If the group members are having no new ideas or information about the work they are doing, then they will not be able to complete the task in time in a good manner. One should be well aware about the topic that he/she is doing.
The important factor in a group work is the discussion. The team leader must call a group meeting and discuss about present position of the work, how they can proceed, new ideas etc. If there is no discussion going on about the strategies, then the team members will be performing accordingly to their wish and later it becomes very difficult to complete the task in a good fashion. Only from a balanced discussion new ideas will be emerged.
Time management is one of the critical factors in a group work. There must be a time table and the group should monitor it. If there is no prioritized time schedule for a task and at the last moment the group had to scramble to finish the task and eventually fails to meet the expectations. In some cases some of the group members did not participate in discussion and they will remain quiet and just hear the discussion only. As a result the other the team members had to work a lot to compensate for this and it effects the smooth functioning of the group.
Frustration among team members is a quite normal problem occurring in a group work. In a group, if he/she thinks that their ideas are not giving any importance or preference by the other group members and as a result they will be getting frustrated and because of this a lot of problems may arise. At the time of discussion when one or two dominates the session other team members may think that their ideas are not giving any priority and it may affect the team outcomes.
Being of the task means, after getting the task the team members will not take it seriously and they waste time on playing or gossiping. At the last moment only they will be aware about the task and fails to finish it before the deadline. This is usually seen in many of the group works. Proper communication among group members is a very important factor in a group work. If there is no communication between the team members they can't produce a good output. This is one of the main problems that I had faced when I was working in BPCL, India. How one can overcome the above sited problems in a group is discussed below.
STRATEGIES FOR SOLVING GROUP PROBLEMS.
For solving the problems in a group work there are many approaches, it mainly depends on the problems nature and the person who had involved in that problem. Usually rational approach is use to solve the problems. Rational approach means analyse the problem, check for alternatives, evaluate every alternative, select one, apply it and check whether the problem is rectified or not.
Enough time must be given to the group members to introduce themselves such as their name, identity etc. A brainstorming section should be conducted to develop an idea about the group project. In that section select one person as a team leader and decide the date and time for the next meeting and start to work on the task. This will help to complete the task in a better manner. This will help to rectify the problem which causes due to slow start and poor planning. In the brainstorming section every team members must be there and each one had to contribute their own ideas. After generating the few ideas evaluate it and try for further. If these approaches are not working they can approach the tutor for guidance. List out the ideas which are proposed in the discussion and they must be sure that all the ideas had been tested. Encourage the team members to get some offensive suggestions sometimes it may help to create new ideas.
For resolving the problems related to the time management, timelines must be established in which all the group members must agree on that. For every meeting the team member must come with a progress report on what they had been doing after the last meeting. The team members must help each other for the completion of task, for example a person is not able to do his work due to some illness or some other reason.
One of the other problems in a group will be lack of participation by members. For this the team had to found out why he /she is quiet and not active. Make a chat with that person in the presence of a non-participating member to recognize the reason for the absence of involvement and the one who had talked must try to solve it. I had a similar experience when I was working in BPCL, India. We handled the situation in the same manner and the reason for that guy was some family problem. Next we can check out how one can solve the frustration between members. Every member must respect the ideas of others and this doesn't mean that one had support the other people's idea blindly. They can evaluate and provide productive comments about the idea. When one had to disagree with one's idea do it graciously and the team members must bear in mind that they had to go for negotiation and comprise while working in a group.
In some group work issues may anticipate when one or two members dominate in the discussion and to resolve this, team leader must take care of it. Every team member must be given chance to explicate their ideas. So when a person is exceeding the time limit one can tell politely that your time limit is over and let us now hear what others had had to say and it will be useful for you also. For solving the communication problem first of all one had find out what are the issues that effect a group work because of poor communication. Then check out for which task it is mainly effecting. For example, if there is a misunderstanding between the team members one had to take steps to solve this by giving a clear idea about the task and clarify their doubts.
No can survive in today's world without learning. I can hopefully say that self-actualization need in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory motivated me a lot to take my masters in marketing. Why I choose Bangor University for my masters is that Bangor is maintaining a good rank in the top universities rank list in UK and the cost of living is also very cheap when compared with other cities in United Kingdom. My approach to learning is almost comparable to Larid's Traditional sensory stimulation theory and the four factors that bear on mind while studying is target, plan, track progress and do it for life. Group work will help an individual to hone their capabilities. I had sited many problems in a group work in this essay on which some of them are from my personal experience also. Conflicts in a group can be of many reasons and the significant aspect is how a person can deal the conflict and how to resolve it.