In general, the term "motivation" is defined as the decision making process that initiates, argues and drives to achieve the goals of an individual or organisation. Authors believe that various factors contribute to motivation. For example, in their article "Self Focused attention, performance expectancies and the intensity of effort: Do People try harder for harder goals?" Daniel et al (2010, pg 2), state "Brehm's motivational intensity theory however proposes that effort is not quite so simple. This model assumes that the mobilization of bodily resources is costly, so people will put forth as much effort as necessary to achieve a goal." I tend to agree with this model as it stressed on how one should make effort to achieve the goals instead of wasting time. I used this model as a basis when choosing my classes while keeping in mind my overall goals. According to me motivation is the key driver for decision making process
With this in mind, my two main motivational factors to pursue my MBA from Bangor are: Professional and personal. On a professional front, I also wanted to study in a UK university that is small enough to experience a one to one interactive with the faculty and it at the same time it provides a dynamic learning environment. As I read about the university online, I found it very interesting that is had "An impressive 93% satisfaction rating was given by Bangor Business School students in the most recent National Students Survey". This clearly reflects on teaching and learning experience within the university. Moreover Bangor University is well recognised in UK is also a motivation factor.
In addition, I feel the business world is getting smaller and majority of employees within companies today are from diverse cultures. Bangor University's rich and diverse culture will help me during my group projects and enhance my communication skills further. In general, I am hoping that the knowledge and experience I gain from Bangor University will make be better prepared for the real world business experience. I found Bangor to be the best university with elite team of professors and courses that help in building a strong foundation for us as we get ready to face the 'real' business world. Again, this will satisfy my "social and esteem needs" (Maslow Hierarchy Need).
On a personal level, my brother graduated with an MBA degree from Bangor. He enjoyed his experience at the university. He also liked the diverse culture and friendly environment. I personally found a great change in my brother's outlook to the business world. I enjoyed listening to the wonderful experiences with such enthusiasm was indeed refreshing to hear. What I found interesting was that every time he shared his innovative ideas he supported it by various theories he had learnt in his classes.
When I joined Bangor, it was a comforting feeling to be introduced to various professors (which my brother personally introduced me). This is important to me, not only because I myself am an international student. In addition, leaving home to peruse my studies further in UK, it is important to my family that I study in a city that is safe and relatively free from crime. Statistics show "The crime rate in North Wales is considered to be one of the lowest in the whole of the UK" [i]
In light of above, perhaps Maslow's Hierarchy Need sums up so far my motivations. I feel pursuing my degree will give me an opportunity to not only explore but also satisfy my social needs. Indeed being exposed to different cultural backgrounds will make me more socially aware. This is a huge motivational force for me as I want to work in a professional international environment.
To sum, I feel that if you want to achieve your goal then you should have to enjoy, explore and exploit the competencies which come in our way. The reason for choosing Bangor University is that I want to do my MBA by not only studying hard but also by getting some global exposure.
Approach to Learning
My approach to learning is based on three points:
Information Gathering: To search for the information that is required for achieving my goals.
Evaluating Information: To evaluate and organize useful information to get context out of it.
Implementing Strategy into Action: To align the information to make a strategy and then implementing the useful strategy into actions.
My approach to learning is base on error critiscm and correction. This means that it is important I first gather knowledge for learning and then criticize it and consequently correct it by going through the process or evaluation, finally putting it into action. My approach to learning mainly focuses on validating my point and then sustaining with my own points. This approach is based on exploiting the recent knowledge that I have gained and also using different sources to understand the new and innovative knowledge. This will benefit me in two ways: One, I can efficiently manage today's demands of the ever changing business environment. Two, it gives me the opportunity to chose goals, values, plans and rules are operationalized rather than question (Argyris and Schon, 1974). Argyris et al (1974) use Single Loop Learning and Double Loop Learning as an alternative response is to question to governing variables themselves, to subject them to critical scrutiny. Hence they believe that Double Loop Learning is far better than Single Loop Learning Theory as it focuses on error criticism and correction.
In my approach to learning, I find that Double Loop Learning theory best suits in achieving my goals.
Overall, my process of learning is to explore my knowledge and then develop a strategy which contains all views required. Then implementing my habits, attitude and way of education in that strategy and then finally implementing this strategy into actions by error criticism and correction. This model proposed by Onions (1973) is a true model of Learning.
According to Onions (1973) "Learning is a three process activity:
To Develop: To unfold more fully, bring out all that is contained in.
To Educate: To bring up from childhood, so as to form habits, manners, mental and physical aptitudes.
To Train: To instruct discipline in or for some particular art, profession, occupation or practice, to exercise, practice drill." Pg-5
This model mainly focuses on efficiently aligning the resources then updating it and trains it, to get a proper approach of learning. I tend to agree with this model and plan to use this approach of learning in my own learning style.
Issues in Group Work
There are several issues which are anticipated in a group work. These issues not only results in detroit the performance of the group but also results in making the path difficult to achieve the goals. Some of the issues are:
Satisfaction: The level of satisfaction is different for each individual and thus the process to reach that satisfaction is different thus I think this is the basic reason for group conflict. Since satisfaction is of two types:
a) Growth Satisfaction: It means growth of the group, how much task has they done? So it is also a basic reason for conflict.
b) Social Satisfaction: It means satisfaction of each member in a group. How much he/she is comfortable in a group. This is also a basic reason for group conflict.
Planning: It means making strategies to make use of effective resources like time, effort etc is the basic reason for group conflict. Since every member does not agrees to use same strategy in a group.
Directing: This is the most important reason for group conflict. As it focuses on directing the time, efforts and even member's work and since each member don't agree on this. Since every member has their own views on managing the tasks so generally they don't agree on managing their resources.
Organizing: It means scheduling, meetings and implementing of strategies. So the leader plays a major role in this thing as a result of this each member did not tend to agree on organizing thus there is a conflict between leader and group members.
Evaluating each Member's Performance: This is the major issue of conflict in a group, when you tend to evaluate each member's performance in a group. How much efforts, time is he/she giving to the group work and thus this result in issues or conflicts in a group. As a result of evaluating each member's performance makes the performance of group biased.
Common Purpose and Specific Goals: It means each member should have a common purpose to achieve the specified goals. Moreover their approach must be the same in order to be in the same group. Thus this is the reason for group conflict because each member cannot have a similar group and in order to change the approach of each member is not an easy task and thus causes conflicts.
Skills: It refers to the knowledge, skills each member has with him. It focuses on the achievement of goals. It is the root cause of group conflict. Since each member has different skills and their performance depends upon these skills. So it puts a negative view of the meber who has low skills. Skills are of two types:
a) Administrative Skills: These skills are required to manage and align the tasks, efforts and skills of members in a group. Thus this skill is also an issue in group conflict.
b) Technical Skills: These skills are required to technically specify the skills in the group. It includes skills requires in use of technology. If any member who is technically updated has the preference in the group and thus has the upper advantage in the group which makes other member jealous of him. It results in conflict in Group Work.
Attitude of Group Members: It states as the behavior of the group members. It means the way they do their tasks in a group. It focuses how much are they putting? It mainly focuses on behavior like are they arrogant, how much time are they giving in tasks. It mainly rely on members should attend in the proper way. This is the major issue for a group conflict. If a member is not interested in doing their work. They way they pursue their job, duties. If a member is not an effective user of resources then it results in conflict.
Loyalty: It means that each member should be loyal to the group work they are doing. Each member should give his/her 100% to be a loyal member of the group. They should be a loyal member so they each member can trust each other. It rely on the fact each member should be a loyal in attending meetings, jobs and performing of duties and tasks assigned to them. If atoll any member is not loyal then it results in issues and conflicts in a group work.
Role of Each Member: It means each member should have a similar role. One should not be biased to any member otherwise it results in conflicts in a group work. The role of each member like performing of duties, tasks etc should be equally balanced. If any member is too much over pressured then it results in conflicts in a group work.
Procedure the Group Use: It means the procedure a group uses should be agreed by each member otherwise it results in a group conflict. It is also a major issue as to get each member agree on the similar procedures as to get each member agree on the similar procedures as each member has their own ideas and their own way of approaches to work. So it depends upon the leader to select a procedure on the mutual concern of each member.
Interpersonal Styles: It is an important issue in group work. Since each member has their own styles of working and one cannot force anyone to change their own styles. So one has to adapt and appreciate styles of each member otherwise there would be conflict in group work.
Decision Making: It includes a process in which decisions are taken. This is the major issue in a group work and it states all the decisions should be taken by the mutual concern of each member. If there are six members in a group and four agree to take decisions and the rest two are opposing the decisions then there will be conflicts in a group work.
Division of Labour: It focuses that the tasks should be equally distributed in a group. One should not be biased with any member. Each member should give equal importance and equal duties, job and responsibility. If any two member's having less work and everything is left on remaining members then it raises conflict. Hence it is an important factor which results in group conflicts.
Leadership: This is the major issue in a group conflict. Group's performance depends upon the leader. If the leader is arrogant and his way of style does not match with other member's then it raises conflict in the group. So one has to sure of choosing the leader as a leader is the representative of the group. He is the one responsible for division of labour, planning, directing and organizing etc. So one has to take care of while choosing a leader otherwise it results in conflicts in a group work.
According to Joyce S. , David A. , Irwin M. , Osland Kolb Rubin "Sometimes they put less efforts to group projects than when they work alone . This is known as Social Loafing." Pg-193.
Addressing Issues In Group Work
For solving issues in a group conflict I agree with this model. According Joyce S. (2001) "A Model on Problem Solving Based on Theory of Experimental Learning. This model consists of four stages:
Situation Analysis: What's the most important Problem- The task of situation analysis is to examine the immediate situational context to determine the right problem to work on.
Problem Analysis: What are the causes of the Problem- The task of problem analysis is to define the problem properly in terms of essential variables or factors that influence it.
Solution Analysis: What's the Best Solution- Solution analysis seeks to generate possible solutions and to test their feasibility for solving the problem.
Implementation Analysis: How do we implement the solution- Task essential for implementing the solution must be identified and organized into coherent plans with appropriate time deadlines and follow up evaluations." Pg-218 &219
According to me I agree with this model and will use in future to solve conflicts and issues in group work. As it focuses on each and every step and give importance to each step. Moreover I would use an approach that attempts to look for problem and then discussing the problems. After that use an approach that will address to solutions to these problems. According to me main conflict in a group work is related Division of Labour so I strongly use such kind of approach that will provide equal and balanced distribution of labour between each member of the group.
Another major issue is Decision Making Process so I should use a process which helps in taking all the decisions mutually agreed by each member rather than forcing the decisions on them. Moreover I think instead of selecting the leader on my own, we should hold an individual voting system to select the leader. As a leader is the representative of the group. My first focus is to respect and appreciate interpersonal styles. Since every individual has his own way of working and thus one has to adapt themselves to the styles and attitude of each member. We should go for the procedure that is well accepted by each member of the group. We should discuss approaches that we should use in a group work. We have to respect each member's facts, their time and efforts. So we should go for that process and approach with which everyone is comfortable and ready to enjoy in working towards that approach.
Another issue is organizing which focuses on scheduling meetings and implementing strategies thus it becomes a major conflict issue in a group. So in order to sort it out one should focus on scheduling meetings according to the convenience of each member and implement strategies after discussing it with each member. Implement it only after every member is pleased by that approach.
In order to solve issues in group conflict one should focus on encouraging each member to give ideas and then give emphasis on flow of ideas, information and knowledge within a group. One should ready to compromise in a group and appreciate each other's ideas. One should focuses on effective use of resources and use of humor while working in a group.