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Concrete Experience Case

Essay by   •  October 1, 2013  •  Case Study  •  2,120 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,330 Views

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Concrete Experience

We all gathered towards the front of the room. Initially I felt slightly awkward because I did not know any of my group members. In addition, I felt partially uncomfortable because we were the only group of five due to the number of students in class that day and how everyone split into clusters. Once I overcame these preliminary feelings, my group was easy to converse with and make decisions. The student sitting next to me seemed to be the one that took charge and led our discussion which made me feel more at ease. We first tried to start numbering people starting with one, the members of society who would definitely be saved from the nuclear catastrophe. We all came to the conclusion that this was too difficult. Instead, we regrouped and decided to start with the number 12 person, the member of society whose life was least important compared to the rest based on the facts we were given. I found this to be a fairly simple task. Most everyone agreed on who should come next, and when someone did not, I felt I could speak up and my opinion would be heard which often altered our group decision. Some items I felt uneasy about. We labeled the exotic dancer in last place. This hit home especially for me because I can slightly relate to this character. I am a dance major at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Although I am getting a degree in addition to this it made me ponder how useful I would seem from an outside perspective. Next, we labeled the priest as 11th. To me this showed that none of our group members were extremely religious. From a personal standpoint I felt guilty with this decision because I was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, part of the Bible Belt community; therefore, I tend to be more religious than the majority of the student population in Cincinnati. Through the next few members we all agreed. Then it came to number eight. I did not express my opinion on this matter, but we put the accountant at number eight while leaving his child and wife until numbers two and three, respectively. I felt that this was slightly cruel do to the fact that they were married. I also thought it was insensitive to not think of what the family would prefer. Regardless, because of age and background the accountant remained at the number 8 spot. The rest of the decisions were relatively easy, and even though we had some disagreements, during the last part I felt more at ease sharing my opinion, and when I did this, my view was usually one that the group agreed with. As an overall consensus, my group came to these conclusions. Number 12: exotic dancer, number 11: priest, Number 10: musician, number 9: professional athlete, number 8: accountant, number 7: computer programmer, number 6: nun, number 5: policeman, number 4: nuclear physicist, number 3: housewife, number 2: child, number 1: medical student. We chose our top five for the following reasons. We all felt the policeman would be able to protect and keep order among the individuals. We thought the nuclear physicist would be a necessity considering it was a nuclear issue. We knew there would be a need to repopulate, which is the reason we kept the housewife. We all had a conscious and would feel guilty leaving the child out. Finally, the medical student seems useful because if any potential injury arises, hopefully he would be able to help the person in need.

Reflective Observation

I found it interesting that the group member to my immediate left took on the main responsibility of driving the group forward, writing down all of our answers, making sure the group agreed, etc. This shows a lot about his personality and what kind of person he is. I also found it quite unique that the only other girl in our group, besides me, always had the same opinion as I did. Every time one of us would interject about a disagreement, the other would always be the first to concur either with nonverbal cues such as nodding one's head or actual verbal words. The other two gentlemen in the group were relatively quiet. One gave more feedback than the other which let us know that he was interested in the activity and wanted to be involved. His posture seemed slightly more upright and attentive. The other one, however, tended to only comment or utter a chuckle when something said had a humorous value. He also had a certain slump to his posture and tended to play around with his writing utensil. A possible explanation for this could be that he had already written his paper and therefore did not see as much significance in this activity as other members of the group. I believe that a neutral observer would have been able to easily identify the natural leader in our group. I also know that he/she would be able to see the slight differences of opinion that the women of the group had. I also think that an objective observer would be able to see the more relaxed, calm presence that the remaining two male students had. I believe that I involved in the activity the way I did for multiple reasons. First, I knew that this was the activity that I would be writing a paper about; therefore, I was making a point to contribute as much as I could in a positive manner. Next, I was more silent towards the beginning of the exercise because I generally tend to be shy at first in new situations. After, being with the group a few minutes, however, I was able to break out of my shell and give feedback and opinions.

Abstract Conceptualization

There are two main organizational behavior concepts that help me fully understand this activity. They both involve the decision-making process. The first is the limited amount of information that we received. This parallels the term bounded rationality. According to page 250, bounded rationality is, "The notion that people do not have the ability or resources to process all available information and alternatives when making a decision." This fits the bomb shelter situation so well for two main reasons. The first is the miniscule amount of information that the panel was given

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