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Management: Theory, Practice and Application

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Management: Theory, Practice and Application


Peter Espeut

February 1, 2010

Control Mechanisms used by University of Phoenix

Control mechanisms are a vital part of any business to run effectively and guarantee that the business and objectives are moving forward according to planned. Control Mechanisms assist the business in establishing activities and direction of its employees for the purpose of aiding the company in meeting its goals (Bateman & Snell, 2009). This paper will identify four control mechanisms used at the largest private university in the world, University of Phoenix (UOP). In doing this, Learning Team C will identify, compare, and contrast these mechanisms, determine the effectiveness by examining positive and negative responses to these control mechanisms as well as clarify how these control mechanisms influence the four functions of management.

Four Types of Control Mechanisms

The four types of control mechanisms used by UOP are daily team huddles, performance matrix, FERPA, and social culture. These controls are important for this organization to ensure that all plans are complete and carried out. Daily team huddles are very proficient. The supervisor and his/her team leads meet with subordinate team members to discuss daily commitments and goals. Each team will discuss any problems that may occur with any student. The team will also provide a plan that will help these students correct their problem. The next control is the performance matrix. The performance matrix measures an employee's ability to achieve qualified skills that are in the matrix. For example, an employee receives a raise for being consistent and reliable. This employee work performance has allowed him to gain points that will go toward to receiving a raise. "The more consistent an individual's work performance is per month in a review period the higher the number the higher the raise"

The third control is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This law is for all schools, including UOP. If UOP does not follow FERPA law then the school would no longer be allowed to operate.

The last control that UOP uses is social culture. This control sponsors employee reward ceremonies, plaques of recognition, and community run events. This is a way of showing appreciation to counselors that help make UOP special.

"The top performing counselors for a year will receive rewards such as all expense paid trip to Las Vegas to attend dinners, ceremonies and events in their honor for jobs well done. Divisional or departmentally quarter awards are given for the entire division, such as renting out Hawkins theater and going collectively during the work day to see a movie complete with soda and popcorn"

Again, these controls are important for UOP because it will enhance the organizations business and will give 100% satisfaction to their clients, students.

Compare and Contrast

Although these controls are important to UOP, organizational environment, they are however applied differently among the employees and even sometimes separately. In daily team huddles, employees are encouraged to work together in teams. Working in teams allows members to share their ideas and experiences amongst each other, and share responsibility for the work. A team environment has always proven positive business and educational results for UOP. For example because the University offers an online learning environment, not all school advisors are scheduled to work on the same shift. Some advisors work different shifts to accommodate students which reside on different time zones. However, to provide the best, possible service to the student, the advisors work together in teams so that any of them can contribute to the student's request at any time. For the performance matrix, the employees are evaluated separately. Although they may work in teams, each employee is evaluated on their individual achievement. The performance matrix provides an outline in which employee's can reflect on his/her achievements or areas for improvement. Under the FERPA, although it is geared toward students, the same protection also applies to UOP employees, regardless of how they work or perform. The FERPA was designed to protect an individual's privacy, therefore; in accordance with the law, UOP is mandated to keep employee and student records protected. A particular example to this protection is the manner in which performance evaluations are given. The evaluations are kept private to the employee and his/her supervisor. And unless written authorization is provided by the employee, only then can the evaluation be reviewed by other than their supervisor. Additionally, every employee and student is encouraged to participate in any social culture event that is sponsored by the UOP. The social culture event is a way in which UOP helps to motivate their employees or the students, however; does not necessarily mean that in the event an employee cannot attend, he/she will be treated differently in terms of participation and contribution. Daily team huddles, a performance matrix, the FERPA, and social culture all play an important role for employees and students at the UOP.

Effectiveness of Controls

Daily team huddles work because they demand a quick team composition and readiness at the application level. They allow the application to plan for any replacement in the daily work flow, take control of the critical situation before they arise, and make a suitable modification in ways that improves the students experience at the University's online study. The UOP daily team huddles work because they draw out a pattern of practice- level thinking that is often not instinctive to each individual counselor or staff member but eventually advantageous to the entire practice because the individual begins to think like a team.

Performance Matrix is effective control at the UOP. Employees are motivated to excel in their work performance. A wise motivating factor is that employees recruit more or encourage prospect students to enroll in the school. It also improves employee and student satisfaction and encourages students to complete their degree program.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is significant at the UOP. If



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