As a manager, much of your work requires analyzing complex situations, which in turn requires critical thinking skills. These skills may include determining what information is relevant and what is not; evaluating the accuracy of information and credibility of sources; identifying assumptions, inconsistencies, and ambiguous arguments; and evaluating the strength of a claim (Beyer, 1987).
Throughout your management program, you have been developing and applying critical thinking skills. As you review the class notes “A Brief Note on the Theory of Constraints” (located in this week’s resources), think about Goldratt’s theory and the critical thinking required of managers.
This week, and continuing into Weeks 6 and 7, you will be using your critical thinking skills to analyze business issues from the business novel The Goal, and you will evaluate the decisions and actions of the participants in the book—based on concepts learned in the course to date.
To prepare for this Shared Practice, select one of the following options, based on the two course level outcomes below, which you will use to frame and analyze this week’s reading assignment in The Goal:
· Analyze a complex value creation system using management concepts.
· Apply systems thinking to address challenges and opportunities managers encounter
Then, select three or more short passages from this week’s assigned readings in The Goal that contain one or two essential ideas that you found compelling. Analyze each using the Course Outcome you selected as a framework. (Note: Part one of The Goal outlines the various performance problems that the Bearington plant is having, so feel free to practice your systems thinking skills to explain why the plant is having such difficulties! Either course learning outcome above will allow you to do this.)
For this Shared Practice, write a 3- to 4-paragraph essay. Identify the Course Outcome you selected and the passages from Part 1 of The Goal . Explain why each passage you chose is relevant and important in effective business management. Justify your response and include citations for each passage.
As you move on to next week, reflect on this statement, “If I had only known this, back when…”
Goldratt, E. & Cox, J. (2014). The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. (4th ed.). Great Barrington, MA: North River Press.
· Preface–p. 112 (This will be referred to as Part 1 of your The Goal readings.)
Using an unusual approach to discussing business strategy and performance improvement, the authors have written a novel about a manufacturing company that allows them to present their ideas concerning bottlenecks, constraint management and continuous process improvement.
Weiss, E. (2004). A brief note on the theory of constraints [Class note: UV 3532]. Darden School Foundation. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia.