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Text books needed
Understanding Michael Porter
The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy
Creative Approaches to Problem Solving
A Framework for Innovation and Change
Scott G. Isaksen, K. Brian Dorval, Donald J. Treffinger
3rd edition 2011
Team Green’s Discussion Board is focused on the Manufacturing, Natural Resources, and the Mining industries. Even though the Mining is a subset of Natural Resources, for the purpose of this Discussion Board, we will be discussing them as Individual Sectors. Every industry, regardless if it is a subordinate to another, has its unique challenges and restrictions. In this Discussion Board we will discuss various ways that each industry can utilize creative problem solving to identify potential innovative solutions.
MANUFACTURING: Gearing Up for Sustainable Change
Manufacturing is a broad industry that includes those that transform raw materials or substances into finished products (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics [BLS], 2020a). The types of industries that can be included in manufacturing are food, apparel, machinery, electronics, and many more. These industries provide a variety of jobs that require specific skill sets including packaging, production, shipping, receiving, machine operations, forklift operations. One notable statistic seen in this industry is the increase in employment in 2020. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics the manufacturing industry grew by 38,000 overall employees from September to October of 2020 (BLS, n.d.).
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a largely wide impact on the manufacturing industry when it comes to their labor standards and demands. Since manufacturing relies on in-person operations, new social distancing regulations will play a new, innovative role in the future of the manufacturing sector. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] (2020) imposed many regulations to adhere to the pandemic safety recommending that those who work in-person in manufacturing maintain six feet between co-workers whenever it is possible.
Promoting sustainable change within the manufacturing industry can be challenging. The reason for change to occur includes advances in technology such as automation, robotics, 3D printing, cloud computing, and increased internet speed with the introduction of 5G (Day Translations, 2019). These advances, along with the need to meet the Triple Bottom Line (People, Profit, Planet), can bring on rapid changes to organizations around the world (2019).
Some reasoning behind resistance to change for manufacturing workers include the steep learning curves required to learn the latest technology, automation, and new compliance measures associated with new technology (Jain, 2018). However, manufacturers realize the importance of staying current with technology in order to ensure the latest trends. Management must implement creative solutions in order to both encourage change within their organizations and also ensure that their sustainability goals are being met.
Discussion Question #1 – Manufacturing
Please repeat the bolded portion of the question at the top of your post, so that your classmates can easily respond to you. Choose EITHER Question #1 (Manufacturing) OR Question #2 (Natural Resources) for your response.
According to Isaksen et al. (2011), willingness is an important type of energy that encourages employee productivity and efficiency “Willingness to change can certainly be helped by having senior people take on the change leadership role. They often provide the authority necessary to legitimize change efforts, remove barriers to productivity, and enable people to use their talents to make a productive difference” (p. 192). In the manufacturing industry, the imposed restrictions may limit the leaders from encouraging employees in the workplace for example, by not being able to conduct company lunches and team building activities.
As a leader or manager in the manufacturing industry, (a) in what ways would you encourage employees to be productive and to take initiative in the workplace while still complying with the imposed OSHA restrictions, and (b) what creative ways would you use to encourage employees to work safely and effectively at the same time? Directly cite (quote) one of our textbooks in your response, along with any other references you might identify, in APA format.
MINING: Extracting the good and the bad “Mining is the process used to extract valuable resources from the Earth” (Smith, 2019, para. 1). There are four different types of mining processes: Underground, Surface, Placer, and In-Situ (2019). From these mining processes, companies can mine solids, liquids, and gases. Resources such as ores, fossil fuel, and natural gas can all be extracted from the Earth through the process of mining.
Underground mining is when tunnels are dug under the Earth’s surface to reach the resources that are to be extracted. Surface mining involves removing the plants and soil on an area in order to dig for the resources located in that area. There are two kinds of surface mining which are open-pit mining and strip mining. Placer mining is generally done in sedimentary environments and uses water and/or wind to wear down the sediments surrounding the ores and minerals. In-Situ mining is when chemical solutions are pumped underground to dislodge ores from their place before another solution is pumped in to help recover the ores. This mining method is done with little disturbance to the surface (Smith, 2019).
The resources extracted from a mining process are essential to keeping up with a civilization’s standard of living. Things such as buildings, electronics, and other man-made goods are typically created through the resources that come from mining (National Research Council, 2002, p. 10). . Economies also benefit from mining as the raw materials are used to create products and services that are sold. The industry provides jobs for thousands of people as there are over 562,400 people who work within the mining industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020b, table 1).
Unfortunately, despite the benefits that mining has for corporations and the economy there are also many negative environmental impacts. Mining can cause the contamination of soil and groundwater as the chemicals used in the process can leech into these systems. If that happens, it can affect the living conditions of those living in the area as agriculture and water systems become impacted.
Another issue is the loss of biodiversity in the areas where mining occurs. Many areas get cleared out so that mining companies have more open space to work and extract from, but by doing so the habitats of wildlife and fauna in the area get destroyed. It becomes difficult for areas to recover from these actions and the effects of mining continue for years after a mine is finished extracting (Sonter et al., 2018, p. 2).
Discussion Question #3a – Mining
Please repeat the bolded portion of the question at the top of your post, so that your classmates can easily respond to you. Choose EITHER Question #3a OR Question #3b for your response. You do not have to answer both questions.
Magretta states that “within an industry, there are usually distinct groups of customers or segments” (Magretta, 2012. p. 97). The community located near a mining site and the business doing the mining would be considered the two distinct groups that are opposed to each other.
Choose one of the mining processes and discuss two (2) environmental problems that are associated with that process: (a) how do certain environmental problems caused by mining affect businesses in the surrounding communities and (b) how can mining companies mitigate the negative effects to the surrounding communities? Include one direct quote from our Magretta textbook, and one from another credible business and/or scientific source in your response, in APA format.