Milton Friedman – Economics Nobel Prize Winner

Assignment 6-2

 Nobel Prize Winners: Milton Friedman

Richard J Ritterbeck

ECON450-F1WW (SU12)

Mary Garman

August 4, 2012

 

The Nobel Prize given to economists has been awarded to some of the people who have greatly shaped our economic knowledge.  Milton Friedman is one of those economists.  His work in economics has had a large influence on society.  According to nobelprize.org, he was awarded the prize “for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for this demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy” (2012).  He has greatly shaped economic thought.

Friedman came from an interesting, and intellectual background.  He was born to immigrant parents, in Brooklyn, New York.  His drive and intelligence were enough to help him graduate high school early, before his 16th birthday, obtain a scholarship to Rutgers, and after exposure to economics, another scholarship to the University of Chicago.  His work and peers helped to establish the Chicago school of economic thought and he was a strong influence on his peers at the university.  His experience and background further shaped his thinking, and led to some of the many thinking points for the economic world.

Friedman worked on several aspects of economics for which he is well known.  Stagflation, a circumstance where inflation and unemployment increase at the same time, was one of Friedman’s thoughts.  Another field he worked with was consumption spending.  His work in monetary policy and guidance for the United States has shaped the lives of many. These fields have all been key in the development of economics and make Friedman worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Friedman’s work on inflation and unemployment has led to a change in policies.  Until Friedman’s work, it was commonly thought that inflation and unemployment had an indirect relationship.  Friedman demonstrated that they could both increase at the same time and he coined the term stagflation.  His theories were proven in the recession of the 1970’s, when both occurred.  A simple understanding of the relationship of these two key indicators is highly beneficial.

Next, Freidman’s work on consumption spending helped also understand economic behavior.  John Maynard Keynes felt that consumers spent money that varied for the present income of the consumer.  Friedman demonstrated that consumption spending was guided more by the perceived income of a consumer over a longer period of time, or the amount of money the consumer thought they would have, which accounted for potential promotions, job security, bonuses, and other financial variances.  This change in belief helped economists better understand business cycles, and how consumer spending behaved.

Friedman’s work on monetary policy has affected many as well.  Early in his career, he reviewed the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes, critiqued them, and eventually led to them ceasing to release them to the public.  He worked for the US Treasury, and also the U.S. Government agency that administered the Marshall Plan. Freidman dabbled in floating exchange rates, and thought “that a common market would inevitably founder without floating exchange rates” (Nobelprize.org, 2012).  His work guiding financial and monetary policy has affected many of people for many years.

Friedman understood the work of earlier philosophers, and built on the knowledge of some, and disagreed with others.  Mostly, Friedman disagreed with Keynes and his government assistance programs and active governments.  He was greatly influenced by the Austrians and Hayek.  Hayek worked closely with Friedman at the University of Chicago as well.  In Friedman’s own words, “Many people want the government to protect the consumer.  A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government” (London, 2012).  This quote goes to show that Friedman both agreed with Hayek and disagreed with Keynes.

Freidman was influential to shaping our economic understanding today.  He increased knowledge, and helped increase quality of people’s lives.  For this improvement in people’s lives, Freidman deserved the Nobel Prize.  He is one of the great economists, and his theories will become foundations for further economic understanding.

 

 

References

Heilbroner, R.  (1953). The Worldly Philosophers, Seventh Edition. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 978-0-684-86214.

Library of Economics and Liberty.  (2008).  Milton Friedman.  Retrieved from http://econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Friedman.html

London, J.  (January 11, 2012).  Opinion: Reflections from the Campaign Trail.  The Tech. Retrieved from http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N60/london.html

Nobelprize.org.  (August 5, 2012).  Milton Friedman – Autobiography.  Retrieved from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1976/friedman.html

 

 

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Audit Outline

Assignment 5-5

Audit Proposal

Richard J Ritterbeck

COMM321 – E1WW (WI13)

Michael Schultz

February 17, 2013

 

EMAIL TO CEO

 

February 17, 2013

 

Mr. Robert Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Stone Software Corporation

374 Maple Drive

Suite 100

Dublin, Ohio 43017

 

Dear Mr. Smith:

 

In response to your inquiry, I have prepared the following proposal for a communications audit of your corporation.  The audit itself will be a quick and efficient way to improve the culture at Stone.  Through this audit, we look forward to improving the productivity and collaboration of the employees at Stone.

 

Attached are the details of the communications audit.  We are open to suggestions, but feel this is the best way to proceed.  Please read and let us know when we can proceed.  Thank you in advance for allowing us to help improve your business.

 

Sincerely,

Richard Ritterbeck


Background

A communications audit is fundamental to discovering the root cause of an undesirable culture at an organization.  It is a thorough examination of the organization, looking for issues that cause problems between different departments of the organization, or between vertical tiers of workers, from employees to managers, managers to executives, etc.  This examination will allow upper level management to understand the culture and communication of the organization, enabling smoother operations once the problems are solved.

There are many techniques, such as interviews and surveys, in order to determine where the communication problems are occurring.  Actions can be taken afterwards to correct the communication problems, such as education, additional staff to alleviate communication issues, or reorganization efforts to realign business units.

The communications audit will help evolve the company, making it more fluid in the long term, serving customers better, and increasing productivity.
AUDIT INFORMATION

 

Outline of events

  • Approval of plan and preparation
    • Approval letter and contract award
    • Meeting with executives
  • Pre-implementation
    • Webcast for employees
      • Discuss plans
      • Provide contacts to submit questions
  • Implementation
    • Early stage implementation
      • Interview key managers
      • Interview a sample of employees
    • Second stage
      • Survey development
      • Survey distribution and webcast to explain importance
      • Survey results and comparisons to interviews
  • Resolution
    • Determine actions with executives
      • Possible actions
        • Reorganization
        • Education
        • Hiring of communication professionals/business writers
    • Implement solutions
      • Communication to executives and employees
  • After action results
    • Select manager interviews
    • Analyze quality of communication problem resolution
    • After action meeting with executives
    • After action webcast for employees

 

The surveys will be provided to the employees via email link to a database survey.  Automatic results will be available during the survey process, and can be monitored to ensure cooperation from the employees.  The surveys would be completed at the employee’s convenience, and would be completed by management and software engineers alike.

From the interviews, we will customize the surveys, in order to best fit the needs of the corporation.  Possible questions would ask to rate the performance of communication on a scale of 1-5, including communication from managers, company messages, messages from executive staff, messages of written materials posted in break rooms, etc.  Another series of possible questions would involve the communication techniques, such as effectiveness of meetings, emails, person-to-person talks, etc.  A question of how many meetings per week are attended and how long those meetings are would also be beneficial.  The surveys are a vital tool in the communications audit.

References

Zaremba, A.  (2010).  Organizational Communication.  Oxford University Press, Inc.  ISBN-13: 978-0-19-537904-4.

 

 

Crisis Communication Plan

Assignment 4-4

Crisis Communication: The Bayside Inn

Richard J Ritterbeck

COMM321 – E1WW (WI13)

Michael Schultz

February 16, 2013

 

Effective communication is extremely important, especially in times of crisis.  Crisis communication helps to correct an immediate scar on an organization’s character.  Through effective communication, the moral rectitude of the organization can be restored.

Identify the stakeholders.

There are several stakeholders in the case of the Bayside Inn.  External stakeholders are the customers and potential customers that may visit the Bayside Inn.  Additionally, other external stakeholders might be owners and employees of nearby businesses that may lose business as visitors to the Bayside Inn decrease.  Internal stakeholders are the employees and owners of the Bayside Inn.  For the external stakeholders, the surrounding community and nearby business owners and employees would also be potential visitors to the Bayside Inn.  Two main groups of stakeholders are the key targets for effective communication in the case of the inn.

Create a message to send to each group of stakeholders.

With two main groups of stakeholders, there needs to be communication directed at both groups, and the messages will be similar, but different at the same time.  Internal stakeholders will get a message with more action items for the internal stakeholders to do, while the message to external stakeholders will be more a message of what they will be doing to correct those problems that caused the crisis.

The two potential crisis communication messages to the stakeholders should be as follows, with the messages directed to the community and the employees, respectively:

“The recent event at the Bayside Inn have been regretful, and the management at Bayside is deeply sorry.  We are working diligently to determine the cause of the problem, and will correct it immediately once the problem is found.  The Bayside Inn will be closed until we determine the cause of the problem, and regret any inconvenience this may cause.  We will keep you posted, as soon as we find out any details.”

“The Bayside Inn has a reputation that is a premium dining and retreat experience.  Our reputation is tarnished by these recent events, and until further notice, all operations will cease until the cause of these illnesses are found.  We will begin instant implementation of new policies, and are reexamining both storage and preparation procedures for the Bayside Inn.  Thank you for your renewed efforts in this situation, and let’s work to get this situation corrected.”

Choose the method you will use to send each message.

The method of distribution is important for delivering the messages.  For the message to the external stakeholders, the message needs to be distributed by the media.  Openness with the media will help to get the message out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.  For the internal stakeholders, a smaller company like the Bayside Inn could deliver the message in person, as a company wide meeting.  The inn has several meeting rooms, and they could be used for both, meeting the media and delivering the message in person to the employees of the inn.

State how you would time your messages: which goes out first, second, at the same time, etc.

Timing of the messages is important, but only that they are delivered quickly.  They must be delivered quickly, and whichever comes first wouldn’t be important, but for practicality, the message to the external stakeholders would be easiest to deliver the quickest.  Once acknowledgement of the problem happens, the next working days, in which the inn would be closed, leaves plenty of time for the meeting with the internal stakeholders.  The messages are important, and both must be delivered quickly, and prudence would dictate that the message to the media would be easiest to deliver quickest, and the message to internal stakeholders would follow immediately afterwards.

Outline anticipated follow-up messages needed.  To whom would they go and when?

Follow up messages would be important as well.  There would be at least two important follow up messages to the stakeholders.  As soon as the problem is found, it should be explained, and how they are correcting it.  At the same time, a schedule for return to normal work, and assurance that the problem will be fixed could also be given.  For the internal stakeholders, a very similar message would be given.  That message would be what the problem is, what each individual will need to do to ensure the problem doesn’t recur, and when the business will return to normal operation.  These follow-up messages are just as important as the original messages, and show the company is being honest and correcting the problems at hand.

Crisis communication is important.  If the Bayside Inn is to maintain a good standing within the community and remain a premium establishment, they must work to bring their reputation back up to where it was before people started getting sick.  These problems are correctible, and resolution is important.  However, more important is open disclosure and honesty while the resolution is being implemented.

References

Zaremba, A.  (2010).  Organizational Communication.  Oxford University Press, Inc.  ISBN-13: 978-0-19-537904-4.

 

 

Survey and work-plan

  1. How many hours per week do you spend communicating with your peers via email?
  2. How long are typical meetings?
  3. How many meetings do you attend in a week?
  4. How would you rate the effectiveness of the meetings? (On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the most productive)
  5. Are you comfortable in discussing with your manager possible suggestions for improvement, and if not, why?
  6. Have you ever been confused by corporate messages delivered via email? Please explain and give specific examples.

These simple survey questions are provided to give the company a better understanding of problems with our corporate communication.  There has been a culture of ambiguity and confusion, and the company would like to improve on its current communication standards.  Employees are asked to fill out the survey, and respond back when convenient.  The survey is the most appropriate tool for communicating with the broad employee base, and it also provides a way to communicate with employees from all work schedules and locations.  Surveymonkey.com would be a quick resource, and would help to disseminate the survey quickly.  Follow-up will be in the next few weeks, and we will discuss the possibility of further action.

Webinar Outline

Assignment 3-3

Workshop Webinar

Richard J Ritterbeck

COMM321 – E1WW (WI13)

Michael Schultz

February 16, 2013

 

Introduction

An important topic, and the purpose of this workshop webinar, is the use of social networks.  This is an important topic to understand, both by employees and employers alike.  It can be an effective tool, but must be used correctly in order to reap the full benefits.

The target audience is employees that use the specific networks, the company’s management staff, to understand what the networks are there for and to help regulate the employees uses, in order to ensure proper use by the employees.  Another important target is the marketing staff, Human Resources staff, and others that may be involved with project management and product development.  Rodriguez tells us that social media is a great way to “formulate a marketing campaign that fits your niche”, by doing sweepstakes or giveaways.  (Rodriguez, 2011) Additionally, TheSocialFirm.com tells us that “Organizations can engage their followers through status updates, blogs, videos, photo galleries, promotions and word of mouth marketing.” (2013) These targets cover a broad, diverse expanse of the company, and make this webinar necessary for the entire company to understand its applications and appropriate policies.

This is a two hour webinar, and social media should be well covered over the course of two hours.  All of the target audience will be addressed, and the uses of social media will be well understood.  Questions can be provided via email prior to the webinar, and the webinar will be recorded, in case employees are not available at the time of the webinar.  Follow up questions will be addressed during the webinar, and addressed later by the public relations staff.

Activities for the employees involved will consist of interactive questions prior to the beginning of each section.  Through these questions, a better understanding of current thoughts on social media will be gained.  Additionally, the questions that are submitted prior will help to involve the audience, as they have a specific interest to see if their questions will be addressed.  The current interest in social media will help to drive involvement with the topic, as it is a new, popular, evolving market that many people still have questions about.  Audience involvement is important, steps will be taken to increase involvement, but involvement should be high regardless, because of the topic.


OUTLINE FOR WEBINAR

  1. Introduction – (5 mins)
  2. Brief overview of presentation – (5 mins)
  3. Uses of social media for employers – (40 mins, 10 each)
    1. Product research
      1.                                                                  i.     Understand public needs
      2.                                                                ii.     Understand preferences
    2. Product development
      1.                                                                  i.     Design involvement, colors, models, etc.
    3. Customer satisfaction surveys
      1.                                                                  i.     Direct surveys in social media
      2.                                                                ii.     Distribute surveys and link to surveys
    4. Human resouces application
      1.                                                                  i.     Fulfill employment needs
      2.                                                                ii.     Temporary project staffing as well
  4. Uses of social media for employees (40 mins)
    1. Spread public information to friends and family (5 mins)
    2. Support the company (5 mins)
    3. Specific rules for social media (30 mins)
      1.                                                                  i.     Disclose (10 mins)
        1. Be transparent – identify yourself
        2. Be truthful – specify any vested interests
        3. Be yourself – stick to your knowledge base, or use a disclaimer
      2.                                                                ii.     Protect (10 mins)
        1. Don’t tell secrets – only use public information
        2. Don’t slam the competition or the company
        3. Don’t overshare
      3.                                                               iii.     Use Common Sense (10 mins)
        1. Add value – provoke thought
        2. Don’t be incendiary
        3. Own any mistakes
  5. Summary (5 mins)
  6. Questions (20 mins)
  7. Closing statements (5 mins)

 

Summary

Overall, the webinar will be a great way to further employee and employer understanding of social media.  It is an important tool, and the entire company needs to recognize that it has a great amount of usefulness, if used correctly. 
References

Intel Social Media Guidelines.  (2013).  Intel.com.  Retrieved February 16, 2013 from http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/intel-social-media-guidelines.html

Rodriguez, N.  (August 10, 2011).  Ten Myths About Social Networking For Business.  Forbes.com.  Retrieved February 16, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nealrodriguez/2011/08/10/ten-myths-about-social-networking-for-business/

Social Media Marketing.  (2013).  TheSocialFirm.com.  Retrieved February 16, 2013 from http://www.thesocialfirm.com/social/social-media-marketing

Zaremba, A.  (2010).  Organizational Communication.  Oxford University Press, Inc.  ISBN-13: 978-0-19-537904-4.

 

Assignment 3-3 Workshop webinar example slides