Newspapers: Have they met their final deadline? Part One

For my final paper, I will be examining the newspaper industry. The newspaper industry is currently at a turning point. New technology, especially the internet, has changed the way people receive their news. At the same time, the universal advertising-supported revenue model is becoming unprofitable. The industry as a whole has had difficulties keeping up with the times and many newspapers are going under or are moving to online versions online. First, I will look at the organizational structure of a typical newspaper. I will also examine the current revenue model and offer alternative models. Finally, I will discuss how the newspaper industry has succumbed to institutional inertia. 

Part One: Editorial Staffs as Rational Organizations

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The Long Lost Blog Post…Kiva and Structural Holes

Some prewriting that I forgot to post last time about my final paper…

According to the work of Ronald Burt, it is evident that Kiva has managed to fill a “structural hole”.  A structural hole is loosely described to be disconnects in the structure of information that is shared between people and in society.  Furthermore, “A structural hole between two groups need not mean that people in the groups are unaware of one another.  It means only that the people are focused on their own activities such that they do not attend to the activities of people in the other group” (Burt, 2005 p. 16).  The structural hole that Kiva has filled directly connects willing lenders with entrepreneurs in need in developing nations through their website.  Continue reading

Final Paper – Sustainability in Higher Education

For my final paper I would like to further explore Colleges and Universities as organizations, and how difficult it is to change them in order to accommodate for new innovations.  More specifically, I plan to look at the effect that the “Green Movement” and sustainability have had on higher education.  The green movement and sustainability are innovations that are sweeping our nation and appearing rapidly in our schools. I am interested to see how, and if, the structure and delegation of tasks within these organizations change.

Sustainability is a complex concept which involves more than installing recycling programs or serving organic foods.  It involves a more complicated integration of environmental concerns and social justice issues.  The AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing “human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.” Furthermore, achieving sustainability in higher education is best defined by improving the following areas: leadership, recycling, buildings and grounds, curriculum, energy, food, transportation, and outreach.  These eight areas were defined by the Arnold Creek Production and show how complex the innovation of sustainability is.  There are many reasons why colleges and universities are working towards a sustainable future, including economical, competitive, and moral/ethical reasons.  However, I wish to look past why they are interested in sustainability, and concentrate on how they are implementing the new methods with those that already exist.

Like big operations everywhere, campuses are plagued by divisions. The lack of coordination between students, faculty, and the various administrative departments is an issue when trying to introduce a new campus-wide innovation.  Schools have to figure out how to integrate technical climate plans with institutional practices, governance structures, financial decision-making processes, and campus culture.  Revamping energy-guzzling buildings, selling new food, and changing the curriculum are just three areas that will involve time, money, and coordination of administrators, faculty, and students.  There is also a question of leadership and who will take charge of the new implementation or any issues that may arise. While some schools have hired sustainability coordinators, others find current staff members to head the challenge.

These are just a few ideas that I have been looking at when it comes to sustainability and higher education. I also wish to look at social movements as a whole and what changes they bring in the past, present, and future.  Hopefully these ideas will tie together in my research paper and provide an interesting piece for a higher education audience.

Final Paper- The Specialization of the Athletic Department

The topics of collegiate athletics always raise not only questions but also controversy. Collegiate Athletics have been one of the main focus points of several faculty/administrators meetings across the country, especially during these tough economic times.

So, let’s start from the beginning, collegiate athletics started in 1843, when Yale created a boat club, not much later Harvard created their boat club. (Is it by irony that the Ivy League actually started collegiate athletics??!!)   The creation of these organizations set the stage for the first intercollegiate sporting event in the U.S. This event took place in 1852, when the rowing team from Yale competed against the rowing team from Harvard at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH Lake Winnipesaukee (Wikipedia). That was the beginning and this race set off numerous colleges athletic organizations. Track, baseball and football were soon established as collegiate sports and the rest is history. Continue reading

Final paper – Applying My Ideas to Enron

I want to use this as an opportunity to elaborate on some thoughts I’ve had regarding my final paper. Obviously we have spent a lot of time talking about Enron as an organization, and I think that the three themes I am covering in my paper can definitely be applied to Enron. First, I’ll recap what my paper topic is. I want to explore the idea that certain laws govern organizations. Continue reading

Final Paper Thoughts

So here I am 15 pages into researching OSNs and already I run into a stumbling block. My initial thought was to concentrate on answering the question, what type of organization is an OSN? Fraser and Dutta, authors of the book, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World, state firmly that, “networks are horizontal expressions of dynamic social power; organizations are vertical constructions that represent formal institutional power.” (10, Fraser). The important point I pulled out of this is that OSNs, as a form of network, are inherently not an organization. Ut-oh. Continue reading

Final Paper Take II: IDEO

I definitely love Bucknell as much as the next person (I’d probably even argue more), but looking into how Bucknell operates as an organization doesn’t exactly exite me.  So, on advice from our wonderful professor I am going to write my paper about something that really intrigues and exites me – innovation.  Within the depths of Silicon Valley exists a firm that has emerged and remained as one of the most innovative and creative companies in the world and its name is IDEO.  IDEO is a design firm that has invented thousands of products over the last 15 years: everything from the squishy handles on toothbrushes to technologically complex medical devices.  Yet, what really makes IDEO stand out above the rest is not what they invent or the ideas they come up with, it’s HOW they do it and the processes that they use.

Even their logo is innovative!

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