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Volleyball Fridays with the College of Management

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COM Volleyball

At 2pm on Friday, April 11 College of Management has held a friendly volleyball match at the Don Ridler’s Field House, featuring Ali Almahasnah, Dr. Pavlo Tsebro, Vladimir Rozovskiy, Megann Wallace, Dr. Shahram Taj and his daughter Golreez.

Despite the fierce competition, Experience was victorious over Youth, leaving the defeated all the more excited about the revanche game the following Friday. During an anonymous interview, one of the contestants, admitted to being extremely sore the following Saturday, but looking forward to the next COM meetup.

We would like to extend our welcome to any and all who may consider putting on a pair of snickers and hitting the Don Ridler’s house on Friday at 2pm. Come, join us and enjoy the sweet taste of victory!

Martin Monte (BSET ’98, MBA ’11) Presents to MBA Students for Alumni Week

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Strategic Global Management group photo

Alumni Week at Lawrence Technological University was fulfilling for MBA students in Dr. Shahram Taj’s Global Strategic Management class.   On Monday, March 17th, students in the class, most which will be graduating with their MBA’s in May of this year, had the pleasure of receiving a presentation from Martin Monte who is the Engineering Group Manager in the Body Test Laboratory at General Motors North America.  Monte, who attended LTU for both undergraduate and graduate school, told the students how valuable his LTU education has been during his 29-year stint at General Motors.

Monte received his Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering Technology in 1998 and returned to school seven years later, right in the middle of his General Motors career, to obtain his Master’s in Business Administration, which he received in 2011.  During Monday’s presentation, Monte told the MBA students how he has been using his MBA education at his job at GM.  He said that he uses knowledge in the fields of global leadership, global strategic management, management controls and human resources management.  In addition, he uses skills that he developed, as it relates to change management, management information systems and the design and implementation of new products, processes and systems.

Monte not only told the students that his worthwhile MBA degree is being put to use at GM, but he also told students a little about the GM’s global and regional strategies, enabling the students to appreciate and understand how global strategic management is being implemented at GM.   The presentation was very helpful to the students.  One student, Daphne Joachim, was very interested in Monte’s advice for those engineers who also have an MBA.   According to Joachim, “Marty was a Godsend to our class. He’s an engineer with an MBA and I’m an engineer about to complete my MBA.  He gave me advice on crafting my approach to employers and how to show them where my background could be useful.   I’m happy to say he’s a permanent addition to my Linked-In network now.”

Monte’s presentation not only helped the students understand how valuable his MBA education is, and how he is putting it to use at GM, but he also helped the students understand the value of getting that MBA from LTU.   The presentation was an informative and worthwhile example of how an LTU MBA graduate is using his MBA education in an exciting and rewarding career.  In addition, the presentation also helped students understand how a global company like GM is applying the lessons they have learned in Dr. Taj’s Strategic Global Management class.

Novatis Group Case Study Comes to Life for LTU MBA Students

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On Monday, February 10th, 2014, under the professorship of Dr. Shahram Taj, several  Lawrence Technological University  (LTU) students presented the Novatis Group,  A Moroccan diaper and hygienic paper products manufacturer, for a case study assignment [Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, 2012] for their Global Strategic Management Class (MBA 6073).  A welcome addition to their case study, was the presence of the Novatis Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Souheil  Badaa, who listened and watched, via videoconferencing, as two groups of students presented their findings and recommendations.

The students were assigned to read a case study on the Novatis Group, which honed in on their Dalaa brand of disposable baby diapers.  The case study had students applying what they learned in the class and using their critical thinking skills to analyze the case, in order to present their findings and recommendations for the Novatis Group’s diaper products.

Dr. Taj, Professor of Business Administration at LTU crossed paths with Badaa when Badaa was an MBA student at the University of St. Thomas, where Taj was teaching.  In 2011, they both facilitated a group of students to go to Badaa’s native Morocco in order to conduct the live case study.

Badaa, who was a welcome guest during the February 10th presentations, provided the class with an overview of his background, some information on the Novatis Group, and his thoughts about studying business in the United States.   After he talked, students delved right into their presentations.   Students then had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from someone who is an integral part of the company that they studied, as Badaa gave positive and constructive feedback to their presentations.

One student, Daphne Joachim, was on a team of students who suggested that the company take part in the disposal of the diapers in an effort to become more sustainable.   Joachim thought that the opportunity to make recommendations to the Chief Marketing Officer of the company that she and her team studied, was an amazing one.  “This case presentation to a company’s executive – it was like having my first consulting job,” said Joachim.  “Making the presentation to Mr. Souheil  Badaa made me feel  heard and valued,”  she continued.   “I’m proud of the recommendations we made regarding managing the disposal of diapers in Morocco.  Even if it can’t be implemented right away, we’ve planted a seed.”

The Global Strategic Management class is the last class that MBA candidates have to take in order to receive their degree.   Dr. Taj teaches two different sessions of the class, on Mondays and Tuesdays, at LTU.

Advanced Statistics Using Mplus: CFA, Mediation and Structural Equation Modeling

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Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew Cole from the Department of Management and Marketing presented an overview of advanced statistical analyses using Mplus software during two lectures this summer: Mplus lecture #1 and Mplus lecture #2. Dr. Cole will be reviewing CFA, mediation and moderation analyses using Mplus and Minitab in the Spring 2014 RES7033 class with DBA students.

Students are encouraged to install the demo version of Mplus and begin learning how to conduct advanced analyses for their research.

 

 

How to Interpret Polls–Do Not Forget the Margin of Error and the Sample Size

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With the U.S. presidential election on November 6, we are presented with an ever increasing onslaught of political polls and their results. To make a proper interpretation of a poll’s results, three additional variables should be specified in addition to the proportion results: the poll’s margin of error, the desired level of confidence, and the sample size. In this brief essay, I will review the math behind the margin of error in polls to help you with interpretation of polls.

Background Information
The purpose of a poll is to estimate the opinion or behavior of a population from a sample. We work with a sample since contacting the entire population is too time consuming, often too expensive, and can be physically impossible. Several methods of sampling are used, and simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, and cluster sampling are the most widely used methods.

After the sample is selected from the population, a statistic computed from sample information estimates a population parameter.  The statistic computed from the sample that estimates the population parameter is called a point estimate. As an example, the sample mean, , is the point estimate of the population parameter, μ, the population mean. For polls, the sample proportion, ρ, is the point estimate of the population parameter, π, the population proportion.

How Close is the Point Estimate to the Population Parameter?
We now come to the essence of this essay–the confidence interval estimate (CI). A confidence interval estimate is a range of values constructed from sample data so that the population parameter is likely to occur within that range at a specified probability. The specified probability is called the level of confidence, and in most cases of poll results, the level of confidence is set at .95 (i.e., a pollster has a 95% confidence that the true measurement lies within the margin of error). Putting all of this together gives us the following equation:  CI = point estimate ± margin of error

Accordingly, the CI is determined from the margin of error. You’ve seen the margin of error in some poll results, e.g., “The poll has a margin of error plus-minus 3.1 percentage points for the sample.” If the poll determined that ρ = .5, then the CI would be 50% ± 3.1% = 46.9-53.1, i.e., a pollster has a 95% confidence that the true poll results are 46.9% to 53.1%

I will now show how the margin of error is used to determine a poll’s CI and sample size.

How Is the CI Determined in a Poll?
To determine the CI in a poll, we will use the following formula to compute the margin of error: z * standard error. Mathematically, this formula is expressed as:

In this formula, z defines the level of confidence. In polls, the 95% level of confidence gives us a z score of 1.96. Also in polls, we determine the standard error as the maximum standard error by setting the proportion at 50% (ρ = .5).

We plug in these numbers to determine the margin of error at the 95% level of confidence:


Polls that we see in the media use the 95% level of confidence in determining the margin of error. However, statisticians also determine the margin of error using the 90% and 99% levels of confidence, although the 95% l.98evel of confidence is the most common. The margin of error for the 90% confidence level is calculated using a z score of 1.65:

For the 99% confidence level, the margin of error is calculated using a z score of 2.58:

How Is the Sample Size of a Poll Determined?
I noted above that the purpose of a poll is to estimate the opinion of a population from a sample. As researchers, we are interested in the generality of the data in terms of the number of subjects in the population to which the results apply. If a poll has a margin of error of 3.1%, we can use the formula for the margin of error to estimate the size of the sample:

A recent poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal reported the following poll results:

Obama is ahead of Romney by five points, 49 percent to 44 percent. The full poll was conducted Oct. 17-20 among 1,000 registered voters. The poll has a margin of error plus-minus 3.1 percentage points for the sample of registered voters.

According to the formula above, we can see how the margin of error was calculated from the sample size of n = 1,000 registered voters.

Putting it All Together
A new TIME Poll has Obama holding a 49% to 44% lead over Romney in Ohio. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. How do we interpret the results of this poll?

First, we estimate the sample size: n = (.98/.03)² = 1,067.

Second, we estimate the CI around each point estimate at the 95% level of confidence. Obama: 46-52     Romney: 41-47.

Finally, we decide that according to the results of this particular poll, a sample of 1,067 people in Ohio are equally likely to vote for Obama or Romney 95 times out of 100 (because the CIs overlap).

Conclusion
I wrote this essay to provide some clarity and perspective on election polls by reviewing the statistics behind polls. I emphasized that the result of a poll must be interpreted along with the poll’s margin of error so that the sample size and CI can be determined.

For more information on the science of polls, check out Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don’t, and Nate Silver’s blog FiveThiryEight

COM Faculty Attend the 2012 AOM Conference in Boston

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College of Management faculty Dr. Anne Kohnke, Dr. Jacqueline Stavros, and Dr. Matthew Cole attended the The Academy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting in Boston. The theme of the 2012 program was The Informal Economy:

“The informal economy refers to commercial activities that occur at least partially outside a governing body’s observation, taxation, and regulation. Sociologists Manuel Castell and Alejandro Portes suggest that the “informal economy is…characterized by one central feature: it is unregulated by the institutions of society in a legal and social environment in which similar activities are regulated.” In contrast to the informal economy, the formal economy is comprised of commercial activities that a governing body taxes and monitors for society’s benefit and whose outputs are included in a country’s gross domestic product. For many decades, management scholars have examined research questions that are almost exclusively centered on the organizations and individuals located in the formal economy. That is about to change.”

For students who are not familiar with the AOM, The Academy of Management started in 1936 when Professors Charles L. Jamison of the University of Michigan and William N. Mitchell of the University of Chicago organized a meeting of management educators to discuss and promote the philosophy of management. “The Academy has evolved from an organization of 10 members to an organization of over 17,500 members from over 105 nations. Today, the Academy’s 25 professional divisions and interest groups promote excellence in established management disciplines. Five U.S.-based affiliates, the Eastern, Midwest, Southwest, and Western Academies of Management and the Southern Management Association as well as two international affiliates, the Asia and Iberoamerican Academies of Management, promote the exchange of ideas and provide collaborative opportunities for colleagues sharing a geographic area, language, or cultural identity.”

Graduate management students can join the AOM for $91.00. The annual conference offers excellent opportunities for COM doctoral students to discuss their dissertations and receive critiques from AOM scholars and practitioners, as well as other AOM doctoral students.

In addition to attending informative paper sessions, symposiums, and professional development workshops, Drs. Kohnke, Stavros, and Cole had a great time networking and socializing in Boston.

 

 

Welcome to Dean Bahman Mirshab!

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Dean Bahman MirshabPlease join the faculty and staff in welcoming Dean Bahman Mirshab to Lawrence Tech’s College of Management. Dean Mirshab comes to Lawrence Tech from the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He was formerly dean of the College of Business at the University of Detroit-Mercy, and received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

Dean Mirshab successfully led the University of St. Thomas to AACSB accreditation, and we look forward to his leadership in helping us attain our goal of AACSB accreditation. Lawrence Tech issued a press release on August 7 announcing Dean Mirshab’s appointment.

Interim Associate Dean Stavros and I were proud to lead the College on an interim basis and look forward to working closely with Dean Mirshab in the future.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Dr. Alan McCord
Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies

Toronto Open House, June 9, 2012

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The College of Management at Lawrence Tech University is hosting an open house on Saturday, June 9, 2012 from noon until 4:00 pm to recruit MBA students for the Toronto campus. Chris Balsingh, Mina Jena, and Nadia Shuayto are hosting the event at:

Delta Toronto East Hotel
2035 Kennedy Road
Toronto, MIT 3G2
Unionville Room

The Ontario market is interested in an American MBA with a focus on Theory and Practice. Based on recent conversation with students, they are very interested in earning a U.S. MBA from an accredited university.

For further information on the Toronto MBA Program, please visit the following website:

http://www.ltu.edu/management/international_toronto.asp

 

 

For nonprofits of the health safety net, the times they are a-changin’

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The times are definitely a-changin’ for the leaders and the nonprofit organizations making up the health safety net.  As moderator/facilitator for Day #2 of the 2012 Healthy Safety Net Symposium of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) which just completed on Thursday, I learned more about their commitment and challenges of delivering on this mission of quality healthcare for all. This variety of nonprofits from across the State provide quality preventive and primary healthcare to anyone regardless of income or insurance. My respect for this experienced group dedicated volunteers, board members and staff (including many health providers) grows only larger.

The first day of the 2012 HSN Symposium provided an update on federal healthcare reform which largely consisted of many experienced and educated professionals concluding that we really don’t know what the US Supreme Course will do with the Affordable Care Act of 2010. My work on the 2102 HSN Symposium focused on the second day and our planning team decided to focus on things more in our control, that is, organizational sustainability and transformation of the health safety net organizations.  I served as moderator and facilitator for three panels of experts, practitioners and stakeholders who engaged the audience of about 250 for the entire day.

I started the day with some context on the topic of organizational sustainability. What it takes to sustain any nonprofit organization has been heavily examined, written about and discussed with some areas of consensus emerging. Though there is no one methodology coming forward, there is clear consensus that it all starts with leadership at both the executive and board level. A good example of a model for nonprofit sustainability comes from The TCC Group , a nationally recognized nonprofit consulting firm. The TCC Group has done extensive research on organizational sustainability at nonprofit organizations and developed what they refer to at The Sustainability Formula. In its simplest form, they present their formula as this:  “Leadership + Adaptability + Program Capacity = Sustainability”.

Leaders of healthy safety net (HSN) organizations know full well the realities of sustaining and transforming their nonprofit organizations however the pace of the real-time decision-making they engage in has exponentially increased.  Along with restructuring that all U.S. nonprofits today face (For nonprofits, time to end business-as-usual ) , the leaders of these safety net organizations have the added dynamic of operating in the midst of the historic change in healthcare reform. Given the lack of clarity on many key issues, they are in need of relevant, timely information to inform their vision and planning. This was an over-arching goal of the 2012 HSN Symposium.

A tour of the Detroit Veterans Housing Program

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by Amanda Falkenbury

Dr. Richard Bush, Director of eLearning Services, and I visited the Detroit Veterans Housing Program this week.  We were invited for a tour by Volunteers of America Michigan.  This program offers two-year transitional housing for homeless veterans.  The facility houses 60 beds and is currently filled to capacity – only six months after opening its doors (November 11, 2011).  In addition to housing, the program provides veterans with counseling, employment training, and job placement assistance.  Leading the tour was Emilie Rohrback, Director of Community Engagement for Volunteers of America (Southeast Michigan).  She showed us around the common areas as well as the living quarters.  Upon visiting the living quarters, Dr. Bush, an army veteran himself, commented on the neatly made beds and the perfectly aligned shoes (heel to heel) sitting under each bed.  “It never leaves you”, he said, referencing the neatness required of military personnel. 

The facility is located on the outskirts of Detroit’s New Center area.  The program is housed in a building on East Milwaukee and offers a spectacular mural of Detroit at first view when you walk through the entrance.  When leaving the building I took one last look at the mural; it reminded me that Detroit is home - even to those who are homeless. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Detroit Veterans Housing Program, here is their website:

http://www.voami.org/Services/Veterans-Programs/The-Detroit-Veterans-Housing-Program

 

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