The College of Management hosted its first MBA Case Competition on Friday, May 2, 2014. Five groups of students from Dr. Shahram Taj’s capstone class, Global Strategic Management (MBA 6073), analyzed the current situation and future opportunities for Tata Motors, a global motor vehicle company in front of 5 distinguished judges. The student presentations were based on the Case Study, “Can Tata Motors, Ltd. Become a Global Contender in the Automobile Industry?” Among the judges were, Virinder K. Moudgil, Lawrence Technological University President; Warren Harris, President and Chief Operating Officer of Tata Technologies; Rosemary Bayer, Chief Inspiration Office of ardentCause; Janet Ford, Assistant Vice President, Compliance, Consultant, JP Morgan Chase; and Colonel Ronald J. Shun, Chief of Staff/G3, US Army, TACOM.

Tata Motors, Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Tata Group. The Tata Group is India’s largest business conglomerate in seven business sectors (chemicals, IT and communications, consumer products, engineering, materials, services, and energy). Tata has operations in over 80 countries, and in 2011, had gross revenue of $83.5 billion, 58 percent coming from international operations. The Tata Group is India’s largest private-sector employer, with over 425,000 employees. It’s a powerful symbol of India’s emergence as a world economic power.

Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company. It is the fourth largest truck and bus manufacturer in the world. Tata Motors manufactures vehicles in India, Spain, South Korea, the U.K., Thailand, Morocco, and South Africa. The company purchased the iconic British Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008.

The competition was fierce and two teams were very close in terms of score.

The $400 First Place prize was awarded to Timothy Balogh, Latoshia Hyatt, and Daphne Joachim.

The $200 Second Place prize was awarded to Valerie Cholagh, Brandon Henderson, and Sheila Thomas.

The other students who participated were Wojciech Pilecki, Gloria Seymour, Jeanne Seaman, Tina Zuber, Mark Blanding, Brian Giltinan, Jalbir Singh, Frank Wilson, Toi Avery, Nurayman Aljaroudi, and Nicholas Downing.

Following the luncheon and awards ceremony President Moudgil spoke about the Case Competition and how it distinguishes LTU students from other universities to be able to interpret and think of a solution as well as present in front of a highly successful panel allowing students to experience the Practical Model of Theory and Practice.

]]>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!

]]>Dr. Betty Jean Hebel, regional representative for Delta Mu Delta, first installed the Nu Alpha chapter at LTU as an official chapter in the society. Following the installation, the chapter’s first honorary members were inducted into Delta Mu Delta. Nu Alpha’s initial honorary members are Dr. Virinder Moudgil, President of LTU; Dr. Maria Vaz, Provost of LTU; Dr. Anne Kohnke Assistant Professor in the College of Management and new faculty adviser for Delta Mu Delta, and Dr. Jackie Stavros, Professor in the College of Management. These four honorary members were chosen based on their commitment to student success and dedication to the College of Management’s overall mission.

After the honorary induction, Dr. Hebel and Dr. Kohnke welcomed 28 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students into membership in Delta Mu Delta. The criteria for induction into Delta Mu Delta as an undergraduate student is a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2, completion of at least 50 percent of the required credits toward their degree, and completion of at least 24 credits at LTU. Graduate and doctoral students must have completed at least 50 percent of the required credits toward their degree and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.85 or higher. All candidates for membership in the society must also be in the top 20 percent of their class.

Following the student induction and dinner, President Moudgil delivered a brief address entitled “Managing Institutions in a Global Society.” During his keynote address, Dr. Moudgil spoke to our inductees and their families about the importance of developing and utilizing their skills in both domestic and international venues.

Congratulations to all of our students who were inducted in recognition of their outstanding academic success! We look forward to the future of Delta Mu Delta on LTU’s campus!

]]>On 18 Mar, 2014 students from the Global Strategic Management class under the direction of Dr. Shahram Taj were provided the opportunity to hear a presentation from Mr. David Broome, an executive with DTE Energy. As part of “Alumni Week” Mr. Broome not only shared his experiences from his impressive list of credentials, but provided the class an in depth look at a real world strategic focus from which to reflect.

I was thoroughly impressed with both the presentation and the presenter as Mr. Broome walked the students through a top level overview of the company’s strategic vision, all the way to the various divisions that make up DTE. I sincerely appreciate the presenter’s willingness to share his knowledge and experiences as well as his ability field some tough questions at the conclusion. The experience was extremely worthwhile, and it is my hope that the college of management will continue to pursue relationships with industry leaders to inspire the next generation of management professionals.

]]>Alumni Week at Lawrence Technological University was fulfilling for MBA students in Dr. Shahram Taj’s Global Strategic Management class. On Monday, March 17^{th}, 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.

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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 10^{th} 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.

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

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**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*

Jerry Lindman, JD

This article in CNN.com (Look to nonprofit sector to create jobs, CNN Oct 19, 2012) makes the case for the resilient job creating ability of the US nonprofit sector over the last decade, even in this slow-growth economy. Though not a surprise to some (including our LTU graduate nonprofit students), many are still unaware of the dramatic growth in the nonprofit sector and the employment opportunities that exist. Here are some key points the author makes:

- “the nonprofit sector employs about one in 10 American workers…..the third largest labor force behind retail trade and manufacturing.”
- “According to a recent study the U.S. nonprofit sector posted a remarkable 10 year record of job growth despite
- two recessions, achieving an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2000 to 2010…..for-profit jobs declined by 0.6% per year during the same period.”
- The same study showed that “even during the recession from 2007 to 2009, nonprofit jobs increased by an average of 1.9% per year. At the same time, businesses averaged jobs losses of 3.7% per year.”
- “While nonprofits are known for employing social workers, they also need managers, human resource professionals, educators, artists, computer programmers, marketers, accountants…researchers…and many skilled workers.”

This author closes by calling of the next President (and Congress?) to do five things to support nonprofit job growth: (1) maintain tax deductions for donations and on estate tax; (2) incentivize nonprofit education and careers; (3) expand national service via the proposed ‘Serve America Act’ (4) Invest in social entrepreneurship to promote innovation in the nonprofit sector and (5) expand tax incentives for financing of small business to nonprofits.

From my work with nonprofit organizations and their leaders, growth is just one of the major forces causing transformation of how charitable organizations operate. Because of these dynamic times, what is most needed are newly educated and trained nonprofit managers who can blend the unique nonprofit management competencies with new business-influenced strategies that support diversification of their revenue sources to include more earned income. Coincidentally, that is the topic my students are addressing this week in my graduate course in nonprofit management.

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