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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Jurassic World and Real-World Organizations Face Constant Ethical Dilemmas

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

So many great movies are coming out this summer! As a big Star Wars and Marvel fan, I’m (of course) excited for the new Han Solo and Avengers movies. But I’m perhaps even more excited about the new Jurassic World movie. I loved the last film that came out a few years ago and am a fan of the entire Jurassic series.

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Topics: Michael Urick, business ethics, Faculty Blog, Jurassic World, Dr. Mike Urick

Don’t Know What Career You Want? That’s Okay!

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 @ 10:04 AM

Those who have read my blogs or have taken my classes know that I love to relate popular culture to organizational behavior, leadership and management concepts. For example, recently I facilitated a discussion for Saint Vincent’s Benedictine Leadership Studies program in which we explored transformational and servant leadership in the film Wonder Woman (Jenkins, 2017). I love watching movies and TV shows to see illustrations of concepts that I study and discuss in class. Music is also a big passion of mine, and I am often inspired by that as well (in a previous blog, I wrote about musicians Glenn Miller and Kenny Rogers in relation to leadership).

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Topics: career advice, college, life after college, life, life plan, blog, career path, career

Taking Tests

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Mar 7, 2018 @ 09:03 AM

Most Ph.D. programs require that doctoral candidates pass a comprehensive exam prior to writing their dissertation. Ph.D. stands for “doctor of philosophy” and the “philosophy” that the doctoral candidate studies is typically the viewpoint of a particular specific academic discipline. In my case, I studied the “philosophy” of the management and organizational behavior (with concentrations in human resources and communication) academic disciplines at the University of Cincinnati. In my program, our comprehensive exams were structured like this: students chose to answer one of two questions in a secondary sub-field within management and two of three questions in their primary area of study within management. Students had four hours to answer each question and this portion of the exam took two days. Mid-week, students had a day break before being given a 48-hour portion of the exam where they had to evaluate a piece of research from their primary field, analyze the major findings, articulate what was well-done about the research and suggest what could be improved upon.

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Topics: college, Saint Vincent College, Education, Ph.D., tests, continuing education, professor, exams, studying, lifelong learning

Recommended Books

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Feb 5, 2018 @ 14:02 PM

One of the most common questions that I get from incoming graduate students in the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program is “What books should I read to help me prepare for my classes?” While I don’t often tell them explicitly what books they must read before starting course work, I do recommend some that have been influential to my way of thinking. Goodreads.com is a popular website that many of my friends use to recommend books. Since I don’t have a Goodreads account, I thought I would share some of my recommendations here for those readers who might want to spend the rest of winter warm inside with some good books.

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Linking Class to Life

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 @ 08:01 AM

In my last blog, I discussed linking research to classroom instruction. In this blog, I advocate the importance of classroom learning to students’ lives and careers outside of (and after) their formal education.

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Topics: organizational culture, class, life, teach, lessons

The Joys of Research

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 15:12 PM

As I often mention, I see myself primarily as a teacher, but an additional important role that I play is as a researcher.  I only half-jokingly titled this blog entry as “joys” because, while research can often be very fun, it can also be quite tedious and frustrating.

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Topics: research, writing, publication

The Truth about Servant Leadership

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 @ 09:11 AM

 Servant leadership is a popular term that many people hear discussed regularly in organizations. Yet, its meaning (and the expected types of behaviors in which a servant leader engages) has been simplified over time.  I noticed this recently when re-reading Robert Greenleaf’s classic (2002; reprinted from 1977).

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Topics: Robert Greenleaf, effective leadership, servant leadership, business ethics

Citizenship Behaviors Benefit You, Me and Us

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 @ 15:10 PM

Engaging in the tasks that are listed on a job description likely comes to mind when many people hear the term “job performance.”  Yet, engaging in these tasks is only part of how to define successful performance in the workplace.

Another aspect of being a successful performer at work is engaging in organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs for short).  These are “voluntary” in that they are not listed on one’s job description, but organizations, coworkers and those individuals who perform them often benefit from these activities (LePine, Erez & Johnson, 2002).

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Topics: workplace culture, organizational culture, organizational citizenship behaviors, OCB

Why Organizational Culture is Important

Posted by Michael Urick on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 15:09 PM

Creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values all employees is crucial for organizations (and society as a whole). Yet, we constantly hear news of racism, sexism, bigotry, discrimination and other forms of marginalization in our country and in our organizations.

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Topics: workplace culture, organizational culture, multicultural organization

The Role of Experts

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 @ 10:08 AM

This summer, I’ve been quite busy working on projects and presenting at conferences related to the topic of intergenerational interactions at work, my primary area of academic research. While attending the Academy of Management annual meeting in Atlanta, the most prestigious international conference for management academics where a Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence student (Alperen Arslantas) and I presented on this topic, we interacted with many other experts in the broad field of management.  Throughout this and my other experiences this summer, I’ve been contemplating the role of experts.

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Topics: experts, influencers, teachers, knowledge, learning, growth

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Assistant Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

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