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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

The Goodness of People

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Mar 9, 2020 @ 12:03 PM

There has been a long tradition in the academic study of management that considers what makes people engage in work. In my sub-field of organizational behavior, this idea of motivation is one of the most important topics of research. The classic Theories X and Y (McGregor & Cutcher-Gershenfeld, 1960) consider the nature of people when it comes to engaging in tasks.  

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Topics: Michael Urick, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, management, blog, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick, theory, organizational behavior, svc blog

Teamwork, Collective Memory and Jethro Tull

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, Jan 31, 2019 @ 14:01 PM

When do teams begin and end? We see team membership change all the time, whether we’re talking about sports or a workgroup. My favorite baseball team is the Pittsburgh Pirates.  As anyone that follows the team knows, they have had quite a bit of turnover in players (for example the recent unfortunate trade of Andrew McCutchen, one of my favorites), yet they remain the Pirates. This team did not end when McCutchen left. Nor did it begin when he joined their ranks. In other words, the existence of a team can and likely will continue even when membership changes. I can think of several work teams that I’ve been a part of, including in my role as director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program here at Saint Vincent, where members leave the team and new members come on board, all while the team continues along in its purpose. 

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Topics: Operational Excellence, organizational culture, management, saint vincent professor, st. vincent professor, Dr. Mike Urick, Andrew McCutchen, organizational behavior, Jethro Tull, Master of Science in Management

What Makes a Good Manager?

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Sep 5, 2018 @ 10:09 AM

As a management professor, I am sometimes guilty of getting caught up in academic theories and big-picture issues of management (such as how organizations compete with each other or decide what products/services they will provide) as I prep for my courses.

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Topics: Saint Vincent College, saint vincent faculty, management, managers, saint vincent professor, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick

Sailing the Seven Seas of Management

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 @ 14:06 PM

Ahoy!  I really enjoy the summer movie season because I love watching big-budget popcorn flicks.  I’m a fan of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise (Walt Disney Pictures, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2017; IMBD 2017), so I was really excited to see the new film, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” that came out recently.

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Topics: workplace culture, Pirates of the Caribbean, management

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 Associate 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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