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Saint Vincent College Faculty 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

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

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

Combating Workplace Drama

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 15:05 PM

Many people love drama, even though some may not want to admit that fact.  Drama is why some viewers are glued to reality TV, social media or celebrity gossip stories.  Even though drama can be entertaining in the media, it can be disastrous if it exists in the workplace.  Yet, workplace drama is so common that several blog readers asked me to address this issue here.

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Topics: Michael Urick, how to deal with drama at work, conflict at work, workplace culture, organizational culture, drama in the workplace, workplace relationships

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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