Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lately outsourcing has been a very hot topic, especially with the economy the way it is. The logic behind outsourcing is explained in chapter 5 and I think it is worth writing a little about. The debate is whether outsourcing is a good thing or not. There is no doubt that it is a less expensive way to do business, but it often takes money and jobs away from those in one place and send them to another, usually a different country. Though economically superior for a specific company, is outsourcing a positive or a negative thing? To what point is it acceptable to do something simply because it is less expensive?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've decided that for the most part you have to do what your employee asked, and as we said in class, Utah is an at-will employment state. I think this problem goes back to the psychological contract. An employee needs to have good understanding of what their employer expects, and the employer should realize that the employee will only do what is asked to a certain point without extra motivation. If there is a good psychological contract and both sides keep up their end of the deal, then I would say the number of problems that arise will be very limited.
Chapter 4 deals with job design and work flow. What I have always thought interesting is job description. Many times employers ask their employees to do things that are not included in their job descriptions. As a result, most employers write something like "other tasks as assigned" into their job descriptions. Is there a limit to what an employer can say is under the "other tasks" category? Should an employee always do what is asked, even when it may be a very extreme interpretation of "other tasks"?

Most employers will only provide information like the dates of employment, what pay was received, and what positions the person held in the company.
In class we discussed this and decided that it is a very difficult situation, but then we also decided that if we were ever dismissed from a company for bad behavior, we probably wouldn't be asking that company for a reference letter anyway. We would be more likely to ask a previous employer that would be able to write positive things in the letter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I read an article called Employee References: Is Passing Off Your Bad Apples to Someone else OK?
Below is a link to the article.
It was a very interesting article that poses a good question: What can a former employer say in a reference letter when the employment may not have been terminated on the best of terms? There are laws that protect employees from slander, and from a reference letter being written that casts a negative light on the prospective employee.

What can an employer do to limit the problems they may have as a result of the letter? (The article has a few answers that will be discussed in the not so distant future right here on my blog)
In class we discussed the different reasons what a person may find it difficult to report a problem that he or she is seeing. We mostly figured that it is so hard because even though there are laws that should prevent it, there is almost always some form of retaliation when a problem is reported and the person making the problem gets in trouble. We didn't come to a conclusion 0n a good solution to this, other than keeping the employee who reported the problem confidential, even though that can only happen to a certain extent.
It is a tough situation, and I figure that's why there are laws that try to protect us all from it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Chapter 3 discusses many of the problems and solutions to equal opportunity in employment. In my experience, I have had both good and bad examples of how managers can model their hiring and firing practices. Even with so many laws that are in place to prevent unfair hiring, firing, and treatment of employees, there are so many unfair situations. It is a very delicate situation and if taken care of wrong, there can be severe consequences.

What can a person do to avoid these problems and consequences?

When a person is facing situations that relate to bad hiring, firing, or treatment practices, what can he or she do to fix the situation?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In discussion today we talked about how much a manager's or owner's attitude can change the mood and morale, and even the success of the company as a whole. In our group we talked about the the different bosses we have had and how it was to work for them. Many times a bad boss can cause such a high turnover rate that there is no way to train employees fast enough to keep up with work demand, and therefore the company can cease to exist. Also we discussed the movie clip we saw and how positive the experience can be when the boss is good and fun and there is good communication. When both sides of the psychological contract fulfill their responsibilities, a very bad job can turn into something that anyone would be willing to do.
Psychological Contracts
A psychological contract is essentially an unspoken expectation of what the employee will do for a company and what the employer will do for the employee. Every day this is becoming more and more complicated. Because of the fast pace of the modern industries, an employee is expected to contribute more now than in previous times, there is also less job security for those who aren't keeping up with the demands. As a result of lower job security and higher demands on time and more stress on the job, an employer is expected to provide a more comfortable place to work as well as other things in order to keep the employee morale up. If an employee doesn't keep his or her end of the bargain, termination is likely. For an employer, employees will either quit, or possibly worse, just be unhappy and ineffective.

How does a good, hard working employee feel when his or her employer doesn't respect these expectations? What actions can an employer take when employees aren't honoring this psychological contract?

What can we all do to keep up our end of the contract?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is Me

My name is Corwin Carlson Hurst. I was born on May 12, 1987 in Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents are Michael and Stacy Hurst. I am the third of four children, with one older brother Alan, older sister Annika, and younger brother Westley. Ever since I was a small child I have been quite interested in knowing how things work. I love to take things apart just to see how everything fits together. As a result of this fascination, I quickly learned how to put things back together, usually successfully. I also love to build pretty much anything. My most recent feats have been a cherry jewelry box for my wife and some oak shelves for my parents.

I grew up in a musical family. My mom and all four of us kids were Madrigals in high school, and my dad is now in the Utah Symphony Chorus. My grandma was even in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. At family gatherings we usually end up around a piano singing. In my family there has always been an emphasis on health. I played Lacrosse in high school, I lift weights, mountain bike, hike, and occasionally go on a run, pretty much anything to keep me outside.

In high school I also realized how much I love cars of every shape and size, especially if I get to work on them or drive them. After high school I framed houses for a year before serving an LDS mission to Guadalajara, Mexico, home of Mariachi. I now speak fluent, and almost always very Mexican, Spanish.

Upon returning and trying to figure out the English language again I got engaged to my beautiful and amazing wife Katherine. I proposed on the beach in San Diego in July of 2008, and we were married five months later on the 27 of December.

At the moment I am finishing my second year in the Construction Management program and working for a small landscape company called Pristine Landscape.