Before this course, I didn’t realize the role that economics plays in everyday organizations. In the past, I used to think of organizations as teams fueled by emotion and leadership, but I now know that those aren’t the only factors that drive a team. Teams function as individual markets, wielding contracts for employees and resources, and there is definitely some strategy when it comes to creating and running a successful organization. Pulling from my extra credit assignment, I’ve learned that shirking is a real problem when it comes to teams. I knew that “slacking off,” as we call it in more informal terms, is a problem for any team to overcome (I’ve experienced it in teams that I have been apart of), but I didn’t realize that there is an approach to combat this. Through team loyalty and rewards, firms oftentimes boost productivity and reduce shirking. I found this interesting because I’ve always considered myself a “team player” and this natural quality would be something employers would look for because it would increase their profit in the long run.
In terms of the class structure, I really liked blogging on a weekly basis in addition to the excel homework. In many of my past economics classes, we’ve only had the excel homework side of the course, meaning it was very data driven as one would assume economics course would be. However, I think that it is critical for data and number driven students like us to see the bigger picture and be able to articulate our findings, and that is where blogging comes in. The blogging has allowed me to express my ideas related to economics in a way that isn’t numerical. I think it has also allowed me to better grasp the numerical economics that we do in class because I’ve had to draw from personal experiences to explain concepts that we are learning about. Neither of the two activities, blogging or the excel homework, were terribly time consuming, and because we have the class calendar online, I found it easy to keep up with assignments.
Something that I think would be beneficial to students in the future is the extra credit assignment. Personally, I enjoyed learning not only about my economist, but also learning about organizations at a deeper level on my own. The project allows students to put in as much effort as they would like to, and I would say that one gets out of it what one puts in. I wish I had been able to devote more time to the project, but I am grateful that I had Thanksgiving break to work on it. I think that making the project a mandatory part of the course, instead of perhaps a final, would encourage student to invest time and effort into the project, but on the other hand, they might not be as genuinely interested in learning.