Monday, December 1, 2014

Final Wrap-Up Post

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.

Overall, I don’t think there is anything big I’d change about this course.  I originally selected the course last spring because I found the blogging element to be something that really intrigued me because it is very different from the rest of my economics courses.  I’ve had a great experience learning about the economics of organizations and look forward to applying my knowledge to the working world after graduation.


  1. I understood you fully in this post, but your word choice got be improved. For example, where you said data, you really meant economic models. We didn't have any numerical data in this class other than that one time when I did the little simulation about portfolios and diversification. We did have a lot of math modeling.

    In your first paragraph, where you are mirroring your project on Alchian and Demsetz, it reads like your essay did in its first draft. So a question for you as a long term thing is: can you produce second draft quality the first time through? This would require being your own editor and critic. If you continue to do some writing after my class (I would encourage you to do that) this would be something to work on.

    I am interested to see how your extra credit assignment plays out. I have other students posting about doing a case study as an alternative. In your response to this comment, you might remark about that and which you'd prefer.

    1. I hadn't thought about adding a case study to the course, and I really like this idea. In many interviews that I have participated in, case studies are a large part of the process, and the economics department doesn't exactly do anything to prepare us for this. I know that in the business school case studies are a large part of their coursework, however, economics students do not receive the same exposure and are then at a disadvantage during interviews. I'd definitely be interested in seeing a case study added to the course as a mandatory project.

      Next semester, I will solely be taking languages courses, Spanish and German, and I will be writing in those, but they will limit my creativity. Hopefully, through my involvement in other organizations, I will be able to continue writing in an open forum.