So far, 295 MGMT 101 companies have provided services and donations valued in excess of $477,500 and have worked about 96,200 person-hours for their service client partners. Because every MGMT 101 company strives to be innovative, there is no such thing as an “average” one. Major changes in the rules of the game have occurred throughout the history of the course. And because every MGMT 101 company strives to outdo all the others, in at least some respect, it must quickly become familiar with key events from past companies – the giants on whose shoulders each MGMT 101 company stands. MGMT 101’s history falls into six periods.
During this phase, companies could elect to do either a Business or a Service Project. Service Companies were funded by subsidies from Business Companies; high profit levels were not primary objectives. There was no income tax; businesses donated profits to charities in addition to the “subsidy fund.” Average Business Company revenue during this period was about $700.00, with average profit of about $300.00.
During this period, each MGMT 101 company was required to be profit-oriented, with particular emphasis on Business projects. All income had to go either to fund a community Service Project or a charitable donation. Most companies did both, and began to compete for profitability. All companies were assessed a 10% income tax, which funded rapid progress in acquiring computer software and other support. During this period, the average net income rose to above $600.00, on average revenues of about $1400.
These companies ran Business projects and participated in community Service projects; most companies also contributed funds or equipment to their community service clients. Competition was both for profitability and for significant community service, and company members experienced increasingly burdensome out-of-class time demands. Average business project revenues in this period were more than $3000; many companies found themselves squeezed as middlemen between suppliers of more expensive goods and a customer base of hall mates and friends who resisted higher average sales prices. Questions of community welfare and social responsibility became increasingly salient.
All companies ran both community service projects and business projects and contributed funds or equipment to their service clients. Following a series of financial setbacks in pre-92 companies, these companies were strongly advised to set less ambitious, more realistic revenue and time commitment goals. Although some companies negotiated emphases on one (complex, innovative, challenging) project at the willing sacrifice of attention to the other (adopting a straight-forward version of a previously successful, undemanding model), competition was focused on significant community service, with business profits seen as a means to a service end. Companies measured success primarily in terms of Effectiveness in the eyes of key stakeholders – Service Client and Business Customer – satisfaction. Companies generally managed to enhance levels of community service contributions, in large part by developing significant sources of support for service clients from regional firms and service organizations.
Companies continued to give balanced attention to Service and Business projects. With rapidly developing support from information technologies, companies competed increasingly through the quality and complexity of reports — Operating Plans, Websites, Company Summaries, Archives, and, in particular, Final Oral Presentations. Companies overcame disappointments in Business or Service performance through committed integration in Final Reports. (They also struggled with boundaries between "entertainment value" on the one hand, and "information value" on the other.) At the same time, assignment guidelines focused with increasing clarity and effectiveness on storytelling methods as bridges between practice and theory, supporting experiential learning.
Companies are challenged to create organizations that first and foremost address the social justice / human rights / animal rights / environmental issues they care most deeply about improving through both their service and business projects. The analytical reflection component of the MGMT 101 storytelling process has taken on increased importance in sense-making for this set of companies, as has attention to the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of their decisions and actions.
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