Scenario One Reflection Paper
The nine-step Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method is very useful for companies to solve problems. This method allows employers to identify and research solutions in order to find a feasible solution to their problem (Carroll, 2005). The scenario explored the problems of two companies, USAuto and AutoMex. The nine-step PBL model was applied to both companies to determine if a feasible solution existed.
Using this problem-solving method on all types of problems will present challenges when using the model on different types of problems in the future. This model may not be suitable for all problems that may face a business (Carroll, 2005). The model may not be as successful if the appropriate team is not assembled in order to outline the nine steps and the team members lack the required knowledge and skills. This would be one of the biggest challenges of using this model in the future. Our group believes that each member of the assembled team must possess a specialized knowledge in order to positively contribute. We learned during the 9-step problem-solving model, that any problem, big or small, could be examined and explored thoroughly before setting out in search for a solution. The 9-step problem-solving system is helpful because the model requires the use of a systematic approach while the model avoids defining the wrong problem, making false or incorrect assumptions and deters a person from acting too quickly in making a decision. Internal and external factors are considered and the potential challenges are noted. The model allows for realization of opportunities and provides for the optimal end-state goals to be perceived.
The reason the model was effective was that both companies were able to troubleshoot their concerns regarding the impending partnership. USAuto's first concern was to market and build the first hybrid gas-electric engine. USAuto felt that this new technology was a major bargaining chip and any highly desirable auto industry would like to partner with USAuto to access the technology. USAuto's second concern was keeping their new technology from being duplicated and protecting their intellectual property from theft. USAuto's third concern was to have highly efficient workers and low labor cost. The labor cost in USAuto's cars is higher than the labor cost of competitors. AutoMex also had concerns regarding their company. First, there was a concern for the profit sharing percentages. USAuto felt that profits should first be applied to research and development, and the remaining profit can be shared between the two companies based on the amount invested in the company. USAuto felt because they had spent a great deal of money to develop the engine, they should receive 75% and AutoMex would receive 25%. While on the other hand, AutoMex felt the profits should be split 50/50. AutoMex's second concern was using two plants in two different countries to assemble the automobile, which would have limited their ability to improve the quality of its plants and the knowledge of its workforce.
Both companies had legitimate concerns regarding the hybrid engine and were able to come together with a mutual negotiation. Both were able to build the hybrid engine and use the Mexico plant for manufacturing as well as protect their product under licensing. The licensing documentation will make it administratively and legally more difficult for a third party to profitably use the hybrid technology and would make it easier for USAuto to prove the theft. Presented with this challenge, our group feels that outside resources will contribute a great deal to overcoming the challenge. Numerous consulting firms exist specializing in equipping industry leaders as well as past industry leaders with gaining or regaining ground that would assist a company in areas of needed growth. Reclaiming the lead in the auto industry is definitely a focus. In order to reclaim the...
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