Initially, I would like to talk a little about my role in the fundraising project and then mention about how OB concepts played a role in the completion. My role in the project was Purchasing and Procurement Officer and as the name suggests, this was a very demanding job and highly respected by all my peers. This position was very significant for me that, I cannot emphasize enough how much it is going to help me in my field of studies and possibly my career.
Being part of the “Basketball Shootout”, my biggest challenge was to get desirable gifts for the participants and making sure it did not cross the projected budget.
In order for me to do the job very efficiently, I had to use my networking skills and track down the right people to provide me with the goods. Through out the development of the process, I came across many vendors and small business owners. However, time and cost were major limitations and provided less room for negotiation.
Another interesting part of the journey was to meet people, especially salespersons and their interest to know about the event’s importance. For this, I also had to touch and feel certain areas of marketing where I had no experience before.
In spite of the ordeal, I would say my role was a great success and it brought great attention and respect among my peers. In any case, however, I must say that group projects like these are not piece of cakes. The majority of my time was invested to solve group conflicts and also into group decision making. I think majority of us including me were very results oriented and few of us were goal oriented. Under stiff academic pressure and also the option of another project that I could have done (Managerial Interview) which was perceived to be less painstaking made it worse.
From the organizational behavior point of view, I knew that things like these are inevitable in decision-making and a lot of this was focused on constructive criticism and as a functional conflict. In fact, this led our group to follow a path that believed in perfection and consideration of every valuable input. Another interesting concept that I came across was that, I personally witnessed myself competing and avoiding to be less cooperative at times and was immediately pulled back to see this.
However, I also believe that I brought a culture into the group, which fulfilled the role of a negotiator in order to avoid conflict and save time on decision making. This was to me a breakthrough in my learning experience only because I did not know I had them(skills). I understood the fact that many tradeoffs are made in a project, and a mediator was always in favor of the group. My intuition that our group had an integrative characteristic to its negotiation policies proved right.
A lot of this was to make each other happy at the moment and also the fact that we were peers hoping to maintain long term relationship was also a reason. However, it was not possible for me to create a win win situation all the time. I believe that my reasoning and persuasion skills helped to some extent to avoid conflict. This was also a perfect opportunity for me to put a number of other alternatives on the table for discussion and thus exploring my creative side. Overall, I must say that looking back at our achievements, I think it was worth the time and effort and was not bad at all.