Final GRC Proposal
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Final GRC Proposal



Proposal for my Master Degree in Project Management and Supply Chain Mgt.

Proposal for my Master Degree in Project Management and Supply Chain Mgt.



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    Final GRC Proposal Final GRC Proposal Document Transcript

    • Graduate Review Committee Proposal Isis Quiñones Sánchez Professional Studies (MS) Samuel McQuade III Fall 2011 1
    • Executive Summary The intent of this document is to propose a graduate plan of study that will lead toa Master’s of Science Degree in Professional Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.This document presents a personal introduction, a literature review, a proposed plan of study,a program learning objectives and a preliminary capstone project idea, supported by areference list of cited sources. The concentrations of my multidisciplinary studies are Project Management (PM)and Supply Chain Management (SCM). The motivation for these fields is because I haveexperienced the opportunity of working in the area of project management when I wasaccomplishing an internship in the Organization of American States (OAS). I collaborated asa Human Resource assistant in the introduction of a new technology software system titled“Performance Evaluation System (PES)” in order to improve the efficiency of the evaluationperformances of the difference OAS staff members. This was a combine project of newtechnology introduction and reengineering process in order to adapt OAS organizationalstandards within the international standards. During my participation in the design andimplementation phases of this specific project I redeveloped my career objectives focusing inPM as a desire and potential field of study. My second concentration is SCM which I consider as an enormously supportiveskill for Project Managers. During my participation in PES project I experienced thechallenges of scarce resources, lack of logistics, pressure to finish project before planned timeand on budget. Throughout this project experience I realized that SCM is an essentialinstrument in order to efficiently and effectively manage resources and risks. A possible Capstone Project will include the study of how PM can facilitate toovercome the different SCM problems related with risk management, planning, supply chaincontrol activities and developing contingency plans. The purpose of this document is to gain support and approval of the RITadministrators to pursue the presented Master’s of Science Degree program. 2
    • Introduction Being born in the center of a unified family and having my parents next to megave me the opportunity to be educated with precious values and motivations that today allowme to be the personI am. I have started setting goals and objectives since I was a little girl.After accomplishing my bachelor degree in Business Administration, I decided to apply for ascholarship position offered by the Korean Government to study in Kyung HeeUniversitywhere I recently completed my Master in International Business. My dream is to become a member of a prestigious and ethical organization whereI can develop my critical thinking, problem solving and integrative communicationcapabilities.After achieving a M.S. in Professional Studies I wish to become aninterdisciplinary professional managing the fields of International Business, PM and SCM.My visionis to have the opportunity to build upinnovative strategies to help organizationsmanage the adverse effects of globalization while also taking advantage of this phenomenon.My interest is to be able to travel and study foreign markets in order to develop approaches todeal withglobal SCM, customer relationship management, diversity workforces, crosscultural negotiations, currency fluctuations/risks and develop strategic relationshipsamongorganizations’ stakeholders.My contributions will support the organization toaccomplisha global leading position through my effective management approach. I would like people to talk about me as a courageous person who alwaysestablished goals and objectives to accomplish her personal vision. It is significant for me tobe remembered as a person who cares about her family, friends and co-workers. In theprofessional aspect I would like to be distinguished as an ethical and successful professionalwho adapted her leadership and management style to different situations in accordance withher emotional intelligence. The MS in Professional Studies Degree is unique in allowing meto pursue these dreams with course concentrations of particular interest and importance to theworld as I see and experience it. 3
    • Literature Review These days it is surprising how easily a person can findCoca-Cola brand beverage,a McDonald’s restaurant, or Starbucks coffee shop among many other kinds of products orretail outlets. This is true in the U.S. and increasingly throughout the world as products andservices expand to overseas markets. Marber (2009) expresses that as a result of globalizationeffects we have more technological advances, free trade agreements, economic integrationprocesses and free movement of labor, which has smooth the speed of global businessincluding the global SCM. According to Heizer and Render (2006), SCM consists of acombination of actions to ensure that needed “materials” can be processed into final productsand delivered to end users. SCM is a holistic process that represents a planned mechanism forstrategic relationships management across different places, contributors and functions (e..g.product designer, production, sales, marketing, logistics, finance and information technology)(Tang, 2006). The topic of SCM has been considered by scholars in many different ways,being Risk management one of the most discussed problematic due to the increase number ofcross-border activities among firms and the challenges that this represents. Since the 2007 financial crisis many companies around the world are constantlyexperiencing huge increases in their production costs due to different unfavorableconsequences and unstable economic scenario across countries. In short, markets areexpansive, intertwined and difficult to control or manage. This crisis situation representsone of the great motivations as to why companies with cross-border activities are nowevaluating their different SCM strategies in order to reduce costs and become more efficient.United Parcel Service (UPS) (2005) expressed that they needed to develop a SCM strategymore aligned with their business process strategy in order to improve profits by reducingcosts. The aligned SCM strategy developed by UPS clearly establishes a formalized workprocess with the different SCM stakeholders and more interconnected relationships withbusiness processes, information technology systems and cross-border activities. According to Zygiaris (2000) SCM is a novel outstanding source that companiesare strategically using in order to develop a “Competitive Advantage (CA)” To support thisidea Burgess, Singh and Koroglu (2006) also classify SCM as a “young field”. Companies are able to start an internationalization process when they have a 4
    • specific CA which differentiates them from competitors. Some companies’ CA could be aspecific know-how, distinctive business processes customer focused strategy, etc. However, itis important to realize that today’s global management of supply chain represents animportant milestone of companies’ CA that enable them to become international, being riskmanagement one of its principal constraints. According to Manuj and Mentzer (2008) there isnot a clear definition that explicitly define risk taking into account all the different aspects ofglobal SCM. When the SCM becomes global the relationships among the differentstakeholders represent a major risk due to cross-borders activities uncertainties (e.g.recruitment of nativehuman resources, quality of local resources available in host country,transportation risks, infrastructure, cultural differences, exchange rates, logistics constraints,level of technologic development, government regulations etc.) Similar to Manuj and Mentzer thesis, Thung and Hoenig (2011) state that there islack of “empirical research” that could support the Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM),which is defined as “the management of supply chain risks through coordination orcollaboration among the supply chain partners so as to ensure profitability and continuity’’(Tang, 2006, p. 453). Project management risk assessment and review techniques can support theSCRM with an innovative and formalized risk managerial process creating solutions andcontingency plans to effective control risk. Larson and Gray (2011) recommend that projectmanagers develop a risk management process including risk identification, assessment,response development, opportunity management, contingency planning, funding, and aProgram Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) simulation to effective and efficiencycontrol risk. Doing business globally implies global risk, especially when manufacturing ordistribution processes are centrally located in a given geographic area. To exemplify this ideaconsider the Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. This tragedy involved loss ofhuman lives, infrastructure and resources that effectively stopped various organizations fromdoing global business, in some cases for extended periods of time if not permanently. Consequences are described in the Congressional Research Service Report for 5
    • Congress about Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami: Economic Effects and Implications for theUnited States.For example, “Two Japanese plants accounting for 25% of the world’s supplyof silicon wafers for computer chips were closed” (Congressional Research Service, 2011 p. 6)However, which Nissan used to import engines from a factory in Fukushima mitigated andovercame risk by importing them from their plant in Tennessee. Hence, redundant anddistributed SCM capabilities are important to overcoming natural as well as potentialbusiness disasters. And professionals who specialize in supply chain/logistics managementand project management have key roles to ensuring business continuity and risk management.The Japanese catastrophe demonstrates how broad risk management is and howunmanageable this could become. In addition, Brindley and Ritchie, (2007) expressed that managers are becomingmore familiar with different SCM difficulties that are arising due to the diverse challengespresented in the numerous opportunities that cross-border activities mean for organizations.Similar to Zygiaris (2000), Burgess, Singh and Koroglu (2006), expresses that SCRM iswithout doubt a new problematic presented in “operational and more strategic levels”. To exemplify this situation, we can examine Japanese subsidiaries in the U.S.where local managers became disturbed because they did not see any top managerial levelpromotion opportunity in the organizational structure of these international organizations.This situation was known as “Bamboo Ceiling” which created high level of turnoversbecause local managers used Japanese subsidiaries as a bridge to find better job opportunitiesin the future. When LG electronics started its process of internationalization to become aglobal leading company they decided to recruit people from different disciplines andgeographies to manage their supply chain activities. Stamping out of “Bamboo Ceiling” LGalso recruited host country native human resources into their top management level positionsto manage cultural differences. LG encouraged cross-innovative problem solving attitudesamong their local and international managers. Manuj and Mentzer (2008) explain thenecessity of international organizations in formulating global management groups. It isimportant to formulate a diverse group including native SCM host country professionals andalso international personnel. This strategy could represent a CA because of informationexchange across the different locations, gaining from cross-cultural professional’s activities,mentoring, feedback processes and enhancement of an outstanding information sharing 6
    • process across functions to effectively manage risks. As the research shows Brindley and Ritchie, (2007) essential tools in thedevelopment of their SCRM framework are the processes of communication, confidence,structures, individual arguments and interaction among different managers, staff membersand functions. They also express the importance of developing a closer interaction betweenSCM contributors and the improvements of solid “relationships”. How can PM and SCM be used in an interdisciplinary manner to address theSCRM problematic? The answer is: the interrelationship and similarity between PM andSCM of having a “ . . . precise beginning, defined ending, scope, time associate, preciseinputs, systems view, customer focused . . .” (Henrie, 2007, pp. 3) allow us to develop a jointbeneficial interconnected relationship among these two fields of study. In other words, thereare synergistic and symbiotic connections between PM and SCM that goes toward increasingprofessionalism of these fields. I wish to be part of this, and that is why I am proposing thefollowing plan of study. An important point is that these two field are very influence by the differentglobalization effects in terms of trade (e.g. import/export duties), finance (e.g. currencyexchange, interest rate), and culture (e.g. cross-cultural business negotiations) these are someof the issues where PM and SCM could work in collaboration to obtain gains frominterdisciplinary relationship. The strong relationship between PM and SCM is what has motivated me toselected my plan of studies. In my opinion Supply Chain Managers need to acquire theessentials tools, methods, techniques and knowledge of PM’s information system, in order toeffectively allocate SCM resources in a timely and under budget manner. On the other hand Iconsider that Project Managers also need those technical SCM skills (e.g. logistics, networks,procurement) to enhance projects’ coordination and allocation of resources. Plan of Study 7
    • Required0699-705 Context & Trends 4Concentration A: Project Management0681-710 Intro to Project Management 40681-711 Advanced Project Management 40681-712 International Project Management 4Concentration B: Supply Chain Management0106-782 Statistics for Decision Making 40106-401 Ops & Supply Chain Mgt. 40106-745 Quality Control & Improvement. 40102-741 Managing Organizational Change 4Electives:Transfer Applied Economics 4Transfer Economics of Regional Integration 4Transfer Multinational Corporations 4Co-Op 4Required:0699-775 Capstone Project 4Total 48 8
    • Plan for Accomplishing Required Program Learning Objectives As a graduate student pursuing a M.S. in Professional Studies concentration inPM and SCM my expectation is to obtain a meaningful learning experiences by acquiringinnovative knowledge and new skills related to my areas of concentration. The purpose ofthis interdisciplinary program is to develop five specific learning objectives: integrativeprofessional oral and written communication, integrative learning, critical thinking, problemsolving and ethical reasoning. For my future career development, I also expect to increase mynetworking while interacting with Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) students, faculty,alumni and staff members. These program learning objectives will be developed by combining theory withpractice. This combination is possible thanks to my actual position as a graduate assistant inthe office of career service and cooperative education. Through this graduate assistantship Ihave the extraordinary opportunity of coming into contact with real work scenarios that willenhance and aid me in developing these five learning objectives through real life practice. According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)“Oral communication is a prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge,to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners attitudes, values, beliefs, orbehaviors.” During my time in graduate school, I will be required to prepare essays,presentations, and projects through the different courses (e.g. Context and Trends, ManagingOrganizational Change, etc.). Such courses will allow me to develop my written and oralEnglish communication skills. At the end of my Master Degree I will be able to articulatemyself when making presentations or written communications using (e..g. references,quotations, statistics, analogies, etc.) In addition, the interactions that I will experience whilepreparing and doing presentations in my courses will empower me to manage speech deliverytechniques in order to feel more comfortable while speaking or writing in English.Moreover, working as a graduate assistant in the office of career services and cooperativeeducation, I will also be able to develop integrative professional communication because myjob activities require me to interrelate with the different students, employers and partneragencies allowing me to practice what I have learned in the classroom. 9
    • AACU defines critical thinking as a “habit of mind” consisting in broadlyexploring the different thoughts, opinions, beliefs before admitting them or developing yourown point of view. During my first quarter at R.I.T., I have already developed certain criticalthinking skills. While taking Context and Trends class I have been demanded and motivatedto improve my critical thinking capabilities. I believe that the different courses that my planof study presents will further enhance this ability. It is important to mention that this learningobjective will be developed with different resources available to all R.I.T. students, such asjournals, databases, books, newsletter, and magazines accessible through the WallaceLibrary. It is important to evaluate information from different sources in order to be able todevelop a contrastive analysis and identify different perspectives (e.g. In Context and Trendsclass we watched a video titled “China Inside Out” and this video presentedinterdisciplinary perspectives of how China is helping through development cooperationsome developing countries like Angola, Cambodia, Brazil, etc. countries that could offerthem back certain resources that they will need in the close future) I watched the video but Idid not rely entirely on the information I received from that source, moreover I am highlymotivated in looking for other sources of information to prepare a contrastive analysis anddevelop my own thinking about this situation. In summary, critical thinking skills will bedeveloped throughout my plan of study by researching and evaluating positions fromdifferent sources. Integrative Learning is define by the AACU as an “understanding and adisposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from makingsimple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning tonew, complex situations within and beyond the campus.” The M.S. in professional studiespermit us to develop a plan of study connecting two or three different concentrations, thisspecial characteristic allow us to develop a integrative plan of study being able tointerconnect two or three different fields of study. In my case, PM and SCM courses let medevelop interdisciplinary connection while also coming with solutions for problems situationsin these two fields. Preparing a Capstone Project will enhance my integrative learning skillsby requiring me to identify a real problem situation, analyzed it and develop solutionsthrough the application of my interdisciplinary capabilities. In order to acquire this learningobjective I will become an active member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) andalso I will enroll the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in order to get in 10
    • contact with my colleagues and consult with them different issues related with thedevelopment of my Capstone Project. Using Social Media websites like LinkedIn has alreadyhelped me to interchange ideas with different professionals of my field of study being a quickand easy manner to access to information that you could use as starting point for furtherresearch. Problem solving learning objective consists in the ability of maximizing practicalthinking in order to develop innovative solutions to obtain the desired outcomes. One of themost important purposes of M.S. in professional studies is to develop interdisciplinarythinking capabilities which allow me to use the interconnection or relationship betweendifferent fields to come with outstanding solutions to actual problems. Problem solving iswithout a doubt a central part of this plan of study because it is the outcome we attain toachieve by doing two or three concentrations. In order to develop this objective, is importantto use the different approaches or frameworks that we will learn throughout our plan of studycourses. In order to become an effective problem solver I need to be able to evaluate thedifferent contexts of the problem using an interdisciplinary approach and presentingreasonable and realistic solutions for those problematic situations. Ethical Reasoning is related with my own ethical values and the capacity ofidentifying what is correct or incorrect. Professional integrity is one of the characteristics thatmust be followed by R.I.T. students; we are encouraged to maintain our values and beliefs ina top position. I consider ethics as want of my more values skills. While living in SouthKorea I learned that “values” make the difference, this is my credo and this would help me tomanage ethical dilemmas in my future career. My plan of study also intends to accomplish a cooperative education (co-op)experience and a capstone project. This two will help me to acquire the five learningobjectives discussed in this section. Accomplishing a co-op will offer me the opportunity togain experience in PM or SCM fields of study in order to become more familiar with thedifferent real problems that I may encounter while working in the future. This workexperience will also help me to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.Moreover the capstone project which consists in recognizing, examining and solvingproblems facing my fields of studies would definitely enhance my integrative learning 11
    • experience and develop problem solving skills at the same time of increasing my integrativelearning communication. 12
    • Capstone Project Proposal While taking Context and Trends class, I have the opportunity to learn about themovie starring Lester Brown, titledPlan B 3.0: Mobilizing to save Civilization. Brown’sthesisis thatclimate change is caused byrising levels of carbon dioxide, lack of civilizationawareness and poverty.It is important to study theproblemof climate change as Brownpresented it in this movie to understand that poverty is a contributing factor to climatechange.It is also true that poverty contributes to horrible living and working conditions, andunjust child labor such as practiced in my country, the Dominican Republic (DR). I would like to concentrate my efforts in preparing a capstone project foreradication of child labor in the DR, in order to alleviate povertyand global climate warming.The main causes of child labor are poverty and lack of child labor injures awareness. Thiscould be illustrated in the insufficient household income perceived by families to satisfy basiclife needs due to poor education and unequal job opportunities. My idea is to get involvedwith the different organizationscurrently working to eradicatechild labor (e.g., World Bank,United Nations, Korean International Cooperative Agency, etc.) in order to learn how and inwhich ways they are addressing the problem. Applying my research and critical thinkingskills I will understand the underlying reasons of child labor in order to develop a sustainablesolution and be able to develop myproblem solving skills. The approach to be used is focused in the preparation of aninnovativedevelopment project proposal where I have the opportunity to select a specific region of theDR with this problem and evaluate the possibility of interrelating the private sector,governmental authorities and a potential donor in some innovative way. As a project managerI would be able to design, plan and coordinate the different activitiesneeded to implement theproject. My knowledge of SCM would enable me to effectively manage the differentresources and logistics strategies needed for project activities implementation. Definitely the outcomes are concentrated in the empowerment of women givingthem access to job opportunities, implement a child labor awareness program and secureaccess to education for those children working in the DR. 13
    • ReferencesBurgess, K., Singh, P. J., & Koroglu, R. (2006). Supply Chain Management: a Structured Literature Review and Implications for Future Research. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 26(7), 703-729. doi:10.1108/01443570610672202Henrie, M. (2006). Project Management Supply-Chain Challenges [Essay]. Retrieved October 11, 2011, from American Society of Advancement of Project Manager website:, M. (2007). Project Management: The Supply Chain View. Retrieved October 9, 2011, from, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2011). Project Management: the Managerial Process (11th ed.). New York, NY, 10020: McGraw Hill . (Original work published 2003)Manuj, I., & Mentzer, J. T. (2008). Global Supply Chain Risk Management Strategies. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 38(3), 192- 223. doi:10.1108/09600030810866986Marber, P. (2009). Understanding Globalization from Trunk to Tail. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Nanto, D. K., Cooper, W. H., & Donnelly, J. M. (2011, March 25). Japan’s 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Economic Effects and Implications for the United States (Rep. No. R41702). Retrieved from, B., & Brindley, C. (2007, April 4). An Emergent Framework for Supply Chain Risk Management and Performance Measurement. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 58, 1398-1411. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602412Tang, C. S. (2006, March 2). Perspectives in Supply Chain Risk Management. International Journal of Production Economics, 103, 451–488. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2005.12.006 14
    • Tang, O., & Musa, N. (2010, July 3). Identifying Risk Issues and Research Advancements in Supply Chain risk Management. International Journal of Production Economics, 133, 25-34. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2010.06.013Thun, J.-H., & Hoenig, D. (2009, October 27). An Empirical Analysis of Supply Chain Risk Management in the German Automotive Industry. International Journal of Production Economics, 131, 242-249. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2009.10.010United Parcel Service of America.(2005). Supply Chain Strategy: The Importance of Aligning your Strategies (White Paper WP.SCS.CS.638). Retrieved from, S. (2000, January). INNOREGIO: Dissemination of Innovation and Knowledge Management Techniques. Retrieved from B P R Hellas S Awebsite: 15