Report: Logistics Management

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Introduction: A ‘Good’ Appraisal System

To manage modern production in an effective way, new styles of logistics management of the industrial enterprises are compulsory. It is of supreme importance to announce the appraisal system. The essential goal of developing and implementing an appraisal system at enterprises can be considered as the formation of a motivational macro- and microenvironments. According to the study by Ahmed and Shabbir (2017), these microenvironments provide the solution of common tasks for the subjects of management at all levels. In accordance with the research by Guidice, Mero, Matthews and Greene (2016), those levels comprise the introduction into the personnel management system of effective methods of attracting highly skilled logisticians. Also, there should be studying and eliminating of the negative external and internal factors in the personnel management system (Guidice, Mero, Matthews & Greene 2016). Finally, Guidice, Mero, Matthews and Greene (2016) point to the necessity of the coordination of interests of the parties-participants, managing personnel at enterprises and the labour market simultaneously. Each of these levels constitutes the appraisal system for a logistics enterprise.

There should be a balance between the management systems of appraisal and staff. In this case, as Khan, Kashif, and Ahamd (2017) denote, it is taken into account that the management of appraisal is, on the one hand, the functional subsystem of the personnel management system itself. On the other hand, it is a complex task and a function for managing human resources that permits achieving the aims facing the enterprise by solving the tasks of forming each of the logistics’ subsystems (Khan, Kashif & Ahamd 2017). Finally, Shao, Feng and Hu (2016) believe that the essence of a ‘good’’ appraisal system is the effectiveness of all personnel management subsystems, which are comprised of labour relations, planning, favourable working conditions, improved personnel accounting, forecasting and marketing of personnel, etc. Thus, all of these components are to be included in the appraisal system of an organization.

A Model of Leadership for the Position of Logistics Assistant Position

In general, leadership implies unconventionality, novelty, and independence. Systematic management presupposes controllability as well as the predictability of the present and the future. In addition to this, leadership is characterized by its determinism (White, Currie & Lockett 2016). According to Schmitt, Den Hartog and Belschak (2016), the leadership, which is familiar to all consultants in the field of logistics is marked by the well-established and accustomed planning, controlling systems, sewn into the information system, and budgeting. Also, it comprises the well-established business processes which are the biggest obstacle to the introduction of organizational change of the leadership model (Schmitt, Den Hartog & Belschak 2016). Hence, the constructed interconnected processes permeate every cell of the company. Even a small-scale change affects almost the entire organization (Braun & Nieberle 2017).

Within the position of the Logistics Assistant, the model of heroic leadership is essential. According to the study by Behrendt, Matz and Göritz (2017), the downside of the presence of the heroic leader in the organization presupposes the followers of the leader and his/her opponents.  That is, there is a certain boundary that separates the people, who are loyal to the leader from all the other ones (Behrendt, Matz & Göritz 2017). In such a way, a group appears. Then the laws of group dynamics begin to work. In accordance with the study by Fry, Latham, Clinebell and Krahnke (2017), the main law is conservation of the group, which requires proof that the leader has the right to leadership; there is a need to contrast ‘we’ and ‘them’ (Fry, Latham, Clinebell & Krahnke 2017). The image of this leadership model begins to rule the person. The emergence of the heroic leader in the company inevitably leads to polarization, divergence of interests, and the conflicts become obvious (Kunze, De Jong & Bruch 2016). Independence of judgments and new ideas are allowed only if they coincide with the course of thought of the leader. The model of heroic leadership is the coordination of the activities of many leaders (Kunze, De Jong & Bruch 2016). However, heroic leadership in logistics assistant position makes very serious demands on the individual. These are high sensitivity and at the same time resistance to change, self-sufficiency, paradoxical management skills, etc (Schaubroeck, Shen & Chong 2017). The most important difficulty, herein, is an unusual image, which contradicts steady ideas about a durable leader.


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A Model of Negotiation for the Position of Logistics Assistant Position

Negotiations are referred to as one of the many types of interaction between people. In general, the characteristic features of this process are the existence of a problem, which, indeed, is a prerequisite for any kind of debate; and similarities and differences in the interests of the parties (Bazaras, Čižiūnienė, Palšaitis & Kabashkin 2016; Jordan & Bak 2016). Hence, in logistics and logistics assistant position, it is paramount to elaborate the model of negotiations.

One of the most suitable models is the so-called Mathematical Model of Negotiations. Herein, it is reasonable to assume that in the first rounds of official discussion the parties come to some consensus, and further changes in the terms of the contract are already in details (Bazaras, Čižiūnienė, Palšaitis & Kabashkin 2016; Aserkar, Kumthekar & Inamdar 2017). Therefore, within this model, the negotiations consist of two phases. At the beginning of the process, the first phase of negotiations operates, the players do not yet know the consent zone in it (Tatham, Wu, Kovács & Butcher 2017). They try to regulate it sooner, therefore at each step there are significant changes in the proposals (Tatham, Wu, Kovács & Butcher 2017). In general, the phase of negotiations changes when the player reaches the zone of agreement. The second phase comes when the consent zone is defined (Tatham, Wu, Kovács & Butcher 2017). In this phase, the participants submit newfangled proposals much more thoughtfully.

The mathematical model, which made it possible to determine the number of rounds of negotiations, can be used only to find the final price of the contract. According to the study by Chapman, Miles and Maurer (2017), the proposals of intermediate rounds, obtained from this model, are untenable and inconsistent. Since the task of the negotiating manager is the conclusion of the optimum contract, it is necessary to calculate the costs for each round of negotiations (Chapman, Miles & Maurer 2017). Thus, it is essential to determine what the participants’ proposals would be in the intermediate rounds (Chapman, Miles & Maurer 2017). To this end, it is vital to define formulas for determining the intermediate sentences of the participants (Chapman, Miles & Maurer 2017). To formulate the suggestions of participants with regard to their forces, it seems reasonable to use non-linear functions (such as logarithmic power, and/or trigonometric functions) (Chapman, Miles & Maurer 2017). The application of each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. They, in general, should be based on the available statistics regarding the negotiations that have taken place (Chapman, Miles & Maurer 2017). In the event that the purchaser and seller’s forces are equivalent, their rates are reduced by the same quantity. Successive nomination of proposals by the participants continues until consensus is reached in cooperation and final charge determination.

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A Model of Problem-Solving Skills for the Position of Logistics Assistant Position

No single enterprise functions without problems regardless of their size. They exist in any area of ​​the staff, as a rule (Repice et al. 2016). More often, these are managerial and organizational problems, which require an immediate solution (Repice et al. 2016). However, it is likely that difficulties can emerge in the design and technological activities of the logistics company’s services. A person (a logistics assistant) is the core of any decision, and a person (a logistics assistant) is prone to make mistakes for various reasons (Martz, Hughes & Braun 2017). According to the study by Martz, Hughes and Braun (2017), the consequence of such a mistake may be any kind of a predicament. Most frequently, they respond to the appearance of a difficulty only when it becomes noticeable and there is no possibility to delay its solution (Wahab, Shamsuddin, Abdullah & Roslan 2017). Most of the problems are simply not noticed, as the logistics assistants believe that these are the costs of the work and do not assume that all this can be changed (Wahab, Shamsuddin, Abdullah & Roslan 2017). Thus, it is paramount to pay attention to the problem solving models within the logistics field of expertise.

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It is important to know that the logistics assistants see, evaluate and understand the same problem differently. This is due to the personality of the individual (Wahab, Shamsuddin, Abdullah & Roslan 2017). They occupy various positions, have diverse education and work experience. Due to these motives, everyone sees the same problem from different angles (Wahab, Shamsuddin, Abdullah & Roslan 2017). In addition, overcoming obstacles with the help of the group model of problem solution at enterprises affects both the interests of many groups and individual employees.

Resolving problems by the means of the group model of problem solution contributes to numerous positive consequences. They include improving the process of discussion; finding the best solution; mastering teamwork skills; developing creative thinking among employees; and a higher level of agreement on the final solution (Derwik, Hellström & Karlsson 2016). In addition, Derwik, Hellström and Karlsson (2016) believe that the five-stepped model of problem solution gives the opportunities for employees of all levels of the organization to participate in this process. Hence, it is possible to formulate potential pluses and minuses of solving problems in the group. According to the study by El-Zein and Hedemann (2016), the advantages include the review of problems by the group, which allows to look more broadly at the problem and conduct a thorough analysis of it. Secondly, during the work of the group, participants demonstrate more knowledge, find more reasons and suggest more solutions (El-Zein & Hedemann 2016). Thirdly, the discussion clarifies the problem statement and reduces the uncertainty about possible options for action (El-Zein & Hedemann 2016). Participation in decision making contributes to the satisfaction of employees and stimulates a high level of activity in their implementation (El-Zein & Hedemann 2016). Hence, this model is perfect for the position of the logistics assistant.

A Model of Change Management Skills for the Position of Logistics Assistant Position

The model of change management skills which are necessary for the position of the logistics assistant is the one elaborated by J. Duck. The so-called term of a ‘monster of change’ is a universal description invented by Duck to refer to complex, sometimes frightening emotional outbursts and social processes that appear in any attempt to introduce serious organizational changes (Heiskanen, Thidell & Rodhe 2016). Mergers, reorganization and other transformations always affect the interests of people, and this inevitably involves a clear (or, worse, an implicit) manifestation of feelings and hurt self-esteem (Heiskanen, Thidell & Rodhe 2016). The main provisions of the model in question include the following aspects. According to the studies by Gibson, Kerr and Fisher (2016) and Machado, de Lima, da Costa, Angelis and Mattioda (2017), the process of change includes a sequence of predictable and controlled events, which are referred to as dynamic phases within the frame of the model. This sequence is called the curve of change (Machado, de Lima, da Costa, Angelis & Mattioda 2017). There are five phases it is comprised of. The ‘curve of change’ begins with the phase of inactivity, then passes through the stages of preparation, application and verification of strength and, finally, ends with the accomplishment of the goal (O’Connor, Derudder & Witlox 2016). All programs of changes, according to the authors, are necessary to pass through these phases (O’Connor, Derudder & Witlox 2016). The ‘monster’ reveals itself in a new capacity on each of them (O’Connor, Derudder & Witlox 2016). Each organization passes these phases in its own way. They differ in duration and may overlap with each other, and the structural units do not necessarily pass them synchronously. Often, the leaders ‘break away’ from the rest of the participants, which makes the process of change even more difficult and frustrating for them and for those who follow (Roberts & Hazen 2016).

Hence, organizational changes appear not as a predefined sequence of events, but as a dynamic process. It cannot be said that the management of transformations in any organization is condensed exclusively to working with human relations (Roberts & Hazen 2016). This is just one of the three essential components necessary for the successful implementation of reforms (Roberts & Hazen 2016). Firstly, it is a strategy: a strong belief in the ultimate goal of change (Roberts & Hazen 2016). The strategy should be reasonable, and the obligations unbreakable (Roberts & Hazen 2016). It also should be as clear as possible, accessible to understanding and easily executed. Secondly, this is an implementation: a reliable management system (Roberts & Hazen 2016). To successfully transition to a new quality of the organization, the same management methods will be required as in periods of relative stability and ‘normal’ activity (if any). Finally, there is taming the ‘monster’: increased consideration of the problems of the emotional and behavior plan, inseparable from the process of organizational change, as well as the desire to solve them.

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Conclusion: Reflective Learning and ‘Good’ Practice

As an educational technology, the reflective learning stimulates thinking while presenting the actual essence of the material and choosing training methods and techniques due to the problematic orientation of assignments and teaching materials. As far as the reflective learning frame is concerned, the problem training is a useful practice. It helps realize and appreciate one’s place in the world that is constantly changing and transforming (Aitken, Childerhouse, Deakins & Towill 2016). Relationships between people, including the relationship of the student and the teacher, also affect the perception of the world and the place in it (Aitken, Childerhouse, Deakins & Towill 2016). Therefore, it gives food for thought, perhaps, a joint one, since their reflection is inseparable from the action.

For the development of the skills in logistics, varying the content of cognitive activity (professional, intercultural content, and person-significant) and teaching aids, one can get different results. Therefore, the success of learning in logistics directly depends on the components of cognitive activity discussed (Aitken, Childerhouse, Deakins & Towill 2016). With certain combinations of conditions and levels of motivation, the greatest cognitive activity arises. It can be identified with the rise in the quality of knowledge (Anand, Meijer, van Duin, Tavasszy & Meijer 2016). The effectiveness of teaching in a holistic educational process naturally depends on how much the teacher in logistics’ skills manages to ensure the unity of his/her actions with the actions of the trainees and their coordination (Holden, Xu, Greening, Piecyk & Dadhich 2016). Thus, the use of reflective learning technology allows to organize an educational space, where both participants in the learning process assume equal responsibility for learning outcomes (Holden, Xu, Greening, Piecyk & Dadhich 2016). This is also where both subjects of the learning process are equally active, but play different roles, which can and should vary depending on the purposes of the teaching and the means used.

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The reflective learning creates opportunities for the development of the professionals and contributes to the formation of the willingness to take responsibility for the process of constructing knowledge and skills. The technology of ‘good’ practice contributes to the effectiveness of the study by creating the ability of students to successfully master the subject matter of logistics (Anand, Meijer, van Duin, Tavasszy & Meijer 2016; Holden, Xu, Greening, Piecyk & Dadhich 2016). In this cognitive activity of students, individuals and groups are aimed not only at achieving the result, but also at organizing the process of achieving this result (Kunze, Wulfhorst & Minner 2016). This process should be sufficiently technologically developed to create a ‘good practice’ that stimulates self-reliant activity on the basis of cooperation between the students and with the teacher.

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