My Resume

CURRICULUM VITAE

MARIJA BARISHIN

 

 

Address: BOTUN 33 A, 1060 SKOPJE, R. MACEDONIA                                                       Citizenship: Croatian and Macedonian

Tel: ++ 389 78 20 93 96                                                                                                   Date of Birth: 29/08/1980

Email: barisin.marija@gmail.com

 

RESEARCH

 

 

My principal research interests lie in the field of organizational behavior and the impact of its variables on productivity efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. I am currently working on a paper on gender aspects of managerial decision making trying to find a difference in the decision making process of successful female to those of successful male managers. My future research plans are to develop models of knowledge retention as well as examining the dynamics of different demographics and its impacts on performance. I am also very interested in researching the need for adaptation of different leadership styles in correlation to the changing demographics in the human capital of an organization. At the same time, I am fascinated by organizational change and transformation especially the effects it has on informal communication.

 

EDUCATION

2011-2012 Master of Science (MSc) Industrial Engineering and Management

                      Faculty for Mechanical Engineering, University Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Macedonia

Thesis: Creating Organizational Cultures that Forster Innovation

 

2009-                     PhD Candidate Gender Studies

                                Euro-Balkan Institute, Skopje, Macedonia

 

2006-2008            Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management

University American College Skopje (UACS), Skopje, Macedonia  

-          Master thesis: Study of Managerial Decision Making Practices – Differences in Decision Making Process for Profit and Non Profit Organizations

-          Supervisor: Professor Marjan Bojadziev, PhD – leading researcher in organizational behavior.

-          Partial funding awarded by the University American College Skopje.

-          Modules included: Advanced Organizational Behavior, Marketing Management, Corporate Governance, Strategic Management, Human Resource Management, Managerial Accounting, Operations Management, Portfolio Analysis, Advance IT Skills and Research, International Management and Globalization, Advanced Public Relations, IT Applications for Business.

-          graduated top of the class with a GPA of 3.81

 

2001-2003            Bachelor of Business Administration (BA) in International Business and Marketing

Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

-          Modules included (among others): Organizational Behavior, Management Science, Interpersonal Skills, Management of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Change Management, Business Ethics, Training & Development, Competitiveness, Topics in Marketing, Business Policy & Strategic Management.

-          held a seminar on Sustainable Development and Competitiveness

-          graduated in the top 10% of 2003 graduating class

 

1999-2001            Completed first and second year of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Business and Management

HES Amsterdam School of Business, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

-          completed first two years successfully before transferring to a BBA program at Bishops University

-          Modules included (among others): Market Research & Statistics, Business Structures, Business Economics, Marketing, Strategic Management, Foreign Direct Investment, European Law, Economics, Finance, Dutch, Business English,

-          in the top 5%

 

1997-1999            International Baccalaureate (IB)

                                Josip Broz Tito Highschool

-          Modules included: Mathematics (HL), English (HL), Macedonian (HL), Economic Geography (ML), Chemistry (ML), Art & Design (ML), Theory of Knowledge

PUBLICATIONS

 

 

-          “Corporate Strategies in a Downturn”, Conference Proceedings, Current Issues in Management, University of Latvia, Riga, 2011

-          “Shopping Guide for Rookie Parents” , Magor, Skopje, Sept. 2010

-          “Creating an Organizational Culture that Fosters Innovation”, GolbalHR Magazine, Skopje, May 2010

-           “Managerial Decision Making”, Conference Proceedings, 3rd Conference of Euro-integration, UACS, Skopje, 2009

-          “From Staffing to HRM”, GlobalHR Magazine, Skopje, February, 2009

-          “Quality Management” a reader, UACS, Skopje, December, 2008

-          Author of Chapters: Organizational Culture, Organizational Structure, in textbook“ Introduction to Management”, UACS, Skopje, October, 2008

 

TEACHING/ADMINISTRATION EXPERIENCE

 

 

2008 – Cur.          Lecturer and Researcher

Feb. –                    School of Business Administration, University American College Skopje

-          Preparing lectures, delivering lectures, preparing and administrating exams, grading papers and exams and doing research

-          Lecturer of Management (undergraduate first year course)

-          Lecturer of Management in Architecture (undergraduate first year course)

-          Lecturer of Organizational Behavior (MBA and undergraduate second year course)

-          Lecturer of Quality Management (undergraduate third year course)

-          All of the courses are taught in English and in Macedonian

-          Takes part in various research and consulting project

-          Academic advisor to students with low GPA

 

OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE

 

 

2011 –                    External Expert for Training and Research

                                Knowledge Center, Skopje, Macedonia

Holds training seminars and workshops for middle managers and also ones for recent graduates

Courses: Strategic Management, Organizational Change and Leadership and New Venture Creation

 

2009-                     External Expert in the field of human resource practices and strategy formulation

Petreski and Partners, Skopje, Macedonia

Tomato IP Consulting, Skopje, Macedonia

 

2004-2008Quality Officer

Nov -Jan              Makpetrol A.D. Skopje, Macedonia – oil distribution

-          Worked on implementing ISO9001 and ISO14001

-          Led internal audits of the standards

-          Worked on analysis that would pin point areas that needed improvement within the core processes

-          Wrote standard operating procedures

-          Organized the documentation of the organization according to ISO9001 requirements

-          Prepared analysis to follow the development of the quality standard and its functioning

-          Completed a customer satisfaction survey based on a representative national sample

-

2003-2004Marketing Assistant

May – Jan            Arts and Crafts Canada Calgary, Alberta Canada

-          Constructed a database of artists, crafters, art schools, galleries and trade shows

-          Contacted prospective clients and wrote and presented offers

-          Held marketing training to artists and crafters

-          Author of a monthly online newsletter for artists and crafters on how to be more successful in the sale of their creations

 

CONFERENCES

 

 

-          9th Eastern European eGov Days: eGovernment in Times of Economic Challenges, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8-10 May, 2011.

-          Governance of Fear and Prosperity, 12th Bled Forum of Europe, Golf Hotel, Bled, Slovenia, 3-4 March 2011.

-          9th SEE Human Resource Management Arena,  Conference on Managing Human Potentials, Hotel Regent Esplanade, Zagreb, Croatia, 12th October, 2010.

-           “Ways to Lead, Motivate and Overcome Resistance to Change”, Fifth Annual Conference of EU Integration, University American College, Skopje, 30th May 2010.  

-          “Banking Sector in a Crisis – Solvency and Issues of Liquidity”, Fourth Annual Conference of EU Integration, University American College, Skopje, 30th May 2009.

-          “Managerial Perspective on eDemocracy Development”, Information Society and eDemocracy Conference, Hotel Holiday Inn, Belgrade, Serbia, 19th May, 2009.

-          “Designing and Implementing Successful Strategies for an Economic Downturn”, Current Issues in Management of Business and Society Development, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, 7-9 May, 2009.

-          “Investment Opportunities in R. Macedonia“, Culture in Knowledge Societies, 11th Bled Forum of Foresight Conference, Golf Hotel, Bled, Slovenia, 10-12 March 2009.

-          “Decision Making Practices of Macedonian Managers”, Third Annual Conference of EU Integration, University American College Skopje, Macedonia, 30th May 2008.

 

SEMINARS

 

 

-          Academic Writing Seminar, Prof. Dona Kolar, Euro-Balkan Institute, Skopje, Macedonia, 10-19th February, 2011.

-          Strategic and Business Planning in Times of Crisis, Marcon Austria, Skopje, Macedonia, 16-18 October, 2009.

-          Technology Commercialization, Prof. Meg Wilson, University of Texas, Institute of Technology Commercialization, UACS, Skopje, Macedonia, 9th October, 2009.

-          Research Methodology, Euro-Balkan Institute, Skopje, Macedonia 2-10 October, 2009.

-          Implementation of the Bologna Process, Mr. Bob Johnson, European Council for Business Education, UACS, Skopje, Macedonia, 18th September, 2009.

-          Introduction to Regression Analysis, Prof. Thomas Gautschi and Prof. Roman Kuster, University of Bern, Ohrid, Macedonia, 22-24 June, 2009.

-          EBSCO Training, UACS, Skopje, Macedonia, 20th June, 2009.

-          Bled Foresight Training Seminar, Bled Forum, E-Governance Academy, 5th March, 2009.

-          Creating Learning Teams, University American College, Skopje, Macedonia, 12th January, 2009.

-          Team Building Seminar, UACS, Ohrid, Macedonia, 7-8 March, 2008.

-          Inco Terms Seminar, Macedonian Chamber, Skopje, Macedonia, April, 2007.

-          Internal Auditor Diploma for ISO9001/ISO14001, IQNet, Skopje, Macedonia, October, 2005.

 

TEHNICAL SKILLS

 

 

Advanced knowledge of the Microsoft Office Package

Working knowledge of SPSS

LANGUAGES

 

 

Macedonian       Native

Croatian               Native

English                  Fluent spoken and written

German               Working knowledge

Dutch                    Basic knowledge

 

REFEREES

 

 

  1. Bratislav Stankovic, PhD, JD, MSc., Loyola Universiy of Chicago, bstankovic@luc.edu
  2. Mirjana Todorovska – LLM International Business Law, LLM International Intellectual Property Law, University American College Skopje, mirjana.todorovska@fulbrightmail.org

 

 

 

 

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Why are strategic initiatives important for corporate strategy?

 

A personal note:

I caught the strategy bug back as a senior at business school since I have been thinking and working on corporate strategic issues for about a decade now. I owe this interest to my dear professor and the dean of Williams Business School, Bishops University, Bill Robson. I took Business Policy and Strategy with him and it was an enlightening experience to say the least. Then I understood that strategy is not only crucial in the business survival of the firm but also in the personal life of every individual.

Now it gives me a great joy to write this paper for your application. The way I decided to do this is the following: I did my research and used your research database and scholar.google to download all papers pertaining to the topic which with cutting it down came to 4000 articles out of which about 40 percent were available in full text.

However, I decided not to read them right away but to write the first page by explaining my thoughts on the topic and then use the second and third for literature review and my reflections on it.

Why are strategic initiatives important for corporate strategy?

 

In my career I have had the opportunity to be in the position to strategize frequently and even more often to do it without the permission of my superiors. I am referring to my position as a quality officer at Makpetrol, Skopje. This is the largest oil distribution company in Macedonia which was known as Yugopetrol until the end of the 1970’s before becoming independent from the national one and changing the name to Makpetrol. This is a company with a tradition of social way of leading. Specifically, they always promote from within, they always employee young people who are sons and daughters of retired employers. I was one of them. My father led their gas department and my mother was head of social help and development unit. Both earned their positions and my acceptance with hard work and building tight personal relationships.

For two decades this firm was led by an extraordinary man called Gavro (his first name because everyone knew him and called by it) who passed away before his time. Gavro had an open door policy and not only knew every of the 4000 employees by name but he also knew their families and personal problems.

In 1995 a new management was appointed and a person who had been heading their London division was awarded the CEO position. New management who is still in place slowly but surely changed the way things were done in the company. When I joined their ranks back in 2004 as a newbie with a lot of ambition, ideological way of looking at things and considered to have all it takes to succeed I saw something very different from what I was used to hearing at my parents get togethers with colleagues at our house. Suddenly the sentence most heard in the headquarters hallways and offices was: “In Gavro’s time…. things were different, this or that would never happen”. Mind you Macedonia has an unemployment rate over 30% and this is a company that gave the feeling of security, once you are in, you stay there until the day of your retirement. Makpetrol was a socialist system leftover in every sense of the word. Majority of the employees were in their fifties and settled in their ways.

The second most heard thing for a decade as I later found out was that changes are about to come, layoffs, company reengineering. This management did things differently. To get a meeting with the CEO you had to send a letter to his personal assistant who will decide whether to give it to the CEO and then if by a slim chance you get a date it will be three to six months later.

The second issue that went through the grapevine happened about a year since I started working there. One Friday lists were sent from above that detailed geographically who will go to which office, desk, and department. All of us had to come the next day, Saturday and move our belonging to the new office we had been assigned to. I walk in Saturday morning and it is a mess, chairs and desks in the hallway, flowers and other personal belongings. No one knew what is to happen. For three months no one knew what their new tasks would be. The new structure changed from customer oriented to product oriented. One department was taken into pieces and from fifteen top managers the firm now had twenty two. Needless to say this whole badly planned and executed left people feeling even more stressed, frozen and unable to perform the ambiguous tasks they were assigned.

My job was made that much harder. Not only did I have to do semiannual quality audits throughout all of the departments but now I had to ask people about their job when they themselves weren’t sure what that job was. Bearing in mind that ISO9001:2000 had only been implemented and awarded a year before.

Another very important issue was that at that time the managers were afraid of a hostile take-over from Russian Lukoil and they made every shareholder (most employees and retired employees) sign agreements that they will not sell, otherwise their jobs are not guaranteed nor the jobs of their children who worked there. Obviously this didn’t hold up in court but it did however do its purpose, people were afraid to sell and not surprisingly what were their options. At a time when one share was trading at 3,000 euros on the Macedonian Stock Exchange people didn’t sell and the courageous ones that did lost their jobs or were sent to dead end positions. There were cases when employees had to sell a few to pay for medical expenses and they were reprimanded with six months of 30% pay deduction.

Imagine my delight when two years later I was offered a lecturer position and the University American College where I had been finishing my MBA in the last year and a half. I accepted and was out of Makpetrol in less than two weeks after the offer. UACS was a completely new territory, one I only read about in books, open door policy, free to make your own schedule, complete support from the rector and the university management. Corporate initiatives were heard and if sound implemented and the person who put it forward was made an owner of the process and compensated. More than that intrinsically it was an environment where I felt I was achieving self-actualization.

Now I would like to turn your attention to the short literature review.

Strategy and strategic initiatives have been widely researched. It has been a topic of the academic and business world alike for more than decades now. I would like to point out the period when American automobile and electronic business were attacked and lost market share on their own turf which prompted the very famous research of Professor Michael Porter and the Supply Chain, The Diamond and Five Competitive Forces Model that I use more than often.

Any new strategic direction hence new strategy means change. Change in technology, in the way things are done and most importantly people. Shading a light on the end of the tunnel and showing people where we need to be without lighting up the whole tunnel and making them realize why destination B is much more preferred than current position A is crucial. Participative management and getting people on board and managing any possible sabotage should the focus of every strategic initiative but we know too well now that that is not the case always.

“A strategic initiative is one that: responds to an issue that, when resolved, will have a significant impact on the organization’s results, and requires cross-functional support to succeed.” (Snyder, 2008)

Four steps to successfully sponsoring a Strategic Initiative: 1. Initiating the effort – Gathering support. 2. Launching – Agreeing on the approach. 3. Executing – Producing results. 4. Gaining momentum – Communicating results. (Snyder, 2008)

Norton and Kaplan introduced The Balanced Scorecard to the academic and business world which supplemented traditional financial measure with criteria that measured performance from three additional perspectives – those of customers, internal business processes, and learning and growth. It therefore enabled companies to track financial results while simultaneously monitoring progress in building capabilities and acquainting the intangible assets they would need for the future. Companies are using the scorecard to: clarify and update strategy, communicate strategy throughout the company, align unit and individual goals with the strategy, link strategic objectives to long-term targets and annuals budgets, identify and align strategic initiatives, and conduct periodic performance reviews to learn about and improve strategy. (Kaplan, Norton, 1996) Refer to Annex for a strategy analysis on different industries. (McGee. Thomas, 1986)

Based on Kaplan’s and Norton’s paper “Creating the Office of Strategy Management” I will go through the strategic process both the unsuccessful one. (Kaplan, Norton; 2005)

The process starts sometime in the middle of the fiscal year, when the strategic planning department organizes a multi-day offsite meeting for the executive leadership team to update strategy based on a review of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and in light of changing circumstances and the new knowledge gained since the last strategy meeting, a year ago. Ninety-five percent of employees claim they are not aware of or do not understand the strategy.

The barriers to successful implementation of strategic initiatives are the most common ones including structure, management processes, systems and HR policies: top-down senior management style, unclear strategy and conflicting priorities, an ineffective senior management, poor vertical communication, poor coordination across functions, inadequate down-the-line leadership skills and development. (Kaplan, Norton, 1996)

The successful companies transform key management processes to focus on strategy execution. Nine cross-functional processes have been identified that should be managed or integrated by an Office of Strategy Management: scorecard management, organization alignment, strategy reviews, strategy planning, and strategy communication, initiative management, planning and budgeting, workforce alignment, best practice sharing. (Kaplan, Norton, 1996)

A key starting point is the acceptance of the counterintuitive notion that the strategic-planning process should not be designed to make strategy. Henry Mintzberg, argues that real strategies are rarely made in paneled conference rooms but are more likely to be cooked up informally and often in real time. No strategy process can guarantee brilliant flashes of creative insight, but much can be done to increase the odds that they will occur: prepare the minds, encourage creative mind, top-down: Drive crosscutting themes and add strategy to the job title. (Mintzberg, 1987)

Hamei and Prahalad argue that Western companies focus on trimming their ambitions to match resources and, as a result, search only for advantages they can sustain. By contrast, Japanese corporations leverage resources by accelerating the pace of organizational learning and try to attain seemingly impossible goals. These firms foster the desire to succeed among their employees and maintain it by spreading the vision of global leadership. (Hamei, Parahalad, 1989 and Kaplan, Norton, 1996)

  • Provide employees with the skills they need to work effectively-training
  • Give the organization time to digest one challenge before launching another.
  • Establish clear milestones and review mechanisms
  • Translate the strategy into operational terms.
  • Align the organization to the strategy.
  • Make strategy everyone’s everyday job.
  • Make strategy a continual process.
  • Mobilize change through executive leadership.

Strategy will have us puzzled for many years to come and with the ever changing environment where the automobile industry has less than two years to market and the software industry less than three months strategy is an ever evolving topic.

References

 

M. Beer, R. Eisenstat, “The Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning” Sloan Management Review, summer, 2000.

 

E. D. Beinhocker, “Robust adaptive strategies,” in Michael A. Cusumano and Constantinos C. Markides (editors), Strategic Thinking for the Next Economy, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

 

D. Campbell, S. Datar, S. Kulp, and V.G. Narayanan, “The Strategic Information Content of Non-financial Performance Measures,” HBS Working Paper, 2004.

 

M. Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention,

New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

 

R. N. Foster and S. Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market—and How to Successfully Transform Them, New York: Currency/Doubleday, 2001.

 

Hamei, Parahalad, “Strategic Intent” The High Performance Organization, Harvard Business Review, 1989.

 

S. Kaplan, D. Norton, “Creating the Office of Strategy Management” Harvard Business Review, 2005.

S. Kaplan, D. Norton, “Using the Balanced Scoredcard”, Harvard Business Review, 1996.

S. Kaplan, D. Norton, “How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, The Strategy focused Organization”, Executive Book Summary, 2001.

 

J. McGee, H. Thomas, “Strategic Groups: Theory, Research and Taxonomy”, Strategic Management Journal, 1986.

 

H. Mintzberg, “Crafting Strategy,” Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Review, October 2004, pp 62-72, 1987.

 

R. Snyder, “Strategic Initiatives for Results – Making Changes that Dramatically Improve Results”, Breakthrough Inc. 2008

 

Submitted to Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Aalto University, School of Science

15th of December, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello world!

Hello World!

I am a researcher of organizational behavior and a business lecturer. I do consulting a lot and I am interested in researching change management, innovation, grapevine and many other subjects connected to social psychology. I a PhD from the EuroBalkan Institute,  MSC in Industrial Engineerin from the Mechanical Faculty in Skopje, an MBA from University American College Skopje and and a BBA from Bishops University. I am also published both in the academic world and commercially as an author of a baby book.

Above all I am a single mom of an adorable 2 year old, very active boy!

This blog is primarily for my research and views on current events. But I am sure I will not be able to avoid writing about my son since my life pretty much evolves around him and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

 

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