Reflection and Synthesis Task 1

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Reflectionand Synthesis


Themethodology through which individuals thrive to manage the changesthat occur as a result of their engagements and the environment theyare in is referred to as problem-solving. There are dire consequencesassociated with failure to embrace the former, including death.Change is inevitable, and every problem solver has his or her way ofsolving difficulties. However, everyone should wisely choose the mostappropriate approach to do the same. This essay is aimed at showingthat problem-solving incorporates four primary elements includingopportunity, level, style and motive. The cognitive effect, as a partof cognition, selects the opportunity and defines the problem-solvingmethodology that is needed or desired. Also, it includes the adequateresources for attaining it. There exist different levels of problemssolvers who may disdain the efforts of others. Nevertheless, theproblem solvers should utilise the similarities and differencesbetween them to come up with practical solutions. In the cognitiveeffect paradigm, style and level are independent, but collaborationis critical.

Ajob as an engineer in an information technology company is associatedwith very many complex and challenging situations which are mostlyassociated with cyber-threats. A year ago, as a system administratorin the Pal Alto Network Company, I was faced with a difficultsituation that seemed to be impossible to handle. The client, a firmthat was adversely affected by cyber-crime was facing some seriousproblems as a result. These issues included loss of assets andbusiness and litigation. Also, the firm’s good reputation had beengreatly damaged. Before the situation, the business was performingvery well. It had even increased its labour force to due to the highdemand for the services it provided. The returns that it generatedwere high, and it had devised ways to reduce its overall cost ofproduction.

Althoughthe business had a specialised team that was responsible fordeveloping, testing, administrating and securing the latter againstcyber-related crimes, the methods that the group employed in tacklingthe issue were not exclusively effective in eradicating the threat.The team had tried to set secure passwords, but employees stillshared them with others. All computer systems were updated, but theattackers were always a step ahead and were able to even drain someof the company’s bank accounts. I decided to solve the problem byusing a system that was provided by my company. The Palo AltoNetworks Next-Generation Security Platform, which we had developedthe previous year proved to be more effective. The approach, allowedthe company to compartmentalise the threat while still focusing onits business operations. I had considered other means such as the useof cloud services, but the chances of such failing were still high.Some of the members of system engineers of the company enormouslyhelped to handle the situation. After five months the company wasable to handle the threat to a manageable degree. More so, thecompany started to regain its reputation.

Thefact that the company’s system engineers were directed to mepresented an opportunity for me to make use of my problem-solvingtechniques. I had to come up with a different style to solve theproblem since the ones employed by the firm had not been successful.The whole situation challenged the company’s engineers, and theyresolved to take lessons where they gained knowledge on how to usethe system developed by the network company. I was immenselymotivated by the fact that other methods that had been used toaddress the issue had not been entirely successful, and therefore Ineeded to show that I had the ability to solve the problem. Coming upwith a solution was important in securing my job since the firm I wasworking for was about to carry out a retrenchment.

Itis important to review one`s motives to make sure they don’t cometo the workplace with the problem at hand. To filter and prioritisethe tasks aimed at problem-solving, I execute a carefully designedplan within a given time-frame. After listing the motives, I alwaysestablish the due dates. Some problem-solving procedures lead to theemergence of other problems my strongest motives are those that haveminimal negative consequences. To avoid mismatching motives and theproblems at hand, it is important to reassess the to-do-listregularly. Furthermore, this helps one to identify the motives thatare insufficient regarding the problem-solving process. Afteridentification of such motives, I brainstorm for ideas to come upwith alternative motivations. Creative thinking and consultationsalso come in handy in such situations.

Dueto the experience that I had gained as an employee at the networkcompany, I had a clear understanding of what the Next-GenerationSecurity approach entailed. The potential and manifest level matchedthe situation since they were aimed at making the company, which wasfailing, to take action and make a positive change in five months.After getting the solution, I made a follow up on the company to makesure that all issues regarding cyber-threats were manageable.Although other methods such as the setting up of secure passwordscould prove to be effective in a way, it was important for thecompany to regain its good performance as first as possible. TheNext-Generation Security approach was better than the others sincethrough it, the firm moved from lower, to neutral and to a higherpower for solutions in regard to the threat.

Cognitivestyle is mainly focused on how problem solvers make use of theircreativity. On the other hand, cognitive levels involve theassessment of the abilities that people have. Separation of the twoimproves our understanding of how the problem-solving issue should behandled. First, the separation may help in developing a framework forsorting the motives in terms of validity. We are able to do away withmotives that are mismatched with the problem. Also, the separationcan broaden our perception of creativity. As a result, we might beable to validate less popular problem-solving techniques. Whencognitive style and level are confounded, the problem-solving processmay not be successful. This is because the abilities and the creativenature of the problem solvers are limited. Their ability to assesschange may also be limited, and although some problems like for thecompany’s case may be solved, others such as sharing of passwordsmay still exist.

Inthe solving of the problems brought about by the cyber-attacks, therewas no evidence for confusion between cognitive level and style. Thisis because the there was a small range of possible approaches thatcould be used now that other methods had failed to restore theoutstanding performance of the company. So it was clear that theappropriate approach that was needed to save the business was the oneI decided to use.

Inconclusion, we cannot avoid change in the current world. Therefore,we should ensure that we have enough knowledge regarding solving theproblems brought about by these deviations. Each problem-solver mayhave his or her way of handling and solving problems, but we shouldincorporate our differences and similarities in the problem-solvingprocess to ensure that we come up with the most practical solutions.The process has four elements including opportunity, level, motiveand style. It is possible for confusions between style and level toarise when a problem solver is trying to come up with a solution.Reviewing of one`s to-do list will help the latter to make sure hismotives are efficient and do not mismatch the problem.


Thisarticle is projected towards showing the importance of paradigms inplaces like workplaces where they appear in. The paradigm determinesthe components that make up a given structure. To explore the conceptof the paradox of structure, I consider the workplace model that Iencounter in my daily professional life, primarily focusing onworkplace bullying. In relation to the paradox, the effects thatemanate from the removal or imposing of edifices sometimes aresurprising. On regular occasions, my company`s management team try tochange or remove some of the firm`s structures. As expected, this isprojected to further the organisational goals achievement, but itdoesn`t always do so. The working environment I am subjected to dailyhas made me realise that imposing of new structures does not alwayslimit the behaviour in the intended ways. Workplace bullying isdominant in my place of work. I was once a victim of the latter. Iassumed that I could end my misery by adjusting my behaviour while atwork. I thought that if I avoided the bully and focused on notoffending them, they would have stopped intimidating me. My hope andperception were based on the conventional decorum that most peopleembrace: courtesy brings about courtesy or, offending someone wouldlead to a counter-offense. Although the protocol enables mostindividuals in the society to interact smoothly, it also limits ourfair treatment of each other, especially in workplace environments.

Mostbullies to do not intimidate others as a form of revenge. Rather,their bullying deeds are pathological, and the pathology lies withinthem. There was an instance where the Intimidator used some prior actof target to justify his actions of bullying me, but I later realisedthat he was just using the latter as a form of defence. In myopinion, bullying thrives in my workplace because the socialstructure is weak. This could be attributed to the fact that, thesocial edifice in the company does not impose constraints on personalbehaviour. Therefore, the workplace paradigm leaves room for thebullies to do whatever they want. The relaxed social structure hasled to a tighter constraint in the employees` body than would a moreinflexible management that focused on limiting bullying incidences.The manifestation of the paradox of structure in this situation iselusive. However, I would argue that the company`s management canfind a better balance between freedom and constraint.

ThomasSamuel Khun, in his 1962 book, TheStructure of Scientific Revolutionscomes up with ways through which the structures of systems and thetechnologies associated with them experience development over time.According to khun, a paradigm is a logical framework thatincorporates acceptable beliefs that define science. The beliefswhich are formed by specialists in a particular area of interest,cannot be maintained by one individual. Through the creation ofscience`s domain, the models create a border which determines thecomponents that should be incorporated into the system. A goodexample is in a workplace setting where the existing standardsdetermine the type of problems to be tackled and the kind ofsolutions that are required. The workplace structure, as any otherstructure is simultaneously enabling and limiting

Theorders that are imposed on the problems within a system emanate fromthe paradigm itself. How valid the orders are depends on the pastsuccess and how likely it is for more success to be observed infuture. People manage the world through problem-solving, and thisalso depends on an individual`s preference for structure whenhandling paradigms. This management gives a clear outline of how thehuman brain works in solving problems. Results from several types ofresearch have shown that balancing flexibility and predictability inmanaging structures is a challenge.

Kirtonargues that there exists a relationship between the model generatedby Kuhn and the available information about a problem solver. Basingour focus on the concepts associated with the problem, his argumentcan be used to solve any problem quickly, however, complex it may beby placing it in perspective. According to his notion regardingproblem-solving, it is important to note that the company`smanagement should either chose evolution or revolution strategy andthen consider the suggestions brought forward by the employees whoare faced with bullying. According to Kirton, Kuhn`s normal scienceand science crisis can be viewed on a continuum. The normal sciencecan be used to tighten the current workplace bullying situationthough identification of the internal weaknesses of the company`smanagement, which in this case is its avoidance of addressing issuesregarding personal interests of the employees. Moreover, Ourdecisions to avoid offending the bullies as a way of solving theworkplace victimisation problem helps loosen the paradigm and thusenables the solution to the problem. Counter-offence could lead tomore interpersonal conflicts within the workplace structure. However, the management`s decision to not intervene limits theprocess of solving the problem. It creates a more conduciveenvironment for the bullies to carry out their activities.

Basedon the essay, we can conclude that systems and the technologiesassociated with them exhibit change. Paradigms are responsible forthe definition of the structure of a given system, and theyincorporate beliefs to which the practitioners of the structure areagreeable to. The paradigm determines the components that make up agiven structure. In a workplace setting, bullying is dominant due tothe weak social structure that emanates from the lack of interventionof many firms` managements in their employees` personal interests.Due to the paradox of structure, bullies are allowed to mishandletheir colleagues in their place of work. The former is subtle, but abalance freedom and constraint need to be created.