MANAGEMT 7087NA - Managing Contemporary Organisations

Ngee Ann Academy - Trimester 1 - 2014

This course exposes students to some key influences and perspectives on the management of organisations. Its focus is primarily on human issues that affect and are dealt with by managers day-to-day. The course is an extension of "Fundamentals of Leadership" and provides the background and theoretical framework for more advanced studies in business management. Some of the topics addressed may, at first, seem somewhat theoretical or even 'philosophical' in nature, but the whole course is designed to provide students with the foundation for practical action in the field. The ability to analyse and to think clearly and independently about these issues will be the basis of effective action. Managing Contemporary Organisations begins by examining the nature of 'organisation' as an 'open system'. We then look at the management challenge in relation to various facets of organisation - learning, motivation, politics, performance, ethics, culture, innovation, decision-making, structure and change. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on thinking about and asking important questions, rather than fixing on 'right' answers.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MANAGEMT 7087NA
    Course Managing Contemporary Organisations
    Coordinating Unit Business School
    Term Trimester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    Units 3
    Prerequisites MANAGEMT 7086NA
    Incompatible MANAGEMT 7037
    Course Description This course exposes students to some key influences and perspectives on the management of organisations. Its focus is primarily on human issues that affect and are dealt with by managers day-to-day. The course is an extension of "Fundamentals of Leadership" and provides the background and theoretical framework for more advanced studies in business management. Some of the topics addressed may, at first, seem somewhat theoretical or even 'philosophical' in nature, but the whole course is designed to provide students with the foundation for practical action in the field. The ability to analyse and to think clearly and independently about these issues will be the basis of effective action.
    Managing Contemporary Organisations begins by examining the nature of 'organisation' as an 'open system'. We then look at the management challenge in relation to various facets of organisation - learning, motivation, politics, performance, ethics, culture, innovation, decision-making, structure and change.
    Throughout the course there is an emphasis on thinking about and asking important questions, rather than fixing on 'right' answers.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Sam Wells

    Dr. Chris Smith
    Email: dr.chris.smith@adelaide.edu.au
    Website: www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au  

    Chris started his working life as a clinical psychologist in the psychiatric unit of a general hospital. After several years he moved into the business sector and, via a corporate HR role, occupied a number of general management/CEO positions across a variety of industries in Australia and the UK. In the mid-90s he left the business world for the academic one and joined Warwick Business School (UK) where he is currently an Associate Fellow of the Marketing and Strategic Management Group. In 2002 he moved to South Australia and became a full-time faculty member of the University of Adelaide Business School. He teaches on MBA and executive education programmes across a variety of international settings. 
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Intensive 1 (28th - 30th March 2014)

    Intensive 2 (25th - 27th April 2014)

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at http://access.adelaide.edu.au/courses/search.asp?year=2010
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of the course will be able to:

    Analyse complex organizational environments, cases and issues by reference to and application of relevant theories, concepts and models i.e.
    1. Students will be exposed to some key influences and perspectives on the management of organisations
    2. Students will identify important questions in relation to the management of organisations, for which they need to develop their own ‘right’ answers
    3. Students will explore the relationship between individual experience and organisational behaviour
    4. Students will be introduced to a systems view of organisational dynamics and will explore the implications of a systems perspective for the role and challenges of management
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. A,B,C,D
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. A,B,D
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. A,B,D
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. A,B,C,D
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The text for this course is
    • Huczynski, A. A. and Buchanan, D. (2013) Organizational Behavior 8th Ed. Prentice-Hall/Pearson Education. 
    Online Learning
    No specific online learning facilities are part of the course other than the usual communication and sharing of information/papers via MyUni.
    Please ensure that your MyUni email address is one through which you can be contacted. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The sessions will comprise input from the lecturer and group/individual work based on case studies, videos and supplied topics.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    This is a standard ‘3 Unit’ MBA course which requires about 156 hours of student effort. These 156 hours includes the time spent in class and undertaking assessment as well as the reading and assignment preparation you must undertake outside of the class hours.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Session 1: The individual

    There are a variety of individual processes including intelligence, personality, perception, attitudes and thinking that influence our behaviour, the decisions we make, our views of the other people, our perspectives on why other people behave as they do compared with ourselves, etc. Physical and social ‘genetics’ give us habitual ways of responding in particular situations.

    Chapters 5- 8 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Cheats may or may not prosper.  The Economist, Jan 24th 2010.
    Lovallo, D and Sibony O. (2010) The case for behavioural strategy. The McKinsey Quarterly March: 1-10.
    In praise of misfits, The Economist June 2nd 2012
    How firms should fight rumours The Economist Feb. 10 2011
    Personality and Twitter feed The Economist

    Case: Lynndie England (video) 

    Session 2: Motivation and Job Design

    Why do people do some things and not others? Why do some people work until midnight each day while others get off work as soon as they can? Why? One of the key requirements of effective management is that the manager’s subordinates continue to work efficiently and effectively, and even to improve their efficiency and effectiveness when their manager is not present.

    Chapter 9 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Dewhurst, M., Guthridge, M. and Mohr, E. (2009). Motivating People – getting beyond money
    McKinsey Quarterly (November): 1-5.
    Ordonez, L.D., Schweltzer, E., Galinsky, A.D. & Bazerman, A.H. (2009). Goals gone wild: the systematic effects of over-prescribing goal setting, Academy of Management Practice, (February): 6-16.
    Pfeffer, J. (1998) Six dangerous myths about pay, Harvard Business Review, (May-June), 109-119.
    Why bosses should be careful with performance related pay. Economist

    Case: Fab Sweets

    Session 3: Groups, roles and norms

    In this session examine the structure and development of groups. The norms of the group and the roles we chose or are chosen to play demand particular behaviours and attitudes from us. For most of us the choice between being part of the group and being excluded by it is taken in the direction of group membership.

    Chapter 10-13, Buchanan and Huczynski
    Casciaro, T., and M. S. Lobo. (2005) Competent jerks, lovable fools, and the formation of social networks.
    Harvard Business Review, May-June: 92-99.
    Facebook is bad for you. The Economist, Aug 17 2013
    The making of Bonecrusher, Esquire, 1999

    Case: Medical Supplies

    Session 4: Social influence processes

    Being with others has a major impact on how people behave and think as we (unknowingly at times) conform to group pressure and norms. Similarly we are always influenced by the rules and policies of the organization we are in and in particular by the commands of our bosses and of ‘the system’.

    Chapter 10-13 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Bryan, L. L., Matson, E. and Weiss, L. M. (2007). Harnessing the power of informal employee networks
    McKinsey Quarterly (4) 1-10.
    Power corrupts, The Economist Jan 21 2010
    Robertson, I. (2013) How power affects the brain. The Psychologist, 26(3): 186-9.

    Case: Piper Alpha (video)

    Session 5: The context

    In this session we will establish an overview of the organization as the prime context (environment) within which to understand the people (including ourselves) who work within those organizations.

    Chapters 1-4 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Heywood et al (2007) Cracking the complexity code. McKinsey Quarterly (2): 85-95.
    Seel, R (1999) Complexity and OD-An Introduction

    Case: The Iran Hostage Case

    Session 6: Organizational structure and design

    It is often suggested, "structure follows strategy" in that organizations are theoretically designed and structured in the best way to deliver the planned strategy. From bureaucracies to the N-form there are intended and unintended consequences of structure. The challenge of developing the "best" structure is even greater in this era of globalization and the Internet.

    Chapter 14-17 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Agrawal, V., J. M. Manyika and J.E. Richards. (2003) Matching people and jobs. McKinsey Quarterly Special Edition. 70-8
    Ghislanzoni et al (2010), Taking organizational redesign from plan to practice. McKinsey Quarterly 1-9

    Case: Ander Engineering

    Session 7: Decisions and Decision-making

    Managers continuously make decisions individually and in groups; in fact the most important decisions in organizations, e.g. capital expenditure, brand campaigns, product development, whether to launch or not launch a space shuttle, etc. are always taken by groups. Unfortunately the most important decisions are often the ones that are the most uncertain both with respect to required expertise, the processes of deciding and the ranking of outcomes.

    Chapter 20 Buchanan and Huczynski
    How companies make good decisions. McKinsey Quarterly Dec. 2008: 1-7
    Lovallo, D. P and Sibony, O. (2006) Distortions and deceptions in strategic decisions. The hidden traps in decision making. McKinsey Quarterly (1), September-October, 19-29.

    Case: The Launch of space flight shuttle 51L (Written and video)

    Session 8: Management and Leadership

    In the good times the business press praises top business people as charismatic, decisive, and transformational and in the bad times (i.e. now!) as greedy, incompetent and overpaid. And each year there are new books in the airport bookstalls giving advice on how to be a great leader and/or manager. In this session we examine leadership and management and try and discover some of the simpler ‘truth’.

    Chapter 19 Buchanan and Huczynski
    Barsch, J., Mogelof, J and Webb, C. (2010) How centred leadership achieves extraordinary results.
    McKinsey Quarterly, 1-9.
    Can leaders be identified by psychometrics? The Economist Apr. 6th 2013.
    Companies need to keep an eye on their bosses for signs of destructive behaviour. The Economist Nov. 30 2013
    Managers would be better off if they did less and thought more, The Economist Aug.17 2013
    Sutton, B. (2010) Good bosses tune in. McKinsey Quarterly, (August): 2-10.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment item Percentage of Total Mark Relevant learning objective(s) Due or scheduled date 
    Individual Assignment
    (summative/formative)
    50 A, B, C, D
    Group Projects
    (summative/formative)
    20 A, B, C, D In class
     Final Exam
    (summative)
    30 A, B, C As per timetable


    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance

    Statutory obligations in Singapore are such that attendance in person is a compulsory condition of passing a course. Our specific requirements are that students must attend at least 80% of class sessions to be graded for that course. For these purposes each intensive weekend is defined as comprising 5 sessions with 1 on Friday evening and 2 on each of Saturday and Sunday. Each course in total comprises 10 sessions; Students must attend a minimum of 8 sessions to be eligible to be given a grade for the course. Students failing to meet these requirements will be automatically graded 0% Fail (F) on their transcripts.

    Grade minimum

    To gain a pass for this course, a student must achieve at least 50% overall with a minimum of 45% for the overall individual components. Students not achieving this requirement will have a fail (F) recorded as their final grade
    The individual component is the weighted average of the assignment and the exam grades.
    Assessment Detail
    GROUP ASSIGNMENT (20%) DUE DATE: 25TH APRIL 2014 (HAND IN VIA THUMB DRIVE IN CLASS)
    Using the case studies and the theory discussed during the first 3 days of the course design a PowerPoint presentation entitled ‘The five core practices underpinning successful management’.
    The maximum numbers of slides is 20 which include the title slide, the slide with the names of the group members and a final slide containing your 5 major practices. You will not be making the presentation however your final slide of your five points will be shown in the final session of the course and you will be asked to speak to the slide (from your seats in the class). More details will be given at the start of the course but your presentations will be expected to demonstrate the theoretical (and case based) principles underpinning your five practices. 

    INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT (50%) DUE DATE: 11TH MAY 2014
    Write a reflective journal on you in your role in an organization you have worked for. Use models from the course to analyse, the various dynamics involving you and your organization. End your journal with a synthesis (i.e. a weighted integration) of these dynamics and an evaluation (strengths and weaknesses) of your organization from this perspective.

    The journal should be 2000-3000 words and should be correctly referenced to specific articles or parts of the textbook (do not reference ‘slides handouts’)

    INDIVIDUAL EXAMINATION (30%)
    This will comprise a 3-hour open book examination on the date in your timetable. It will be based on questions around a case and examples will be given and worked through in class.
    Submission
    The individual assignment, with the appropriate coversheet and declaration is to be submitted via MyUni by the deadline date. Please submit your assignment in ‘Word’ format and not pdf.

    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the lecturer in charge of the course before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) may be penalised by a 5% mark reduction for each day that it is late.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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