MANAGEMT 7087 - Managing Contemporary Organisations

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 1 - 2017

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 7087
    Course Managing Contemporary Organisations
    Coordinating Unit Business School
    Term Trimester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Restrictions Available to Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Business Administration students only - other students must first meet with program director for enrolment approval
    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

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
    1. Work within major theoreis and perspectives on the management of organisations to identify and address key questions  concernign effective management within their own organizations.
    2. Identify the relationships between individual experiences and organisational behaviours from a  systems view of organisational dynamics
    3. Explain the implications of a systems perspective for the role and challenges of managing people in organizations



    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2,3
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2,3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2,3
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course delivery will be by way of 3-hour interactive seminar classes. It is essential that the nominated readings be completed in preparation for each class – the readings form a shared context for each class and a shared foundation for class discussions. Readings in addition to those supplied in the course folder will be made available via MyUni.  Most assignments will be marked
    electronically and returned via MyUni.

    Workload

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

    Weekly classes are 3 hours long.  You can expect to spend about the same amount of time preparing for each class.  Assignments and exam preparation will demand additional concentrated periods of non-classroom study, on your own or with your allocated student group.  As a rough indication, you could expect to spend in the order of 120 hours of study time to complete the course, of which 36 hours would be in class.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic Readings and Class Schedule

    1.  Readings

    The text for this course is:
    Wood, J, Zeffane, R, Fromholtz, M, Wiesner, R, Morrison, R, Factor, A, McKeown, T. (2016), Organisational Behaviour: Core Concepts and Applications. 4th Australasian Edition. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Australia.

    In addition to the textbook, the set pre-readings for each class (listed below) are available in hard copy, in your MCO course folder, or electronically online or through MyUni – go to the Course Redings tab and click on the relevant Class Readings link (non-Harvard or Harvard) for a list of links to class readings.

    2.  Schedule

    Classes are held weekly on the dates below, 5pm – 8pm

    Class 1
    31st January  2017
     
    Topic 1: 
    Introduction: New challenges & paradigms in managing organisations
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 1
     
    Handy,
    C. (1997).  The hungry spirit:  Beyond capitalism.  London:  Hutchinson. Chapter: ‘The citizen company’, pp.179-204.
     
    Meadows, D. (2002), ‘Dancing with systems', The Systems Thinker, vol. 13, no. 2, pp.2-6.
     
    Katz, D. & Kahn, R.L. (1969).  Common characteristics of open Systems.  In F.E. Emery (Ed.), Systems thinking (pp. 86-104).  New York:  Penguin Modern Management Readings.

    Class 2
    7th
    February

    Topic 2:  Managing motivation

    Wood et al. Ch. 2, pp.43-54; Ch. 3; Ch.4, pp. 125-147; Ch 5, pp. 165-183

    Guest, D. (1986). What’s new in …motivation.  In F.J. Landy (Ed.), Readings in industrial and organisational psychology, (pp. 177-183).  Chicago:  The Dorsey Press.
    Barr Smith main collection; call number: 158.7 L264r

    Kohn, A. (1993).  Why incentive plans cannot work.  Harvard Business Review, September-October, 54-63.

    Class 3
    14th 
    February 

    Topic 3: Systems and performance management
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 2, pp.43 – 45, 66 – 70
     
    Scholtes, P.R. (1987).  An elaboration of Deming’s teachings on performance appraisal.  Madison, WI: Joiner Associates Inc.
     
    Walton, M. (1986). The Deming management method.  New York:  Perigee. Read pp.55-95.
    Barr Smith main collection; call number: 658.5 D381Z.W
     
    Wells, S. (2011). Setting people up for success: Sustainable performance management. In Clarke, M (ed), Readings in HRM and Sustainability.  Tilde University Press, pp. 51-63.
     
    Class 4
    21st February

    Topic 4:  Workplace values and ethics
     
    Wood et al. Ch.1, pp. 26-27; Ch. 2, pp. 55 – 60
     
    Festinger, L. (1962).  Cognitive dissonance.  Scientific American, 207/4, Oct., 93-102.
     
    Brown, T. (2001).  Assessing corporate social responsibility.  Harvard Management Update, April, 3-4.
     
    Gellerman, S.W. (1986).  Why ‘good’ managers make bad ethical choices.  Harvard Business Review, July-August, 85-90.
     
    Handy, C. (2002).  What’s a business for?  Harvard Business Review, December, 3-8.
     
    Class 5
    28th February
     
    Topic 5: Organisational culture
     
    Wood
    et al. Ch. 1, pp. 18-2;  Ch. 9
     
    Schein, E.H. (1990).  Organisational culture.  American Psychologist, Feb., 109-119.
     
    Class 6
    7th March

    Group Assignment presentations
    (Group Assignment due)

    Class 7
    14th March

    Topic 6: Organisational change and learning
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 14; Ch. 4, pp. 148-152
     
    Rowden, R.W. (2001), The learning organization and strategic change.  SAM Advanced Management Journal, 66/3, 11-24.
     
    Seel, R. (2000).  Culture and complexity: New insights on organisational change.  Organisations & People, 7/2, 2-9.
    Available online @ http://www.new-paradigm.co.uk/culture-complex.htm
     
    Wells, S. and McLean J. (2013). One Way Forward to Beat the Newtonian Habit with a Complexity Perspective on Change. Systems, 1/4, 66-84
    Available online @ http://www.mdpi.com/2079-8954/1/4/66 
       
    Class 8
    21st March 

    Topic 7: Power and influence
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 10; Chapter 3, pp.108 -111
     
    Heifetz, R.A. and Laurie, D.L. (1997). The Work of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, January-February, 124-134.
     
    Pfeffer, J. (1992).  Understanding power in organizations. California Management Review, 34/2, 29-50.
     
    Class 9
    28th March
     
    Topic 8:  Organisational structure
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 8
     
    Boehm, R. & Phipps, C. (1996).  Flatness forays.  The McKinsey Quarterly, 3, 128-143.
     
    Handy, C. (1992).  Balancing corporate power: A new federalist paper.  Harvard Business Review, November-December, 59-67.
      
    Class 10
    4th April
     
    Topic 9: Decision making and employee involvement
     
    Wood et al. Ch. 12
     
    Drucker, P.F. (1993).  Managing for results. New York:  Harper Business.  Read ‘The key decisions’, pp. 195-202.
    Barr Smith main collection; call number: 658 D78
     
    Hammond, J S, Keeney, R L, Raiffa H, (1998) “The Hidden Traps in Decision Making”, Harvard Business Review,
    Sept-Oct 1998 pp 47 – 58
     
    (Individual assignment due)

    Class 11
    11th April

    Topic 10:  Innovation and creativity
     
    Wood et al. (2010) Ch. 12, pp. 436-437; Ch. 14, pp. 560-563
     
    Amabile, T.M. (1997).  Motivating creativity in organisations: On doing what you love and loving what you do.  California Management Review, 40/1, 39-58.
     
    Amabile, T.M. (2002).  Creativity under the gun.  Harvard Business Review, August, 52-61.
     
    Class 12
    18th April
     
    Summary and Revision







  • 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 Task Weighting Learning Outcome
    Group Project 25% 1,2,3
    Individual Assignment 40% 1,3
    Final Exam 35% 1,2,3,4,5
    Total 100%
    For specific information about assignments and due dates please refer to your Course Folder.
    Assessment Detail
    Group Assignment Details

    Length:  Up to 3000 words

    Assessment Value:  25%

    THE GROUP ASSIGNMENT

    1.      Aims & Objectives

    The group assignment aims to assess the group’s understanding of motivation theories and concepts in
    the context of a senior manager to whom it has access.  The assignment also provides the group with
    an opportunity to explore and develop its thinking on the practical application
    of motivation models.
     
    2.      The Project Sequence and Assessment

    Step 1

    Identify your target organisation and develop a list of core questions that will help you to gather the information that you need to make your analysis.  You should develop your own questions and be ready to follow interesting avenues that emerge during the interview.
     
    During the early classes, you can raise with the Lecturer any queries you may have on the focus, scope and objectives of
    the group project.

    Step 2

    Obtain approval to interview the CEO or a manager with responsibility for a specific department/unit in your target organisation. 
    It is expected that all members of the group will participate in the interview and that it will be about 60 - 90 minutes long.
     
    Step 3   
      
    Prepare a paper of up to 3000 words (plus an Executive Summary of up to one page) describing and evaluating the strategies for
    managing motivation used by the manager you have interviewed, and recommending improvements.  Your project paper should include:
    a description of the organisation/department, its employees, and the manager concerned;
    a description of how the manager concerned approaches the issue of motivation, and an analysis of the rationale behind that approach, drawing on motivation theories/models as appropriate;
    an evaluation of the effectiveness of the manager’s approach to motivation (although you are focusing on the topic of Motivation, everything in MCO relates to everything else, in systems fashion, so you might find that there are valuable insights to be drawn from other topics as well);
    recommendations for improving the approach to motivation – you should provide a clear justification for your recommendations and try to identify the key success factors in their implementation.
     
    Step 4

    In addition to the group’s Assignment Paper and Executive Summary, each member of the group will submit a short (one or two page) summary of his/her observations on the group’s experience:
    - What emerged as the group’s strengths?
    - What were the soft spots?
    - What do you conclude about the key success factors for a project group?
    - What were your particular contributions to the ‘group dynamics’ and the success of the project?
         
    3. Value

    The Group Assignment is worth 25% of the total value of the course.
    ·  20% will come from the group Assignment Paper.

    ·  5% will come from the Individual Observations on the group process.

    ·  The Group Presentation will not be assessed, as such, but a presentation forms part of the total project and ‘qualifies’ the group for assessment.  The purpose of the presentation is simply to share the Group’s learning from the project.  It is expected that all members of the group will contribute to the preparation and/or delivery of the presentation.

    4. Assessment Criteria

    In assessing your work, I will be looking for evidence that:

    1. your group has grasped the key concepts and theories covered in the course work;

    2. your group has applied its own powerful, fearless and independent thinking to the topic;

    3. your group can communicate its ideas and recommendations in a clear, concise, logical and convincing way;

    4. your group’s prepared written work is properly laid out and supported by accurate references in the appropriate form (this is  really part of 3).

    Please keep a copy of your work, as assignments can sometimes be misplaced during delivery.


    THE INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
     
    Length:  Up to 3000 words

    Assessment Value:  40%

    1.  Aims & Objectives

    The Individual Assignment aims to provide you with an opportunity to explore a management issue in depth, by assessing the application of appropriate theories or models to your own experience, and developing your management thinking on the issue.

    2.  The Assignment

    Describe and analyse
    a personal experience of ‘cognitive dissonance’ at work, where your own values
    and/or perceptions seemed to be in tension with what the organisation expected you
    to do or say.

       1.  What was the immediate cause of the dissonance?  How was the organisation’s expectation communicated to you?  What
            did you think were the options open to you and the likely consequences of each option?  How did you try to reduce the             dissonance?

       2.  In what way was the issue you faced not a ‘once off’’, but the product of the organisational culture?  What were the hidden           cultural assumptions underpinning the perspective or behaviour of management?  What are the implications of your analysis          for the organisation’s future?

    In your analysis, make use of relevant theories and models covered in your MCO discussions and reading. 

    3.  Assessment Criteria

    In assessing your work, I will be looking for evidence that:

    1. you have grasped the key concepts and theories covered in the course work;

    2. you have applied your own powerful, fearless and independent thinking to the topic;

    3. you can communicate your ideas in a clear, concise, logical and convincing way;

    4. your written work is properly laid out and supported by accurate references in an appropriate form (this is really part of 3).

    Please keep a copy of your work, as assignments can sometimes be misplaced during delivery.



     

    Submission
    1. Presentation of Assignments

    Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    Assignments will be submitted electronically  in Microsoft Word format.  Electronic submission will be deemed to carry with it a declaration that the submission is the student’s own work and does not involve plagiarism or collusion.
        
    2.  Assignment Guidelines including Referencing Details

    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide will have been given to you at the beginning of your program.  This guide will assist you structure your assignments.  A copy of the guide can also be downloaded from http://www.business.adelaide.edu.au/current/mba/download/2009MBACommSkillsGuide.pdf

    This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including writing essays and  anagement reports, making oral presentations etc.

    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies it is important to draw on the relevant ‘literature’ to support critical analysis. Also essential is to reference the literature used. Correct referencing is important because it identifies the
    source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)

    The Harvard system is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the
    Communication Skills Guide.

    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are
    provided on page 6 of the Communication Skills Guide.

    3.  Return of Assignments and Feedback

    The Lecturer will aim to mark and return assignments electronically to students within two (2) weeks of the due date, with written feedback. 
          
    4.  Late Assignment Submission

    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system.  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.

    5.  Plagiarism and Other Forms of Cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct.  The School adheres strictly to the University’s policies on examination and assessment.  The University’s Policies on Assessment, including plagiarism and other forms of cheating, can be found at:

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/230/

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/465/

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.

    6.  Examinations

    During the Trimester you will be provided with an examination timetable, via email. It will also be available on the web.  It is your responsibility to check the timetable and to ensure that you understand the correct date and time of the exam and the location of the exam room. Misunderstanding or misreading the timetable is not valid grounds for the granting of a supplementary exam.  Students must attend at least 80% of classes or they will forgo their right to a supplementary exam on academic grounds.

    If you are in any doubt about the examination, please contact your lecturer.

    7.  Open Book Examinations

    While the MCO examination is run in an open book format, candidates should note that they will not be given credit for work copied from textbooks, websites or other materials distributed during classes. Appropriate referencing in examinations is required where the work of others is drawn on or quoted.

    8.  Return of Examination Scripts

    It is School policy not to return examination scripts.  Students are, however, welcome to discuss their exam performance with their lecturer.  Scripts will be held at the School for a period of twelve months following examinations, after which the scripts will be
    destroyed.

    9.  Course Results

    Course results will be available within three to four weeks after the final examination/assignment.  University staff are not permitted to provide results to students over the telephone or by email.  When results are approved and finalised they are made available through Access Adelaide: (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/access/)
    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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.