Topic 1: Evolution of Management Thought
This topic will introduce you to the history of management thinking and approaches and look at how we think about and approach management today, the similarities, the differences and the gaps that still need to be addressed as we progress into the future of organisational management.
The importance of understanding how management has been approached in the past is highlighted by the fact that the way we have thought about management in the past influences the way we see management now and how we make sense of the things we encounter as managers. In the process of managing, we need to develop awareness of our thoughts around issues such as what we consider to be the ‘best-available’ evidence and ‘good’ or ‘effective’ decision making. We need to understand the effect that our approach to management has on our employees and understand the interactions between our own behaviour and the behaviour of the people we work with.
Topic 2: The Nature of Managerial Work
This topic will introduce you to the roles and functions of managers in organisations and critically assess the skills and competencies needed by managers in contemporary organisations.
Management scholar Henry Mintzberg says that good management is ‘thoughtful judgment’ based on vision, analysis and experience but is this really the role managers are expected to play and does this fulfill the function organisations expect managers to perform? We will consider these questions as well as the skills and competencies managers will need as organisations move toward being more agile and innovative.
Topic 3: Management Psychology
In this topic we would like you to consider your own approach to managing. We offer insight into metacognition, personal leadership and critical thinking, the core capabilities required by managers with an evidence-based practice. This topic will also provide you with opportunities to develop self-awareness around your values, levels of resiliency, metacognitive awareness and metacognitive regulation as well as increased awareness of your problem solving and analytical thinking skills; the foundations for your personal style and approach to managing in an organisation.
Topic 4: Managing People
This topic will introduce you to relational management and evidence-based methods for developing the interpersonal skills required to manage other people effectively in a variety of contexts.
It might be said, that one of our primary jobs as a manager is to create a work environment that facilitates optimal levels of motivation and brings out the best in our employees. This can be, at least partly achieved through two-way communication, listening to hear rather than to respond and being empathic in your communication style. Done well, these factors serve to manage performance, often without the need for further intervention, however, the application of coaching skills to performance management processes can further enhance outcomes. This topic will explore the importance of taking a relational approach to effective business and performance management.
Topic 5: Managing Teams
This topic will introduce you to the elements of organisational culture that underlie innovation, adaptation and high performance. In this regard as a manager, there is a need to provide leadership that generates agility, empowers employees and facilitates the depth of engagement that leads to discretionary effort, one of the key aspects of high performing organisations.
Leadership, particularly through change (and things are always changing), provides strong indicators of organisational culture for employees to regulate themselves around. Cultures that encourage autonomy and support experiences of competence, empower employees to be innovative, to speak up about ideas for improvement and correction and to find meaning in their work, which in turn leads to deeper engagement and discretionary effort.
Topic 6: Managing Organisations
This topic is primarily about integrating all that we have covered in the previous topics and using this knowledge to understand the evolution of management in relation to sustainability, both organisational sustainability and the changes required for managers to achieve the levels of global cooperation required to realise a sustainable future.
The consideration of ethics and ethical conduct is crucial to the evolution of management practices. The ‘leadership crisis’ reported by the World Economic Forum is a reflection of the difficulties that leaders and managers face in trying to balance the demands of shareholders with the expectation of responsibility placed on them by other stakeholders. In this topic we discuss the importance of addressing the need to resolve this tension and the potential to do so through innovation and entrepreneurism within our organisations.