Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
HI 5005: Research Paper 2
Maximum of 10 pages and 25 minutes 2
This is a group assignment with specific individual components.
Groups of 2 or 3 choose the topics relevant to first term lecture material and research the topic in more depth. A set if such topics will be provided from which your group must choose on a ‘first-come, first-served basis”.
Note that each topic has a group component to which each group member must contribute. However there are also specific individual components which have been defined.
Your will deliver the findings of your research topic in the lectures of second term.
Following suggestions at the presentation, groups may take advantage of suggestions in preparing the written report which is to be submitted on the last day of term. 10
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1 | Holmes Institute: HI 5005 Management and Organisations in a Global Environment Tri 2/2013
RESEARCH PAPER 2 Worth 25%
Listed below are points to bear in mind in regard to this Research Paper.
On following pages are listed a number of topics. Topics are allocated on a ‘first come – first served basis’ and can only be reserved in writing (e.g by e-mail see address below).
Name: Sandhy Patrick Assoc Prof Peter Schmidt eMail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Please nominate your preferred presentation time at the time you bid for the topic. In the event of two different groups choosing the same topic, the group who nominates the earlier presentation time-slot will secure the topic. The other group will have to choose another topic.
1. Topics are to be undertaken as group work in a group of three or four persons
2. Each topic has a general framework as well as individual components
When researching the topic:
3. The work on the general framework is the responsibility of each team member
4. The work on the individual components is the responsibility of the individual choosing that component but that individual can be helped by other group members who in turn also can help other team members
When presenting the topic
(Ten (10) Marks in total and Total Time Limit 15 mins):
5. There will be 15 minutes allowed for the presentation which will take the following form:
6. Begin with no more than five minutes presenting the general framework – ideally just one speaker
7. Each of the components will then be presented by the responsible individual but keeping within the maximum of fifteen minutes for the total presentation.
8. As this is a business presentation, time limits will be strictly enforced. You are advised to rehearse to ensure that you can keep under the time limit. Check the equipment and ensure that the handover from one team member to the next is smooth and not wasteful of your precious time
Fifteen (15) Marks in total and Page Limit 10 pages:
Students form into groups and nominate their broad research topic. Research on the broad topic is a group activity and each student must contribute to that work. Students in the group will then research, in depth, an individual component drawn from the broad research topic.
Following the delivery of the presentation, the topic will be written up as a seminar report (worth 15%) and submitted to your lecturer within a week of the live presentation. You may incorporate ideas generated in the live presentation. If a live presentation is below standard a time extension may be granted to allow for improving the quality of the written report. That written report should begin with the broad research topic which is followed by each individual component identified by the individual student who prepared it.
Organisation of the research report – a key ingredient of writing a successful report is the planning or organising stage. Organising can help you to sort out your ideas and to present your report in the order that communicates best to your readers. Organisation is the procedure of constructing an outline that acts as a plan for your writing task. An outline forces you to think before you write.
Your essay is to be structured and written as a business report.
It, therefore, must begin with a Management (or Executive) Summary within which you state in stark form (i.e. unsupported by argument) what you are asserting in this report and you must do that in less than two pages.
As already stated above, you begin the main body of the report with some general background on the broad research topic. This introduction will normally end with a brief paragraph outlining the plan of the rest of the essay.
What follows is the specific issues of each individual component which were considered. Each of these individual components can be divided into 2-4 sub-sections if necessary contains an in-depth discussion of the relevant issues based on the existing literature and/or data. You must provide in-text references to your sources.
The last section contains a brief summary followed by a complete list of references that are cited in the text of the essay. Follow a standard referencing method consistently.
Suggested limits are as follows:
Executive Summary: ideally one page but no more than two.
Sections 1: Introduction 400-600 words,
Section 2: Main body of the essay consisting of each of the individual components limit each component to approximately 1,000 words each,
Sections 3: Conclusions 100-300 words, References (5-15 references).
There are two components of assessment adding to a total possible mark of 25% of the subject:
The Presentation which is worth 10 marks. Here we assess the quality of the presentation NOT the academic quality of the work. Opening Impact, Presentation Technique (incl.
Quality of the Slides) and Adherence to the time limit are the key criteria.
The Opening Impact 3 marks
Overall Presentation Technique 5 marks
Adherence to Time Limit 2 marks
The Report which is worth 15 marks. It is here that we assess the academic quality of your work (including referencing) as well as your ability to correctly structure a business report.
The Management Summary 4 marks
Report Structure (TOC, Paragraphs, Sections
and use of Diagrams) 3 marks
Academic Quality (incl. Referencing) 8 marks
A. Goal Setting and Planning
Outline the importance of goal setting in planning and the characteristics of well defined goals.
1. Discuss Miles & Vergen’s landmark study into goal setting and the three conditions they identified to be satisfied to ensure best practice in goal setting
2. Discuss Management by Objectives
3. Discuss contingency factors which influence a manager’s approach to planning
4. Discuss different types of plans
B. Planning Tools/Techniques
Discuss the Planning function in the context of the work of the manager. Illustrate with a case study.
Each member of the team is to choose one of these techniques and explain the technique through the use of an example.
1. Budgets and Forecasts
2. Sensitivity Analysis and Scenario Analysis of plans
4. Gannt Charts
C. Strategic Planning
Discuss Strategic Planning distinguishing it and contrasting it with other planning functions and techniques.
1. The use of BCG Analysis in formulating the strategies for the management of a portfolio of products or services offered to the market
2. Product life cycle as a guide to the management of a portfolio of products or services offered to the market (Take two examples: CISCO’s FLIP camera and the typical electric jug)
3. SWOT Analysis and the concepts of ‘fit’ and ‘stretch’
4. Porters Competitive Strategies (Illustrate with examples)
D. Cross Cultural Teams: People Issues in Global Business
Discuss the challenges in recruiting and effectively managing cross cultural teams.
1. From the work of Hofstede and others, identify issues likely to face the expatriate manager
2. Discuss the skills and abilities which have been identified in successful international managers
3. Demonstrate how multivariate analysis might be used in recruitment of international managers
4. Discuss acculturation issues in expatriation and repatriation of international managers
Discuss the emergence of teams as a key feature of the modern workplace and trace its origins in the context of the changes in thinking associated with the development of schools of management thought.
1. Outline Tuckman’s stages in team development identifying the leader’s role at each stage (Use examples)
2. Apply insights from the study of managerial decision making to decision making in teams
3. Give examples of how the physical structures have been designed to facilitate teamwork
4. Outline the ways in which managers might promote teamwork
F. Performance Management
Discuss Performance Management in the context of the identifying the relevant School of Management Theory. Identify positives and negatives in the approaches to performance management.
1. MBO, Review and Agree, 360-degree Feedback
2. Compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of cohesive versus non-cohesive teams and the application to High Performance Organisations
3. Performance Management from a Control Theory Perspective
4. The Balanced Scorecard Approach
G. Motivation Overview
Outline the meaning of motivation as it applies in the work place.
1. Discuss this question: Can a manager instil motivation into employees or is motivation a process of drawing out something from employees? Discuss coaching.
2. Provide a map of the various theories of work motivation and explain the map
3. Discuss John Holland theory of personality and job fit as an explanation of work motivation
4. Describe the difference between a content theory and a process theory of motivation
H. Motivation: Content Theories
Describe the difference between a content theory and a process theory of motivation citing examples of how some process theories, under criticism, have been reduced to content theories.
1. Discuss Maslow’s theory and detail the criticisms that have been levelled against it
2. Discuss Hertzberg’s theory and detail the criticism that have been levelled against it
3. Disciss McGregor’s theory of work motivation
4. Behavioural science research expects to be scrutinized and criticism levelled against it. Summarise with examples from Hofstede’s work through to the theories of motivation
I. Motivation: Process Theories
Provide a map of the various theories of work motivation and explain the map distinguishing the differences between content and process theories of work motivation
1. Discuss McClelland’s work and theories of work motivation
2. Discuss Goal Setting and its role in work motivation: the ‘Review & Agree‘ Process
3. Discuss Equity Theory using examples
4. Discuss Expectancy Theory using examples
J. Change Management
Outline the “Calm-waters” and the “White-water rapids” metaphors for Change Management.
1. Discuss Kotter’s theory of Change Management
2. Discuss Force-Field Analysis: giving examples
3. Changing an organisation’s culture may be necessary as part of change management. What can a manager do to change an organisation’s culture?
4. Gerstner, at IBM, recognised from the outset the need for urgent change management. What was that urgent need for change management? Gerstner also realised that IBM’s culture had to change as a precursor to achieving the necessary organisational change. From the IBM case study, summarise the value of the case in understanding change management and the role that change in the organisational culture might play in it.
The study of control theory is an academic discipline in itself and is known as cybernetics. Control mechanisms are ubiquitous. Some examples are: the engineering control of the trajectory of a space rocket to the control of the speed of a train. Outline the well-known control mechanisms and explain why control in the management sense may be more difficult than engineering control.
Individual Components…You get a choice of which individual components you will investigate.
1. Describe the role that each of the ‘elements of control’ must play and how the effectiveness of control mechanism is dependent on each.
2. Give an example of how feed-back (reactive) control is used in business and identify the situations where it would be effective and those where it would not be effective
3. Explain how the standard (the goal) should be set in a managerial control context
4. Explain why feed-forward (proactive) control is more difficult to apply than feedback (reactive control)
5. Explain the concept of Requisite Variety in the Activating Unit
L. Fayol’s View of the Management Processes
Henri Fayol managed Europe’s biggest coal mine and, in his 1908 paper, outlined some important insights into the processes of management. His work was recognised as a Nobel Prise winning effort. Outline those insights (the fourteen planks) briefly.
However, he was addressing the management of an existing business operation. Discuss, briefly, some of the differences in managing an innovation i.e. entrepreneurship.
1. P: Outline some of the things you have learned about Planning that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
2. O: Outline some of the things you have learned about Organising that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
3. L: Outline some of the things you have learned about Leadership that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
4. C: Outline some of the things you have learned about Control that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
M. Contemporary Issues in Management
In addition to the classic theories of management expostulated throughout this subject, several contemporary issues have been identified and discussed. In the general framework, give a general discussion of contemporary issues in the workplace.
1. Outline some of the things you have learned about Empowerment that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
2. Outline some of the things you have learned about Workplace Diversity that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
3. Outline some of the things you have learned about Globalisation that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
4. Outline some of the things you have learned about Quality Management that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
5. Outline some of the things you have learned about the Learning Organisation and Knowledge Management that you didn’t know when you started this subject.
N. Free Choice Project
Student groups may propose a topic of their own but it must be structured along similar lines to the examples above. Furthermore, you need to first get approval from your lecturer.
Reserve Topics by e-mail to your lecturer and
Nominate your Preferred Schedule for Presentation