Western Washington University Western Washington University

Professional Skills
Introduction to Professional Management
Summer 2009


Class Syllabus:

Meets: PH 244, CRN 31177 (variable days and times; see course schedule for details)
Instructors: Associate Professors Craig Dunn/Kristi Tyran
Office: PH 206A / PH 331
Office Hours: 1:00 – 2:00 class days, by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 / 360-650-2078 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu / kristi.tyran@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 516 MANAGERIAL DECISIONS (16) Prereq: MBA 515 or admission to the Accelerated Full-Time MBA Program. Links managerial decisions with specific functional areas of study such as marketing, operations, accounting, finance, and organizational behavior. The focus of these modules is cross-functional decision making in the context of global competition.

As a result of successfully completing this three-credit module, students will:

o Have an understanding of your own personal attributes and skills – including values and ethics – and how these relate to managerial success. Assessment profile
Reflective journal
Personal Mission Statement
Social & ethical issues
o Develop skills in working in diverse environments, including presentation skills, teamwork, time management, and providing effective feedback. Personal Mission Statement
Diversity issues
o Be able to define ethics and explain how ethics relates to business behavior Participation
Assessment Profile
Reflective journal
Social & ethical issues
o Have a working knowledge of the relationships and responsibilities business has to stakeholder groups Participation
Assessment Profile
Reflective journal
Case study
Social & technological issues
o Describe and apply several important ethical theories Participation
Reflective journal
Case study
Social & ethical issues
The fundamental goals and evaluation criteria for all assignments are: (1) demonstration of increased self-awareness, (2) technical adequacy, (3) attention to interpersonal/behavioral processes, and (4) clarity of communication. This is an intensive class, with active participation being critical to both your learning as well as success of the course. Be prepared to speak up and be involved. You are encouraged to work with and discuss class activities with other students; however, written papers are to be recognizable your own work. If these assumptions, objectives and tentative plans do not fit our situation, we will modify them as we work together. The faculty members reserve the right to adjust and/or amend the course outline as necessary to maximize student learning. If such changes are made, they will be posted on the course web page. In this course, almost any questions that concern human behavior in organizations can be relevant to student learning when tactfully asked at an appropriate time. If in doubt, ask questions, raise an issue, express a concern, etc.; our best discussions often evolve from trying to figure out how to skillfully handle difficult management situations.

"This is an exciting time to be a manager, full of challenges and opportunities. Today’s organizations are increasingly complex, unpredictable, and fast-paced. Significant social and economic trends such as diversity, globalization, and technological advances have fundamentally changed the nature of managerial work. In such an environment, the ability to think broadly and deeply from a variety of perspectives is one of the most important skills a manager can have."

Paula J. Caprioni
The Practical Coach

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at back of syllabus for details):

o Self-Awareness Worksheet 10-20 points
o Assessment Profile 20-30 points
o Personal Mission Statement 20-30 points
o Reflective Journal 20-30 points
o Group Case Analysis 10-20 points

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93 - 100 points


90 - 92.9 points


86.5 - 89.9 points


83 - 86.4 points


80 - 82.9 points


76.5 - 79.9 points


73 - 76.4 points


70 - 72.9 points


66.5 - 69.9 points


63 - 66.4 points


60 - 62.9 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

'. . .my spirit never walked beyond our counting house. . .[It] never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole.'
'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge.
'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business. . .'

-Jacob Marley
A Christmas Carol
(Charles Dickens)

Rotondo, J. & Rotondo, M. (2001) Presentation Skills for Managers (McGraw Hill); Handy, C. (1998) The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism: A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World (Broadway Books); and Keirsey Temperament Sorter II. (approximately $15.00) Take the test, available online at http://www.advisorteam.com/user/ktsintro1.asp, and obtain the full temperament report.

Additionally, assigned case studies, reading materials, and course videos will be available on the course schedule. Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled discussion that reading, and to come prepared to respond to the disucssion questions posted for each class session.

Self Awareness is an essential skill for effective team members, leaders and managers. Developing self-awareness is a lifelong process, and so periodically reflecting on your own values, personality, behaviors, and attitudes can be extremely important to enhancing your own career potential. In addition, as you work in teams in the future, utilizing self-assessment tools will be a necessary method (frequently required by organizations) in increasing self- and other-awareness.

Organizations frequently facilitate employee self-awareness by engaging in teambuilding that helps employees understand themselves and others as they work together. In this class, we use six measures that provide feedback about three personal dimensions: personal values, cognitive style, and attitudes toward change. We use measures of these dimensions to provoke thought about how you interact with others in teams and organizations in general. When analyzing the results of any survey, it is important to be critical. Remember: the objective is reflection and thought-provocation – accuracy of the results is not necessary for you to benefit from the testing experience! It is important to be critical of the results in terms of how you feel they reflect your values, personality, attitude, and interaction style. Further assignment details can be found by clicking here.

After discussing your assessment during our class session on self-assessment, you will be asked to provide a brief, 1-2 page (typed, double-spaced) summary of your perceived skill strengths and weaknesses based on the assessment above. In your summary, you may use bullets if you like. I encourage you to integrate the assessment from this assignment with any other feedback you have received throughout your work and school careers that seems relevant to develop a summary of your strengths and weaknesses that is insightful and useful. Further assignment details can be found by clicking here.


The objective of having you draft a personal mission statement is to help frame your direction for personal change throughout your MBA program. Many of us respond to the requests of colleagues, teachers, bosses, spouses, or children without much thought about how complying with these requests helps us to move along our path (i.e. meet our own needs) in addition to helping others. Having and being in touch with a personal mission statement makes it easier for us to make choices that will move us along our own desired path in life. It can help us answer the question, "Where do I want to go, and who do I want to be when I get there?" Further assignment details can be found by clicking here.

Term projects shall be typed using double-spacing, and submitted electroncially to both craig.dunn@wwu.edu and kristi.tyran@wwu.edu. There is no page length requirement for this assignement. A self-evaluation of this paper (available by clicking here) is to be submitted electronically along with the final paper. Evaluation criteria for this assignment include:

o evidence of self-awareness
o adequacy of analysis
o coherence of paper components
o practical/prescriptive merit
o overall professionalism
o thoroughness of self-evaluation

Each day the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment accounts for twenty to thirty percent of your course grade, and is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application.

To post a journal entry, students are to 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within their own journal, and then provide their reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Blackboard. To post an entry, do the following:

o Click on the 'journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'view'
o Click on 'new entry'
o Enter a BRIEF journal entry title
o Cut and paste the 'prompt' from the course schedule into the BODY of the journal entry
o Click 'save' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty members, have access to these posts – which are time and date stamped upon submission. Entries are due by midnight of each day a 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule.

"Greed, for want of a better term, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms-greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge-has marked the upward surge of mankind."

-Gordon Gecko
Oliver Stone's Wall Street

Each student shall participate in a team project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice:

Analyze a contemporary business case using the principles outlined in lecture and readings.

Each three member team is to prepare both a comprehensive written analysis of a business case to be selected by the course faculty members. This analysis is to include: (1) a statement identifying the case issue(s); (2) listing of alternatives providing resolution of these case issues; (3) analysis of proposed resolutions from the perspective of managerial as well as ethical theory; (4) assessment of both the financial as well as the political viability of the recommended alternative; (5) selection of optimal resolution (with supporting defense from both the managerial and ethical perspectives); as well as (6) suggestions for implementation. Any assumptions made must be clearly identified as such, but do not 'assume away' the issues – resolve them!

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the team project are listed in the table below.

o accuracy of issue identification
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o use of theory to support recommendation(s)
o soundness of recommendation(s)
o feasibilty of recommendation(s)
o professionalism of case presentation
o creativity of approach

There are no examinations for this course.

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). You are to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 10-30% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a student may choose to maximize the points on the reflective journal and group case analysis by completing all other assignments at the minimum points possible:

o Self-Awareness Worksheet 10 points
o Assessment Profile 20 points
o Personal Mission Statement 20 points
o Reflective Journal 30 points
o Group Case Analysis 20 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your MBA 516 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A confirmed copy of each contract will be posted to Blackboard by the end of the first week of class.

Management 516 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MGT 516 student and Professors Dunn and Tyran for work to be completed Summer term, 2009. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

Section #

First Name: Last Name:

Western ID:

Complete E-mail Address:

Point Objective for Self-Awareness Worksheet:

Point Objective for Assessment Profile:

Point Objective for Personal Mission Statement:

Point Objective for Reflective Journal:

Point Objective for Group Case Analysis:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100.

By sending this form, you agree to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in this syllabus.


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