MBA 516: MANAGERIAL DECISIONS (30398)

INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT/PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

ACCELERATED MBA PROGRAM

SUMMER 2013/ PH015 & AW304


Professors

Dr. Mary Sass

360-650-2648

360-650-4844 (fax)

mary.sass@wwu.edu

Office Hours: 10am-11am class days                      

 

Dr. Craig Dunn

360-650-2593

360-650-4844 (fax)

craig.dunn@wwu.edu

Office Hours: 10am-11am class days

Course Objectives

 

In today's business climate, it is critical that employees work together effectively to manage ever-changing organizations.  Therefore, the overarching goal of this class is to offer a practical framework for understanding individual and group dynamics as they operate within and through organizations, and to create an opportunity for introspection, participation and skill development around competencies that are highly prized in the modern economy.

 

Specifically, then, this class has three interrelated objectives.  The first is to impart a body of knowledge about human social dynamics, organizational theory, ethics, and strategy in organizations.  Such knowledge is at the core of mastering the managerial endeavor and serves as a basis for conceiving of and executing behavioral coordination in the pursuit of organizational goals.  The second purpose is to test the applicability of this knowledge by using it to better comprehend, anticipate and influence the thinking and behavior of others as conditioned by organizational structure and policy.  That is, this class will provide opportunities to examine the usefulness of theory as applied to real-world practice.  The third purpose is to encourage students to assume a more reflective posture about their aptitudes, aspirations and interactions.  This entails developing a keener sense of self-awareness about one's strengths, weaknesses and values in relation to environmental demands.

 

Class Format

 

This class emphasizes self-assessment as well as managerial and teamwork skill development.  Lectures and assignments focus on practical skills in teamwork, conflict resolution, ethics and professional business behaviors.  Individuals are charged with connecting lecture material to their own behaviors in an attempt to become more self-aware. We discuss various theories and techniques used to manage/lead people and determine individual preferences when using these techniques.

 

This class makes use of a broad range of instructional methods including lecture, discussion, self-assessments and team exercises.  In addition, the team assignment is used so that students can integrate theories with practical experiences.  This assignment provides students the opportunity to use their knowledge and academic skills while actively assessing a current business environment.  This experience ties theory with practice by creating an atmosphere where students can grasp the fundamental ideas of organizational and personal philosophies while assessing 'real-life' situations.  Through self- and team-reflection, students gain further understanding of course content while enhancing their professionalism and comfort in various business settings.

 

Students are assigned to a team early in the quarter.  Each team consists of approximately three members, and is charged with participating in various exercises, both in and out of class.

 

Required Articles

 

  1. Terkel, S.  'Working' (in class)
  2. Taylor, F. 'The Principles of Scientific Management' (for reference only)
  3. Collins, J. 'What Comes Next?'
  4. Bronson, P.O. 'What Should I do With My Life?'
  5. Hopkins, M.S. 'The World According to Me'
  6. Peters, T. 'The Brand Called You'
  7. Tannen, D. (1995).  The power of talk: Who gets heard and why.  Harvard Business Review, 73, 138-149.
  8. Meyer, C. (1994).  How the right measures help teams excel.  Harvard Business Review, 72, 95-102.
  9. Kerr, S. (1995).  On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B.  Academy of Management Executive, 9, 7-14.
  10. Argyris, C. (1991).  Teaching smart people how to learn.  Harvard Business Review, 69, 99-110.
  11. Garvin, D. A. (1993).  Building a learning organization.  Harvard Business Review, 76-91.
  12. Senge, P. M. (1990).  The leader's new work: Building learning organizations.  Sloan Management Review, 32, 7-23.
  13. Kelman, S. 'Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique'.
  14. Le Guin, U.  'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas' (in class)
  15. Dunn, C.P. (2009). Integrity Matters. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(2): 102-125.
  16. Moorman, R.H., Darnold, T.C., Priesemuth, M. & Dunn, C.P. (2012). Toward the Measurement of Perceived Leader Integrity: Introducing a Multidimensional Approach. Journal of Change Management, 12(4): 383-398.
  17. Keeney, R. (1994).  Creativity in decision making with value-focused thinking.  Sloan Management Review, 35, 33-41.
  18. Ertel, D. (2004).  Getting past yes: Negotiating as if implementation mattered.  Harvard Business Review, 82 (11), 1-9.
  19. Downie, B. (1991).  When negotiations fail: Causes of breakdown and tactics for breaking the stalemate.  Negotiation Journal, 7, 175-186.
  20. Clement, R.W. 'The Lessons from Stakeholder Theory for U.S. Business Leaders'.
  21. Mindtools.  'Stakeholder Analysis'.
  22. Freeman, R.E. & McVea. 'A Stakeholder Approach to Strategic Management'.
  23. Friedman, M. 'The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits'.
  24. Dunn, C.P. 'Are Corporations Inherently Wicked?'.
  25. Caroll, A.B. 'The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility'.
  26. Little, A.D. 'The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility'.
  27. Diamond, J. Easter's End. Discover, August 1995.
  28. Hardin, G. 'The Tragedy of the Commons'.

Required Case

 

  1. Cherry Point Coal Terminal
    1. - Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Starts Permit Process
    2. - Coal Proposal Drives a Big Green Wedge into Bellingham Politics
    3. - Coal Shipping to China Takes Center Stage in Whatcom County (video)

 

Required Assessments

 

  1. Individual Team Orientation Questionnaire
  2. International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R (IPIP)
  3. Survey of Ethical Theoretic Aptitudes
  4. Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
  5. Interpersonal Trust Scale

 

Recommended Readings

 

  1. Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (2011).  Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York: Penguin Books.
  2. Caprioni, P. J. (2005).  Management skills for everyday life: The practical coach.  2nd Edition.  Pearson: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  3. Buckingham, M. & Coffman, C. (1999).  First, break all the rules: What the world's greatest managers do differently.  Simon & Schuster: New York, NY.
  4. O'Toole, J. (1996).  Leading change: The argument for values-based leadership.  Ballantine Books: New York, NY
  5. Bennis, W. & Biederman, P. W. (1997).  Organizing genius: The secrets of creative collaboration.  Perseus Books: Reading, MA.
  6. Levi, D. (2011).  Group dynamics for teams.  3rd Edition.  Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.
  7. Thompson, L. L. (2008).  Making the team: A guide for managers.  3rd Edition.  Pearson: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  8. Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B. & Saunders, D. M. (2007).  Essentials of negotiation. 4th Edition.  McGraw Hill Irwin: Boston, MA.

 

Requirements

 

Self-Reflection Journal (SRJ):  Self-evaluation and reflection are critical for personal growth.  Effective managers recognize that understanding their own tendencies and reactions enhances relationships because they are able to better communicate with others.  Therefore, students are charged with completing a series of directed self-reflection essays.  These essays provide students with an opportunity to connect their individual traits and behaviors with positive and negative interactions in an attempt to better understand why and how they react to others.   Essays should be a maximum of 3 pages. 

 

SRJ 1.  Write a statement of personal purpose that is reflective of content in Jim Collin's article.

 

SRJ 2.  Consider two teams in which you have been or are a member; one that you remember positively and one negatively. 

a.     What about the purpose, structure or roles in the two teams contributed to your overall satisfaction or lack thereof?

b.     What about your personality (based on the assessments completed in class) contributed to the positive and negative interactions you had in the two teams?

 

SRJ 3.  What does the survey of ethical theoretical aptitude reveal about your personal ethical predispositions?  What can you do to ensure that this perspective does not dominate you, but that you make balanced ethical decisions?

 

SRJ 4.  What impression do you want faculty to have of your Accelerated MBA cohort?

 

SRJ 5.  Consider a conflict, personal or professional, which you want to understand better.

a.     What is/was the conflict about?

b.     Who are/were the people involved?

c.      What do/did you want?

d.     What are the other party's wants?

e.     What will/did you do about the conflict?

f.      How do/did your preferred conflict styles impact the conflict/outcome?

g.     Could you do/have done anything better?

 

SRJ 6.  What is the primary responsibility of managers of corporations? What logical rationale can you provide in support of your position?

 

SRJ 7.  Under what circumstances do you think employees should be a more important stakeholder group than shareholders in managerial decision-making?

 

Case Analysis/Presentation:  Each student shall participate in a three-member team project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. In this project each team will be engaged in analyzing a contemporary corporate social responsibility case using the principles and practices outlined in lecture and readings.

 

In so doing, each team is to prepare both a comprehensive written as well as an oral analysis of a case of their own choosing, to include: (1) a statement identifying the corporate social responsibility issue; (2) listing of alternatives providing resolution of this issue; (3) analysis of proposed resolution(s) from the perspective of institutional, organizational as well as managerial theory; (4) selection of optimal resolution (with supporting defense from the institutional, organizational and managerial perspectives); as well as (5) suggestions for implementation. Any assumptions made must be clearly identified as such, but do not 'assume away' the dilemma--resolve it!

 

A 'Case Proposal' form is to be submitted by each team no later than the end of the second day of the course. Cases can come from any appropriate current source; the Wall Street Journal and Business Week are among the more popular periodicals for sourcing corporate governance cases. Cases are to be presented during the class session set aside for this purpose.

Reporting will take the form of a 20-minute oral presentation followed by a 10-15 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the analysis as if you were presenting the information to any fitting audience you explicitly identify, to be role-played by those students not in your team (who will be accountable for posing relevant questions to the presenting group). Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the team project are listed in the table below.

timeliness of case

thoroughness of analysis

use of theory to support arguments

clarity and conciseness of arguments

soundness of recommendations

feasibility of case resolution

creativity of presentation

 

Course Policies

 

Appeals.  Disagreements regarding grading inevitably arise whenever pure objectivity is not established.  These controversies are handled in the following manner:  Within one week of receiving the graded assignment, the petitioner should submit a one page paper to the professor detailing reasons why the answer given is adequate or deserving of more points.  Points are awarded based on the logic and thoroughness of the presented arguments.  The purpose of this is to transform a typically unpleasant experience into a learning one, as committing complaints to writing often leads to valuable insight. Appeals are only accepted during class.  Participation cannot be appealed.

 

Papers.  All written papers must be typed using 12-point font with one-inch margins.  Please ensure that all written material includes a title page with name(s) and ID number(s).  Papers should be spell-checked and proofread before submitting.  Because this is a business class, the use of bullet points, tables, graphs, etc. is highly encouraged.  In addition, all papers should contain subject headings to ensure that information is easily found.  Points are deducted if this section is not followed.

 

Attendance.  Attendance is not monitored, but the participation grade will reflect your presence in class.  If you plan on missing any classes, you are responsible for getting notes and handing in any assignments due.

 

Late Assignments.  Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the dates indicated in the module schedule.  10 percent is deducted each day that an assignment is late (starting immediately after class is finished).

 

Miscellaneous.  Record-keeping mistakes happen, so please keep all papers to ensure you have received proper credit for all assignments.  Also, flexibility is an operative concept here, and is necessary to meet the needs of the class and the demands of the broader situation.  Any changes will, of course, be announced in detail during class, but be prepared, as nothing is sacred.

 

Grading Structure                                                  

SRJ 1                           10pts                                     

SRJ 2                           10pts 

SRJ 3                           10pts

SRJ 4                           10pts

SRJ 5                           10pts 

SRJ 6                           10pts

SRJ 7                           10pts

Case Analysis             20pts 

Case Presentation     10pts                         

TOTAL                       100pts

 

Course Schedule

 

DATE

TOPIC/INSTUCTOR

EXERCISE

READINGS

ASSIGNMENTS

June 26

AM

-Introduction

-Meaning of Work (CD)

 

 

-Articles 1-2

 

June 26

PM

 

-Meaning of Work (CD)

 

 

-Articles 3-6

Due: SRJ 1 (by midnight)

June 27

AM

 

-Effective Teamwork (MS)

-Team Quiz

-Articles 7-12

Prepare: Self-Assessments

June 27

PM

 

-Team Management (MS)

-Threat Target

 

Due: SRJ 2 (by midnight)

June 28

AM

-Ethical Decision-Making (CD)

 

-Articles 13-16

 

June 28

PM

 

-Ethical Decision-Making (CD)

 

 

Due: SRJ 3 & SRJ 4 (by midnight)

July 1

AM

-Conflict Management (MS)

 

 

-Articles 17-19

 

July 1

PM

-Mutual-gain Conflict Resolution (MS)

 

-Commodity Purchase

 

Due: SRJ 5 (by midnight)

July 2

AM

-Stakeholder Theory (CD)

 

-Articles 20-22

 

July 2

PM

-Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability (CD)

 

-Cherry Point Coal Terminal Case

-Articles 23-28

Due: SRJ 6 & SRJ 7 (by midnight)

July 5

AM

-Team Presentations (MS/CD)

 

 

 

 

July 5

PM

-Professional Skills (MS)

 

 

Due: Case Analysis (by midnight on July 8)