Western Washington University Western Washington University

Introduction to Professional Management
Winter 2014


Course Syllabus:

Meets: Gray Wolf Hall 364, CRN 14138 (variable days and times; see course schedule for details)
Instructors: Interim Dean/Associate Professor Craig Dunn
Office: Parks Hall 419
Office Hours: Fridays/Saturdays by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 594 -- INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT (4) Prereq: admission to the MBA program. Explores the responsibilities and tasks of management, the characteristics of successful managers, various contexts of management, elements of strategic decision making at various levels of the organization, and an introduction to global business issues.

As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:

o Identify appropriate processes for making organizational decisions. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Construct a reasoned analysis of an organizational decision. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Apply critical thinking skills in making an organizational decision. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Relate relevant ethical frameworks to the resolution of a business dilemma. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Display proficiency in building a persuasive case. Participation
Case study
o Act according to professional norms. Participation
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 member reserves 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. Ask questions, raise issues, express concerns; 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 Writing Assignments 20-40 points
o Reflective Journal 20-40 points
o Group Case Analysis 20-40 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)

Handy, C. (1998) The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism: A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World (Broadway Books). Additionally, assigned case studies, reading materials, podcasts, 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.

There will be four writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class and/or as covered in assigned readings. Each paper will take the form of a two to three-page, double-spaced, typed paper which directly addresses the question(s) posed. While it is certainly allowable for students to discuss these writing assignments with one another, final papers ought to be recognizable as the 'independent' work of the student submitting the writing assignment.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to craig.dunn@wwu.edu. The e-mail memo line as well as the MS Word file name MUST begin with the LAST NAME of the student and also include the course designation (MBA 594). Evaluation criteria for these assignments include:

o evidence of self-awareness
o adequacy of analysis
o coherence of argument
o practical/prescriptive merit
o overall professionalism

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 Canvas. To post an entry, do the following (please do not attach journal entry as a file):

o Click on the 'reflective journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'reflective journal'
o Click on 'create journal 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 'post entry' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty member, have access to these posts – which are time and date stamped upon submission. Journals are evaluaed on timeliness and thoroughness in addressing the issue(s) under consideration. 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-based case analysis , with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. Each three-four member team is to prepare both a comprehensive written analysis as well as a formal class presentation of a business case. 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!

A 'Case Proposal' form is to be submitted by each group no later than the end of the second week of the course. Cases can come from any appropriate current source; the Wall Street Journal and the 'Social Issues' column of Business Week are among the more popular periodicals for sourcing timely business cases. Cases are to be presented during the class session set aside for case presentation (see course schedule for specific date).

Reporting will take the form of a 30 minute oral presentation followed by a 20 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 group (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.

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
o ability to engage the class in discussion

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 20-40% 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 minimize the points on the group case analysis by completing all other assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Writing Assignments 40 points
o Reflective Journal 40 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 594 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.

MBA 594 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MBA 594 student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Winter term, 2014. 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 Writing Assignments:

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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