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BSc Management with Industrial/Professional Experience
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Exploring Decision Making in Practice
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Alliance Manchester Business School|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
In business and management studies, the subject curriculum is generally more concerned with BUSINESS than MANAGEMENT, meaning there are more courses on business-related subjects than there are on management in practice. In this course we deliberately focus on the realities of MANAGEMENT in practice rather than the functions of BUSINESS and explore one of the most important realities that applies to all practicing managers, namely decision making in uncertain situations. In doing this we explore five key aspects of decision making in practice:
(1) the importance of decision making at all levels of management;
(2) case examples of decision making in action;
(3) perspectives on how decisions actually get made in practice;
(4) practical guiding frameworks and tools to support decision making; and
(5) other relevant skills, eg. listening skills, self-awareness, and process facilitation skills. All five aspects are important to explore as they go beyond the traditional textbook narratives of decision making as essentially choice making and financial optimising.
Moreover, it is important to explore decision making in practice because of its practical consequences and effects on people, organisational performance, communities, and the environment; and since there is no 'correct' way to make decisions in practice, this course takes an INQUIRY-BASED APPROACH that is both practical and critical, and draws on ideas from various subjects including management studies, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, organisation studies and sociology. In taking this approach, the emphasis is on enabling you to develop your own decision making knowledge and skills in preparation for your future careers. Other important delivery features include a highly interactive lecture programme, the use of films and documentary videos, and applied exercises and tasks to develop your own decision making skills for working in any organisation after you leave AMBS.
Option for Mgt/Mgt (Specialism), IM & IMABS.
In focusing on decision making in practice, this course is deliberately a GENERALIST management course rather than a SPECIALIST business course. For students interested in pursuing a management career in business or some other sector, experience shows that it is important to develop general practitioner skills and knowledge as well as specialist knowledge and skills, and this course aims to develop your GENERALIST knowledge and skills in decision making. It explores five topics that are relevant to all practitioners and explores them practically and critically from multiple perspectives, enabling you to reflect on the topics in relation to your own ideas and experiences of organisations. Importantly, there are no best practice prescriptions, no correct theories, and nor any suggestion that there is a 'right' way to make decisions in practice. Rather, as each student has different ideas and experiences, the aim is to explore and share various perspectives and experiences to help you develop your own knowledge and skills. In taking this exploratory approach, the learning and development objectives are to deepen your understanding of decision making in practice and to develop your practical skills for deciding your own action in uncertain situations, and for leading and facilitating group decision making in organisational situations.
At the end of the course students should have:
1. A holistic understanding of the context and importance of decision making in practice: challenges of management in practice and perspectives on the future of business.
2. An understanding of how managers think-in-action and how decisions are actually made in practice through studying several case examples and film action dramas.
3. An understanding of different theoretical perspectives on how practitioners make decisions with a special focus on decision making as inquiry in uncertain situations.
4. Practical knowledge and skills in using some inquiry-based frameworks and tools to guide practitioners in uncertain decision making situations.
5. An understanding of other relevant skills and topics including listening skills, self-awareness, conversational skills, and a special focus on process facilitation skills for leading and facilitating group decision making and working more effectively with others.
Teaching and learning methods
Delivery: facilitated class discussions, practical group exercises, online discussion
Interactive lectures: 30 hours (10 sessions * 3 hours per week, over 10 weeks)
Private study: 170 hours
Total study: 200 hours
Total study hours: 100 hours split between lectures, classes, self study and preparation for classes, and coursework.
Informal Contact Methods
Applied Group Exercise (self-explanatory slide pack (max 20 slides/5000 words)) [40%]
Individual Reflective slide pack (self-explanatory slide pack (max 15 slides/3000 words)) [60%] The individual self-explanatory slide pack is expected to show evidence of critical personal reflection on the five parts of the course: specifically, five personal learning points, each personally narrated in terms of what the learning point is, why it is important to the student personally, and how they intend to apply the learning gained in future situations.
Methods of Feedback to Students
- Informal advice and discussion during a lecture or seminar.
- Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback
provided to a group via an online discussion forum.
- Specific course related feedback sessions.
- Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.
An electronic reading list will be provided with all the links to recommended learning materials specifically linked to the course programme and the two assignments.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Mark Winter||Unit coordinator|
Dependent course units: N/A
Programme Restrictions: BSc Management and Management (Specialisms), IM and IMABS.
For Academic Year 2022/23
Updated: March 2022
Approved by: March UG Committee