Research Paper, Management and Organisations in a Global Environment

Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
HI 5005: Research Paper 1
Maximum of 10 pages and 15 minutes 1
This is a group assignment with specific individualcomponents.
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 whicheach 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 first 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.
Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
© Holmes Institute, 2008 2
Listed below are points to bear in mind in regard to this Research Paper.
Topics and Presentation Schedule:
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 to your lecturer).
Sydney Melbourne
Name: Sandhy Patrick Assoc Prof Peter Schmidt
Please nominate your preferred presentation time (see Lecture Schedule in the Subject Outline) at
the time you bid for the topic.In the event of two different groups choosing thesame topic, the
group who nominates the earlier presentation time-slot will secure the topic. The other group will
have to choose another topic.
Research on the broad topic is a group activity andeach student must contribute to that work. Each
student in the group will then research, in depth, an individual component drawn from the broad
research topic.
• •• • Topics are to be undertaken as group work in a group of three or four persons
• •• • Each topic has a general framework as well as individual components
When researching the topic:
• •• • The work on the general framework is the responsibility of each team member
• •• • The work on the individual components is the responsibility of the individual choosing that
component. However, that individual can be helped by other group members who in turn
also can help other team members
The Live Presentation:
The live presentation (worth 10%) must be organisedas a business presentation. Strict adherence to
the fifteen minute limit is expectedso the time should be carefully allocated to allowfor a very short
introduction on the broad topic followed by a few minutes allocated to each student to present their
individual component.
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.
The Written Report:
The 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 to writing a successful report involves 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
Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
© Holmes Institute, 2008 3
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 beforeyou 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 andyou must do that in less than two pages.
As already stated above, you begin the main body ofthe report with some general background on the
broad research topic. This introduction should endwith 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. As for any
good business report these components should be structured into sections and sub-sections and the
heading for these should be in the Table of Contents. In these individual components the in-depth
discussion of the relevant issues is elaborated based on the existing literature and/or data. You must
provide in-text referencesto your sources.
The last section of the report contains a brief summary followed by a complete list of referencesthat
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,
 Summary and Complete List of References (5-15 references).
Assessment Criteria:
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 ofyour
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
Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
© Holmes Institute, 2008 4
A. Management Yesterday and Today
General Framework
Outline a framework (a map) describing the developments in Western Management Theory over the
last hundred years or more.
Individual Components
Shifts in any theory occur when a researcher identifies a question troubling him or her. Subsequent
research is then directed at finding answers to the research question(s) and ultimately old theory is
discarded and new theory adopted. For example: TheEgyptians had a theory that the sun revolved
around the earth. Modern theory is that the earth revolves around the sun. At some stage in between a
question – a research question – arose which we would now describe as challenging whether observed
motion is not absolute but relative to the position of the observer. Such questions trigger research
effort to find evidence so that the questions can be resolved and ultimately old theories are discarded
and new theories established.
1. Scientific Management School has given way to Quantitative Management (Management
2. Scientific Management School has given way to the Human Relations School of Management
3. Human Relations School of Management has given way to Behavioural Science School of
Each member of the team must choose one of these and identify the research questions and the reasons
why and the evidence on which the shift in theory (the paradigm shift) occurred.
B. Early Management Theories Relevant to the Modern World
General Framework
From a framework (a map) describing the developments in Western Management Theory over the last
hundred years or more, focus on the period from Taylor to Fayol and Weber explaining the context of
their work.
Individual Components
Each member of the team choose one of the management theorists listed below and give specific
examples of the portions of their theory still in use in the modern world.
1. Fred Taylor
2. Henri Fayol
3. Max Weber
C. The Time-line of Development of Management Theories:
Relative or Absolute
General Framework
The study of management theories has been criticised by some people as a waste of time because old
ideas are discarded if they are found to be out of tune with today’s business context. For instance,
time-and-motion studies have fallen out of favour these days. On the other hand some writers have
argued that the timeline for the development of management theories is not an absolute scale but is, in
fact, a relative scale. This means that what we think is an old idea may be a new idea in a different
context. In this paper you are to discuss and arguethese different points of view citing evidence from
your research.
Individual components
Each individual member can argue for or against thetopic. Use examples to illustrate your point. For
• Taylorism: could it be relevant in an emerging economy today?
• Weber’s bureaucracy: could it be helpful in an emerging economy today?
• Empowerment: does it make sense in an emerging economy today?
Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
© Holmes Institute, 2008 5
D. Globalisation
General Framework
In this topic, you are to research globalisation. The business press bombards us with ideas about ‘the
shrinking world’, ‘the flat world’ and ‘the border-less world’ – all catchphrases to describe the impact
of globalisation.
But are the (trade) borders really collapsing or are we seeing, post GFC, a resurgence in them? What is
behind the extreme demonstrations against globalisation at G7 and WTC conferences?
Individual Components
1. World 3.0: P Ghemawat’s questioning of whether the world really is as ‘global’ as we are
being told it is and his ideas about how it could be globalised more effectively.
2. Anthony Giddens’ ideas on globalisation.
3. The “End of Poverty” movement and the contrary assertion that “Trade NOT aid” is the way to
a more globalised world that mitigates against poverty
E. The Hawthorne Studies
General Framework
The Hawthorne studies had their origins in the Scientific School of Management and constituted a
genuine attempt at discovery through research. By today’s standards there were deficiencies in the
research which will be highlighted in the individual components of this topic. In your introduction
outline the overall context of the Hawthorne studies and in your conclusion, stress the significant
outcomes from the studies notwithstanding the acknowledged defects in the research methodology.
Individual Components
1. The Illumination Studies: One member of the group choose this phase of the studies.
2. The Relay Room Experiments: Another member of the group choose this phase of the studies.
3. The Bank Wiring Experiments: The third member of the group choose this phase.
Apart from describing the phase you have chosen, you must identify the specific research
methodological weaknesses inherent in that phase.
F. Corporate or Organisational Culture
General Framework
Discuss why corporate culture is such an important determinant of organisational success. Outline the
dimensions commonly used in describing a particularorganisation’s culture.
Individual Components
Each individual should focus on one (or two) of thedimensions and identify a specific organisation
noted for its emphasis of that dimension. Describe how that organisation stresses that particular
component of organisation culture and comment on whether they have been successful. [Note:
Individual team members must choose different dimensions and thus outline different actual cases.]
G. National Culture
General Framework
Discuss why an understanding of national culture is important for multi-national or trans-national
corporations seeking to operate in a global business environment. Outline the dimensions commonly
used in describing national culture.
Individual Components
Each individual should choose a different country classifying it in terms of the commonly-used
dimensions for describing national culture. Choose the countries wisely so that differences can be
highlighted. Each member should seek to find specific examples in their country of choice to illustrate
the classification they have made.
Holmes Institute MBA Program
HI 5005: Management and Organisations in a Global Environment
© Holmes Institute, 2008 6
H. Lessons from the Motor Vehicle Industry
General Framework
The Automobile Industry was, for a long time, the world’s biggest industry (only overtaken towards the
end of the twentieth century by the Information and Communications Technology Industry). It,
therefore, should not surprise that the automobile industry has been a rich source of experience.
Discuss the numerous advances in the understanding of management and organisation issues which
have come out of the motor vehicle industry.
Individual Components
Each individual should select a key insight from the industry such as those attributed to:
 Henry Ford: “Bringing the work to the worker”
 Alfred P Sloan: Cost Centres
 The ‘World Car’ Concept
I. Management Decision Making
General Framework
Decision making pervades everything a manager does from deciding about the details in a plan of
action through to making decisions in a control context such as what to do when targets are not met.
George Bush liked to be called The Decider. It is daunting to contemplate the impact of decisions a
President has to make. In business, the manager also makes decisions that impact upon the success of
the business and on people’s careers and lives.
The importance of insights into decision making canbe judged by the fact that two Noble Prizes have
been awarded to researchers whose work has enlightened our knowledge of decision making processes.
In the general framework of this paper, you should outline the general approaches to management
decision making.
Individual Components
Each individual should select a key aspect of the decision making process to expound, such as:
 Heuristics that can assist the decision maker in speeding up the decision making process
 Common Biases that can skew the decision making process
 Social influences that might skew the decision making process