Syllabus for Introduction to Management and Organizations
Course Name: Introduction to Management and Organizations
Course Number: MGMT101
Credit: 3 (51)
Lecturer: Tian Bifei
School: Business and
This course introduces students to management theory, organizational processes, and the functional areas of management. Management refers to the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of economic and human resources to accomplish organizational goals. Management competence is required in all aspects of an organization, including human resource management, organizational planning and design, and strategic management. The ability of an organization to produce goods or services that customers want is a result of the decisions and behaviors of all its members: top managers who plan the organization’s strategy, middle managers who coordinate human resources, and supervisors and workers who are engaged in production activities.
As a foundation and survey course, MGMT 101 covers the entire range of issues that managers face in all of the four primary functional areas (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) and at all levels of action (individual, group, organization, and organizational environment). These issues are discussed using theoretical concepts that help to explain and predict human behavior in an organizational context.
Management is mostly about people. Because people can “make or break” an organization, it is important to understand the basic principles of human behavior. Such knowledge is useful when managers want to implement a new organizational strategy, improve the quality of decision-making, select and train employees, re-design jobs, or enhance teamwork. While practicing managers are not expected to be professional psychologists or sociologists, they need to know enough to manage from sound principles rather than from myths and guesswork.
By the end of the semester, successful students will have a firm understanding of the diverse roles of a manager in an organization. Students will learn about the science of management by discovering what researchers have found in relevant fields such as decision-making, strategic management, and human resource management. Within the context of existing research knowledge, students will also learn how to use this information as they practice the art of management.
Effective managers have well-developed conceptual, analytical, and human skills. The objective of this course is to enhance these skills. Specifically, this course will enable students to:
- think strategically about the role and functions of organizational management;
- apply management concepts to analyze and deal with key organizational issues;
- describe the environmental context in which organizations operate;
- use a variety of behavioral models (of motivation, leadership, groups, etc.) to understand how members of an organization relate to each other.
Course requirements and student evaluation
Because lectures will follow closely the materials discussed in the textbook, it is important that students complete the readings according to the class schedule shown below. This schedule is intended as a guideline for class preparation and is subject to change. Students cannot hope to perform well in this course without engaging seriously with the readings and attending the lectures. There is material in the readings that will not be covered in lectures, and material in lectures that is not covered in the readings. Students will be held responsible for both. The powerpoint slides and summary notes made available to students are intended as supplements. They do not replace the textbook and the material discussed in lectures. Students are responsible for all materials discussed in lectures.
Testing and evaluation system
There is one in-term test. The format of this test will be announced in. The final examination (held during final exam period) is comprehensive. All assigned readings and materials presented in the lectures are examinable.Students will do an integrative case study “Horwath: Investment in workforce makes a difference” (textbook, pp. 317-318), to be completed in groups. Students must sign up for a group in the 3th week (no extensions will be given), following procedures explained in class. Each group will submit a case report. Requirements concerning the case report will be explained in class. The report is to be submitted in the 13th week.
Mid-term test 8th week 30%
Group report 13th week 10%
Final exam TBA 60%
Total 100 %
Thematic Course Sections
1. Introduction: Key concepts and ideas
Like other professions, management has developed historically, reflecting changes in economic demands and social expectations. Many of these changes reflect the central role that individuals play in organizations. Most scholars today agree that organizational success today is largely a matter of managers dealing effectively with employees as the core assets of the organization. This is reflected in the value that is placed on employees as “knowledge workers”, on the organization as a “learning organization”, and on “contingency thinking.” Contingency thinking forces attention to the diversity of situations and settings in which particular management practices and organizational designs are most appropriate.
2. Managing the organization in the external context
Organizations are not self-contained entities but exist in a broader environmental context from which they obtain necessary resources. These resources exist in economic (money and material supplies), social-political (public interests and social welfare), and informational (knowledge and technology) domains. The demands they place on management are not always consistent with each other. Given that these resources are controlled by other organizations (banks, governments, interest associations, etc.), it is important for a manager to relate to these organizations in ways that guarantee the timely inflow of resources.
3. The organization as a context for behavior
Managers operate with an organizational activity system that includes technologies, tasks, and human resources. Effective managers implement strategic goals by allocating people and other resources to necessary tasks, designating responsibility and authority for the coordination of activities, using rules and standards to clarify for people what is expected of them, designing reward systems that encourage people’s commitment to their employment, and meeting ethical requirements for everyone involved.
4. Individuals and groups in the organization
People are similar in some ways, but different in other ways. Managers need to understand individual differences in personality, perceptions, and expectations. These differences help to explain why employees do not always behave as expected in an organizational context that implies various constraints and opportunities. Individual differences figure most prominently in areas where people make decisions that have consequences for other people, require resources to feel motivated to perform well, communicate with others to obtain new information, and depend on others to accomplish their work.
5. Summary and conclusion:
It is widely accepted that organizations must evolve continually in order to survive in an uncertain and dynamic environment, but change is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish successfully. Successful change requires careful planning, communication, and decision-making.
Schedule of Class Sessions
Class Topic Book chapter
Introduction: Key concepts and ideas
1 Overview and course logistics
2 Defining the organization and management
3 The new workplace 1
4 The learning organization 1
5 Historical development of management approaches 4
6 Historical development of management approaches 4
7 Historical development of management approaches 4
8 Historical development of management approaches 4
Sign-up system for case study group opens (to work on “Horwath” case, pp. 317-318)
Managing the organization in its external environment
9 Strategic management 8
10 Strategic management 8
11 Organizational environment 2
12 Organizational culture for competitive advantage 2
13 Entrepreneurship 9
14 Entrepreneurship 9
15 Small business 9
16 Small business 9
17 Business ethics &n