Management and Organization - NUS Business School

Business School
Department of Management and Organization
BMA5004A Management & Organization
Semester 2, 2011/2012 (January intensive week), 9:00AM-5:00PM
Dr. Dan J. McAllister
BIZ1 #08-58
+65 6516 1009
[email protected]
Dr. David W. Lehman
BIZ1 #08-46
+65 6516 5002
[email protected]
Managers often indicate that they are surprised when they find that people are more difficult than
numbers to understand. Recruiters often indicate that they wish new managers possessed stronger
people skills. Alumni often indicate that they too wish they had stronger people skills. The aim of this
course is to provide you with some of these skills so that you can become a stronger manager and
more dynamic leader.
However, management is not a science. Nor is it a profession. It is an art – a craft that is developed
over a lifetime. This course is therefore not designed to offer you a magic formula for how to manage
an organization. It is designed to offer you some of the tools that you will need to better understand
why people in organizations do the things they do and how we can influence these behaviors. We will
use theories of management, economics, sociology, psychology, and philosophy to help us discuss
individual-, team-, and organizational-level behaviors.
The format for this course will be highly interactive in order to provide a rich learning experience. We
will do this through the use of debates, role-playing, simulations, and case studies. Each of these
experiences will provide opportunities to reflect and analyze in order that we may walk away with
new ways of looking at the world around us. We will have few traditional lectures and those that we
do have will be short ones that serve to synthesize a class discussion or exercise. This means that the
majority of our class time will require the inputs of the entire class so it is essential for all of us to be
well prepared for each class in order for any of us to take anything away from it.
A case packet will be available from Ms. Latifah in the MNO office by Monday 5 December 2011. All
supplementary readings will be available for electronic download via IVLE. Note that you are allowed
to download each reading only once so you should either save it or print it or both.
Day 1 (Morning): Organizations as Structures
This first session will serve as an introduction to the course. A framework for thinking about the
question “what is an organization?” will be discussed and then we will focus on the first part of that
framework: organizational structure. Organizations are complex systems in which multiple pieces
have to work together. We will think about how organizations can divide tasks and coordinate people
to achieve a common goal. (Note that there is no case assignment for this first session.)
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Supplementary Readings
 “The Five Messages Leaders Must Manage” by Hamm in HBR (May 2006)
 “Evidence-Based Management” by Pfeffer & Sutton in HBR (Jan 2006)
 “Do You Have a Well-Designed Organization?” by Goold & Campbell in HBR (Mar 2002)
 “Wrong People” by Mintzberg in Managers Not MBAs (2005)
Day 1 (Afternoon): Organizations as Cultures
In this second session, we will focus on the second part of our framework: organizational culture.
Every organization has its own unique set of unspoken norms and routines and these work together
to tell a story of some sort about what the organization is all about. We will think about how to make
sense of the objects, behaviors, and practices that we observe in organizational life and the
underlying values that they represent.
Case Assignment Questions: Keeping Google “Googley”
 What is Google’s mission? Its strategy?
 What are five words that you think would each describe Google’s culture?
 What evidence points you to these conclusions? Be specific.
Supplementary Readings:
 “Leading by Leveraging Culture” by Chatman & Cha in California Management Review (Sum 2003)
 “Cultural Intelligence” by Earley & Mosakowski in HBR (Oct 2004)
 “Welcome to the New Company Town” by Useem in Fortune (10 Jan 2000)
Day 2 (Morning): Organizations as People
In this third session, we will focus on the third part of our framework: people. Organizations are made
up of people who all share a common identity in the organization but who also have their own
unique self-identities. We will think about what motivates different people to think and act in the
ways that they do as well as the role that self-identities play in such attitudes and behaviors.
Case Assignment Questions: Managing Creativity at Shanghai Tang
 What are the key tensions and challenges at Shanghai Tang?
 How did they come about? What effects have they had?
 What should Raphael le Masne do to better manage creativity?
Note that there are six Shanghai Tang stores in Singapore. I encourage you to visit one of them if you
have time.
Supplementary Readings
 “How to Play to Your Strengths” by Roberts et al. in HBR (Jan 2005)
 “Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model” by Nohria et al. in HBR (Jul-Aug 2008)
 “What the Nonprofits are Teaching Business” by Drucker in The Essential Drucker (2001)
Note that the “Reflected Best Self” assignment is due in this session.
Day 2 (Afternoon): Organizations as Governments
In this fourth session, we will focus on the final part of our framework: power. People are quick to
think of a government as an organization but we often fail to recognize that organizations can be
rightly called governments. We will think about what it means to have power as well as how people
use it, abuse it, and respond to it.
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Case Assignment Questions: The Roller Coaster Ride: The Resignation of a Star
 Who has the “upper hand” in the negotiation between Stephen and Peter?
 Who played the situation better? What should each of them have done differently? Be specific.
 What should each of character (Stephen, Peter, Rina) do next? Be specific.
Supplementary Readings
 “Power Play” by Pfeffer in HBR (Jul-Aug 2010)
 “Informal Networks: The Company Behind the Chart” by Krackhardt & Hanson (Jul-Aug 1993)
 “An Exhortation To Liberate Italy from the Barbarians” by Machiavelli (1513)
Day 3 (Morning): The Adaptive Organization
In this fifth session, we will focus on what it means for an organization to be adaptive. Organizations
operate in an ever-changing environment and this forces them to also change. We will think about
what it means to change an organization in light of our organizational framework; we will also discuss
those factors that encourage people to want to change as well as those factors that create resistance
to change.
Case Assignment Questions: The National Geographic Society
 What challenges does the National Geographic Society face in light of changing media platforms?
 What is your evaluation of the new mission?
 What is your evaluation of the proposed shift toward attracting “members”?
Note that National Geographic has a store in Vivo City. I encourage you to visit if you have time.
Supplementary Readings
 “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail” by Kotter in HBR (Jan 2007)
 “The Rhythm of Change” by Huy & Mintzberg in MIT Sloan (July 2003)
 “The Three Rules of Epidemics” in The Tipping Point by Gladwell (2002)
Day 3 (Afternoon): The Learning Organization
In this sixth and final session, we will focus on what it means for an organization to learn. As
organizations engage in the world, its members must make sense of these experiences and modify
actions in pursuit of ongoing improvement. We will think about how organizations can learn from
experience as well as what should be learned.
Case Assignment Questions: Phase Zero: Introducing New Services at IDEO (A)
 What is your assessment of the Simmons project? Why?
 How do Phase Zero services compare to traditional services? What is required for success in it?
 Is Phase Zero a good fit for IDEO? Why or why not?
Note that IDEO designed Singapore’s MOM Work Pass Division process. I encourage you to visit if you
have time.
Supplementary Readings
 “The Ambidextrous Organization” by O’Reilly & Tushman in HBR (Apr 2004)
 “The Competitive Imperative of Learning” by Edmondson in HBR (Jul-Aug 2008)
 “The Damage Done: Why Every Workplace Needs the Rule” in The No Asshole Rule by Sutton (2007)
Friday, 13 January 2012: Take Home Final Exam Due
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Please submit your exam via email no later than 5:00PM. There is no class this day.
In-Class Participation (20%)
Due to the highly interactive nature of the class, a high level of input from each person is necessary
and expected. Even though a certain amount of input is obviously needed for any class discussion,
please recognize that quality, not quantity, is the key. You are encouraged to look for ways to stay on
track with the existing discussion by offering insightful responses to questions and building off other
comments. Try to avoid repeating other people’s comments or derailing discussions. This requires all
of us to be actively involved in the discussion even when someone else is talking. To help us all focus
on the classroom dialogue, please refrain from using your phones or computers in class. Finally,
please let me know beforehand if you will be absent.
Case Assignments (20%)
A few questions are provided for each case that we will discuss in class. These questions are intended
to trigger your thinking about the case so as to ensure a lively discussion. There are no “right or
wrong” answers but preference will be given to creative and insightful responses. Again, recognize
that quality, not quantity, is the key. These should be very short write-ups (i.e., no more than 1-page).
Please turn these in at the start of class and bring an extra copy for your self.
“Reflected Best Self” Assignment (20%)
In our third session together, we will focus on people in organizations. The case discussion will allow
us to talk about people in the third person but this assignment will give you the opportunity to take a
look at your own self. The objective of this assignment is to discover those situations in which we are
most prone to “shine” so that we can seek out opportunities in the future to better utilize our
strengths. This assignment will take some time and coordination due to the need to request feedback
from other people. Please plan accordingly! You will need to work on this assignment before the class
More details for this assignment can be found in the reading “How To Play To Your Strengths”
available on IVLE. Here are the basic steps that you are expected to take for this assignment:
1. Identify respondents and ask for feedback. Identify 20 people who know you well. These people
can be colleagues, friends, family, customers, etc. (Do not seek feedback from faculty in the
business school given the large number of students and small number of potential faculty for this
exercise.) Try to create a diverse group and recognize that you will need to solicit enough
feedback so as to receive at least 10 responses. Finally, start requesting feedback right away so
that people have enough time to provide you with a thoughtful response. Inform potential
respondents that you have been asked to construct a profile of the ways that you add value and
make contributions. You have been asked to contact 20 people that you know well and request
that each person provides you with 3 stories of when you were “at your best”. It will likely be
useful to create a fill-in-the-blank area in your email for each of the 3 stories; each should state:
“One of the ways that you add value and make important contributions is: (fill in the blank)” and
“For example, I think of the time that: (fill in the blank)”. Be sure to emphasize that vivid
examples will be most useful to your self-analysis. Don’t forget to thank the potential
respondents and to give them a deadline for providing you with a response.
2. Recognize patterns. Carefully read through all of the feedback and look for common themes
across the stories. It may be useful to create a simple table. (Refer to the reading.)
3. Compose your best-self portrait. Write a short summary of your findings. This should give a
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snapshot of what your life looks like when you are “at your best”.
In addition to the steps above, you should also complete the StrengthsFinder survey. You will find a
survey code in the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book that will give you access to the survey. It will take about
30 minutes to complete. Please do this survey after you have completed the steps above.
The deliverable for this assignment is a reflection paper that summarizes your observations, analysis,
and plan for application. Your paper should be no longer than 2500 words (or about 5 pages +
appendix) in length and is due in class on the 2nd of November. Please include the following in your
1. A summary of your analysis of the feedback you received. You do not need to re-state all of the
responses here but you should include a few examples to support your analysis.
2. A comparison of how your analysis of the feedback you received from others is similar to and
different from your StrengthsFinder survey results.
3. Your “best-self portrait” that incorporates both of the above items.
4. A reflection on some or all of the following questions:
a. How does your best-self portrait correspond with how you spend the bulk of your time?
b. How does it correspond with (or contradict) your a priori self-identity?
c. What situations encourage your best self to emerge?
d. What keeps you from operating at your best more of the time?
e. What changes can you make in your daily life that would allow your best self to emerge?
f. What types of jobs might be well suited for your strengths?
Final Exam (40%)
The exam will be a case analysis that you should write on your own. Details will be provided on the
last day of class.
We are looking forward to seeing you in class. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you
have any questions, comments, or concerns.
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