9. Management Decision Making:
Overview 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 can be 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
2. Research Paper 2: Assessment criteria
Maximum of 10 pages (5,000 words) and 10 minutes (presentation) 2
This is a group assignment with specific individual components.
Groups choose from the list of topics that are based on the lectures. However, in this assignment you must do better than recycle the lecture. You are to research your topic in more depth providing evidence of independent research. The set of 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 which each group member must contribute. However there are also specific individual components which have been defined.
You will deliver your research topic findings in a presentation at any time during the trimester. The presentation is primarily assessed on presentation technique. Your tutor will make suggestions on improving the academic quality of your assignment.
You may improve the quality of the assignment for the written report at any time up until submission date at the end of the semester. It is at this point that the academic quality of your research is assessed.
Research Paper 2 (25%)
Students form into groups and nominate their broad research topic. Research on the broad topic is a group activity and each 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.
The live presentation (worth 10%) must be organised as a business presentation. Strict adherence to the ten minute limit is expected so the time should be carefully allocated to allow for a very short introduction on the broad topic followed by a few minutes allocated to each student to present their individual component.
The presentation is primarily assessed on presentation technique. Your tutor will make suggestions on how the academic content can be improved and that will only be assessed on the written report due in the final week of the semester. Students can therefore choose to present at any time in the semester and it is suggested that you make the decision to present earlier rather than later when there will be many assignments falling due.
The final report on your topic will be written up as a seminar report (worth 15%) and submitted to your lecturer by the end of the semester. You may incorporate ideas generated in the live presentation. That 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 your readers. Your essay is to be structured and written as a business report. It, therefore, must begin with a Management Summary within which you state in stark form (i.e. unsupported by argument) what you are asserting in this report and you must do that in less than two pages.
As already stated above, you begin the main body of the report with some general background on the broad research topic. This introduction should end with 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 references to your sources. The last section of the report contains a brief summary followed by a complete list of references that are cited in the text of the essay. Follow a standard referencing method consistently.
Suggested limits are as follows:
? Management 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).