Your success on this course depends on acquiring both knowledge and skills. The knowledge is contained in the course material and reading, supplemented by other course activities. The skills outlined in this section are not only necessary for top performance on this course, but may also enhance your future job prospects, since they are often relevant to success at job interview and subsequent promotion. While you will have opportunities to develop and practise these skills within the course, you are encouraged to find additional opportunities for yourself – including participation in other university activities outside the formal curriculum.

Broad Awareness / Business Intelligence

As this is a business-oriented course within a business-oriented degree, you are expected to take a keen interest in business, and be willing to engage with the details of business organizations.
Interest in business doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to be pro-business. You may take either side of the debate, but you need to have the data and arguments to support your position.

Connect Theory with Practice

“There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” Use theory to explain and interpret practical issues, to make predictions, and to justify practical recommendations. Use practical examples to illustrate and test theory.
To the extent that you have direct experience of organizations, you should be able to use the theory to reflect on your own experience. In any case, you should be able to use theory to reflect on case studies and other material.
If possible, you should also try to do the converse – to use the practical material to identify the limitations of a particular theory. Regard a theory as a tool, which may be useful in many situations but may not be applicable to all situations. “To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Critical Distance

You should always try to take a critical distance from your sources. Recognize that people within organizations have a unique insight into these organizations, but also that they may have strong attachment to certain positions and perspectives, so they often don’t or can’t reveal the “whole truth” about what’s going on. Official statements and press releases, or one-sided statements about internal political disputes should never be taken at face value. Try to read between the lines, to make an intelligent guess at what’s “really” going on. If you’re doing an in-depth study, don’t rely on a single source of data.

Presentation Skills

During the course, you will be required to present your analysis and conclusions in clear written and spoken form. You should pay attention to the structure of your presentations and essays, and to the logical flow. Your reasoning should be visible and coherent.

Independent Judgement

You should be able to arrive at your own judgements about business in general, and about particular organizations and management styles. The course does not require you to take any particular stance towards business. However, it does require you to be able to take a clear position, and support it coherently and robustly.