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Chapter 9: Managing Work Teams towards better cohesion.

Humans find different ways to complete daily tasks – work-related or otherwise. Some are completed individually, while others require teamwork. In many situations, we find that working together with one or more person allows us to accomplish our goals far more efficiently. Read more...
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Chapter 8: Generation Y, Millennials, personality and other traits that make them harder to manage. Myth or reality?

Many aspects can be taken into consideration in order to understand the reasons behind the myth or reality of Generation Y, behaviour and attitudes in the workplace. Read more...
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Chapter 7: Innovating organisations a challenging task

Every business manager knows very well that CROWD companies offer new and innovative business models through the process of embracing powerful disrupting technologies. These kinds of companies offer partnerships to the traditional business in order to collaborate for a better survival in an unpredictable and challenging market environment. Read more...
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Chapter 6: Managing Human Resources: The Recruiting and Retention of employees using digital HR

This week we take a look at plans for the organisation’s workforce: hiring workers, retaining them and use of technology in doing so….

One hot topic to be discussed in the next C-suite meeting is plans for an employee ownership scheme in order to have a stronger company, healthier bottom line and happier employees. This scheme of ownership would lead to higher levels of engagement and retention. A good example is Lindt Australia winning its award for 2017 Innovative HR Teams. Their HR team drove employee engagement and performance, as well as talent acquisition and retention. The following tools were used in the process: mobile phone requisition and approvals; bulk actions for processing high volume of applications and communications; time-saving online tools for reference checks and self-service interview bookings; and online forms for contracts and on-boarding that allowed seamless transfer of data to payroll.

An interesting relationship exists between companies with strong ownership culture and a higher share price premium of 17% over their listed peers. Last month Australia launched the new Employee Ownership Australian (EOA) Index, which tracks the share prices of listed companies with high levels of employee ownership (EO) and compares them to the ASX200. This initiative concluded with the following result: in the past five and a half years, the share price of the EOA Index companies increased by 40%, compared to just 23% for the ASX 200. A robust employee-ownership culture also illustrates a strong link with other aspects such as environment, social and governance standards, according to the research conducted by responsibility analysts CAER. These companies are twice as likely to show clear evidence of equal opportunities systems and to outperform or match the ASX200 in three out of five social sustainability factors.

From an investor perspective, the companies with strong employee-ownership culture are very attractive, considering that they offer more engaged employees, more focused on gender and diversity, training, job security and sustainability. Therefore, investors should look for companies with higher levels of employee ownership, which will lead to broader social sustainability performance.

On a different note for an effective employee recruiting and retaining process, the digital embrace plays a vital role in this day and age. David Brown, Leader of the Deloitte Human Capital Consulting Practice, said Australian Human Resources professionals are focused on the retention of employees. However, 9% of Australian companies understand how to build a future-ready organisation equipped for digital disruption and developments of artificial intelligence and robotics, compared to 11% of companies around the globe which are ready for the future. With the advent of the digital age, the business models are changing and HR must follow the change through incorporation of these digital technologies in delivering its solutions to the organisations. The following technologies lead the way for the new business models: artificial intelligence, mobile platforms, sensors and social collaboration systems that are revolutionising the way workplaces are managed. According to the Deloitte Human Capital Consulting Practice, research (including 10,000 businesses around the world, including 197 in Australia), jobs need to be redesigned, the companies should include in their planning freelancers, “gig economy” workers and crowds. Of all companies participating in the research, a third were using some form of AI technology to deliver HR solutions and 41% were building mobile apps to deliver HR services. Australian companies were slightly ahead of international companies in reporting they had useable data analytics.

Alongside this come the cloud-based platforms used by the HR in the recruiting process. According to CB Insights Research in 2015 there were more than $2 billion in investment capital into cloud-based HR solutions. Advantages exist on both sides for employers and employees in using cloud-based HR platforms. The cloud-based platforms facilitate the employee performance tracking and motivation, which give them real-time understanding of changes in demographics or identification of areas of concern. Cloud-based HR platforms are beneficial to employees by helping them to engage better. Video learning tools allow employees to share content and recommend videos to each other, leading to a more aware and skilled workforce. Other organisations provide gamification elements using cloud-based HR solutions, giving employees access to ‘points’ or rewards based on performance.

Based on these different resources, a few points are to be noted….

 

  • Retention of employees, as a key element for successful companies
  • Recruiting and retaining in this day and age constrain HR to embrace digital technology
  • Advantages for employers and employees in using cloud-based HR platforms

 

Consider the following questions for discussion…

  1. Do you think the tools used by Lindt Australia were helpful to the company in increasing the retention rate of its employees? Explain how these tools were used.
  2. Suppose you were an investor. Would you invest in a company that supports the employees ownership culture over one that doesn’t? Why?
  3. One strategy for having competitive advantage in the market and being prepared for the future digital disruption is embracing new technologies. How would you, as a business manager, address this?
  4. As a manager, would you adopt cloud-based platforms in your organisation? Would you use social media platforms for recruiting and retaining employees?
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Chapter 5: The power given to organisations to overcome problems

After becoming familiar with the various organisational structures and forms of power presented/discussed in Chapter, let’s have a look at the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and its power to fix/overcome technology glitches in several government organisations.

The government empowered the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to review several IT projects, which failed to deliver the services promised to highly public organisations. Problems were encountered by the following governmental organisations:  The Australian Bureau of StatisticsAustralian Taxation Office and Centrelink.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics had a massive shut down in 2016 when thousands of Australians accessed the census website in order to fill in their details and the online applications couldn’t sustain the volume. As a result, that census night cost taxpayers about $30m.

The next organisation is the Australian Taxation Office, which experienced recently two outages in December last year and February this year. The online portals used by tax agents were inaccessible making it difficult for accounting professionals to accomplish their tasks.

The third government organisation to experience glitches is Centrelink. This time the system experienced a faulty data-matching result between Centrelink and Australian Taxation Office that drove to incorrect debt recovery announcements/messages sent to the public.

As a consequence of these incidents, the public lost the confidence in the government’s capacity to deliver digital services to the masses. Consequently, the DTA is taking control of these IT projects (around 100). The agency will overlook the government IT investment facilitated by “investment management office”. These changes will support “greater visibility and centralised management of IT projects”.

Angus Taylor, the assistant minister for digital transformation, announced that the DTA is in the process of helping the Department of Human Services with its debt recovery system. The agency will also intervene in other projects as significant problems arise.

The agency’s original role as an intervention focused and start-up-style service delivery agency shifted to a broader role in government IT projects. This shift occurred last year when the DTA encountered a restructure phase when procurement, shared IT services, expenditure, strategy and policy were embraced. Part of the agency restructure is the change from an “agile delivery body to policy lead and performance whip”, not very popular with the public service sector. The other change came along too – the changing roles of digital gurus, in some cases located across oceans, from building and delivering their own innovative services to be present at departments fixing IT failures.

Taylor pointed out that there is room for improving government IT delivery. However IT projects, either public or private, have a history of experiencing problems at one stage or other in their lifetime. He stated that what is important is dealing with problems as soon as they arise. Taylor considers that in spite of government investments in IT projects, building skills for modern IT in each department is difficult. Another issue is the “serious duplication” between the IT areas across various departments.

Together with the initiative of restructuring, the DTA will focus on delivering value for money outcomes to Australians and government.

Consider the following questions for discussion:

  1. Several organisations are involved in this issue – Government, the Digital Transformation Agency, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Bureau of Statistics and Centrelink. What sort of a structure do you think each organisation would have?  How could have their structure support their operations?
  2. What forms of power and structures can you identify in this story?
  3. What kind of power is used by the government? What kind of power is mostly used by the DTA?
  4. What kind of power does the public have in this case? 
  5. Which form (or forms) of structure and power do you think is most effective in this case?

 

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Chapter 4: Planning for a more secure future

After becoming familiar with the various management tools and processes presented/discussed in Chapter 4, let’s have a look at the energy industry and its future planning for one vital issue that the industry is facing right now.

An energy crisis is fast approaching Australia and both, state and federal government do not agree on fixing solutions. As a major gas supply shortage is predicted from next year, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is warning policy makers and energy markets that Australia could shiver in cold winters and be overheated in hot summers.

Gas is currently used to power the electricity generators. As a consequence of a gas shortage, the industries and the consumers will experience a shortfall in electricity supply as well. Shortages of both gas and electricity will affect New South Wales and South Australia first, then Victoria in 2021 followed by Queensland between 2030 and 2036. According to AEMO, the demand for gas was greater with the use of the coal-fired power stations. Therefore, the Australian Energy Market Operator authority advises that new development of gas-powered electricity generators should be created, due to decrease in gas flowing from existing fields, mostly noticed in Bass Strait coupled with the need of LNG(liquefied natural gas) which supports Queensland’ export projects. New developments would make sense considering that the existing assets of gas development are old and inefficient, according to the energy expert Andrew Stock from the Climate Council.

Another option to overcome the gas shortage was announced by Frank Calabria, the chief executive of Origin Energy, who said that more gas was likely to be sold into the domestic market from the Queensland’ export projects mentioned above. Even if this option can be seen as an alternative solution, it is not a very efficient one considering that the commercial and industrial businesses are facing financial difficulties due to the rise of gas production costs. Also, due to Hazelwood closure the wholesale power prices will go up, therefore our prices will be three, four times higher than our competitors, situation that can force businesses to move their plants overseas.

Another reason for the increased energy prices is the advent of the entry of Australia’s east coast into global gas marketplace. As a consequence, regardless of the domestic supply the prices will no longer return to the previous levels, when Australian gas was isolated from global markets. That can be possible if Commonwealth or state government embrace the suggestion to reserve a percentage of gas for domestic use. However, the gas is known as a polluter, generating great emissions and contributing to climate change. Therefore it is recommended that states should adopt their own renewable targets, as part to a national policy.

Adopting renewable energy is not protecting the environment only, is also now the Australia’s cheapest source of energy, even with the addition of the cost of storage in order to make intermittent power source reliable. Despite of having the renewable energy as a cheaper solution, aggressive Renewable Energy Targets-meaning that a percentage of the state and territories electricity supplies are coming from renewable sources, without an emission trading scheme and a price on carbon, even these prices can rise.

Planning for the best outcome is a big challenge for political, as well as industry, leaders.

Consider the following questions for discussion:

  1. From the post, what types of planning are energy industry decision makers engaging in at this stage?  What type of planning would you recommend for them?
  2. From the post, what goals can you identify? Which are the stated goals and which are the real goals? How can you tell them apart? Based on what?
  3. What elements of strategic planning are evident in the article? What elements are missing? How would you, as strategic manager in Origin Energy or Hazelwood, use these missing elements?

 

 

 

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Chapter 3: Decision making. No, it will not get simpler.

Third time’s a charm! Ready to flex those managerial synapses? Today’s task is a real world-class brain-twister… get ready to take the heat!

Let’s get cracking…

…by reading back over the content on decision making in Chapter 3 of the textbook.  Once you’re done, you should be fully equipped to deal with a simple problem called “penalty rates”.  Easy! Right?...

Summarising very briefly:

Before you start reading this, quickly record your views on penalty rates: are they good for the economy? Are they destructive? Will cutting them be of benefit to Australia as a whole? Keep these records for the end of the reading piece.

On Friday, the 24th of February, the Fair Work Commission ruled that Sunday and public holiday penalty rates be reduced for full-time and part-time workers in the hospitality, retail and fast-food industries.  Although the commission acknowledged that this will create difficulties for some workers, it justified its decision by claiming that the cuts would lead to increased services and trading hours on public holidays and Sundays.

This decision, which is likely to affect many people like you, was received with a heated discussion from businesses, workers, families, and politicians. 

As you can imagine, people who benefit from penalty rates are not usually very high earners as it is.  Typically, workers in the affected industries rely on these penalty rates to make ends meet and to cover their necessary expenses.  The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said nearly half a million people, including some of the country's lowest-paid workers, would lose up to $6,000 a year.  For some people, this could make the difference between earning enough to survive, and going bankrupt.  Union groups are getting ready for a long and persistent battle on social media, targeting not only employees from the affected industries, but other industries as well.  They sense concern in other workers because of the precedent that this decision may set for them.

On the other hand, retailers claim that reducing penalty rates will result in more shifts and more work opportunities for the workers, as well as extended services to customers.  However, a similar cut to penalty rates in Perth back in 2015 did not show convincing evidence that this was successful. 

Although this ruling presents an opportunity for businesses to spend less money on labour, not all businesses intend to take advantage of that.  In smaller communities, like Maitland, there are voices from local businesses rejecting the cut.  Keeping the interests of their workers in mind, and keeping in mind that the workers are often friends and family, these businesses promise to continue to pay their employees as before.

Other business groups continue to fight for this rates but against the unions, claiming that this decision has been underway for two years, and will create more jobs.  But then again, having a job does not protect you from poverty, as shown by multiple economic researchers.

Politicians are also part of this discussion, as they are the ones who are responsible for setting the relevant legislation.  Decisions among this group often include contradictions.  For example, although the unions are fighting this decision, in September 2016 one of the has signed off on an agreement which raised the wages of weekday retail workers, but left weekend workers worse off. 

The Fair Work Commission provide reasons for their decision (see Chapter 6 of the decision), and the factors they considered, including the patterns of employment, the needs of the industries, and the social changes in weekends activities over time.  This list of considerations was compiled over a long period.  The committee heard evidence and submissions over 39 days of hearing in 2015 and 2016.  They received evidence from 143 lay and expert witnesses, and cross-examined 128 of them.  They received more than 5,900 submissions from the principal parties, State and Territory Governments, Church based organisations, political entities and individual employees and employers. This is a lot of information, as you can imagine, to make one complex decision!

 

Consider the following questions for discussion…

  1. This will be easy to answer, but you will surprised how often this issue is overlooked in managerial discussion: is the penalty rates cuts question a structured, or an unstructured problem?
  2. Why would bounded rationality play a part in how people normally consider the penalty rates issue?
  3. Most penalty rates issues are discussed in group forum – at least among policy makers.  What kind of problems, biases, and benefits does this group setting bring to this problem?
  4. If you were the manager of a business in hospitality, pharmacy, retail, or fast food, would you cut back your employees’ penalty rates? How would you approach that decision?  What considerations would guide you, and how would they relate to the decision making process in Figure 3.1?
  5. What kind of biases listed in Figure 3.2 do you think affect a decision to cut penalty rates for the Fair Work Commission?  And for businesses?  How would they affect you if you were one of the managers?
  6. It may be tempting to follow the rational decision-making approach to every problem you encounter as a manager, but keep in mind realistic conditions, that are similar to those in managerial workplaces: time pressure, tasks overload, and multiple stakeholders.  How would you recommend to address this problem? 

 

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Chapter 2: The External Management Environment

Welcome back for another round of exciting management case studies!  Today we will get in close touch with a major global problem: climate change.  Management and organisations are not separate from the rest of the world and nothing illustrates the connection of an organisation to the external environment like this particular example.   Let’s check out some organisations that are involve in managing this issue, the components of their external environment and what they mean for managers.

To start with…

…refresh your knowledge of the various factors in the external environment that managers should be aware of as part of their job. Figures 2.1 (p. 30) and 2.2 (p. 32) in your textbook describe these in detail, so you should definitely have a closer look at them before sinking your teeth into this case.  Once you’ve done that, check out this description of the Adani coal mine battle involving a mining company, governments, and environmental groups.

So, to summarise…

Adani Group is a leading infrastructure conglomerate from India operating internationally.  It has operations in Australia, where it operates mines, ports and power plants.  Over the last few years has tried to expand its operations in the Carmichael mine Queensland, into what will become the largest coal mine, with six open-cut pits and up to five underground mines.  The cost of the project is estimated at $22 billion, and will include a 31.5 kilometres of permanent rail line, which will form part of a 389-kilometre heavy haul line from the mine in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton, to the Abbot Point port, south of Townsville.  The life span of the mine is estimated to be between 25 and 60 years, according to the Queensland Government, but the railway will remain in Queensland after that time. 

The coal itself is meant to supply Indian power plants with enough coal to generate electricity for up to 100 million people, after it is processed through the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland.  This way, the coal will provide processing jobs in Queensland, Australia.

The jobs relating to this mine are an important point, and it is a major reason why the Queensland Government, the Australian Govenrment, and many Australian businesses support the expansion of the mine.  The Adani Group predicts the first stage of construction will provide more than 500 positions, mainly for planners and engineers.  Once operational, the Group estimated the mine will provide 2,500 to 3,000 full-time jobs.  The Adani Group has estimated the entire project will create 10,000 jobs through direct and indirect employment.

However, in 2015, Adani Consultant Dr Jerome Fahrer told the Land Court in Brisbane the mine would actually create fewer jobs.  He gave a net figure of 1,464 – about 15% of what the Adani Group has been stating – and the court accepted this estimation.

Why was the court involved in the first place?  At that time (December 2015), Coast and Country, a community conservation group from Queensland, took the project to the land court to try to stop the Queensland government from issuing Adani's mining leases and approvals.  The environmental group was concerned that the expansion of the mine would threaten black throated finch populations, damage ground water from nearby springs, contribute to climate change, and that the economic benefits would be less than those forecast by Adani.

The environmental groups are getting better and better at battling the coal mine project.  By now, it is supported by the activist group GetUp!, has a $1 million budget, nine full-time staff including polling and social media experts, and hundreds of volunteers.  In response to their actions, Adani have tried to get the Australian Prime Minister to introduce a law that would not allow activists from taking legal action against them.  The environmental groups, including the Australian Conservation Foundation, are launching a campaign targeting 13 marginal coalition seats in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.  The campaign uses cutting-edge and traditional tactics, contacting voters by telephone, advertising, and a social media.  In addition, by challenging their socially responsible image with a satirical video, the environmental group SumOfUs targeted Westpac bank, to join a many other financial institutions who refused funding for the $22 billion project.

On the other hand, local politicians, such as the Mayor of Rockhampton, Margaret Strelow, see the mine as a business opportunity that needs to be grabbed.  Adani is holding a roadshow explaining the mine and its effects on the local economy, and 300 local businesses attending are keen to get involved.  This also means jobs for locals, and economic growth, at least for a few decades. 

Some issues to notice and pay particular attention to here are…

  • The effects of the environment on organisation
  • The external environment of the organisation
  • Customer responsiveness
  • Managerial responses

Consider the following questions for discussion…

  1. Figure 2.1 on page 30 describes the organisation through a system view.  How would you describe the elements which are relevant to the Adani Group?  To the Australia Government and Queensland Government? And the environmental groups?
  2. Figure 2.2 on page 32 of your textbook lists the elements of the organisation’s specific environment, and describes them in detail on pages 39-43.  If you were a manager in Adani Group, the Queensland Government, or the environmental groups, which of these elements would you be particularly attuned to these days?  Why?  How would they affect your daily work?
  3. What businesses and organisations would be affected by the expansion of the mine?  Which ones would be affected favourably and which ones would be damaged?  Keep in mind that tourism is an important sector in Queensland, and the expanding mine is said to damage the Great Barrier Reef.
  4. How would you, as a manager of a business that is strongly affected by the condition of the Great Barrier Reef, prepare for the predictions?
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Chapter 1: Managers and management: Changing roles

Welcome to the first-semester’s blog posts for 2017 for Management: The Essentials.  This is where we’ll broaden the understanding of Chapter 1: Managers and Management.  Let’s get started!

To start with…

…refresh your knowledge of managers’ titles on page 6, and managerial roles on pages 8 to 11 of the textbook.  Then check out a recent story of indigenous youth groups engaging with Hip Hop across the country.  Their story exposes us to organisations of various shapes and sizes, so we have an opportunity to take a close look.

Let’s look at all of those.

So, to summarise…

Besides traditional money-making businesses, other organisations also have managers who fulfil important roles.  A good example are indigenous teenagers groups across Australia, such as The B-Town Warriors from Bourke High School in north-western New South Wales, and their productive collaboration with Desert Pea Media.  Various indigenous youth groups across Australia are now using hip hop and social media to bring attention to social issues affecting their communities.

Over the last 15 years, Desert Pea Media, based in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay, is a registered charity that has been visiting remote Indigenous communities to help locals tell their stories through performance.  In recent years, the organisation focused on producing hip hop music videos with Indigenous teenagers.  The reason for this focus is that members of remote communities in Australia relate to American hip-hop and gangster rap.  Expressing local stories with this style of music makes an authentic communication of Australian experiences.

One of the biggest challenges Desert Pea Media faced was bringing Indigenous teenagers out of their shells and getting them to participate.  Young indigenous people tend to experience strong shame over their culture, origins, and identity.  Toby Finlayson, the founder of Desert Pea, explains that for several generations, young Indigenous people have received such messages.  This process of proudly telling their story plays an important role in changing this view within the indigenous community.  Getting the youth to do that is a similar challenge to engaging employees in their work, and in inspiring them to express their full potential.

To engage the teenagers in music and video production, Desert Pea Media designed the projects to accommodate for people with no experience, and to provide an experience which results in strong positive feelings.  This is done in a group, which first discusses issues affecting the community and ideal solutions for them.  For example, smoking during pregnancy, bullying, suicide, are mental health are issues of concern.  These issues are discussed among the local teenagers, with Desert Pea Media members facilitating.  Questions like: what is the issue, where does it come from, why does it exist and why does it continue, how would it look in a perfect world, and what can the people in the conversation do as individuals, communities, and as a nation, to solve the problem.

The process helps engage the young performers in several ways.  First, by designing a process that does not require previous experience or skill level, the performers are less intimidated by the tasks involved.  Also, being part of a group and not being ‘on the spot’ helps them gain confidence.  In addition, the young performers get immersed in the content of their creative production, and have a strong ownership over the outcome.  Finally, each member’s contribution to the performance is not only voluntary and self-driven, but also strongly relates to their self-identity and self-value.  This way, they can take pride in the shared outcome.

Besides facilitating the creative process, a charity must also raise funding.  Having a successful creative product, such as a popular video, helps with branding the organisation and with developing its image.  These creative products also serve to elevate the status of the institutions that the young performers are part of, such as their schools and their communities.  These mutually beneficial outcomes are really what management and organisations should be all about: creating value and benefits to all stakeholders involved ultimately benefits society and humanity as a whole.

Some issues to notice and pay particular attention to here are…

  • Three characteristics of an organisation
  • Managerial titles
  • Managerial functions
  • Managerial skills

Consider the following questions for discussion…

  1. There are two different types of organisations involved in story.  Identify them, and identify how they would vary across the three characteristics of organisations described in Figure 1.1, on p. 5.
  2. Identify the titles of managers who would be involved directly, and indirectly, in the production of the songs and videos described in the article.
  3. Think of the four management functions (p. 8-9).  How would the managers in each type of the organisations you’ve identified in question 1 address each of these functions when they operate to achieve their goals?

Have a look at the managerial skills listed on page 11.  How would these skills be used by the different managers in the different organisations you’ve identified?

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Chapter 12: Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Negotiations

It is hard to get people, and number of people, to agree all the time. In organisations, there are lots of people, who want lots of different things, and represent different points of view, and have to somehow make the most of the resources they have, have to join forces to achieve a common goal, or have to find a way to do things together. Negotiations happen in organisations every day, in many shapes and forms. People negotiate upwards (with their bosses), downwards (with their subordinates), laterally within the organisation (with peers) or outside the organisation (with suppliers, service providers, customers, or other entities). Negotiations are therefore very important in an organisational life, so there’s no wonder that they are the topic of many articles and advice pieces. Let’s critique some of those today.
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Chapter 11: Leadership: strong or distributed?

Leadership may intuitively sound like an individual pursuit, where one person leads many others. This has certainly been the traditional form of leadership. In the last few centuries, the power of the leader has shifted (v-e-r-y slowly…) to the followers, in the form of democracy, where the followers have a say over who the leader is, and to a point – what the leader does. In most businesses, leadership is still a fairly centralised form. The leader may not work all alone, but the final decision lies with them. In many ways, business leadership is taking another democratised step: becoming distributed. This is when a single person does not make all decisions, but a group of leaders does. There are strengths and weaknesses to every leadership model. Let’s have a look at them today.
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Chapter 10: Motivating and rewarding employees

Motivation is a tricky concept. Sometimes employees’ motivation needs a boost because they are not engaged with the organisation, but sometimes it is about employees believing that the organisation’s goals can be achieved at all. Then, besides the usual motivation referred to in workplaces, there’s motivation to go beyond the job’s demands. Volunteering – what’s that all about?
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Chapter 9: Understanding Groups and Managing Work Teams

When a team works well, it do much better than what individuals can do. But when a team does not work well, things can be very destructive. Let’s take a close look at one team what had to be completely disbanded because of major dysfunction.
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Chapter 8: Foundations of Individual Behaviour: personality and emotional intelligence

People often use the word “personality” to describe people’s individual tendencies and traits. Science offers systematic ways of categorising these tendencies and traits, measuring them, and even working with them. This is what we will look at this week. A journey into ourselves - how exciting!
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Chapter 7: Innovating higher education in Australia and world-wide

As an important part of the higher education industry (yes, it is an industry. And yes, students are a very important part), you probably already know that there is lots of changing going around. Online, part-time, blended, or distance education are really mainstream by now. But this is not the end of it – what about free education? Free knowledge? Making it accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time? Sounds unreal? Let’s check it out.
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Chapter 6: Managing Human Resources: addressing harmful turnover

This week, we take a look at plans for the organisation’s workforce: when workers leave and it damages the organisation’s effectiveness, how can human resource management help?
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Chapter 5: Forms of power in organisations

Power is an integral part of human life. You can find it in interpersonal relationships, workplaces, and obviously, in politics.
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Chapter 4: Planning – in this day and age?

Welcome back to the blog. Let’s face another tough decision: To plan, or not to plan? That is the question. (Click the title to read on.)
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