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Management in Practice MN7407

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Module Outline & Assignment Brief

Module Aims:
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
 Apply management theory to analyze practical organizational situations
 Identify how theories of management can be used to enhance personal development
 Evaluate and critique the relative merits of different theories, tools and concepts of management through real world
application
 Demonstrate reflexive development of practical team-working and managerial skills

This module aims to integrate student’s learning from across the various management topics they have undertaken this year,
exposing students to real-world challenges such as sustainability, responsibility, economic growth, competition, and megatrends.
Students will be required to prioritize responses to issues and balance economic, social, environmental and reputational value. This
module aims to be integrative – drawing upon knowledge gained in other modules such as Operations Management; Marketing;
Organizational Behavior; HRM; Finance and Accounting; and in particular Strategy. There are strong complementarities between this
module and your semester 2 strategy module – where this module is an opportunity to apply theoretical principles to develop a
strategy document to make recommendations. Therefore, this module will be more focused on the practical application than
theory – with the asynchronous (prerecorded and textual) materials devoted to introducing useful frameworks, tools and issues and
the synchronous (live sessions) being an opportunity to apply various tools and frameworks to enable you to build your strategy
document. The group work element of the course is designed as a role play, where you are acting as a top management team of an
assigned company and is designed to develop your professional skills in team-working.

Daily tasks

Day 1: Building a Team
During your first day you will build your teams, allocate roles, and assess the task. Each team should complete the allocation of
roles form and the equity of contribution form during this session and submit this to the seminar lead. On this first day you should
complete the specific tasks below:
 Find your virtual seminar room [online]. Online seminars will be held on blackboard collaborate and can be found by going
to the learning materials section on blackboard and selecting Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
 Here you will be put into your groups
 Introduce yourself to your fellow group members
 Read the case notes together
 Select a group name
 Allocate roles
 Try to make sense of the case and start to develop an action plan
 Complete the allocation of roles form and the equity of contribution form and email this to your seminar lead.
 Take minutes of your meetings!
Day 2: Strategy Formation

  1. Mission statement: Decide what the purpose of your company/organisation is? When developing your mission
    statement think about the following points:
    • Is the goal simply to make as much money as possible for the owners?
    • Is it to expand market share? To increase profitability? To become a market leader in the sector?
    • Or are there are broader social goals for the organisation?
    • Is there, for instance, a responsibility to be sustainable in environmental terms?
    • Is there a duty towards the wellbeing of customers, employees,
    and the community more generally?
  2. Utilise the tools discussed in unit 3 above to begin the process of developing your strategy for Cuppa Char.
    [Remember we are interested in what you can learn from using these tools rather than the tools themselves]
    Day 3: Sustainability
    In this seminar you should begin to utilise the frameworks, tools and learning from unit 4, 5 and 6 to assess how Cuppa Char will
    think about and integrate sustainability into its strategic planning. This process should help you to identify the priority and key
    risk areas facing the company.
  3. Based on your reading and learning from yesterday and this morning, decide as a group how you plan to define
    sustainability in the context of Cuppa Char and develop a sustainability statement. How does this relate to your mission
    statement?

Map the stakeholders of Cuppa Char using the stakeholder saliency tool.

  1. Identify the most important stakeholders for Cuppa Char.
  2. Ascertain the stakeholder expectations around sustainability.
  3. Using the Five Capitals framework map out the resources and capital that Cuppa Char is using. This should include those in
    the supply chain.
    Day 4: The Future of Tea – Flexibility and future proofing
    In this seminar you will run your proposed strategy through Forum for the Futures ‘The Future of Tea’ to understand if their strategy
    is under threat from current and future trends.
    Tasks:
  4. You should run your proposed strategy through the 4 future scenarios in ‘The Future of Tea’.
  5. Identify what the key challenges, opportunities and threats are emerging from each of these world states?
  6. Identify if there are any common issues emerging.
  7. Identify what innovations and adaptations could be made to the current strategy in light of your analysis.
  8. Explore how dynamic capabilities could be developed to build competitive advantage in these futures.
    Day 5: Crisis and resilience
    This seminar will introduce you to issues that face strategic management in practice. You will need to reflect upon your strategy
    so far to assess its resilience. Further detail of activities will be disseminated in your live teaching session.
    Day 6: Assignment Workshops
    On the final day of teaching you will be finalising your strategies. This time should be used to bring together all of your work into a
    coherent format. You are also permitted to use this time to prepare for your presentations to the board.

Assignment Brief

Dear Management Team,
Congratulations on your new appointment to Cuppa Char. As you know the company has recently joined my nationwide consortium
RefreshX. Since the buy-out a temporary management team has been in place to take the company smoothly through transition.
Although this has been a relatively stable process I now need a new management team to take the company forward. As a member
of that new team, your main task at this point is to design a value creation strategy which will take Cuppa Char forward in the years
to come.
As a team, develop a strategy document mapping out Cuppa Char’s direction for the next five years. On completion, you will
present your strategy to the board. Your strategy MUST address each of the following areas:
 Assessment of the current situation of Cuppa Char (incl. key sustainability and stakeholders)
 Integrated strategy formation
 Strategic scenarios: future proofing strategy
 Response to crisis
 Recommendations for five-year and long-term plan
Cuppa Char is very proud of is history in supplying specialty tea to its consumers and is keen to maintain this side of the business.
The steady collapse of various regional café outlets such as Coombs is of particular concern for the board. As the new management
team, we expect you to identify lessons that CC can learn from these closures and suggest ways in which the company can avoid
similar issues.
Of equal concern to the board however, is the issue of sustainability and how CC might capture value from social and environmental
opportunities. For example one of our major high street competitors ‘Starbucks’ suggest they are now known around the world as an
ethical company. We are keen for you to present strategies which focus on the company’s overall sustainability and would be open
to considering a case for further investment in this issue, particularly if it can feed into creating a more viable future for the company.
I look forward to reading your strategy document and seeing your presentation to the board.
Yours sincerely.
Sally Ford
Chairperson, Cuppa Char
September. 2021

Group Work Assessment 30%
INSTRUCTIONS:
Throughout the module you will take part in a role play scenario, where you are a top management team of
Cuppa Char (a café company). Your task is to develop a strategy for Cuppa Char that incorporates
sustainability into the core strategy of the business. The group work requires you to develop a strategy
document. This document should include the analysis completed in the seminars drawing upon your findings
to make recommendations to the owners of Cuppa Char. A strategy document template is available on
Blackboard. This template is for guidance only and you are encouraged to structure your document in a
manner that suits you as a group – you can seek feedback from tutors and staff to help you. The final
document should be no more than 1,500 words.
The group work will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Assessment of the current situation of Cuppa Char (incl. key sustainability and stakeholders)
Integrated strategy formation
Strategic scenarios: future proofing strategy
Response to crisis
Recommendations for five-year and long-term plan

Approach to Group Work
Teams should consist of a minimum of 4 and
maximum of 6 people and will be allocated during
your first live teaching session. These sessions are
designed to be active and full team participation
will be required to enhance success. The module is
assessment-led with the outcome of each day’s
work constituting a component of the group work
assignment. Therefore, attendance at each
scheduled event is essential to succeed in the
assessment. The live teaching sessions and
consultancy access sessions are a chance to have
guidance and feedback from the teaching team,
therefore your teams should generate issues which they would like feedback on during the Independent Study Sessions. This will
allow you to get more from feedback opportunities and you can track how your work and thinking changes across the task. In
addition, you will also be expected to create your own virtual learning spaces using Microsoft Teams, where your group can undertake
independent group work outside of live teaching sessions. The module leader will be available via email should you have
questions/need support during these times, however you will largely be expected to work independently in your groups during this
time. We strongly encourage you to enter into the spirt of this module and assume the role of a member of the management team.
To that end we would also expect you to write up minutes of all group activities and meetings. These minutes then become a useful
reference tool when writing your independent assessment. We would encourage you from the outset to think about a team name
and to identify and articulate the roles each member will undertake.

Individual Assessment
Reflective Essay 50%
The independent coursework is a reflective essay, which will assess the level at which you engaged, as an individual, in the team
activity and task. You will be asked to discuss what you have learnt through the process of working as a team and what you have
learnt about the process of developing a strategy for sustainability. As with the group work, the word length is 1,500 words (with
10% levy each way). In your essay we would like you to reflect on the following indicative questions:

  1. In what specific ways did you foster communication and support planning and progress in the group project?
  2. What assumptions, personal beliefs and values led you to think and act in this way?
  3. What further actions could you have taken to ensure that your team was effective and high performing?
  4. What have you learned about your own functioning, motives or reasons for behaviour in a work or social context?
  5. What specific areas of behaviour you are comfortable with and which would you like to work on when you next enter a new
    team environment?
    A reflection paper is not just a description of what you did. It should be a thoughtful analysis and synthesis of ideas drawn from both
    theoretical concepts and your personal group experience. Although we are looking for personal reflections your paper should be
    written in an essay format. As with other academic work, it is important that you use citations (a reading list of sources concerning
    group work is available on blackboard, but we would encourage you to read around this) as well as notes from your team meetings
    to illustrate your points.
    “Reflective learning helps to develop critical thinking, self-awareness and analytical skills. It is an important skill to take forward into
    the workplace. It involves involvement by an individual in a reflective process. This can help to inform what didn’t work, what might
    need to be done differently, or how individuals may need to develop their behaviour or practice”.
    http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/hlst/resources/a-zdirectory/reflectivelearning
    Tips for reflective writing:
    You should not write the assignment and then just submit it… put it away for a few days and then re-read it… and reflect further …
    do this several times if you can. It may be that your reflections extend to reflecting on the behaviour of others – which is fine. Be
    sure though that the focus is upon how you engaged with the team members, whatever their behaviour. A certain amount of
    description is, of course, necessary, but you need to be sure that this serves reflection… i.e. avoid pure description.
    You will be given a lecture on the practice of reflective writing and personal journals towards the end of the module. Additionally, a
    guide to writing reflection papers is available on the Module Blackboard site.
    Formatting:
    Please format your essay to a font of 12 point, and 1.5 line spacing (easier on the eyes!). Feel free to include footnotes where
    appropriate, and appendices for additional material if need be. The bibliography style should be in the form Harvard style
    referencing. Please state clearly the word count of your document, including footnotes, but not appendices and references.
    You are required to submit both individual and group work coursework electronically through Turnitin (please ensure all
    names and student numbers are included on the front pages of the group assignment).
    Word length: you should write 1,500 words for the group assignment and 1,500 words for the individual assignment (not
    including references). There is a 10% margin of error above and below these limits.

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