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Unformatted text preview: Contemporary Business Thinking COMM 210 Fall 2010 Instructor: Cheryl Gladu Contact Information: email@example.com Office Hours: 34 pm on Monday (Or by appointment) Course Objective This course presents a broad survey of the world of business and teaches you how to develop a critical perspective on business literature. This goal is achieved through an indepth reading of contemporary business texts. These contemporary ideas will be compared with classic texts that highlight foundational management concepts. Key objectives of the course are to develop your ability and inclination to keep well informed about contemporary business ideas, to think critically about their quality, and to evaluate central ideas for scope, relevance and managerial utility. Learning Goals By the end of this course, students should be able to: Recognize examples and counterexamples of fundamental management theories in reports of current business activities Perform critical analyses of business texts Construct persuasive arguments using the language of business Demonstrate awareness of and interest in current business events Work effectively in groups Instructional Methods A combination of lectures, inclass discussion, and analysis of texts are our primary strategies. In addition, the use of the library and computer sources will extend your knowledge and understanding of business concepts. Written reports will encourage you to develop your own ideas and present a logical and persuasive argument for your point of view. There will also be a series of skillbuilding exercises during class time which are intended to help you make progress on your term project. Texts Books: These are available at the bookstore. Please note that you should always bring the text we are currently studying to class. Koller, F. (2010). Spark: How oldfashioned values drive a twentyfirst century corporation, Public Affairs, New York. Dyer, L. (2006). Critical Thinking for Business Students, Captus Press. Classic articles: These are available on electronic reserve at the Webster library. A majority of these foundational articles are drawn from the Harvard Business Review. They are written by (in alphabetical order): Chandler, Collins & Porras, French & Raven, Greiner, Handy, Herzberg, Kaplan & Norton, Mintzberg, and Porter. Other articles: Articles from the popular business press are used as further examples of class concepts. They are also the material on which examinations and the team project are based. Grading Scheme 20% Midterm examination 40% Final examination 30% Team project & progress reports 10% Class participation The midterm examination is an inclass examination held in Class #6. The final examination is scheduled for the regular final examination period. You will be given material to prepare on which the examinations will be based. Please note that you must pass the final to pass the course. In the team project, you will work in a group of four or five students, applying the concepts discussed in class to new business information. Detailed project information will be available in a series of Capacity Building exercises during the first half of the course. Parts of the project are due at the beginning of Class #5 and #7. The final project is due in Class #12. Class participation: This component is based in part on your work in class exercises and the quality of your contributions to class discussions. Class attendance is a prerequisite for a good grade in the class exercises. Your instructor may ask you to prepare brief homework assignments, which will be the basis of class discussions. Throughout the term, vital information will be available on First Class. Please log on to the course folder regularly so that you can be well prepared for the class meetings and other events. Disclaimer: In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University's control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change. Week Topic Readings 1 2 Introduction to the course Building successful organizations Dyer, chapter 1: "Introduction to critical thinking" Koller, chapter 1: "Tossed out on the street like worthless scrap" Koller, chapter 2, pg 2532: "If we tried harder..." Dyer, chapter 2: "Claims;" chapter 7 pg 8695 Chandler, "The enduring logic of industrial success" Koller, chapter 2, pg 3254: "If we tried harder..." Koller, chapter 3: "Understanding what the end game is all about" Greiner: "Evolution & revolution as organizations grow" Dyer, chapter 3: "Evidence" "The world turned upside down," "First break all the rules," "Easier said than done," Economist, 15 April 2010 3 Structure, function and growth of firms 4 Strategies for long term success 5 Goals, values and vision Team project, Progress report 1 due Porter: "What is strategy?" Macdonald: "Open wide," Maclean's, 19 January 2009 Koller, chapter 4: "The proper step forward" "Grow, grow, grow," "Here be dragons," Economist, 15 April 2010 Collins & Porras: "Building your company's vision" Dyer, chapter 4: "Underlying assumptions" 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 TBA Motivation Koller, chapter 5: "Layoffs aren't a big deal anymore" Progress report 2 due Herzberg: "One more time: How do you motivate employees?" Dyer, chapter 5: "Causal claims" The community context Koller, chapter 6: "A terribly nonoptimal and inefficient policy" Kaplan & Norton, "The balanced scorecard" French & Raven: "The bases of social power" "New masters of management," "The power to disrupt," Economist, 15 April 2010 Dyer, chapter 6: "Techniques of persuasion" Managing change Koller, chapter 7: "This is not about altruism" Deutschman, "The Fabric of Creativity," Fast Company, Dec 2004 Handy, "The sigmoid curve" Integrating and applying Mintzberg, "Manager's job: Folklore and fact" classic theories & "The unrepentant chocolatier," Economist, 31 October 2009 critical thinking skills Integrating and applying Kirby, "Imax thinks not so big," Maclean's magazine, Sep 2009 classic theories & Thompson, "It's in the followthrough," Financial Post magazine, Dec critical thinking skills 2008 Holloway, "The Molson Way," Canadian Business, Apr 2007 Project presentations Project report due Project presentations Overview & wrapup Midterm examination ...
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- Fall '10