Brighton School of Business and Management Student Newsletter October 2009
Contributions ~ information, advice, website links, or ideas, that may be of help to other students ~ are very welcome ~ please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not often that we mention our Management Short Courses students – those who take our intensive short study courses to gain comprehensive knowledge and understanding of specific areas of management, rather than a full qualification.
These students belong to a very active, interesting and important group. To date this year over 160 working professionals, from over 40 countries and a wide range of public and private business sectors, have successfully completed one or more short courses, and been awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Congratulations to you all!
Our new portfolio of Purchasing, Procurement, and Supply Chain Management qualifications – nationally accredited by CIPS, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply – were launched in September, and are now on our website.
More details are given below, in the New Courses section.
CIPS Foundation Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Diploma
We are very excited about these new qualifications, as they will help us to meet the rising demand that has been created by the rapidly increasing emphasis on minimizing the costs of resources whilst maintaining quality and value for money, and the effective management of the whole supply chain, in both private and public sector organisations of all sizes.
We offer the:
CIPS Foundation Diploma in Purchasing and Supply ~ Level 4 ~ which provides a foundation of knowledge and understanding of purchasing and supply key activities, covering: Effective Negotiations, Developing Contracts, Measuring Performance, Managing Relationships, and Purchasing Contexts.
CIPS Advanced Diploma in Purchasing and Supply ~ Level 5 ~ which provides considerable knowledge and understanding of the management aspects of this function, covering: Managing the Purchasing Function, Risk Management and Supply Chain Vulnerability, Improving Supply Chain Performance, and two options from Marketing, Storage and Distribution, Operations, Contracting, Sustainable Procurement, and the role of Government.
CIPS Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply ~ Level 6 ~ which provides comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the strategic aspects of supply chain management, covering: Leading and Influencing in Purchasing, Strategic Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management in Practice, and two options from Legal Aspects in Purchasing and Supply, Advanced Project Management, Finance for Purchasers, Strategic Public Sector Programme Management, and Public Sector Stakeholders and Governance.
The CIPS qualifications are highly regarded by employers in public and private sectors around the world, and also lead to higher level business and management qualifications, through to Masters level.
For more information please go to CIPS Purchasing and Supply Qualifications
The importance of professional development in difficult times
As a reader of this newsletter you are already actively engaged in trying to develop your skills, understanding, knowledge, and awareness of business and management.
For most, you will also be trying to study regularly and meet assignment or examination deadlines, whilst continuing to carry out your workplace activities to the best of your ability.
This is not an easy task at any time, but today, for many, it is increasingly difficult due to a number of factors. These include: uncertainty over potential job losses and other cutbacks due to the effects of the recession, recruitment slowed or stopped, extra the absence of colleagues due to holidays and sickness. All of these can lead to increased workload, longer hours, and stress.
Added to this is the ever-faster pace of change, caused by technological developments, social, political and legislative changes, and, not least, the changing needs of customers and clients.
Change, as the gurus tell us, is here to stay ~ Change is Permanent.
You will know this, but it’s important to accept it as a fact, that life at work, for most people in most organisations, has become more difficult, will not become any easier, and may well become more pressurised.
However, despite the difficulties, there is a compelling reason why you should continue to study and gain new qualifications – a major factor that needs to be taken into account.
This is that, alongside the drive to cut costs, reduce staffing levels, and respond to the external forces, organisations are very much aware that they must employ the best possible people, at operational, management, and executive levels.
They still need, and will always need, qualified, experienced, knowledgeable people to help them survive and be successful.
This has led to organisations demanding – more than ever before – that their operational staff, managers, and specialists, are appropriately qualified.
If you are currently suffering from the pressures of workplace difficulties, the only way to successfully complete an important professional development course is to plan a regular, weekly, small amount of study time, and make sure that you maintain that every week, without fail.
If you are unemployed, or facing that situation, it is even more important to continue your professional development. Take advantage of the extra time that is available for studying – while you can.
For all our students, the advice and guidance that you receive from Student Services, on how to study and how to successfully complete assignments, is invaluable, and should be read and followed.
Also for all students, your Personal Tutor is available to give support – make use of that service.
Keep focusing on the fact that when you have completed your course of study and gained the new qualification, you will be regarded as more knowledgeable, more expert, better qualified, more suitable for certain roles and responsibilities.
The fact that you can provide solid evidence that you have managed to study and obtain a relevant, current, respected qualification, during difficult times, will make you an exceptionally attractive prospect in the eyes of your current or potential employers, or if you are self-employed, in the eyes of your clients and potential clients.
It will be worth it
There is overwhelming evidence that undertaking professional development gives you a clear advantage in the workplace.
Despite the difficult times and because of the difficult times – it will be worth it!
Food for Thought
Roles, Responsibilities, and Development Design
In medium to large, complex organisations, there are distinct, clearly defined layers of leadership and management, with primary roles broadly as described below:
The Role of the Operational Middle Manager
The primary role of the operational, middle manager is to take appropriate action in a range of appropriate ways, some visibly, some more subtly, some directly, some indirectly, some regularly, some occasionally, in order to make certain that the activities which they are responsible for support and contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s operational and strategic objectives.
To achieve this, these managers must interpret and communicate those higher level objectives to operational team leaders, teams and individuals, translate them into “local” action plans with output targets, quality standards and performance levels, provide sufficient resources to support those planned activities, motivate those individuals and teams to consistently maintain the necessary performance levels needed to achieve their local objectives, provide individuals and teams with appropriate training, development, guidance, and support, and to monitor, evaluate, and appraise their performance.
The Role of the Senior Manager
The role of the senior manager, director, executive, is three-fold.
One is to contribute to the strategic planning process, and to the setting of higher level objectives.
The second is to ensure that activity in their area of responsibility is supporting and contributing positively to the achievement of those objectives.
The third is to make certain that these strategic objectives are effectively communicated to the operational managers, to provide those managers with sufficient physical, financial, and human resources to achieve their local objectives, to provide those managers with appropriate training, development, guidance, and support, and to monitor, evaluate, and appraise their performance.
The Role of the Leader
The role of the leader(s) of an organisation is, in essence, two-fold.
The first is to gather information to enable them to look into the future and analyse, predict, forecast, reflect on, the business and external environment that the organisation is moving towards, and to use this knowledge to select the most appropriate pathway for the organisation to take, and then lead the strategic planning process and the setting of strategic objectives which will ensure that the organisation follows that pathway and is successful in the future.
The second is to ensure that the senior managers are applying and managing current strategies, and that they are making sure that the middle managers and operational staff are engaged in activities that are supporting and contributing to the achievement of the objectives found within those strategies.
Questions to Consider
With the above information in mind:
Is the training and development of managers and leaders in your organisation designed to actively develop and enhance these roles and responsibilities?
Or is that training and development designed only to enhance specialist areas of expertise?
If the latter, it is likely that most of your managers and leaders are not performing their primary roles effectively.
Which leads to the question: what negative impact is this having on the performance of your organisation?
Written by the Tutor Team at Brighton School of Business and Management www.brightonsbm.com
Tutors’ Tip of the Month
Considering the Impact of Technological Change
Most Management courses now expect the student to have an understanding of the impact of technological change on the behaviour and performance of organisations.
The impact of technological change – either upgrading or introducing new systems or equipment – is an area of change that is often neglected.
However, this has a considerable impact on every organisation, large or small, public or private, and on the operational staff, managers, and specialists at all levels.
New technology is usually introduced to improve processes, reduce costs, enable new services or products to be offered, or to improve internal and-or external communications.
Introducing new technology needs detailed planning, very careful selection of equipment and software, and thoughtful, flexible implementation period that allows for the changes to be introduced in a way which minimises disruption and conflict.
Most changes can generate resistance, conflict, disruption, and confusion, if they are not appropriately selected, timed, and implemented.
Change driven by technology is no different.
Technological change is now one of the primary drivers of organisational change, and all managers and specialists must build up a comprehensive body of knowledge and understanding of it.
As with all types of organisational change, any organisation that introduces technological change without understanding, and being prepared for, its potential positive and negative impacts will inevitably suffer damaging consequences.
When studying or planning technological change the established change models, such as the Levin 3 Stages, Kotler’s 8 Steps, the Change Curve, should be considered, as should more general tools and techniques such as Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, and the SWOT analysis.
In addition, you should look at the thinking of some of the early management gurus, such as Fayol, Porter, Handy, Drucker, and others who wrote thoughtfully, and accurately, about the management of change at a time when it was less understood.
See below for books on this subject that are worth considering.
Study Resources of the Month
International Competitiveness and Technological Change, by Miozzo and Walsh, published by OUP Oxford
Managing Innovation and Change: People, Technology, and Strategy, by John Clark, published by Sage Publications
Controlling the Future: Managing Technology-Driven Change, by Stewart Stokes, published by John Wiley and Sons
On our website we now have a direct link to the Amazon Management Books section ~ to use this go to our Study Bookshops page.
On our website there is a Study Resources page, which we recommend as a starting point for those not familiar with internet research and searching.
However, we are aware that not all our students follow this advice, so this month we have placed a number of these links in our Useful Study Resources column, shown on the left of the newsletter.
These links are worth exploring, as they contain valuable information and also many links on to other useful websites.
Student Recommended Resource
“ ….. hi guys, here are 2 sites I found useful – www.thefreelibrary.com/ and
~ our thanks to Nazir
“….if anyone is looking for case studies or articles, this is a great place – some you need to buy but a lot for free – check Free Resources page at www.icmindia.org…..”
~ our thanks to Kata
Advice from the Gurus
“Best Effort” will not substitute for knowledge ~ W. Edwards Deming, Quality Guru
Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing ~ Warren Buffett, Entrepreneur
Useful Study Links
Excellent materials, case studies, on all business and management subjects
Free information on most business and management topics
BeABetterManager.com Information and advice focusing on improving management skills
Finance & Accounting
A huge range of free marketing case studies, and help forums
Asia-focused articles and case studies on marketing
EvolvingExcellence.com/Blog Articles and comments on lean enterprise, leadership, and quality management