MBAX9125 Managing People & Organisations - 2021

Online Weekly
Term 3
6 Units of Credit

Offering Selection
This course outline is for the current term. To view outlines from other years and/or terms, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The organisations we work in are rich and complex organisms in which many interactions, relationships and processes are played out daily. The complexity of these interactions often makes them difficult to understand and manage.

This course focuses on generalist managers who manage people - some you manage formally (such as your subordinates) and others informally (such as your peers and bosses). At the core of the course is characterisation and discussion of everyday functions and roles managers take part in, such as sense-making, sense-giving, decision-making, leading, motivating, planning, organising, mentoring, monitoring and influencing. Each Unit in this course covers a topic that contributes to your better undertaking of these managerial roles so that you can become a better manager of yourself, others, teams and organisations.

In this course, we will ask you to test your understanding of the concepts we introduce by examining your working life. This could involve analysing your actions, the actions of others, processes that occur within your organisation and key organisational events. You can use these activities to evaluate the concepts, that is, you should ask yourself:

  • how useful is this idea for me?
  • how can I modify this idea in light of my own experiences?
  • how can I apply this idea in my organisation?

This course is designed to introduce you to some of the key ideas, issues and debates about management and managing others within an organisation. In each Unit, you are introduced to a new issue/area of focus. But remember, each of the topics we will encounter in the course could be the focus for a whole course in itself. So, we aim to give you a flavour or introduction to each topic. Hopefully, the course will be a starting point for your understanding of management and managing others, rather than the end of your journey.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

This course aims to help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills - analytical, managerial and otherwise - that will inform your life within an organisation as a manager. Although the importance of effective and efficient management is well understood, it is remarkable how often firms and managers fail to achieve this. The task is made even more difficult by the presence of changing workforce composition and workplace arrangements, increasing globalisation, advancement in technologies, intensifying need for collaboration, and changing political, legal and social expectations.

This course builds on the program's introductory course (MBAX9131 Leadership).

Additional Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Facilitator in ChargeSalih Zeki Ozdemir

Facilitator in Charge 

Each course has a Facilitator in Charge who is responsible for the academic leadership and overall academic integrity of the course. The Facilitator in Charge selects content and designs assessment tasks, and takes responsibility for specific academic and administrative issues related to the course. Facilitators in Charge oversee Facilitators and ensure that the ongoing standard of facilitation in the course is consistent with the quality requirements of the program. 


The role of your Facilitator is to support and enhance the learning process by encouraging interaction among participants, providing direction in understanding the course content, assessing participant progress through the course and providing feedback on work submitted. Facilitators comprise academics and industry practitioners with relevant backgrounds. 

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

In MPO, we aim to create a collaborative environment that aims to actively engage students in the learning process through developing interesting and challenging activities for you to engage in during online discussion sessions. For this purpose, we have designed appropriately challenging discussion generator questions and experiential activities for online discussions.

A big part of this design is also our desire to ensure an inclusive environment where each student is able to both apply the concepts discussed back to their organisations and to bring their wealth of prior experiences and knowledge into the class discussions.

Overall, the course follows a blended design where self, peer, group and class involvement with the course material guides the learning process in online interactions.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

This course follows a blended design where discussions and activities are undertaken.

In online discussions, we investigate the questions raised by the Facilitators (and students) through the lens of the course Unit material. In addition, we perform case analyses and discussions, experiential exercises, and simulation activities to the extent it is technologically viable.

An essential component of each online discussion is the debrief that we perform after each activity that provides opportunities to apply the learnings back to our organisations and bring our prior experience and knowledge into the class discussions.

Course Structure

The course starts with a broad introduction of management and managerial functions and roles in Unit 1. This Unit also provides an overview of classic roles of managers that still remain very relevant, useful and adaptable to the current business environment. Further, it discusses how work and workplaces are changing.

In Units 2 to 10, we attend to each of these roles one by one. The Unit introductions, the readings and other curated material are selected to provide a broad introduction to the particular role in focus. In the class sessions, we further discuss the origins of the function or role to better understand its significance, and then investigate how it is being shaped by the various trends regarding the future, such as increasing emphases on diversity, globalisation, sustainability, ethics and new technologies.

In Unit 2, 'Management is Decision-making', we start with a quick review of cognitive biases that may hamper one's ability to make good decisions. Next, we investigate the importance of using evidence in making decisions. For this purpose, we focus our attention on evidence-based management and discuss what evidence means, and how one can collect it and judge its credibility. This Unit provides you with a process-based approach to collect, assess and utilise evidence for your decision making.

The remainder of the Units are divided into two groups.

Units 3 to 5 are about making sense of the internal and external context we work in.

Unit 3, 'Management is Sense-making' looks at the intersection between the manager, the external environment and the internal organisation.

Unit 4, 'Management is Network Building' investigates the informal structure within the organisation and explores how one can use it to become a more effective manager.

Unit 5, 'Management is Teaming', takes a closer look at an important organising element within organisations, teams and teaming, and the role you have as a manager.

The second group of Units (Units 6 to 10) takes the sense-making we have developed in Units 3-5 and explores how the managers then engage in sense-giving towards their staff, peers, and even bosses.

Unit 6, 'Management is Influencing' furthers the discussion of the manager's role within the informal organisation by looking at how the manager can influence and persuade others beyond just using their formal authority.

Units 7, 8, and 9 examine the role of the manager within the formal organisation, especially given the recent emphasis of incorporating more and more human resources responsibilities into daily managerial life. Unit 7, 'Management is Motivating Employees', Unit 8, 'Management is Managing Performance', and Unit 9, 'Management is Recruiting, Selecting, and Socialising New Employees' all investigate a crucial human resources related role one by one.

We finish the course by combining the learnings from many of the prior units to tackle another big part of our daily managerial life: how to manage your boss. In Unit 10, 'Management is Managing Your Boss', we discuss this very important, but often forgotten, role.


6. Course Resources

You have three major resources to help you learn.

  • The course materials and the effort you will put into them: The course materials for this course comprise the Course Outline, the Assessment Details and 10 Units. Each Unit has a number of associated readings and other resources.

The Program design assumes that a Facilitator reproducing a textbook on a forum is the least efficient and least effective learning technology. You will do much of your learning by working through the learning materials, and by active discussions with the Facilitator and other students. You are expected to have read the course materials indicated before each discussion, and come prepared to discuss your learning, as well as answers to all activities.

All the curated material for this course have been carefully chosen to highlight and supplement the key learning in each Unit. While some readings, case studies and video links are fairly recent, a few are some years old and may at first glance seem outdated. Be assured that this is not the case. Often, principles and frameworks about general human behaviour we encounter in this course are 'timeless'. We have, at times, purposely chosen 'classic' readings, which are as true today as they were at the time of writing.

  • The discussions with your Facilitator

The Facilitator's job is to guide your learning by conducting discussions, answering questions that might arise for you after you have done the work in preparation for the discussions, providing insights from their own practical experience and understanding of theory, providing you with extensive feedback on your assessments and directing traffic in the inevitable arguments and disagreements that will occur between you and your co-participants in the forum.

  • Your co-participants

Your colleagues in the class are an invaluable potential source of learning for you. Their experience in similar and different jobs and industries, and their willingness to question and argue with the course materials, the Facilitator and your own views, represent a great learning opportunity.

In this course, you have an opportunity to work in a team with your class colleagues to analyse and develop ideas for your first assessment. This will help you develop skills in sharing workloads, assessing team member strengths and prioritising activities collectively.

Other resources


BusinessThink is UNSW's free, online business publication. It is a platform for business research, analysis and opinion. If you would like to subscribe to BusinessThink and receive the free monthly e-newsletter with the latest in research, opinion and business then go to

In addition to course-based resources, please also refer to the AGSM Learning Toolkit (available in Moodle) for tutorials and guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques.

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are revised each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. Changes relating to any industry developments will also be included. 

Additionally, the AGSM surveys students each time a course is offered. The data collected provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions. 

Student Response

The last delivery of the course was well received by the students, receiving an overall approval rate above both UNSW and AGSM averages. Nonetheless, students have raised comments on a few aspects.

  • Students commented on the perceived workload inconsistency from one Unit to another.
  • They wanted other curated material beyond Harvard originated material (such as videos and articles from other sources) more experiential activities and more coverage of real-life scenarios.
  • They requested more clarity on the team project assessment.
  • They commented that some quiz questions were confusing.

Response to Student Feedback

In response to the above comments, we have made the following changes.

  • The Unit content has been carefully investigated and amended where appropriate to ensure that the workload is consistent among Units. A number of readings have been either replaced or taken out.
  • A number of new videos have been prepared to complement the readings for the Units so that the students have alternative sources to consume the course content that they can utilise to best fit their own preferences. In addition, video introductions and video interviews with experts are added to a number of Units. Moreover, a new series of videos are being prepared to help the students jointly consider different Unit materials and see the close connections amongst the topics within the course.
  • Simulations, video-case discussions, and other experiential activities are now used in the course to generate hands-on experience for a number of course topics.
  • New case studies are added in a number of Units to connect with real-life scenarios.
  • The team project assessment instructions have been amended to ensure the combination of academic, organisational, and experience-based evidence is recommended to conduct the team project assessment.
  • The team project assessment instructions have been rewritten to make them clear and concise.
  • Those quiz questions have been reviewed and rewritten where necessary.

8. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Participation, Online QuizUnit 1: Managers and Management
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 2 Participation, Online QuizUnit 2: Management is Decision-making
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 3 Participation, Online QuizUnit 3: Management is Sense-making
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 4 Participation, Online QuizUnit 4: Management is Network Building
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 5 Participation, Online QuizUnit 5: Management is 'Teaming'
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 6 Participation, Online QuizUnit 6: Management is Influencing
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 7 Participation, Online QuizUnit 7: Management is Motivating Employees
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 8 Assessment 1 is due, Participation, Online QuizUnit 8: Management is Managing Performance

Assessment 1 is due on Friday 5 November 2021 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 1 : Evidence-based management assessment of an organisational practice
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 9 Participation, Online QuizUnit 9: Management is Recruiting, Selecting, and Socialising New Employees
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 10 Participation, Online QuizUnit 10: Management is Managing Your Boss
Assessment 3 : Class Participation
Assessment 4 : Online Quizzes on Units
Week 11 -Review week - all Units
Week 12 Assessment 2 is due

Assessment 2 is due on Monday 29 November 2021 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 2 : Organisational action learning review (OALR)

9. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333