MGMT5906 Organisations and People in Context - 2020

Term 1
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course provides a multi-disciplinary foundation for the study of people management, introducing key concepts and assumptions underpinning management practice, as well as contemporary debates in the area. In this course we consider people management from both macro and micro perspectives, drawing on key ideas in organisational behaviour and work and organisation theory.

We look at how management thinking and the nature of work have changed over time, and examine what this means for contemporary people management. We also consider how best to understand some of the drivers of effective work practices such as motivation, interpersonal behaviour, leadership and organisational culture. The topics in this course will provide you with a solid foundation for understanding and evaluating human resource management

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:
* Expose you to the many important theoretical concepts that are necessary to both understand and manage the people aspects of modern business practice. It draws on the theory from a number of areas of academic study including organisational behaviour, organisational theory and sociology.

* Help you to both understand and frame current contextual debates in people management, and recent developments in the management of an organisation’s human resources.

This is a core course normally completed in the first year of your MCom study. The knowledge and skills gained in this course will both complement other courses in the program and help you with your ongoing Masters of Commerce journey of learning and knowledge development. In particular it complements and sits alongside the MGMT 5907 Human Resource Management core course.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeMrJames AndersonUNSW Business School Building, Level 50466 336 961To be confirmed - before or after lecture or by appointment

​If you have questions about the course or assessments your first point of contact is the lecturer-in-charge. When emailing, please use your UNSW account, indicate the course that your query is about, your full name and your student number. Please do not expect an instant response - waiting 2/3 days for an email response is to be expected.

The Tuesday workshop will be facilitated by the LIC

Wednesday workshops will be facilitated by Mr John Doyle - contact details to follow

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​We will be a taking a strongly active, adult-learning-centred approach to the course theory and activities, with a view to encouraging a positive and interactive discussion-based teaching and learning environment. In order to succeed you will need to be an active participant in both the lectures and the workshops, as well as in the progress of your own MCom learning.

We expect you to read materials provided prior to workshops where it will be discussed. You should think about it, reflect on it, and ask yourself good questions about it to better understand and critique the concepts and their application to modern organisations.

Copies of the theory slides, which summarise key concepts, will be posted weekly on moodle for students who wish to download them as support material.

Various cases and any associated support material will also be posted on moodle the week before they will be discussed in workshops.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The lectures will NOT be delivered in a “traditional” one-way mode, but interactive, discussion-based, and with examples. They are however designed to introduce you to the key theoretical concepts relevant to organisations and people management in the 21st century, and to put them in this 21st century context. We will look at the development of management theory thru the ages, and consider why and how these ideas have changed as workplaces and workforce realities have changed.

Our aim is to put into a clear context or contexts our theoretical understandings of how best to manage people in today’s organisations.

The workshops are designed to have a strongly student-centred approach, and to use discussions about actual and case study organisations (which will be used as examples to contrast) to build a deeper understanding of these theoretical concepts and to discuss as a group how they apply in the “real life” of modern organisations. We will use a range of tools including cases, discussion questions and activities to bring the theory to life. Students will be expected to come prepared to discuss, analysis, summarise and present their views about the questions under consideration. Our intent is for each workshop individuals and groups to briefly and informally present their weekly findings to the rest of the class.

5. Course Resources

​The course website is via moodle.

All lecture and workshop slides, cases, readings and other related material will be posted there.

As there is no prescribed text for this course the reading are essential to your understanding of the course topics.

Lectures will not be recorded, but James is available by appointment to discuss any missed content

Some useful additional resources include:
•    Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., Coulter, M. Management, any recent edition. Pearson Australia.
•    The University’s online databases accessed via:

•    The Australian Financial Review –
•    The Sydney Morning Herald -
•    The Conversation –
•    Big Think –

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback.

UNSW's myExperience survey is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. In this course, we will seek your feedback at the end of the term through the myExperience process.

We continue to develop cases, based on student feedback, which are topical, relevant and "real life"

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 17 FebruaryLecture

Tools for Success in MGMT5906


What is Critical Thinking?

Getting to know each other & our Contexts

Participation in Discussions

Week 2: 24 FebruaryLecture

Strategy Development

(Understanding our Environment and Finding a Place to Succeed)


Strategy in Context: Our first case analysis

Participation in Discussions

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Week 3: 2 MarchLecture

Strategy Execution

(Enacting our Strategy and Organisation Design)


Using the Business Model Canvas

Traditional vs Emerging Designs

Case discussions

Participation in Discussion

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Week 4: 9 MarchLecture

The World of Work and Changing Organisational Contexts

(Dealing with Megatrends)


What constitutes a quality job?

Which megatrends and why?

Participation in Discussions

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Interim Participation Grade and Feedback

Team Charter due

Week 5: 16 MarchLecture

Understanding People

(Human Behaviour, Culture & Motivation)

(Teams and Teamwork)


Human Behaviour case analysis

Teamwork activity and debrief

Participation in Discussion

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Assessment 1 due (Individual Research)

Week 6: 23 MarchLecture

Break Week - no classes


Break Week - no classes

Week 7: 30 MarchLecture

Understanding People

(Values, Ethics & Decision-making)



Understanding your Values, and how do Values shape Decisions?

Ethical Decision-making

Diversity Activity

Participation in discussion

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Week 8: 6 AprilLecture

Understanding People (Management & Leadership)




Leadership activities

Leadership Case discussion

Participation in discussions

Reading Facilitation (if allocated)

Week 9: 13 AprlLecture

Tying it all Together

(Course Integration)


An Integrating Case

Exam Preparations

Participation in discussion

Reading Facilitation (if applicable)


Week 10: 20 AprilFinal Exam

Our Final Exam (1.5 hrs) will take place in the Week 10 lecture timeslot

Final Exam - venue tbc

Final Workshop


Group Presentation Due

Group Assignment Due

Peer Review Summary Due

8. 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

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