Create a Learning Journal of your understanding and insights into the management discipline. Based on your interactions, engagement, and experiences during the semester’s tutorials, you are expected to reflect upon one aspect of the management topic for the week – so that a total of five (5) weekly reflections are written in your journal. For a typical such week, this requires that you observe and effectively engage in the workshop activity/activities which relate(s) to the management topic that have been presented to you. Accordingly, reflective writeup for this weekly activity/activities needs to account for your capabilities in observation, participation, and critical and creative thinking which demonstrate your theoretical and practical understanding of the tutorial activities. Therefore, you will need to keep a weekly diary or journal which records your observations, thoughts, feelings, and motivations for current and future work and further learning practices based on tutorial workshop activities.
For example, in one of your workshops there may have been a class discussion of a case about a middle manager who was given the task of managing a major project, which subsequently failed. The failure of the project may have been due to a combination of factors (as mentioned by your peers in the class), however, taking into account the evidence in the case, you think the most important factor that led to the project failing was the managers’ poor people skills, particularly his inability to communicate clearly and appropriately with his staff. This may lead you to reflect on the importance of communication in management roles, particularly with regard to the basics of interpersonal skills such as listening, asking questions and empathising. You should conduct some research to determine effective management practice as it relates to interpersonal communication, e.g., asking different types of questions; listening/testing your understanding; seeking feedback on your understanding, etc.
As a further example, during one of the workshops, you may have been attracted to a discussion around leadership and leaders’ abilities to motivate others; alternatively, in another week, there may have been a case analysis where the key players in the case were poor decision-makers; or maybe there was a workshop where one of the teams presented on typical problems associated with communication in a virtual context. As a result of the stimulus or trigger you observed, you are expected to explore and research the particular area of management theory and practice that interests you, referring to specific lessons you have learned as a result. Please note that these are only examples and should not be replicated in your assignment.
Please make a record and retrieve your weekly learning as you progress through the various management topics. The weekly Learning Journal entries can be a combination of text, images, graphics or links to various research databases based on your understanding of management concepts and models and their relevance to work practice. Please maintain an appropriate list of references for each week’s entry so that they help you to generate an accumulated list of references for this assessment task. Finally, you should consider all your weekly entries and consider the ways these theoretical and practical insights will influence your current or future professional practice.
You may find the following adaptation of Kolb’s (1974) Experiential Learning Cycle useful towards effectively structuring your Learning Journal.
(1) Concrete Experience – Describe the event in the weekly MGF5962 workshop. What happened to stimulate your interest? Who said or did what?
(2) Reflective Observation – What did you think and feel about it?
(3) Research the management topic that stimulated your attention.
(4) Active Experimentation – What are the specific lessons you learned? Explain the key insights that contribute to your new and/or deeper understanding of management theory and practice.
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