02.211 Critical Management Studies

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‘Critical thinking’ has been touted as an essential skill in the workplace. However, what constitutes ‘critical thinking’ is often ambiguous. In this course, students will work through the stages of critical thinking and learn the basic principles of ‘clarity’, ‘precision’ and ‘reasoning’; culminating in a debate of complex, current issues affecting the workplace. This course is open to all pillars, but is specially designed for final year students who are interested in understanding management theory and contemporary management practices in a “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment.

Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills through reviewing and critiquing a range of management texts and theories
  2. Evaluate the arguments for and against mainstream management theory and practice
  3. Develop an informed opinion on contemporary management issues through independent inquiry

Course Requirement

Assessment Percentage
WEC – Group project 5
WEC – Class participation 20
WEC – Online assignment 15
WEC – Case study 30
WEC – Debate 20
WEC – HBR stimulation 10

Course Map

Week 1:Introduction to course

Identify claims, premises, conclusions & issues

Week 2: Identify popular management ideas

Week 3: Interrogating management theory p1: Buzzwords (what) and bullshit (who)

Analyze how buzzwords and bullshit operate

Week 4: Interrogating management theory p2: Rhetoric (how), Discourse (why)

From analyze to evaluate

Week 5: Interrogating efficiency: The case of Valve

Week 6: Interrogating rationality: Performance management

Week 8: Paradigms in management

Week 9: Debate practice

Week 10-12: Debates

Week 13: Reflect

Week 14: Final Consult

Grace Dixon