MGMT20135 - Critical Thinking and Managerial Decision-Making

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit is designed to introduce the importance of critical thinking and the benefits of using decision-making processes to assess and solve business, managerial and organisational problems. The key aspects of critical thinking and reasoning, including knowledge, comprehension, analysis, self-reflection and application are considered. You will learn how to critically analyse data and information related to typical business decisions. You will develop significant skills in building effective arguments by constructing, analysing, and critically evaluating the views and position adopted by stakeholders in the process of effective decision-making. The aim is to develop your ability to make effective and timely decisions, to communicate complex concepts and ideas, to influence and persuade others to adopt new strategies when required, and to constructively collaborate with others in order to generate solutions to multi-faceted business problems. You will also be introduced to the decision-making techniques leaders and groups use to solve problems in real-life business situations.

Details

Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Brisbane
Melbourne
Online
Sydney
Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Brisbane
Melbourne
Online
Sydney

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 30%
3. Written Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 57.14% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Part-time MBA students in conversation, workshop, and emails
Feedback
Relevance and positive application of content.
Recommendation
To continue to identify new cases that deal with complexity in decision-making due to COVID-19 and other relevant business issues.
Action Taken
New case studies, videos and discussions were undertaken, all content relevant to the course as well as relevant to the current business environment.
Source: Part-time MBA students informal feedback. Unit Coordinator
Feedback
Lack of engagement by full-time international students in online chat rooms, break-out rooms, and lack of attendance in class.
Recommendation
These two cohorts have different requirements. Considerations need to be given to separate the MBA and the non-MBA students and use different assessment tasks. Compulsory participation in at least 6 group discussions in break-out rooms in case of online teaching. This practice will enhance students' ability for critical analysis and applications of theories, models, and concepts in real-life situations. Group members will be required to prepare team charters, showing the contributions of each member in a group. This will enable lecturer(s) to understand the students’ involvement and contribution in group work. This strategy might encourage better participation of students with an improved learning experience.
Action Taken
As student numbers were limited, all students, irrespective of the degree being completed, worked together. There were no issues.
Source: Assessment tasks. Students email and anecdotal commentary.
Feedback
Lack of academic skills to review articles. Many students do not know the difference between a report and an essay. They have poor referencing skills.
Recommendation
Arrange at least two special one-hour workshops in weeks 3 and 4 to discuss how to critically review articles (Assessment tasks 1 and 3). One/two articles can be distributed to students for reading. The unit coordinator/lecturer will discuss and explain how to review articles in a methodical manner. One special session to discuss how to use diagnostic tools in decision-making based on a recent decision of a known large organisation (Qantas, Tesla, Apple, etc.). This will assist students to use diagnostics tools in writing their reflective essays.
Action Taken
The relevance and use of the Diagnostic Tools was discussed in detail as well as information given on the requirements for both a report and an essay. Students were familiar with a report format but not an essay and the use of first person. This was then discussed in detail.
Source: Students' feedback and unit coordinators' observation during the case study workshops.
Feedback
Students are interested in learning experiences from culturally and economically different contexts.
Recommendation
Cases targeting international students may be selected to demonstrate how companies are now operating in a post-OVID environment.
Action Taken
All students participated in the discussion component of the on-line workshops. They were asked questions which ensured they gave information relating to their experience and relevant to the topic. They gained confidence in doing this as the term progressed.
Source: Unit coordinator. SAM data.
Feedback
Some students do not read their CQU emails and regularly check the Moodle site. A small percentage of students do so. MBA online students are very particular in checking mails and the Moodle site.
Recommendation
To assist these students short video messages can be posted along with reminders on the Moodle site. Post regular messages on the Moodle site highlighting the importance of regular class attendance and participation at workshops for gaining better learning outcomes. Conduct special short sessions for students showing how to navigate the Moodle site.CQUemails can be used to remind the students that there is a requirement that they attend lectures and workshops. Students can be encouraged to email lecturers to seek individual advice.
Action Taken
Students read emails as well as the messages on the Moodle site and responded accordingly.
Source: Adjunct staff, MBA Director and Unit Coordonator
Feedback
One component of current regime is unfocused. Authentic assessment strategy is required
Recommendation
A review of the journal articles (Assessment 1) is not aligned to authentic assessment. A review of assessment tasks will be undertaken in consultation with the Discipline group and required changes will be made accordingly.
Action Taken
Completed. Assesment 1 was amended to include case studies relevant to the unit content.
Source: Unit coordination. Emails from group members
Feedback
Unequal participation in Group Works in Assessment 2 (Case study presentation). In this unit, group works on business cases have been incorporated to have a collaborative learning experience of the students on key concepts, theories and their practical applications.
Recommendation
Allocation of marks (15 out of 30) for an individual in-class/online case presentation. The written report may be marked as group work (15 out of 30).
Action Taken
Individual marks were awarded for each student's presentation then a group mark for the report.
Source: Self-reflection; informal student feedback
Feedback
Some students sought extra support, in addition to the timetabled workshops.
Recommendation
Additional consultation sessions (via zoom) have been held to provide added support; it is recommended that this approach be continued in future, as it also allows for addressing of questions related to assessment briefing.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate and reflect on the importance of critical thinking and the benefits of using decision-making processes to assess and solve business, managerial and organisational problems
  2. Develop a body of knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to key aspects of critical thinking and reasoning
  3. Critically analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply creative decision-making approaches to address business issues and problems
  4. Develop the capability to make effective and timely decision
  5. Communicate complex concepts, ideas and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences with the aim to influence and persuade others to adopt new positions.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment