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Electives on the MPhil in Management

The MPhil in Management electives cover a wide range of topics, designed to allow students to tailor the course to their own needs. The specialist nature of electives will enable you to present prospective employers with a portfolio of both general management and specialised knowledge, to position yourself for the career to which you aspire.

Students on the MPhil in Management programme choose two electives during the year. Electives offered may vary from year to year. The list below should be regarded as illustrative.

Information technology (IT) and associated computer-based information systems (IS) continue to have far-reaching effects on our organisations and societies. However, effective use of the potential of IT/IS requires an understanding of people, organisations and technology in combination, which is the focus of this course.

The syllabus covers:

  • Introduction: IS and organisations
  • Emerging trends
  • Reinventing strategy
  • Rethinking business processes
  • Cultural, structural and political issues
  • People and information systems
  • Organising IS activities
  • Managing and implementing projects

This course introduces you to business ethics, not only from the classical (philosophy-based) normative viewpoint of what people should do, but also from the psychology-based view of what people actually do, and why the two so often differ. Moreover, ethical choices are most often not black and white, but grey-in-grey, and the course makes you comfortable with dilemmas that you’re likely to encounter in your career.

The overarching question for this course is: How can organisations use the productive potential of their employees in order to achieve superior performance? We explore the theories and practices involved in human resource strategy, job design, recruiting, selection, retention, performance management, training and development, career development, compensation, and motivation. This is not a course about the human resource department but focuses on the approaches which leaders and managers use to bring effective performance among employees at all levels.

This elective provides an understanding of the nature and extent of the globalisation of business, and examines the economic forces that give rise to global economic integration and the nature and behaviour of the key agent of global business, the multinational corporation.

This module introduces you to two essential and complementary ways of dealing with future uncertainties. On one hand we have diversification, the intuitive notion that you should “not put all your eggs in one basket”, which is ubiquitous in modern management. This exemplifies passive risk management. On the other we have the real options paradigm. This emphasises that future value depends on both unfolding uncertainties, which you cannot control, and the flexibility of your future responses. By investing in research and development projects, for example, companies buy the option to launch a product, which they may or may not exercise, depending on the level of success of the R&D effort and on market conditions at the time of launch. However, flexibility also costs money: R&D expenditure, for example in the biotech industry, can be huge. So how much flexibility shall we build into the system? This is the realm of project design for active risk management. System designers and project managers need tools that help them decide if added flexibility is worth the money. This course gives you a mindset and a suite of tools to tackle such problems. All participants are expected to be familiar with probability and statistics at the level of an introductory undergraduate course.

With decreasing geographical barriers, emerging markets and lower labour costs that lure firms overseas, managers face the challenge of aligning and coordinating global manufacturing and supply networks. Supply chain management has become both a core management function, as well as a source for competitive advantage of companies across industry sectors. This elective provides an in-depth discussion on how companies use their supply chain strategies as competitive advantage. Based on the notion that in fact “entire value chains compete, rather than individual companies”, this exploration of the subject includes some of the latest tools and techniques for analysing and improving supply chain processes.