MAN6004 Critical Management Perspectives

MAN6004 Critical Management Perspectives

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MAN6004 Critical Management Perspectives

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MAN6004 Critical Management Perspectives

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Course Code: MAN6004
University: Birmingham City University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United Kingdom


Module Learning Outcomes

Critically evaluate management and organisational assumptions, theory and ideology and appraise their application to a range of contemporary contexts, including leadership and management development, organisation development, innovation, ethical management and corporate social responsibility.
Construct and apply appropriate conceptual frameworks to negotiate and exploit emerging opportunities and threats for contemporary organisations
Draw on relevant academic literature to support and clearly articulate, in written form, an idea/proposition.

You will be assessed according to the following criteria:
a)Evidence of an effective introduction in line with the chosen question (i.e. focus, context, scope)
b)Evidence of research and reading to select appropriate theories, concepts and frameworks (with accurate referencing of sources – Harvard format)
c)Ability to critically evaluate and apply relevant theoretical perspectives to support the building of a theoretical framework to support an idea
d)An effective closing section that pulls together key arguments within the paper
e)Effective communication, presentation and use of structure
f)Effective use of independent study skills to support effective self-evaluation of draft work prior to final submission for assessment
The following are indicative of the threshold pass requirements for the assignment.

The paper introduces the focus, scope and purpose in line with the assignment brief
Evidence of research to identify and introduce appropriate academic literature (with references cited)
Some use of theory to support discussion within the paper
Demonstrates some understanding of management theory and practice
The conclusion identifies some key arguments presented in the paper
The level of communication evidences some understanding of ideas and discussion

The stronger papers will clearly build on these threshold requirements to demonstrate increasing levels of originality, depth of research, criticality in terms of analysis and evaluation, and quality of writing and structure. Discussion relating to the levels of assessment will be an integral part of class sessions and seminars.


Technology has brought about changes in the society and the way that the people of the society have been using the changes in technology to their advantage. It has changed the way that people in today’s society think, develop themselves and work (Rodriguez, Peterson and Ajjan 2015). The changes that have been brought about in the society contributes to the success of a lot of individuals. Technology has the potential to contribute a lot of the growth and the advancement of businesses. The relationship that technology and the society shares with each other can be attributed to the impacts that technology has been creating on the businesses in the society (Trainor et al. 2014). This report contains the organisational issue and the way that they keep up with the pace with the rapid changes in the digital environment. The study will contain the two main critical success factors of the issue which are learning and change. The report will also discuss about the two models of change which are Lewin’s change management model and post modernism theory based on digital change. The report will discuss about the big idea which will help of organisations to adapt to the changes that occur to the changes in the digital environment. The big idea may or may not be ground breaking, but would help the organisation to take advantage of the rapid changes in technology.
Organisational Development
Organisational development is the concept of change that is present in the organisation. In human resources, organisational development is the study where the structure of organisations are changed and this is done to motivate the workers and their behaviour so that they work for the benefit of the organisation.
The emergent issue
Technology is a major part of the life in current times. It has a great influence and people would not be able to imagine a life where technology is not present (Crosby 2015). Society and organisations in the present scenario would not be able to function without the different kinds of technologies which makes their work easier. Drnevich and Croson (2013) discusses that the growth of technology is not without any purpose and the purpose is to make the lives of people easier and work without much hindrance and effort. The effort was put into making changes in the technological evolution so that something better is created than the last upgrade which would help the human race. Furthermore, Bharadwaj et al. (2013) states that internet has been slowly available to everyone all over the world. People depend in internet for a majority of their work which otherwise would have been done manually. There are several online applications which are present in current times for many kinds of works. There are social media applications which help people to connect with one another all over the world. No matter where the person is located, they can communicate with other people based on any part of the world with the help of these social media sites and applications (Andersson et al. 2016). Based on this understanding, McDonalds is suffering with some servicing process. Many clients complained about the inefficiency and error that decreased the quality of service. It can be stated that this kind of threat is detrimental for the global image of McDonalds.
Dealing with the issue
The issue with several organisations is that they are not able to fully understand and adapt the technology that is present in the world and therefore make complete use of it. This becomes hard for the organisations to function properly despite the availability of such major resources. Even branded stores have their own online sites and applications where online shopping is available so that people do not have to go to the store to shop from their favourite brand. Even there are non-branded clothes that are found in online shopping web sites and application which makes it easier for the people to shop from the comfort of their homes. These changes have made it easier for the people to communicate and purchase things without having to go to the place on their own and hence they could do their work without much issues and obstacles on their part.
Roots of the issue
Technology has help to reshape the life of the people and helped them to develop their own skills. In organisations technology plays a major part as it helps to ease out the operations and the functions of the organisation (Baden-Fuller and Haefliger 2013). Social media also plays a major factor in the way that organisations engage with other organisations and the public. Organisations can currently communicate with the public through virtual media and the public could also give their opinion on the virtual media itself which would reach the organisation. Moreover, almost every business relies heavily in technology for their daily operations. Even the purchasing of machines and other high technological equipment are done with the help of technology itself. The operations of the company such as accounts and marketing are heavily based on technology rather than manual labour. Furthermore, Willcocks (2013) mentions that organisations have realised over time that technology helps them to function efficiently in their sector and therefore they can build a competitive market and aspire to be the major player in the market with the help of the technological advancements that are occurring in the market. There have been many changes in technology in the past few years and with the rapid change it has been confusing for organisation to adapt to the current technology. However, organisations try to remain upgraded with continuous research in the field of technology so that they would be using the recent development and innovation in the market.
Critical success factors
Ram, Corkindale and Wu (2013) states that critical success factor is the term that is used for highlighting the factors that would help in achieving the mission and the objective of the business. It is the critical element that would help in the success of the venture taken up by the organisation. It will ensure the organisation about the approach that they should take up for the achievement of the project or the objective. Technological changes have emerged and paved its way into organisation. This leads to the organisation building up different factors which could lead to the success of this technological advancement and help them to use the technology to its complete potential. The two critical success factors that have been identified in this context is learning and change.
Learning is one of the major critical success factors in the technological adaptation of the organisation. Learning is important since it helps to gain knowledge about the change that is about to occur in the organisation. There are several new technologies that has emerged in the market and the acceptance and knowledge of the new technologies helps the organisation to develop the right strategies for utilizing the technological scenario. Connel et al. (2014) proposes that learning is very important since without the proper knowledge of the technology that is being used the organisation would not be able to utilize in h proper way. To extract the full potential of the technological benefits that technology could provide the organisation, it is important that proper research is conducted to understand the extent to which technology can be utilized by the business (Eason 2014).
Change is another critical success factor which helps the organisation to keep up with the changes in the organisation. The change that occurs in the organisation should be accepted and incorporated in the functions of the organisation. Miller and Skinner (2015) state that change is a consistent factor in the operations of the organisation due to the technological advancements that have been occurring in the digital environment. Change has to be accepted by the organisation in a broader sense so that there is no issue in the organisation regarding the alignment and usage of technology (Weaver et al. 2017).
Learning and change together would be a strong critical success factor for the organisation since they would be able to understand and learn about the change that is occurring in the digital environment (Cronin 2013). The learning regarding the technological change would help the organisation to get the maximum benefits and the advantages of the technologies that they could use in their favour for their profit.            
Models of change
It is important to manage the change that has been occurring in the digital environment. To manage the change it is necessary that certain strategies are implemented and a proper plan of action is developed which would help in the management and understanding of the change. The proper management would help organisations to adopt the change in a more effective manner. There are certain theories and models of change which would help organisations to adapt themselves to the change.
Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model
This change management model was developed by Kurt Lewin in the year 1950 and is still used in many organisations as a strategy for change implementation. Cummings, Bridgman and Brown (2016) states that in this model, the change in an organisation goes through three stages which are like the states that a block of ice goes through. These three stages helps in the management or the structuring of the change and furthermore the proper implementation. The three stages of this model are as follows:

Unfreeze – This is the first stage of the model which prepares for the change to occur in the organisation. Sarayreh, Khudair and Barakat (2013) imply that this stage is the building block of the change that is about to occur. This is the most important part of the change model since the organisation has to make the necessary preparations to accept the changer in their company so that they can incorporate the change properly without any hindrance. In McDonalds, the management wants to introduce robots as servers, and therefore they introduced the concept to their existent staff. The main reason for the change was that there was a lack in customer service and there were many complaints from the customers due to the slow service of the staff. To establish better customer service the management decided that they would include robots in place of human staff to do their jobs. However, much resistance was faced from them since it would mean that many people would have to resign from the job. The management organised a meeting in each of their stores to make the present staff understand the need for the change and that it would help them to function better and in a more efficient manner.
Change – This is the second step of the change management process. In this stage the actual change occurs and this stage would take a lot of time since people take time into accepting any new change and transition and to break out of the old habits. Cummings and Worley (2014) state that the management should point in the right direction and give reassurance to the employees regarding the importance and the benefits of the change and the help that the change would provide them. The management team of McDonaldsintroduced the change of inculcating robots as serves and helped the staff to work together with them. Supervisors were hired who would help the staff to work in sync with the robots.  
Refreeze – This is the last stage of the model where the change has been embraced and accepted by the people of the organisation and the implementation process has been established. Manchester et al. (2014) describes that this is the stage where the organisation finally becomes stable and the refreezing process is initiated. Once the management at McDonaldssaw that the staff was able to work together properly with the robots and the production was efficient they initiated the refreeze process and completely implemented the change.

Post Modernism Theory
The term post modernism was first introduced in the year 1979 through the publication by Jean-François Lyotard of The Postmodern Condition. There have been several debated regarding the definition and the meaning of the term post modernism. The theory of postmodernism came into view after the departure of modernism and was a break away from the thoughts and structure that was normally perceived in the modernism aspect (Holtzhausen 2013). The postmodern era and the theories in such provided a challenge to the normal perceptions of the world and focused more on the aesthetic and political aspects of modernity. The postmodernism theory revolved around being more flexible, mass-mediated and adaptable to the changes that occurred in current times. This theory was applied in organisational change as companies were fixated in specialized work which required trained professionals. Technology can be integrated to this theory in the way that technology was more flexible and helped in creating an adaptable situation which would help in the efficiency of the work. Technology also accompanied mass consumption and helped in the decision making of the people of the organisation (Schwabenland 2016). The theory incorporated in technological changes helps to understand the market so that better results are derived from the tasks that are conducted through technology.
Post-modernism theory believed in the creation of value depending on the changes that occurred in the market which helped the organisation during the rapid changes that occurred in the digital market and to accept it without much obstacle on their part (Fook and Pease 2016). The trust in the change is also one of the major factors in this theory which states that organisations should give their complete trust on the changes in technology and work for the complete integration of such changes so that the people working in the organisation could make compete and effective utilization of the useful changes made in technology.     
Big idea
There have been many changes in the technological aspect in the last few years. One of the changes and innovations that has the potential to reach to a great extent is Artificial Intelligence or AI. Russell and Norvig (2016) states that artificial intelligence is the way where robots are developed which would be controlled by the computer and a software is installed within them which would help it to think intelligently just like humans. The concept of artificial intelligence was initiated by keeping in mind the way that humans think and work towards solving a particular problem. The outcomes are then analyses into developing the software which would help them to solve the issue in hand. The objective which has initiated the creation of artificial intelligence were to incorporate the intelligence that is possessed by the humans into a machine so that they can function like humans. The next objective would be to create an expert system which would demonstrate intelligent behaviour (Nilsson 2014). Artificial intelligence can help people to answer those questions which might seem problematic for humans and do the work as the humans do. This technology will help in decreasing the amount of work that the humans have to do. Artificial intelligence also have the capability to integrate more information within themselves and use their inbuilt intelligence to solve the problems and give beneficial solutions. Artificial intelligence would help to gather the knowledge, organize it in the right manner and implement it according the need of the situation. The errors that are otherwise made by human can be eradicated or minimized to a high extent with the help of artificial intelligence.
There are several applications to artificial intelligence which could be beneficial for an organisation such as speech recognition, handwriting recognitions and intelligent robots. These applications would be helpful in many operations of the organisation such as processing and recognising any language that is spoken by the people of the organisation and this could be helpful in translation of the languages when clients from other countries come into the organisation. Therefore, it can be said that artificial intelligence has a positive impact on the society and organisations. However, there are also certain drawbacks of artificial intelligence that needs to be understood by organisations before they can implement the technology. Organisations should ensure that the kind of artificial intelligence application that they are implementing in their organisation, should not have any devastating effect instead of being beneficial (Garnham 2017). This is because artificial intelligence has the potential to be more devastating than useful if not managed in the right way. The safety of artificial intelligence should be maintained by the organisations so that no harmful effects of the technology make their way into the functions of the organisation. Artificial intelligence should only contribute to the benefit and the flourishing of the business with the power that they withhold and make the tasks done by the staff more efficiently and effectively. Since artificial intelligence have more intelligence than humans it can help in the technological development of the company and contribute majorly to their success. For example, as mentioned in the Lewis Model about the implementation of robots in McDonalds, the change would have both pros and cons as with every change. The pros would be that the service would be faster as compared to earlier since robots would be able to function more efficiently. However, the cons would be that people would not be able to interact with the robots as they would do with the human servers. This would make the environment very mechanical which can be not to the liking of many customers. Therefore, the implementation of the big idea needs to be done with much thought so that it does not fail.
In this context, McDonalds can develop a robot service delivery mechanism in addition to an artificial intelligence synchronised with the keywords of the menu items. Moreover, the company has to create a marketing research on the basis of the demography of its customers. It will help the service system to understand languages of the customers who are not used to with the European accent. In addition to this, the robot service mechanism also has a clear framework associated with the billing process so that the process will be time efficient and reduce error in the billing system.
Hence, it can be said that technology plays a major role in the development of the society and of the organisation. People should embrace the benefits that technology provides to become more efficient in their work and to ensure that the hard work that they do would be done correctly. Technology helps to reduce the errors that are made by human beings and in a much faster time which increases the efficiency of the work that is done. Organisations can use technology for a majority of their work which would help them to develop effective solutions for their operations. They should embrace the changes that is brought about with the evolvement of the digital environment. There are several theories which help in the change process. The theories such as Kurt Lewin’s change management theory and postmodernism contribute to the idea of change and how important it is for the society and the organisation. The idea of artificial intelligence could be major idea for organisations as artificial intelligence contributes to a major work of organisations and can help in the success of the company if utilized to its full potential in an efficient manner. The technology of artificial intelligence could be one which would help the organisation to determine their competitive advantage.
Andersson, U., Dasí, À., Mudambi, R. and Pedersen, T., 2016. Technology, innovation and knowledge: The importance of ideas and international connectivity. Journal of World Business, 51(1), pp.153-162.
Baden-Fuller, C. and Haefliger, S., 2013. Business models and technological innovation. Long range planning, 46(6), pp.419-426.
Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O., Pavlou, P. and Venkatraman, N., 2013. Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights.
Connell, J., Gough, R., McDonnell, A. and Burgess, J., 2014. Technology, work organisation and job quality in the service sector: An introduction.
Cronin, M., 2013. Translation and globalization. Routledge.
Crosby, A.W., 2015. Ecological imperialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cummings, S., Bridgman, T. and Brown, K.G., 2016. Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), pp.33-60.
Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C.G., 2014. Organization development and change. Cengage learning.
Drnevich, P.L. and Croson, D.C., 2013. Information technology and business-level strategy: Toward an integrated theoretical perspective. Mis Quarterly, 37(2).
Eason, K.D., 2014. Information technology and organisational change. CRC Press.
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Holtzhausen, D.R., 2013. Public relations as activism: postmodern approaches to theory & practice. Routledge.
Manchester, J., Gray-Miceli, D.L., Metcalf, J.A., Paolini, C.A., Napier, A.H., Coogle, C.L. and Owens, M.G., 2014. Facilitating Lewin’s change model with collaborative evaluation in promoting evidence based practices of health professionals. Evaluation and program planning, 47, pp.82-90.
Miller, G.S. and Skinner, D.J., 2015. The evolving disclosure landscape: How changes in technology, the media, and capital markets are affecting disclosure. Journal of Accounting Research, 53(2), pp.221-239.
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Willcocks, L., 2013. Information management: the evaluation of information systems investments. Springer.

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