The University of Southampton

MANG6317 Managing Effectively in the 21st Century

Module Overview

The module is designed to set the scene for the MBA. The content of this module provides a context for you to appreciate the complexity inherent in 21st century management. The key issues discussed in this module provide a view from practice and practical experiences of senior managers and academic faculty, enabling you to see how the models, ideas, and constructs discussed throughout the MBA bear relevance to organisational realities in the 21st century. The content of this module is focused on the challenges of managing organisations effectively in the 21st century by examining a variety of issues inherent in modern organisations and, importantly, the skills that managers require to deal with them. The model calls for significant reflection on your own skills and career development in management, as well as examining the main challenges for organisational development in the 21st century.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The MBA is based around the concept that you need to develop a whole range of basic personal and managerial key skills throughout your period of study, which will enhance your employability. This module introduces you to a range of relevant skills for managing effectively in the 21st century. The aim is to provide a context and broad appreciation of the challenges faced by managers in today’s complex organisational and social world. You will also receive a half-day assessment of your personality type and interaction style (e.g. the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile). By the end of the programme you should be able to demonstrate a range of learning outcomes aimed at facilitating change in yourself and others in order to get things done (in the MBA and at work).

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Some of the key business trends and issues affecting the role of managers in the 21st century.
  • The cross-cultural and other factors that affect personal and business relationships.
  • The role of team working in organisations.
  • Ways in which organisational realities are shaped by the governance, organisation design, and values of an organisation.
  • Negotiation skills that are relevant across a complex network of organisations and cultures.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the role of managers in today’s organisations.
  • Critically analyse the multitude of factors impacting on successful management in the 21st century.
  • Reflect on the role of the MBA as a tool that enables you to become a more effective manager.
  • Critically evaluate the role of a manager in organisations considering a range of contextual factors.
  • Develop deeper insights into the skills and tools needed by you to become an effective manager.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work with a wide variety of people and forming supportive relationships within a larger group.
  • Solve problems.
  • Perform both written and oral communication for managers.


The syllabus is designed to provide you, the student, with an overview and a context of management in today’s complex and ambiguous business environment. • Personality type and interaction style (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI) • Negotiation skills • Team working and team dynamics • Organisational design and culture • Corporate governance • Reputation, trust and values • Stress, well-being and work-life balance • Cross-cultural management • Problem solving

Special Features

This module features a number of special features that will enable you to achieve the learning outcomes. As part of the module external speakers/senior managers from practice will join teaching faculty to share their experiences of the complexities and ambiguities in today’s business environment. This view from practice will form an integral part of your development. In addition, the module will hold a day in which you will work on a simulation that reflects current business challenges. The team working aspect is developed through experiential learning. You will partake in off-site, out-of-bounds team training activities that will enable you to appreciate the nature of team dynamics. You will also receive a personality assessment (MBTI) as part of the module with your own individualised report.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: The module will be taught through a series of workshops, simulations, and off-site experiential learning activities. Teaching methods will place emphasis on drawing on and utilising your experiences, and will also include group work, guided reflection, individual study of course materials, and discussion of theories, ideas and concepts. Internationalisation As an early module on the MBA programme, this module puts great emphasis on developing an appreciation of the complexities that are inherent in a globalised world and the type of management skills that re needed to deal with these issues. Much of the content will explicitly make reference to the cultural diversity that is exhibited both in the student cohort and the wider business community in more general.

Independent Study70
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Pearson, I. & Lyons, M. (2003). Business 2010 – Mapping the New Commercial Landscape. 

McMaster, M.D. (1996). The Intelligence Advantage - Organising for Complexity. 

Cooper, C (ed) (2005). Leadership and Management in the 21st Century. 

Handy, C. (1994). The Empty Raincoat. 

Trompenaars, F & Hampden-Turner,C. (1997). Riding the Waves of Culture. 

Whetten, D. A. & Cameron, K. S. (2011). Developing Management Skills. 

Dent S (1999). Partnering Intelligence. 

Horn, R (2009). The Business Skills Handbook. 



Class discussions


MethodPercentage contribution
Group report  (2500 words) 50%
Individual reflection  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/recommended text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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