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Understanding management: I'm managing thank you!

Introduction

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This unit provides you with a set of ideas for developing your approach to managing your own work – what we might call ‘self-management’. In order to do this, we will examine some of the key processes of management decision making – allocating time, staff, physical and financial resources; prioritising and problem-solving; and monitoring performance – and a range of techniques managers find useful in dealing with them.

We will also be examining some of the essential people skills needed by managers, most notably communication, interpersonal skills and team-working and encouraging you to become more aware of your own approaches to these aspects of your work life. The majority of the ideas and techniques in this unit form the basis of many short management training courses of the type you or your manager(s) may have attended.

The unit concludes with some study advice on writing for academic purposes. We will consider some of the different forms of written material you may come across in your studies and examine the two main forms of writing required in management and business studies: the essay and the report. The activities in this unit are designed to support you in the development of the type of extended writing skills needed for both these forms. We will also offer you some guidance on the acknowledgement of your sources of information, a vital ingredient in successful writing for both academic and business purposes.

A case study within the unit will introduce you to Kiran, a mother of two who wishes to return to paid employment in her chosen profession of teaching. We will see that the decisions she faces and the work she must do to manage her return successfully are much more complex than they appear on the surface. We will examine how some of the ideas mentioned in this unit can help her.

This unit is an adapted extract from Y159 Understanding management, a course which is no longer taught by The Open University, but which was part of our Openings Programme which has been replaced by our Access modules. This unit gives a good idea of the level of study on these modules.

If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

If you are new to Higher Education you may want to consider our Access module Y032 People, work and society.

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