Management Principles and Practices - Assignment 3


Module 3 Assignment: Planning


This assignment is divided into three parts. In Parts A and B, you will analyze the case studies of the Swedish bank Svenska Handelsbanken and McDonald’s respectively. In Part C, you will consider the five disciplines of Peter Senge in the context of an organization with which you are familiar.

Parts A and B of this assignment are marked out of 100 marks and will count for 10 per cent of your total course mark. The breakdown of marks is as follows:

Part A: A Learning Organization at Svenska50
Part B: XXL No More50

Part C: Senge’s Five Disciplines contributes to your major project and will count for 8 per cent of your major project mark.


Part A: A Learning Organization at Svenska (50 marks)

Read the "A Learning Organization at Svenska" on page 153 of your textbook and answer the following questions (questions 1–3 are from page 153 of your textbook):

  1. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of Svenska Handelsbanken’s structure? (20 marks)
  2. Do you believe such a structure could work effectively in other cultures, such as that of the United States, in which there is less emphasis placed on consensus-building? (15 marks)
  3. What do you believe Pär Boman could do to enhance the learning organization concept at Svenska? (15 marks)
Part B: XXL No More (50 marks)

Read the case application “XXL No More” on pages 97 of your textbook and answer the following questions (questions 1–3 are from page 97 of your textbook):

  1. Explain how the external environment has affected McDonald’s plans to discontinue offering supersized meals? (15 marks)
  2. Describe how McDonald’s can use the decision to stop selling supersized meals as a competitive advantage. (15 marks)
  3. Do you believe McDonald’s was socially responsible in its actions to discontinue supersizing? Why or why not? (20 marks)
Part C: Senge’s Five Disciplines (8% of your final project grade)

Read the following article:

Focus on the five core disciplines: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, and team learning.

Choose an organization or group (business or otherwise) with which you are familiar. Then write a report of approximately three pages (approximately 750 words) that answers the following questions:

  1. What goals or activities would you plan for this organization or group in the next year that would enable you and others to enhance the practices of the five core disciplines? (50 marks)
  2. How would you motivate other individuals in the organization or group to adopt the practices of the five core disciplines? (25 marks)
  3. What changes are necessary for this organization or group to become a learning organization (or to enhance the characteristics of a learning organization that already exists)? (25 marks)
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