Critical Thinking and Managerial Decision Making



Week 1- Lecture 1


MGMT20144 – Management and Business Context


Christiana Liang Lecturer in HRM

School of Business and Law [email protected] (Best way to contact me, reply within 48 hours) Specify Unit, Date/Time of Tutorial, name, issue. 03 9616 0677 Yourselves?

Where are you from?

What major?

Which year of study?

Why this unit?




Unit objectives

Teaching staff around Australia

Assessment requirements

Forming groups for Assessment 3


Introduction to critical thinking and managerial decision-making

Workshop, including getting to know each other, experiential exercises, etc.



Unit objectives

Introduce key concepts and theories and explain how they are applied in the real-world

Explain how we solve more complex problems and then make decisions

Help students become better thinkers and managers, including manage:

Knowledge better

One’s own and other’s comprehension limitations

Methods of analyses

Argument development



Teaching staff



Christiana Liang

Unit Coordinator

Email address: [email protected]


Edward Hudson

Lecturer, Tutor

Email address:[email protected]


Reyaz Jeffrey

Lecturer, Tutor

Email address:[email protected]

Unit profile

You should read the Unit profile from beginning to end, contact your lecturer or Unit Coordinator if you have questions or bring your questions to class


Assessment Overview


Assessment 1: Practical and Written Assessment-Article Review Assessment 2: Written Assessment- Reflective Essay Assessment 3: Presentation and Written Assessment
 30%  40% Presentation 15% Essay 15%
Due week 4 5.00 PM on Monday, 30th. July, 2018 AEST Individual Due week 10 5.00 PM on Monday, 17th. Sept. 2018 AEST Individual Presentation due in week 11-12 Essay due in week 12, 5.00 PM on Monday,1, Oct. 2018 AEST Group

Visit Moodle for further details

Detailed descriptions and marking rubrics for each assessments are available on Moodle under the Assessments Tab.

Just a quick summary:


Assessment 1 requirements


Assessment 1: Practical and Written Assessment-Article Review
Due week 4 5.00 PM on Monday, 30th. July, 2018 AEST Individual

A list of articles are available on the unit’s Moodle site for you to choose from. You will then write a critical article review based around your responses to the following questions.

Critical Analysis

What is the background of the research? (Background)

What is the research problem? What do we know about the research problem? What do we not know? (Research objective and literature review)

What are the core research questions the article addresses? Why are they important to address? (Research questions)

How was the research conducted? (Methodology)

What where the major findings? (Findings)

What are the significance of the findings for future research or management practice? (Significance/implications)

Critical evaluation

In your view, are there any limitations with this research?

What are some of the assumptions that the authors have made in this research? Do you agree with them?

What is your overall evaluation of the article's effectiveness and credibility?

Assessment 2 requirements


Assessment 2: Written Assessment- Reflective Essay
Due week 10 5.00 PM on Monday, 17th. Sept. 2018 AEST Individual

Minimum number of concepts/theories/themes (from week 1-9) required to pass: 6

To successfully complete this assessment task, students should answer the following reflective essay questions:


Which concepts/theories from which week’s learning activities are significant or important to you?

Why are these concepts/theories you have identified important or significant to you? (Theoretical review)

How are the concepts/theories you have learned influencing/impacting your decision-making in relation to your current interpersonal relationships, professional workplaces and/or personal life? (Practical Application)

What have you learned about yourself through the unit activities? What skills do you possess and what skills are you lacking? How are you going to improve your decision-making in the future? (Self-knowledge and self-development)

You should tie all your arguments/insights together at the end of your paper, highlighting how you think you will be able to use your learning in your future career and in life generally.

Assessment 3 requirements

Assessment 3: Presentation and Written Assessment
Presentation 15% Essay 15%
Presentation due in week 11-12 Essay due in week 12, 5.00 PM on Monday,1, Oct. 2018 AEST Group


As a group, you are expected to choose any one of the following debating topics.

Innovation is more successful in small companies.

Technological change creates economic disparity.

Corporate Mission and vision statements are a waste of time and energy.

Boards of Directors need quotas for women.

Women employees should put their focus on their families rather than their career development after marriage.

Employees should not be given a voice at workplace because it generates problems for the management

Education kills creativity

Emotional intelligence is more important than technical capabilities in a manager

Regulation is stifling business

MBAs are a waste of money

Ethics and business are not compatible

People who are smokers should not be employed

People who are working in the same company should not have romantic relationships with each other

CEOs deserve the big salary package that they get

Globalization has exacerbated poverty rather than alleviating it.

You will need to organize your arguments into an argumentative essay. Then you will need to put on a presentation/debate/show in class illustrating the entire arguments featuring both sides.

Start formulating groups now…

3 students per group


Group Number Group members Student ID Mobile number


Attend workshops

Not afraid to speak and engage in all classes

Take ownership, complete the readings and activities

Put effort into your assignments (Pull your weight in group work)

REFERENCING!!  Academic Misconduct

Assignment Extension

Find out Support available to you (e.g., Academic learning center)




Unit Profile: READ IT!

Unit schedule

Assessment and assessment procedures

The workshop structure

Learner-centered learning philosophy [role of tutor; responsibility of learner]

Proactive and interactive

Moodle: USE IT!!!

Lecture notes, assessment information (marking criteria), APA manual, readings, deadlines!

Assignments submission (All in-semester assignments)


Week 1. Learning Objectives

What is critical thinking?

What is a statement?

What is an argument?

What is argumentation?

Logic of argument

What are premises and conclusions?

How to recognise premises and conclusions?

Implicit premises and conclusions

Critical thinking defined by Kallet


Introducing the Unit


What is critical thinking in your opinion?

Critical thinking in University context


Following Alexander, Argent & Spencer that we remove the problematic term, critical thinking, and simply see this as thinking, but as a style of thinking that is questioning and transformative.

This kind of thinking, valued in university settings, is also a thinking that reflects and considers its own basis, its background and its reasons as well as considering these things in others' thinking, a thinking that seeks to make original connections between ticks and points of view, but always supported by reasons and evidence, and a thinking that aims to be objective and free of personal bias.

Wrestling with an idea, and expression of the idea

Multiple perspectives, how your idea overlay with them

Ability to scrutinize the relation between evidence and claim

Self-critical, personal biases etc.; method critical

the ability to think systematically and objectively through decision making processes and problem solving processes.


Define Critical thinking

---A ‘slippery eel” (Molinary & Kavanagh, 2013)




Three linked terms

Critical thinking



While critical thinking is more related to thinking and learning, argumentation and argument are more closely related to communicating critical thinking to others.


What do arguments consist of?


What the author wants you to believe

Signal words: hence, thus, therefore, so, consequently, as a result…

Can be either beginning or end of the argument


Statements that are used as evidence

Signal words: because, since, due to…


Important concepts in Critical thinking

Argument disagreements

Argument = presenting a set of reasons that show that a conclusion is correct or valid, in other words, the smallest observable unit of critical thinking.

Argumentation= process of linking arguments together, or taking a certain position or stance in relation to a topic. This position is one supported by critical thinking.



Argument: An attempt to defend, validate or explain a conclusion using specific reasons or evidence.

Are the following statements arguments?

1. I like CQuniverisity.

2. I do not like being a vegetarian.

3. She is late because she missed the tram.

4. The unit is practical, interesting, hence, I recommend it to you.

5. It is a common held belief that female students work harder than males.


This is actually a statement, not an argument. An argument must have premises and conclusions.







A statement is any sentence that is either valid or invalid. For example, the sky is blue. Your blood is purple.

It is not a question, nor instructions. E.g., have you eaten yet? Wake up!

Statements can function as either premises or conclusions. 



“Students already have enough work to do. What I really mean is that students do not have to face the difficulties of homework. Teachers should not give out homework because students cannot spend time with their family, students have no time to have fun and students have responsibilities to do at home”

source: http ://

Which one is the conclusion?

Which ones are premises?


Brainstorm with the class

What makes an argument stronger?


Strong argument use structure of Logic

Premise 1: All international students are foreign.

Premise 2: Patel is an international student.

Conclusion: Therefore, Patel is foreign.

Logic structure:

All A are B,

C is A,

Therefore, C is B.






Argument=conclusion + reasoning you have used

The conclusion is only as strong as the evidence/reasons you have used.

In formal logic, if premises are valid, conclusion must be valid. If any of the premises are invalid, the conclusion will be invalid.


Implicit premises and/or conclusion


When premises and/or conclusion is left unsaid, because it is common knowledge, or implied by the situation or when we do not want to overstate the point.

All ads are arguments with conclusion: Buy this product

Introducing the Unit

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence

Conscious and deliberate

With purpose

Involves being critical of your own thought processes

Best processes or tools are used to aid thinking

Objective is to make better decisions than if just used “gut feel” to inform decision-making


Kallet’s definition

Purposeful method for enhancing your thoughts beyond your automatic, everyday way of thinking. It’s a process that uses a framework and tool set.

Some examples?

What have you learned to do in your working/student life that was improved by critically thinking through a problem?

Context: Thinking about problems and critical issues in the wider world,


Benefits of critical thinking


Clear understanding of the problems of situations

Faster and accurate conclusions and quality decisions

A richer variety of explanations and solutions

Opportunity recognition

Mistake avoidance

Thought-out strategies and early elimination of dead ends







Clear headscratcher (more serious thought and/or process required)

Problem, Issue, or Goal (headscratcher)

Reach conclusions abut the headscratcher (Solution + To Do)

Make a decision (take action on a conclusion)

Automatic versus critical thinking





Critical Thinking




Automatic Thinking

Weak foundations for decisions, less time getting clear, and more time needed for decisions

Strong foundations for decisions, more time getting clear, and less time needed for decisions

Section III: Conclusions

Section IV: Conclusions & Innovation

Section V: Decisions

Section II: Clarity

Critical thinking framework: The textbook





Discovery information and ideas


Critical thinking framework: This Unit




Week 1: Module 1: Introduction to critical thinking

Week 3: Module 1:

Accessing and synthesising information, and forming views

Week 2: Module 1: Framing and scoping

Week 4: Module 2:

Understanding and development of self

Week 5: Module 2:

Making major decisions

Week 6: Module 2:

Balancing rational and non-rational approaches

Week 7: Module 3: Decision-making in uncertain or difficult situations

Week 8: Module 3: The nature of the contract

Week 9: Module 3: Working collaboratively

Week 12: Module 4: Managing for all