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MBA Handbook

Academic and Professional Skills for Mastering Management

Paperback Engels 2011 9780273749998
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"An absolutely vital resource for anyone doing an MBA. It will help you at every stage: before, during and after your MBA."  Alex Elferink, MBA student, Cass Business School, City University.

''I found the book invaluable in helping me to prepare for my own MBA studies and have always recommended it to prospective students wishing to embark on postgraduate studies in business and management." Daniel Ganly, MBA Director, Oxford Brookes University.

Undertaking any postgraduate management study is a big investment on many levels. The MBA Handbook, seventh edition explains what will be expected from you on a personal, professional and academic level and is designed to prepare and support you throughout your studies and on into your career. The book is clearly structured and simply written around the following sections:

Pre-course preparation - Decide which qualification is right for you and plan your time and your funds. Check your study skills are up to scratch and recognise your own strengths and areas for improvement.

Studying - Familiarise yourself with all forms of teaching and assessment used on your course. Find out what your lecturers are looking for and learn how to boost your grades.

Beyond your Masters - Reassess your objectives and your options and learn how to make the most of your new opportunities.

This successful text has been thoroughly updated to include:

·    New and updated activities, examples and exercises in every chapter to help evaluate your progress and put ideas into practice.

·    Increased number of mini-cases and real-life study and business examples integrated throughout the book.

·    New chapters and sections on plagiarism and reflective learning and writing, and expanded coverage of critical thinking and research.

·    Specific guidance for Distance Learning students, and extended coverage of issues relating to EFL and ESL students.

Visit the updated and expanded companion website for The MBA Handbook, seventh edition at www.pearsoned.co.uk/cameron for worksheets and self-assessment exercises.

Sheila Cameron has worked for the Open University Business School since its inception. She has been involved in its MBA programme since its earliest design stages in a variety of roles, including a period as MBA Director. Sheila is also the author of The Business Students Handbook.


Uitgever:Pearson Education


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1    Management, learning and the role of this book  

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

How to use this handbook

How the book is structured   

Chapter structure   

Planning your work on the handbook  



2    The nature of MBA learning

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

MBA origins  

Challenges to the traditional model   

A history of the MBA

Lessons for MBA design

Reflection and professional practice

Key MBA benefits  


Further information  

3    Your objectives for an MBA  

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

Your life as context

Learning aims for future career success

Developing objectives

Directing your efforts


Helpfile 3.1: Questions that may help you choose a programme

4 Creating a suitable learning context

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

Gaining organisational support

Gaining support from family and friends

Your MBA provider

Ensuring emotional support

Creating a place to study

Internet access



5    Personal management skills  

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

Assessing your personal management skills

Planning skills

Emotional intelligence

Managing stress

Coping with unavoidable stress

Developing assertiveness skills

Knowledge management

Seeking information: preparatory reading  


Further information  

Helpfile 5.1: Edit and format commands

6    Time management  

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

Making time for study

If the time is simply not there …

Basic time management principles

Putting principles into practice


Further information  


7    Managing your learning activities  

Learning outcomes and Introduction   

Creating time and space

Developing a study plan

Using study time effectively


Appendix to chapter 7: Exercises that can be used during study breaks

8    Learning and developing as a manager

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

What is learning?

What is management theory and why is it useful?

Learning model and metaphors

Learning styles

Single and double loop learning

Critical engagement

Reflection and professional learning

Reflective writing

Organising your file


Further information

9    Improving reading skills   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Efficient eye movement   

Increasing reading speed

Selecting reading material   

Choosing your reading speed  

Reading critically

Taking notes


Further information

Answers to exercises

10 Using diagrams   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

The importance of diagrams   

The magic management box  

Brain patterns or mind maps  

Relationship diagrams   

Rich pictures

Systems maps  

Multiple-cause (and other causal) diagrams  

Other diagramming techniques

Diagramming hazards   


Further information

11 Teamwork, leadership and learning

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Key communication skills

Active listening



Teams that work

Task and process

Behaviours seen in groups and teams

Choosing team members

Team formation

Practical aspects of team effectiveness

The dangers of group work  

Becoming a more effective team member

Developing your leadership skills

The role of informal groups

Action learning sets   

Virtual teams


Further information

12 Case studies, complexity and consultancy

Learning outcomes and Introduction

The place of case studies

Coping with cases  

A method for approaching cases  

From cases to consultancy  


Further information

13 Using numbers   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Diagnosing your current skill level   

Causes of difficulty   

Descriptive equations   


Understanding probability and statistics  

Making data more meaningful   

Distributions and histograms   

Bar charts

Pie charts  




Fractions, percentages and ratios  

Using equations   

Working with brackets  

Differential calculus  

Software for dealing with numbers  

Further skills development   


Further information

Helpfile 13.1: Cracking the code   

Answers to exercises   


14 Scoring well in assessment   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Challenges for students if studying abroad

Assessment in context

Common causes of failure

Assessment as communication


15 Writing assignments and reports   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Assignment planning  

Developing your material

Drafting written assignments  

Using report format   

Writing clear English

Writing for the screen


Further information

Helpfile 15.1: Glossary of terms used in examination and assessment questions

Helpfile 15. 2: Spelling (the right word)   

Helpfile 15.3: Punctuation and grammar   

Helpfile 15.4: If English is not your native language   

Answers to exercises   

16 Making presentations

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

The risks of presenting


Delivery technique

Visual aids

Handling questions

Dealing with nerves   


Poster presentations   


Further information

17 Passing examinations

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Types of written examination

Common causes of failure  

Exam preparation   

During the examination


18 Other forms of assessment   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

The reasons for alternative approaches  

Portfolio assessment  

Assessment centres  

Viva voce examinations   


19 Projects, theses and dissertations   

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Characteristics of management research

Stakeholders in your dissertation   

The importance of topic

Generating possible topics

Topic selection

Your formal proposal(s)

Literature search

Primary data collection

Focus groups


Research methodology and approach

Ethical considerations

Project management

Writing up


Further information


20 Beyond your Master’s …

Learning outcomes and Introduction  

Lifelong learning

Reassessing objectives and options  

Developing your ‘brand’


Making an effective job application

Internet recruitment

Going forward  


Further information  

References and bibliography



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