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DCU Business School, home of the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and the Leadership & Talent Institute, has further strengthened its position in the latest Eduniversal Best Masters rankings, with 4 specialist Master’s degrees ranked within the top 30 in the world.

The Eduniversal Best Masters rankings, which rates Master’s degrees on reputation, student satisfaction, and employment prospects, placed theMSc in E-Commerce in 18th position, the MSc in Emergency Management in 24th position, the MSc in Human Resource Management in 26th position, and the MSc in Accounting in 28th position, in their respective subject categories.

Dr Anne Sinnott, Executive Dean of DCU Business School puts the success down to DCU Business School’s research informed teaching and extensive industry links. “The latest rankings show that we are not only ranked among the top global universities but leaders in specialist areas like E-Commerce and Emergency Management. This ensures DCU Business School students are graduating with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills ready for the global marketplace”.

The DCU Executive MBA and MSc in Finance were also ranked within the top 100 in their categories. Eduniversal rates the academic excellence and quality of 4,000 programmes in 30 fields of study across 1,000 academic institutions in 154 countries, with final rankings determined through a survey of 5,000 international recruiters and 800,000 students.

To find out more and apply for our next intake in September visit our postgraduate listing

Picture the scene.  You’re sitting opposite your boss in the end- of-year performance review meeting.  It’s been a big year for you; you’ve worked really hard and you and your team have delivered great results, in some areas even exceeding targets despite a very difficult business climate.  Your boss looks up and smiles.  “You’ve done a great job this year Brian” she says “I am going to put you down as a 4”.  “A 4!” you cry indignantly “why not a 5? .  “Now you know that nobody really gets a five here…..”.   After further pointless argument you leave the room, determined to reduce the time and effort you put in next year.

The experience described above is not atypical; for many years an end of year appraisal — in which a numeric rating or descriptive equivalent on a scale is communicated from managers to their direct reports — has been the key event in the annual performance management calendar.  The ratings were perceived as a requirement for demonstrable compliance with employment legislation, especially if a problem arose with a particular employee.  Ratings were also perceived as providing “objective” inputs on which important remuneration and promotion decisions could be based and defended.

Once ratings were accepted as necessary, a substantial consulting industry arose to help organisations design and implement their own performance rating process.  Reports advised the adoption or change from five point scales to four and back again, and from numeric scales to descriptive equivalents – e.g., a 3 becomes “meets expectations”, a  4 “exceeds expectations” etc.   Significant resources were allocated to training and retraining managers to implement these processes.   While all of this was happening, academic research focused largely on studies of what rating systems and processes worked best, while too few studies looked at the bigger question of whether ratings should be used at all.

2015 has seen some really important changes in attitudes to performance ratings, in what may become an irresistible trend.  Most recently, HBR reports that “The move away from conventional, ratings-based performance management continues to gain momentum.  By November 2015, at least 52 large companies had shifted from the practice of once-yearly performance appraisals; estimates are that hundreds of other companies are considering following suit. A wide range of industries are represented.”

Ironically, the catalysts for this rethink have been Deloitte and Accenture, two consulting firms who would have been to the fore in the provision of advice on implementing ratings in the past.   Accenture have completely abandoned annual performance reviews for their 330,000 employees with immediate effect, confirming that “We’re going to get rid of probably 90 percent of what we did in the past”.   Deloitte announced in a HBR article in April 2015 that “we realize that our current process for evaluating the work of our people—and then training them, promoting them, and paying them accordingly—is increasingly out of step with our objectives”.  Both firms say they are adopting new processes that will involve more frequent feedback –“nimbler, real-time, and more individualized—something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past.”

There seems little doubt that few will shed a tear if the types of meetings described in the introduction become a thing of the past.  As researchers, we can’t but be excited about finding ways to make the performance management process more relevant to today’s business needs.  Of course, there is always a danger that those who embrace these trends without due consideration may be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It’s worth remembering  that there is substantial research evidence to support retaining key aspects of the performance management process such as goal setting, where research clearly shows that employees who are working to achieve specific, challenging but achievable goals will be on average 16% more productive than others doing the same work, in the same conditions but without such goals.

Watch this space.

Dr John McMackin is a lecturer in our Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology group in DCU Business School. He holds an MBA from Columbia University, New York and a PhD from the University of Oregon. His area of research is around change management, leadership development and strategic innovation.

For more details about the DCU Executive MBA, currently accepting applications, please visit the DCU Executive MBA course page.

Dr Janine Bosak, Senior Lecturer in the HRM and Organisational Psychology Group at Dublin City University Business School, has been awarded the prestigious James M. Flaherty Visiting Professorship by the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF).

Dr Bosak will teach and conduct research together with Professor Denis Chênevert at HEC Montréal, one of the leading Business Schools in Canada, on the topic of reducing costs of burnout for individuals, patientcare and hospital performance using evidence from Canadian and Irish hospitals.

The ICUF aims to encourage and facilitate links between scholars in Ireland and Canada. As part of this the ICUF supports up to two Irish professors of any academic discipline travelling to Canada and up to two Canadian professors of any academic discipline travelling to Ireland.

As we approach the end of 2015, we look back on some of our highlights on our Executive MBA programme. Why not take a look here!

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The greatest tragedy in life is that we only understand it backwards yet we must live it forwards – Kierkegaard

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A metaphor commonly used to represent organisations is that of an iceberg. The part of the iceberg we can see,  that piece above the water line, represents the formal aspects of organisations – its rules, procedures, practices, reward system, protocols etc.  These are regarded as the rational aspects of an organisation. The piece below the waterline is made up of those elements which are less objective in nature, more open to interpretation and considered as the informal side of organisational life.  These include cultural norms, patterns of behaviour and the attitudes, values and emotions of employees.

Manfred Kets de Vries, the Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development and Organisational Change at INSEAD, and rated by The Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist among the world’s top 50 leading management thinkers has long been an advocate of exploring organisations ‘below the waterline’. He regards the more common approaches to understanding organisations as often inadequate oversimplifications and proposes that we ignore other elements at our peril [1]. The danger, he suggests, lies in perpetuating patterns of dysfunctional and problematic behaviour because their roots lie below many executives’ level of conscious awareness and may ultimately cost the organisation its livelihood. Many other experts agree that these are among the  casual factors behind many corporate failures including the downfall of Enron, Parmalat and Long Term Capital Management [2].

To address this issue and avoid such outcomes, Kets de Vries applies a clinical paradigm in his 30+ year career of working with blue-chip multinational organisations and their leaders.  This means he pays attention to three issues.  Firstly, he considers the critical role of a leader’s ‘inner theatre’ as the starting point of many of their actions and decisions. This ‘inner theatre’ constitutes the script by which we understand ourselves and which acts as a guide to our interaction with others.  Evolving through early interactions with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other influential people, it constitutes the foundation of an individual’s personality and sets us up to engage in certain ways with the world.  The problem is that many leaders are oblivious to this ‘script’ which has shaped them as it commonly operates below their level of conscious awareness.  They fail to recognize that patterns of behaviour acquired in the past, which may have been functional then, are dysfunctional now but continue to strongly influence present and future behaviour.

Secondly, he encourages us to recognize that there is rationality behind every act of irrationality.  Somewhere, somehow, seemingly irrational behaviour makes sense for the individual. The job of leaders is to identify the source of their irrational behaviours, interrogate them deeply and use the insight gained as a starting point for developing more functional approaches to the world.

Thirdly, he emphasizes the role of unconscious drivers of behaviour. This psychodynamic approach to organisations (enacted professionally by members of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations, of which Kets de Vries was a founding member in 1983) acknowledges that people are complex and contradictory and that their behaviour is a function of multiple, often contradictory, influences. It recognizes that workers are subject to unconscious, unresolved conflicts that they carry with them which then play out in the relations and interactions workers have with each other, often with problematic consequences.  Modern neuroscience has confirmed the role of the unconscious in our behavior with studies illustrating that decisions originate in the unconscious [3]. As the human brain can only consciously process 40 of the 11,000,000 pieces of data it is bombarded with every second, a question remains concerning the impact of data below our level of conscious awareness [4]. Thus the psychodynamic view rejects the purely rational and economic view of work and encourages us to acknowledge that statistical analysis of big data does not tell us everything we need to know about the behaviour of people in organisations.

However, few organisations welcome attention to such matters. They prefer to regard themselves as rational and objective rather than consider these murkier domains as explanations for performance and effectiveness. But this paradigm has illuminated accounts of what may appear irrational behaviour  amongst some of the world’s most successful business leaders including Henry Ford, Samuel Goldwyn, Jack Welch, Michael Eisner, Conrad Black and Martha Stewart [5].

Kets de Vries encourages us to acknowledge that organisations cannot perform successfully if the quirks and irrational processes that are part and parcel of the leader’s ‘shadow side’ are ignored. In his work with global corporations, he encourages leaders to act as sleuths in making sense out of their behaviour and actions and to build a greater understand the critical dimensions that make up their inner script.  He advocates an approach to leadership that encourages reflection and leads to insight which can help them avoid getting stuck in vicious circles and becoming prisoners of their own past. Wise leaders, he says, realize the extent to which unconscious, irrational processes affect their behaviour. Those leaders who fail to take their irrational side into account, however, are like ships’ captains proceeding into icebergs where the greatest danger lurks below the surface.

On the DCU Business School Executive MBA programme, we hone the skills for practice that enable today’s leaders to inspire action through a two-year leadership and career development programme. Action-based projects, workshops, team and facilitator feedback, and self-reflection develop self-awareness of our participants’ leadership style. This process deepens emotional intelligence, enhances leader behaviours, and untimately leads to both personal and organisational success.

Find out more about the DCU Executive MBA here or email mba@dcu.ie

Dr Melrona Kirrane is an Organisational Psychologist and lectures predominantly in the areas of Organisational Psychology, including Selection and Assessment, Leadership & Decision-Making, Employee Well-Being and Change Management on our MBA programe. She maintains an active research agenda and is currently carrying out work in the areas of personality at work, successful change management changing and work-family conflict.



[1]Kets de Vries, M. (2001). The Leadership Mystique. Prentice Hall
[2] Long, S. (2007). The Perverse Organisation and its Deadly Sins.  Karnac, London
[3] Damasio, A. (2006). Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. Random House
[4] Wilson, T.D. (2009. Know Thyself. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 4, 384-389
[5] Maccoby, M. (2003). The productive narcissist: The promise and peril of visionary leadership. Broadway.

Down footballer Kalum King and former Dublin footballer Ross McConnell are the latest players to be awarded scholarships for the prestigious DCU Business School Executive MBA.

They follow in the footsteps of recent recipients of DCU Business School/GPA MBA scholarships, Fermanagh’s Chris Breen, Leitrim’s Rob Lowe, Westmeath’s David O’Shaughnessy and Dublin duo Coman Goggins and Barry Cahill.

Five county players in total have been awarded scholarships on this year’s DCU Business School Masters Scholarship Programme including Meath’s Niamh Lister who is the first WGPA recipient of a scholarship jointly funded by DCU Business School and DCU GAA Academy. Niamh will undertake an MSc in Business Management.

The five players being awarded scholarships will bring to 22 the total of GAA county players who have benefited from the scholarship programme over the last five years. Other notable graduates to date include Roscommon’s Tadhg Lowe, Leitrim’s Donal Wrynn, Kilkenny star Richie Hogan, Dublin’s Denis Bastick and former footballers Jason Sherlock and Justin McNulty.

As well as the two MBA Scholarships, two other county players, Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe and Monaghan footballer Shane Carey have been awarded Master’s scholarships to undertake MSc in Finance and MSc in Strategic Management respectively.

Speaking about the announcement, GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell said: “I’d like to congratulate all the players who have now commenced their various Masters Programmes in DCU Business School this year. I would particularly like to congratulate Niamh Lister on becoming the first WGPA recipient of a DCU Business School/DCU GAA Academy Scholarship.  These scholarships provide life-changing opportunities for the players, helping them in their personal development and to broaden their career opportunities. It is increasingly satisfying to consider that we are now celebrating the sixth intake under the joint scholarship scheme. I would like to wish all the scholars the very best of luck with their studies over the next 12 to 24 months.”

The Dean of DCU Business School, Anne Sinnott commented: “Our Scholarship Programme for GAA players began in 2010 in partnership with the Gaelic Players Association.  We are pleased that our relationship with the GPA will continue for the academic year 2015/2016.  This year we are delighted to announce that we have also partnered with the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) and for the first time will offer a scholarship to a Ladies Senior inter-county player.”

Chairperson of the WGPA, Aoife Lane added: “We are delighted to be associated with DCU, and particularly the Business School, who have so generously offered a postgraduate scholarship opportunity for WGPA members in collaboration with the DCU GAA Academy.  We are very grateful to DCU who have been so welcoming and supportive of our new organisation, which reflects their commitment to male and female Gaelic games in the University.  We look forward to working with the college into 2016 and beyond.”

DCU Business School’s mission is to educate leaders and professionals for the global marketplace. Through its teaching, its research and its engagement with industry, it proactively contributes to the development of individuals, industry and society.

DCU Business School is recognised nationally and internationally for the outstanding quality of its business education programmes.  Its teaching, learning and research activities are strongly influenced by the core guiding principles of relevance and excellence. Its programme portfolio is continually updated and expanded, and recent years have seen the introduction of a number of highly innovative programmes at Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate levels.

Applications for our full-time and part-time Master’s Programmes are now open for our September 2016 intake.

Dr Paul Davis, Head of the Management Group at DCU Business School has been awarded the 2015 International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management President’s Award.

This internationally prestigious award recognises Dr Davis’ major and extensive contribution to the development of the profession over many years.  He has led the IFPSM initiative to develop the Global Standard accreditation process and standard for education programmes at degree or equivalent level.  As Chair of the IFPSM Global Standard Board for 5 years, he has ensured that the standard has been developed, maintained its rigour and independence while ensuring that it remains relevant . Through Dr Davis’ leadership the IFPSM Global Standard is now accepted internationally as the benchmark against programmes within the procurement and supply management profession can be benchmarked against.

Dr Davis has not only offered his expertise but also his time on a purely voluntary basis over many years to the Global Standard project but also to the purchasing and supply management community globally. He has supported the association members of the Federation across the world particularly in Africa and Asia.

Mr Søren Vammen, IFPSM President, said that he was delighted that Dr Davis had been nominated to receive the award and he was thrilled to be in the position to recognise his professionalism and contribution to the profession.  Dr Davis commented, “I was delighted to receive this award.  It took me completely by surprise.  It is of course a great honour to receive the prize but it has only happened due to the great work and support of both past and present members of the Global Standards Board.”

On 13th October 2015, CIMA’s Student Recruitment Executive, Dr. Christopher Flood came to DCU Business School to present a joint prize to two BA in Accounting and Finance students, Brian Marsh and Mark Millar, who obtained the highest aggregate mark in the two second year Management Accounting modules, Management Accounting: Cost Systems (AC223) and Management Accounting: Planning and Control (AC224).

Through these particular modules students develop an understanding of the role and importance of management and cost accounting within an organisation, enhancing their ability to record, prepare, analyse, interpret, critically evaluate and use cost data for planning and control. Students also develop an awareness of actual management accounting practice and an interest in emerging issues in management accounting. DCU Business School is proud of its ties with industry and professional bodies and are delighted to be have CIMA present this prize.

We also welcomed the presentation immediately afterwards by Dr Christopher Flood on CIMA as a career and by Dr. Ruth Mattimoe, CIMA Advocate at DCUBS, to the MSc in Management (Business) stream and MSc in Management (Strategy) stream students on the recent award of significant exemptions from the CIMA exams. The event attracted great interest from these students.

 

DCU Business School Alumni are to hold the first in a series of half day workshop for graduates working in Finance and Accounting roles. The event will take place on the 8th October 2015 from 9.00am to 12.30pm in DCU.

The workshop will be delivered by three DCU Business School graduates who are in senior positions in BDO: Derek Henry (MBS Accounting 2002, BA Accounting & Finance 2001) who is Partner – Head of R&D Tax Services; Sinead Heaney (BA Accounting & Finance 1998) who is Partner in Charge Corporate Investment and Gavin Smyth (BBS 1998) who is Audit Director.

DCU Business School graduates who are members of the professional accounting bodies will be able to include attendance at this workshop as part of their portfolio when applying for CPD points. A certificate of attendance will be available on the day to all participants.

Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment, this event is open only to DCU Business School graduates and current Master’s students, and there will be no charge.

The agenda for the day is:

Accounting and Tax for Innovation – Derek Henry 

a)      Overview of the R&D Tax Credits Regime

b)      Accounting for R&D Tax Credits

c)       Update on the KDB

Funding – Sinead Heaney 

a)      Overview of the Development Capital Fund 

b)      Overview of EIIS tax efficient saving (old BES) 

c)       Getting you company investment ready 

Accounting and Company Law matters – Gavin Smyth 

a)      Overview of FRS102 and key reminders ahead of transition

b)      Companies Act 2014 – financial statement impact

Q&A 

Graduates can register via Eventbrite here.

PhD Scholar of DCU Centre for Family Business (CFB), Vanessa Diaz will present at The Academy of Management Annual Meeting, the premier conference for scholarly management and organisation. Ms Diaz is a co-author on the paper entitled Innovation Capability in Family Firms: An Integration Approach.

The Academy of Management Annual Meeting, attracting over 10,000 academics and scholars, will be held in Vancouver, Canada August 7-11th, 2015.

The paper, accepted in April this year, looks at a sample of 1,205 family SME manufacturing firms across Europe, and examines the impact of innovation on the future growth of these firms.  The authors review innovation in terms of technology development, operations, management and transaction capability.

The authors are Dr. Eric Clinton (Director of CFB), Professor Justin Craig (Adjunct Professor of CFB), Dr. Michael Dowling (Associate Investigator in CFB), Vanessa Diaz (PhD scholar of CFB) and Catherine Faherty (PhD scholar of CFB).

This year, Opening Governance is the theme of the 75th AOM Annual Meeting. The conference invites members to consider opportunities to improve the effectiveness and creativity of organisations by restructuring systems at the highest organisational levels.