While Ireland will not grace the stage at the world cup in Brazil, there is still an air of optimism around the prospects for the national team. This has been reinforced by the recent performance against Italy and Roy Keane’s apparent commitment to the cause. In building a solid foundation for the future, Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane could do worse than learning from some key managerial faux pas of the Giovanni Trapattoni reign.

Utilise the full pool of talent available to the best of its ability

There was a growing sense that Trapattoni did not fully engage the talent that was available to him (this included the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Keiran Westwood, James McCarthy, and Darren Gibson who warmed the bench for the entire Euro 2012 tournament). Even where he did pick different players he did not exploit their strengths by deploying them in their best positions. This oversight becomes all the more severe in the context of a small football country like Ireland, where the initial talent pool is already severely limited

Pay attention to detail and keep close to the action

Trapattoni was apparently fond of saying “they are little details, but the little details are very important”. Despite this rhetoric his lack of enthusiasm for attending premiership games and visiting football grounds was frequently commented upon.  Understanding the ebb and flow of a player’s performance in the full context of a game cannot be done remotely via DVDs; there is simply no substitute for being close to the action. Many will recollect the story of Jack Charlton visiting Oxford United to see John Aldridge play and being introduced to a player previously not on the radar called Ray Houghton.

Foster inclusiveness accompanied by a unified sense of purpose

From the early guitar incident with Andy Reid, Trapattoni’s reign was characterized by a growing tension, distance and frequent falling out with his own players. Man management was not Trapattoni’s forte. With the legacy of Saipan as the media benchmark for football bust-ups Trapattoni’s failures in player relations might at first seem trivial. However, the list known to have run-ins with Trapattoni’s suggests otherwise (Kevin Doyle, Stephen Ireland, Stephen Kelly, Marc Wilson, Stephen Hunt Kevin Foley, Darron Gibson, and Shane Long). Rather than constructively engage players for the Irish cause, Trapattoni frequently pursued destructive vendettas which fragmented relations. Stephen Reid was an early regular in Trapattoni’s line-ups but on-going injury problems led to his career being dismissed off hand by the Italian who commented publicly that it would be ‘very, very difficult’, for Reid to return to his best following a knee injury. There also appeared to be limited reward for loyalty or recognition of player’s allegiance and pride in playing for Ireland. Present for over 7 years in every squad when he was fit to play, Kevin Doyle received news of his omission from the squad for the double-header with Sweden and Austria via text message.

Understand the significance of the top management team

It is perhaps no coincidence that the successful years of the Trapattoni reign were those where Liam Brady held the position of Assistant Manager. With expertise on the workings of the FAI and Irish football, vast insights and experience into the English Premier league, coupled with an extensive football network Brady’s value to Trapattoni cannot be underestimated. Indeed, one wonders if in picking Roy Keane as an assistant Martin O’Neill is also attempting to leverage something similar by way of Irish expertise and public association.

Be open to change when required

Trapattoni remained committed to his cautious approach and tactics even when most commentators and fans called for, and ultimately the results mandated, change. He likewise remained loyal to players like Darren O’Dea, Glen Whelan and Paul McShane when their performances at international level were not always deserving of it. More often than not key tactical or player changes were the result of injury or retirements rather than a change in mindset. Notably, in those performances best remembered, including against Italy and France, it has been suggested that the players pursued their own desired approach rather than rigidly adhering to the Trapattoni prescription. Overall, Trapattoni cast a technical shadow over Ireland’s play which served to inhibit creativity and suggested a distrust of his players.

Of course there is an argument that the distance, or even arrogance, of Trapattoni may have been a reflection of a Keanite type quest for professionalism. There are cultural differences likely to be at play here also; Italian football is a patient, technical and slow burning candle, only intermittently lit with the type of gung-ho frenzied excitement or action that Irish fans might expect. Trapattoni also inherited one of the weaker teams of current times, while Thierry Henry had a huge hand in ensuring lady luck was not on his side. In years and in past success Trapattoni is clearly deserving of respect. Nonetheless his desired approach did not result in Irish glory and may have ultimately been self-defeating. For the fledging dynamic duo of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane the challenge is to embrace the key lessons from the Trapattoni reign by managing efficiently while also leading effectively.

Brian Harney is a Lecturer in Strategy and HRM at DCU Business School and Deputy Director (Knowledge) of the LInK research centre 

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The final week of term saw 48 groups of budding entrepreneurs enter the Dragons’ Den to pitch their New Enterprise Development ideas to a panel of experienced Dragons. A total of 25 Dragon’s, all DCU MBA alumni, sat in the Den over the three days. Companies represented included Irish Rail, Google and Netflix. Students in groups of 4 were given 7 minutes to present their innovative business ideas, followed by 7 minutes of gruelling questions from the Dragons.

New Enterprise Development is a year long final year undergraduate module that tasks students with creating an innovative product or service idea and putting it through the various stages of the new venture creation process including: concept development, feasibility analysis, market research, digital marketing campaign, financial planning, and finally the business plan presentation in the form of a Dragons’ Den.

A selection of some of the product/service ideas include:

  • Water preservation device for electrical showers
  • ‘5 a day’ nutritional children’s drinks
  • Multifunctional sandwich/wrap storage device
  • Non swish sports running bottle
  • All in one sterilised baby’s bottle with power supply
  • Dog detection GPS chip

The standard of all the student’s ideas was truly exceptional and numerous groups have gone on to win business plan competitions outside of DCU.

Congratulations to all!

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Paul Berney is the Co-founder, Managing Partner & CEO EMEA of mCordis with almost 10 years of experience in mobile marketing. Previously as Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Director of the EMEA branch of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Paul lead the MMA’s global marketing efforts and more specifically the activities involving more than 150 member companies in EMEA. Paul is a guest lecturer on our Digital Marketing Programmes

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t almost every presentation and meeting I have been to in the past 10 years people have asked me what do I think will happen next in mobile. My answer is normally to ask the person asking the question to think back five years or to when they got their first smartphone and ask if they could imagine the change it has brought to them personally? Could you have predicted five years ago just how much mobile has changed your life let alone how the functionality has changed. Think forward another five years from today and the possibilities of mobile seem almost endless.

Mobile or rather mobility is having a profound affect upon all of our lives: it has caused an enabled an irrevocable change in our behaviour. As an always on, always with us companion it has become our primary means of staying connected to the world. In the course of this, mobile has become the remote control of our lives, the connector between the digital and physical worlds and we are all becoming mobile consumers. This change is global. Very shortly there will be more mobile phones than people in the world and once we start the add in all the objects like cars, fridges, fitness trackers and everything else that is becoming connected, we start to see a world where mobility and connectivity are integral to our lives.

Mobile technology is constantly evolving and we are changing our behaviour as a result. I chose the world ‘evolving’ deliberately. Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” As we evolve into a mobile centric world you need to respond to that change personally and professionally. If you want your career or your business to thrive rather than just survive then your focus should always be on the behaviour not the technology. Think about what mobility means to your target audience? How is it affecting the way they behave? How is mobile changing their expectations? Remembering that those expectations and needs are not just built on their mobile interaction with you but on every mobile interaction they have.

What does this have to do with you? Well it means that it has become imperative for you as a marketer to understand mobility and to learn the skills you need to use it. Regardless of whether you think you are a marketer or whether marketing is in your job title, you need to understand how to connect, engage and influence your customers with and through mobile. These skills will become essential to everyone in business because as I already said, the changes brought about my mobile are irrevocable.

So I cannot tell you exactly how mobile is gong to change the world in the next five years. I can only advise you to look at the direction the world is going (towards greater connectivity and mobility) and the speed at which that is happening (fast!) and ask you in return, can you afford not to make mobile marketing an essential skill in your job?

If you are interested in studying Digital Marketing in DCU Business School, fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch:

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Programme Overview

The DCU Business School MSc in E-Commerce is a one-year full-time programme designed to produce the kind of e-business technologists, managers, entrepreneurs and innovators in greatest demand by the information economy today. It does this by providing students with a powerful combination of technological and business skills required by the growing number of technological companies both in Ireland and abroad. There are two streams, business and technical and a strong collaborative ethos across both streams is fostered through the extensive shared curriculum, interactive teaching modes and overall entrepreneurial and innovative orientation.

Students on both streams take a core set of modules such as web design, business modelling and process innovation, information access and e-commerce infrastructure in the first two semesters. Students on the business stream take modules in advanced business topics as well as some fundamental modules in computing. Students with a technical background on the business stream take additional business modules in lieu of the fundamental modules in computing. Students on the technical stream take modules in advanced security and encryption.

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What Modules will you Study?

  • Web Design & Development
  • Organisation & Management in the Networked Era
  • Business Process Innovation
  • Digital Business
  • Java Programming
  • Innovation & High Tech Entrepreneurship
  • Risk, Regulation & Ethics in E-Commerce
  • E-Commerce Infrastructure
  • Information Access
  • Networks and Internet

Throughout the programme, students will be given the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-world projects across the range of modules above. This may involve running an online marketing campaign, researching a commercial opportunity or international market entry strategy, compiling a business plan or applying some other business process or toolset.

Unique Programme Features

Students in the MSc in E-Commerce Programme will take the Practicum module over the summer months. This is where you will work in a group to complete a major practical project in lieu of an individual dissertation. It typically entails conducting business and market research and the prototyping of an e-commerce system or development of a software application. This is a great opportunity to apply all the learning that you will do over the year to a real-world case and will be a great asset on your CV upon graduation.

The MSc in E-Commerce is also part of DCU Business School’s Next Generation Management initiative. This starts with a pre-semester, week-long immersion course to provide students with the opportunity to develop the competencies required for successful management careers. The module focuses on four key themes: personal and career development; global and societal awareness; applied research skills; and digital media and communication. You will complete an applied learning portfolio based upon these themes through activities that you choose. Students have the flexibility to develop skills and knowledge in areas and industries they are interested in. The Next Generation Management learning portfolio has proven to be an excellent talking point for students in interviews and is highly regarded by our graduate employers.

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Major Fee Support

DCU’s MSc in Electronic Commerce programme has been awarded the prestigious EPAS accreditation. The accreditation recognises the quality of alumni of the programme and their career progression, the market positioning of the programme nationally and internationally, the curriculum content and delivery system, the extent to which the programme has an international focus, its balance between academic and managerial dimensions, and the appropriateness of the faculty who deliver the programme. As such, fees for this programme are reduced to €2,750 (2013/2014).

If you are interested in applying for this programme you can do so via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Alternatively, if you would like more information, please fill in the from below!


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Congratulations to Brendan O’Neill (Bachelor Business Studies 2010) who made a successful pitch on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den and secured an investment of €30k for his company The offer was made by Dragon, Eamonn Quinn who will take 30% share in the company. is an e-commerce platform for purchasing customised clothing online, especially for group orders, which allows individuals to log on independently to pay for their group garment. It is the first business to offer this service in Ireland and the UK.

Brendan is also an athlete and has won many national and international titles. While attending DCU, he won a silver medal at the 2011 Irish National Senior Cross Country Championships; was a member of Ireland’s first gold medal winning athletics team at the European U23 Cross Country Championships in Portugal in 2010; captured the Irish University Cross Country title in 2010 as well as the 5,000 meter crown on the track; is a three-time Irish Schools champion at 3,000 and 5,000 meters while attending St. Michael’s College; and also holds the Irish Schools record in the 3,000 (U17).

He has also enjoyed great success while studying at Florida State University including achieving 1st place in the 10,000m at the ACC Track & Field Championships in 2012 & 2013. He achieved runner-up finish at the ACC Cross-Country Championships in 2012 and captained Florida State Seminoles to win ACC Track & Field Team Championship in 2013 and to a 5th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Cross-Country Championship.

Brendan is currently working with Nike in Portland, Oregon but is returning home in early summer to work on his new business venture.

Click here to read more about Brendan’s Dragons’ Den experience.


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Recently students of the MSc in Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Management participated on Exercise Viking 2014 in the Curragh from April 2nd to April 5th.  VIKING 14 is a Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise in the “Spirit of Partnership for Peace” combining 6 different militaries, 13 different nationalities, 4 UN agencies and over 20 non-governmental originations.

The Exercise is built on a fictitious scenario, BOGALAND, involving several countries in deep crisis in the need of Joint Combined Civilian and Military Peace Support. The MSc students performed the role of the UNWFP and were the Logistics Cluster Lead in the exercise. As part of the exercise students experienced joint and interagency coordination challenges, performed assessments of the logistical needs of the humanitarian community as well as being responsible for the movement of food in the exercise.

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