Systemic Management Practice
Part-time management programme leading to a postgraduate or Master's degree
The SMP Programme in Context
It is widely accepted that the emerging global and digital economy and the increasing democratisation of society is fundamentally transforming the nature of work and the way it needs to organised and managed. Effective business decisions and management principles cannot be formulated on largely unconscious ideologies, emulating what other apparently successful organisations seem to be doing, or what has been done in the past and seems to have worked.
The Systemic approach views the organisation (and society in general) as an interdependent network of diverse human activities, the nature and direction of which are determined largely by the relationships between the people who constitute the organisation and the wider (and constantly changing) environment in which the organisation functions. Strategies and practices flowing from this worldview are therefore holistically and critically conceived and are cogniscent of the consequences for all stakeholders, their ethical implications and long-term viability and sustainability.
Grounded in current best practice theory, the SMP programme is also profoundly practical. The curriculum is organised so that participants develop their learning not only in the context of the course but simultaneously in their individual working contexts. A constant exchange of ideas and insights is promoted as participants work through contact modules, then return to work to apply their learned management concepts to their real-life projects or experiences.
Who Should do the SMP Programme?
Although the programme is located in the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, it is multi-disciplinary and is open to all disciplines and professions. The programme is designed to develop and refine critical and practical leadership and management skills for engineers, managers, organisational consultants, human resource professionals, community leaders and others in commerce, industry, the public service and NGOs.
SMP Programme Objectives
The Programme aims to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and techniques which will enable them to examine and enhance the effectiveness of their own leadership or management, and add further value to their organisation. Desired outcomes of the programme are that participants will:
- Acquire a critical awareness of the economic, political, social and personal dynamics which affect their own organisation and the business environment in general;
- Be able to apply their understanding of management and entrepreneurship principles and learned skills in their own work context;
- Develop their ability to make sound and informed decisions;
- Increase their effectiveness in working with people of different cultural backgrounds and values;
- Gain a professional qualification that will enhance current performance and career advancement opportunities.
The programme consists of two phases: a foundation year and an application year.
The Foundation Year consists of an orientation workshop and four twelve-week modules. Each module is structured as follows:
Week 1 Individual preparation
Week 2 Intensive contact workshops and symposium
Weeks 3-6 Individual projects in workplace
Weeks 6-12 Completion of individual action learning project and individual position paper, which evaluates and synthesises learning gained in the module and its implications for personal management practice
Orientation workshop - Team building and the introduction to core concepts and tools
Module 1 A critical systems approach to personal management practice
Module 2 A critical systems approach to organisations
Module 3 Project management; Development of an awareness of project management practices and the project management body of knowledge
Module 4 Planning new venture projects; Development of entrepreneurial thought; Making sense of the business environment
The Application Year
Module 5 A critical systems approach to managing context
Module 6 A systems approach to managing relationships
Module 7 Research assignment
Assessment is primarily based on group projects, individual action learning projects and individual position papers.
Prospective applicants are eligible for the programme if they:
- hold a three-year degree plus 5 years or more of appropriate managerial experience;
- in any other manner have attained a level of competence (minimum of National Diploma) and appropriate work experience which, in the opinion of Senate on recommendation of the Faculty, is adequate for admission as a candidate for the programme.
Applicants may register for a Masters degree and complete a 60-credit thesis in the Application Year or register for a Postgraduate Diploma and complete a technical report and other courses in the Application Year. They may then register for a Masters degree after the satisfactory completion of the Postgraduate Diploma (attaining above 60%).
Submit a detailed curriculum vitae with the general University of Cape Town and departmental application forms (available from the Engineering & the Built Environment Faculty Office); include the names and addresses of two referees; and submit a 300-word essay detailing why you want to participate in the programme. You may be required to attend an interview.
Please contact Mrs Susan Batho or telephone: 021 650 3231
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
University of Cape Town,
Private Bag X3,
Tel: 021 650 3231
Fax: 021 650 3240.