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  1. Outline two methods for conducting cost-benefit analysis.
  2. Describe two creativity theories and their application to workplace innovation.
  3. Describe the diffusion of innovation theory and why a manager implementing an innovation may find this theory useful.
  4. Outline the concept of a learning organization.
  5. Explain the concept of shared vision as an important organizational learning principle.
  6. Explain the concept of team learning as an important organizational learning principle.
  7. Identify and discuss in detail five quality management and continuous improvement theories.
  8. Discuss the implications for businesses of Kotters 8-Step change model for transformational change.
  9. Explain the purpose of the ISO 9000 Standards for Quality Management and the standards that are included.
  10. Describe the concept of risk as identified in the Australia/New Zealand Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009).
  11. Describe the concept of risk management and outline the factors that make a risk management system successful and the factors that may inhibit effective risk management.
  12. In your own words, describe the seven steps in the risk management process as outlined in AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009.
  13. Identify and outline three different sustainability practices common in Australian workplaces.

Payback period and return-on-investment analysis

1.The two most important methods used for analysis include the payback period method of analysis and the return-on-investment analysis (Ferwerda 2014). It is the method using which the payback period is calculated, that is, the time required by the asset to generate returns equivalent to the amount invested in the asset. The return-on-investment analysis on the other hand determines the rate at which returns are being earned on the investment made on a particular asset.

2.One of the most important creativity theories that can be used in the context of innovation at work places is the theory proposed by Graham Wallas which has five stages including preparation, incubation, intimation illumination and verification (Anderson, Poto?nik and Zhou 2014). The next important theory of creativity that firms can use includes the theory proposed by Sid Parnes & Alex Osborn. This theory also comprises of four stages including understanding the problem, generating ideas, planning for action and acceptance finding.

3.The diffusion of innovation theory is one of the oldest social science theories and it describes the adoption of an idea or product or behaviour which is new in the society such that it is not a simultaneous process and spreads across the population amongst people who are aware of it and people who are not aware of the same (Scott and McGuire 2017). This process helps the manager to understand the features of the products that can be used for different parts of the population in the target market to advertise and sell the product effectively.

4.A learning organisation is essentially a firm that allows the employees to learn and grow and continuously evolves. There are generally five characteristics including Systems thinking, mental models, personal mastery, team learning and shared visions. A combination of these characteristics are believed to help the firm into an integrated and interconnected way of thinking (Bunea, Din and Popescu 2016). This form of a model allows employees to feel committed to the organisation and consider themselves to be a part of the same.

5.The aim of a shared vision in the firm is crucial for maintaining transparency in the organization and allows employees to share their ideas so that they can contribute in their own way to the firm in which they work. Further, it is the method in which the ideas and common interests are generated and shared. This method helps in creating a sensation of unity and commonality across different diverse and varied sectors (Alt, Díez-de-Castro and Lloréns-Montes 2015). It is one of the few strategies that help in creating a common purpose of improving the firm and helping the firm grow.

6.Team learning is one of the five important principles that constitute a learning organisation in a firm. It is focussed on increasing the skill set of the group as a whole. It helps the entire group to learn and solve problems together so that the problem solving speed and capacity of the firm increases (Siemens 2014). There are three major parts of team learning including personal mastery, system thinking and dialogue.  These help in improving the conversational skills of the team as a whole. This feature is specifically meant o improve the interpersonal skills of the team and use the strengths and weaknesses of the team members in an effective manner.

Creativity theories

7.Quality management systems are used by firms as a method for gaining customer trust and providing the best quality services to customers. It uses various tools and techniques in combination to improve the services offered and ensure that the services are of the best quality possible (Ross 2017). It also tries to provide the services on time. Total quality management is an important aspect of this system and tries to continuously improve the processes of the business by working in a proactive manner. Continuous Improvement thus requires evaluation of the process on a regular basis.

8.Change management is a very important and vital part of any organization that continuously needs to improve and grow. The eight steps of Kotters model include creating urgency, forming a powerful coalition, creating a vision for change, communicating the vision, removing obstacles, creating short term wins, building on the changes proposed and anchoring the changes in the corporate culture (Hornstein 2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now. These steps help the business to continuously change depending upon the needs of the customers and also maintain a stability at the same time which helps in generating enough returns and revenues. This model also ensures that the level of transparency is maintained across all levels in the organization and employees do not feel the stress and pressure of changing systems.

9.The purpose of the ISO 9000 Standards for Quality Management is to maintain and efficient system of quality management through the implementation of a quality system. The different series of standards include requirements, vocabulary and fundamentals and managing the sustained success of any organization (Hoyle 2017). The series of standards also include guidelines for auditing management systems.

10.As per (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009) the concept of risk has now changed to the effect or impact of uncertainty on the objectives of a firm from what was known as the chance of something happening that will impact the objectives of the firm. So now the role of managers has become two fold in which they will consider the risk of something that might happen and formulating tools and techniques that will ensure that these risks are mitigated (Shop.standards.govt.nz. 2018). The attributes of a risk management framework are also provided which will help managers with a framework that they can follow effectively.

11.The concept of risk management involves a lot of processes among which the most important is that of continuously changing and evolving processes so that the impact of any uncertain risk is minimized and even completely eliminated depending upon the circumstances. Risk management should also be a crucial and integral part of a firm’s governance principles and the possible risks should be considered as a part of the decision making process (Van Der Vegt et al. 2015). The major factors that cause interference in the path of risk management include increased tolerance to old functional structures and no outlook for causes of concern. The other factor include ineffective communication across different levels of the organization and lack of proper training and education.

12.The seven steps in the risk management process as framed by the AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 portray risk management to be an integral part of the operations of any firm. These processes tend to acknowledge any type of uncertainty and help in considering risks in an explicit manner. It helps firms to build a process that is well structured, systematic and timely at the very same time. It uses the information available in the best way possible ((Shop.standards.govt.nz. 2018). These management systems help in keeping up the values of the organisation and reaching the goals while reaching only limited obstacles. The risk management helps in forming well informed decisions.

13.Among the three sustainability practices identified in workplaces across Australia, the most common is that of diversity and inclusion (Benn, Edwards and Williams 2014). The other sustainable practices include usage of sustainable supply methods and ensuring that there is proper work life balance among these employees so that they consider themselves to be a part of the organization.

References:

Alt, E., Díez-de-Castro, E.P. and Lloréns-Montes, F.J., 2015. Linking employee stakeholders to environmental performance: The role of proactive environmental strategies and shared vision. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), pp.167-181.

Anderson, N., Poto?nik, K. and Zhou, J., 2014. Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of management, 40(5), pp.1297-1333.

Benn, S., Edwards, M. and Williams, T., 2014. Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

Bunea, A., Dinu, G. and Popescu, D.M., 2016. Organizational Learning versus the Learning Organization-Emerging Concepts Enhancing the Leadership Role. Valahian Journal of Economic Studies, 7(4).

Ferwerda, J., 2014. Cost-benefit analysis. Chapters, pp.1-1.

Hornstein, H.A., 2015. The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), pp.291-298.

Hoyle, D., 2017. ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook-updated for the ISO 9001: 2015 standard: Increasing the Quality of an Organization’s Outputs. Routledge.

Ross, J.E., 2017. Total quality management: Text, cases, and readings. Routledge.

Scott, S. and McGuire, J., 2017. Using Diffusion of Innovation Theory to Promote Universally Designed College Instruction. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 29(1), pp.119-128.

Shop.standards.govt.nz. (2018). [online] Available at: https://shop.standards.govt.nz/catalog/31000:2009(AS%7CNZS%20ISO)/scope [Accessed 26 Oct. 2018].

Siemens, G., 2014. Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

Van Der Vegt, G.S., Essens, P., Wahlström, M. and George, G., 2015. Managing risk and resilience.

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