MGC3950 - Managing for sustainability - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Management


Mr Rodney Sarah

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit integrates 'systems thinking' concepts, tools and methods to help students understand 'managing for sustainability' as a dynamically complex whole system. If people do not have a concept of the 'whole system', the decisions they take can lead to unfortunate and unintended consequences. Conversely people who do hold a concept of the whole, of how a system's elements are interconnected though feedback to achieve a purpose, they can do very fortunate things to achieve positive consequences and outcomes. Enter systems thinking.

Managing for sustainability develops students' understanding and capacity to operate in dynamically complex systems. 'Systems thinking' abilities are combined with 'systems practice' tools and methods, including systems mapping and analysis techniques, in a methodology that is applied to a range of contemporary sustainability issues. Students will be able to conduct their own policy design and evaluation analysis and identify leverage points for improving sustainability outcomes. The unit prepares students with a range of skills to manage sustainability in a range of contexts and has wide application in organisations and communities, as well as in people's lives.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. compare and evaluate systems thinking with other approaches to understand complex sustainability issues spanning social, organisational and natural systems
  2. assemble and apply concepts, tools and methods of systems thinking, to model and analyse policy for sustainability outcomes
  3. design and evaluate policy decisions as applied to contemporary sustainability challenges from a 'whole system' perspective.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


96 credit points.