MPH5281 - Management theory and practice - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Susannah Ahern


Professor Ian Rouse

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • Winter semester 2019 (On-campus)


The overall aim of this unit is to introduce experienced managers, clinicians and researchers working in healthcare to the key principles of management theory, and how these may directly apply to management practice in a healthcare setting. In the current era of evidence-based practice, a sound knowledge of management theory supported by evidence is essential for managers and clinicians of the future to succeed as healthcare leaders.

In this unit, students will explore the concepts of leadership and management, group and team functioning, motivating staff including through appropriate job design, frameworks of conflict management and decision-making, and the importance of navigating organisational culture including power and politics in successful leadership. These concepts will be explored from case studies arising both within and external to the health sector, and students' understanding will be developed through reflection on the relevance and application of these theories to their work role and organisation.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Analyse and apply contemporary management theory and research to current organisational issues.
  2. Critically evaluate the personal challenges involved in becoming a new manager in a healthcare organisation in today's world.
  3. Evaluate the role of ethics and social responsibility of a manager in the context of the culture and behaviour of an organisation.
  4. Critically reflect on the importance of the contribution of the individual, the team and the organisation to the effective performance of a contemporary healthcare organisation.
  5. Identify and critique techniques for improving decision making in a complex healthcare environment.


  • Critical reflections (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Proposal (600 words) (10%)
  • Literature review and action plan (1,500 words) (25%)
  • Report (2,100 words) (35%)

Workload requirements

Delivery is proposed to be multimodal and will comprise:

9 hours of teacher-directed learning activities per week, and 9 hours of self-directed study per week over a period of 6 weeks, plus 4 compulsory on-campus Block Days.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study