Management in practice in RMIT College

Management in practice in RMIT College

1.      Research question

 2.1. Whys approach

Why is RMIT college not competitive in higher education?

RMIT is yet to venture in desired higher education programs in Singapore


Why has RMIT not ventured in desired higher education?

The institution experiences challenges in keeping up with the evolving technology and emerging business practices.


Why do new and evolving technology challenge RMIT?

RMIT face deficiencies in technology knowledge and expert skills to manage emerging business practices.

Why does RMIT lack technology expertise?

The presence of traditional practices and the inability to adapt to modern skills contribute to technology deficiencies.

Why there are traditional business practices in RMIT?

RMIT fails to recruit skilled personnel’s and has not adopted a learning culture for the workforce.

Table 1: Derivation of the research question

The “5 whys” problem-solving strategy analyses the root cause of RMIT reduced competitiveness, illustrated in assignment 1. The reduced competitiveness in the higher education industry results from the institution lack of advanced technological knowledge required to manage efficiently desired programs for higher education. The high demand for advanced education programs in Singapore challenges RMIT competitive advantage. Based on the “5 whys” strategy, RMIT problem stems from lack of technological-oriented workforce and the absence of a learning culture in the institution. The absence of skilled workforce challenges the institution ability to venture to higher education programs, and result in reduced competitiveness in the education industry.

2.2. Research question

Research question: How should RMIT gain a competitive advantage in the education industry with a skilled workforce, to invest in the high education programs Singapore?

Unskilled workforce and lack of innovation contribute to RMIT competition challenge and technology disruptions. This report focuses on RMIT inability to acquire skilled technology staffs and enhance learning organizational. The assignment addresses how RMIT can empower its existing teams to adopt a learning culture, and develop customized strategies to recruit and maintain qualified employees to generate relevant education programs to students, and meet the demands in the education industry. Innovation will gain RMIT a competitive advantage over other institutions since developing industry-demands programs will position RMIT in the minds of students and potential staffs as an innovative and technology-oriented institution.

In the current decade, an organizational culture that is focused on learning and has creative workforce that spreads knowledge to each other has the potential of remaining relevant. Nevertheless, the organization must embrace innovation and recruit qualified and experienced staffs to transmit learning from a personal level to organization level (Crossan, Lane, & White 1999). Innovation and skilled workforce drive an institution for a constant dynamic process, and adaptation process to remain and compete in the current globalized environment. The qualified and experienced workforce can meet the current dynamics and create a solid base for innovation in RMIT and gain a competitive advantage.

Importance of a learning culture and skilled workforce to RMIT

Singapore is relatively a small country with limited expertise (Wah, 2015). Recent studies reveal that Singapore will have at least one million skilled workforce shortages (Chia yan min, 2018). The insufficient skills in Singapore contribute to organizations hiring less-equipped workforce, which diminishes the chances of innovation and learning culture. Skilled workforce deficiencies subjects firms in Singapore to competition vulnerabilities. This leads to intense competition for the skilled workforce; hence an organizational culture that is learning oriented becomes a differentiating factor for organizations such as RMIT. It enables production and innovation of customized strategies to compete with firms in a skilled workforce. Thus, acquiring a qualified workforce and creating an organizational culture that is learning oriented will enable RMIT to remain relevant and competitive in the education industry, and be innovative enough to develop active education programs that meet the needs of students internationally. Moreover, a learning culture contributes to RMIT growth and innovation by generating new technical skills, knowledge, knowledge transfer and adapting to the evolving technological environment (Meskill, 2010).

The primary challenge faced by RMIT College of business as identified in assignment one is technology disruptions. The issue arises due to lack of skilled resources in RMIT College. Due to the dire need for a modern higher education programs in Singapore, RMIT College must adapt to the evolving technology to enable development of active programs, and reach out to its potential students around the globe. Thus, RMIT College must recruit a skilled workforce, or coordinate and put into practice a learning culture through obtaining proper skills and transform it into knowledge to bridge the skills gap with their human resources. A learning culture will enable the skilled workers to transfer their knowledge and effect innovation from employees level to organizational level and ensure processes and innovation upgrade (Caroll, 1999).

2.      Key Theories

3.1. Organization learning theory to enhance innovation

Organization learning theory is an effective method of empowering and transferring knowledge in an organization, to equip workers with skills relevant to the changing environment. The organization learning model involves four processes used to enable workers to transfer knowledge from the individual level to the organizational level. Intuition, interpretation, integration, and institutionalization are the core process of the learning theory (Crossan et al., 1999).

An organization learning process is used to advocate for information transfer from the least employee to managers. Organization learning insists on the aspect of consultation where if a worker fails to understand a specific concept, then they engage in discussion from other workers to understand and, where necessary, the worker can solve arising issues. This model allows employees to interact with all members of the organization which promotes learning. The approach is solution oriented as it involves the gathering of information, transferring and interpreting it to produce innovative solutions (Zietsma, et al., 2002).

How it works in promoting innovation and creativity

The learning theory applies four processes to explain the transfer of information form one source to another in an organization. The learning process is initiated by intuition, to interpretation, integration and finally to institutionalization.



Figure 1: organization learning process



Intuition: In this phase, a person understands something without the need for reasoning consciously. Based on Crossan et al., (1999), intuition is the first stage of learning, since learning is a conscious procedure that happens either at an individual, group or organization level. According to recent findings, intuition is a process that is beyond pattern recognition. In this stage, a person uses metaphors and images to understand concepts and then transfer them to others. Metaphors and images play a critical role in information transfer to a new domain. Individuals reason their intuitions and then share them with others, hence transferring what they know for common interpretation (Zietsma et al., 2002). Sharing intuitions initiate the interpretation process.

Interpreting: This stage is more conscious since individuals get a chance to develop cognitive maps within their operations (Huff, 1990). Communication is vital in this stage as it empowers individuals to identify and explain their ideas. The information conceived at the intuition stage is interpreted, and different perspectives are expressed. Workers in an institution discuss their interpretations and suggestions which enhances everyone understanding. It is in this stage that a problem is collectively addressed and a ground level of knowledge is reached before turning to the integration phase.

Integrating: Coherent and collective action is emphasized. Conversations are held to establish meanings, or generate new definitions for collective thinking exercise and transform a conversation to quality thinking.  More understanding is created, and the formulation of new strategies to deal with the issue is generated. Discussions in this phase become the base for knowledge as a result of a collective mind (Crossan et al., 1999).

Institutionalizing: Learning gained by the individuals is then combined and transferred within an entire organization. It is in the institutionalization stage that all individuals in an organization acquire the conceived knowledge in the previous steps. The organization then manages the tension between the prior learning, and the newly designed knowledge, which enhances the development of new knowledge.

The relevance of organization learning to RMIT College

Higher education in Singapore is the new trend hence RMIT College of Business but technology disruptions hinders RMIT from venturing into higher education.  Organization learning model comes in helping RMIT deal with the technology challenge facing RMIT in venturing inot the desired higher education in Singapore. The model allows information transfer from individual to organization level which will help RMIT staffs identify emerging technologies, complexities, threats and business practices. The ability of the workforce to identifying new developments will empower RMIT to strategize effectively on the measures to incorporate to enable the organization to adapt to the new business practices and technologies and keep up with the evolving business trends and technology. RMIT through this model will build a united and innovative workforce and also impact qualified skills in the organization that will differentiate the institution from competitors and earn a competitive advantage as a result of skills advancement.

3.2. Design Thinking in acquiring skilled workforce

Design thinking in the modern world of business has become critical and an effective approach for organizations to introduce principles such as accessing skilled workforce. Design thinking involves leaning towards action-oriented thinking that focuses on understanding an organization needs, brainstorming, and putting forward the best skills into practice  (Cummings $ Angwin, 2015, p.124). The idea behind design thinking is to ensure flow of creativity and generation of solutions, and having the concepts aligned to consumers’ needs.

How it works in acquiring skilled workforce

Design thinking applies significantly to business processes as much as it is used in other practices (Sahay, 2014). The model involves five components inclusive of thinking-out, quick prototyping, user-centric, embracing constraints and refinement and learning.


Figure 2: design thinking procedure

User-centric: This means putting end-users in mind while designing workforce recruitment rules (Cummings & Angwin, 2015). The best way to stand out is to understand the skills required to attain organizational goals. It is essential to focus on potential employees’ skills while designing hiring rules.

Thinking-out: This means eliminating traditional concepts during reasoning. This is only possible when RMIT and other organizations involve their current staffs into defining arising needs and processes for them to remain competitive in the education industry (Cummings & Angwin, 2015).

Embracing constraints: RMIT should consider technology disruptions as challenges that they need to overcome.

Quick prototyping: identification of working solutions and building a back-up for ideas, and strategies to test them. However, a proper understanding of formulated concepts and exploring new solutions is vital for an organization to keep up with changing trends.

Learning and refinement: Companies join hands with new users or workers to develop solutions and test them. This step helps the organization in understanding their new workers.

Relevance to RMIT College

Design thinking has the potential to assist RMIT to devise rules to identify qualified personnel to incorporate in the organization growth and success since it allow the organization to set their concerns, challenges, and objectives (Maurer, 2017). With time RMIT will have acquired a skilled workforce, where the education industry will differentiate RMIT from competitors.

3.      Gaps in theories and supplementary methods

4.1. Design thinking

Design thinking identifies a problem from a perspective of the end-user and then test solutions with relevant parties in actual positions. However, the approach may be customer-centric since end-users are not always the customers and when looking for specific skills, the workers are the end-users. Thus focus on one side neglects the other (Bohemian, Liedtka, & Rieple, 2010). Moreover, hiring qualified personnel is critical in achieving organization goals. Thus, considering the value of both customers and workers, skills are critical in formulating a more comprehensive solution.

4.2. Supplementary method

      4.2.1. Mckinsey 7s model to bridge decision making gaps

Figure 3: Mckinsey 7s model

Effective coordination of organization internal controls can be achieved through considering mckinsey framework. The model focuses on both the employees and the consumers and the entire organization. It is essential for RMIT ability to implement and devise strategies to create a skilled organization that meets both the needs of consumers and employees. The model focuses on the following factors:

Style: leadership styles for the organization culture are closely linked and influence the behaviors of workers (Otelea, 2008). Organization culture and leadership style should coordinate to successfully create a skilled and empowered RMIT.

Structure: RMIT should ensure effective communication, reporting and authority distribution and flexible structures that strengthen teamwork. Besides, employees are able to voice their ideas and concerns with freedom which encourages and maintains openness and willingness to promote creative thinking. The 7s are therefore interlinked together to promote teamwork and freedom for staffs in an organization. Hence, the model used with design thinking works excellently in acquisition of skilled manpower that is creative and progress oriented.

4.3. Organization learning

The theory assumes that all organization participants are beneficial to organization culture. Nonetheless, there are those few individuals in an organization that are not beneficial and sometimes risks the company progress (Cummings & Angwin, 2015). Thus, it is vital for a firm to evaluate the benefits and endangers before engaging in this process. Some workers may not mean well for the company and can bias information for personal gains. In this case, portfolio management can be used to supplement the learning theory.

4.3.1. Approach management

Portfolio approach allows all the stakeholders, product and innovation process to be scrutinized before experimentation, which optimizes the growth and competitiveness of a firm. Learning process without portfolio management can sabotage creative thinking process and decision making of an organization structure (Tidd & Bessant, 2011). Using the portfolio management, RMIT can formulate a risk-benefit analysis on learning process they plan to adopt for collective decision making and growing the targeted skills in the workforce. Workers are vetted to determine their devotion in achieving organizational goals which eliminates the risks of acquiring workers with varying goals.

4.      Organizations with similar problem

IBM came into right few years ago to announce talent shortages, which decreased the company creativity levels in the company. David leaaser, IBM manager, asserted that reduction of skilled workforce affects the innovation ability of the company reducing its relevance in the business world each day. The manager established a “thinking time” to help employees develop necessary skills and enable creativity (Leaser, 2018). The strategy has enabled the company to impact the necessary skills in the technology evolving world of business.  RMIT College faces the same problem of acquiring skilled employees in the evolving technology, making it a challenge for the institution to venture successfully into higher education programs. To solve the problem, IBM advocates for a learning culture that will encourage creative thinking where employees will be given a “thinking time”. It is an approachable strategy to solving innovation deficiencies and boosting competitiveness.

5.      Conclusion

Learning and design thinking processes are theories that have the ability to assist in development of desired skills and innovation to enhance RMIT competitiveness, and boost its ability of becoming the choice for higher education by 2030. Nevertheless, design thinking model may unintentionally leave-out customers while emphasizing on desired skills. Furthermore, information bias can occur during the learning theory, leading to poor decision making and resources wastage. Mckeys 7s strategy and portfolio management can bridge the gaps and ensure that an organization approach aligns with its goals. Experience of the same challenge by another organization serves as a motivation to RMIT and sets clear pathways on what necessary while tackling the presented issue of technology disruptions due to lack of skilled workforce.

6.      References

Argote, L., (2013). Organizational Learning: Creating, Retaining and Transferring Knowledge. New York, United States of America: Springer Science Business Media.

Bohemia, E., Liedtka, J., & Rieple, A. (2012). Leading innovation through design. Proceedings of the DMI 2012 International Research (pp. 1-989). Boston: Design Management Institute. doi:10.13140/2.1.1055.9043

CHIA YAN MIN. (2018, May 4). Singapore will lack 1m skilled workers by 2030: study. Retrieved from

Crossan, M. M., Lane, H. W., & White, R. E. (1999). An Organizational Learning Framework: From Intuition to Institution. Academy of Management Review, 24(3), 522-537

Cummings, S., & Angwin, D. (2015). Strategy Builder (ebook ed.). Padsow, Cornwall, UK: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Retrieved September 6, 2018

Huff, A. S. (1990). Mapping strategic thought. New York: Wiley

Leaser, D. (2018, August 6). The Talent Gap: If it is real, what can you do? Retrieved from

Meskill, D. (2010). Promoting a Skilled Workforce. Optimizing the German Workforce, 42-66. doi:10.2307/j.ctt9qdd9p.7

Otelea, M. (2018). Organisational Culture. In V. Sima, Organizational Culture and Behavioral Shifts in the Green Economy (pp. 104-136). Hershey PA, USA: IGI Global. Retrieved September 5, 2018, from

Sahay, P. (2014). Design thinking in talent acquisition: a practitioner’s perspective. Strategic HR Review, 13(4/5), 170-180. Retrieved September 6, 2018, from

Singh, A. (2013). A Study of Role of McKinsey’s 7S Framework in Achieving Organizational Excellence. Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 39-50. Retrieved September 6, 2018, from

Tidd, J., & Bessant, J. (2011). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. New Jersey, US: Wiley. Retrieved September 12, 2018

Wah, J. (2015). Singapore and UNCITRAL. In T. Koh, L. L. Chang, & J. Koh, 50 Years of Singapore and the United Nations (pp. 152-158). Singapore: World Scientific. Retrieved September 5, 2018, from

Zietsma, C., Winn, M., Branzei, O. and Vertinsky, I. (2002) The war of the woods: Facilitators and impediments of organizational learning processes, British Journal of Management, 13 61-74.






SWOT analysis


International reputation for provision of higher education.

Have branches internationally.

Demand from international and local students.


Traditionally skilled workforce.

Lack of innovative organization skills

Inability to enhance higher education programs.


Sufficient resources; library and diverse programs.

Capacity to recruit skilled workforce

Ability to develop education programs in demand



Technology disruptions

Institutions with advance programs

Traditional business practices.


Issue: How can RMIT College of business improve its organization culture of learning, while coping with technology disruptions from evolving business environment, so as to enhance organizational skills and advance high education programs to achieve a competitive advantage in Singapore higher education industry?

Reflection assignment 1

What went well: I conducted an extensive research and analysis from different pre-viewed resources to back up my ideas and discussion. My analysis was based on facts and backed up by evidence and only minute errors are presented.  I executed my knowledge well and referred to various management theories. The theories were explained exclusively to ensure that their relevance was noted. The PESTEL, SWOT and Porter’s 5 forces and the organizational levels were important as they helped me identify the abilities and disabilities of the organization, which helped me in formulating a concrete and informative discussion. Moreover, the PESTEL and SWOT analysis helped in developing the research question as they analyze the internal and external part of the organization, hence creating an informative picture even for a stranger that have never been in the organization. Critical issues and strong points of the organization were understood clearly and I created my research question through the use of the PESTEL and SWOT analysis. In conclusion, my report was well-structured and it included all the in-text citations and references to reveal borrowed points.

What went wrong: In addition to well-done organizational analysis, I feel that some parts were limited with research and were based on assumptions. The research question was not well formulated and felt that it was not structured well in terms of the objectives it sought to achieve. Critical thinking was not applied to produce and communicate the problem with validity. Deep analysis of the SWOT and PESTEL was disregarded.  Overall, the analysis was weak and the evidence provided was limited to describe identified problem.

What to improve: I will work on providing a comprehensive analysis through breaking down my ideas into small parts. For instance, the analysis of the impact of technology disruptions and unskilled workers, I will identify all the affected areas and explain how the organization will be affected through provision of deeper details. I will provide more ideas and construct a comprehensive discussion and evidence to back up the ideas. Explaining the pros and cons of the identified gaps will enhance my report and solidify my discussion. Lack of enough resources to justify my ideas affected the validity of the report. Thus, I will put more effort in identifying relevant resources will strengthen my arguments. Furthermore, incorporating real life examples will also enhance my understanding on the real issue which is beneficial in putting forth appropriate ideas in my analysis and future assignments. Besides, I will ensure that my paper is well formatted and every borrowed statement are well reference and based on evidence.

The comments helped me to focus on improving every bit of my analysis through referring to wide range of data sources, apply relevant theories that are efficient and easy to elaborate and understand for my ideas, and more importantly ensure that my analysis is valid, relevant and original based on pure facts. My assignment 2 is well elaborated and enhances a flow of ideas that helps a reader to understand presented concepts. Also, it included extensive research which is properly cited and references provided for easier access of the main information used as reference. I also included a real life example that allows readers to relate well with the presented issue.