Subject NRMT90017 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 26-Jan-2015
Teaching Period 09-Feb-2015 to 13-Feb-2015
Assessment Period End 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 28-Jan-2015
Census Date 09-Feb-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-Mar-2015

The subject will commence as an intensive one-week residential program involving high profile industry leaders and mentors as presenters. The 2015 residential school will be held at the University of Melbourne from Monday 9th February - Friday 13th February. Pre-reading will be required one week prior. A group presentation and an exam will be held in the residential school week. A follow-up essay is required after the residential week.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Mon - Fri during the residential week.
Total Time Commitment:

145 hours. Students will be required to attend the one-week residential and also to commit extra time after the residential for the follow-up assignment work. Students will be required to undertake some reading requirements during the pre-teaching period of this subject.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

To maximize rewards from undertaking this subject and to enable effective participation, students should have five years' experience in a working environment.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon
academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation
in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they
must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who
feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter
with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/
students email: disability-liaison@unimelb.edu.au


Assoc Prof Ruth Nettle



Subject Overview:

Agribusiness firms rely on organisational leadership as the basis for meeting the changing challenges of a dynamic workplace. Agribusiness managers will require an understanding of the trends, issues and constraints relevant to the agribusiness environment.

This subject focuses on the leadership role of managers in organisations involved in agribusiness. This includes the traditional role of management, and various leadership and decision-making models. In light of these models, the subject studies issues such as:

  • organisational culture and values
  • social responsibilities and managerial ethics
  • managing change
  • creativity and innovation
  • entrepreneurial behaviour

Additional material is examined as it becomes current and relevant. For instance, the notion of a character-led organisation that benefits the triple bottom line is an issue covered in this subject. Social, ethical and economic issues associated with leadership are also examined, as are strategic management and change. Students are encouraged to explore their own perceptions and experiences of leadership, and apply these to the real-life work examples examined in this subject.

This subject will cover:

  • Management versus leadership, the study of management and leadership, theories of leadership.
  • Trends, constraints and factors influencing management practice in agribusiness organisations. Organisational values, culture and environment. The global environment.
  • Organisational social responsibility and ethical behaviour.
  • The decision-making process, approaches to decision-making, rational decision-making, dealing with risk and uncertainty, group decision-making.
  • Operational and strategic planning and strategic management.
  • Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs versus traditional managers.
  • Understanding change, managers and change, learning organisations, creativity and innovation.
  • Explaining and predicting behaviour, employee attitudes and perceptions.
  • Informal and formal groups, work group behaviour and teams.
  • Leadership and agribusiness case studies.

Learning Outcomes:

The objective of this subject is to extend the participant's ability to:

  • understand the role of leaders and managers
  • assess theories of management and leadership
  • identify and interpret the trends, issues and constraints affecting leadership practice in organisations across land and environment industries
  • understand the importance of succession leadership
  • more effectively practice leadership in a range or organisational settings
  • Group presentations, 750 word summary and copy of PowerPoint presentation, due during the residential week (20%);
  • A two-hour written examination, due at the end of the residential week (30%);
  • One individual assignment of 2,500 words, due at the end of March, (50%).

Prescribed Texts:

Daft, R. and Pirola-Merlo, A. (2009). The Leadership Experience: First Asia Pacific Edition. Cengage Learning: Melbourne. ISBN: 9780170134835.

Recommended Texts:

A reading pack will be mailed to students prior to the residential week and will be available on the first day.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • A profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the ethics of scholarship
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • An ability to derive, interpret and analyse social, technical or economic information from primary and other sources
  • Awareness of an ability to utilise appropriate communication technology
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across a relevant discipline to solve problems in applied situations
  • Highly developed written communication skills to allow informed dialogue with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community
  • Highly developed oral communication skills to allow informed dialogue and liaison with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community.
  • Appreciation of social and cultural diversity from a regional to a global context
  • Ability to participate effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness
Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Food Science
Master of Agribusiness
Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Master of Agricultural Science
Master of Animal Science
Master of Food Science
Master of Food and Packaging Innovation
Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
Master of Urban Horticulture
Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
100 Point (B) Master of Agricultural Sciences
150 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
Agribusiness Specialisation
Climate Change
Climate Change
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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