The programme has a number of major themes or subject streams, which form the basis of the discussion which takes place during the common core seminars. The main themes running through the programme are:
Management of change
Learning and research methods
They are supplemented by inputs on topics relevant to the initiatives undertaken (eg operations, marketing, HRM etc.)
Stage 1: Action Learning
Recognising that people learn most effectively from the solution of real life problems, the emphasis throughout is on the application of what is being learned to the individuals organisation and job. In order to do this a high emphasis is placed on one-to-one personal tutoring and consequently the number which can be taken on the programme in any one year is limited.
Stage 2: Tutoring
From the outset, each participant is allocated a tutor drawn from the programme staff. It is the tutors job to help the participant pace themselves through the programme, to give guidance in reading and study, to help in the choice of topic for the action learning project and to give ongoing guidance in the research.
Stage 3: Ongoing Learning
Each month a set of tasks is completed by each participant using the ideas they are reading about to describe and analyse their organisation and job. These form the basic building blocks of each of the major documents submitted.
Stage 4: Strategic Initiatives
The initiative which forms the basis for the thesis is selected by each participant in consultation with his/her tutor and the Programme Director. While the theme is an individual choice, they will typically focus on strategic change, organisational structure change, or organisational process change. All projects will focus on management issues and problems, not technical problems.
Stage 5: Evaluation