Professional Certificate in Management

I forgot to announce my completion of the Professional Certificate in Management.

In July this year I was awarded the Certificate, after completing B628, B629 and B690.

I loved the content of this course, especially management theory and marketing, both of which are highly relevant to me.

In terms of the finance content, I was already familiar with most of it, but it served as a useful refresher, and I was surprised to learn a few new things I had never heard of.

All in all, I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a formal management qualification that is recognised around the world.

B629 and B690

I heard yesterday that I passed the B690 exam for the Professional Certificate in Management, and that I also passed B629 with a pretty decent mark for my EMA. This means I have now completed and passed all necessary components to be awarded the internationally recognised Professional Certificate in Management.

Apparently, I’m going to receive the award in July this year. I’m not sure what form that will take, but I suspect it will just be an email confirming I have it!

Anyway, all the hard work on activities, TMAs, EMAs, day schools, the residential school, and the exam were worth it. 🙂

B629 EMA Done

Last night I completed my EMA for B629, which means the course is now over. I just submitted it through the eTMA system, and now have the long wait to endure while it’s marked.

This is something of a milestone, because it means there is now no more coursework to be done in my quest to obtain the Professional Certificate in Management. There is only the exam left now, for which I have the next six weeks to revise and prepare.

Revision isn’t really the correct term, because it’s not like a history exam where you have to remember dates or names. Prior to the exam the exam case study is made available to us so we have plenty of time to work out the problem, and analyse it in terms of course concepts.

However, I am going to ‘revise’ because I think the Professional Certificate in Management contains some truly great material that has helped me enormously as a manager. I’ve probably forgotten lots of it – particular from B628 which seems a long time ago now – so now is my change to get freshened up on everything again.

I’m planning to use this blog to help me make notes for revision, and also help me recognise which of the key course concepts have been most useful to me over the last year.

B629 and B690 workload

Well, I’ve done TMA02, and am now just five weeks away from completing my studies for B629 (on schedule). Another week or two after that, I’ll have completed the EMA and finished the course. Sadly, this learning diary (still stuck at week four) is obviously hopelessly behind, due mainly to the workload and my own crazy professional work schedule.

I’m also progressing through B690 (easy so far), with the third case study beginning to float around my brain, and the day school and exam for the Professional Certificate in Management looming in March and April.

I am now certain there isn’t any point in me maintaining a learning diary to support my studies, so I’m not sure whether or not I will carry on with this blog. I’d like to, but I now recognise that for me personally, there is no benefit in keeping a diary of what I have learnt. It doesn’t add value.

However, one idea I have is to change this blog into a notebook of the most profound things I have learnt from my OU studies in management so far, and perhaps keep it running that way as I continue onto other courses. Such an approach would allow me to keep the blog running, keep things fresh in my brain (very useful for exam revision), and also give me a kind of creed by which I can live my life as a manager.

When the study weeks have completed for B629 and the weekly activities are all done, I think I’ll have a lot more time for a month or two, which will give me a good opportunity to try this idea out while I revise for the exam.

B629 week four: Understanding and influencing customer behaviour

The title of this chapter held much promise for someone like myself, who has a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. My expectations were set very high by a title like that, and I must confess to being a little disappointed by the chapter itself – but there was some pretty good learning in there nonetheless.

The chapter kicked off by looking at the decision making process, beginning with recognising a problem and ending with coming to terms with a purchasing decision. I learnt a great term: Post-purchase dissonance. We all experience it as part of a decision-making process that goes like this:

  • Problem recognition
  • Information search
  • Information evaluation
  • Decision
  • Post-purchase dissonance

The chapter then went on to look at influences on customer behaviour, including personal, situational, psychological, and social influences.

It then went on to look at the organisational buying process, illustrating how the process is more complex, usually involving higher value purchases. Organisational buying behaviour has three main features:

  • Rational reasons for purchase
  • The need to justify
  • Limited choice

There are also different types of purchasing decisions within organisation buying process:

  • The re-buy
  • Modified re-buy
  • New task

When the chapter finally came to changing people’s behaviour, it described how attempts to change an individual’s behaviour is complex and complicated by a variety of external and internal influences. The behavioural ecology model was considered at this point.

Wrapping up the chapter was a look at who constraints and encourages customer behaviour. It is helpful to distinguish a number of different, influential roles that people or organisations play:

  • Initiator
  • Decision-maker
  • Purchaser
  • End-user

It also looked at the idea of the influencer and the gatekeeper.

So, an interesting chapter, but not quite as interesting as its title suggested!

(Source: B629, Understanding marketing and financial information).