Apply innovative problem solving processes to address business issues related to Management Control Systems (MCS) This set of activities is based on the case study: University of Southern California (US): Responsibility centre management system – MUST READ the case (p. 786 textbook from book: Merchant, K.A. and Van der Stede, W.A. (2012), Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives, 3rd edn, F T/Prentice Hall, Harlow, England ) There are three learning objectives: 1. Learn to find and use innovative problem solving processes 2. Apply innovative problem solving processes to address business issues 3. Learn something about how to come up with innovative management planning and control solutions We define an innovative problem solving process as the use of any process to support problem solving which is new to you, it is effective. If it is also not commonly used for the task you are undertaking and it is more effective than common approaches, then it is more innovative. An example would be the use of the business model template, which can be used to better understand and communicate key characteristics of organisations. Other examples include brainstorming, reframing, prototyping, ‘what if’ thought experiments, visual thinking, among others. Task 1 innovative problem solving processes selection (300-350 words and one visualisation maximum) Search for some different innovative problem solving processes, and select one which you think would be useful in completing task 2. Apply it to task 2, and if you do not find the process useful in completing task 2, try a different process. In 300 words, explain what the process is and how you found it, why you selected it, and how it was (or was not) useful in completing task 2. HINT: open source learning module on creativity Task 2 Apply innovative problem solving processes in the context of control problems and Management Control Systems (300-350 words and one visualisation maximum) A key challenge for USC is how to get academics to (i) do be more innovative (ii) do multidisciplinary research (iii) get more external grant income to support research. Apply the innovative problem solving processes from task 1 to generate a suggested management control system ‘solution’ as to how USC could address at least one of these challenges. In 300 words and one visualisation, briefly describe the ‘control problem’, your innovative ‘solution’, and the reasons why you think the solution would work. Provide a logical justification for your solution, such as reference to cases or other evidence to support your logical argument. NOTE: A visualisation includes any picture, diagram, causal map, graph etc. Marks will be awarded for ‘solutions’ which demonstrate a solid understanding of the subject Management planning and control. You must demonstrate awareness of how to apply innovative problem solving processes to address business issues in the context of management control systems; Able to justify why the ‘problem solving processes’ and / or ‘solution’ are innovative.

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