A better way to manage for all business/management students!

Whatever your business, management or leadership course, or level of study. This site is for all students who want to learn about management and (ideally) better ways to manage. It contains a wealth of ideas, tips and tools useful for students on relevant courses. Or you may find they help you manage your workload, whatever you’re studying!

Click on any of the topic links below to find…

  • Insights to challenge, inspire, and refresh.
  • Ideas to help you build a worthwhile and meaningful career.
  • Articles to help you balance effective knowledge, skills and action with a focus on well-being at work.
  • Techniques to build your management knowledge, ensuring it’s thorough and well-informed.
  • Tools to make your work easier and to help you develop good practice.
  • Tips to help you cut to the essentials – get helpful, practical advice quickly!
  • Stories and quotes to motivate, inspire and help you see things differently.

Or follow the links at the top of the page for our free downloads, our blog or our store, for even more resources. If you’re particularly looking for teamwork resources, then just click on the link for material on the stages of team development.

Three Levels of Learning

You will find that this site enables three levels of learning.

Firstly, you’ll find explanations of management theories, ideas and concepts. This knowledge provides the foundations for effective management by focusing on the basics, and on how to do them well.

Secondly, we include tips, tools and techniques that will help managers to apply their knowledge and skills. These answer the fundamental question: which management practices enable best performance?

Thirdly, we offer insights, intellectual challenge and thought leadership, to encourage different thinking and higher level development. This is what helps managers become real leaders, stepping up to the next level and reaching their potential.

Using our resources

The site contains a useful resource base covering a wide range of topics. You’ll find a helpful collection of discussions, tools and tips, which contain both existing sources and several of our own, original interpretations and techniques.

Feel free to use the pages on this site to help you with your education or development. All we ask is that you acknowledge the Happy Manager, and include an appropriate reference or link back to our pages.

How to reference the Happy Manager

Before you read on, it’s important to note that you should always reference your work using the guidelines given by your particular course of study. This is because there are several different ways to reference sources, which can cause confusion. And because you should always listen to your tutors. After all, they are probably going to mark you work!

So where referencing is concerned, it’s important to do the right thing:

  • Do it!
  • Do it as instructed!
  • Do it in a consistent manner throughout your work!

Here we offer two examples each using the Harvard referencing system: how to reference one of our books and how to reference a Happy Manager web page. There are two steps to referencing any source using the Harvard method.

In-text references

Firstly you must place a reference in the text, wherever you’ve quoted a source, referred to facts and/or figures, or where you’ve based your work on a source. Even if you have paraphrased rather than quoting directly (which you should do more often than not), it’s still important to tell the reader where you have sourced your ideas or discussion.

Typically a Harvard in-text reference states the author’s surname then the date of publication, using brackets. So, let’s say you’ve downloaded our free e-guide: Why is Teamwork Important, in which we’ve expanded on the ideas on the web page. If you paraphrase a sentence from that publication, you might say: According to Higson and Sturgess (2012)…. then summarise our words in your own.

If your work included a direct quote, the reference should also include the page number. So if you took a direct quote from our book: Uncommon Leadership, your in-text reference would look like this:

“So fostering a sense of shared leadership through teams and individuals will be almost essential for businesses of the future” (Higson and Sturgess, 2014: p171).

But if you took a quote from one of our Happy Manager pages, the in-text reference should look like this:

“Properly managed, teamwork maximizes strengths, bringing out the best in each team member, a key theme on this site” (www.the-happy-manager.com/article/why-is-teamwork-important/)

Note: if you cannot find a date for an in-text reference, it should read: (Higson and Sturgess, n.d.)

Bibliography/reading list

Next you need to put full references for any in-text citations at the end of your work. This reference list must contain all the details relating to the reference, making it easy to identify and find the source you have used. So for our examples above, your references list would look like this:

Higson, P. Sturgess, A. (2012) Why is Teamwork Important, Chester: Apex Leadership Ltd

Higson, P., Sturgess, A. (2014) Uncommon Leadership: how to gain competitive advantage by thinking differently, London: Kogan Page.

Higson, P. Sturgess, A (no date) Why is teamwork important. [online] Available from: http://www.the-happy-manager.com/article/why-is-teamwork-important/ [Accessed 19/08/2014]

Accurate referencing does two things. Firstly it demonstrates you are not trying to pass off someone else’s work or ideas as you own. In doing so this helps protect you against a charge of plagiarism. Secondly, it helps the reader to follow your sources, perhaps for their own interest or research. There is nothing more frustrating than to find a good piece of work which does not enable the reader to follow-up for more information.

There are numerous guides on the different referencing systems, freely available on the web. Here are links to two sites we’ve used in our own lecturing: MMU and LJMU

Using web sources – a warning!

Remember that when using and referencing sources from the web, always give some thought to their credibility. You can do this in a number of ways but the most obvious way is look at the “about us” page, or other credibility indicators on individual pages or items.

For example, clicking on the Happy Manager’s “about” page will show you that it’s written by Phil Higson and Anthony Sturgess (that’s us). We are both academics in management and leadership who are also published authors. But we’re also experienced management practitioners, having managed and lead in a variety of organisations.

You will also see that individual pages use a range of sources which we think are credible. For example we often use sources from respected websites such as Harvard Business Review, or other leading management sources, linking to academic articles or to published books.

But don’t forget, just because something is written on the web, doesn’t mean it’s true or accurate. It’s up to you to decide!

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What our visitors are saying

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By the way: I was reading your piece on “what great managers know” and I ended up thinking about the old advice to have “strong opinions loosely held”.

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