Management Essentials

…. where the foundation skills of sound management practice are reinforced

More information

The Management Essentials Learning Centre focuses its interests and attention on helping individual managers refresh and reinforce their key managerial skills and abilities, those skills and abilities which they use everyday in such activities as leading their teams, achieving their goals, contributing to the strategic direction of their organization or any one of the many other 'things they do' in the performance of their job.  In many ways these are the tacit or unconscious competencies that each person naturally or instinctively calls upon as they go about their work.

In 1954, Robert Katz, an American social psychologist and at that time an assistant professor at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College*, published an article in Harvard Business Review, setting out a core skills-based approach to developing managers in contrast to the prevailing emphasis on behavioural traits.  He identified three key areas in which managers should develop high levels of core competence.  These are:

  • Technical skills - the ability to understand, and be proficient in, a specific kind of activity, particularly one involving methods, processes, procedures, or techniques
  • Human skills - the ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within the team he/she leads. As technical skill is primarily concerned with working with “things” (processes or physical objects), so human skill is primarily concerned with working with people
  • Conceptual skills - the ability to see the enterprise as a whole including recognizing how the various functions of an organization depend on one another, and how changes in any one part affect all the others; and it extends to visualizing the relationship of the individual business to the industry, the community, and the political, social, and economic forces of the nation as a whole

Through his work, based on empirical research and studies of the prevailing literature, Katz also recognized that the application of each category of skill, and therefore the need for a high level of innate competence, changed with the level of responsibility each manager undertook within the organization.  In broad terms, the lower levels of responsibility required a higher order of technical skills whilst the higher levels of responsibility required a higher order of conceptual skills.  Katz model of essential management skills shows a gradual migration from technical to conceptual as responsibility increases.

* Since then, Robert Katz has taught in the graduate schools of business at Harvard and Stanford, written three textbooks, and helped found five industrial or financial companies. Until recently he was president and chief executive officer of U.S. Natural Resources, Inc. Now he heads a consulting firm specializing in corporate strategy and is a director of a number of publicly held corporations.


The Marshall Gurney Institute approach to developing Management Essentials Skills follows the Katz model and provides a series of Management Essentials Skills Portfolios with each Portfolio focused on a single area of competence within one of Katz's three categories. Managers choosing to study the Management Essentials Portfolios can prioritise their learning activities to match their personal development priorities by using the overall diagnostic tool, the On-Line Coach in the Locus Learning Centre.  This tool will identify learning and development priorities on an individual basis in terms of the demands of either your current job role or a future role for which you are developing yourself.  Further information is available in the Diagnostic Centre which is accessible from the main Campus.

Management Essentials Portfolio Series

Through studying each portfolio, you will be able to:

  • Develop your understanding of each area of core competence
  • Demonstrate your ability to apply your greater understanding within the context of your own responsibilities
  • Develop an action programme for your personal performance and that of the people you manage

Upon satisfactory completion of each Portfolio in the Management Essentials Series, managers may apply for a Diploma award certifying their successful completion.

Management Essentials Skills Portfolios

Portfolio #1 - Managing People +

Managing People

The portfolio comprises:

  • Leadership Fundamentals
  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Managing Performance
Portfolio #2 - Managing Change +

Managing Change

The portfolio comprises:

  • Change Fundamentals
  • Prioritising & Time Management
  • Decision Making & Problem Solving
  • Planning & Project Management
Portfolio #3 - Managing Business Performance +

Managing Business Performance

The portfolio comprises:

  • Finance for non-Financial Managers
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Managing Performance II
  • Negotiation
Portfolio #4 - Managing Customer Growth +

Managing Customer Growth

The portfolio comprises:

  • Marketing Fundamentals
  • Sales Fundamentals
  • Key Account Management
  • Customer Services
Portfolio #5 - Managing Organizations +

Managing Organizations

The portfolio comprises:

  • Culture of the Organization
  • Ethics & Business
  • Diversity
  • Talent Management
Portfolio #6 - Managing the Future +

Managing the Future

The portfolio comprises:

  • Strategy Fundamentals
  • Advanced Change
  • Organization Design
  • Business Planning

This Portfolio is currently in design phase and will be released in Q3/2018

Portfolio #7 - Management Thinking +

Management Thinking

The portfolio comprises:

  • Overview of Management I
  • Management Ideas I
  • Overview of Management II
  • Management Ideas II
Portfolio #8 - Managing Teams +

Managing Teams

The portfolio comprises:

  • Team Management Fundamentals
  • Leadership Style & Delegation
  • Advanced Team Management
  • Relationship Management
Portfolio #9 - Managing Personal Development +

Managing Personal Development

The portfolio comprises:

  • Planning Personal Development
  • Managing Stress and Wellness
  • Managing your Career
  • Academic Research Skills

This portfolio is currently in design phase and scheduled for release Q2/2018

Portfolio Fee Structure +

Portfolio Fee Structure

The portfolio  fee structure is designed to allow managers to sample a portfolio before committing to a full personal development programme.

Each Portfolio comprises four learning programmes and all four must be completed in order to qualify for a Portfolio Diploma.  Each learning programme is designed to be completed during one month's part-time study integrated with normal working activities.  A complete Portfolio therefore requires four months.  During this time you will have full and unrestricted access to all learning resources on the Institute Campus including the private social network, the learning collaboration rooms and the Locus Coffee Shop - the general discussion forum for everyone on the Campus.

Managers start their studies by opting  for one programme within a Portfolio and are granted one month full access to the Institute.  When they are ready to complete the Portfolio, they either opt into the remaining three programmes and the access licence is extended by three further months to four months in total or they can opt to sign up for each of the other programmes in the portfolio separately i.e. by extending their access licence one month at a time.  When choosing either of these options, managers are advised to contact the Institute Director ( before enrolment to confirm their option.

At the end of the four months they can request assessment for a Portfolio Diploma.  A tutor will assess the manager's achievements as recorded by the Institute Record System and recommend either further study or the award of a Diploma.  The Diploma will be issued upon payment of the additional fee.

The fees are as follows:

  • For the first programme in a portfolio £150.
  • For each of the remaining three programmes in a portfolio £150
  • For assessment for a Portfolio Diploma £50

NOTE:  The total fee payable for each Portfolio is £600 without a Diploma and £650 with a Diploma.

Enrol Here +

Enrol Here

To enrol on  an Management Essentials programmes:

  1. Browse the portfolio contents and choose where you would like to start
  2. Complete the Registration Form by clicking the link below
  3. Pay your initial enrolment fee using the secure online payment system
  4. Login to the Institute
  5. Select the Management Essentials Learning Centre on the Campus
  6. Select your chosen Portfolio, read the guidance notes and follow the link to your programme.
  7. All the information and guidance you need for extending your enrolment to cover the three other programmes in your chosen portfolio and for applying for your Portfolio Diploma is available in the Management Essentials Learning Centre after you have logged in.