My Teaching

 

I am a new-comer to the teaching profession, having had the pleasure of being acquainted to it first when I joined the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad campus, in March 2005 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Sciences.

I am certainly no stranger to academia, having being enrolled in two German universities from where I earned my Diplom in Business Administration in 1990 and in May 2004 my PhD in Public Administration. The transition from student to teacher was remarkably smooth in my case, as a matter of fact, it proceeded with far fewer hiccups than I had anticipated.

Teaching is, without a shred of doubt, one of the noblest and gratifying professions an individual can be graced with in his or her life and I count myself fortunate indeed to be given the opportunity to be in this field. At the same time, few professions are so mentally and physically demanding, and require as much dedication, perseverance and constant hard work as teaching. Countless hours of preparation time go into each class and dealing firmly, but fairly, with a horde of students of varying motivation, interest and intelligence can really tax the nerves of the most seasoned in our profession.

The university environment in Pakistan (or at least in Islamabad) does differ in some major respects from the one I have experienced in the twelve years I spent in German universities. My experience has been, in some instances, quite satisfying, while in others it has been quite discomforting. Many Pakistani students I've encountered seem, sadly, less motivated and less committed to their studies than their German peers, are less inclined to spend time reading course-relevant literature, and often seek "shortcuts" in their work. Furthermore, many are accustomed to "rote" learning or learning through memorization which, incidentally, is indicative of acute deficiencies in the hopelessly inadequate Pakistani primary and secondary schooling system which, regretably, have been left unaddressed for decades. Nevertheless, many young people I encounter here do demonstrate good potential and, insofar as my courses are concerned, I see it as a my prime challenge as well as my responsibility to tap into this potential and motivate my students to make the best out of their abilities and to try and bring about improvements, where and when appropriate, in the teaching system at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology.

My teaching methodology relies on the use of multimedia visual aids and Microsoft PowerPoint to convey the essential subject matter to my students. Occasionaly, I use the whiteboard (I do this mainly in my Total Quality Management class). I distribute my PowerPoint slides on a weekly basis in electronic or paper-form to my students. My experience shows, that this approach is quite effective because students can concentrate fully on listening to my lecture without having to hastily scribble down notes. At the same time, I repeatedly emphasize that handouts are NO SUBSTITUTE for the recommended course literature which I expect all my students to read thoroughly from the beginning of the course. In designing my course curricula, I place highest emphasis on thoroughness, giving my students a solid grounding in both fundamental and advanced theoretical concepts of the subject which I supplement with practical case examples. Usually, I invite one or two guest lecturers to give my students a practioners perspective of the subject. 

Things Students Do Which I Appreciate 

Things Students Do Which Irritate Me

Coming punctual to class and staying on until the session terminates

Coming late to class, especially midway during my  lecture, and lying about the reason for their lateness

Listening attentively and asking questions Showing disinterest in the subject matter, chit-chatting, sending SMS messages, giggling and cracking jokes
Reading the prescribed course material and giving maximum effort in understanding the subject matter and completing assignments Resorting to shortcuts to reduce their course workload, including the use of the internet for plagiarism
Using the following criteria of effective learning: Being inquisitive, analytical, critical, creative and taking a holistic perspective of the subject Using the technique of rote-learning (memorization and verbatim reproduction of course material)

As of February 2007, I have taught students in our university's MBA programme the subjects Project Management (four times), International Human Resource Management (once) and Business Research Methods (once). I have also taught students in our MS/PhD programme Project Management (three times) and Total Quality Management (once). Each course I teach has a duration of 15 weeks with 3 credit hours per week.   

My entire course material is available for free download below.

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The following MS PowerPoint presentations were designed for the Master in Project Management (MPM) programme which my university COMSATS started offering this Fall Semester 2008. I am presently teaching two of the five course modules which are being offered in the first semester, namely, "Fundamentals of Project Management" and "Project Stakeholder and Communication Management". After each class, the presentations will be uploaded. Note that all presentations were originally made with MS PowerPoint 2007 and have been down-converted to MS PowerPoint 1997-2003. If your PC does not have MS Office 2007 with the full version of PowerPoint 2007 installed on it, you may want to download the free MS PowerPoint 2007 viewer which is available here.

Project Management Course Programme Fall Semester 2008

Fundamentals of Project Management
Week 1 (uploaded) Week 6 (uploaded) Week 11 (uploaded)
Week 2 (uploaded) Week 7 (uploaded) Week 12 (uploaded)
Week 3 (uploaded) Week 8 (uploaded) Week 13 (uploaded)
Week 4 (uploaded) Week 9 (uploaded) Week 14
Week 5 (uploaded) Week 10 (uploaded) Week 15

Sample documents used in the classes on project initiation and project planning will be uploaded here soon.

Project Stakeholder and Communications Management
Week 1 (uploaded) Week 6 (uploaded) Week 11 (uploaded)
Week 2 (uploaded) Week 7 (uploaded) Week 12 (uploaded)
Week 3 (uploaded) Week 8 (uploaded) Week 13
Week 4 (uploaded) Week 9 (uploaded) Week 14
Week 5 (uploaded) Week 10 (uploaded) Week 15

Updates to both course modules will come next semester.

MPM Examination Paper Collection
Midterm: Fundamentals of Project Management Midterm: Project Stakeholder Management
Midterm: Fundamentals of Project Management (Repeat) Midterm: Project Stakeholder Management (1. Repeat)
Final: Fundamentals of Project Management Midterm: Project Stakeholder Management (2. Repeat)
  Final: Project Stakeholder Management
   

The following material on quality management may interest MPM students: Slide Set 1, Slide Set 2 and this eBook.

 

SPRING SEMESTER 2006 (DAY CLASS)

 

SPRING SEMESTER 2005

SPRING SEMESTER 2006 (EVENING CLASS)

FALL SEMESTER 2005

FALL SEMESTER 2006 (DAY & EVENING CLASS)

FALL SEMESTER 2006

SPRING SEMESTER 2007 (DAY & EVENING CLASS)

                FALL SEMESTER 2007

 

FALL SEMESTER 2007 (EVENING CLASS)

 

 

 

 

 

For my project management classes, which I have taught seven times to students at the MBA and MS/PhD level in my first four semesters at CIIT, I invited three guest speakers. As I stated before, I consider it of the utmost importance to bring my students together with practitioners of the subject and the guest speaker system is an excellent way of doing this. My first guest speaker, who was recommended to me by one of my colleagues, was Mr. Rashid Mahmood Akhtar, who gave my students a detailed presentation on managing software development projects. This was on the evening of June 15th, 2005, almost at the end of my first semester at CIIT. Mr. Akhtar, who is the General Manager Development at Askari Information Systems in Islamabad, gave his powerpoint presentation entitled "Experiences, Techniques, Tools", which was rather technical (and really very interesting and insightful) to my MS/PhD class in their last session at the semester end. Unfortunately, no photos were taken on this occasion. However, I made sure that a camera was on hand to take photos on the two subsequent occasions when my other project management guest speakers were present.

The photos below were taken at the talk given on the evening of June 5th, 2006, by my second project management guest speaker, Mr. Mohammad Ozair Rasheed from Teradata Pakistan, which is a division of the global NCR Corporation. Mr. Rasheed, the holder of an MBA degree in Management Information Systems from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi and a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Electronics from Dawood College of Engineering and Technology Karachi (NED University Karachi), is currently the Professional Services Manager for Teradata Pakistan and is also managing the Centre of Expertise for projects in the Middle East and Africa. In his position, Mr. Rasheed oversees all projects in the country; he is also the Program Manager for the Centre of Expertise, whose main objective is to identify the right team members for specific projects in a number of fields. With over ten years of experience both international and within Pakistan, he has worked as a consultant for establishing the largest data warehouse infrastructure in Pakistan. He has also worked for Caltex Oil Pakistan Limited, Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited, Crescent Technologies Private Limited and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

I asked Mr. Rasheed at the end of my third semester at CIIT to speak to my MBA students about his personal experience with projects. I was immensely happy when it became apparent that almost everything he said from his own extensive project management experience was fully consistent with what I had taught my students in class. Click on the images to see their full-sized versions. 

I kick off the event by introducing Mr. Mohammed Ozair Rasheed. His insightful and interesting talk lasted about 45 minutes, after which there was a lively discussion session with my students. The multimedia facility was available but Mr. Rasheed did not use it.

Mr. Rasheed addressing the gathering. He corroborated just about everything I had taught my students in their project management course over the semester. They thought I was boring them with too many irrelevant details but they now realized my approach was correct. What a satisfaction for me!  

My students listening attentively to Mr. Rasheed's talk. Seated right at the front is Teradata Pakistan's Manager for Marketing and Public Relations, Ms. Sameerah Siddiqui. A highly competent and cooperative lady with a lively sense of humour, she was the person who arranged for Mr. Rasheed to come.

The students asked many questions. One of the keenest, sitting in the front row on the extreme left, is my student Captain Shahid Khan from the Pakistan Army. He attended three of my courses and, at the convocation in January 2007, was awarded a gold medal from CIIT for his outstanding academic performance.

The "crowning highlight" of the evening. Here I'm making the customary presentation of the CIIT Department of Management Science's shield to our guest for his hard work together with a few words of gratitude on behalf of the class. The department does not offer any honorarium to guest speakers but we do feel that they are entitled to some tangible token of appreciation and this is it.

The photos below were taken on the occasion of Mr. Azam Soofi's talk to my MS/PhD project management class on the early evening of February 1st, 2007. The holder of a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Management - both from Iowa State University in the United States of America - Mr. Soofi is the Chief Executive Officer of Glimmer Pvt. Ltd. in Islamabad. He is a project management consultant with 28 years of project development and engineering experience, having held various senior executive positions in Pakistan and USA in world class organizations like Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Chrysler Corporation, and Rockwell International. His main expertise includes directing the development of large complex projects from concept in record time and least cost. As the Chief Executive Officer of Lucky Cement he developed and implemented the 5000 tonnes per day cement plant and a 48 MW power plant for total cost of USD160 Million in a remote area of Pakistan in record time. During his tenure with Westinghouse, he was trained as a power generation, control system specialist and managed implementation of multi-billion Dollar power plant projects throughout the world. His experience includes engineering, installation and maintenance on hydro, thermal and nuclear power plants of all sizes. In Pakistan under the US AID /World Bank umbrella he was deputed to Ministry Of Planning for four years as a Power System Advisor. During this period he help solve multiple power infrastructural problems which saved this country multi-million Dollars. He has also helped develop and train government employees in the utilization of the Least Cost Generation econometric model to help future planning for implementation of power generation in Pakistan. I had asked Mr. Soofi at the end of my fourth semester at CIIT to speak to my students about his personal experience with managing projects. Yet again, to my immense satisfaction, it was apparent that almost everything he said from his project management experience was fully consistent with what I had taught my MBA students in class. Click on the images to see their full-sized versions. 

Mr. Soofi getting down to business after I introduced him to the gathering. His informal and highly insightful talk lasted about 60 minutes and was followed by about 45 minutes of lively discussion and an unending barrage of questions which I had to cut short because of lack of time.

Some of the participants. Like with Mr. Ozair in the preceeding semester, Mr. Soofi did not give a formal presentation but given his calibre, it certainly wasn't needed! Listening to him in the last class of the semester was pure enjoyment and an intellectual enrichment for all those who were present.

The six female members of my class are seated in the back rows. In the front is my esteemed Egyptian colleague and friend, Dr. Mohammad Nasr, who also teaches my MS/PhD class. He is a real jolly and energetic fellow who brings a lot of liveliness and humour into every departmental event.   

All these persons are students of my MS/PhD class (with the exception of my colleague Nasir "Doctor Proctor" Jamal whose seated in the back on the extreme right).  

Well, by now you would (or should) know what this photo is about. Unfortunately, it came out somewhat blurry. Seems that the hand of the person holding the camera was shaking a bit. Now I wonder why. Was the excitement of the evening too much to handle?

Mr. Soofi engrossed in a chit chat with my colleagues Nasir Jamal (middle) and Dr. Awais Siraj (right) after the talk and discussion. I had the department lay out a table with light refreshments outside hall 211 which is where the event was held.

Here, after the talk and after the light refreshments had been consumed, I posed for a photo with the male students of my MS/PhD project management class. From left to right: Faisal Nawaz, Muhammad Jamshed Khan, Rahim Buksh Soomro, me, Muhammad Haroon and Habib-ur-Rehman. I wanted the six female members of the class to be in the photo too but they had already left by then. 

   

BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS

Information and Knowledge are indispensable for helping ensure the survival and growth of any organization. They have to be acquired first and then assessed before they can be utilized in organizational decision-making processes. This is where the usefulness of business research methods lies. Through the careful application of established scientific methods, and by using proven analytical and evaluative tools and techniques, corporate managers can acquire insights which they can use to help accomplish their organizational goals and objects, set correct priorities, adopt prudent strategies and approaches, identify opportunities and handle risks and effectively and efficiently manage their resources.

This course gives a comprehensive introduction to the subject of business research methods. Acquainting participants with the basic research concepts, modern tools and techniques, and encouraging them to apply their acquired theoretical knowledge to real-life corporate situations are paramount course objectives.

To Download the Course PowerPoint Slides, Click on the Images Below

 

Week 01: Introduction to Business Research Methods, where and when to apply it, the users and value of business research, common business research methods and techniques,  data and information

 

Week 02: What is research, theory and hypothesis, inductive and deductive reasoning, the scientific method

Week 03: Types of (business) research: exploratory, descriptive and causal, the research process, ethics in business research  Week 04: The business research problem definition process, research proposals, the purpose, methods and tools of exploratory research
Week 05: Secondary Data, types and disadvantages of secondary data, classifying and evaluating secondary data, sources of secondary data in Pakistan Week 06: Surveys, advantages of surveys as a research tool, possible sources of error in surveying, types of survey research methods
Week 07: Continuation of last weeks review of survey research methods, advantages and disadvantages of various survey research methods, ethics in survey research, scientific observation and types of observation Week 08: Continuation of last weeks review of the types of observation, experimental research and design and related considerations, ethical issues in experimentation
Week 09: Measurement and scaling, index measures, criteria for good measurement, measurement of attitudes and behavioural intentions Week 10: Questionnaires, questionnaire design, question phrasing and sequencing, pretesting of questionnaires
Week 11: Sampling, the sampling process, sampling frame and errors, issues in sample design and selection Week 12: Descriptive and inferential statistics, statistical data analysis, statistical measures of  central tendency and dispersion, review of complex multivariate statistical techniques in business research, fieldwork, training fieldworkers, interviewing principles and techniques
Week 13: Editing and coding data, making research reports and techniques of research presentation

DOWNLOAD THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

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Business Research Methods Course Programme

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Business Research Methods First Sessional Examination  Business Research Methods Second Sessional Examination

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Business Research Methods Final Examination

 

 

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Human Resources are considered the most important resource in any organization. The dynamism, innovation, survival and growth of businesses would not be possible without adequate management and development of its available human resources. Managing and developing human resources is becoming more important, especially against the backdrop of globalization and the consequent challenges it poses for commercial organizations.

This course introduces the course participants to the subject of international human resources management, which is a specialized and increasingly important field of human resource management. Acquainting participants with modern and applied research concepts, tools and techniques, and encouraging them to apply their acquired theoretical knowledge to real-life situations are paramount course objectives.

To Download the Course PowerPoint Slides, Click on the Images Below

Week 01: Introduction to IHRM, IHRM versus HRM, the comparative complexity of IHRM

Week 02: IHRM Staffing Approaches (ethnocentric, polycentric, regiocentric, geocentric), IHRM and the organizational form (multinational, international, global, transnational)

Week 03: Recruitment and selection for international positions, advantages and disadvantages of the IHRM staffing approaches, criteria and process for selecting staff for international assignments, expatriate failure

Week 04: Expatriate performance, the determinants of performance on international assignments, who conducts the performance appraisal and how is it conducted

Week 05: Training and development, pre-departure training programmes for expatriates, assistance for the expatriate and his or her family, training of host country nationals, international career development Week 06: Expatriate compension, benefits and costs, goals of international organizations' compensation policies, components of international compensation programmes for expatriates, approaches for calculating compensation and their advantages and disadvantages
Week 07: The expatriate repatriation process, problems facing expatriates because of pending repatriation and organizations' responses to repatriation Week 08: Labour and industrial relations and their main determinants, labour relations strategies, the involvement of parent organizations in labour and industrial relations, labour unions concerns and options for dealing with international organizations
Week 09: Important issues in IHRM, employees and work ethics, dealing with bureacracy in host countries, ethical considerations and corporate social responsibility

DOWNLOAD THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

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IHRM Course Programme

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IHRM First Sessional Examination

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IHRM Second Sessional Examination

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IHRM Final Examination

 

In designing my courses, I accord great importance to inviting practitioners from the subject field as guest speakers, because I feel that my students can benefit greatly from the wealth of experience that such persons have and are willing to share. For my course on international human resource management in the winter semester 2005/2006 , I invited three guest speakers who all gave me their valuable time to address my students. These were Dr. H. U. Khan, a Researcher in the Pakistan Science Foundation, Frau Ellen Gölz, the Head of the German Embassy's Cultural Section, and Lt. Colonel Charles Robinson Sr., the United States Defence and Air Force Attache in Pakistan. Their highly interesting and thought-provoking presentations showed that there are no fundamental inconsistencies between the theory and practice of international human resource management. See the photos taking during Lt. Colonel Robinson Sr.'s talk on "Personnel Optimization: Ideas and Thoughts" below and click on the images to see their full-sized versions. 

 

Lt. Colonel Robinson Sr. giving his talk. It was held in lecture hall 211 and started at about 6.30 PM. The duration was about 45 minutes, after which there was a discussion session.

Students and faculty who attended the talk. My entire IHRM class of some 20 students was present, as were several of my colleagues from the Department of Management Sciences. 

Students listening attentively to the talk, the focus of which was on the US military. The talk showed how small the gap is between the theory and practice of IHRM is.

Lt. Colonel Robinson Sr. responds to a question. A number of thought-provoking questions were put to him, both by my students, as well as by my esteemed colleagues.

Here I present Lt. Colonel Robinson Sr. with the shield of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in a gesture of appreciation for his talk. This is a standard practice at COMSATS. The shield will serve as an eternal reminder to our guest of his lecture at our university.

 

 

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

For my course on Total Quality Management, I require my students to at least read the book "Total Quality Management" by Dale H. Besterfield / Carol Besterfield-Michna / Glen H. Besterfield / Mary Besterfield-Sacre. Students are also expected to read "Total Quality Management: Text, Cases and Readings" by Joel E. Ross as a supplement. PowerPoint slides on Total Quality Management from a course on this subject taught by Dr. Sue Lindsay at the Faculty of Business and Informatics of the Central Queensland University in Australia can be downloaded here. My own course programe can be downloaded here. Students are encouraged to visit the website of the Pakistan Institute of Quality Control and read the interesting case studies posted there.

 

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

Students can download the Operations Management course material for Fall Semester 2007 here. Individual chapters can also be downloaded here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

 

 

 

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