Contemporary Issues in Strategic Management
The Role and Nature of Strategic Management; Analysing the External Environment: macro-environment, industry and competitor analysis; Analysing internal resources, capabilities and core competencies; Business level and corporate level strategy; International business strategy; Strategic development: mergers and acquisitions, alliances and joint ventures; Strategy Implementation: Structure, Culture and Change.
Global Business Economics and Finance
The large majority of businesses today operate in a variety of economic environments and their leaders must make economic decisions taking into account market specific information. This module covers the most essential analytical tools required for economic decision making such as: the concepts of economic systems, profit and utility maximisation, demand elasticity, market equilibrium, market structures, macroeconomic objectives, government policies’ (monetary, fiscal and trade policies) tools and their impact on businesses etc.
Businesses also require funding from shareholders and lenders at the outset and subsequently need to profits and positive cash flows for investment. They are in competition with other businesses for funding, just as much as they are competition for labour and market share. On this course, you will learn to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages to the business of a range of sources of finance. You will also learn how managers report on the financial affairs and financial position of the business and how financial reports can be analysed to evaluate business performance.
Leading Strategic Decision-Making
The module will cover the following content:
1. Organisation Strategy and Strategic Leadership
2. Determining the Strategic Direction: Mission Vision and Values
3. Strategic Decision-making in Practice
4. Transformational Leadership Approaches and Emotional Intelligence
5. The Leader-Follower Relationship
6. Team Leadership
7. Strategic Decision-Making in Innovative Contexts
8. Creating Systemic Innovation
9. Authentic and Sustainable Leadership
10. Current Trends in Strategic Leadership
This module focuses on student professional development through working with students to develop their understanding of the practise of continuous professional development (CPD) for managers/leaders. A CPD system, informed by the Chartered Management Institute’s ‘Chartered Manager Skills’, is used as a core development tool throughout the programme. In addition, the key generic skills areas which underpin effective managers/leaders performance, are covered in practical workshops – personal and professional development, team building, oral and written presentation, networking, critical thinking, problem solving and defending ideas. The practicalities of undertaking a research project in the field of business and management at postgraduate level is also a core part of this module – a range of research approaches, qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis techniques are included. There is also emphasis on placed on maximising the impact of research results in the practical business environment.
Management and Organisational Change
The material covered in the module relates to two broad areas of study: the examination of organisational behaviour, including attitudes, perception, motivation, groups, teams and leadership; and understanding managerial processes, and the development of skills important in the management of people and processes - such as corporate social responsibility. Change management is increasingly important and therefore you will examine the topic by looking at both incremental and transformational change, and the importance of power, politics and conflict.
Focusing on the behaviour of people in a work environment the module places an emphasis on understanding the vital role and importance of people in the change management process. You will develop an understanding of the dynamics of working organisations in a rapidly evolving business environment, specifically the significance of organisational culture. This in turn develops your ability to plan and carry forward sustainable system-wide change programmes.
One of the most significant issues a manager faces when attempting to create a successful organisation in today’s fast changing technologically driven business environment is the management of innovation. This module is about the management of innovation and in this module you will learn how to manage it in a practical way. You will do this by examining, discussing and critically evaluating, in detail, both the theory and practice of innovation management in some of the world’s most innovative organisations. You will, during this learning process, in addition to honing your analytical skills, be encouraged to create an extensive ‘toolkit’ which you could use when managing innovation in your future career.
Marketing and Building High Performing Organisations
Overall the module emphasises the concept of the integrative nature of business and what matters most in the need and desire to build high performing organisations that can endure in the complex, global business environment.
In the first instance the module introduces a number of tools and models that can be used to measure the success, or otherwise, of an organisation. This includes a review of relevant performance management approaches (e.g. the Balanced Scorecard, EFQM), which provide a holistic and integrated set of measures that gives a fast but comprehensive view of the business. Performance measurement approaches endeavour to collate important elements that reflect a business’s strategic position e.g. product and service quality measures, product and service development time, customer satisfaction, productivity and so on. Although, performance measurement models and approaches are introduced as a “whole”, this module focuses on two particular aspects:
• Customer/stakeholder focus - How does a business’s customers see the business? This section investigates just how well an organisation is meeting the needs of, and satisfying, its customers. The focus is on managing marketing matters, sales management initiatives and the relationship management challenges for both the selling and the buying organisation.
• Internal business processes - What must a business excel at? This section takes an internal process perspective and investigates both the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation. The focus is on Operations & Supply Chain Management including lean thinking, quality and improvement and role of information technology and e-business.
Building and managing stakeholder resources will be covered in this section. Market entry and market development decisions will be introduced. Tools such as value chain analysis and market research resources will be introduced with a focus on critical evaluation of an organisation’s value proposition, potential competitive advantage and USP’s. The impact of digital communications and contemporary issues - such as personal data management collected by organisations and the importance of word-of-mouth - will critically discussed. Consumer focused tools will be introduced to help identify consumer journeys and wider societal concerns (i.e. consumerism, environmentalism, diversity). Recent research around stakeholder engagement, including employee engagement and co-creation, will underpin discussions around authentic stakeholder engagement and branding.
Internal business processes
The context and principles of operations management and operations strategy are introduced. This is followed by a discussion of the main facets of planning and control processes, with a focus on modern methodologies, such as the philosophy and principles of lean thinking. Following this we examine one of the most significant elements of modern operational practice – Supply Chain Management. This includes examining the various aspects of the supply chain, including procurement, supply chain relationships, and logistics activity. The nature of “Quality” and improvement in an operational context is outlined and underpinned by the premise that all operations – regardless of quality - are capable of improvement. A variety of models and procedures of performance measurement will be evaluated and continues to consider a variety of methodologies for performance improvement.
Emerging Issues and Sustainability
Capability development will be considered in line with emerging issues and the latest thinking in business sustainability, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and other global and local initiatives. This includes the need to involve the customer/stakeholders in the co-creation of solutions and realising the potential in the supply chain to create shared value.
Research Skills for Managers
The content of this module is informed by the Chartered Management Institute’s ‘Chartered Manager Skills’, as well as the academic requirements of the MBA programme. The focus of this module is to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to prepare you for a range of challenges in your academic and professional career.
Specifically, the emphasis is on developing research skills that will equip you with the expertise to undertake relevant and topical research allied to your MBA Project. The core material covers:
a) critiquing academic and practitioner research from a range of published sources,
b) developing tools and techniques for writing a critical literature review,
c) methodological considerations,
d) research design,
e) research ethics,
f) qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection,
g) manual and computer-based techniques of data analysis and,
h) evaluating and communicating your research.
* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.