The module will address sustainability issues in the context of increasing pressure on organisations to be seen to be acting responsibly in relation to their social and environmental impacts. This includes a critical appreciation of the “challenges” that business may wish to address. Many of these challenges are set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have been contextualised alongside other initiatives in a Scottish context (e.g. Scottish Business Pledge, Scotland CAN-B). You will gain a critical appreciation of these challenges in relation to how business can pro-actively respond. This is part of an emerging movement that recognises “business as a force for good” and that business “do well, by doing good”. The difficulty lies in clarifying organisational purpose and embeddingsustainability into strategy and understanding how this can strengthen an organisation competitive position. This includes the formulation and implementation of ‘sustainable value creation’ strategies that seek to create value for discretely defined stakeholders, such as the ‘shared value’ concept that proposes to use a business model to address social/environmental/community issues.
You will also learn about different models for doing business such as social enterprises, co-operatives, employee ownership and BCorps etc., Cases will be used alongside practical application to appraise different organisational stances and consider social business start-up issues. There will be an opportunity for you to understand the steps to becoming a purpose-driven organisation with the support of our Bright Red Triangle unit. This includes how organisations can redefine how they measure success, in terms of their impact using tools such as the Blab impact assessment tool. Additionally, you will appreciate how ‘shared spaces’ can be created to facilitate a meaningful engagement between business and communities (represented by third sector organisations), leading to new inspiring partnerships.
This module will teach you 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. You will also learn how to evaluate the
advantages and disadvantages to the business of a range of sources of finance, how managers report
on the financial affairs and financial position of the business, and how to analyse financial reports in
order to evaluate business performance.
Overall the module emphasises the concept of the integrative nature of business and what matters most, in the need and desire to create and sustain business excellence, performance 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 as well as incorporating emerging issues in sustainability:
• 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.
• 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
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.
Building and managing stakeholder resources are critical to creating and sustaining business excellence. 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.
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 unlocking the potential of the supply chain to create value.
Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination. Individual research, production of a dissertation, reflection on work undertaken.
The module will cover the following content:
- Organisation Strategy and Strategic Leadership
- Determining the Strategic Direction: Mission Vision and Values
- Strategic Decision-making in Practice
- Transformational Leadership Approaches and Emotional Intelligence
- The Leader-Follower Relationship and the Psychodynamics of Leadership
- Team Leadership
- Strategic Decision-Making in Innovative Contexts
- Creating Systemic Innovation
- Authentic and Sustainable Leadership
- Resources and Capabilities
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.
Description of module content:
The module covers the following:
The importance of new businesses to a thriving economy
Entrepreneurial thinking and aspirations
Entrepreneurial role models
The business planning process
Idea generation / development / evaluation
Market identification including exposure to market players
Researching the resources required including equipment, people, funding
Segmentation / positioning & differentiation / targeting
Developing the marketing Mix (7 P’s),
Financial planning leading to development of financial statements and realistic related assumptions
Growth aspirations of entrepreneurs
Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination.