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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS1795 The Contemporary Business Environment

20 creditsClass Size: 222

Module manager: Joanna Townend

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

LUBS1790 Global Business Challenges.

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The core objective of the module is to introduce students to the study of organisations, their management and the changing external business environment. The module aims to analyse the impact of the external environment upon the strategy, behaviour, management and sustainability of organisations. It will explore key concepts of business and management, the relationships between these and their application. It will prepare students for their subsequent exploration of the broad range of areas of business and management at Levels 2 and 3 of their programme.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:

- Discuss and outline modern management and the nature of the contemporary business environment
- Investigate and analyse real world businesses in the published literature
- Outline a number of key themes in contemporary management research
- Understand how organisations, management and the business environment inter-relate

Skills outcomes
Transferable skills:
- Critical thinking
- Ethical awareness
- Commercial awareness

Subject specific skills:
On completion of this module students will be able to:
Express and articulate key issues of the contemporary business environment in a company appraisal


Outline Content:
1. Why are firms in business? (And do you believe everything you read?) - Business mission and the articulation of business purpose.
2. Is CSR just window dressing or is it something real? CSR -PR or doing good?
3. In a changing world, does it make any sense to plan for the future? - How to make sense of the business environment.
4. Who are the competitors and do they matter? - Assessing competition and industries.
5. What is the meaning of business success? - Performance and measures of performance.
6. How can firms compete? - Competitive behaviour.
7. How can firms develop and grow? - Corporate behaviour and options.
8. Does it make sense to talk of "British industry" or a "British firm"? - Internationalisation.
9. Do "do-gooders" do good, and if so, what kind of good do they do? - Public sector and charities.
10. What's all this business? - Integrating an understanding of business and the business environment.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be allocated textbook reading to orient themselves to the questions around "what is management". During the lectures, they will be directed to further reading; specific reading on the theme of each session will be given. Students will be advised to read before the session, not after, so that they can make the most of opportunities to ask about the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module assignment takes the form of a company appraisal and we will monitor progress by making students gather the information they will need to write the assignment week by week throughout the module. This will be collected on the VLE, building up a scrapbook of information that will be used in the writing up of the assignment. The module tutor will be able to monitor this and support any students who are falling behind. This means that they will have done much of the preparation work, and had the chance to talk to tutors about it, throughout the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject Report - 2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The assignment will take the form of a company appraisal. The company will be an FT250 firm that is randomly assigned to each student. Each student will have a different company. A clear guide will be given to students showing what the appraisal should cover: this is not a test of their structuring skills, but of their investigative skills and attention to detail. This guide will be released week by week (see above) and then at the end of the module will be published as a whole. The guide will ask for a discussion of each of these elements, supported by a piece of published evidence as collected throughout the module: 1. Articulation of Company Purpose/Mission 2. CSR policies 3. Key environmental pressures – PEST, Industry, Market and future challenges 4. Performance 5. Competitive behaviour 6. Corporate developments 7. Internationalisation 8. Relations with public and third sector 9. Summary and prospects for the company The resit for this module will be 100% by 2,000 word coursework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/12/2019


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