AP3EB1-Business Strategy

Module Provider: Agr and Food Econ
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: AP2SB1 Business Management
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: AP3EM1 Marketing Strategy
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Edward Collins

Email: edward.collins@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module builds on material covered in AP2SB1 Business Management and reinforces material covered in AP3EM1 Marketing Strategy. The aim of this module is to develop a students understanding and curiosity about the structure and strategy of organisations in the hope that this will prepare them better for working within organisations when they graduate. Students will begin to appreciate how a business organisation moves along. How objectives, leadership, governance, structure and processes can influence the direction in which a business moves and how these factors influence the final destination. We also look at the role of organisations in business, and the external factors that affect strategic outcomes such as globalisation, outsourcing, mergers and alliances, corporate social responsibility and the role of the individual employee within the organisation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
The challenge of strategic management is to be able to understand the complex issues facing organisations and then develop the capability for long-term organisational success. By the end of the module, students will be expected to identify the factors that determine an organisation’s strategic position, distinguish between strategic choices at the corporate and business level, and to understand some of the principal drivers of strategy.

Additional outcomes:
Presentation; numerical skills; an interest in business affairs which will hopefully translate into regular reading of the financial and business press.

Outline content:
The course will cover some or all of the following topics, although the focus of the course may differ from year to year with some topics being given more emphasis depending on their topicality:
• The future of the organisation in the 21st century.
• The way in which organisational structures, organisational processes and the management of relationships are important in organising for strategic success.
• The importance of understanding organisational context and, in particular, the barriers to strategic change in considering the management of change.
• Different approaches to managing change including the styles and roles of leadership and management and the levers they may employ in managing change (and, in particular, changing culture).
• The business case for corporate social responsibility.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be extremely topical. Students will be expected to read the business press on a regular basis and to contribute their own examples of strategic management issues based on this reading. Case studies will be used to illustrate problems and processes. Students who do not contribute in class and who do not prepare adequately between lectures will be asked to withdraw from the lecture series.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Regular attendance at lectures and regular contributions to class discussions are essential.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A one and a half hour examination paper requiring answers to two from five questions.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By Re-examination in August/September only.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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