MMM075-Entrepreneurship Project

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron


Summary module description:

The final project will provide students with the skills and confidence to enable them to undertake a consultancy project with a start-up or existing small business. Students will work in small teams (40% of the assessment is team based) to provide business insights and intelligence to the business, whilst also demonstrating to the module convenor their ability to make integrative links across the body of knowledge within the taught modules. It is anticipated that students will be able to produce original and evidence-based thought. This is where students apply the learning from the entire programme in a real-time project.
The assessment is team based as most of the interaction with your project host will take place within a ‘team context’ (40%) and Individual-based (60%).

The skills developed will be applicable for any student who wishes to make a professional impact upon their return to a family or small business, or target a career step within a consultancy firm, or even to start up their own new business.

Therefore students will need to demonstrate flexibility and mastery across a potentially wide range of subject matter.
Assistance in resolving any conflicts or dilemmas will be facilitated or determined by the module convenor.

The entire consultancy will be structured within the University’s Entrepreneurship Project Placement Agreement. Students will be under the University’s Placement Non-Disclosure Agreements which will provide project hosts with confidence that their proprietary and confidential information will not be disclosed beyond the scope of the Entrepreneurship Project.

By the end of this module students will be able to:

• Understand the challenges that start-up and early stage entrepreneurs face
• Understand and be adept in the mode of Process Consultation (Edgar Schein)
• Display familiarity and confidence in the use of consultancy tools
• Demonstrate competence in acting as a consultant to investigate a start-up or early stage business and its entrepreneurial dilemma or challenge
• Generate and organise large amounts of primary data into meaningful clusters (coding) for the production of the case study
• Support proposals by using evidence from existing knowledge (secondary research) of similar situations (i.e., there must be some support for the claims that are being made by the student)
• Provide valuable ‘expert’ intelligence to their business host
• Convene effective management meetings to communicate information and receive and clarify information received
• Set personal targets and manage adherence to a strict project timeline
• Demonstrate critical self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and time management
• Demonstrate sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and build and maintain empathy with their hosts
• Recognise and address ethical dilemmas
• Understand how to manage client confidentiality

Assessable learning outcomes:
Successful completion of the entrepreneurship project requires students to work closely with the project host to define and execute the case study research.


Task 1 is a log of evidence that is based upon reflections of student interactions with entrepreneurs and their teams prior to the project commencement , plus reporting on ONE of the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship SME events (0% but used as evidence for Task 2).

The Task 2 report of 1000 words requires a self-assessment of your individual capabilities for consultancy, the identification of future capabilities that will be needed, and a plan to manage and build those capabilities during the consultancy period. Submission in June (10%).

Task 3 is a team-based task which requires the creation of a case study (a current situation analysis + a proposal for growth) of 4000-5000 words plus a visual tapestry (to be explained in the criteria). The source of the report is based upon information gathered from observations and discussions with the host.
Submit in late July in accordance with Blackboard instructions (20% of marks).

Task 4- is the client version of Task 3 based on feedback from the module convenor (20%, 2500 words).

Task 5 is an individual personal learning reflective report utilising evidence recorded in some form of diary or journal which will be required for inspection (1000 words) plus an individual proposal supported by secondary and primary research (4000 words in total -50%).

Submit in August (usually 4 weeks after Task 3) as per instructions in Blackboard.

Important Note:
Task 3 and 4 are team- based and require ALL members to contribute equally (or approximately equally). Individual marks may be raised or lowered by up to 20% from the team mark. In extreme cases of poor contributions, the Module Convenor may require the individual to write an individual case study for Task 3.

However, full participation in Tasks 3 and 4 is self-serving, since with full participation the individual will have access to and a better understanding of, a larger body of information to enable a successful production of Task 5.

Students are required to remain at Henley until the submission of the team Task 3 and fully support their team members in the production of the Task 4 client report (where individual contributions can be provided remotely).

Additional outcomes:
The self-directed nature of study for this module should encourage students to be resourceful in their search for relevant literature, data and other sources, and manage the various stages of each Task effectively, leading to timely submission of the all Tasks.
With full participation, and use of Schein's Process Consultation-Humble Inquiry philosophy, students will improve their research inquiry methods, observation and, listening skills, personal interaction skills, classifying and analysis skills, and report-writing skills.
Classes on practical consultancy tools, with practice cases will be delivered within the taught component in Spring term.

Outline content:
The challenges facing start-ups and early-stage small firms in the pursuit of survival and growth (a small amount of overlap with other programme module content is possible);
Understanding the motivations of founders and small firm owners;
Process Consultation and the philosophy of Humble Inquiry;
Personal competencies required for effective consultation;
Consultancy business tools required for sense making and analysis;
Tools for assisting entrepreneurs in the development of their business;
Practice consultancy opportunities with guest entrepreneurs, and/or entrepreneurs in business incubators/enterprise centres;
A study visit (which in 2015 and 2016 was to Poland) to work with entrepreneurs in a 3 day programme;
Visits to project hosts for gathering information directly;
Finding relevant secondary research plus innovative thinking to provide context and a deeper understanding of the key themes identified;
Formal communication of the entire project in a formal report for assessment;
Reflection on feedback from marker for the production of an executive report for the project host.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Phase 1 in Autumn term introduces the challenge of team-based masters learning. There will be classes on what is expected of high performing teams. This will be beneficial for all modules where this is team based assessment.

Phase 2 involves the development of an understanding of the challenges of start-up or early stage business survival and growth, alongside an understanding of the approaches needed to successfully consult to these types of business and their business owners; student will develop a better understanding of their own personal skill expertise in Process Consultation/Humble Inquiry and the understanding of consultancy tools.

Phase 3 involves the consultancy team directly interacting with their project host from early June to the end of July, displaying competency in consultancy tools and process, in order to build trust that will lead to information being willingly divulged by the host;

Phase 4 involves the team making sense of the information gathered during the consultancy and synthesising it into an ‘analysis of the current situation’, with a proposal for enhancing the business (Task 3) and a revised client proposal report (Task 4), which is based on feedback from Task 3.

Phase 5 involves each member of the team using the case study and their individual ‘insights’ from Phase 3 and 4, to produce an individual report containing learning lessons and an individual proposal for the project client host (Task 5).

In Spring term there will be a series of practical lectures which will help students to enhance their self-awareness, current capabilities and readiness for their consultancy interaction with the project host. Students are also expected to attend Centre for Entrepreneurship events to observe and develop empathy for entrepreneurs- this will be assessed in Task 1 and 2.

In the second half of Spring term entrepreneurs from within the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship network will be asked to provide a Summer term project opportunity for the teams of student ‘entrepreneur consultants’.
Teams will be formed for the consultancy with the project host at the end of Spring term, or immediately following the examination period.

It may not be feasible to match every student to their preferred project. The module convenor has an obligation to deliver good value to the project hosts who support this ‘live project’ and has a responsibility to ensure the ‘project leader’ of each team is strong in spoken, aural and written communication, in order to build confidence with the project host. All students are encouraged to develop their spoken communication skills during the Autumn and Spring terms.

In Summer term the practical application will commence. In June, there will be a short one week programme study visit. This is followed by weekly lectures, weekly visits to the project hosts, and supervision of Humble Inquiry progress.

The module convenor will strictly monitor attendance at lectures and at the project host to ensure adherence to the project timeline to ensure student progression.

It is essential that no holidays or absences from the University occur from the end of the examination period up to the submission of team Task 3 at the end of July. The enhanced client report, Task 4, can be developed in a remote team context to enable students to return home.
Students need to be 100% reliable and professional and not distracted by holiday opportunities, in their dealings with their project host.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12 16 16
Seminars 8 6
Project Supervision 1
Practicals classes and workshops 2 38
Fieldwork 15
Guided independent study 26 36 224
Total hours by term 40.00 60.00 300.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 90
Practical skills assessment 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Task 1: Reflections on interactions with entrepreneurs: log
Task 2: Individual self-assessment of consultancy capabilities and development plan: 1000 words
Task 3: Team Consultancy Proposal: 4-5000 words
Task 4: Client report of Team Consultancy proposal- enhancement of Task 3: 2500 words
Task 5: Individual Project Report: 4000 words

Formative assessment methods:
Tutor and peer feedback from student and external interactions during Autumn and Spring terms will assist students’ development of self-awareness of the capabilities needed for consultancy, which is to be self-reported in Task 1 and submitted for marking as Task 2.
Cohort supervision discussions during the observation period leading to the case study allow for knowledge sharing and peer to peer feedback
Team-based supervision discussions during the analysis of key themes from the case study.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
No examination

Requirements for a pass:
Requirement for a pass 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
By individual submission of a new individual Task by 1st September of the following year.

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: Practice preparation for the consultancy project involves a day visit to a London start-up incubator (costs are covered for this in Spring Enhancement Week), and also special study visit (2015 and 2016 to Poland).

For the study visit to Poland, the costs of the hotel (twin share), breakfast and lunch, and tuition are included in the programme fees, but students are required to pay for air transport and some subsistence meals.

Based on 2016 the costs were:
Air by LOT @ £150
Schengen Visa = 60 euros
London travel for Schengen visa = £25
Additional meals in Poland = £30

The projects can be based locally or in London. There is a budget that can pay up to £100 for student travel, although students in London may exceed this amount as each of the required 4-5 visits will cost approx. £25 off peak.

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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