MMM075-Entrepreneurship Project

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron

Email: keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will enable you to develop your entrepreneurial capacity and your understanding of the start-up process through an immersive, team-based learning experience.

You will study a range of theoretical frameworks for the analysis and consultancy of small businesses and start-ups and be introduced to the academic discourse about the value and process of team-building.

Through various, increasingly more complex, team-based consultancy sessions with entrepreneurs and business coaches you will be able to apply and further refine your understanding of the taught material.

In addition to the academic content of this module, you will need to draw on your knowledge from across the whole programme in a creative manner, as suitable to your particular consultancy tasks.

Team building and team working skills are of paramount importance to entrepreneurial success; hence 40% of the module assessment is team-based.

Creative, entrepreneurial thinking and leadership initiative will be valuable and rewarded.

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



 


Aims:

Successful consultancy interaction with profit and non-profit making enterprises to enable them to overcome challenges.

The development of soft skills, such as team-building and team-work, communication with expert and non-expert audiences, both verbally and in writing. 

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.



 


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module you 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 (advocated by Edgar Schein)

• Generate and organise large amounts of primary data into meaningful clusters (coding) for analysis

• Display familiarity and confidence in the use of consultancy tools for producing expert analysis and expert judgements that are valued by the entrepreneur host

• Support the claims that are made by using authoritative evidence from existing knowledge (secondary research) of similar situations 

• Understand how to manage client confidentiality

• 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 and fellow team members

• Demonstrate effective team working

• Recognise and address ethical dilemmas 

• Set personal targets and manage adherence to a strict project timeline

Assessment:

Task 1 (0% and used as evidence for Task 2) is a log of evidence that is based upon reflections of student learning from observation of and interaction with entrepreneurs prior to the project commencement. 

Submit in June after Poland study visit.

The Task 2 INDIVIDUAL report of 1000 words (10%) requires a critical 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. Report on ONE of the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship SME events.

Submit in June 5 days after Task 1. 

Task 3 is a TEAM-based report (20%, 5000 words). 

This report requires you to communicate your understanding of the host’s business venture, the challenges they face now, and your creative proposal for solving the biggest challenge, to the module convenor.  The report includes a visual tapestry (to be explained in the criteria). The source material for the report is based upon information gathered from observations and discussions with the host. 

Submit in late July in accordance with Blackboard instructions. 

Task 4 report (20%, 4000 words + Tapestry) is to be submitted after receiving feedback from Task 3. It is FOR THE CLIENT and does not need a detailed explanation of their existing business; just your analysis of the current situation, and your expert judgement concerning the challenge the business is facing. This task also requires you to produce a visual ‘story’ of your report, in the form of a tapestry, which will be sent to the host. Comments from the client influence the mark for Task 4. 

Submit in mid-august in accordance with Blackboard instructions. 

Task 5 is an INDIVIDUAL report (50%, 3000-4000 words) which discusses your personal proposal and your personal implementation plan for your project host. You are now separated from your team and free to offer your personal original thinking. 

Submit 2 weeks after Task 4 as per instructions in Blackboard.



 


Additional outcomes:

By successfully completing this module you will develop a high level of professional self-awareness and practical analytical and communicative skills.

Producing work of a stipulated content, based on self-directed research and large amounts of data within set periods of time, will help you hone your ability to work in a highly systematic and collaborative manner under intense pressure.

With full participation and use of Schein's Process Consultation-Humble Inquiry philosophy, you will improve your research inquiry methods, observation and, listening skills, personal interaction skills, classifying and analysis skills, and report-writing skills.



 


Outline content:

1) Survival and growth challenges of start-ups and early-stage small firms (this may use content from other modules);

2) Founder and small firm owner motivations;

3) Nature and philosophy of Process Consultation;

4) Personal competencies for effective consultation: your personal styles and team working;

5) Consultancy business tools for sense making and analysis;

6) Tools for assisting entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses; 

7) Practice consultancy opportunities with guest entrepreneurs, and/or entrepreneurs in business incubators/enterprise centres;

8) Study visit (to Poland or another partner institution) to work with entrepreneurs and business coaches in a 4 day programme (optional but highly recommended); 

9) Capstone consultancy project (including information gathering visits to project hosts, identification of key themes, self-directed secondary research, communication of the project in various formats to expert (university) and non-expert (the project host) audiences; 

10) Communication skills workshops (verbal and written) in support of assessment Tasks and consultancy visits



 


Global context:

This module has a global context in that cross-cultural biases are highlighted in the practical elements, with regards to the team building processes as well as the consultancy of the entrepreneurs.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The core theoretical content of the module will be taught in lessons and workshops, conducted by the module convenor and external experts.

In addition, you will be required to read a range of relevant journal articles and books.

The practical, immersive element is taught in the form of supervised and independent consultancy sessions with entrepreneurs and/ or business coaches, most of which require some travelling. These sessions will be supported through team and individual meetings with the module convenor for feedback and guidance.

In addition, you will have to perform self-directed primary and secondary research and creative thinking to develop pertinent and innovative suggestions for your capstone consultancy project.

With regards to the team-building and team work aspect of the module, a gradually increasing level of initiative and self-reflection will be required of you.

While the module convenor will provide support to you in finding your suitable team role, the more experienced students are encouraged to pro-actively hone and develop their leadership skills.

There is only one class in autumn term to introduce you to the challenge of self-awareness and your role in team-based master’s learning.

In Spring term there will be classes on what is expected of and how to create high performing teams. This will be beneficial for all modules where this is team-based assessment. 

During spring term, you will work in informal teams to experience diverse perspectives and team dynamics, where you will start to develop an understanding of the consultancy skills required for the project, plus your own personal skill expertise in Process Consultation/Humble Inquiry.

Summer term involves the consultancy team directly interacting, initially via email/skype with their project host from early June to mid- July, displaying competency in consultancy tools and process, in order to build trust that will lead to information being willingly divulged by the host.

Teams will be established by the module convenor with a distribution of cultures and capabilities. Teams will then be expected to develop a team charter to enable effective performance. The teams will have an opportunity to pitch for one of the projects that are being offered though it may not be feasible to match every team 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 each team is particularly strong in spoken and listening, communication since the information will be gathered in real meetings, Whilst students enrolled on this programme have attained the minimum language requirements, many previous international students have found it beneficial to continually develop their English speaking skills in order to make a strong contribution during the consultancy meetings. Additional classes will be made available for such students.

In Summer term the practical application will commence. 

In June, there will be a short optional programme study visit to help students develop confidence (usually to Poland to work with other master’s students helping start-up entrepreneurs). This is followed by a combination of classes, weekly visits to the project hosts, and small group supervision meetings for discussion of progress.

The module convenor will strictly monitor attendance at scheduled classes in June and July and at the project host to ensure adherence to the project timeline to ensure student progression.

It is essential that there no holidays or absences during the consultancy engagement and the team development of Tasks 3, and preferably, Task 4.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2 18 16
Project Supervision 2
Practicals classes and workshops 14
Fieldwork 20
External visits 8
Guided independent study 18 60 242
       
Total hours by term 20.00 100.00 280.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 90
Portfolio 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Task 1: Reflections on interactions with entrepreneurs: log/portfolio 

Task 2: Individual self-assessment of practical consultancy capabilities and development plan: 1000 words 

Task 3: Team Consultancy Proposal: 5000 words

Task 4: Team Client report: 4000 words

Task 5: Individual proposal and implementation plan report (3000-4000 words)



 


Formative assessment methods:

Tutor and peer feedback from student and external interactions during Autumn and Spring terms will assist your development of self-awareness of the capabilities needed for consultancy, which is to be self-reported in Task 1 and 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx


Assessment requirements for a pass:

Requirement for a pass 50%.


Reassessment arrangements:

By individual submission of a new individual Task, based upon the consultancy, by 1st September of the following year.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Edgar Schein. One of Schein’s text books will be the module text-book, but students are encouraged to locate online resources relating to Schein’s philosophy of ‘Process Consultation/ Humble Inquiry’.



Additional Costs:



Students are invited to join a study visit to Poland, which is optional, in early June.

Study visit tuition costs and accommodation costs are paid for but travel and subsistence costs are not included.

Travel costs to project hosts for consultancy meetings will be reimbursed upon the production of receipts in expense claims to be made after the meetings have concluded (up to £100 per student).

Travel costs to a business incubator at the end of Spring Term will be reimbursed or paid in advance by the Business School.


Last updated: 17 August 2018

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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