MMM161-Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consultancy Project

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron
Email: keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides you with the experience of risk-taking as you step out of the class and engage with external entrepreneurial businesses to help them enhance their growth.



Demonstrating how you have taken risks in this process of consultancy will be a valuable implicit contract to future employers, family business owners, and possible investors in your start-up.



Consultancy is the method for integrating all your entrepreneurial learning and the inquiry skills you develop here will also help and be helped by your participation in MMM042, MMM162, in Spring and MM52ENT the summer Applied Challenge module, all of which precede the consultancy interaction in this module.



The capabilities you develop in this consultancy process are not just to follow a consultancy career. The capabilities and processes will provide you with a professional approach for any situation that requires the exploration and understanding of a novel (entrepreneurial) situation. Students can deploy this approach in a family business, in any entrepreneurial small businesses, in innovative project/product teams in organisations, in the development and launch of your own venture, and also in pure consultancy roles.



You will progress through this module, initially in informal groups practising on case studies before being introduced to short projects from real entrepreneurs.



The final stage (assessed stage) is where you act as an extended team for the entrepreneur deploying the tools and team and interpersonal approaches you will have developed to help you understand and challenge the entrepreneur’s situation. In the process you will develop your own entrepreneurial capacity.



It is not a case study; it is for real. The risk (to your reputation and intelligence) is real.



The capabilities for a successful project involve how you form trusted relationships with your team and with your client (valuable for whatever business you go into); how you become adept at good questioning and listening (a Humble Inquiry approach); how you effectively transform the information gathered into a structured analysis and then creatively into an innovative proposal for the entrepreneur. 



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.



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



You will need to develop and use your capabilities in being creative, entrepreneurial thinking, innovation and leadership initiative.



Depending upon the client’s needs for confidentiality, the consultancy may be structured within the University’s Entrepreneurship Project Placement Agreement. Students will be under the University’s Placement Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) which will provide project hosts with confidence that their proprietary and confidential information will not be disclosed beyond the scope of the Entrepreneurship Project.



It is the intention of the MC to only engage with clients who do not require NDAs to be signed but this cannot be guaranteed. However, a breach of client confidentiality, outside of the cohort, could result in disciplinary matters including your failure to be allowed to complete this module and the programme. It is a real project and the entrepreneurs we work with need to have trust in our process.


Aims:

To provide real experiences for students to learn from the experience of putting theory into practice. Entrepreneurship requires the foundation of good theory to inform what and where the most appropriate action will be most rewarded. This module will ‘challenge students by placing them in situations of cognitive and experiential complexity’ (Lombardi, 2007, p2-3), where they will need to make decisions regarding how to interact and what expertise to bring to the interaction, for the benefit of the client.



To provide methods and processes for engaging successfully with real clients and understand how to elicit information from a real client, and not just from databases and academic searches.



To provide the context for the development and awareness of soft skills, such as team-building and team-work, communication with diverse audiences, both verbally and written.



To provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their creative thinking to produce innovative but implementable outcomes that will benefit the client.


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 demonstrate competence in acting as a consultant in the mode of Process Consultation 



 



• evidence critical self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and time management



 



• evidence sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and build and maintain empathy with your hosts and fellow team members



 



• evidence effective team working



 



• evidence familiarity with and effectiveness in the use of consultancy tools



 



• generate and organise large amounts of primary data int o meaningful clusters (coding) for the production of the case study



 



• demonstrate how proposals are supported through using authoritative 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)



 



• produce original thinking for the project host



 



& bull; demonstrate convening and contributing to effective management meetings to communicate information and receive and clarify information received



 



• demonstrate effectiveness in setting personal targets and adherence to a strict project timeline



 



• evidence how to manage client confidentiality


Additional outcomes:

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, data visualisation 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 especially MMM123 and MMM042);



 



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;



&n bsp;



5) Communication skills for direct and indirect discussions



 



6) Consultancy business tools and data visualisation mapping (the Tapestry) for sense making and analysis;



 



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



 



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



 



9) Study visit to work with entrepreneurs and business coaches in a 4-5 day programme after examination period (or at the end of spring term) is in MMM52ENT, a core module, where the learning outcomes are closely correlated to this module; 



 



10) Capstone consultancy engagement with project hosts. This includes establishing trust, gathering information ident ifying key themes, conducting self-directed secondary research, communicating in various formats to expert (university) and non-expert (the project host) audiences; 



 



11) 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 and keep a record of your personal observations and reflections of good practices (for Task 1).





The practical, immersive element is taught in the form of supervised and independent consultancy sessions with entrepreneurs, which may be online or may require some travelling to their premises.. These sessions will be supported by the module convenor who will provide supervision feedback and guidance through team and individual meetings. .





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 teamwork aspect of the module, a gradually increasing level of initiative and self-reflection will be required of you.





Whilst 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 which include encouraging (providing a scaffold/supporting effect) less confident team membe rs to be more participative.





There will be one or two classes 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 to achieve the learning goals of Henley at Level 7 learning, and how to create high performing teams. This will be beneficial for all modules where this is a 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, including via email/skype/blackboard collaborate with t heir project host from mid-June to mid-July, displaying competency in consultancy tools, data gathering and mapping, 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 capabilities, since the information will be gathered in real meetings at the pace of the project host. 





Whilst all students enrol led 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, which also de velops their confidence. Additional classes will be made available for such students, especially in Spring term.



 



In Summer term the practical application will commence. This consist s of a combination of classes, weekly visits to the project hosts, and small group supervision meetings for discussion of progress either in class or using remote technologies.



 



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



 



It is ess ential that no holidays or absences from the University occur from the end of the examination period up to the submission of team Task 3  towards the end of July.





 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 18 16
Project Supervision 2
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Fieldwork 20
External visits 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 4 16 24
    Wider reading (directed) 4 16 24
    Peer assisted learning 4 4 12
    Advance preparation for classes 4 10
    Preparation for presentations 4 8
    Preparation for seminars 4 12
    Preparation of practical report 50
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 10
    Group study tasks 8 22
    Carry-out research project 80
       
Total hours by term 20 100 280
       
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No final exam.


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 Analysis and Proposal: 20 minute presentation



Task 4: Individual Project Proposal (for Task 5 integration) and Individual Personal Performance Evaluation report (not shared with your group); (4000 words)



Task 5: Team Report which integrates the learning from Task 3 and the opinions from the Individual Proposals from Task 4; (4000 words)



 



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



Submit in early June.



Task 2 is an INDIVIDUAL report of 1000 words (10%); it 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.



Submit in June, 1 week after Task 1.



Task 3 is a TEAM-based presentation (20 %); 20 minutes plus question responses about the client. The expert audience for this Task is your module convenor (i.e. not for the client).



The module convenor is an expert in entrepreneurship but is not completely knowledgeable of the matters of the host entrepreneur, so this presentation requires you to communicate your understanding of the host’s business venture, the challenges they face now, and your innovative proposal for solving the biggest challenge.



The presentation requires good planning and organisation as otherwise it will be difficult to complete within 20 minutes. It should incorporate informational, text and visual images that can be re-used and elaborated into the visual tapestry to be provided with Task 5 (the tapestry is a visual summary which explains the entire ‘story’ (to be explained in the criteria)). 



The contributions of every student must be noted in the presentation or identified in what has been done prior to the presentation.  The team needs to produce excellent evidence that everyone has made a valuable contribution.



Submit a document ahead of the presentation in mid-July in accordance with Blackboard instructions and everyone is to attend the presentation.



 



Task 4 is an INDIVIDUAL report (50 %) of  4000 words.

This has 2 parts; each team member must individually build upon Task 3 and devise an individual proposal for the entrepreneur. These will inform your team integration for the team proposal in Task 5.



The second part which will not be shared with your team members, is your personal performance review.

Submit 2 weeks after Task 3.



 



Task 5 is a team report (20%) of 4000 words (+ Visual creative Tapestry).. Task 5 requires you to learn from your Task 3 experience and the immediate verbal feedback received after the presentation and from the individual proposals in Task 4.

This is the most important report as this is the one that is sent to the project host. It is written FOR THE CLIENT.

Submit in early September.

 



Important Note: 



Tasks 3 and 5 are TEAM - based and require ALL me

Formative assessment methods:

Task 1 involves the production of a learning log of experiences for referencing to from Task 2. 



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:

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):



























 



Cost



 



Amount



 



1. Required Text Book



 



£15.00



 



 2. Printing and Binding for project host, if you decide to (per person)



 



 £15.00



 



3. Travel for project meetings*



 



£150.00



 



*there is a small budget so expenses for this may be partially refunded



 



 



Last updated: 8 April 2022

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

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