MM1F19: Management Debates: Ways of thinking about business

MM1F19: Management Debates: Ways of thinking about business

Module code: MM1F19

Module provider: International Business and Strategy; Henley Business School

Credits: 40

Level: Level 1 (Certificate)

When you'll be taught: Semester 1

Module convenor: Dr Mads Emil Wedell-Wedellsborg, email:

Module co-convenor: Professor Peter Miskell, email:

Pre-requisite module(s):

Co-requisite module(s):

Pre-requisite or Co-requisite module(s):

Module(s) excluded:

Placement information: na

Academic year: 2024/5

Available to visiting students: Yes

Talis reading list: Yes

Last updated: 28 May 2024


Module aims and purpose

This module introduces students to key ideas and debates that pertain to the study of business and management. It exposes students to the intellectual foundations on which many well-known management frameworks are built. In doing so it requires students to consider business decisions from different disciplinary perspectives, and to recognise the value of these competing viewpoints.

The module is premised on the assumption that business and management is not a traditional academic discipline, with its own well established rules and conventions. Rather, we see it as a profoundly important set of activities that shape many aspects of our lives, and which can be understood by applying insights and perspectives from different academic fields. The module therefore aims to:

  • Introduce students to ideas and concepts from different subject areas;
  • Help students to appreciate the relevance and usefulness of these concepts for understanding business and management practice;
  • Encourage students to weigh the relative merits of these different perspectives in different situations or circumstances.

The module lead at the University of Reading Malaysia is Mandy Mok.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Understand key ideas from fields such as psychology, economics, politics, law, history and philosophy and how these apply to business and management;
  • Analyse the foundational concepts of ‘organisations’ and ‘consumers’ from multiple disciplinary perspectives;
  • Analyse the relationships and interaction between firms and consumers (or between different organisations) from multiple disciplinary perspectives;
  • Appreciate the way in which businesses relate to both their local communities, and to wider global trends, from multiple disciplinary perspectives;
  • Critically assess the relative value of these different perspectives in relation to specific questions or international contexts.

Module content

The module addresses core concepts in business and management from four broad perspectives: 

Psychology – Key topics include: individual motives and behaviours at work; consumer decision-making; the exploitation and resilience of individuals; and individuals within local and global communities. 

Economics – Key issues include: the efficiency of markets; the economic function of firms; pricing and market segmentation; game theory; and the factors that influence where firms are located. 

Rules, regulations and ethics - This draws on academic concepts from fields such as law, politics and philosophy. Key issues include: corporate governance and control; the regulation of consumer choice; the principles of contract law; the challenges of enforcing rules at a global level. 

Historical perspectives –  Key questions include: when did concepts such as ‘the firm’ or ‘the consumer’ first appear and why? Are the decisions of firms (and consumers) constrained by their particular histories? How can our understanding of the past inform our thinking about current and future trends? 

The module is international in both content and outlook. The concepts covered through the module are internationally applicable and this will be reflected in the readings and examples explored. The final week of lectures will primarily focus on global issues (e.g. relating to inequality, climate change and shifting patterns of globalisation). 

Students will be expected to work within multinational (and multicultural) groups throughout the module, exposing them to different assumptions and approaches in practice as well as in theory.


Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops. Each of the four disciplinary perspectives will be covered by a ‘stream’ of weekly one-hour lectures, introducing students to key concepts and ideas from the relevant academic field. In each week these lectures will address the same broad themes (e.g. firms, consumers, workplace conflicts, business environments), but will do so using a different disciplinary lens. Fortnightly two-hour workshops will also be run to help students integrate these different perspectives in specific business contexts. The workshops will also provide essential preparation for both individual and group assessments. Alongside these sessions, there will also be a weekly stream of skills classes which will provide dedicated support to help students with things such as team working, essay and report writing, presentations and to provide feedback on assessed work.

The pedagogy builds on Henley’s longstanding commitment to the syndicate method, whereby students learn in groups throughout the duration of their studies. Students will remain in the same groups throughout the module. Groups will be required to co-operate in preparation for workshop classes, as well as for their group assignment, with group members having the time to really understand each other’s strengths, and to learn how to work through any difficulties. 

This module may be taught in a different Semester if you are studying at our campus in Malaysia.

For students studying at our campus in Malaysia: This module may be taught in a different semester and the breakdown of study hours may differ to those set out in the Study Hours table (please refer to the Module Handbook for the correct breakdown). In addition, you will be required to complete an additional 80 hours of study, taking the total number of study hours to 480 for this module. This is to comply with the Malaysian Quality Agency (MQA).

Study hours

At least 55 hours of scheduled teaching and learning activities will be delivered in person, with the remaining hours for scheduled and self-scheduled teaching and learning activities delivered either in person or online. You will receive further details about how these hours will be delivered before the start of the module.

 Scheduled teaching and learning activities  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Lectures 40
Tutorials 11
Project Supervision
Practical classes and workshops 12
Supervised time in studio / workshop
Scheduled revision sessions 3
Feedback meetings with staff
External visits
Work-based learning

 Self-scheduled teaching and learning activities  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Directed viewing of video materials/screencasts 40
Participation in discussion boards/other discussions 40
Feedback meetings with staff 2
Other (details)

 Placement and study abroad  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Study abroad

Please note that the hours listed above are for guidance purposes only.

 Independent study hours  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Independent study hours 252

Please note the independent study hours above are notional numbers of hours; each student will approach studying in different ways. We would advise you to reflect on your learning and the number of hours you are allocating to these tasks.

Semester 1 The hours in this column may include hours during the Christmas holiday period.

Semester 2 The hours in this column may include hours during the Easter holiday period.

Summer The hours in this column will take place during the summer holidays and may be at the start and/or end of the module.


Requirements for a pass

Students must achieve an overall module mark of 40% to pass this module.

Summative assessment

Type of assessment Detail of assessment % contribution towards module mark Size of assessment Submission date Additional information
Written coursework assignment Individual Essay 20 1,500 words Semester 1, Week 6 (Reading Week)
Written coursework assignment Group report 20 2,500 words Semester 1, Teaching Week 11 Marks will be based on the written group report, submitted in week 11, but students are also required to present their ideas orally in week 12. Marks may be increased or reduced in light of particularly strong / weak presentations. For students, knowledge that they will be expected to take ownership of their work by explaining it in-person should act as a deterrent against over-reliance on AI or against free-riding.
Online written examination Exam 60 2x 1,200 word essays Semester 1, Assessment Period

Penalties for late submission of summative assessment

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

Assessments with numerical marks

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of three working days;
  • the mark awarded due to the imposition of the penalty shall not fall below the threshold pass mark, namely 40% in the case of modules at Levels 4-6 (i.e. undergraduate modules for Parts 1-3) and 50% in the case of Level 7 modules offered as part of an Integrated Masters or taught postgraduate degree programme;
  • where the piece of work is awarded a mark below the threshold pass mark prior to any penalty being imposed, and is submitted up to three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline), no penalty shall be imposed;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

Assessments marked Pass/Fail

  • where the piece of work is submitted within three working days of the deadline (or any formally agreed extension of the deadline): no penalty will be applied;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension of the deadline): a grade of Fail will be awarded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:

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.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment is any task or activity which creates feedback (or feedforward) for you about your learning, but which does not contribute towards your overall module mark.


Type of reassessment Detail of reassessment % contribution towards module mark Size of reassessment Submission date Additional information
Online written examination Exam 100 2x 1,200 word essays During the University resit period August/September

Additional costs

Item Additional information Cost
Computers and devices with a particular specification
Printing and binding
Required textbooks
Specialist clothing, footwear, or headgear
Specialist equipment or materials
Travel, accommodation, and subsistence


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