MMM161: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consultancy Project

MMM161: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consultancy Project

Module code: MMM161

Module provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour; Henley Business School

Credits: 40

Level: Postgraduate Masters

When you'll be taught: Semester 2 / Summer

Module convenor: Mr Keith Heron, 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: No

Talis reading list: Yes

Last updated: 28 May 2024


Module aims and purpose

This module is where ‘theory meets reality’. It 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, and MMM169, the 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 process 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 a 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 30% 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. More usually the project details are retained within lockable MIRO boards that are provided to the client at the end of the project. At all times, you must maintain their confidence in you not to share their information with anyone external to the 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.

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.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. understand the challenges that start-up and early stage entrepreneurs face 
  2. understand and demonstrate competence in acting as a consultant in the mode of Process Consultation 
  3. evidence critical self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and time management
  4. evidence sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and build and maintain empathy with your hosts and fellow team members
  5. evidence effective team working
  6. evidence familiarity with and effectiveness in the use of consultancy tools
  7. generate and organise large amounts of primary data into meaningful clusters (coding) for the production of the case study
  8. 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)
  9. produce original thinking for the project host
  10. demonstrate convening and contributing to effective management meetings to communicate information and receive and clarify information received
  11. demonstrate effectiveness in setting personal targets and adherence to a strict project timeline
  12. evidence how to manage client confidentiality and demonstrate that within the lockable Miro boards


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.

Module content

  • Survival and growth challenges of start-ups and early-stage small firms (this may use content from other modules especially MMM123 and MMM042);
  • Founder and small firm owner motivations;
  • Nature and philosophy of Process Consultation;
  • Personal competencies for effective consultation: your personal styles and team working;
  • Communication skills for direct and indirect discussions
  • Consultancy business tools and data visualisation mapping (the Tapestry) for sense making and analysis;
  • Tools for assisting entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses;
  • Practice consultancy opportunities with guest entrepreneurs, and/or entrepreneurship business incubators/enterprise centres;
  • Study visit to work with entrepreneurs and business coaches in a 4-5 day programme after examination period at the end of spring semester is in MMM169, a core module, where the learning outcomes are closely correlated to this module; 
  • Capstone consultancy engagement with project hosts. This includes establishing trust, gathering information identifying key themes, conducting self-directed secondary research, communicating in various formats to expert (university) and non-expert (the project host) audiences; 
  • 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. 




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.

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 teamworking 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 members 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 semester 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. 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 semester involves the consultancy team directly interacting, including via email/skype/blackboard collaborate with their project host from mid-June to late-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 set by the project host. 

Whilst all 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, which also develops their confidence. Additional classes will be made available for such students, especially in Spring semester.

In Summer semester the practical application will commence. This consists 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 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.

Study hours

At least 48 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 16 20
Project Supervision 2
Practical classes and workshops 12
Supervised time in studio / workshop
Scheduled revision sessions
Feedback meetings with staff
Fieldwork 20
External visits
Work-based learning

 Self-scheduled teaching and learning activities  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Directed viewing of video materials/screencasts
Participation in discussion boards/other discussions
Feedback meetings with staff
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 92 238

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 need to achieve an overall module mark of 50% to pass this module.

Summative assessment

Type of assessment Detail of assessment % contribution towards module mark Size of assessment Submission date Additional information
Portfolio or Journal Task 1: Reflections on interactions with entrepreneurs 0 Week 1, Dissertation 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.
Written coursework assignment Task 2: Individual self-assessment of practical consultancy capabilities and development plan 20 1,200 words Week 2, Dissertation Task 2 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.
Oral assessment Task 3: Team Consultancy Analysis and Proposal 30 25 minutes Week 7, Dissertation Task 3 is a TEAM-based presentation. 25 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.
Written coursework assignment Task 4: Individual Project Proposal 40 4,000 words Week 10, Dissertation Each team member must individually build upon Task 3 and devise an individual proposal for the entrepreneur. These will be sent to the entrepreneur so this is your biggest personal reputational risk. It is written FOR THE CLIENT.
Written coursework assignment Task 5: Individual Evaluation of Personal and Team Performance-report 10 1,200 words Week 12 or 13, Dissertation Task 5 is an Individual evaluation of your Personal and Team Performance. This will not be sent to the project host.

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
Written coursework assignment Individual Task, based upon the consultancy 100 During the university resit period By individual submission of a new individual Task, based upon the consultancy, by 1st September of the following year.

Additional costs

Item Additional information Cost
Computers and devices with a particular specification
Printing and binding Printing and Binding for project host, if you decide to (per person) £15
Required textbooks £15
Specialist clothing, footwear, or headgear
Specialist equipment or materials
Travel, accommodation, and subsistence Travel for project meetings (there is a small budget so expenses for this may be partially refunded) £150


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