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Course Description
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BU1001N Business in its Environment
London Metropolitan University
London, England

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Business N/A English 3 24 N/A

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The course aims to provide students with an introduction to the general environment in which businesses operates. It does this through a location of business organization in a wider historical, economic, social, technological, political and legal framework and to highlight the ways in which businesses are both constrained by and able to influence aspects of their environment.

It also aims to provide students with an introduction to a number of important contemporary issues and contexts. In particular issues such as globalization, and to make links between this and the way in which organizations are owned and managed and the implications of these for areas such as the management of people.

CONTENT

  • Origins and historical development of Business Organization
  • Business organization in feudal and mercantilist societies
  • The rise of industrial capitalism
  • Globalization and business organization
  • Ownership and control of business organizations – stakeholders
  • Business organizations and the impact of various contexts - PESTLE. 
                a) The Economic Context – Introduction to issues of scarcity, choice,
                 opportunity costs and different economic systems. 
                b) The Social Context – Demography, ethnicity, class, gender. 
                c) The Political Context – Political parties in
    Britain, the relationship 
                  between
    Britain and the EU. Decision-making in the EU. Globalization
                  and the nation state. 
                
    d) The Legal Context – Brief overview of legal system in England and
                
    Wales, and of emerging EU context. Main implications for
                 organizations and management of people. 
                e) The Technological Context – Technology and networks, e-business,
                 technology and work, skills. 
                f) The International Context
  • Ethics and the Environment – emerging issues of sustainability and wider public policy issues.
  • Markets – product and labor and implications for organizations

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • To demonstrate an understanding of the development of business organization to the present day, and the contrasts between various economic and political systems.
  • To understand the different forms of ownership arrangements that can exist and appreciate their implications for how businesses are controlled and managed.
  • To appreciate the range of external environmental influences that can impact upon business organizations using PESTLE analysis.
  • To understanding the role and importance of markets in influencing the direction and operation of organizations.
  • To appreciate the particular influence of social and technological factors on the ways business organizations function.
  • To understand the impact of legal and political factors on business and management.

TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS

The course will make use of a lecture and seminar format, with lectures providing the basic material coverage and seminars providing an opportunity to explore some of the issues in more depth and detail. The course develops the core capabilities through lectures and seminars – providing a focus on the broad and diverse contexts in which organizations operate, and through seminars and assessment, to get students to seek out and interpret information.

Lectures will provide exposure to a number of concepts and ideas but will draw on a number of organizational examples to ground these ideas and to make the ‘bridge’ to practice.  It is intended that seminars will focus on particular themes and issues, as well as introducing students to small case studies of particular organizations. These will often build upon case examples introduced in lectures.

As this course is intended as an introduction to the wider context in which business functions, the course will make use of both formative and summative assessments. The former will take place through seminar work and individual presentation of readings, the latter through an essay or report and through a seminar presentation.

The breakdown of learning hours in the course is as follows:  
Lectures: 12 hours
Seminars: 12 hours
Weekly Directed Reading: 36 hours
Independent Study: 24 hours
Coursework: 66 hours

ASSESSMENT

Coursework 100%
        2000 word essay/report 60%
        Seminar-based presentation 40%











 
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