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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MAN1040 Module Title: BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Module Provider: School of Management Short Name: MAN1040
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: LI G Dr (SoM)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability

Full-time only 

Assessment Pattern

 Unit(s) of Assessment 

 Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)

Formative assessment: in-class test, Semester One  

In-class test: closed-book, multiple-choice questions, week 3 of Semester Two 


Summative assessment 2: closed-book, multiple-choice examination, Semester Two 


Qualifying Condition(s) 


Module Overview

Businesses do not exist in isolation. They must operate within a complex and sometimes turbulent environment. The key forces facing businesses are economic, political, legal, technological, demographic, social-cultural, ethical as well as ecological environments. This module examines the influences of various external environments on business organisations. 

Module Aims

This module aims to demonstrate the relationship between business and a number of related external environments, with particular attention being focused upon the economic, political, legal, technological, demographic, social-cultural, ethical and ecological environments. For example, consideration is given to how governmental organisations at local, national and international level influence business organisation and management, including the increasingly significant role played by the European Union.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students will be able to: 
·        Outline the key features of the environment affecting the conduct of business organisations (C, K) 
·        Give examples of situations where the political, economic, legal and social environment has had a direct effect on business operations (P, T)
·        Describe the key features of the economic, political, legal, technological and social-cultural environments (C, K) 
·        Classify environmental influences in an appropriate manner (C, K) 
·        Distinguish between internal and external factors affecting business performance (C, K)
(Key: C-Cognitive/Analytical; K-Subject knowledge; T-Transferable; P-rofessional/Practical skills) 

Module Content

The nature and meaning of the business environment; models and theories used to explain and illustrate the concept; the relationship between the business environment and other related environments such as the economic, legal, social and technological environments. 
Structure and Levels of Government 
The nature of government and what governments are for; levels of government from local through to international; accountability, bureaucracy and official secrecy; the British system of government and levels of policy making; the executive, legislature and judiciary. 
Economic Environment 
The economic environment at both macro and micro levels; the flows of economic activity; macroeconomic policies and their influences on businesses; market structure and competition; the international economic environment; international trade and globalisation. 
The Public Sector 
The range and scope of the public sector, what it is and what it does; comparisons and contrasts with the private sector; how it has changed over time; privatisation and managerialism; managing in the public sector. 
Introduction to the role of law in the legal environment 
Major areas of business law will be introduced in the context of the business environment: business organisations, contract, agency, property, environmental, competition, consumer, health & safety, and international.
Technological Environment 
The importance of technology and innovation; how technology affects organisations, people and jobs; technological changes, especially the emergence of e-business. 
Ethical and Ecological Environment 
The meaning of corporate social responsibility and the actions business needs to undertake in order to be considered socially responsible; the benefits that are available to business from following a strategy of corporate social responsibility; how businesses can be encouraged to accommodate environmental policies into their strategic management techniques. 
The European Union 
An introduction to the background history and development of the European Union from the Treaty of Rome in 1957; an examination of the institutions of the EU, their importance and impact upon business; the impact of policy initiatives such as the single currency, social policy and competition; the future of the EU including the question of enlargement to central and eastern Europe. 
Social Policy and the Social Environment 
Issues of corporate social policy and social responsibility concerning such matters as the environment and equal opportunities; the role and activities of pressure and interest groups and their influence upon business; corporate attitudes and responses to environmental and other social issues such as environmental audits. 
Cross Cultural Issues 
As businesses exploit opportunities abroad, a key competency of international management is cross cultural skills; ability to anticipate issues that help and hinder global operations.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to encourage students to respond to formal presentations but also take responsibility for their own learning by combining lecture presentations with self directed learning based around the core text and supporting material on U-Learn. 
The teaching and learning methods include lectures and directed reading. Classroom discussion will be limited in scope given the size of the group. 
Assessment Strategy 
The assessment methods include both formative and summative assessment. The formative assessment is an in-class self-assessed multiple-choice test with feedback from lecturers during the course. The summative assessment includes a closed-book, multiple-choice examination at the end of the spring semester. 

Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading This module will be using a customised textbook: The Business Environment, 3rd edition, compiled by Gang Li, John Tribe, Graham Miller, Edith Szivas, Caroline Scarles, Avital Biran and Victoria Eichhorn, in conjunction with Pearson Education. 
Recommended Reading 
Brooks I. and Weatherston J. (2000) The Business Environment, Prentice Hall: London . 
Clark A. (1999), Organisation, Competition and the Business Environment FT Prentice Hall: London .
Worthington, I. and Britton, C, (2009), The Business Environment 6th edition, Prentice Hall: London . 
Background Reading 
Journal articles and web sites as appropriate.

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