NX9304 - Business in the Headlines

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What will I learn on this module?

This module is designed to cultivate and enable your business curiosity regarding commercial and professional activity, and develop your ability to creatively analyse business problems. The module will introduce you to creative problem solving and analytical thinking tools and develop within you the ability to visualise & articulate business problems and propose reasonable possible resolutions. The module engages you in reading and analysing key stories, cases and events in the business press over the last few years, particularly in the Financial Times (which you will have a free university subscription to) and applying your developing analytical skillset to a range of business problems. This module also engages you with appropriate business documentaries, series and movies which will be explored further in a learning journal you will develop as the module progresses.

The module stylistically draws upon the engaging management texts such as “Why Smart Executives Fail” and “Think Again” by Prof. Sydney Finklestein, and Prof. David Ricks’s “Blunders in International Business”. This learning approach emphasizes a highly reflective learning-from-mistakes approach to enabling business awareness, curiosity and development of analytical thinking skills. Using this approach the module explores in a mixture of cases and interactive lectures six themes; corporate blunders, business breakdowns, mergers and acquisitions, strategy gone wrong, governance ungoverned & Trouble-at-the-Top. The development of analytical thinking skills and frameworks will be supported by classic cases and scenarios which will be supplemented with breaking news events in these thematic areas. Lectures will be supported by seminars which enable students to examine the cases and scenarios in greater detail.

In this module you will be 50% assessed examined by an open notes exam in which you will be given specific case content in advance to analyse. 50% of your assessment will be in the form of reflective journals (blogs), in which you will reflect on your engagement with the module’s learning materials on a weekly basis.

How will I learn on this module?

The module has two hours of weekly lectures in which business cases, scenarios and problem solving and analytical techniques are introduced. Before and after the lecture you will be given reading on a teaching and learning plan, and you will be able to access this reading directly through an online reading list on the modules Blackboard site and through the Library website. In the teaching and learning plan you will also find weekly directed multimedia support where you are directed to access through the Blackboard site a range of appropriate business documentaries, series and movies.

You will have a weekly one hour seminar. The weekly seminar will reinforce the concepts introduced in the preceding week’s lectures with real world news stories drawn from the Financial Times, Bloomberg, business cases and other relevant examples of professional practice and appropriate research papers. You will be encouraged by your lecturer as post-seminar study to use your FT.com subscription and the associated FT.com phone app to explore similar relevant business stories occurring in the press at that time.

As part of the modules continuous learning strategy you will be reflecting upon the business practice you’ve been exposed to on a weekly basis and comparing and contrasting this to contemporary events, and then writing these reflections into a learning journal (which is in the form of a weekly blog).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The academics in the teaching team taking both the lectures and seminars will provide input and support to you. Lectures are recorded on this module and made available to you through a variety of means including direct streaming and portable MP3 and MP4 files which you can download to use offline. This allows you to access and digest the lecture materials post-lecture at your own pace, and review and revise the lecture material on a variety of platforms and devices. The seminars provide you with weekly opportunities for direct and interactive formative feedback on progress and understanding. At least one of the seminars will be dedicated to giving you a formative feedback opportunity on your reflective journal entry, and another seminar will be dedicated to the assignment requirements and advice.

This module is supported with a site on the e-Learning Portal (Blackboard). This site stores for you the lecture materials, the lecture recordings and supplementary seminar materials. The site is also the launchpad for you to access a variety of e-Learning resources including videos, documentaries and radio broadcasts using the “Box of Broadcasts” Library service. In addition the site has instructions for how you access a Financial Times subscription news service, contains links to news clippings from the FT.com for you to access and read on a weekly basis, and has instructions on how you can download the FT.com app for a variety of mobile devices.

The modules Online Reading List can be reached through the e-Learning Portal. This list provides you with a single comprehensive list of links from which to access all of the modules eBooks, news resources and directed learning academic articles. The site also has a discussion board, on this board you are encourages to post your weekly Blog posts and participate in peer review of your fellow students as part of your learning on the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• You will be able to come to reasonable outcome statements and/or resolutions given a scenario or business case, displaying a developing ability to analyse business problems [LO1]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• You will be able to display developing reflection skills through exploring business practice and real world business decisions.[LO2]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• You will display through a portfolio of evidence a developing curiosity about business practice [LO3]

How will I be assessed?

The module will be 20% assessed through the development of a learning log that requires students to reflect on their learning experience throughout the module. Each log should demonstrate weekly engagement with the module syllabus and should outline what the student has learnt and how they could apply this to real life practice. [LO2; LO3]

The other 80% will be assessed by a two-hour open notes exam, in which preparatory case materials will be issued in advanced and explored throughout the duration of the module. [LO1]

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module will equip you with a range of creative problem solving tools to enable you to be more analytical in your approach to visualising, articulating and proposing solutions to business problems. In the module we aim to develop within you a toolkit of thinking approaches, some fun, some structured; all useful. Analytical skills are best developed when applied to relevant examples and cases, and this module builds on themes of work from Prof. Sydney Finklestein, and Prof. David Ricks in a learning-from-mistakes approach to give students a range of business scenarios and circumstances to apply these developing skills to.

This module also takes a holistic and reflective approach to your learning, with you developing a portfolio of your consideration of business themes topics. You will engage with business news stories in the Financial Times or Bloomberg and apply your learning on the module to them, as well as your reflections on business documentaries, movies and appropriate level research in the area which are available on the modules eLP. This module will develop you to have an awareness of contemporary business events, enabling you to build your business awareness and curiosity.

Course info

UCAS Code N755

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time study or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

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