KC4005 - The Business Environment, Organisations and Management Information Systems

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What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about different types of organisations and the functional areas within each organisation. You will also learn about the aspects of the internal and external environment which impact on the organisation. This will include learning about analysing organisations using tools such as Porters Five Forces model and by using frameworks such as SWOT and PEST, you will be guided to understand how this information can be used to increase competitive advantage.

You will learn about how information systems are used at various levels in the organisation and how information is used and transferred between functional areas which will help you to gain an understanding about the impact of decision making at all levels of the organisation. You will also learn about the social and ethical responsibilities of an organisation.

Throughout the module you will be guided to identify various information sources and to recognise the validity and appropriateness of different sources. You will also learn to identify important aspects of information and to summarise appropriately. Throughout the module you will learn about reflecting on your own learning and development.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by a series of lectures, lectorial, seminars and workshops. The lectures will provide a foundation and a starting point to the various topics and then you will investigate these topics further in groups. Each group will select a particular organisation which the investigations will be based on throughout the module.

You will produce a series of posters to present your findings and you will receive feedback on each of these which can then be improved before the final assessment.

You will also learn more about organisations by using the business simulation game Simventure. This presents you with an excellent opportunity to understand the relationships between each area of the organisation and clearly shows how decisions you make impact these areas.

If you are studying a Degree Apprenticeship you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge from the module to your practice in the workplace. The seminars and workshops will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice. The workplace provides an opportunity for you to put your own knowledge and skills into practice and review your learning with your manager/mentor. The standard delivery is Newcastle Campus class room based, however if your employer has a contract with the university that indicates you may study remotely then you will be able to attend the classes virtually. In this case, you will follow lectures via webcasts and attend online seminars / workshops. The use of Blackboard Collaborate (or similar) will be employed to enable this.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by feedback from tutors during practical sessions and you can come and see us to discuss module questions on a one-to-one or small group basis face-to-face as and when the need arises. All lecture and seminar material will be available on the eLearning Portal (eLP). In addition, the university library offers support for all students through providing electronic reading lists and provides an excellent Ask4Help Online service if you are having difficulty or would like some advice when undertaking your own research on the module. IT support is also on hand if you are experiencing difficulties accessing university systems.

If you are studying for a Degree Apprenticeship additional support will be available from your work place mentor who will encourage you to reflect upon how you work and studies interact and complement one another.

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:

MLO1 You will be able to identify different types of organisations and how they interact with the environment.
MLO2 You will be able to recognise the external and internal information businesses require to operate efficiently.
MLO3 You will be able to explain the impact that the development of information systems and technology has had on the organisation.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO4 You will be able to work as a team to investigate different aspects of an organisation and to present your findings.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO5 You will acquire the skill to reflect on your own learning and development

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the module you will work in teams to produce a series of five posters presenting your findings from given tasks.

In your teams you will present each of these posters in the seminar sessions where you will receive formative feedback from the module tutor as well as from your peers. Following this feedback you will have an opportunity to update your posters before they are finally assessed.

The summative assessment will take place at the end of the module at a poster conference where you will present your five posters together with a summary poster. (MLO1,MLO2, MLO3) (50%)

The work will be assessed by the module tutor but will also be peer assessed. (MLO4)

There are two individual assessment components: one component considers the organisation’s strategy (20%) and the second is a reflective commentary where you will reflect on your learning and development in the module.(30%) (MLO5)

If you are studying a Degree Apprenticeship the case study for your assessment is normally your employer.





Module abstract

On this module you will learn about different types of organisations and the environment in which they operate. You will learn about how external influences can impact on the success or failure of an organisation as much as internal factors. Throughout the module you will work in groups and select one specific organisation to research in depth. You will present the findings from the research as a series of posters which are prepared throughout the module and then can be reviewed after receiving formative feedback to be assessed at the end of the module. There is also an individual element to the assessment and you will be required to provide an individual reflection of your learning.

Course info

UCAS Code GN52

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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