Accounting and Finance
This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and finance. Both commercial and not-for-profit organisations will be considered.
Financial reporting is the process of presenting financial (and other) information to a range of stakeholders in order to ensure appropriate accountability and stewardship. You will be encouraged to consider the need for integrity in financial accounting and reporting, and the potential limitations of regulation and standards.
Management accounting is concerned with the preparation and presentation of accounting information to aid managers in their jobs of planning, decision making and control. New and traditional management accounting techniques are analysed in the context of a changing management context with its emphasis on strategy, costing and performance metrics. The content of the module is aimed primarily at managers and not accountants.
The finance section emphasises two of the major financial decisions, the investment decision and the financing decision - where the money comes from and how it is best used within the organisation.
This module aims at developing your understanding of how markets work and the principles of supply and demand. It will also provide you with an understanding of how self-interested parties within organisations interact and how corporate governance mechanisms can control these interactions. The focus will be on the relationship between markets, organisations’ structure and firms’ profitability. By the end of the module, you will be able to think critically about markets and organisations and use this critical analysis to improve your decision-making.
An advantage of economics, and one reason for its widespread use in analysing individual and institutional decision-making, is that it requires the analysis to be explicit about the key elements of the process under consideration, ie who are the key decision makers, which are they goals, what actions they have available, and which is the mechanism by which decisions translate into outcomes. In this way, the basic tools of economics offer a set of skills necessary for rigorous analysis of business problems.
Leadership, People and Organisational Capability
This module explores key contemporary issues in organisational behaviour and the management of people in diverse and dynamic contexts. The topics covered will include employee motivation, leadership and working in teams, power and politics, conflict, change, culture, inclusion and contemporary challenges for an emerging industrial age.
The module offers an overview of the nature and practice of marketing at both the strategic and tactical levels. You will be introduced to a variety of conceptual frameworks and will be expected to apply them in relation to case study companies and your own business experience.
Key themes to be addressed include:
- the nature and role of marketing and marketing management
- connecting with customers and building strong brands
- shaping and managing the marketing offering
- communicating and delivering value
The design and management of operations are crucial for the success of organisations. Whether in industry, the service sector, the public sector, or the ‘not-for-profit’ sector, well designed and well managed operational systems that align with an organisation’s strategy are central to achieving and sustaining high levels of performance. The module provides a broad introduction to fundamental topics, concepts, frameworks, and methods relevant to contemporary operations practice. Areas covered include managing projects, managing quality, supply chain concepts and operations planning, and managing service systems.
Teaching combines, lectures, cases, group exercises with contributions from external speakers. The critical importance of strong sustainable operational processes is highlighted, stressing lean thinking and process excellence. Both strategic and operational perspectives are emphasised throughout. The module is assessed by a structured business process analysis exercise and an individual report, which offers delegates an opportunity to pursue topics directly relevant to them.
Strategy is central to any organisation. How do we become better at it? How does our strategizing make a difference? This module covers all the basic tools and techniques of strategy and strategic management, underpinned by theory which we make practically relevant and which you can then apply in your own organisation. You will gain insight into how your organisation can develop and implement better strategy and how to become a more effective strategist. We use case studies, insights from guest speakers and your own organisation and/or management experience, our own research (enthusiastically covered) and even storytelling or Lego play, to develop and interrogate your understanding.
We challenge preconceptions and introduce you to key debates, whilst equipping you with an understanding of context and critical faculty in the application of key concepts – for example the nature of strategy, understanding the competitive environment, external and internal sources of competitive advantage, business models, corporate strategy and alternative strategy options, and strategy development processes. This is a central module in your Executive MBA, and according to comments from previous cohorts, insight and enjoyment is (almost) guaranteed.
Entrepreneurship and Creativity
Theorists and policy makers now understand the link between entrepreneurial activity and economic development, and creativity and innovation underpin all successful entrepreneurship.
Successful entrepreneurship is characterised by a set of identifiable skills that are useful in any domain, and these skills are best developed in an integrative and engaged environment, where theory can be practically applied. This module will use the Ingenuity creative problem solving model to integrate the content and simulate the entrepreneurial environment.
The module's focus will be on generating, evaluating and selling innovative ideas in a team context. Whilst led by academics, practitioner engagement will be central to the module's successful delivery. This will be achieved through a combination of guest lectures and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs.
Sustainable Decisions and Organisations
This module integrates and reflects upon the interdisciplinary nature of the programme and challenges your understanding and application of the material presented on the core modules.
This is undertaken by focusing on the role of different business stakeholders in achieving economic and environmental sustainability - through an examination of their possibly contradicting and contradictory objectives, values and decision-making processes.
We have a wide range of practitioners featuring in the module. You will have to present and defend your integrated sustainable strategy to a real board, consisting of practitioners with experience of board membership. You will also run a real media conference consisting of journalists from the press.
This module examines ethical issues and dilemmas, covering a range of complex and controversial problems relating to business in a global economy. The main concepts and theories underpinning the business ethics field will be introduced, and you shall have the opportunity to apply these to business situations.
More specifically, the module explores pertinent issues of human rights, globalisation and sustainable development, and places these within different philosophical and cultural perspectives. The module also explores the role of professionals from an ethical perspective, and situates these explorations within a political-economic framework.
Business Intelligence in the Digital Economy
This module focuses on the key digital technologies that are producing revolutionary change in business right now. Wherever you work – finance, retail, government, manufacturing, consultancy or any service role – your industry and your job is being changed by disruptive technologies as organisations become data-driven.
New uses of data are radically changing how firms produce products and services, how they interact with customers and how they partner together. But the change has just started – this module can help you take advantage of the changes to come.
We will look at the underlying business ideas which drive and make use of technologies like big data analytics, The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, social media, Web 2.0, and cloud computing. We will discuss how they are being used by different firms to transform their capabilities, their business models and their performance. We will look at how to use these technologies in business examples, the firms that you are interested in and in your own jobs.
The module examines the ethical and practical justifications for the idea that companies should operate in the interests of shareholders and also the counter arguments in favour of a stakeholder perspective.
The module then deals in turn with the major financial decisions made in organisations (capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends, mergers, working capital). Decisions are analysed first in the context of well functioning capital markets. Capital market imperfections and behavioural biases on the part of managers and investors are then considered.
Games and Strategies for Business
Game theory is used to analyse and predict the outcomes of complex situations involving strategic interactions, ie interactions in which the right choice for us depends upon the choices made by others, and our choices affect how others behave. Managers face strategic interactions within the firm (with other divisions and subordinates) and outside the firm, with suppliers, competitors, customers, regulators, and even capital markets. Examples include pricing decisions in oligopolistic markets, entry or exit decisions, incentive schemes, and optimal timing to release information.
In this module, you will learn the essential tools of game theory, discover their use by applying them to a variety of business situations and cases, and find out which are its limitations. It aims at developing your ability to think ahead and to take into account other people’s possible responses to your actions. More importantly, we’ll discuss how to choose or design the best “game”. After all, “successful business strategy is about actively shaping the game you play, not just playing the game you find” (Brandegurger and Nalebuff, 1995).
The aim of this module to understand the different factors that support innovative performance within firms. First, we look at innovation from an industrial perspective, showing how innovations of product, process and organisational structure can create and destroy markets. Then we consider innovation within an organisation, showing how innovation can be used to address social, environmental and governance challenges. Finally, we look at innovation from a managerial perspective, highlighting the entrepreneurial practices necessary to sustain innovation. We draw upon live cases of innovation within small, fast-growing firms and learn from approaches used to re-vitalise larger firms.
Participants choose which firm they wish to work upon and research the historical innovation performance of that firm and recommend a change programme for senior managers to act upon. This equips participants with the knowledge to manage innovation within their sector of interest and helps build their capability to respond to uncertainty and change.
International Study Tour
The International Study Tour (IST) offers an exciting opportunity to appreciate the dynamics of contemporary business practice in an international context. It comprises a mixture of preparatory classroom learning and research, and field visits to organisations in the destination country, and meetings with senior managers.
The IST provides a great opportunity to reflect on the application of theory to practical business management issues in different environments, namely national, corporate and consumer cultural contexts and business environments. A range of sectors, industries, and company sizes are included to maximise alignment to students’ interests.
The IST has visited USA and China. The destination each year is based on the benefit that the destination country adds to the experience but may be affected by regulatory and logistical constraints. Assessment mirrors the innovative nature of the module and includes reflection on personal learning.
Leadership and Change Management
The module will include the following topics:
- The meaning, nature and evolution of the field of leadership in an organisational, social, environmental and multi-cultural context
- Critical issues in leadership, including how leaders are selected, development tools that are available, and issues of evaluation - leadership development, styles, motivations and competencies
- Leadership skills for building teams and securing involvement and participation - working collaboratively, ethically and effectively to support a partnership approach to leadership and management development
- Leadership and strategic change - the key roles that leaders play in creating visions and strategies and the implementation of leadership and management strategies to meet current and future organisational demands
- Leadership and sustainable strategic management
- Leading change - how leaders influence and persuade others and the key challenges that organisations and individual managers face
Varying in size and type, projects are literally everywhere. They are vital to all sectors and all business functions and are key platforms for improved performance and enhanced competitiveness. However, many projects are not easy to plan, manage or control, and may fail; they may overshoot the deadline, go over budget, or not meet the specifications. Risks and uncertainty and the choice of the right methodology, further complicate planning and control and affect the chances of successful project completion.
The module develops knowledge of the most important project planning and control methods and techniques, both traditional and contemporary. It enhances understanding on how the variety of project management methods work through in-class applications, readings, and the use of relevant software. It addresses broader issues and challenges of managing projects successfully, including stakeholder engagement and management, risk and uncertainty, the contribution of projects to innovation, and the development of a portfolio strategy.
Strategic Market Relations: Building, Managing and Leveraging Market Relationships
Why focus on business-to-business marketing? It is believed that between 50% and as much as 80% of all marketing related jobs and associated economic activity are in business markets. New perspectives in business marketing have emerged that focus on intangible resources, the co-creation of value, and relationships in networks of organisations rather than the traditional buyer-seller dyadic view of markets and marketing.
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the main theoretical and managerial concepts and issues in the area of business-to-business marketing and strategic market relations. We explore the complex dynamics of networked relationships between buying and selling organisations. Such networks offer organisations the opportunity to learn and create value in novel and innovative ways. However, they also constrain the actions of individual organisations in the network. Thus, strategic market relations require firms to understand how to build, manage, and leverage their market relationships.
Venture Capital and Private Equity
Venture Capital and Private Equity (VC&PE) provide risk capital to firms at various stages of their life cycle, from selecting early-stage young firms to identifying late-stage investment opportunities such buyouts.
This module examines how VC&PE firms operate from both the investor and investee perspective. It looks at due diligence, firm section, structuring deals, valuation, managing portfolio firms, and exit. Cases discussed range from seed funding to management buyouts (MBOs) and bolt-ons to turnarounds and are often accompanied by industry experts in class.