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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStudents will focus on key themes of understanding the nature of business including common organisational forms and alternatives which are gaining traction; the impact of globalization and global inequality on business; the shift to a low carbon economy and resource constrained world; and the impact of technology and digital disruption. Using a variety of frameworks and perspectives, students will then look at key business challenges facing leaders including rethinking consumption, inspiring innovation, and engaging a changing workforce. Students will also be exposed to the kinds of skill sets required to best manage such multiple challenges which arise from the interplay of all these issues. In addition, the study skills component of this course will enable students to approach their second semester and their later years with a firm knowledge of what is expected on them as a scholar, as well as an ability to live up to such expectations by applying their study skills to relevant business topics and issues.

This course is open to students studying degree programmes in the Business School and degree programmes where the second subject is Business; students on other degree programmes should take Introduction to Business (BUST08026).
Course description The focus of this course is on the context in which business operates globally. It will teach around key themes including

Understanding Business (its roles and responsibilities in society; traditional forms of organising and the implications of these; alternative organisational forms and their traction in society)

Globalisation and Global Inequality (the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and mutual sharing; advances in transportation, telecoms, internet, mobile; implications of these for trade, transactions, economic and cultural development; the movement of people and dissemination of knowledge including winners and losers from this process)

Climate Change and a Low Carbon Economy (how this creates uncertainty and opportunity; impacts on resource insecurity including water, energy, food and clear air; market shifts and their implications)

Changes in Consumption (growth of emerging economies; markets at the bottom of the pyramid; consequences of demographic changes; rethinking consumption and the movement to an 'experience' economy)

Inspiring Innovation (centrality of innovation to societal development, role of innovation in organisational growth, pros and cons of innovation)

Digital Disruption (digital advances and impacts on firm structures and practices; emergence of new business models such as the shift of a collaborative economy; enablement and empowerment versus loss of jobs and alienation)

Engaging the Workforce (changing expectations of 'work' especially relating to generational shifts, implications of digital disruption on engaging workers, implications of issues including digital disruption and global inequality on workers' rights and conditions; role of leadership in this changing context)

In addition, this course comprises a significant 'study skills component' aimed at getting students to understand, embrace, and ultimately practice critical thinking relating to academic scholarship. Designed around the themes of quality of argument, strength of evidence, and clarity of presentation the course tightly integrates the 'topic based' and 'study skills' based lectures and tutorials, enabling students to practice their study skills immediately. Other themes covered include team working, careers, and learning about critical thinking in the workplace.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Introduction to Business (BUST08026)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 32, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 126 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Project Poster (40%) - Visual and Summary Report
Individual Report (2,000 words) (40%)
Study Skills Assignment (1,000 words) (10%)
Two Computing for Business Assignments 5% each (10%)
Feedback Students will receive formal formative feedback on their assignments as well as feedback from their study skills and computing skills classes.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the defining features and main areas of the role of business in society, and the responsibility for the stewardship of financial, social and natural resources.
  2. Understand and be able to identify the complexities of political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal environments as they impact business in a global economy, and the consequences of a VUCA world.
  3. Be able to explain the positive and negative implications of global trends and challenges for business practice as well as the skills and approaches needed to manage and lead businesses.
  4. Be able to demonstrate the ability to recognise the underlying ethical, legal and sustainability implications inherent in business situations and apply that knowledge to recommend responsible actions.
  5. Be able to critically apply a range of techniques and analytical tools applicable to business.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry: Students will develop conceptual and critical thinking, analysis and evaluation through engagement with the course content and in collaboration with their group; develop the ability to critically analyse a range of business data, sources of digital and other information and the application of appropriate methodologies and to use that research for evidence-based decision making.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: Group work will develop students┐ ability to work effectively and collaboratively in teams and to reflect critically on the process and outcomes.

Personal Effectiveness: Develops a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, resilience and to plan, organize and manage time; develops self-analysis and be able to work collaboratively both with other students and with external organisations.

Communication skills: Develops effective written and oral communication, including the ability to produce clear, structured business communication in multiple media.
Additional Class Delivery Information Each week will feature:
3 x 1 hour Lectures
1 x 2 hour Topic Seminar
1 x 1 hour Study Skills Workshop

In addition:
3 x 2 hour Computing for Business Skills Sessions per semester
KeywordsEdinburgh; business environment; history; business clusters; industry; government
Course organiserDr Sarah Ivory
Tel: (0131 6)51 5323
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3825
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