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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Economic and Operational Decision Making (CMSE11292)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryThe objectives of the course are to give students both knowledge and understanding of selected key concepts in business economics and management science and the knowledge to understand when these concepts may be useful to make decisions. The basic skills to implement these techniques will also be developed. The first part of this course places special focus on the factors that influence the firms' economic environment, which, in turn, determines the level, growth and sustainability of profits. These include consumer demand, technology and costs, competition, entry, pricing strategies, and government regulations. The second part of this course focuses on the science behind decision-making, covering a wide range of quantitative methods typically employed to that end, such as forecasting and optimization.

Course description The knowledge and skills developed in this course are essential for an understanding of very important factors which impinge substantially on business decisions and for making decisions to optimise profit when faced with particular constraints: the manager's basic problem. This knowledge and these skills are not taught elsewhere in the course and complement other courses. They will provide deeper understanding of some of the concepts discussed elsewhere and will develop particular ways of thinking and of analysing decisions which will complement those covered in other courses.

Student Learning Experience:
The weekly lectures will explore core concepts of economics such as demand, costs, competitive strategy, and also strategic entry deterrence policies and vertical integration strategy. Real-life examples will be discussed in class.

The lectures will also explore key concepts in Management Science such as decision analysis, forecasting, linear programming and data envelopment analysis.
Questions will be assigned prior to the weekly tutorials.
Discuss course issues at the tutorials.
Interact with other students through available means.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 117 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) None
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two assignments (one on economic aspects of business decision making and one on operational aspects) each contributing 50%.

The assignment on economic decision-making is related to Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 5.
The assignment on operational decision-making is related to Learning Outcomes 3 and 4.
Feedback All students will be given at least one formative feedback or feed forward event for every course they undertake, provided during the semester in which the course is taken and in time to be useful in the completion of summative work on the course. Such feedback may be at course or programme level, but must include input of relevance to each course in the latter case.
Feedback on formative assessed work will be provided within 15 working days of submission, or in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course, whichever is sooner. Summative marks will be returned on a published timetable, which has been made clear to students at the start of the academic year.

Students will gain feedback on their understanding of the material when they discuss their answers to the tutorial questions in the tutorials. Students may also ask questions in Lectures to assess their knowledge.

Week 1 - 11 Questions at lecturers
Week 2 - 11 Discussion in tutorials
Weeks 1-12 Ad hoc appointments that are made as required with the lecturers
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the determinants of the demand for a product or service and of the costs of an enterprise, and the roles of competition and entry in determining prices.
  2. Critically evaluate the factors to be considered when managers decide on the vertical boundaries of an enterprise.
  3. Understand and apply different types of management decision models and techniques available for their solution.
  4. Understand the role of model building methods in management decision making and apply these methods to relevant problems.
  5. Assemble literature to synthesise and evaluate economic thinking or to discover some primary information about organisations so as to apply economic ideas to decisions they make.
Reading List
Baye, M. Managerial Economics and Business Strategy. McGraw Hill. (7th ed)

Anderson, D.R. Sweeney, D.J., Williams, T.A. and Wisniewski, M. (2009). An Introduction to Management Science: Quantitative Approaches to Decision Making. South Western
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After completing this course, students should be able to:

-use certain economic principles to recommend decisions to managers;
-apply relevant economic principles to certain decisions faced by mangers;
-possess the ability to evaluate certain opposing economics ideas, approaches, methods and theories;
-evaluate certain decisions that managers make in the light of economic principles and models;
-appreciate the role of model building methods as an aid to management decision making; -identify situations in which model building methods can be applied in the management decision process
-analyse the demand conditions, cost conditions, competitive conditions facing an organisation and the desirability of vertically integrating the organisation and the entry conditions into the industry;
-build and solve certain types of model;
-interpret the solution to a model
-demonstrate an ability to use certain numerical problem solving techniques to solve certain specific problems which managers face as taught in lectures;
-demonstrate an ability to assemble literature to synthesise and evaluate economic thinking or to discover some primary information about organisations so as to apply economic ideas to decisions they make;
-apply model building methods to relevant problems.
Course organiserDr Augusto Voltes-Dorta
Tel: (0131 6)51 5546
Course secretaryMs Rhiannon Pilkington
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
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