MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Business Models: Theory and Practice
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Alliance Manchester Business School|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
A core component of the Business Analysis and Strategic Management programme is the client-facing project. That project represents a consultancy based around a program of work intended to progress a business interest. This course seeks to prepare students for such project work with companies. The objective is to provide students with a working framework useful for understanding the business situation and how to structure an intervention to progress that situation. The content revolves around two basic “models of action”. The first is encapsulated by the notion of the “business model”. This notion has become increasingly popular in recent years and represents a core construct in this programme. The concept embodies a framework for how one understands the constitution and conduct of a business organisation in terms of non-arbitrary relationships between operational activities, strategic choices on market positioning, and financial operation. As such the framework sits at the intersection between the traditional business school disciplines of management and organisation, entrepreneurship, strategy, and accounting and finance, helping to provide an integrated understanding of how business organisations are designed to perform.
The module strives to capture a systematic methodology through which individuals working inside organisations, or as external consultants for an organisation, are to go about a course of action intended to aid in the attainment of organisational ambitions. The business model framework does this by structuring the set of questions that any business must have an answer to, a rationale for what those questions mean and common possibilities and challenges associated with each. The practical concern is whether the answers given to those questions are complete and, more importantly, how effective those answers are in providing a guide to the behaviours of individuals working within an organisation.
• developing students’ ability to analyse and reflect upon the ways in which businesses add value,
• enabling students to understand, diagnose, and put forward their own recommendations to current and emergent challenges that companies face
• enhancing participants’ ability to engage with a variety of theoretical constructs by
• assessing case examples to analyse a wide range of issues, problems and conflicts that arise when firms try to implement various business models.
• The course focuses on commercial organisations. It challenges students to examine in detail the ways in which firms (attempt to) make a profit. This involves an assessment of a wide array of strategic and operational issues that will enhance the students’ understanding of business.
• At the end of this course, participants will have gained a deeper understanding of a number of strategic and operational issues that confront contemporary firms. It is expected that course participants will be able to:
• understand the different ways in which work, departments and divisions, and authority relationships can be organized and controlled in order to support different business models
• apply analytical frameworks to evaluate organizational situations and draw out the implications of the links between a firm’s business model, its structure and its business environment,
• diagnose complex situations, both inside and outside an organization, that affect the performance if its business model,
• evaluate, by drawing on a range of relevant factors, the appropriateness of an organization’s design relative to its business model
• to construct convincing business models from evidence and theory, and
• to offer cogent explanations of how various business models do or do not work
• All these should also provide the students with professional skills:
• creating relationship with clients
• understanding clients’ requirements
• building rapport with the clients
• modelling the business problem that the client presents
• presenting the proposal to the client in a coherent, convincing manner
• demonstrating how such a proposal could be carried out and how business research methods could be carried out in a rigorous manner.
Group presentations based on an allocated case study (10%) This assessment tests students’ understanding of the 4-box model applied to the case as specified by the questions.
One group report based on a selected case study (40%) This assessment tests the ability of the students to collect sufficient data to analyse the business model of the company and identify the constraints in the model. Word count: 8,000 words assuming 4-member groups.
One 2-hour, case study based exam (50%) This assessment tests the students’ ability to examine an investment proposition from different perspectives.
Students will be provided an extensive formative feedback at the seminar after their presentation, and there will also be a written feedback at the end of the term (both marks and formative feedback). The feedback will also cover the ways in which students may improve their presentation in the future. The marks and the written feedback will be released by the.
During the development of their group reports, the groups will be provided formative feedback twice. There will be an extensive formative feedback on their submitted report alongside their mark. These will be released by the the latest.
While there will be a short commentary on each question by the markers in the exam scripts, these are primarily for the marking process (second marker, external examiner). However, students will have the opportunity, if they wish, to read these.
In addition, the examiners will provide a class-wide feedback on each question – the typical problems, the strength and weaknesses of the answers.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Laszlo Czaban||Unit coordinator|
Informal contact methods
Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self-assessment questions)
Peer assisted study sessions
Drop in surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)