MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Managing Organisations for Growth

Unit code BMAN73662
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


In the last quarter of a century firms have become increasingly focused on cost cutting and outsourcing. The damaging effects of this managerial philosophy is clearly documented in the key ratios (such as sales/asset) of company performance in the major developed economies. The causes of this are complex: agency problems, external pressures, co-ordination breakdowns, employer-employee conflicts, etc. which then manifest themselves in faulty managerial decisions. Theory of Constraints started originally as an operational management toolkit in the late 1980s, but soon changed its focus on the managers’ satisficing behaviour, and the thought process that enables the identification of causalities at a reasonable degree of certainty and cut through the information overload. This conceptual framework can be used for most sectors (including non-profit organisations).


BMAN73662 Programme Req: BMAN73662 is only available as an elective to students on MSc BASM


The unit aims to:

Show students how to identify the constraints, both external and those introduced by management, on company growth;
Explain how constraints are linked to co-ordination and control systems in a business organisation;

Enable students to use the thought process of the Theory of Constraint for creating managerial focus for breaking the constraint by linking systemic attributes of the firm;

Show students how the results of the business analysis can be built into a process that enables the key stakeholders to buy-into the proposed solution.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:
Find business constraints in a systematic analysis, using logical trees;

Correctly identify the key stakeholders in finding, and implementing managerial measures to deal with the constraints;

Develop these measures in a way that accounts for the systemic interdependencies in the business organisation;

Create a buy-in process for the key stakeholders.

Assessment methods

Group assignment (40%): groups will work on a case study in which the firm seeks growth for its survival, but has a number of constraints on the opportunities. It will be done in three stages – in each stage the students will make an unassessed presentation and will receive feedback. The final output will be a 6,000 word assignment in the format of a business report.

2,500 word individual assignment (60%) will be around a firm chosen by the students from a list. Students will be required to analyse the case from the perspective of one of the conceptual frameworks taught in the module.

Feedback methods

Verbal feedback during sessions, written feedback to assessed assignments.
Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.
Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum.
Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.
Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation.

Recommended reading


Cox, J. F. and Schleier, J. G. (eds), 2011, Theory of Constraint Handbook, McGraw Hill.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Laszlo Czaban Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Informal contact methods
Peer assisted study sessions
Drop in surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)

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