module specification

MC6051 - Managing the Creative Fashion Environment (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Managing the Creative Fashion Environment
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
115 hours Guided independent study
35 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   Short individual in-class test (unseen) 60 mins
Coursework 50%   Individual management report/portfolio + reflective statement 2-3000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This 15-credit module explores advanced human resource management, project management, organisational behaviour and management theories with the aim to equip students with the necessary baggage of knowledge in order to successfully manage in work environments employing creative professionals. It is argued that there is an art to getting the most out of one’s teams of creative professionals and that corporate leaders around the world should consider multiple interventions that take into account the individual, the group, the organisation, and the strategic environment when making decisions intending to enhance creativity. It is not surprising that with rapid changes in global technology and competition, the success of many organisations has become progressively more dependent on their ability to develop innovative products. Creative industries are known for their very high-pressured environments where organisational culture is directly influenced by fast changing fashion trends and fast shifting consumer demands. Fashion retail is typically a consumer goods market, characterised by very short product life, fickle consumer preferences, numerous competitors, relatively easy entry and exit, and a myriad of manufacturing, marketing and retail alternatives. It is also one of the most fragmented and diverse industries from the point of view of human resources. Not only is the workforce educated to custom-make products but it is also known to work largely part-time, seasonally, on short-term contracts or independently. The survival of micro-businesses, a dominating number in the creative industries, lies in their ability to continuously develop, source, market and deliver a wide variety of innovative, fashionable and saleable brands and products. Thus, these industries are characterised by small size work environments where fashion designers work daily alongside marketers, quality teams, solicitors and customer services teams in order to improve product design, brand image, price, quality, marketing tactics and customer service.
This module addresses the issue of shortage of managers equipped to deal with local and international workplace diversity in a fast moving, high-pressured, fiercely competitive and at the same time highly innovative environment. This module builds upon the knowledge Fashion and Business students acquired at levels 4 and 5, from modules such as Fundamentals of Management and Leadership, Fashion Retailing, Retail Supply Chain Management. It also supports other 30 credit modules al level 6, e.g. Managing a Fashion Start-up. In order to cope with this advanced level module, students must have good levels of knowledge of the retail industry, fundamentals of management and leadership, and marketing with emphasis on brand communications and must be prepared to undertake advanced academic journal article reading as a priority. This 15-credit module also bears a core element of employability. It helps students enhance their leadership skills and knowledge of retail management.
Skills development includes: problem-solving, advanced academic and practitioner researching, critical thinking, academic writing, management and leadership skills, independent working, intellectual discussion and awareness of contemporary debates in the business management related disciplines.  Assessment components provide the vehicle for skills development.

Module aims

The main aims of the module are to:

  1. Broaden students’ understanding of the contribution creative industries and creative teams have to world economies
  2. Equip students with a sound conceptual understanding of creative teams leadership and management
  3. Provide students with comprehensive coverage of project management, ranging from project planning process, setting up project aims and objectives and budgeting to adoption and structure
  4. Enable students to enhance their analytical, critical and reflective thinking abilities and their capabilities to develop strategic solutions to retail businesses in a variety of contexts and situations.


- Understanding the nature of creative industries and creative teams
- The nature of employment in creative industries and fashion retail respectively
- The main factors that influence organisational creativity, e.g. organisational climate, leadership style, organisational culture, resources and skills and the organisation structure and systems
- Organisational goals: a shift from an inward-looking goal maximising shareholder returns to an outward-looking goal of delighting customers profitably
- Organisational structure: a shift from managerial command and control to enabling collaboration among diverse self-organizing teams, networks and ecosystems
- Leadership styles and corporate culture in creative industries; leadership by design
- Management values: a shift from a single-minded preoccupation with profit and efficiency to an embrace of values that will grow the firm and the accompanying ecosystems.
- Innovation and transformation
- Teams and groups; type of teams found in creative industries; core aspects of organisation communication: a shift from top-down directives to multi-directional conversations across organizational boundaries about working together on common goals
- Challenges of recruiting, selecting, training, motivating, leading and controlling creative professionals; nurturing talent in creative industries
- Coordination of work: a shift from coordinating work by hierarchical bureaucracy with rules, roles, plans and reports to dynamic linking, with iterative approaches to development and direct customer feedback from, and interaction with, teams, networks and ecosystems
- Managing conflict in creative organisations
- Project management:
- definition, nature of projects; the statement of work, and the specification
- project work breakdown: structure and team recruitment.
- the kick-off meeting; the project task list; creating the project Gantt chart
- critical path; risk analysis basics—time buffer calculations
- understanding budgets and costs
- project plan review; project execution; project change; achieving closure
- trends in project management

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered over a 15 week period and consists of 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars each week. Exceptions to this are the designated employability week and teaching week: 13 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year) which is used for research and preparation for examinations.

The module is delivered via lectures and seminars. Supporting material is made available via Weblearn, which facilitates a blended learning approach to include wider reading and other materials to support the syllabus. The seminars serve to anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum for:

  • A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study/ journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.
  • Assist students in relating their knowledge to the fashion retailing discipline and profession
  • Applied understanding of technical skills required for carrying out research in order to assist in employability skills for future careers in fashion retailing. Students will need to consider this aspect of the module as part of their personal development and be able to produce examples in a portfolio of the research skills for a future employer.

In addition, the seminars incorporate summative and formative feedback in order for students to have an opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their performance.

In order to apply leadership, management, organisation behaviour, project management and human resource management knowledge to creative industries, academic journal articles will be read and critiqued as a priority. This module relies on students’ ability to read advanced academic articles and criticise them. The university databases hold numerous relevant journals where cases from creative industries are being analysed and critiqued. Students are strongly encouraged to go to these sources first. Journals such as the Harvard Business Review publish articles related to creative industries and working with creative professionals regularly. Equally, numerous web portals now have practitioners’ articles written reflectively by managers who work or have worked with creative teams.

Activity Week – usually Week 7 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year)
Activity week 7 is used to stimulate ideas and activities for students from different subject groups taking this module to enhance PDP.  Activities allow students to further develop their team skills, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Appreciate the role creative professionals play within the fashion industry
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of advanced principles of management, leadership, and human resource management and their application to environments of creative professionals
3. Understand the role of a project manager and of a project team and also how a project is planned and managed
4. Appreciate the nature and challenges of the job market in creative industries

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of two components, which aim to assess the module’s learning outcomes. These assessments require students to think critically and apply the knowledge gained during the module.  The deadlines are set based on Week 1 being the first teaching week of the academic year.
1) a 1-hour (60 mins) individual written in-class test (unseen); weighing 50%; weeks due: 9
2) individual  management portfolio+ reflective statement; weighing 50%; week due: 13

1) Individual written in-class test (short, unseen)
Students’ depth, breadth, knowledge and understanding of the six weeks or so of taught material is tested through a 60 mins individual short in-class test. Students are required to make use of advanced reading from many academic journals articles in order to critically review a given body of human resource management, leadership, team working frameworks and theories.
Learning outcomes assessed: 1,2
Skills development: improve one’s ability to think critically and write effectively in relation to current issues in fashion retail strategy (I,P,A), develop the skills to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a large body of concepts, ideas and theories related to managing in creative environments (I,P,A); individual research skills (P,A); time management skills (P,A); intellectual discussion and awareness of contemporary debates in the business management related disciplines (I,P,A).

2) individual  management portfolio + reflective statement
Students are required to work individually for this management portfolio. This is a practical report with employability connotations, where students demonstrate their awareness and understanding of project management, of working with creative teams as well as their ability to create solutions in a real business environment. Individuals must demonstrate in-depth/advanced grasp of the theoretical frameworks supporting their business solutions. The portfolio should be no longer than 3000 words and divided in relevant sections as per the information contained in the handbook; the reflective log should contain student’s analysis of their learning from this second assessment; emphasis will be placed on students’ individual skills development; further guidance will be given in class; weighing: 50%; week due: 13.
Learning outcomes assessed: 3,4
Skills development: research skills (P,A); reflective skills (I,P,A); skills collation of relevant data and the synthesis of information to make meaningful analysis (P,A); critical judgement regarding the quality and validity of data and the analysis of information to develop appropriate plans (P,A); improve the ability to work independently (P,A), significantly improve one’s entreprise skills, including taking initiative, showing leadership, taking calculated risks (I,P,A), numeracy, completing tasks and projects (I,P,A); referencing skills (A).


Mondy, R.W. (2014) Human Resource Management, Global Edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Beardwell, J. and Thompson, A. (2014) Human Resource Management, A Contemporary Approach, Pearson Education Ltd
Giudice, M and Ireland, C. (2014) Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, Pearson Education Ltd
Burns, B. (2014) Managing Change, Pearson Education Ltd
Yukl, G. (2013) Leadership in Organizations, global edition, 8th edition, Pearson Higher Education
Carter, C.J., Bishop, J. and Kravits, L.K. (2013) Keys to Success, Teamwork and Leadership, Pearson Education Ltd
Dessler, G. (2013) Supervision and Leadership in a Changing World, Prentice Hall
Berman, B.R. and Evans, J.R. (2013) Retail Management, International Edition, 12th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Mullins, L.J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 10th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Mintzberg, H. (2011) Managing,  1st edition, Financial Times Press
Bilton, C. (2007) Management and Creativity, Oxford : Blackwellt
Fenich, G.C. (2014) Planning and Management of Meetings, Expositions, Events and Conventions, Prentice Hall
Pinto, J.K. (2013) Project Management, Achieving Competitive Advantage, global edition, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Human Research Management Review
Harvard Business Review
International Journal of Project Management
The Journal of Creative Behaviour
Journal of Family Business Management
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Gender in Management: An International Journal
Human Resource Management International Digest
International Journal of Career Management
Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management
Research on Managing Groups and Teams

Organisations for Personnel Development:  CIPD