MN6066 - The Practice of Management (2018/19)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2018/19|
|Module title||The Practice of Management|
|Module level||Honours (06)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2018/19||
Honesty, integrity and trust, together with the display and maintenance of high standards of professional conduct and competence lie at the heart of best practice in business management and leadership. High standards apply equally to the personal behaviour of professional managers; to working relationships with team members; other colleagues and stakeholders; to the management and leadership activities undertaken on behalf of an employing organisation; and to actions which have an impact on society at large. In order to maintain high standards in recent years improvements in corporate governance have been orchestrated at a global level. International bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) have developed internationally acceptable standards of corporate governance, which comprise a complex web including the legislative framework, the characteristics of organisations and how they relate to the whole system. There is a focus on shareholder and stakeholder relations and accountability in the performance of boards of directors, auditors and the accounting function. Attention is paid to the ways in which companies are controlled and run, including their ethical approach and their approach to social responsibilities.
This module provides students with opportunities to develop their understanding of crucial elements of managing and leading modern businesses including business policy, governance, business ethics, and corporate social responsibility, and the impact of these on the internal dynamics of an organisation.
The aim of this module is to enhance students’ knowledge of managing and leading at senior levels in organisations, including their understanding of:
Recent developments in corporate governance and accountability;
Business ethics, and the place of ethical theory in business;
The difference between ethics and corporate social responsibility.
Prior learning requirements
All core modules at levels 4 and 5
Those in management and leadership positions are increasingly called to account for their behaviour. It behoves them to have an in-depth understanding of the basics of good governance and the place of business policy and ethics in governing their organisations/units. In addition there is a need, and legal obligation, for organisations to manage responsibly and behave ethically in relation to social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
The four main themes in this module are directly related to the learning outcomes
Corporate Governance: which refers to the processes and relations by which organisations are controlled and directed. Governance structures involve identifying the distribution of rights and responsibilities among employees of the corporation including the rules for making decisions in corporate affairs. Corporate governance is seen as an important element of organisations in light of a number of large organisations involved in accounting fraud in 2001-2002 and more recently following the financial crisis in 2008. LO1
Business Policy: is distinct from governance but is aligned with it because it includes the development of appropriate policies and strategies that meet stakeholder interests in a changing environment, and it involves the use of risk management techniques and business continuity planning to help maximise achievement of strategic objectives. LO2
Business ethics: often seen as overlapping with corporate social responsibility, and although related are diverging fields of study. A sound understanding of the main ethical theories, Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Liberal Individualism and Communitarianism, provide managers and leaders with a greater breadth of knowledge from which to draw in diverse situations, and on which to base their judgements and evaluate their decisions. LO3
Corporate Social Responsibility is a diverse field in its own right covering such topics the approach to stockholders and the approach to stakeholders, the former of which is underpinned by Utilitarianism and the latter by Kantianism. Managers and leaders need to be fully aware of their responsibility to their employees, their customers, their organisations in general and to the wider environment. LO4
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
As one of the final modules in the course high levels of reflexive learning and reflexivity are expected. A blended approach is evident in the mixture of lectures, flipped classes, workshops, VLE activities, and guest lectures.
These learning outcomes are based on the integration of the Quality Assurance Agency for higher education (QAA) subject benchmark statement requirements and the CMI requirements.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
LO1: distinguish between the various theories of governance including
Institutional theory, Isomorphism, Resource dependency theory, Agency theory,
and Stewardship theory and the impact of each on business policy;
LO2: critically evaluate business policy and discuss the development of appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment to meet stakeholder
LO3: evaluate actions as right or wrong in various business cases in relation to the four main ethical theories of Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Liberal Individualism, and Communitarianism and discuss contemporary trends in ethical theory in terms of diversity, discrimination and harassment in the workplace;
LO4: evaluate stockholder management versus stakeholder management in terms of
corporate social responsibility.
The assessment strategy is designed to enhance students learning in relation to the four learning outcomes. There are three assessment points. The first is a coursework of 2,500 words on a case study which assesses students’ understanding of governance and the implications of business policy on governance and on the management and leadership of organisations.
The second assessment is a group presentation on how ethical theory can be applied to enhance recruitment, remuneration and diversity, and mitigate against discrimination and harassment.
The final assessment point is a coursework of 2,000 words on the application of corporate social responsibility both internally and externally in a wider environmental context.
Arnold, D.G. Beauchamp, T.L. & Bowie, N.E. (2013) Ethical Theory and Business. (9th edn) NJ: Pearson.
Benn, S. and Dunphy, D. (Eds) (2007) Corporate Governance and Sustainability:
Challenges for Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2007) Business Ethics. (2nd Edn) Oxford: OUP
Nordberg, D.(2010) Corporate Governance: Principles And Issues. London: Sage
Solomon, J. (2007) Corporate Governance and Accountability. Chichester: Wiley.
Scott, W.R. (2003) Organisations: Rational, natural and Open systems. NJ: Prentice Hall.
Tricker, R.I. (2015) Corporate Governance: Principles, Policies, and Practices. Oxford:OUP
DiMaggio, P.J. & Powell, W.W. (1991) The iron cage revisited Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality. In Powell, W.W. and DiMaggio, P.J (eds) The new institutionalism in organisational analysis. Chicago: UCP.
Griseri, P. & Seppala, N (2010) Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. London: Cengage.
Jennings, Marianne M. ((2012) Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings (7th edn) UK: Cengage.
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