Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module BUSI55715: Enterprising Organisations

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI55715: Enterprising Organisations

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1KG12
Tied to N1DL12
Tied to N1KG14
Tied to N1DL14



  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module helps the students stand back from the task and examine the current processes within their organisation and to see how systematised they really are.
  • The operations within any business involve key and sub-processes that involve inputs an outputs across business areas/functions. It is important to be able to identify what these are and how their efficiency and effectiveness can begin to be measured. This module aims to to help the participants identify core business processes and be able to map their flow through the company's operations, highlighting where critical decisions are made and where performance should be measured.


  • The content of this module is set with a Medium Enterprise perspective and covers the following areas:
  • concept of control;
  • an analysis of systems concept and application;
  • TQM;
  • business process analysis;
  • business process re-engineering;
  • system mapping (brown papering);
  • designing management control systems;
  • change management challenges;
  • organisational development theories;
  • the management of organisation crises;
  • defining a quality company - European Foundation of Quality Management;
  • the learning organisation;
  • benchmarking;
  • organisational structures.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • characterise aspects of organisational development and recognise the stages of transition appropriate to their own organisation;
  • critique quality initiatives, their merits and purpose in benchmarking performance from which to build;
  • evaluate 'good' and 'bad' qualities of a director/key manager and be able to recognise how such qualities can affect the 'direction' given to employees and the 'management' of employees;
  • identify cross functional issues within key business processes;
  • apply 'brown papering' as a technique for mapping process activities using the knowledge and involvement of staff and live documentation;
  • design a 'brown paper' with employees to agree current sub-process ownership and the factual, and more sensitive issues about process inefficiencies/ineffectiveness (duplication, multiple communication lines, lack of knowledge, poorly managed sub-activities);
  • set appropriate performance targets for their staff and assess performance against these;
  • identify, analyse and critique the underpinning key processes of business redesign and of how to gain involvement, participation and commitment of staff.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Through the management profiling feedback and discussion, there should be increased understanding and knowledge of generic management challenges facing everyone in the group (although practical examples will obviously differ). Experience exchange may have provided options for networking and collaboration.
      • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
      • Established questionnaires will be used to help people identify organisational stage of development.
      • Case studies and groups exercises will help the them develop their own synthesised models which the assignments and mentor support will then help them adapt and apply to the specific needs of their own organisation.
      • A major role play exercise allows students to develop the brown papering techniques from prime documents to final flow chart. It reinforces some oft he learning from Enterprising People module concerning the importance of communication skills in extracting the appropriate information from staff.
      • The summative assignment will require the student to analyse their current internal processes in relation to the modules discussed and their own stage of organisational development. This will be compared with best practice examples within the Medium Enterprise sector. They will also consider how what they are and what they do, impacts on the performance of the people they work with. This assignment allows students to consider the practical application of the subject covered.
      • Progressive completion of the Learning Log allows progress towards achieving learning objectives to be monitored throughout. Together, the Personal Statement and Learning Log provide a framework for reflection the this then incorporated with the final Presentation.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 2 2 days (one residential) 18
      Tutorials 1 Once 5 hours 5
      Visit by students to the place of work of one of the other students 1 Once 5 hours 5
      Mentor visits 2 Twice 5 hours 10
      Preparation & Reading 117
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 2,500 words (Max.). 100%

      Formative Assessment:


      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University