Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module BUSI55830: The Enterprising Strategy

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI55830: The Enterprising Strategy

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1KG12
Tied to N1DL12



  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Strategy has to be managed and this module seeks to provide participants with a business simulation that gives them the opportunity to team-manage business strategy development and implementation.
  • Students will analyse the external and internal environments to anticipate how the business will meet the competition both now and in the future. They will obtain a more holistic view of the business and its competitive environment and set a realistic and pragmatic business strategy with clearly identified Critical Success Factors and projects to support it.
  • In the module Enterprising Finance students developed the communicative competence to deal with the traditional financial stakeholders in the business and to understand and interpret standard financial information. However, much of this information is historic and out of date. For strategic management students need to be able to predict the financial consequences of their decisions and to be able to respond quickly to any indication that the strategic targets are not being met. This module introduces predictive financial models and dynamic indicators to meet these needs.
  • In Medium Enterprises the general managers need to be more aware of the financial consequences of their decisions and the impact of these on all three financial statements.


  • The content of this module is set with a Medium Enterprise perspective and covers the following areas:
  • Definitions of strategy
  • The strategic process
  • The challenges of strategy in a Medium Enterprise
  • Depicting Business Development and Growth Potential
  • Using, analysing and synthesising a number of traditional strategic models in a Medium Enterprise context: Environmental Analysis; Value Chain analysis; Resource Audit; SWOT; Growth/Share Matrix; Product/Market Matrix; Competitive Forces Analysis.
  • Developing an effective Mission Statement
  • Identifying Critical Success Factors and developing appropriate projects to achieve them
  • Matrix Mapping Methodologies
  • The Scope of Dynamic Financial Management
  • Dynamic Indicators and Dynamic and Static Costs
  • The Dynamic Net contribution Statement
  • Static Net Assets (SNA), Stock, Debtors and Creditors
  • Dynamic Cash Movement (DCM)
  • Visual Representations of dynamic indicators
  • Trend analysis - breakeven, Static Net Assets and Dynamic Cash Movement
  • Calculating targets for dynamic indicators
  • Price Volume and Contribution
  • Cost Volume and Contribution
  • Managing changes to dynamic indicators

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
    • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
    • Research and Analyse the variety of external and internal influences affecting competitive ability by using frameworks for strategic analysis.
    • Recognise the need to be customer-driven and thus ensure that business, product/service development strategies actually meet and perhaps anticipate real needs.
    • Adopt realistic timeframes and cascade the broad, overall company 'mission' into critical factors of success and key objective areas.
    • Appreciate the relevance and purpose of clear, well-defined objectives to operational areas and concerns.
    • Evaluate the team-based approach to strategy and understand the need for effective and efficient communication.
    • Appreciate the need for a system of information analysis and decision-making consistent with designed time pressures.
    • Set overall strategy in a way that will guide month to month management and responses to events, which have not been anticipated.
    • Appreciate the role of performance monitoring and evaluation in providing indicators regarding future opportunities and challenges.
    • Restructure their existing financial systems in a way to reflect the dynamic nature of a Medium Sized Enterprise.
    • Identify and extract the key operational elements from the three traditional financial statements.
    • Identify a small number (up to 8) dynamic indicators of their business
    • Ensure timely systems are set in place to capture the information o these dynamic indicators for immediate decision making support.
    • Utilise breakeven analysis as a predictive tool for successful business development.
    • appraise computer modelling systems to predict and proactively manage the impact of cost, price and volume changes of their organisation.
    • Develop skills to communicate financial information in a more visual way and to involve staff at all levels in the improvement of financial performance.
    Key Skills:

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

      • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
      • Group exercises, financial exercises and groups discussions will help 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 Business Simulation allows students to develop and implement a strategy appropriate to a Medium Sized Organisation. This business simulation relates back to the issues covered in all the 4 modules contributing to the Postgraduate Certificate stage.
      • This is then enhanced by a major Case Study exercise that allows students to develop the Dynamic Financial Management techniques from prime translating existing financial information to the application of decision based computer modelling to assess the feasibility of their strategy. The case study reinforces some of the learning from the Enterprising Finance module concerning the importance of good financial systems.
      • The summative assignment will require the student to identify and / or formulate their own organisational strategy. They will be asked to use, analyse and critique strategic models. They will be asked to consider the implication of strategic change on their organisational processes and people. they will then identify their own dynamic indicators. They will be asked to analyse these historically and, a result to set appropriate targets for the identified strategy. They will be asked to produce and interpret the visual representation of the financial performance of their business. The assignment also allows the students to reflect on the learning from the certificate stage of the programme and to combine this with their strategic analysis and financial decision making.
      • 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 that is then incorporated with the final Presentation.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 4 In two 2 day consecutive sessions (one residential) 36
      Tutorials 2 Twice 5 hours 10
      Mentor visit 2 Twice 5 hours 10
      Visit by students to the place of work of one of the other students 2 Twice 5 hours 10
      Preparation & Reading 234
      Total 300

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 5,000 words 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