Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneurial Environment and Context

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneurial Environment and Context

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap
Tied to N1K307


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a holistic overview of the complex nature of the entrepreneurial environment.


  • Three key themes will underpin the exploration and unpacking of the environmental context and its influence. The three themes are:
  • The societal context
  • The policy context
  • The personal task environment context.
  • As part of each of the above key themes, the following issues and topics will be explored and unpacked: Societal context : Develop an understanding of the key dimensions of a changing entrepreneurial society and an ability to critically analyse these - key changes and trends in attitudes to entrepreneurship in different types of societies; the impact of different structures on attitudes towards entrepreneurship (e.g. internationalisation, information communication technologies); Patterns of organisational change fostering entrepreneurial behaviour including downsizing, business process re-engineering, re-structuring; types of entrepreneurial behaviour in society beyond the context of business ownership; Morals and ethics, in terms of the whether an entrepreneurial society is perceived as positive.
  • Policy context : Develop an understanding of the of the key elements of the debate surrounding how to support entrepreneurship and the key constituents of the policy community - Justifications and arguments for and against supporting entrepreneurial behaviour and management at a macro and micro level; Changes in regulatory environments and implications for policy and practices; Key trends in governance structures supporting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour; Key actors and structures within the entrepreneurship 'policy community'
  • Task environment context : Develop an understanding of the key structures and processes which shape and determine the task environment - Key components of the task environment in terms of stakeholders (i.e. who), boundaries (i.e. where), relationships and networking (i.e. how); Activities and processes by which entrepreneurial individuals and organisations understand their environment (e.g. environment scanning, strategic awareness, sensemaking and sensegiving); Processes by which to interact and influence events and structures in the task environment; Review of the critical issues or essences in terms of management of the entrepreneurial environment and context.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    By the end of the module students should have a critical appreciation of how different components and trends interact to influence the key actors and structures within the entrepreneurial environment.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to analyse in depth the mutual influence of the wider environment upon the individual and the (entrepreneurial) organisation.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

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

  • The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, and students will be expected to integrate conceptual frameworks with their own experiences through structured reading, individual exercises and group discussion of case studies.
  • The assessment of the module, by the written assignment, is designed to :
  • Test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge
  • Test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 11 2 hours 22
Preparation & Reading 128
Total 150

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Assignment - 1,500 word precis and critique of an appropriate article on understanding the entrepreneurial environment.

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