BSP4002: Business in Global Context; synthesis of research material

BSP4002: Business in Global Context; synthesis of research material 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch

What is meant by “business in a global context”? All business operates within what we would term a “business environment”. Such environments shift and change over time, whether as a result of short-term economic
fluctuations, or more long-term evolutions in technology. Such environments must as a
consequence be seen as dynamic, to a degree unpredictable, and inherently full of risk and
uncertainty. Good management is about understanding this environment, being able to deal
with change, to evaluate risk and uncertainty, and to make the unpredictable not something
to fear, but something that business can use to its advantage.
Business research consistently shows that the world’s most successful companies seek to
embrace change, they are very often change makers, the first to innovate with new
technology, or the first to adopt new technology, or the first to adopt new ways of business
thinking. These businesses proactively shape the business environment, they lead and let
others follows. Complacency however, is not an option. Business needs to continually
innovate in order to stay ahead of competitors, or it will be overtaken. Corporate history is
Module Handbook 2018/19 – Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 2
littered with examples of companies which failed to embrace this concept. A study of Fortune
500 companies found that more than a third had vanished between 1970 and 1983 (de
Geus, 1988)
Businesses are facing increasing challenges from domestic and international competition,
and also from the relentless march of globalisation and technological advances. Now you
can choose to buy an off-the-peg suit from your local retailer or else have a bespoke madeto-measure
suit produced in Asia and sent direct to you – at the same cost!!! Twenty years
ago, if you wanted to purchase a product that was only available in the USA, either you (or a
friend) had to travel there to purchase it, or else you had to find a specialist import retailer
(not easy using Yellow Pages!). The likes of Ebay, Amazon and Google have demolished
these once very real barriers to consumer nirvana. How the world has changed! We truly live
in a global village. The message for business operating in this global context is simple -
those that do not innovate, adapt or change, run the risk of going the way of the dodo!
This module will help you understand this dynamic and ever changing business environment
by providing you with the theoretical grounding, models and concepts which are essential for
future managers and business leaders to function effectively in the twenty-first century.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module students should be able to:
1. Identify a range of issues and debates through which to illustrate the impact of the
business environment on business activity.
2. Understand the conceptual categorisation of the business environment, and use
models based on the categorisation in analysis.
3. Describe how different business functions respond to changes in the business
4. Use, interpret and understand a range of statistical and non-statistical tools and
techniques to analyse business data and information.
5. Reflect upon learning and make connections between issues, business activity and
appropriate data.
Structure and Content
The approach we shall adopt on this module is to look at the business environment today,
consider ways in which we can make sense of this environment, and consider some of the
major changes impacting upon it. We will also evaluate the impact of some of these changes
on business activity, and identify how business is responding to the new world it is facing.
The structure of the module will follow a lecture and seminar approach (each 1 hour in
duration). The necessary theory, models and concepts will be covered in lectures followed
by seminars where you are able to actively engage in discussions, presentations, activities
and tasks relevant to the lecture. Seminar activities and tasks will be posted to Moodle and
you will be required to study these before the seminars so you are suitably prepared to
undertake the tasks required of you.
The module uses the Moodle system where students will find copies of lecture presentations
and other helpful information relevant to the module (handbook, assessments etc.) to assist
your learning. You are expected to access Moodle regularly to check for updates, new
uploaded material and to ensure you are suitably prepared for lectures and seminars.
Please download all materials for lectures and seminars before they take place.
The module can essentially be grouped into four key themes of business and contemporary
change that are having a significant impact upon the business environment. These are:
 The business of sustainability
o Globalisation
o The economy and the state
o Sustainability
 The business of happiness
o Authentic leadership & its influence
o Global culture
o Wellbeing & happiness
 The business of technology
o Technology
o Innovation
 The business of ethics and social responsibility
o Ethics & corporate social responsibility (CSR)
o Values in businessPlease read this section carefully, so that you are fully aware of what is required of you for
this module. Pay particular attention to the assessment requirements and assessment dates.
Patchwork Portfolio
The assessment adopted for this module is what is referred to as a Patchwork Portfolio. The
Patchwork Portfolio comprises three components which are detailed below. All three
components must be completed as marks are deducted for an incomplete portfolio as
detailed in this handbook.
To complete your portfolio, you will be required to attend all lectures and seminars. You are
also required to undertake your own independent study through reading, research, keeping
abreast of developments in the global business world etc.
The patches you must complete throughout the year are:
1. Patch One: Written Synthesis.
Submission: 13th December 2018 via Moodle
Group or Individual Work: Individual
Word Equivalent: 2,000
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2 & 4
Assessment Type: Formative
Written Synthesis
This assignment is unusual, as you are not being asked to conduct your own research,
(an important learning outcome in most university assignments). Research material will
be provided. As first year students, it is important that you can:
 Identify the relevant issues from research material
 Construct an argument in a logical manner
 Paraphrase effectively
 Reference appropriately and create a reference list in Harvard format
 Write in an appropriate academic style
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 6 6
Therefore, by restricting the source materials, you can focus on these skills and we can
assess where you are and direct you to help if required.
Some of the sources that you will use are journal articles. These types of academic
articles will be used throughout your study. However, at this stage in your academic
career, you may find them daunting and unintelligible. The most important thing is not to
panic! You do not have to understand every word and all the research methodology.
You will have a workshop on how to make the best use of these journal articles.
Prepare a 2,000-word written synthesis of the research material, which clearly explains
the main issues relating to the topic covered in the sources. The synthesis will need to
be referenced appropriately using the Harvard Referencing system. You will also need
to specify the word count at the end of the document.
You should also reflect on your learning and the work completed for this assignment by
completing a self-evaluation form. NB. This form must be submitted with this patch.
You will be provided with the four sources to be used in completing this assessment. You
can only use these four sources for your synthesis. No other sources are to be used in
your synthesis. The four sources (book chapter and journal articles) will be available on
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 7 7
2. Patch Two: Contribution
Submission: Ongoing throughout year in seminars
Group or Individual Work: Individual
Word Equivalent: 2,000
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3 & 4
Assessment Type: Formative
This component of the portfolio relates to your contribution in seminars, which is clearly
dependent on attendance.
You will at certain stages throughout the module receive three specific
exercises/activities to be completed in full during seminars and/or as part of independent
study. Their completion will form part of your patchwork portfolio. You will be required to
maintain and submit a tutor signed contribution sheet for these tasks, evidencing your
contribution to the completion of patch 2. It is your responsibility to retain all necessary
documentation and submit when required. It is important therefore that you attend all
seminars, as failure to attend may prevent you from completing some or all of the tasks.
Please note, these tasks will not be available on Moodle. Tasks will focus on the
following areas/topics:
Seminar Task 1: Contemporary topic (details to be confirmed)
Seminar Task 2: “In the News”
Seminar Task 3: Robots and the Workforce
You should also reflect on your learning and the work completed for this assignment by
completing a self-evaluation form. NB. The self-evaluation must be completed along with
each seminar task to secure a tutor signature.
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 8 8
3. Patch Three: Topic Discussion Essay and Final Portfolio
Submission: 3rd May 2019 via Moodle
Group or Individual Work: Individual
Word Equivalent: 2,000
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2 & 5
Assessment Type: Summative
The work to date: Topic discussion and evidence of completed portfolio
You need to complete a 2,000-word written essay comprising a discussion of ONE topic
chosen from the module’s lectures. NB. The topic must be chosen from those covered in
lectures. Please study the schedule in this handbook for your choice of topic. You also
CANNOT choose the topic covered in Patch 1. The essay should evidence learning and
knowledge acquired from your study of this module. You will need to select one topic
from the module for your discussion, which will need to:
• Consider the key principles relating to the topic, and its relevance and
significance to the global business environment
• Provide a balanced discussion/reasoned argument
• Make connections to and links with other topics from the module
• Use examples to help illustrate
• Use and incorporate academic literature from credible academic sources to
support your discussion
• Provide a suitable conclusion
• Referenced correctly using Harvard Referencing
• Write in an academic style
You should also reflect on your learning and the work completed for this assignment by
completing a self-evaluation form. NB. This form must be submitted with this patch.
NB: You cannot simply resubmit work completed for previous patches, either fully
or in part. You CANNOT choose the topic covered in patch one.
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 9 9
Submission of Portfolio
To complete your portfolio, you must:
• Complete Patches 1, 2 & 3 in full
• Submit required documentation when due
Attendance at all lectures and seminars will help you in preparing for, and completing, all
the required components of the portfolio.
Please note that you will need to complete in full the following components of the
patchwork portfolio. Failure to complete patches will result in marks being
deducted from your final patch 3 grade as detailed in this handbook.
• Patch 1 synthesis
• All three components of Patch 2, each completed in full
• Patch 3 essay
• Self-evaluations for Patches 1, 2 & 3. These must be completed at the time they
are due for each patch and cannot be completed retrospectively.
Please note that all patches must be completed and submitted at the time they are due
as detailed in this handbook. Late submissions will not be accepted without mitigating
Please study the assessment criteria, as marks will be deducted for incomplete
portfolios. It is your responsibility to ensure all required components are submitted
with your portfolio.
The three patches detailed above comprise the patchwork portfolio for this module. Please
note that Patch 3 is graded, but Patches 1 and 2 (which are not graded) must be completed
to enable you to complete Patch 3 and submit your portfolio. Completion of all three patches
therefore will improve your chances of passing the module. Please also note, if you do not
complete all aspects of this patchwork portfolio, you will not have completed all the work
required for the year, which will result in marks being deducted as detailed in the
assessment criteria below.

Patch Component Weight
Patch 3
(i) Topic Discussion
Balanced discussion, key principles/theory identified, relevance &
significance to global business environment, links with other topics from
Business in a Global Context, use of examples.
(ii) Research
Evidence of wider reading beyond lecture notes and sourced from
credible academic sources, which must include text books and journals
(iii) Communication
Use of appropriate writing style, structure & coherence, proofing, overall
(iv) Referencing
Number of references/sources used and formatting of in-text citations
and reference list.
TOTAL 100%
The following items are required to evidence completion of your Portfolio:
• Patch 1 synthesis & self-evaluation
• Patch 2 All tasks & self-evaluations completed in full as evidenced by tutor
signed contribution sheet to be submitted at time of Patch 3 essay
• Patch 3 essay & self-evaluation
The Patch 3 essay will be graded against the criteria above. However, please note that in
addition to marks being awarded for Patch 3, overall marks will also be adjusted where
portfolios are incomplete and/or do not contain the required documentation relating to
Patches 1 to 3. Marks will be deducted as follows:
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 11 11
Incomplete or no documentation for one Patch (Patches 1 – 3) 3 marks deducted
Incomplete or no documentation for two Patches (Patches 1 – 3) 6 marks deducted
Incomplete or no documentation for three Patches (Patches 1 – 3) 10 marks deducted
Note. It is your responsibility to ensure that you retain all the necessary
documentation, which needs to be submitted with your portfolio. Please ensure you
keep all documentation safe and know where to find it so it can be submitted with
your portfolio.
Formative & Summative Assessments
Formative assessments are not graded but are developmental in that they allow students to
practice and develop academic skills and to identify strengths and weaknesses. Feedback is
provided, which will enable students to apply their learning to future assessments including
summative assessments. To use a football analogy, you can adopt either a Hoodle or
Southgate philosophy to formative tasks. It can be argued that based on recent evidence a
Southgate approach generates better results.
Summative assessments are graded. Work submitted will be assessed and marked against
assessment criteria. It is important that you read and understand the assessment criteria and
ensure work submitted for summative assessments reflects the criteria.
Patches 1 & 2 are formative and not graded. Patch 3 is summative and graded.
Late Assignment Submission
Assignments received after the deadline and recorded as late without mitigating
circumstances will not be accepted for assessment/grading and consequently will be classed
as a non-attempt.

You are reminded that plagiarism is regarded as an ‘academic crime’. It is where students
use words written by others or ideas and concepts written by others, but do not name the
writer and other appropriate sources. Students who indulge in plagiarism are indicating they
have not achieved the learning outcomes from their module. If you are caught plagiarising
others’ texts, severe penalties are imposed, which include referring your work to the Dean of
School which may result in expulsion from the university.
More information on Harvard Referencing can be found at
You will be significantly disadvantaged if you do not attend all timetabled sessions and
contribute to your own learning and development. You will not be able to keep up by
studying Moodle alone and your grades may be affected by non-attendance. Attendance at
all sessions, lectures and seminars, will be monitored.
BSP4002 Business in a Global Context
Module Handbook 2018/19 - Business in Global Context (BSP4002) 13 13
Required Reading
Needle, D. (2015). Business in Context. 6
th Ed. Harlow: Cengage Learning
Available as an e-book via the library portal.
Recommended Reading
Baron, D. P. (2005). Business and its Environment. 5
th Ed: Prentice Hall
Harrison, A. (2010). Business Environment: In a Global Environment. OUP Oxford
Kelly, P. (2009). International Business Management. Harlow: Cengage Learning
Morrison, J. (2006). International Business Environment: Global and Local Marketplaces in a
Changing World. 2
nd Ed Harlow: Palgrave Macmillan
Worthing, I., & Britton, C. (2006). The Business Environment. FT/Prentice Hall
Wetherly, P., & Otter, D. (2007). The Business Environment: Themes and Issues. OUP
In addition to the recommended reading above, you will also benefit from reading relevant
and contemporary journal articles, and keeping abreast of latest news and developments in
the business world, by reading, watching and listening to current affairs and news
programmes, websites, blogs etc.
Some useful sources are:
Harvard Business Review,
The BBC,
The Economist,
The Guardian,
The FT,