Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2019/20 Session

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Module Title LI Critical Analysis in Management
SchoolBirmingham Business School
Department Birmingham Business School
Module Code 07 26729
Module Lead Dr Layla Branicki
Level Intermediate Level
Credits 20
Semester Full Term
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Guided independent study-172 hours
Seminar-22 hours
Lecture-6 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description This module takes a distinctive approach to learning as it is based on student-led problem solving and role playing activities as the main method to develop critical thinking skills. Students work in small groups and the role of the class tutor is to ask further questions, to guide questioning groups in how to pose questions, and to draw out key points, both of process and substance.

In addition to learning in class, students are required to capture and reflect on the process through which they have learned by writing a reflective assessment. This will draw on educational theory in two respects: individual learning styles; and the functioning of groups.

Students will be introduced to 4 distinct forms of critical analysis and consider their application in practice. The ‘Four forms of critique’ (Mingers, 2010) is an effective way of signalling to undergraduate students that they need to engage in constructive critique of concepts and cases as opposed to falling into the ‘trap’ of being either negatively critical or overly accepting.

A number of themes relevant to contemporary business and management theory and practice run through the module, including but not limited to:
  • Ethics in business
  • The socially embedded nature of business
  • The relationship between the private and public sectors in business systems
  • The nature and operation of power in organisations
  • The contested nature of strategy and decision making
The module is innovative in its learning and teaching style as it is primarily based on ‘student-centred learning’ and ‘flipped classroom’ approaches based on work during seminars.

These themes are pursued through a set of 10 cases. Each class meets once every two weeks to work on the assigned case. The cases are written specifically for the module. Several draw on the current research of members of the department. They can be written throughout the year. An indicative set of cases is:
- sexual harassment;
- whistle-blowing and personal responsibility;
- corporations’ social and environmental responsibilities;
- escalation in decision-making;
- global supply chains and workers’ rights;
- multinational companies and global codes of conduct

Alongside group work, students are assigned two individual tasks: (1) to critically review an academic paper on a topic related to business and management theory and practice, (2) To write a critical commentary in the form of a blog over the course of one term on a current business and management topic of their choice.

A small number of lectures introduces students to the core concepts of critical thinking and analysis as well as the practice of reflection of their learning experiences.

A module of this kind cannot have a set text. Each case will guide students to relevant reading. In addition, they will be directed to readings on the central themes of the module.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Analyse complex problems with no single right answer and provide recommendations for action that derive from a critical analysis
  • Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the four forms of critical analysis underpinning this module
  • Work effectively in groups and demonstrate that they have skills in managing groups
  • Present a critical evaluation of an academic paper in front of their peer group
  • Critically review and evaluate with an academic paper relevant to business and management
  • Identify and apply relevant theoretical approaches to formulate focused and challenging questions, and engage in constructive and critical debate
  • Critically engage with a contemporary topic in business and management
Assessment 26729-05 : Reflective Journal Essay : Coursework (45%)
26729-06 : Paper Review : Coursework (25%)
26729-07 : Reflective Syndicate Presentation Report : Coursework (30%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessments:

Critical paper review . 1000 words (25%)
Critical Blog on a contemporary business issue of their choice. Ten dated entries over a ten week period. 1500 words (45%)
2000 words written group work (30%) of which 5% is peer marking

Reassessment: 2000 word individual essay on the topic of their group work:
Other Duplicate version of this module delivered in Dubai: 07 30473
Reading List