Module code: MAN3159

Module Overview

This module uses a case-based approach in order to introduce students to managerial decision-making on matters of strategy, organisation and governance in large, multinational corporations. It provides a range of analytical tools, methods and approaches in order to assess the advantages and disadvantages of critical choices that top managers make. It also addresses the question of who should benefit from the economic value that companies create, and bear the risks that they incur, and how the distribution of these risks and rewards affects the strategies available to them.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: N100

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 40

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

No formal prerequisites. Students will benefit from having a grasp of basic economic concepts (e.g., supply-demand models; elasticity; transaction costs), but these concepts will be explained again in class.

Module content

Indicative content includes:
• Business strategy: Analysing the attractiveness of a market; taking market entry decisions (Case: Ducati);
• Corporate strategy: Analysing the “parenting advantage” of having multiple businesses in large, diversified company; deciding on the role of the corporate centre (Case: Danaher Corporation);
• Corporate organisation: Analysing the advantages and disadvantages of specific organisation structures in multinational, knowledge-intensive firms; deciding on the optimal organisational design (Case: Andersen Consulting);
• Corporate ownership: Analysing how different types of ownership (e.g., investor ownership, employee ownership, etc.) affect the strategy of companies; deciding on the optimal ownership structure of a firm (Case: Goldman Sachs);
• Corporate governance: Analysing the role of shareholders, directors, managers and other stakeholders in corporations; deciding on whose interests take priority in which situation (Case: Circon Corporation).

The case studies mentioned above are indicative.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Individual essay 40
Examination 2-hour closed-book exam 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of both theoretical concepts and their practical application.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• Individual essay (max. 1500 words, excluding footnotes / references), due in week 7 or 8 of teaching (40%)
• A two-hour closed-book exam during the examination period (60%)

Formative assessment
Formative feedback will be given on a continuous basis during the course of the module. Due to the case-based approach, the classes will be highly interactive; they will not be lecture-based. Students will receive formative and summative feedback on their essays in week 9 of teaching.

Module aims

  • Enable students to take decisions on the strategy, organisation and governance of large, multinational companies
  • Analyse strategic, organisational and governance problems, using analytical tools and empirical evidence
  • Introduce problem solving approaches typically used by consultants and managers
  • Provide an understanding of the trade-offs managers are facing when designing the strategy, organisation and governance of firms
  • Investigate the question of whose objectives companies should seek to pursue, and what the rights and responsibilities of directors, managers, shareholders and other stakeholder groups are relative to one another in pursuing these objectives

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply strategy tools (e.g., the value map; market structure analysis) to analysing strategic problems CPT
002 Define the strategies that meet the objectives of an organisation CK
003 Understand the principles on which companies are governed and organised K
004 Provide recommendations to managers and other stakeholders with respect to the strategy, organisational design and governance of large corporations CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to put students into the shoes of decision-makers about key strategic, organisational and governance choices that managers and/or directors of large multinational companies need to take; and to enable students to use analytical, evidence-based approaches on how to best take such decisions.

The primary learning and teaching method used in this module is the so-called Harvard Case Method. Students are required to carefully read an extended case study in advance of each session (about five cases will be discussed in this module). Students will be asked to identify who the decision-maker(s) in the case study are, which problems they need to address and what the decision options are. We will then introduce tools / approaches / methods in order to analyse these options, illustrate how these analyses are rooted in the academic literature in the field of strategy, organisation and governance, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. We will also use individual and group exercises in order to illustrate the use of particular analytical methods (e.g., the value map).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Accounting and Finance BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.