Module code: MANM455

Module Overview

The extraordinary human ability to organise, configure and deploy people, tools, materials, technologies, knowledge and creativity to accomplish complex tasks and transform the material and social world - is what makes civilizations possible. In the modern era, we have reached astonishing levels of organisational sophistication that allowed us to travel to the Moon and transform the lives of billions of people through mass production of affordable goods, public and commercial services, infrastructure, global trade and countless other accomplishments. The rise of the digital economy means that we are now on the cusp of another seismic transformation that will require that we reinvent the very ways in which we work and organise.

This module lays the foundations for the understanding of organising and organisations in all their complexity and flawed sophistication. We study the social, technological and processual aspects of organising for the delivery of value in a sustainable and profitable way, and the challenges and opportunities that come with that task. We take a positive stance in trying to understand what is efficient and effective and a critical stance in seeing to take organisations to account for the societal responsibilities and asking questions about the use and abuse of power of organisations.

The module provides students with a broad overview of how organisations operate to deliver value in a global context and the contemporary practice of organising with reference to research and contemporary trends in the areas of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Inter-Organisational Collaboration and Partnerships, Learning and Innovation.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Sustainable production and service operations

  • Design for life and sustainability by design

  • Operational learning, innovation and creativity

  • Contemporary organisational forms: internal and network

  • Operations strategy: generating value, growth and profitability in a sustainable way

  • Achieving effective organisations: systems, processes and technologies

  • Globalisation of operations

  • Negotiating across organisations

  • Working across boundaries: networks and alliances

  • Organising for the future: improvement, change and transformation

  • Contemporary drivers of change, current issues and trends in organisations and organising

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Group Oral Exam (20 minutes) 30
Coursework Group Project (3,000 words) 70

Alternative Assessment

Individual Presentation: 30% Individual Coursework: 70%

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the learning outcomes both through their contribution to team work and individually.

The assessment is based on the integrative collaborative project that students engage in during the guided group project work sessions and showcases students' subject specific knowledge and cognitive skills as well as their practical ability to apply their learning to complex problems and tasks in the relevant domain of professional practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Group report based on a collaborative project requiring data collection, analysis and interpretation to arrive at evidence based conclusions and recommendations (3,000 words).

A group interview on the process and outcomes of the assignment project (up to 20 minutes per person). In the event that any student would not be able to complete the group report, they will be given an alternative assessment in the form of: Individual coursework (3,000 words)

In the event that any student would not be able to partake in the group interview, they will be given an alternative assessment in the form of: Individual presentation (20 minutes)

Formative assessment

Formative feedback is offered on an ongoing basis during seminars/group discussions, active learning sessions and tutorials. This may be done face to face or online.


Formative feedback is offered on an ongoing basis during seminars/group discussions, active learning sessions and project tutorials, which may be done face to face or online (synchronously).

Summative feedback is provided in writing separately for each of the elements of assessment.

Module aims

  • Develop a critical awareness of different aspects of contemporary organisations and organising as seen through multiple disciplinary and theoretical perspectives
  • Develop a critical understanding of internal and network forms, structures, systems, processes and technologies
  • Develop a critical appreciation of contemporary challenges and opportunities in organising for sustainable growth
  • Develop a critical awareness of the strategic role of operations and supply chain management in generating value, growth and profitability;
  • Familiarise students with current issues and trends in organising and organisations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an in-dept understanding of the interrelationships, complexities and trade-offs implicated in the practice of organising
002 Demonstrate a critical appreciation of organisations as social structures, cultures and political environments
003 Demonstrate an advanced ability to think about organisations in a systemic way, across the social, technological and physical dimensions
004 Think analytically and creatively about organisations and organising so as to propose innovative, evidence-based solutions for the improvement of organisational efficiency and competitiveness
005 Demonstrate the knowledge and analytical ability to recognise barriers and solutions to delivering value in a sustainable way through effective operations
006 Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the role and conditions for the nurturing of knowledge, learning, innovation and creativity in contemporary organisations
007 Critically discuss current developments and suggest and interpret emerging trends in sustainable operations

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to combine research-informed academic content with applied learning through project work.

Learning and teaching follows a student-focused, experiential, flipped-classroom methodology with online elements.

It comprises lectures, seminars, group discussions, study trips and assignment tutorials. It also includes active and self-directed learning - both group and individual.

Prior to attending the lecture and seminar, students are expected to undertake the essential reading and complete any set work for the sessions.

Active learning is supported by engagement with practice through group project work, study trip and invited guest speakers.

Assignment tutorials are there to provide formative feedback in preparation for the assessment. 

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures are mainly designed to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and models.

Seminars/group discussions are designed to develop a more practical insight into the applied nature of the various topics covered: they help explore the theoretical concepts and models by reference to a range of topical issues and case studies.

Active learning includes engaging in classroom practical exercises,video and case analyses and group project work.

Active learning through online study (synchronous and asynchronous);

Self-directed learning pertains to engaging with learning materials and undertaking desk research required for classroom participation and assessment.

Study trips are designed to allow students the opportunity to observe the phenomena they study in practice and engage with the relevant practice and practitioners in the own setting and context.

Assignment tutorials support students in their project work through systematic review of progress, discussion and formative feedback from an academic tutor. These may be run face-to-face or online (synchronously).

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM455

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Management MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2019/0 academic year.