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Business Organisations and Their Environment, Short Course

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University rank #501 (WUR) Online
The Business Organisations and Their Environment course at The Open University UK is a practical module, grounded in your own experience of business organisations as an employee, customer or stakeholder, and is designed to develop your personal and professional practice in diverse business environments.


What you will study in the Business Organisations and Their Environment course at The Open University UK

We have considered how the internet impacts on the way we live every day and certainly on the way we work and interact with myriad business organisations. Web literacy and the ability to work collaboratively with others in an online environment are now core business skills. To offer you an up-to-date learning experience this module is presented mainly via the web making full use of the OU’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and keeping pace with the rapidly changing global business environment.

The structure of the module is organised into four blocks.

Block 1: Encountering Organisations, starts by asking you to assess your current knowledge and understanding of business organisations. It then helps you to develop your skills using the online tutor group forum to reach a shared understanding with your fellow students. You’ll use an online tool to develop your portfolio of skills and abilities. You will also work through an introduction to the module themes and discover ways you can reflect on your relationship and experiences of business organisations and their environments.

Block 2 The Evolution of Organisations, explores how the organisations we see today have been shaped. Against the backdrop of organisation theory, you’ll investigate the internal and external factors that shape business and that business seeks to influence. 

This will include theoretical analyses and discussions of some internal factors that influence the nature and direction of a business anywhere, like culture, structure, management and control. You’ll also explore the ways in which external factors, like national culture, external control (such as law and regulation), and technological and economic issues impact on the relationships between business organisations and their environments. 

There will be an online group collaborative activity preparing for the fourth tutor-marked assignment during study weeks 16-19. You will need regular access to the internet during the four weeks of this collaborative activity in February, a fact you may want to consider when making holiday or travel plans.

Block 3: The Context of Organisations, focuses on three sets of overarching debates and issues that are current in the world of business and continually impact on the performance of business organisations. These issues are globalisation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and regulation. Each topic is explored through case-study materials and theoretical debates about the implications of these issues for business organisations.

Block 4: Re-encountering Organisations, considers what organisations may look like in the future. Are emerging organisational forms, such as open-source networks and social enterprises, just a transient phase? Or are such forms the start of a revolution in the operation of business? What are the implications of this for the business environment? How will changes in contemporary business impact how we work together?

Supporting study materials 

Throughout the module, there is a strong focus on the practical implications of the debates you consider and how these link into your experience of the world of business. The main study materials will be delivered online with embedded audio and video links and via DVD and interactive study materials. 

This material illustrates the issues raised and links into tutorial discussion and activities to develop your understanding. The use of blogs and collaborative work will foster group learning.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

Key features of the module are that it:

  • explores current global, regional and local issues in business supported by relevant and interesting examples
  • explores the current state of academic knowledge and ideas of some classic business scholars in a guided way
  • makes creative use of online technologies to enhance the teaching and learning of business organisations and their environments
  • challenges your thinking and perceptions of business organisations and their relationship with the society we live in
  • unravels some of the wider debates and controversies that exist in theoretical and practical understanding of business organisations and their environments.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

The module is for you if you want a general overview of modern business and the ways in which they relate to their environments. It makes as few assumptions as possible about what you already know and about your experience of formal academic study. However, this is an OU level 2 module and if you have no previous experience of studying business , it is strongly recommended that you first study An introduction to business and management (B100) (or its equivalent).

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    2928 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2928 GBP per year and a duration of .
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