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Making the business curriculum more than the sum of its parts Peter Long Muriel Eddowes Faculty of Organisation & Management Sheffield Hallam University.

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Presentation on theme: "Making the business curriculum more than the sum of its parts Peter Long Muriel Eddowes Faculty of Organisation & Management Sheffield Hallam University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the business curriculum more than the sum of its parts Peter Long Muriel Eddowes Faculty of Organisation & Management Sheffield Hallam University EDiNEB Conference - June 2008

2 2 Objectives of the paper to report on the outcomes from a UK government funded project to develop a Business Education resource –designed to encourage integration of the first year undergraduate business curriculum –based on a replica retail company –comprises data and information which can be used in a variety of ways as a common resource to support teaching across the curriculum to demonstrate the resource to report the impact on the student perspective of the business curriculum to report on effect on one of the modules in the first year curriculum

3 3 Perspectives on practice students perceive their first year of business studies as a collection of largely unrelated modules, eg marketing, HR, operations, finance (Bain, G S., 1992; Macfarlane, B., 1998) pulling together of these areas is often left to a later stage in the programme (if at all) through a capstone module (often on Management Strategy) anecdotal evidence from employers suggests that an holistic view of business is highly desirable in business graduates an early integrated foundation will support the achievement of such an holistic perspective

4 4 how to integrate a number of ways in which this holistic foundation can be laid our experience is that modules tend to be designed as self contained units and that cross modular activities are difficult to organise and manage our suggested solution is to use a common resource across modules that –enables students to apply the subject matter from the different components of the programme to the same organisation, –incrementally develops knowledge and understanding within a common context has been accepted as worthy of development and has been implemented at Sheffield Hallam University with some (but not total) success

5 5 a conceptual framework

6 6 original project rationale challenge –of engaging Business students with numerical analysis and IT integrate –the 'quants' and IT into a "Business Analysis" module –more generally, topics across the business curriculum engage –to produce a model for enhancing student engagement

7 7 Project outputs the resource has been developed in stages over the last eight years last three years have been funded by the UK's Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) is now in the public domain three web sites – the business customer facing – the business company intranet – Logistics plc customer facing a catalogue of learning activities

8 8 the resource a replica retail company –familiarity of students with the context –a wealth of data, descriptions, activities, issues have been devised –provides a common scenario for all modules to use department store –9 branches in different locations –presents range of management challenges supply chain –incorporated through a logistics company

9 9 the resource structure the mall company head office store the business other branches supply chain supplier Facilities Mgt Catering Car parking Special decorations Lettings Staff training Security Clothing: UK and overseas suppliers UK Food Buying/stock control Finance (day-to-day and company reports etc.) Marketing/promotion/customer relations mgt Customer Services Insurance for goods sold Logistics HR Staff training Store card On-line selling Distribution centre Clothing Household (kitchen and bathroom including relevant electrical) Household – linens/furnishing fabrics/carpets Entertainment – audio, TV, cameras, computers Furniture Shoes and accessories Toiletries Stationery Restaurant Transport Stock management Warehousing 'Green' issues Logistics plc

10 10 web sites

11 11 use in the Business Analysis module

12 12 evaluation and results The effectiveness of the resource in engaging students and facilitating an integrated view has been evaluated through –a number of student surveys –and focus group meetings performance in the Business Analysis module undertaken by review of results and attitudes

13 13 connections helps see connections between different modules helps see connections between BA topics and business activities

14 14 perceptions of use resource is convincingly realistic web navigation is easy would like to see resource used in more modules

15 15 based on experience... realism is important to me use of resource increased my interest using the resource convinced me skills are important

16 16 regarding Business Analysis which module do you like the most? which module do you like the least?

17 17 performance in Business Analysis

18 18 Conclusions some evidence to show that the resource has had a positive effect on engagement and students' perceptions of the integrated nature of business relative popularity of "hard" subjects (numerically based) has increased

19 19 Implications for Innovation of Practice a condition of the funding for this development project is that the deliverables should be widely available to Higher Education Establishments within the UK much effort has been devoted to disseminating the outcomes and promoting the wider use of the resource these efforts have met with some success and the continued maintenance and development of the resource has become a key issue for the project team

20 20 contacts Peter Long Tel: Muriel Eddowes Tel: Sheffield Hallam University, Faculty of Organisation and Management, City Campus, Sheffield S1 1WB UK Please contact us for further details or go to our project web site We are also looking for ideas for our learning activities catalogue!!

21 21 References Bain, G S (1992) “The Future of Management Education”, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 43, 6, Barber, C S, Borin, N, Cerf, D C and Swartz, T A (2001)," The Role of Marketing in an Integrative Business Curriculum", Journal of Marketing Education, 23, 3, Hamilton, D, McFarland, D. and Mirchandani, D. (2000) "A Decision Model for Integration across the Business Curriculum in the 21st Century", Journal of Management Education, 24, 1, Macfarlane, B, (1998) “Refugees, Nomads and Tourists: an anatomy of business and management lecturers in higher education”, Journal of European Business Education, 7, 2, 31–44. Markulis, P M, Howe, H and Strang, D R (2005) "Integrating the business curriculum with a comprehensive case study: A prototype", Simulation & Gaming, 36, 2, Ottewill, R, McKenzie, G and Leah, J (2005) "Integration and the hidden curriculum in business education", Education & Training, 47, 2, Campbell, N D, Heriot, K C and Finney, R Z (2006) " In defense of silos: an argument against the integrative undergraduate business curriculum", Journal of Management Education, 30, 2,

22 22 Reporting sales performance (by poster) Head Office annual review of each store Directors visit stores to discuss overall performance poster presentation on the performance of their department over the last year make comparisons with –the previous years; –similar departments within the business group; –local competition; –the expected performance of the market sector as a whole.

23 23 Reporting sales performance (by poster) integrates –data analysis –IT –a little competitor and market analysis expand to –develop marketing aspects –include more on the business environment –include an analysis of the business systems –include more financial analysis

24 24 Reporting sales performance

25 25 Learning Activity – the job Students prepare job description and person specification for a vacancy at one of the TIBER companies (The Business or Logistics plc)Logistics In their groups they role play the application and appointment scenario.

26 26 Customer facing

27 27 intranet

28 28 Logistics plc


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