The University of Southampton
Courses

MANG3066 Managing High-Growth Businesses

Module Overview

The important contributions that high-growth firms make to the economy through their generation of revenue and jobs have long been recognised. Entrepreneurs often seek growth to maximise their returns, while others embark on a trajectory of ‘accidental growth’ based on high demand for their innovative goods and services. However, high-growth creates considerable challenges for many organisations. It can place them under strain, and can result in firm failure. This unique module examines the theoretical frameworks which explain firm growth and provides practical insight into how the associated challenges can be managed. This module will be of interest to students seeking to develop their own business, or who plan on working in dynamic, high-growth firms.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to examine the drivers of high-growth businesses, the challenges which emerge through high- growth trajectories and how they can be managed. The module enables you to develop an understanding and awareness of why businesses seek growth, different modes of growth, and the challenges inherent in these strategies. The module explores growth in local, national and international contexts, in addition to the practices and activities within the firms themselves. The module will draw upon case studies from different sectors and business models, to understand the diverse ways in which growth is fostered.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The circumstances and reasons why businesses experience and/or seek high-growth;
  • The strategies and practices used by businesses to deliver growth;
  • The internal and external barriers that can impair growth;
  • Interventions which can be successfully used to manage the growth process.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use a wide range of information sources requiring the development of bibliographic skills;
  • Self-manage the development of learning and study skills, both individually and as part of a collaborative learning group;
  • Plan and control effectively for successful completion of a personal and group workload;
  • Communicate effectively, in both oral and written form, using and justifying argument within reports, presentations and debates;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use a wide range of information sources requiring the development of bibliographic skills;
  • Self-manage the development of learning and study skills, both individually and as part of a collaborative learning group;
  • Plan and control effectively for successful completion of a personal and group workload;
  • Communicate effectively, in both oral and written form, using and justifying argument within reports, presentations and debates
  • Diagnose national and global opportunities for growth, by evaluating the characteristics of economies and societies;
  • Understand the limitations of particular growth models in industry sectors;
  • Identify the roles of key internal and external stakeholders in facilitating business growth;
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of particular growth strategies.

Syllabus

The topics covered in this module will include: • How high-growth is defined, measured and its importance to the business, stakeholders and the wider economy and society • Key motivations and contexts which facilitate the growth of firms (planned and unplanned), including the influence of different internal and external stakeholders on the business’ strategy • Characteristics of high growth firms, e.g.: ‘accidental growth’, venture team competencies, structure and link to entrepreneurship • The recognition, planning and evaluation of appropriate strategies which support business growth • Implementation of different strategies and models to facilitate growth, including internationalisation, diversification and acquisitions • Internal barriers and risks to high-firm growth, e.g.: HRM, capital constraints, cash flow, quality control, coherence of strategy and risk to operations • External barriers and risks to growth, e.g.: capital constraints, labour market, supply and distribution networks and reputational risk • Strategies and practices to manage the risks associated with high-growth, in addition to external sources of support • How different characteristics of businesses affect their risk of growth success or failure, e.g.: small, large, experienced venture team

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods include: Lectures, interactive case studies, problem-solving activities, directed reading, and private/guided study. Visiting speakers/interaction with entrepreneurs, if available. Learning activities include: • Introductory lectures • Group presentation • Individual assignment • Case study / problem solving activities • In class debate and discussion • Private study • Use of online materials Class activities, such as problem solving activities, discussions and use of case studies will provide opportunities for you to gain feedback from your tutor and/or peers about their level of understanding and knowledge prior to any formal summative assessment. Feedback on the coursework and the group presentation will normally be provided through a written report for each individual/group within four week of the submission date.

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice32
Seminar12
Revision20
Lecture12
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Journal of Small Business Management. Journal

Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. Journal

Acs, Z., Audretsch, D., Strom, R. (eds.) (2013). Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Public Policy. 

Carter, S. and Jones-Evans, D. (2010). Enterprise and Small Business: Principles, Practice and Policy. 

Journal of Business Economics. Journal

Journal of Business Venturing. Journal

British Journal of Management. Journal

Merson, R. (2011). Guide to Managing Growth: Strategies for Turning Success Into Even Bigger Success. 

International Journal of Entrepreneurship. Journal

Family Business Review. Journal

Journal of Management Studies. Journal

Journal of Economic Geography. Journal

Davidsson, P., Delmar, F. and Wiklund, J. (eds.) (2008). Entrepreneurship and the Growth of Firms. 

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. Journal

Assessment

Formative

Coursework

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (3000 words) 70%
Group presentation 30%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (4000 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (4000 words) 100%
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