The University of Southampton

MANG6199 Organisations in a Global Context

Module Overview

In today’s increasingly complex global business environment organisations need to address issues that are beyond their direct influence and control, but that have an influence on their performance. The national and international environmental contexts influence how the organisation creates its role and position in the global arena. The strategies, tactics and structures of contemporary organisations, and ultimately, their competitive success, are formed on the basis of their interaction with the wider global environment. It is therefore, vital that contemporary organisations have an understanding of the factors that contribute to their survival and success. The global context will be researched, evaluated and analysed on the basis of these external forces in order to generate an understanding of the factors and their impact upon various global businesses. The module examines the impact that government policies, trends in the economy, social and technological change, ecology and legislation which creates knowledge that impacts on the strategic decisions of organisations. The module provides students with an opportunity to develop the essential commercial awareness which is a requirement for a successful management career.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module is unusual in the MBA programme as it invites students to focus their research and analysis on the global environment rather than internally on the firm. The module takes a multi-disciplinary approach as it examines external influences that impact an organisation and provides a context for the subsequent modules of the programme: strategy, marketing, operations management, finance, and people management. The central aim for students is to combine these external factors and knowledge gathering for guiding decision-making within the various subject areas. Students will use case studies and examples to examine the complexities of implementation, and we encourage in particular students to articulate and reflect upon their own diverse backgrounds.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Researching, analysing and interpreting business information in the strategic development of global business
  • Environmental, social, economic, technological, ecological, legal and political factors that may directly or indirectly influence business decisions and management behaviour and processes.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse differences in the context of organisations that influence the strategic responses likely to generate successful performance
  • Explain the nature of development and change in the business environment
  • Analyse the potential impact of such change within an organisational context
  • Discuss alternative strategic responses to such changes
  • Justify a specific course of action based on appraisal of the choices available.
  • Understand complementary and conflicting objectives of stakeholders
  • How the inter-relatedness of different subject areas contribute to the formation of business strategy
  • Appreciate the significance of current and future trends in economic, political, technological, environmental and social behaviour
  • Evaluate and articulate potential impacts of change on individuals and organisations.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop research and analytical skills
  • Understand the relationship between theoretical analysis and applied analysis
  • Scrutinise organisations from multiple perspectives
  • Develop a commercial awareness and understand the forces that shape management views
  • Work in a group to find an agreed position on a complex array of data.


• Globalisation and its impact upon organisations • The concepts of change and organisational influences • The interrelated nature of the global business environment and its component parts • Stakeholder perspectives, ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for organisations

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures, group discussions, individual and group research and student presentations. We emphasise an active participation in group discussions and presentation in plenum, which is important to bring out differences across national contexts. Learning activities include: • Working on a group project and negotiating an agreed position to present • Researching, analysing and discussing issues and defining problems and their consequences for organisations and individuals. • Private study

Independent Study70
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Johnson, G. and Scholes, K (2005). Exploring Corporate Strategy. 

Morrison J. (2006). The International Business Environment. 

Van der Heijden K (2002). The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organisational Learning with Scenarios. 

Thomas Friedman (2005). 'The World is Flat'. 

Managing Uncertainty. 

Palmer, A. and Hartley B (2002). The Business Environment. 

Needle, D (2010). Business in Context. 

Andrew Crane, Dirk Matten, Laura Spence (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: readings and cases in a global context. 

Kew, J. and Stredwick, J. (2005). Business Environment: Managing in a Strategic Context. 

Clark, A (2000). Organisations, Competition and the Business Environment. 

Brooks, I. and Weatherston, J. (2006). The Business Environment: Challenges and Changes. 

Farnham D (2005). Managing in a Business Context. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Group assignment including presentation  (1500 words) 50%
Individual Coursework  (1500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework  (1500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/recommended text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.