Integrative Capstone Module - Online MSc

Introduction and module objectives

The study of business performance and management cannot be achieved using a single analytical lens. Similarly, real management problems, and hence the practice of management is multifaceted too. Most business masters programmes tend to mirror the classic organisational form in that subjects are taught in separate, focussed modules. While such fragmentation makes the teaching process easier, there is a danger that graduates have to muddle thorough and make the connections amongst subject modules “on the fly” in the course of their jobs. There is therefore a need for an integrative module which allows students to holistically apply specialist subjects’ content to business problems.    

Another problem with business masters programmes is that they are often marketed as a vehicle for helping students move from specialist to general management roles. However, many graduates move back into specialist roles, and it can be some years before they have to face general, and broad-scope management challenges. This problem is especially relevant for the early career manager. Such challenges are the daily routine of senior management (at the level of the executive board or it’s equivalent) and for senior consultants (at principal and partner level).  

The Integrative Capstone Module (ICM) addresses both issues by exposing students to general management challenges, and forcing the application of solutions that apply approaches from all the core modules on the MSc International Business. The module will also expose students to the role of management consultants in improving organisational performance. Whilst not be explicitly a “consulting skills” module, ICM will draw heavily on the approaches used by, and experience of successful consultants.     

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Explain the general approaches used for diagnosing organisational performance.
  • Understand and be able to apply a range of specific tools and techniques for identifying performance shortfalls.
  • Demonstrate how different organisations’ performance can be compared (benchmarked).
  • Explain the limitations of performance measurement and management.
  • Explain the roles of the management consultant, the consulting firm and the internal consultant.
  • Explain the purpose of the consulting brief.
  • Demonstrate how to prepare a proposal for consulting interventions.
  • Explain how broad scope management interventions are project managed.
  • Explain how consulting interventions are evaluated.
  • Understand the importance of managing the consultant’s exit from the client organisation.    

Skills:      

  • Carry out a corporate performance audit  
  • Prepare a consulting proposal  
  • Work in a multi-functional consulting team