UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0049: Business in a Competitive Environment

Taught by
None (but some experience with economics desirable)
2nd, 3rd, 4th year undergraduates from all departments, inc. 2nd year JSPs
Term 2
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (10 weeks)
40% final unseen 2-hour examination, 60% group coursework
Previous Module Code

Course overview

This course deals with the big picture, the world in which a company, whether profit or not for profit, operates. It provides a flavour of the skills required to read the strategic position of a company, focussing especially on the interactions between the company and wider systems.

Focus is placed on using economics as a way of reading complex, dynamic systems, providing context for technological changes and the growth of key technologies. These are placed in a real world context through a scenario planning exercise requiring long term forecasting and emphasis is placed throughout on being able to communicate complex or technical information to a non-specialist.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

  • Perform simple supply and demand analysis of a market, including calculations of elasticities

  • Understand the influence of the macroeconomic picture on company success

  • Use industry level models to understand the range of competitive outcomes in an industry

  • Understand the linkage between the industrial environment and the strategies chosen by companies

  • Develop an understanding of strategic interactions between players in the system.

  • Communicate complicated material to a non-specialist with confidence.

  • Use scenario planning techniques (alongside models from politics, sociology and futurology) to read the long term environment and cope with deep uncertainty.

Topics covered

  • Markets, and their strengths and limitations

  • Macroeconomics and the big picture

  • Industrial structure and competition

  • The nature of technology and innovation

  • Competition in High technology industries

  • Public Choice theory and how to deal with governments

  • Dealing with deep uncertainty and change.

Assessment summary

40% awarded on the basis of a 2-hour unseen examination. 60% awarded for group coursework

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading

Economics for Business by David Begg and Damian Ward (5th Ed.) McGraw-Hill Higher Education 2016 (Or any similar alternative) The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World by Peter Schwartz John Wiley & Sons; New Ed edition (25 Sep 1997)

Past versions of this module

MSIN7002B 17/18

MSIN7002B 16/17

Last updated Monday, 13 August 2018