MG441E      Half Unit
Foundations of Management (modular)

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul Willman


This course is compulsory on the Executive Global MSc in Management. This course is not available as an outside option.

This information in this course guide pertains to the 2020-2022 cohort.

Course content

A thorough grounding in the key management disciplines. Students will be provided with an overview of the development of Management disciplines and will develop an understanding of the disciplinary anchors in Sociology, Psychology and Economics. Each field will cover Origins and disciplinary boundaries, triggers for growth, core concepts and the current state of play and debate.


35 hours of lectures in the MT.

Scheduled over 2 modules – 10 sessions of up to 3.5 hours each.

The course will run between the following dates:

  • 24 August - 05 September 2020
  • 14-19 December 2020


1. Course Introduction and the Origins of Management

2: Management and Firm

3:  The Rise and Decline of Labour

4: Taylorism, Motivation and Performance

5: The Rise of Human Resources Management

6: Making Decisions

7: Understanding Organisational Structures

8: The Origins of Modern Strategy

9. Contemporary Strategic Management: Firms as Bundles of Resources

10 Managed by Markets?

Seminar classes:

1. Managers and Managerial Work

2. The Firm and the Manager

3. Internal Labour Market and Boundaries of Firms

4. Taylorism and Toyotaism

5. UBS Case study

6. Understanding Decision Biases

7. Understanding Organisational Structures

8. The Analysis of Competitive Forces

9. The Analysis of Competences

10. Strategy and Market oversight

Formative coursework

2,000 word essay

Indicative reading

Paul Willman: Understanding Management: Social Science Foundations

Oxford University Press, September 2014.


Class participation (10%) and take-home assessment (60%) in the LT.
Case assignment (30%) in the MT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication