MG206      Half Unit
Firms, Management and Competitive Advantage

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Nilesh Dattani NAB5.02


This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Management, International Exchange (1 Term) and International Exchange (Full Year). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

 This course has a limited number of places (it is capped). Students who have this course as a compulsory course are guaranteed a place. Places for all other students are allocated on a first come first served basis.


Students must have completed EC100 OR EC102 OR EC1A1 AND EC1B1 OR EC1A3 AND EC1B3 OR EC1A5 AND EC1B5 OR equivalent.

Course content

This is not a course on corporate strategy. It focuses on the evolution of thinking about firms and the activity of management and examines firm advantages through conceptual ideas and empirical knowledge. There will be an emphasis on analysing firms as reservoirs of resources and capabilities and topics to be covered will include distinctive capabilities of firms, organisational design, decision making in firms, organisational routines, managerial leadership and the role of ethics. Particular attention will be given to firms in technology-based industries and the management of innovation and contrasts will be made with public sector management.


Teaching hours will be commensurate with a usual half unit undergraduate course but note that teaching may take a different format and/or structure in 2021/22.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce one piece of written work and to do the weekly class exercises

Indicative reading

A reading list will be available to students taking the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Teachers' comment

Please watch the following video to find out more about this course:

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 59

Average class size 2020/21: 15

Capped 2020/21: Yes (60)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness