Modelling of Dynamic Business Systems


Unit code: BMAN31561
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit?: N

Requisites

None

Additional Requirements

Core for BSc ITMB/ITMB Specialism.

Only available for students on: Mgt, IM, IMABS, ITMB and IC in SCS. Core for CBA in SCS.

Aims

Through a diverse range of interactive case studies from manufacturing to IT/ software and to health care, students will learn to first analyse business policy, strategy, and processes, and then visualise dynamics that create complexity and influence organizational performance. Through case studies, students will learn to recognise situations where interventions are likely to be delayed or defeated by unexpected side effects. The use of software applications will help students draw their visualised dynamics, manipulate space and time, and explore virtually the short and long-term effects of implementing new strategies. The course stresses case studies in which students work within and cross teams to develop analytical skills. Assignments and interactive cases give hands-on experience in analysing business cases and in developing simulation models.

Overview

Why do some firms flourish in their business while others stagnate? How can organisations develop a proper understanding of their business, design policies, and processes that produce long-lasting, positive results rather than being thwarted by unanticipated side effects? Simulation and modelling is a method that helps firms (i) gain a better understanding of the complexity and consequences of continuous change in their environment and (ii) consider cost-effective solutions that do not only improve their everyday business, but promote collaboration and accelerate learning throughout organisation. The course BMAN31561 introduces a major business approach to simulation System Dynamics (SD). The principal aim is to help students learn how they can improve an organisation's performance by understanding internal structure and operating processes as well external environment and forces created by customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Through a diverse range of interactive case studies from manufacturing to IT/ software and to health care, students will learn to first analyse business policy, strategy, and processes, and then visualise dynamics that create complexity and influence organizational performance. Through case studies, students will learn to recognise situations where interventions are likely to be delayed or defeated by unexpected side effects. The use of software applications will help students draw their visualised dynamics, manipulate space and time, and explore virtually the short and long-term effects of implementing new strategies. The course stresses case studies in which students work within and cross teams to develop analytical skills. Assignments and interactive cases give hands-on experience in analysing business cases and in developing simulation models.

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture hours: 12

Tutorial/Example hours: 6

Practical work hours: 10

Private study: 72

Total study hours: 100

Course Materials

Online via Blackboard - lectures, reading notes, simulation models, software instructions and tutorials


Informal Contact Methods

  • Office Hours
  • Time reserved at end of each lecture for informal contact

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

Knowledge (2):

  • Demonstrate knowledge regarding the two key business modelling approaches including their underlying elements, assumptions, strengths and weaknesses

Skills (6):

  • Analyse a problem situation following the modelling principles and guidelines
  • Apply useful intuitive and analytical tools for analysis and modelling
  • Leverage various information channels to gain insights on how situation can be improved.
  • Develop scenarios for improving system’s performance
  • Recognise situations where interventions may not deliver expected outcomes, and consider strategies to deal with these situations
  • Evaluate possible methods for simulation modelling

Attitudes (2):

  • Appreciate ‘spectrum of participation’ and get stimulated and empowered by input from various team members and stakeholders
  • Understand how to pitch proposals, build dialogue, consensus, collaboration and partnership, and address conflict and tension constructively

Assessment Further Information

Coursework 100%: Group activities, report and presentation .(3,000 words)

Groups will be formed within the class. Students have 1 week to finalize their preferred groups. Otherwise, the lecturer will assign them randomly.

We follow strict guidelines to ensure non-cooperative students are reported. Therefore, group participation is monitored throughout the semester, and peer review assessment is taken seriously

During the semester, if a group member is not cooperative and does not attend meetings, the groups must report it. The report includes an email sent to the lecturer, cc to all group members including the non-cooperative member. Week 5 is the deadline for these reports. The lecturer will provide only one notification to the student. If the problem persists, the groups must report it by Week 6, with the same procedure as above. The second notification results in 100% loss of the group mark.

The group coursework requires active engagement during the semester. We apply strict rules to ensure students are granted fair marks. For example, the coursework document specifies that Peer Evaluation is based on 3 criteria. The first one, for example, is: S/he attended group meetings (both face to face and online) regularly and was on time:

If a student received ‘’Disagree’ on this criteria from majority of the group members (more than 80% of the group mates), no group course work mark will be assigned.

Syllabus

  • Business systems and dynamic modelling
  • Introduction to System Dynamics (SD)
  • Developing skills in SD
  • A case study: applying skills
  • Application of iThink for modelling systems
  • Working with managers and stakeholders in simulation and business modeling

Recommended reading

System Dynamics:

  • John Sterman. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. McGraw-Hill / Irwin, 2000. ISBN: 9780072389159.

 



 



 

Feedback methods

• Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.

• Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework. Formative feedback will be provided for Stage 1 of the coursework.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 12 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 10 hours
  • Tutorials - 6 hours
  • Independent study hours - 72 hours

Teaching staff

Shahla Ghobadi - Unit coordinator

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