APPLIES TO ACADEMIC YEAR 2013/2014
HIS 3410 The Firm
Responsible for the course
Sverre August Christensen
Department of Innovation and Economic Organisation
According to study plan
Language of instruction
The course provides a broad introduction to the main features of the role of firms in the economy. The versatility of firms will be presented in a broader social context with the aid of historical, ethical and theoretical perspectives. The course aims to educate participants through an introduction to broad historical developments in the Western world, focusing in particular on the foundations relevant for firms and the market economy.
After completed course students shall have:
- Developed familiarity with theories of why firms exist.
- Developed familiarity with the main features of the historical development of the firm, with an emphasis on understanding traditions underpinning the firms of today.
- Acquired knowledge about ownership, leadership, multinational companies, innovation, and the state's relations to firms.
- Knowledge about the problems related to self-interest, and possible solutions and answers to this.
- Acquired knowledge with respect to what is meant by corporate social responsibility, and challenges related to it.
- Acquired knowledge about ethical theories and challenges in business
After completed course students shall be able to:
- Reflect on the role of firms in the economy in general.
- Understand and reflect on the main features of the ethical and moral dimensions relating to firms.
- Discuss and try to solve moral dilemmas in business.
- Distinguish between the different roles and bases of ownership and leadership.
- Understand the many roles of the state vis-à-vis firms.
- Reflect in writing on complex contexts.
Develop recognition of our personal responsibility as members of society.
Develop recognition of the individual moral responsibility of both firms and employees.
Develop recognition of the relationship between firms and society at large.
Develop recognition of historical change and historical foundations, not least with respect to ethical and moral dimensions.
Micklethwait, John and Adrian Wooldridge. 2005. The company : a short history of a revolutionary idea. Modern Library. Paperback edition
Sverre Christensen og Knut Sogner. 2013. Kompendium for HIS 3410 Bedriften. Handelshøyskolen BI
2. The firm Ltd.
3. The firm and the three industrial revolutions
4. The problem of self-interest
5. Corporate social responsibility
6. Process: Ethical theories and issues
8. Process: Group work and discussions
10. Multinationals and globalization
11. Innovation and entrepreneurship?
12. Innovation and society
13. The state and the firm
14. Process: Summing up
15. Summing up
No particular IT tools are used in this course.
Learning process and workload
The course consists of lectures, writing an assignment for submission and discussing and summarizing assignments. There are 9 course lectures based on the principal course components. In addition there will be 3 lectures in connection with writing a paper, about the group discussions and summing up. In the part about writing the students will learn proper citation practices. The assignment will be distributed via It's learning at the start of the course. The assignment is to be written individually, submitted electronically and then discussed in groups of 4-6 students. On the basis of group discussions of each other’s assignments, students are to submit a presentationwrite a short report consisting of the following components:
- Comments and evaluations on each paper
- And new complementary question regarding the individual assignment
- How would the group as a whole summarize the academic content of the learning process?
The group presentations are submitted individually and electronically, students can not submit on behalf of anyone else.
Summary of the process:
- Plenary lecture on writing technique and ethics
- Submission of individual paper on It's learning, 4-6 pages (mandatory)
- Students are divided into groups and there is a lecture about the group discussions
- Group work on writing presentation. The presentation must be submitted on It's learning. (mandatory)
- The process is summed up by the lecturer.
Course work requirement
Students must submit both the individual paper and the group report on It's learning.
During the semester there will be 8 multiple-choice tests of which 5 must be approved in order for the student to sit for exam. It is a requirement that such a test is passed and that at least 30 % of the possible points are achieved. The students will be allowed three attempts before the deadline of the test. Information about the time period for the tests to be taken, will be given in the lectures and through It's learning.
|Participation in lectures I||
|Preparation for lectures||
|Writing indivdual paper for submission||
|Colloquiums on academic papers||
|Participation in lectures II||
|Self- study and colloquiums||
|Total recommended use of hours||
Students are required to participate in all parts of the process activities. Submission of individual papers and group presentation are registered on It's Learning.
The e-learning platform It’s learning is used by the e-learning centre to administrate the mandatory exercises, and make students able to communicate with each other and the lecturer. Module sessions are carried out at the beginning of the semester and before exams. The e-learning students are also offered a study guide which is an educational guide to the syllabus.
Recommended use of hours:
|Prepare for lectures/reading literature||12|
|Write individual assignment||20|
|Exercises individually and in groups||12|
|Individual study, assignments and activities on It's Learning||145|
|Total recommended use of hours||200|
Students must submit both the individual paper and the group presentation (submitted individually) on It's learning. The students must have these approved before taking the examination. See Learning Process and Workload for further details. In addition the students have 5 out of 8 multiple choice tests approved..
A three-hour individual written exam concludes the course.
HIS 34101Written examination, counts 100% towards an approved grade on the course HIS 3410 The Firm ( 7.5 credits).
Examination support materials
No examination support materials are permitted.
A re-sit exam is held every semester.
Students that have not passed the course work requirement must first retake the exercises in connection with the next scheduled course.
Students that have not passed the written exam or who wish to improve their grade must retake the exam in connection with the next scheduled exam.
Colleges of Higher Education require the correct use of references in all academic work. Link to BI Library page on using citations and references is recommended for all students at BI Norwegian Business School.