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ELE 3744 Business Dynamics

ELE 3744 Business Dynamics

Course code: 
ELE 3744
Department: 
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Credits: 
7.5
Course coordinator: 
Kim van Oorschot
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor - Electives
Semester: 
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Many of the problems organizations face arise as unanticipated side effects of their own past actions. All too often the solutions they implement to solve important problems fail, make the problem worse, or create new problems. Effective decision making and learning in a world of growing complexity requires us to think differently. We need to think outside the box and develop tools to understand this growing complexity and learn how solutions sometimes create problems instead of solving them.

This course introduces students to business dynamics as a method for analyzing and modeling business problems and strategies. This method enables us to increase our understanding of business behavior. The method also enables us to simulate organizational behavior (or the behavior of parts of an organization, like a team). These simulations allow us to create “management flight simulators” that can be used to understand the past and predict the future. As pilots learn how to fly in a flight simulator, managers learn how to make better decisions by testing out different scenarios in their management flight simulator. When we understand the past and can predict the future, we can improve business performance.

This course is especially applicable for students that want to learn a new way of thinking about business processes. Furthermore, the course gives students, interested in a future career as consultant or business analyst, a competitive edge in the job market. This new way of thinking applies to all kinds of businesses and problems; therefore, the course is suitable for students from all bachelor programmes.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completing the course, students will be able to explain what the underlying causes are of typical business’ behavior and performance. Furthermore students will be able to understand how well-meant decisions or rules often (unintended) create business performance issues, rather than solve them.

Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, students will be able to develop simulation models of businesses, and perform what-if scenarios with these models. Based on the outcomes of the what-if scenarios, students will be able to develop better decisions leading to higher business performance.

General Competence

After completing the course, students will be able to reflect on their “old way of thinking” and how it differs from the new way of thinking. Students will be able to recognize when a problem is dynamic, and when they should apply the “new way of thinking”. Students will learn to look at business or social problems from a broader perspective.

Course content
  • Introduction, course overview, objectives, rules of the game
  • Overview of business dynamics and interrelations of business structure and behavior, causal loop diagramming
  • Stocks and flows diagramming
  • Typical business behavior: S-shaped growth, delays & oscillations
  • Decision-making & modeling human behavior
  • Supply chains
  • Term paper introduction
Teaching and learning activities

There will be different means of learning in this course, for instance lectures, individual exercises, group work, and presentation about real-life examples of applications of business dynamics. Firstly, studying the course material (lecture slides and compulsory literature) is required to get a grasp of basic concepts. Secondly, different kinds of exercises will be given to practice the new way of thinking. These exercises must be completed in order for the student to be well prepared for the examination. Finally students have to deliver a group assignment based on a case study in a given topic. The assignment can be executed in groups of up to 4 persons.

Vensim PLE (software, free download available at www.vensim.com)

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

For electives re-sit is normally offered at the next scheduled course. If an elective is discontinued or is not initiated in the semester it is offered, re-sit will be offered in the electives ordinary semester.

Even though all parts must be passed to obtain final grade, re-sit is possible to do separately.

Qualifications

Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Required prerequisite knowledge

No såecific prerequisites required.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Structured test
Exam code:
ELE37441
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
40Yes3 Hour(s)
  • All printed and handwritten support materials
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
ELE37442
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
60No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual ( 1 - 4)Case study, max 4 students per group
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Structured test
Weight:40
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • All printed and handwritten support materials
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:
Exam code:ELE37441
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:60
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-4)
Support materials:
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:Case study, max 4 students per group
Exam code:ELE37442
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Teaching36Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching59Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments25Hour(s)Assignments & Working with software tool
Examination10Hour(s)Exam (preparation & participation)
Submission(s)70Hour(s)Term paper based on a case study/practical project
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:36 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Prepare for teaching
Duration:59 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Group work / Assignments
Duration:25 Hour(s)
Comment:Assignments & Working with software tool
Workload activity:Examination
Duration:10 Hour(s)
Comment:Exam (preparation & participation)
Workload activity:Submission(s)
Duration:70 Hour(s)
Comment:Term paper based on a case study/practical project
Sum workload: 
200

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.