You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Shaping business opportunities

Qualification dates
Start End

This module provides you with a broad grounding in business and management practice and study. You will explore how organisations work by looking at their internal functions (operations, finance and marketing). You'll also learn about the external environment and how the economic and political context helps shape how businesses respond to global challenges. Using a blend of text, audio video and interactive online activities, you’ll develop vital skills for study and for work in business, public or voluntary sector organisations. Particular attention is paid to developing your critical thinking skills. You will also be introduced to mind mapping as a technique to help you express your ideas and creativity.

What you will study

This module is divided into five sections. These comprise an introduction and conclusion (both emphasising skills development), and three substantive blocks each with a crucial theme that integrates the internal functions and external environment. 

Introduction
This introduces the rationale for the module and covers skills development around critical thinking, a skills audit, and mind mapping. We believe that developing your critical thinking skills fosters intellectual self-improvement, leads to a more creative mind-set, and allows you to become a better team player. You will also be introduced to mind mapping as a potential technique to help you express ideas and creativity.

Block 1: Big ideas in organisations
No matter the sector, innovation is a key feature of the contemporary business context. This block explores why new products and services are imperative to contemporary business practice and why investing in their development is crucial to business growth and profitability. This block will provide you with a broader understanding of how innovation infuses the current business world and how internal business functions integrate to facilitate this.

Block 2: Competing in a global context
This block examines the significance of context for organisational innovation and the implications of globalisation for internal business functions. The block will then explore the consequences of the global vs local dynamic for a range of functional areas as well as point out the need for organisations and those who work for them to adapt these internationalizing trends to local situations and contexts.

Block 3: Building long-term success
This block introduces you to the concept of fostering long-term value creation. Whilst Block 2 focused primarily on issues of geography and context, just as essential for successful organisational innovation is the impact of time. In essence, how can an innovative idea be effective in the long term as well as the short term?  Key themes recurring throughout this block focus on ‘nurturing long-term value creation’, ‘understanding the sustainability of innovations’, ‘adapting to incremental and radical change’.

Conclusion
This final block draws together the diverse themes from the preceding blocks and encourages you to reflect on what you have learned. In particular, it will make connections between the skills, knowledge and understanding that you have developed in different parts of the module and help you to reflect on how you can harness these for your personal and professional development; as well as prepare you for the end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Entry requirements

This module is for anyone who wants a general overview of business studies – to learn more about the world of business and how it operates. It makes as few assumptions as possible about what you already know about business or about your experience of formal academic study. However, as this is an OU level 2 module and if you have no previous experience of studying business, it is strongly recommended that you first study An introduction to business and management (B100).

What's included

Access to online study materials via the module website including the Module Study Guide, an online study calendar, video, audio and multimedia material, assessment resources and library resources including e-journal articles and referencing guides.

The B207 Blocks and Reader, an edited collection of longer readings, are provided in electronic and print formats.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • macOS 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your tutor-marked assignment (TMA), and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to The Open University, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. To support your study, there will be a series of learning events which you are encouraged to attend. These events will either be delivered face to face or via an online meeting room which is a synchronous online platform used to deliver tuition.  They provide an opportunity for you to engage with members of the module tutoring team and fellow students on a series of activities that will help you to consolidate your learning and prepare for module assessments. The cost of these learning events excluding travel and subsistence, is included in the module fee.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B207 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Shaping business opportunities starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024. 

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school