MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice
This MBA module is framed within the complex and challenging nature of twenty-first century management. Its dual aims are to help you build on your current understanding of management and enable you to develop and improve your practice of managing. This module is a year-long programme of professional development which requires your active engagement with a wide variety of materials, activities and resource to enlarge your knowledge of the functions of management and make a real difference in your own context of managing.
Please note that whilst the fee for this module shows an increase, the total cost of the MBA programme will remain the same.
07 Nov 2015
Registration closes 23/10/15 (places subject to availability)Click to register
07 May 2016
Registration closes 22/04/16 (places subject to availability)Click to register
This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2017.
What you will study
Through learning about different management functions within organisations you will develop a better understanding of the context in which your own practice takes place. You will gain confidence in understanding how different parts of organisations operate and in having successful conversations across these areas, including:
organisational structure, power and politics, and change management
managing people and organisations
accountingmanaging financial resources
Over the course of a year’s study you will learn, develop and consolidate your understanding of the principal management functions and how each area is interrelated with each other these areas are interrelated. This will provide you with a foundation that will enable you to move successfully to strategic and specialist areas in your MBA studies.
The module aims to:
develop your understanding of the core and current frameworks, theories and tools and to assess their relevance to the issues of twenty-first century leading and managing
increase your awareness of different perspectives on, and approaches to, managing and leading in different organisational and cultural contexts
develop your ability to engage critically with management frameworks, theories and tools helping you to select and adapt techniques and approaches appropriate to own management context, in order to shape your own management practice
develop your awareness of the wider global context in which business and management takes place, and increase your ability to work confidently across sectoral and national boundaries
develop interpersonal and conceptual skills that will help you to use ideas and frameworks to make sense of, and to work with, organisational complexity
challenge your own thinking and practice by reflecting upon it critically in the light of the ideas you encounter, and through debates with others
enhance your ability to plan and implement change which will have real impact within your own organisational context.
Normally you must have completed either this module SD815, SEH806, S807, S808, S809, S819, or S827 before progressing to the MSc project module
(S810) or the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science
The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need actively to engage with the challenges of twenty-first century management, to develop their management skills and knowledge of management frameworks, theories and tools and to use these appropriately in order to make a real difference in their own practice.
Satisfactory participation at a compulsory four-day residential school or 21-day online equivalent is required. The residential school has long hours (one day runs from 09:00 to 20:30) but with regular breaks. Students participating in the online version should expect to spend about 1.5 hours per day on various tasks and activities.
The school is an opportunity to meet other managers and tutors and to work in small groups on cross functional management problems. Skills development includes problem solving, team working, applying module concepts to real situations and working on self development and professional development.
Both versions of the residential school (face to face and online) have been devised to deliver the essential learning outcomes for B716, however it is fair to say that past experience shows that the majority of students prefer to attend a face-to-face school if they can. The cost of the residential school (excluding travel) is included in the module fee.
At the face to face residential school you will need to carry out online research and so you should endeavour to bring a portable device such as a laptop, PDA or smart phone to the school in order to participate in these activities.
This module is the first module in our Open University Business School masters degree programme. Normally, to register for this module you must have a UK honours degree or equivalent professional qualification, and have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the ‘experience’ requirement under this age.
Experienced managers who do not meet the academic requirement can be accepted onto B716 if they first complete the Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31) which has open entry.
If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA or other masters qualification by taking the first module of the Professional Certificate in Management, Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). If you wish to study this module outside the EU you will need to register on the online version BZX628. Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.
You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.
If you encounter any problems while attempting to register, please call the Open University Business School information team on +44 (0)300 303 7222 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to progress your registration.
B716 is a compulsory module in our:
B716 is an optional module in our:
In certain circumstances this module can also count towards C02, F03, F38, F40 and F54, which are no longer available to new students.
Some postgraduate qualifications allow study to be chosen from other subject areas. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this module can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change.
Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are
available on our Essential documents website.
If you have a disability
Elements of this module are delivered online and include the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space; consequently time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials you can visit the system provider's website for information and contact the Open University to discuss it further before registering.
Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.
As well as the individual tuition provision you will have access to regular opportunities for engagement with other students, university library access, an extensive variety of specially-written resources presented in different media (print and online) and designed exclusively for this module, audio-visual material, published articles, case-studies and a set of interactive tools to help you develop your management thinking abilities.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.
We recommend either of the following:
Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.
A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities on your mobile device.
We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers:
Internet Explorer 9 and above
Apple Safari 7 and above
Google Chrome 31 and above
Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.
Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.
See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.
Teaching and assessment
Support from your tutor
Your learning will take place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 16 students. Your tutor is responsible for providing individual tuition, professional advice and support, mentoring, assessment and regular feedback on your performance throughout the module. You will learn by working with your group and individually online in structured activities supported by a wide range of resources including specially designed books, a world-class online library and face-to-face opportunities including a residential school. Activities generally require online participation over 2 to 6 week periods and contribute to your reflective practice and your assessment.
Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.
You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).
Tutor-marked assignments are scheduled at regular intervals (approximately every six weeks) throughout the module and are based on the work you do during the relevant block. Extensive guidance is given on all assignments submitted.
Students also studied
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
The details given here are for the module that next starts in November 2015. We expect it to be available twice a year.
How to register
To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.
The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information about distance learning at the OU read Study explained.