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Creating and sustaining value

In this module you'll critically explore the diverse ways organisations create, sustain and expand value with particular reference to the roles of the operations and finance functions. It provides the latest theories of value creation, allowing you to practically engage with them across several business functions and a range of organisations. By examining the operations and finance functions, you'll uncover the link between decision making and performance. Business intelligence is used to demonstrate how managers can enhance a firm's value using data and analytics. It also reveals new types of value creation, centring on collaboration, ecological sustainability, employee welfare and overall public good. The use of a game-based learning approach provides a compelling framework to consolidate, reflect, and expand on the knowledge you'll acquire. Overall, this module offers an interdisciplinary lens to investigate how organisations can create and sustain value in an increasingly complex and dynamic business environment, driven by economic, environmental and social concerns.

The information below only applies up to, and including, the presentation starting in November 2021. The module is currently undergoing a revision to update and enhance the content. The new version will present from May 2022. Although the module will remain broadly the same there will be some changes to structure and content which are still being finalised.

Vocational relevance

The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need to actively to engage with the challenges of contemporary 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.


B872 is a compulsory module in our:

B872 is an optional module in our:

In certain circumstances this module can also count towards D37, D64, F11 and F72, which are no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

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.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

This module will enable you to develop the independent research and online collaborative skills necessary to critically explore and understand your own organisation’s infrastructure, and to provide the tools and practices for analysing information, so that decisions and performance can be optimized. You'll explore the theoretical and practical connections between three distinct yet closely-interrelated fields of study: Business Intelligence, Operations Management and Financial Management. The concept of understanding, creating, improving and sustaining value is central to the module and runs through all four units that comprise the module.

Unit 1 introduction to value, introduces the core themes of the module; creating and sustaining value, operations management, financial management and business intelligence. You'll learn about and discuss the concepts of value and value creation and be asked to reflect on why businesses exist and how they create and sustain value. You'll then explore the core concepts of the three perspectives from which the value creation process will be discussed. This will enable you to actively participate in, and contribute to, the activities and discussion in subsequent units.

Unit 2: Understanding the value proposition ‘as-is’ introduces you to working through a process-driven perspective on creating and sustaining value. You'll identify and critique the core organisational processes of identifying target markets, generating revenue, incurring expenditure, as well as the importance of coordinating those activities. Consistent focus is on organisational processes that create and sustain value, the ways that managers can exploit relevant economic opportunities, and the ways that managers can control the strategic, financial and market risks entailed in organisational processes. 

Unit 3: Improving the value proposition explains the process of improving the value proposition and helps you to understand how your organisation could be developed further. Business Intelligence can enable the improvement of the process of production and the redesign of business operations in the production of goods or services. Performance management and lean management will be explored using a simulation game. A discussion will follow on how Business Intelligence can provide an impact in the organisation.

Unit 4: Creating value in the future invites you to explore some of the major trends, challenges and dilemmas in “futures” of value. Following up from unit 3 discussions on performance management, this unit endeavours to explicate the relationship between data-value-performance. Some of the most popular organisational models will be challenged against their ability to accommodate the dynamics of such relationships.

The module comprises 19 study weeks. You will be required to study between 12 and 15 hours per week for six months.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve
  • guiding you to additional learning resources
  • providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you'll likely need a headset with a microphone. These are supported by a wide range of resources including specially designed books and a world-class online library. Activities generally require online participation over two to six week periods and contribute to your reflective practice and your assessment.


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.

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Creating and sustaining value starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2026.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    This module is the second module in our Open University Business School masters degree programme. It can be studied alongside the first module Managing in a changing world (B870) if you wish to study at a higher intensity and complete your MBA qualification within two years. Normally, to register for this module you must have a UK honours degree or equivalent professional qualification, and a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role.

    If you're an experienced manager, who does not meet the academic requirement, you can be accepted if you hold the Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31). This is now discontinued.

    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 Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). 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.


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Nov 2021 Apr 2022 £3140.00

    Registration closes 14/10/21 (places subject to availability)

    07 May 2022 Oct 2022 £3140.00

    Registration closes 14/04/22 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2026.

    Future availability

    Creating and sustaining value starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2026.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    You'll have access to the university library, an extensive variety of media resources (print and online) specially written and designed for this module, audio-visual material, published articles, case-studies and a set of interactive tools to help you develop your management thinking abilities.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

    It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    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, so 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. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.