Economics for Managers

Module description

This module is an introduction to theories in concepts in economics that underpin much of the world of modern business. It will help you to understand how businesses and economies work, and why. Economics concepts and thinking lie at the heart of how markets work, how and why businesses function and how and why people behave. Understanding economics is essential to more detailed understanding of business.

Internationalisation:  the module will draw on recent scholarship in the areas of innovation and market studies broadly defined published by researchers internationally (the UK, Europe, the United States) and case studies based on a variety of national contexts.

Sustainability: you will be encouraged to consider sustainability in relation to both macro and micro economics.

External Engagement: an external speaker will be invited.

Employability: the module will offer an opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop analytical skills for explaining the relevance of economics to future employers.

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: the module will look at ethics and corporate responsibility as part of several topics.

Research in Teaching: the module will draw research articles in the first instance; use the module leader’s research expertise in the areas of discussion; and engage you in independent research to produce a case study.

Full module specification

Module title:Economics for Managers
Module code:MBAM926A
Module level:M
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Morgan Witzel - Convenor
Module credit:12
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

4 days

Module aims

The aims of this module are to allow you to develop an understanding of the relevance of economics to managers in business, and to introduce key issues in the economics of a sustainable world: for example, the economics of climate change, biodiversity, and extending notions of national income to include natural resources. The first part of the module will focus on microeconomics content and will concentrate on understanding markets: the way that they work, and the ways in which they fail.

The second part of the module will explore macroeconomics: what growth, inflation and imports/exports mean; why countries trade; and the effects of globalisation. We will also look at more recent developments to extend measures of national income; and look at the differences between physical and economic scarcity of natural resources, and constraints on growth.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the role of economics in managerial decision-making.
  • 2. explain and evaluate how markets work.
  • 3. comprehend the nature of market failure and the implications for business and government.
  • 4. evaluate the factors affecting the macroeconomic environment, and their interactions and interdependencies.
  • 5. appreciate the value of using economics in assessing the external environment for business decision-making.
  • 6. evaluate emerging economic themes that are having an impact on companies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. think analytically.
  • 8. interpret economic data.
  • 9. critically reflect on common assumptions held within the business community.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. demonstrate the capacity for analytical and reasoned discussion.
  • 11. demonstrate effective independent study skills.
  • 12. demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching28Lectures Facilitated Group Discussions
Guided Independent Study92Reading, Research, Writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class discussions and private/personal feedbackOngoing during the module9, 10, 11, 12In-class discussions, out of class personal meetings

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (Individual) 702500 words1 - 12Written feedback
Individual Assignment301500 words1 - 12Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual AssignmentIndividual Assignment 2500 words1 - 12 6 weeks from briefing
Individual AssignmentIndividual Assignment 1500 words1 - 126 weeks from briefing

Syllabus plan

Issues in economics for a sustainable world: the big picture: valuing and allocating resources; emerging issues; relevance to business leaders; understanding, thinking and communicating economically.

Microeconomics – demand and supply; perfectly competitive markets.  Market failure – market power, externalities, public goods and information failures.  The economics of climate change. Valuing biodiversity. 

Macroeconomics - the external economic environment. Growth, inflation and unemployment. Trade and comparative advantage. Beyond GDP: green national accounting. Constraints on growth. 

Conclusion: the role of economics in Business.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

There is no textbook that covers all the material in the module. An excellent book showing how economics can be used to make business decisions is:

Froeb, L.M. and B. T. McCann (2010), Managerial Economics: A Problem-Solving Approach, 2nd Ed., South-Western Cengage Learning.

The relationship between economics and sustainability is covered by:

Peter M. Senge et al. (2008) The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, London: Nicholas Brealey.

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