MANU9QI: Business Improvement

Semester: Autumn

Level: 10

Credit Value: 20

Module Coordinator: Dr Gerry Edgar, Management, Work & Organisation Division

Contact Hours: 30 hours

Assessment: 50% coursework; 50% examination

Module Overview

This module aims to cover the tools and techniques which can be used to evaluate the performance of a business or organisation, and develop strategies to introduce targeted changes to the systems and processes of the business. The intention is to provide students with a practical framework for quality and business improvement and a grasp of the fundamentals of measurement tools and techniques. The theme of self-assessment is a key one and, to enable self-assessment, it is important to establish measurement and evaluation systems that are appropriate to the task but also to the culture and values of the organization. The main adjustment models to achieve this are studied in detail. It is also vital to be able to benchmark performance against best practice and to discuss various benchmarking approaches. 

Particular emphasis is placed on the service sector, which is of increasing importance in the international context.  The design and delivery of improved services underpins much of what the module is about.  The optimisation of service design and the evaluation of customer expectations and perceptions are an important part of the improvement process. The module will also develop the globalization agenda in supply chain methods of improvement strategies, investigating internal development versus external capability acquisition.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Understand the role of tools and techniques in business improvement.
  • Understand how to evaluate the cost of Quality.
  • Understand the relationship between the different business perspectives.
  • Apply different types of Benchmarking.
  • Understand the people aspects of Performance Management.
  • Undertake process mapping and business process re-engineering.
  • Develop an approach to Supply Chain evaluation and improvement.
  • Understand the complexity of acquiring and embedding new process capabilities.


This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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