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IB381-15 Critical Issues in Management

Warwick Business School
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Innan Sasaki
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description


Module web page

Module aims

The core themes of the module are critical issues in management and the analytical structuring of unstructured problems. The learning methods are student-centred, requiring students to work in small syndicates (of 5-6 members) and to present and discuss their work in small seminar groups (of twenty to twenty-five). The module material requires consideration of case studies, key management and organization theories and problem solving and creative approaches. The case studies themselves constitute the most significant element of the module. They represent complex, real-world management issues that are of pressing concern to current organizations and managers. A critical analysis requires problematising the context, identifying issues, imagining alternatives, ranking preferences, resolving dilemmas, and considering recommendations and processes for managing change, all of which are crucial in today’s world of business.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  • Applied theory, (demonstrated critical thinking, evaluated options, developed recommendations etc.
  • Managing (in) organisations.
  • Leadership & Followership.
  • Accountability & Responsibility.
  • Power & Resistance.
  • Culture.
  • Ethics.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand key issues in management as multidisciplinary and multifaceted phenomena [Bloom's taxonomy: understand].
  • Analyse complex, ill-structured management problems with no 'right answer' [Bloom's taxonomy: analyse].
  • Independently research, synthesize and critically elaborate on complex, ill-structured problems (both oral and written).
Indicative reading list

Buchanan, D. A. and Huczynski, A. (2019) Organizational behaviour. 10 edition. Harlow, England: Pearson.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2014a) A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about management. Second edition. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Dugan, J. P. (2017) Leadership theory: cultivating critical perspectives. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.
Grint, Keith (no date) ‘Problems, problems, problems: The social construction of “leadership”’, Human Relations, 58(11), pp. 1467–1494.
Hoffman, W. M., Frederick, R. and Schwartz, M. S. (eds) (2014) Business ethics: readings and cases in corporate morality. Fifth edition. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
Hunter, D. A. (2014) A practical guide to critical thinking: deciding what to do and believe. Second edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Learmonth, M. and Morrell, K. (2019) Critical perspectives on leadership: the language of corporate power. New York, NY: Routledge.
Lukes, S. (2005) Power: a radical view. 2nd ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Thompson, P. and McHugh, D. (2002) Work organisations: a critical introduction. 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Watson, T. J. (2017) Sociology, work and organisation. Seventh edition. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Subject specific skills

See the big picture, as well as the local detail, of management issues [attitudinal learning outcome].
Work in team-based settings bringing diverse specialist skills together [skill learning outcome].
Independently research, synthesize and critically elaborate on complex, ill-structured problems (both oral and written) [skill learning outcome].

Transferable skills

Work in team-based settings bringing diverse specialist skills together.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 10 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Seminars 4 sessions of 2 hours (5%)
Other activity 1 hour (1%)
Private study 48 hours (32%)
Assessment 73 hours (49%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Private Study.

Other activity description

Week 2 - 1 x 1 hour Seminar.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D
Weighting Study time
Group Presentation (15 CATS) 25% 18 hours

Case Study Presentation, slides and speaker notes (max 2500 words) (case study).

Group Research Notes (15 CATS) 5% 4 hours

Group - Marked Collectively.

Online Examination 70% 51 hours

~Platforms - AEP

  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Assessment group R
Weighting Study time
Individual Assignment (15 CATS) 30%
Online Examination - Resit 70%

~Platforms - AEP

  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Feedback on assessment

Feedback provided via my.wbs.

Past exam papers for IB381

There is currently no information about the courses for which this module is core or optional.