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Effective strategic management in business and the public sector

This module will provide you with the necessary tools to become an effective strategic decision-maker. You'll learn about the analysis of the organisational environment, decision-making processes and implementation of preferred choices. The study materials include a blend of profit, not-for-profit and public sector cases and examples relevant to, and set in international contexts. This will allow you to assess the nuances of strategic management across different organisational and geographical settings. Last but not least, the module will support the development of soft skills, which you'll require both to progress in the qualification and succeed in the workplace.

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.

Qualifications

B873 is a compulsory module in our:​ B873 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 adviser before registering.

Module

Module code
B873
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
30
Study level
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
OU Postgraduate
FHEQ 7
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 aims for you to develop a deep understanding of effective strategic management in business and public services. The different examples presented across the units as well as activities that we have designed will enhance your learning through application to real-world situations. In addition, two course-long case studies in video form featuring IKEA and the European Training Foundation will help you consolidate your understanding of how strategy works in practice.

Unit 1: Introduction to strategy 
This provides an overview of concepts such as strategy, vision, mission, stakeholder management and non-market strategy. Additionally, you will be introduced to the concept of purpose and the different types of business and public organisations that exist so that you can understand their aims and ways of measuring their performance (financial and non-financial). The unit also includes a session explaining the pressures on managers to integrate additional social and environmental issues into their organisational strategies.

Unit 2: Strategic analysis
This will teach you how to conduct external and internal strategic analyses, both in businesses and the public sectors. You'll explore concepts such as five forces, strategic groups, value chains as well as organisational capabilities. Building on Unit 1, you'll also learn how to analyse financial and non-financial indicators of organisational performance.

Unit 3: Strategic decision-making
This introduces you to how different organisations develop strategic options and choose between them, both at headquarters and unit level. You'll also learn the role that managers play in making these decisions. The unit places a special emphasis on the internationalisation of firms, which constitutes a key decision in the current business world. Consistent with prior units, it also explores the peculiarities of decision-making in the context of public services.

Unit 4: Strategy in action
This focuses on the implementation of strategic choices, devoting special attention to organisational structure and culture and the barriers that may unfold during this phase. You'll also learn about the importance and practice of change management. The unit addresses innovation in its broadest sense, including technological innovation, process innovation and management innovation, and its links to organisational strategies. There will also be a discussion about cutting-edge organisational structures and practices such as holacracy and the Rendanheyi model.

The module comprises 19 study weeks and you will be required to study for 14-15 hours per week for six months.

Satisfactory participation in the 18-day online school is required. It is an opportunity to get a holistic view of the module, interact with other managers and tutors, and to work in small groups. There will also be a session to engage you in developing soft skills.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your learning will take place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 20 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 a specially designed Reader 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.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

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)
Examination
Embedded residential school

Future availability

Effective strategic management in business and the public sector starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in May 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2027.

Regulations

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

    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 as well as having successfully completed Managing in a changing world (B870) and Creating and sustaining value (B872).

    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.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    01 May 2021 Oct 2021 £3070.00

    Registration closes 15/04/21 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    06 Nov 2021 Apr 2022 £3140.00

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

    Register
    07 May 2022 Oct 2022 £3140.00

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

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2027.

    Future availability

    Effective strategic management in business and the public sector starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in May 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2027.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

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

    Residential school

    This module has a compulsory residential school. There’s no additional cost, but you must pay for your travel to and from the venue. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we may replace face-to-face events with online alternatives.

    If you can’t attend the school, there’s an online alternative.

    Study materials

    What's included

    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.

    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.