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DISCONTINUED: Context of a Business

Context of a Business has been discontinued. This module is not currently being run on any WMG programme.


What is a manufacturing firm in existence to achieve, and how can it achieve these objectives? This module takes these fundamental questions as its starting point. The aim of the module is to widen the appreciation of the participant as to how each area of a manufacturing business may provide routes to competitive advantage over its competitors. In particular, the ways in which different areas of the business may combine to provide this advantage are highlighted.

However, the manufacturing firm does not exist in a vacuum. It generally faces severe competition in markets, that are increasingly international in nature, and has to work within a legal framework imposed. Hence this module introduces participants to the importance of this external environment, and provides tools to allow an analysis of the external environment and how it affects the firm.

This is an introductory module, providing the structure within which to place the following modules. Many of the themes and issues that will be developed are expanded in depth in other modules.


On completion of the module, participants would be able to:

  • Recognise the national and international environment in which an engineering business operates
  • Define the operations and infrastructure of an engineering company
  • Recognise how a company interacts with its environment and supply chain
  • Understand how the MSc programmes/modules relate to the engineering business and its environment


  • Introduction
  • The Business Environment
  • International issues
  • Organisational structures
  • Product Design & development
  • Product manufacture
  • Support structures: IT, HRM; Finance
  • The supply chain
  • Context of course
  • Industrial visits
  • Library exercises
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