Student ID – 7432227
Mr Lee Webster MSEC31131 - Individual Reflective Report
Word Count (excluded references & appendix) - 1988
123456Introduction Case Study 1 Case Study 2 Conclusion References Appendix – Learning Diary 6.1 - Week 1 6.2 - Week 2 6.3 - Week 3 6.4 - Week 4 6.5 - Week 5
I am currently studying Computer Science with Business and Management at The University of Manchester, . I decided to take Enterprise Management for Computer Scientists due to a peer’s recommendation, who explained that this was not a conventional Computer Science course unit. This intrigued me as I feel that the majority of my units throughout university are ultimately tailored to just passing the exam; rather than understanding the subject area and applying it to not only that particular field but other units and aspects of life. Therefore from this course unit I hope to gain an in depth understandings of the underlying concepts covered, and use them not only to benefit my academic life but also my social and ultimately my professional career. Although I feel I am more than capable of learning independently, I do think I work best when operating as part of a team. I personally benefit from peer learning and find discussing a topic with people allows me to understand things differently or, on occasions, reiterate my initial thoughts. I also find it extremely beneficial to my general understanding when I am able to apply theories learnt to real world examples, making topics easier to understand and, ultimately, more interesting.
2. Case Study 1 “PESTEL”
During 'the big poker gamble' case study we were challenged to find information regarding the UK on-line poker market; and based on our findings, attempt to make a rational and educated decision as to whether this market was easy to penetrate for a new business or not. From the outset, the study started to make me think differently; not only about the case study, but about other aspects of my life, as well as introducing me to new techniques and resources available, such as mintel reports. I will briefly touch on some of the key issues raised during the work shop and how, in turn, I will transfer and apply them to other aspects of my life. I shall conclude with a concise evaluation on my learning. The core purpose of a business it to convert inputs into outputs in order to make a profit. Businesses do not exist in a vacuum however, they are part of an external environment and it is this environment which needs to be addressed in order for an organization to accomplish its core purpose. Having previously studied an assortment of Business and Management course units, I was aware of the issues organisations face in relationship to the external environment, as well as the acronym PESTEL, which is widely adopted by businesses as a starting point of the global environmental analysis. However I had never really thought about, nor understood, the true implications associated with either of them. The more information strategists collect and consider in making decisions, the more likely the organisation will perform more effectively (Grinyer and Norburn, 1975). This has never been as true given today’s turbulent business environment. According to studies conducted, firms using advanced systems to monitor external events showed higher growth and profitability than firms that did not have such systems (Subramanian et al, 1993). Organisations have now adopted a continuous scanning method, allowing them to act, and take advantage of opportunities before a competitor does in response to an environmental change. Although the key issues or trends for consideration in the environment vary by industry type and by the state of economic conditions (Glueck, 1980). Generally, economic conditions and competitor analysis tend to be key areas of concern (Aguilar, 1967). Competitor actions directly affect the ability of a business to make a profit, therefore responding to an...
References: AGUILAR, F. (1967) Scanning the Business Environment. New York: Macmillan. BAINES, P. FILL, C. and PAGE, K. (2011) Marketing, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. GLUECK, W. (1980) Business Policy and Strategic Management. New York: McGraw-Hill. GRINYER, P. and NORBURN, D. (1975) Planning for existing markets: Perceptions of Executives and Financial Performance. Journal of Royal Statistical Society, 138, pp.70 – 97. SUBRAMANIAN, R. FERNANDES, N. And HARPER, E. (1993). Environmental scanning in US companies: their nature and their relationship to performance. Management International Review, 33 (3), pp. 271-286
6. Appendix - Learning Diary
A weekly diary of my learning’s and thoughts regarding the course, and how it what I have learnt has made me reflect. 6.1. Week 1 From the outset it was clear to me that this course was not like courses I had done before. Very little time was wasted in explaining basic information such as, when lecture are, what marks are awarded for, etc, which usually fills the entire session for most Computer Science course units. Instead we moved straight on to learning some basic theories we would be using throughout the semester, in particular the PESTEL acronym, and Porters 5 forces, both of which I had heard of before, but had a varied understanding of each one. It was emphasised that from the outset we would be applying these basic theories to real business situation. Again this was something I liked, as previous encounters of the theories had been simply in a text book. During the lecture we discussed the business we were all currently involved in, The University of Manchester. Throughout the lecture we were encouraged to interact and ask questions when needed, which I liked. The input of other students really did help me to understand the content of the lecture but also, some points made introduced to me completely new ideas, of which I had never even thought about. 6.2. Week 2 This session was a case study session. We were split into small groups and asked to research the UK’s online poker market. Doing this introduced me to new things, I had never heard of mintel before, and found the information actually to be quite interesting, which in all honesty, surprised me a little. We then all returned to the lecture theatre to discuss our findings and analyse whether or not it would be feasible for a new business to penetrate the market. The discussion was helpful, yes I learnt about the UK poker market but, the discussion and ideas put forward did make me reflect on past mistakes, as well as future endeavours. In particular it made me think in a lot more about information literacy, as a group we had gathered a vast amount of information, but was all that information really relevant to the case study, no! Time management and trying to juggling academic, social, and work life has always been difficult for me. Although this is not directly link to that of information literacy, but the principles from it can be used and applied to my time management. Is something I am doing actually worth doing, is it going to add anything to myself, or do I even enjoy it that much. The case study has helped me, in an indirect way, to evaluate pretty much everything I do, and whether I actually need to do it before! 6.3. Week 3 This lecture I really enjoyed and really engaged with the topics covered. It was ideal timing personally for me as it tied in perfectly with a project I am just starting, the project requires me to critically analysis the marketing strategy of a company, for which I choose virgin media, mainly due to its strong brand name and heavily celebrate endorsed advertising. In my marketing unit a lot of theory is covered, it has surprised me just how many elements are actually involved in the marketing mix, having previous thought it was essentially just advertising the product! This session I felt I was able to use the dense theory learnt in my marketing unit and actually apply it to a real world example, just as I will be doing in my report. The lecture touched on adding value to the company, again something I initially thought was an obvious and simply concept. The lecture has made me think different about how I perceive a lot of things! As with both of the topics above I had made a pre judgement regarding them without actually truly understand what they were, quite obviously this can be transferred into many aspects of my personal life.
6.4 Week 4 This session we continued to learn about environmental scanning, and delved into more details about adding value to an organisation, in particularly we looked at Porter’s value chain, as well looking at the SWOT acronym. The SWOT analysis I had covered before in quite a lot of detail, and the lecture didn’t really make me think any differently about the way in which it is applied to organisation. However the value chain did introduced me into how much detail is actually involved in adding value to your company. I plan to use this knowledge to form the main basis of my report for the second case study on innocent smoothies, as my current understanding of the company is that they are the market leader mainly because of their brand and their emphasis on adding value. A lot of other manufacturer offer smoothies, what makes innocent so special? 6.5 Week 5 Unfortunately I was unable to make this session as I had a hospital appointment regarding my ankles, which was annoying as it was a case study session. I tried to complete the case study on my own; I took what I had learnt from he previous one and tried to apply it to this one. The information I gathered I made sure was relevant to the case study. The main things I took from the study were although the product is essentially, sometimes the brand can out way the value derived by the product. Applying to people you can see that although some individuals appear to be more qualified, it’s not necessarily them who get the job, as it not just the product, it’s the whole package employers are after. This information will hopefully be invaluable to me as I’m currently going through the job application process.
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