Contemporary Management Challenges - BUSN6780

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Patricia Lewis checkmark-circle


This module will explore more advanced management and organisational theory to facilitate students' examination of the challenges that face managers in contemporary organisations. As well as considering these challenges from a mainstream managerial perspective, the module will also draw on the perspective of critical management studies as a means of providing an alternative viewpoint on contemporary management issues. Indicative areas to be covered may include:

• Identity in organisations and how the construction and performance of it requires managers to cope with existential challenges around anxiety and freedom.
• The uses and abuses of managerial power and the inequality and insecurity that comes with it.
• Neoliberal capitalism and its various consequences for organisational life.
• Pressures to make organisations more sustainable, socially responsible, equal, diverse, and fair.
• Organisational cultures based on entrepreneurialism.
• The performance of gender in organisations.
• New organisational forms and their emphasis on Speed.
• The intensification of the control of Bodies, Spaces, and Time in contemporary organisations.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 21
Private study hours: 129
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Examination, 2 hours (60%)
Essay 1 (1000 words) (20%)
Essay 2 (1000 words) (20%)

Reassessment method:
100% exam

Indicative reading

Hancock, P. and Spicer, A. eds., 2009. Understanding corporate life. London: Sage.
Dyer, S., Humphries, M., Fitzgibbons, D. and Hurd, F., 2014. Understanding management critically: A student text. London: Sage.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes:

- critically evaluate advanced theories of management;
- critically evaluate contemporary management practices and organisation structures;
- critically assess managerial responses to contemporary organisational challenges
- critically assess the relevance of critical management studies to our knowledge of management and organisations;
- critically evaluate the dynamics of power and identity as they shape the experiences of managers in contemporary organisations.

The intended generic learning outcomes:

- critically assess and evaluate the impact of contemporary problems like "sustainability" on management and organisations;
- demonstrate developed analytical skills by connecting advanced theories of management to contemporary management situations and concerns;
- demonstrate enhanced ability to write coherently and critically;
- demonstrate enhanced ability to draw on social science concepts and theories and to articulate complex arguments;


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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