COMMGMT 2503 - Small and Family Business Perspectives II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

The course aims to enhance students' understanding of the characteristics, contributions, and issues surrounding the management and growth of small firms and family businesses. Topics include small firm and family business characteristics and significance, developing a business plan, choice of organisational structure and implications, financing start-up and growth, principles of sound financial management, managing ownership/management/business transitions, role of advisors such as accountants, role of government policy, emerging issues in small firm and family business research. The course will appeal to those who are interested in starting up their own business, as well as those interacting with small firms and family businesses as advisors, managers and policy-makers.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 2503
    Course Small and Family Business Perspectives II
    Coordinating Unit Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge Basic accounting fundamentals
    Restrictions Not available for first year students
    Course Description The course aims to enhance students' understanding of the characteristics, contributions, and issues surrounding the management and growth of small firms and family businesses. Topics include small firm and family business characteristics and significance, developing a business plan, choice of organisational structure and implications, financing start-up and growth, principles of sound financial management, managing ownership/management/business transitions, role of advisors such as accountants, role of government policy, emerging issues in small firm and family business research. The course will appeal to those who are interested in starting up their own business, as well as those interacting with small firms and family businesses as advisors, managers and policy-makers.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Chris Graves

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course consists of a 1x1.5 hour weekly lecture (Wednesdays 3pm – 4:30pm) and a 1x2 hour weekly tutorial (1.5 hour tutorial; 0.5 hour working in your assignment group when required). Lectures commence in week one of the semester while tutorials commence in week two.

    For a detailed outline of the course timetable by dates and topics, please refer to the additional course information on the myuni course
    website.

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at https://access.adelaide.edu.au/courses/search.asp

     

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Small firms and family businesses make a significant contribution to the economic development of national economies around the world. According to latest statistics, 96 percent of Australian private sector enterprises are small firms while approximately 67 percent are family-controlled businesses. Just as a small firm is not a little ‘big’ firm, an unlisted privately-owned family business is not a ‘clone’ of a publicly-listed business. Therefore it is important to have an understanding of the issues faced in growing and managing a firm from the small and family business perspectives.

    As a consequence, the overarching objective of this course is for students to understand how business-related issues (such as marketing, management, finance, law and accounting) are applied and / or addressed in the small and family business contexts.

    COMMENCEMENT
    Common pathways in which an individual becomes a small firm or family business owner
    GROWTH
    Issues that owners need to address when growing a small firm or family business
    EXIT
    Ways in which an owner of a small firm or family business ceases to be an owner
    Topic 2: Getting into business: new ventures, franchises, and purchasing or inheriting a business







    Topic 3: Strategic planning and business plans
    Topic 4: Marketing: product, price and promotion decisions
    Topic 5: Financing the business
    Topic 6: Legal issues
    Topic 7: Managing growth & transition
    Topic 8: Accounting issues
    Topic 9: Taxation issues

    Topic 10: Exit – part 1 (succession & next gen)
    Topic 11: Exit – part 2 (decline & closure or turnaround and/or sale)




     

    F O U N D A T I O N: TOPIC 1 - Definition, characteristics and significance of small firms and family businesses


    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Discuss the issues that need to be considered and addressed as small firms and family businesses transition through the lifecycles of their business, ownership and family sub-systems;

    2. Integrate the course concepts to critically assess the appropriateness of a range of interrelated decisions associated with managing and growing small firms and family businesses;

    3. Critically review the accounting, financing, legal, management and taxation options available to small firms and family businesses with reference to the objectives and needs of the business, the owners and the family;  

    4. Collaborate effectively with others in diverse groups.


    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    ALL
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    ALL
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    ALL
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    ALL
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    ALL
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    ALL
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are three primary resources which are required for this course:

    a) Prescribed text book: Schaper, M., Volery, T., Weber, P. & Lewis, K. (2014), Entrepreneurship and Small Business (4th Asia-Pacific Edition), Wiley, Milton, Qld.
    Textbooks will be available for purchase from the University’s Unibook store. Alternatively you can purchase an e-book version of the text at a significantly discounted rate. The e-book version has the following features: b) Additional readings: some of the readings for this course have been taken from alternative sources. These are listed in the detailed course timetable. Rather than students having to purchase these texts (or borrow and photocopy the relevant sections from the library), electronic copies of these readings will be made available for download from the course’s MyUni website.

    c) Mikes Bikes (Intro) – in order for students to get a realistic ‘experience’ in managing a small business, this course uses an online business simulation game. Each student will be provided a licence to the online game and will be allocated to a group where together students will manage their company and compete with other groups in the class. More details about this online simulation game is provided in the additional course information (via Myuni Course Website) and during the semester in lectures.

    Recommended Resources
    Other reading resources which students may find useful include: 
    • Burns, P. (2011), Entrepreneurship & Small Business: Start-up, Growth and Maturity (3rd Ed), Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
    • Hatton, T. (2011), Small Business Management: Entrepreneurship and Beyond, South-Western.
    • Mazzarol, T. (2011), Small Business Management: An Applied Approach (2nd ed.), Tilde University Press, Prahran, Victoria.
    • Longenecker, J.G., Petty, J.M., Palich, L.E. & Moore, C.W. (2009), Small Business Management (15th Ed), South-Western.
    • Scarborough, N.M. (2012), Effective Small Business Management: An Entrepreneurial Approach (10th Ed), Pearson, New Jersey. 
    Online Learning
    Please make sure to check the course’s MyUni website regularly as this will be the main method in which I communicate to students and make additional information and resources available.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course contains three main avenues for learning (apart from assessment). These are:

    1. The weekly 1.5-hour lecture (commencing week 1): Lectures provide students with an overview of how business-related issues (such as marketing, management, finance, law and accounting) are applied and / or addressed in the small and family business contexts. The material covered in lectures will be discussed in tutorials held in the following week. The format of the lectures will vary from week to week as we will also have guest presenters from industry, DVD case studies of small business start-ups, as well as the course tests (see assessment summary for more information).

    2. The weekly 2-hour tutorial (commencing week 2): tutorial class discussion provides students with the opportunity to clarify concepts and principles introduced in the lectures. Students should come prepared for each tutorial class. This includes undertaking the prescribed reading and attempting the discussion questions for that topic. During the final 30 minutes of each tutorial, there will be opportunities for
    students to meet up with their allocated group members to work on the Mike’s Bikes online simulation game (see point 3 below).

    3. MikesBikes online simulation game: – a weekly activity to give students to get a realistic ‘experience’ in managing a small business in a competitive environment. Students will be allocated to a group of 5 students and collectively will manage a virtual business and compete with other groups in the course.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The university expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours (for a 3 unit course) of private study outside of your weekly 3.5 hours of classes (i.e. 8.5 hours private study + 3.5 hours of lecture & tutorials = 12 hours per week).

    A role will be taken at each tutorial class, and student participation at these classes will form part of the overall assessment as outlined in the assessment summary below.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Please refer to the detailed course timetable which is contained on the last page of the additional course information available from the MyUni course website.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial participation 10% 1,2,3,4
    Tests (2 in total) 60% 1,2,3
    MikesBikes Online Simulation Game 30%

    2,4
    Total
    Assessment Related Requirements
    • To pass this course students must achieve 50% of the overall course assessment.
    • All assessment tasks are compulsory and none are redeemable.
    • The tests are conducted under closed book conditions and no materials whatsoever will be permitted to be taken into the test (with the exception of a calculator that cannot store text). Dictionaries of any kind are NOT permitted. 
    Assessment Detail


    Tutorial Participation (10%)

    In order to encourage class discussion and give students the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the prescribed readings and the discussion questions, 10 percent of assessment will be based on class participation. A total of 10 tutorials will be assessed (1 mark per assessed tute x 10 tutes = 10%). For each of the assessed tutorials, each student will be awarded 0, ½ or 1 mark.

    When determining participation marks, tutors will be taking the following into account the following criteria:

    Student
    - Comes prepared: refers to notes, introduces ideas and questions from the week’s text
    - Contributes ideas: adds new ideas, suggests new connections, raises relevant issues
    - Asks questions of clarification: re concepts, terminology, expectations
    - Facilitates peer interaction: builds on others’ ideas, uses humour positively, stays on track
    - Expresses ideas clearly: ideas are understood by others, pace and volume appropriate.


    Tests (60%)

    The in-lecture tests are an opportunity to assess your understanding of the concepts taught throughout the course. The timing of the two tests are indicated in the topic schedule (page 10) and will be held during the lecture timeslot.

    The second test will be longer in duration as it covers more course topics. The test will be conducted under closed book conditions (no material or dictionaries permitted). Further details regarding the tests (including format) will be communicated via MyUni.


    MikesBikes Online Simulation Game (30%)

    This online simulation game provide a ‘real-world’ hands-on experience of some of the issues that owners face when managing and growing a small business in a competitive environment. This assessment is undertaken as a group exercise which will run throughout the semester. In the third week of tutorials, students will be allocated into groups of four. MikesBikes Online Simulation Game is a general business simulation developed to suit those with little, to no prior business experience. Each group will compete against others in their ‘world’ (total of 7 groups per world) under a business name of their choosing. Initially groups are given the responsibility of Pricing and Promotion for a single product. As the simulation progresses, more decisions and additional products are added. Eventually each group is given full control (as CEO) over their own Bicycle Manufacturing Company. The challenge is to build their firm into the leading player in the market. As part of this online competitive game, students will analyse real market and financial reports, and collaborate with each other to create their own cross-functional strategic plan. As MikesBikes uses a dynamic-competitive marketplace, students must adapt to the changing market and demands of consumers, while also considering external forces - reinforcing the importance of planning and evaluation.

    This assessment piece is conducted over a total of 8 weeks and is marked out of 30 as follows:

    - 14 marks awarded for improving the shareholder value of your company each week (each rollover). Assessed from the 2nd rollover of the game, 2 marks will awarded each rollover for improving the value of your company compared to the previous rollover (7 assessable rollovers x 2 marks per rollover = 14 marks).
    - 16 marks awarded according to overall improvement in shareholder value of your company during the game relative to your competitors (i.e. other companies in the world you were allocated to).

    Some groups may start poorly but enact a significant turnaround by the end of the course. Such groups may be awarded (at the course co-ordinator’s discretion) bonus marks (to a maximum mark of 30 / 30). So, even if you group starts poorly, don’t give up as significant turnarounds may attract bonus marks.

    Moderation of group mark: at the end of the game, each student will be required to submit a confidential evaluation (peer assessment) of the group work effectiveness of each member of their group. Each student’s group work effectiveness score will be compared to that of their group. Students who have an average group work effectiveness score greater than that of their group will have their overall MikesBikes mark increased. Conversely, students who have an average effectiveness score lower than that of their group will have
    their overall Mikes Bikes mark decreased.

    More information about how to play the game, and the group work moderation process, will be made available to students during the semester.  

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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