COMMGMT 3005 - Small and Family Business Perspectives

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

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 3005
    Course Small and Family Business Perspectives
    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
    Incompatible COMMGMT 2503
    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.

  • 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 and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while approximately 67 percent are family-controlled businesses. Just as a small firm is not a little ‘big’ firm, a family-controlled enterprise is not necessarily the same as other business types. 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, and accounting) are applied and / or addressed in the small and family business contexts.

    This course is organised around the lifecycle of a business owner(s), specifically:

    Entry and commencement: exploring the common pathways that individuals and families take to become business owners

    Growth: key interrelated discipline-specific areas that owners of small firms and family businesses need to consider when growing their business

    Exit and / or transition to new owners: options available to owners of small firms and family businesses to exit and / or pass on leadership and ownership on to new owners (such as the nextgen of the family).


    By the end of this course, students should 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)
    1, 2 & 3
    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
    1, 2 & 3
    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
    4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3 & 4
    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
    4
    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
    4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    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.

    Alternatively you can purchase an e-book version of the text at a significantly discounted rate. The e-book version has the following features:
    • Available on your laptop, smartphone, tablet or online
    • Permanent access – never expires
    • Use the search function to locate key concepts
    • Create your own colour-coded highlights as you revise
    • Share notes with your friends
    For more information, please visit: http://www.wileydirect.com.au/buy/entrepreneurship-small-business-4th-asia-pacific-edition/
    Recommended Resources
    Some of the readings for the topics covered in this course have been taken from alternative sources. Electronic copies of these readings are available for download from the course’s MyUni website.

    Other reading resources which students may find useful include:

    Burns, P. (2016), Entrepreneurship & Small Business: Start-up, Growth and Maturity (4th Ed), Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://www.macmillanihe.com/page/detail/Entrepreneurship-and-Small-Business/?K=9781137430359  


    Longenecker, J.G., Petty, J.M., Palich, L.E. & Hoy, F. (2017), Small Business Management: Launching & Growing Entrepreneurial Ventures (18th Ed), Cengage. https://cengage.com.au/product/title/small-business-management-launching-growing-e/isbn/9781305405745  
    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 two main avenues for learning (apart from assessment). These are:
    1. Lectures (1 hour / week): The 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.
    2. Tutorials (2 hours / week): The tutorials 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. In each tutorial, there will be opportunities for students to meet up with their allocated group members to work on their groupwork assignment.
    Workload

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

    Over the whole semester, students are expected to devote an average of 12 hours per week to studying this course. This means that, in addition to attending lectures and tutorials during the intensives, you are expected to commit an average of 9 hours per week of private study over the duration of the semester. Private study will be required to prepare for the intensive classes (reading, preparing responses to tutorial questions) as well as for completing assessment tasks (case study and revising for test and exam).
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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 items Weighting Learning
    Objectives
    Due or scheduled date
    Tutorial participation 10% 1, 2, 3 & 4 Assessed throughout semester
    MCQs (online) 20% 1, 2 & 3 Assessed throughout semester
    Test 1 20% 1, 2 & 3 Assessed in lecture
    Test 2 20% 1, 2 & 3 Assessed in lecture
    Case study report and presentation 30% 1, 2, 3 & 4 Assessed in tutorial
    TOTAL    100%   
    Assessment Detail
    1. 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.
    2. MCQs (20%) (weekly; online)

    The weekly online MCQs (5 questions / topic) are an opportunity to assess your understanding of the concepts covered in each topic.

    3. Tests (two, 20% + 20% = 40%)

    The two 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 online course outline and will be held during the lecture timeslot.

    The tests will be conducted under closed book conditions (no material or dictionaries permitted). Further details regarding the tests (including format) will be communicated via MyUni.

    4. Case study analysis & presentation (30%)

    Allocated into groups of up to 5 students, each student group will be assigned a real life-based case study of a small firm or a family business and be required to apply the course's concepts and tools to analyse, identify the key issues requiring attention, and provide recommendations to the business owners. Student teams are required to present their analysis and recommendations to the 'hypothetical' business owners who will ask clarifying questions (one of the student groups in role play) in their final tutorial for the course. Further details regarding this case study assignment (including format) will be communicated via MyUni. 
    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
  • Fraud Awareness

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