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NBS8321 : Strategy, Management and Information Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Arturo Vega Pinedo
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to provide students with an understanding of information systems and its relevance for modern-day economies and societies. More specifically, it explains how a comprehensive view of traditional information systems (IS) and the opportunities given by contemporary Internet-based innovations is central for understanding the anatomy of digital business and how it has,and will continue enabling radical changes in the economic contexts, business models, corporate strategies, organisational designs and ultimately in the management of innovations in firms and entire industrial sectors.
We divided the module into two parts. The first part equips students to understand the fundamental principles of IS as well as relevant business applications, and from there to apply them in innovative ways in order to create sustainable competitive advantages and beat competitors. The second part of the module is about major topics which certainly could enable or block the materialisation of the e-strategies, and managers have to be knowledgeable of them in order to take decisions and appropriate courses of action, for example technology, the IS life cycle, organisational aspects, the implementation process and international systems.
Taking advantage of this generic module and its bridging character in the conversion MSc programme, there are also sessions related to employability and the different career paths of the digital business world. Students must become critical thinkers about the digital business career paths in connection to themselves.

Outline Of Syllabus

IS concepts and its role in modern business
Business applications
Business Intelligence
IS and competitive strategy
Information and communication technologies
IS life cycle
IS and organizations
IS implementation
International systems

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00Whole cohort - p-in-p
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading166:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Small-group seminars - p-in-p
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops71:007:00Whole cohort - online (employability)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk51:005:00Whole cohort - p-in-p
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods will be based on a mix of lectures, the demonstration of business applications, videos, mini case studies, group work and open discussions and debates in the seminars. A substantial input is expected in the form of guided background reading, private study as well as in the preparation for the assessments. The background reading, private study and lectures will be the methods to introduce theoretical concepts, which will be complemented with employability aspects in a number of specific sessions. The demonstration of the business applications and videos will be used to get a more practical understanding of business processes, strategies and real information systems. The case studies are more focused to the discussion of soft aspects which affect information systems such as organisational, implementation and social issues. A substantial component of the module is based on the search for and analysis of real company, market, product and supplier information, as well as of the impact of information systems in society and e-business related career paths.
There will also be a series of employability sessions. They will be based on selected reading material and videos, which students will read/watch before the sessions and then will be used to answer and discuss critical career-specific questions in the sessions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M75Individual 3000-word assignment on most of the module, mainly strategy, IS and business processes.
Essay1M25Individual 1000-word personal reflection on employability.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MUndertake problem-solving exercises in the seminars based on a set of questions and mini case studies and demonstrations.
Case study1MGeneric and specific feedback based on the progress of their work.
Oral Presentation1MGeneric and specific feedback based on the progress of their work.
Prob solv exercises1MUndertake problem-solving exercises in the employability sessions based on a set of questions and focused reading material and videos.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 3000-word assignment is integrative and addresses the whole regular module. It is about IS-strategy alignment, business processes, enterprise systems and a plethora of factors that are related to all the topics learnt during the module, e.g. technology, organisations, the IS life cycle, development approaches, projects and so on. It requires the research of substantial empirical material related to real firms, information systems initiatives, the external and internal environments of companies and the diverse aspects that influenced the outcome of the systems in a business perspective. The assignment is challenging in the sense that, to begin, the students have to search for empirical information to decide about the company and information system initiative that they will write their case. Then, the students have to build the case study, based on both theory and IS-related concepts as well as case-specific information. The case study is descriptive, explanative and critical, and very close to what the students would do in their future job as consultants, in terms of both knowledge and skills.
The 1000-word reflection is aided by an analytical process that the students should follow to analyse themselves, career options, take decisions about a career path they would like to pursue, and devise a transition plan to fill the knowledge and skill gaps to be ready to get that job, succeed and climb quickly the career ladder. The reflection is critical since it considers the strengths and weaknesses of the students and of the different career paths of the digital business world.

Formative assessment

In the seminars, the students undertake class exercises based on a set of questions and mini case studies, videos or software demonstrations. There are discussions between peers in groups and then the whole class, all facilitated by the teacher. The discussions are related to specific topics of the syllabus but with a deliberate formative focus on driving and facilitating the study for the summative assessments.
There are 4 1-hour formative sessions specifically about the assessments. The first is early almost at the beginning of the module, about the challenging task of searching for information for their own cases and ultimately deciding what case to undertake in the assignment (company and systems). This is very formative since it’s the first time the students have a similar assignment. Another one is in the middle of the module about the content of the first part of the assignment, and another one almost at the end about the content of the second part of the assignment. These sessions are largely structured on the most important feedback that the module leader has compiled from years delivering the course and marking, as well as personal questions of the students who have already started the study, data collection and development of the assignments. The students should bring the progress of their work and questions for a last assessment-focused session at the very end of the module.
During the employability sessions, students will practice how to do the analysis of career paths. Based on directed reading material and videos, we will discuss and understand in the sessions the stages of progression of numerous career paths, their daily activities, the knowledge and skills necessary for the role and the pros and cons of the paths. There will also be a dedicated clinic for this assessment in which students will bring their work in progress and establish discussions based on that. All this will be formative since the students will have to do a similar analysis for their personal reflections.

Reading Lists