Reflective learning portfolio for global organizational environment

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There are eight entries in this portfolio which cover seven sessions of this module and the last one is the final reflection. Entry 1, 2, 6, 7 will be four entries to be marked. The total words of four entries are 2093 words.

Entry: 1

Session: 1

Name: Organisation form and purpose

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knew prior to class:

Organisations vary from size and there are various types of a company that are very familiar to us, for example limited liability Company, state-owned enterprises, one man business, ..etc.

Limited liability company:

State-owned enterprises:

One man business:

According to my understandings, each organisation has different purposes. Most of organisations pursue the high profitability and the most favoured objective is how to maximize the shareholder's wealth.

Things I want to learn:

Other types of organisation and the differences in organisation form between region and nations.

The advantages and disadvantages of various organisation forms

Other reasons for the existence of an organisation.

Addressing the question: "In today world, whether an organisation will choose to maximise the shareholder values or the stakeholder values?"

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

This session provides from basic to deeper understanding of business organisation forms and how they are governed.

Types of organisation: various forms including private sector organisations such as public limited liability companies, private limited liability companies, unincorporated business, family-owned company; secondly, public sector organisations like public corporation, state enterprises, university, agencies; thirdly, third-sector organisations, for example, non-government organisation, charities, voluntary and community group….etc

Corporate Governance: Because of principal - agents problem, an commercial organisation must consider the governance which is described as rules, processes or law that organisation is operated and controlled. "Govern" is to ensure the organisation fulfil the wishes and purpose of its owners.


Affect and be affected by the organisation's performance.

They are: customers, suppliers, employees, managers and shareholders…

Their expectations are different and sometime there are conflicts due to the differences in level of powers and level of interest.

Obligations: are what an organisation should behave to its stakeholders. Firm should choose between the following stances:

Short term shareholder interests:

Long term shareholder interests:

Multiple shareholder interests:

Shaper of the society:

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them

Difficult concepts: corporate governance and obligations with four stances

Improve the understanding by:

Investigating some typical cases for corporate governance

Further reading

Discuss with friends

4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter for this session:

John E.Core, Robert W. Holthausen, David F. Larcker, (1999) Journal of Financial Economics: Corporate Governance, chief executives officer compensation, and firm performance.

Oliver Hart, (1995), "Corporate Governance: Some theory and implications", The Economic Journal, Volume 105, Issue 430, 678-689

Summary of learning point from my own work:

The agency problem and the conflict of interest are reasons for the corporate governance. There already exist mechanisms that help to ensure the companies well managed like takeover mechanism which

Identify the differences between shareholder and stakeholder: Shareholder is person who own shares of a company. Stakeholders may not own shares in a company, but they have a vital stake in the welfare of the company. They are employees, suppliers and customers, even the community within which the company does its business. In the short term, maximising the shareholder value can conflict with stakeholder value. However, in order to have a sustainable development and generate the long-term profit, each firm should enhance the value of the whole stakeholders. For example: Microsoft is the company which is not only consider the shareholder's value. They take a high consideration in maximising the stakeholders' value.



Entry: 2

Session: 2

Name: Analysis of the Environment - Understanding the Managerial Environment

1. What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I know about this topic prior to class:

Environment consists of external and internal environment. Internal environment is its organisational culture which does not play an important role. External environment is forces and institutions outside that can affect the organization performance. External environment consists of general environment with economic, political, socio-cultural, demographic, technological and global conditions and specific environment containing customers, suppliers, competitors, and pressure groups.

Things I want to learn:

How a successful manager can manage different environmental conditions

The role of the environment in shaping industry structure

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

Types of environments: depends on the speed of change in the environment, complexity, diversity and hostility:

Simple environment: one where there are only a few external influences.

Diverse environment: refer the environment that an organisation operates with many types of products or in a number of geographic markets.

Safe environment and hostile environment: refer the environment with different level of hostility. For example: monopolist operate in safe environment than competitive firms in intense competitive industry

Environmental analysis by PESTLE framework:

PESTLE stands for six factors: Politics, Economic, Social, Technology, Legal and Ecological

Political factors refer the involvement of government, the policies and regulations. They influences what an organisation can or can not do.

Economic factors include economic indicators such as economic growth rate, inflation, unemployment, interest rate, consumer expenditure, exchange rates  affect management practise of an organisation.

Social factors like social value, customer values, customer taste. A manager can analyse the social changes to adapt to the changing expectation of the customers.

Technology factors: bring the rapid changes to the ways that organisations are structured and the way the manager manage.

Legal factors: the same effects as political factors

Ecological factors: have an impact on the way products are marketed to customers.

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them

Difficult concepts: Pressure groups and its influences

Improved by :


Taking example from the reality

4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter:

Ian Worthington, Chris Britton, The business environment (5th Edition), FT Prentice Hall

Stephen P. Robbins, Rolf Bergman, Ian Stagg, Marry Coulter, Management (3rd Edition), Prentice Hall, pg 81-90

Summary of learning points in my own work:

The business environment is everything that surrounds an organization which produces goods and services to exchange them for payment. It is an open system, where defining its external elements is even more difficult than describing internal parts, and where complex understanding is only theoretically possible. Inevitable dynamic changes in 'PEST' (i.e. political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal and ethical influences)' factors have to be predicted to provide stability and profit for the organization.

Environmental uncertainty is determined by the degree of change and the degree of complexity in the environment. Stable and simple environment are relative certain. The environment which is more complex and dynamic will be more uncertainty.



Entry: 3

Session: 4

Name: Macro economic environment - The Economy and the Role of Government

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knew prior to class:

Macroeconomics is the subject dealing with the economy as a whole. Macroeconomic look at economic growth, inflation issue, employment and unemployment rate, trade performance, the government intervention and government economic policy. Macro economic environment and its influences reflect the change in economic variables at the macro level will affect the change in organisation management.

Things I want to learn:

The effect of macro environment to an organisation

The government's policies to manage the economy

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

The national economy and macroeconomic policy:

National economy's size is measured by the gross domestic products and gross national income. Macroeconomic indicators including inflation rate, unemployment, and balance of payment … reflect the health of the national economy.

The objective of government policy is to ensure the macroeconomic stability. Only when there is a stable economic environment, it can be seen that economic and business generally perform better.

There are seven stages in the circular flow of income

The objective of Government when manipulate the macro economy is to attain a modest rate of inflation, a reasonable rate of economic growth, low rate of unemployment and a balance of payments in equilibrium or surplus.

Government use the fiscal policy and monetary policy to manage the economy. Fiscal policy use taxes and spending to increase or decrease the aggregate demand in the economy, smoothing the economic cycle. Monetary policy use money supply and interest rate. Change in interest rate will affect the money supply by affecting saving, consumption and investment spending.

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them


4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter:

World Bank, 1997, World Development Report: the State in a Changing World (New York: Oxford University Press, for the World Bank).

Alesina, Alberto, "The Political Economy of Macro economic Stabilization and Income Inequality: Myths and Reality" in Income Distribution and High Quality Growth, ed. By Vito Tanzi and Ke-Young Chu (Cambridge: MIT Press)

Summary of learning points in my own works:

The role of state in managing the economy has been changed in today world. In the world of technology and countries' economies are becoming more integrated. The role of state is different in the past; it has to play a significant and intelligent regulatory role.



Entry: 4

Session: 5

Name: The Macro-economic environment - Understanding the global environment

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knows prior to class

Globalisation is a process which connects regions all over the world in term of economy, societies and cultures. Countries' economy is integrated into international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flow. Globalisation is the trend of all countries in the world.

Some famous international organisation facilitates the processes of global issues especially international economy are World Trade Organisation, United Nation, World Bank, International Monetary Fund.

Things I want to learn:

Access the question whether globalisation is good or bad?

Challenges for the business in the globalisation process

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

Globalisation means increasing global business activity and multinational companies, increasing political and social connections between states and their people, increasing communication and share information across the world.

Driver of globalisation consist of: political drivers (eg: opening the various regions of the world), technological drivers ( connecting the world through advanced techniques ), economic liberalisation (reduce tariff and trade barriers), market drivers (improve the growth of domestic market and international expansion), cost drivers (create economic of scale, outsourcing and offshoring), competition drivers

When emerging the global market, there are many international problems that the international regulation enforced by international authorities will be required. World Trade Organisation, World Bank, IMF are of system of global business governance which contribute to the growth of world economy

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them


4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter:

Whalley, J. (2008) "Globalisation and Values" The World Economy, forthcoming

Bairoch, P. and R.Kozul-Wright (1996) "Globalisation myths: Some historical reflection on integration, industrialisation and growth in the world economy", UNCTAD, no113

Maddison, A (1995), Monitoring the World Economy, OECD Development Centre

International Monetary Fund 2000, Globalization: Threat or Opportunity? Washington D.C,

Summary of learning points in my own works:

Globalisation is both opportunities and threat for the global economy:

Under global environment, there is a reduction in trade barriers. Taking advantage of trade, developing country can stabilise the economy and attract many capital inflow. The transfer of technology is also a part of globalisation. Globalisation on the other hand proves to be a threat to developing countries in certain aspects.

The global environment assists the organisations in both their aims of cost reduction and cost recovery. Cost reduction is made through the international division of labor and reallocation of operations. Through global environment, the organisations can easily access to new growing market.



Entry: 5

Session: 6

Name: The European Environment

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knew prior to class:

European Union is established in 1958 and it has become an important trading area within the global economy. European Union has created a internal market between their members. In the EU market, the goods and services are easily moved without tariff and non-tariff measures.

European Union has a single currency named "the Euro".

Things I want to learn:

What are the differences between the European business environment and others?

The framework of European Union and the implication for business organisation

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

Benefit and limitation of single European market:

A single European market cleared the trade and non-trade barriers between European members. There are a free movement of goods, services, people and capital across borders. A single market facilitates the trade in various industry and sectors, for example from the goods to services such as electricity, tourism. There is no more frontier control; all the procedures and documents are simplified. Product standard is harmonised and the mutual recognition helps trade become more and more free.

However, some limitation still exists due to the persistence of different regulatory, technical standards, local restriction, and discrimination. Those make the European single market incomplete.

The single currency Euro

A single currency Euro will help to increase the monetary efficiencies because the risk of currency movement and consequent reduction in currency transaction cost. Euro becomes more and more strong and stable nowadays. Beside advantages for the European Union trade area, Euro also create problems for some business and economies.

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them

Ceteris paribus interest rate:

4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter

General information: Gateway to the EU: activities, institutions, documents, services, etc. Europe's

information society The EU: Panorama, treaties, etc. Some EU history. The EU in brief. EU news from European Voice. SMEs in the EU.

Summary of learning points in my own works:

The European market place is both the driver and the stimulus of Europe, as it has shaped and is being shaped by the European ideal. It represents the largest economy in the world, the largest trading partner and the largest donor of development assistance. Europeanization is the term refers the European integration of economies and development of common policies of EU member. European business environment is really a great market for both large organization to small and medium enterprises which are interest in EU for the ability to make profit and adapt to the new organizational structures and business functions to cross-border network.



Entry: 6

Session: 9

Name: Market structures and industrial analysis

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knew prior to class:

Market: is the place where there are the exchange of goods and services between producers and consumers. Market facilitates trade and enables the distribution and allocation of resources in a society.

Industry: the term defined as the production of an economic goods in an economy.

Industry is larger than a market because of its wide range of products and services

Porter's five force model is used to analyse the competitive environment of the industry that a firm is operating in.

Things I want to learn:

How many types of market structure? Example of them?

The competitive behaviour of a firm in the market and who will manipulate those behaviours

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

Market: a mechanism for allocating resources in an economy. In the global economy context, international competition is popular as a norm in many industries. Types of market includes: competitive market, monopoly, oligopoly,…

Market efficiency refers the efficiency in the allocation of resources, the use of resource and the distribution of resource. When goods and resources are in the perfectly competitive market, the economy will achieve the competitive general equilibrium.

Market failure means the market work imperfectly. Market failure includes the provision of public goods, externalities, natural monopoly, and asymmetric information.

Competition analysis can be implemented by applying Porter's five forces model, game theory, auction theory

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them

Difficult concepts: game theory and its application, auction theory

Improved by: Carefully and deeply studying these theories, doing as many exercises of this topic as possible, finding the applied case to understand those theories in practise.

4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter:

Porter, M. (1989), how competitive forces shape strategy, Harvard Business Review, March/April.

Porter M. (2008) The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy Harvard Business Review January

John McGee, Howard Thomas, Mark Pruett (1995), "Strategic groups and the Analysis of Market Structure and Industry Dynamics", British Journal of Management, Volume 6, Issue 4, 257-270.

Summary of learning points in my own works:

Analyse the market structure and industry will give us the better picture for the organisation activities and those help the organization to have efficient strategic decisions. Using Five force's model to analysis, we can have an insight into the organisation competitive environment.

Strategy for an organisation will base on its competitive advantages. The most common strategy will be the low cost strategy, differentiation strategy. There is often a trade off between those strategies.



Entry: 7

Session: 10

Name: Delivering the customer value

What did you know about this topic prior to class and what did you want to learn?

Things I knew prior to class:

Customer value is the benefit that a customer will get from a service and product relative to its cost. Nowadays, customer value is highly appreciated and people often advertise the customer value propositions all the time. Each company often points out the benefit that customer can gain when consuming its products and services.

Customer value is different from value of customer.

Things I want to learn:

What is the segmentation in the industrial market?

How to build customer value

2. Key ideas for this sessions:

Segmentation: refers to the division a heterogeneous market into a smaller number of more homogeneous sub markets with the logic: "Not all buyers are alike". Sub-market can also be further segmented. This process helps the organisation assess the potential sub-market and concentrate the marketing effects on

Targeting: after the potential sub market is identified, the company will make decision the segments which the target marketing strategy is moist appropriate. Common strategies are used: undifferentiated marketing, concentrated marketing, differentiated marketing and customer marketing.

Product positioning: the way which customers perceive the offering in relation to its competition.

3. Difficult concepts and plan to improve the understanding of them

Difficult concepts: STP techniques in a range of consumer, industrial and not-for profit markets, Psychographics

Plan to improve the understanding of them:

STP stands for Segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Find the application of STP techniques: For example in the car industry.

The segment of the super luxury saloon: includes such player like Mercedes Benz, Rover, Audi, BMW.

Discuss with friends and ask the lecture for the example of psychographics.

4. Academic journal and book chapter for each week and the summary of learning points in my own works:

Academic journal and book chapter:

Jame C Anderson, Jame A. Narus, Wouter van Rossum, "Customer Value Propositions in Business Market", Havard Business Review

Robert B. Woodruff, (1997), "Customer Value: The next source for competitive advantage", Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

Summary of learning points in my own works:

Customer value proposition can be the next source for competitive advantage while many organisations are searching for new ways to achieve and retain a competitive advantage. Value innovation is a new strategy in the set of "Blue Ocean Strategy".

Customer value proposition is the value that an organisation provided to its customer and some kinds of value proposition are : all benefits, favourable point of differentiation, resonating focus, operational excellence, customer intimacy and product and service innovation



Entry: 8 The final reflection

Name: Global Organisational Environment

1. Value of this module for my development as a potential manager:

Provide an overview of the business environment in the global context with basic concept, definition and basic understandings.

Approach technique in analyse the business environment from the macro environment to micro environment. Basic knowledge provided in this module is very necessary for a potential manager because an manager must have an overall view and understanding the context and environment in which the organisation is operating

Learn step by step the method to study new things and new knowledge at a short period of time.

Have chance to investigate typical case study about management and business environment. The theory is applied into practice by doing assignments and discussion.

Learning a new way to review the knowledge with a reflective learning log.

2. The most interesting topic and why?

The most interesting topic for me is the topic of managerial environment. It's basic and interesting topic because there are various and challenging managerial problems in reality. Dealing with them is difficult, but interesting. This session introduces the managerial environment in which external environment consist of many influences. Using PETSLE analysis will help the manager can deal with changes, predict the risk and uncertainty.

3. The most difficult topic and why?

The most difficult topic is the global environment. Global environment is a big topic with brand new concept, complex situation in the real world. There are many different perspectives about the topic of "globalisation", "free trade" in which many advantages, disadvantages, implication of globalisation are mentioned. Until now, the future of international trade, globalisation confuses many authorities. This topic also relates to many other fields such as international regulation, international economy and finance and therefore, how to learn and master those knowledge take us a lot of time.

4. How to address the most difficult topic?

In order to address the most difficult topic, it's necessary to read and search for further reading. Self-studying is required because this is a broad topic and as many reading as possible is required.