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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 03/05/2019 11:00:26

Title of Module: Managerial Economics

Code: ECON09008 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:James  Johnston

Summary of Module

This module is designed to provide a rigorous but accessible economic perspective on management and organization and should be of interest to all those seeking to improve their understanding of business behaviour.


Mainstream economic theory is built on the working assumption that firms operate in order to maximize profits and while this is without doubt a useful working assumption, more realistic models of how firms actually behave require this assumption be relaxed. In this way the module takes a critical approach to the theory of the firm and looks to identify more realistic approaches which are more recognizable in the current world of business.


The introductory section of the module examines alternative non-profit maximizing models (sales revenue, growth and managerial utility) of the firm and how these generate useful insights into organizational decision making and strategy. This section of the course includes a flavour of the central insights from some of the key organizational theorists of the last century, including, among others, Nobel prize winning economists such as Baumol, Simon and Williamson. The contribution of market contracting costs to our understanding of the relationship between firms and markets is explored in detail as is the relationship between market structure, agency costs and the value of the firm. Concepts important to a meaningful understanding of how firms work and taken from the economics of information literature such as adverse selection and moral hazard are examined as is game theory, an analytical tool utilised to understand how firms behave under conditions of uncertainty and interdependency. The fundamentals of game theory are explored within the context of oligopolistic situations. The final part of the module considers some of the contemporary issues in relation to corporate governance and has particular importance today given recent events in the corporate world. 

Though the module material is largely delivered using the traditional didactic approach, original studies are made available through the VLE to help foster a deeper knowledge of this important literature. This module is designed to complement the material provided from other perspectives in other Business School modules and will help create learning synergies with resultant beneficial impacts on knowledge and understanding of business.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Understand and critically assess a variety of economic approaches to the study of firms and organizations within the modern economy.

L2. Appreciate the importance of agency theory to modern theories of the firm.

L3. Utilise game theory to analyze behaviour in markets characterized by interdependence.

L4. Comprehend the importance of corporate governance to the behavior of business.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

An ability to demonstrate a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of the scope, main areas and boundaries of intermediate micro-economic analysis of the firm.
Demonstrating a critical understanding of a selection of the principal theories, principles, concepts and terminology at the core of this subject. In some areas this knowledge will be detailed and at the forefront of developments within the subject area.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Using a few skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are specialized or advanced and practicing routine methods of enquiry and/or research.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertaking critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues.
Drawing on a range of sources in making judgments.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Making formal and informal presentations on standard/mainstream topics in the subject/discipline to a range of audiences.
Interpreting, using and evaluating numerical data to achieve goals/targets.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Taking some responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources.

Exercising autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Or equivalent.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity10
Independent Study166
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Douma, S. and Schreuder, H. (2008) Economic Approaches to Organizations,
Prentice Hall.

Putterman, L and Kroszner, R.S (1996) The Economic Nature of the Firm, Cambridge University Press.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardManagement, Organisations & People
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelManagement, Organisations & People
ModeratorSteve Talbot
External ExaminerJ Embery
Accreditation DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment will be based on a presentation worth 15%.
a written class test worth 35%.
A final exam worth 50%.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark150.2

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check mark   351
Presentation check mark  150

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen closed book (standard)  check markcheck mark502
Combined Total For All Components115% 3.2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The module is appropriate for any student and is fully supported by the University agencies such as Student Services, School Disability co-ordinators, and the University’s Equality and Diversity co-ordinator.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.