SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN125559
Module Leader Angela Sutherland
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

Continuous performance improvement is critical for organisational competiveness. In pursuing continuous improvement, managers must be particularly mindful of how management systems, processes and cultural factors can contribute to, or impede, sustained business performance. This module focuses on the management challenges associated with ensuring organisations achieve sustainable business results to operate effectively within increasingly complex and global environments. This includes an examination of issues relating to the mainstreaming of corporate social responsibility and environmental management into the operational and strategic management of the organisation. The challenges associated with operational and strategic performance management are central to the module, with a particular focus on the cultural issues associated with creating sustained improvement in organisational performance. This encompasses a critical review of the application of various approaches, techniques and a range of national and international organisational self-assessment frameworks designed to facilitate continuous improvement and business excellence in organisations operating in national and international contexts. Summary of how PRME-related issues / Sustainable Development Goals are covered in this module: Students will develop critical appreciation of the importance of sustainable development goals - for example, responsible consumption and production (12), and climate action (13) - by studying the environmental management impacts of organisations and the best practice policies and tools; techniques and frameworks for self-assessment, accreditation and performance management. External industry experts provide contextual insight into organisational challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities, the use of environmental management systems and the contribution of a continuous improvement culture towards the triple bottom line. Thus, issues/topics covered in the module dovetail with Principles 1-4 of PRME for sustainable development at individual, business and strategic levels.


- Quality Management: The Customer Perspective & Managing Quality across Different Sectoral Contexts - Sustainability Drivers and Challenges Confronting Business at National and International levels - Embedding CSR into Business and Operations Strategy - Business Case for Environmental Sustainability; Managing Organisation Emissions - Environmental Management Strategies to Innovate, Create Value and Build Competitive Advantage - Environmental and Quality Management Systems - Strategic Performance Management Systems - Quality Management Tools, Techniques and Approaches for Continuous improvement - Case Studies of Best Practice Policies for Managing Sustainable Business Operations Role of Quality Assurance and Quality Accreditation for Continuous Improvement - Use of EFQM Excellence Model and other International Frameworks for Self-Assessment - High Performance Workplace Cultures

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: 1. Analyse the drivers and challenges relating to sustainable business excellence, including the mainstreaming of corporate social responsibility and environmental management across a range of organisational/sectoral contexts and national and global environments; 2. Critically review approaches to strategic performance management, drawing on research on the behavioural impact of performance management systems; 3. Critically review the application of tools, techniques and frameworks used to achieve continuous improvement and sustainable business excellence; 4. Critically evaluate the role that quality and environmental management accreditation standards play in promoting sustainable business excellence across national and international contexts;

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A blended learning approach is adopted on the module with lectures and seminars facilitating direct knowledge transfer and the GCU Virtual Learning Environment (GCULearn) providing a dedicated website which hosts course and lecture materials, web links to online resources, directed reading ad announcements as well as discussion forums designed to help students build their knowledge and engage regularly with the syllabus. Lectures introduce key theoretical principles, practices and techniques pertaining to managing sustainable business excellence in organisations across a range of industry sectors across the global landscape. The student learning experience is enriched through guest lectures from industry experts on specific areas of business excellence practice. In empowering students to take responsibility for their learning, students are expected to complete directed reading tasks in advance when required, engage fully in case studies in class, carry out research activities online and participate in discussion forums hosted on the GCULearn module site. Seminars are designed to embed student learning through participation in critical reflection and plenary discussion of international workplace practices and challenges at both local and international levels in relation to theory, research and best practice on the subject area. Internationalisation: The module incorporates an international dimension to student learning through discussion of ethical operations challenges, quality and performance management and environmental management systems across the international landscape. The internationalisation strategy within the module aligns with principles 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Global Perspectives principles of an Internationalised Curriculum. Feedback strategy: Formative feedback is issued throughout the module. Students submit all coursework electronically through GCULearn Turnitin, and marks and electronic feedback are provided via Grademark, normally within 3 working weeks of submission. Following submission of Coursework 1 assessment, students receive comments relating to each marking criteria as well as a feedback summary highlighting any particular weaknesses and commendations in addition to mark awarded. A module-wide summary report is also disseminated to the cohort on the GCULearn site providing insight on the range of marks awarded, average module mark, examples of good and poor practice, and guidance for improving student performance for Coursework 2. Collectively, the three forms of summative feedback provide students with insight on their relative performance across the module and forms a scaffold by which students can take forward, the lessons learned in order to enhance their performance in future assessments. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCULearn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: Core Text: Managing Sustainable Business Excellence; Custom Edition for Glasgow Caledonian University, compiled by Angela Sutherland. Supplementary reading Aldag, R.J. and Kuzuhara, L.W. (2015), Creating High Performance Teams; Applied Strategies for Managers and Team Members, Oxon: Routledge. Benn, S., Dunphy, D. and Griffiths, A. (2014), Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability, 3rd Edition, Oxon: Routledge. Evans, J.R. (2014), Quality & Performance Excellence; Management, Organization and Strategy, 8th Edition, Cengage Learning, USA: Boston. Johnston, R., Clark, G. and Shulver, M. (2012) Service Operations management; Improving Service Delivery, 4rd Ed, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd Oakland, J. S. ( 2019), Total Quality Management and Operational Excellence: text with cases, Oxon: Routledge. Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2013), Operations Management 7th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. [available as Ebook] Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2016), Operations Management 8th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. Wick,A.C., Freeman,R.E., Werhane,P.H., and Martin, K.E.(2010), Business Ethics; A Managerial Approach, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Verma, R. and Boyer, K.K. (2010), Operations & Supply Chain Management: World Class Theory and Practice, International Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning. Relevant Journals: Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Management European Business Review International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management International Journal of Healthcare Quality Assurance International Journal for Quality in Health Care International Journal of Operations and Production Management International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management International Journal of Supply and Operations Management Journal of Business Ethics Journal of Operations Management Managing Service Quality Measuring Business Excellence Recommended Web Sources: European Organisation for Quality: ; Chartered Management Institute, Chartermark, Service First: British Quality Foundation, Chartered Management Institute, International Organization for Standardization, Ethics Resource Centre, Improvement Service (Scottish local government), Office of Government Commerce, European Foundation for Quality Management, Quality Management Systems, Quality Scotland, Six Sigma,

Transferrable Skills

The following transferrable and employability skills are embedded within the module: - Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. - Interpersonal Skills: ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others in seminars and on-line using collaborative, digitally connected technologies. - Oral and written communication skills and presentation skills - Teamwork skills; Critical thinking and and problem solving skills developed through case study analysis; negotiation and interpersonal skills fostered through participation in groupwork activities across the module. - Information technology skills developed through online research and communication. - Analytical, evaluative and creative problem solving developed throughout the module experience but especially through case studies and seminar debates. - Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject. - Sensitivity to cultural challenges surrounding performance management in the real world.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 114.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 35% 2,000 word Individual Report (Wk 14)
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% Individual Digital Presentation (Wk7) 10 Mins