COMM 1E03 - W2013 - 1 of 10
Business Environment and Organization
Winter 2013 Course Outline
Strategic Management Area
DeGroote School of Business
C OURSE O BJECTIVE
This course will examine the relationship between business organizations, their functional areas, and the
environments - social, political, legal and regulatory, and technological - that affect them.
Prerequisite: Registration in Business 1
INSTRUCTOR AND CONTACT NFORMATION
Rita Cossa Section 1: Section 2:
Mon. 10:30 – 11:20 Mon. 2:30 – 3:20
Office: DSB #223 Wed. 10:30 – 11:20 Wed. 2:30 – 3:20
Office Hours: Location: BSB B136 Location: BSB B136
Tues. 9:30 – 11:30
and by appointment Section 3: Section 4:
(905) 525-9140 x26197 Tues. 12:30 – 1:20 Tues. 8:30 – 9:20
Fri. 12:30 – 1:20 Fri. 8:30 – 9:20
Location: BSB B135 Location: BSB B136
Course Website: http://avenue.mcmaster.ca
C OURSE E LEMENTS
Credit Value: 3 Leadership: Yes IT skillsYes Global view: Yes
Avenue: Yes Ethics: Yes Numeracy: Yes Written skillsYes
Participation:Yes Innovation: No Group work: Yes Oral skills:Yes
Evidence-based: Yes Experiential:Yes Final Exam: Yes Guest Speaker: No
C OURSE D ESCRIPTION
All organizations must continuously scan the business environment and understand what is happening from an
economic, social, political, legal and regulatory, and technological perspective. These trends will create
opportunities and threats that must be addressed in order for organizations to prosper. Your Instructor will
apply current business examples to these environments in order that you may understand their relevance to
The latter part of the course will focus on the functional areas within an organization which include Human
Resources, Marketing, Operations, and Finance. While the Commerce Program will expand on these
functional areas in the next few years, this brief introduction should give you an appreciation of the importance
of these topics to business.
www.degroote.mcmaster.ca COMM 1E03 - W2013 - 2 of 10
LEARNING O UTCOMES
By the end of the term, you should be able to complete the following key tasks:
Understand the principles, techniques, and terms used by business practitioners;
Apply ethics theory to a recent ethical situation in business;
Write a group Report that will integrate your research and analysis in reference to the Report requirements;
Apply the ethical principles and practises in marketing research; and
Develop your time management, organization, communication (both oral and written), research, and
presentation skills while working in a team.
R EQUIREDC OURSE M ATERIALS ANDR EADINGS(A VAILABLE IT ITLE): TWO O PTIONS
1. The custom package includes the courseware (based on Understanding Canadian Business, 7th edition by
William G. Nickels et al.) and access to Connect (which includes the eBook). The cost is $101.95 + tax.
2. Pre-paid access to Connect (ISBN 9780070708860) costs $83.97 + tax. Details will be on the paid receipt.
Complete the assigned readings before class and tutorials as discussions will support this preparation. Bring
the appropriate lecture notes as the content will be covered quickly, allowing time for more detail.
The balance of the learning will result from your group work exercises. In the case of group work, your
individual mark will be based on the overall group work mark. This mark may be adjusted as a result of the
Peer Evaluation process. This process is discussed later on in the Course Outline.
Staying focused on the content is important. To this end, turn off all electronic devices (e.g., computers, cell
phones, tape recorders, iPads, etc.).
Your final grade calculation will be based on the components and weights noted below.
Components and Weights
Midterm #1 Friday, February 8 at 6:00 p.m. 25%
Midterm #2 Friday, March 15 at 6:00 p.m. 30%
Final Exam Scheduled by the Office of the Registrar 25%
Tutorial ParticipatioTutorials #2 to #11 0%¹
Group Team Contract Due Tutorial #6 5%²
Group Report Due Tutorial #10 10%²
Report Presentation Tutorial #10 or #11 (Dependent on Group #) 5%
World Congress Bonus February 5-6 2%
¹A 1% deduction per tutorial will be applied for each of the following tutorial scenarios: if a student is absent; if
a student is late for more than five minutes; and/or if the student does not attend the full tutorial.
²This assignment is due within the first five minutes of your registered tutorial, in the tutorial. A late penalty of
25% will apply to all of the group members, for up to the first twenty-four hours following this deadline. After
this, the mark will be zero.
www.degroote.mcmaster.ca COMM 1E03 - W2013 - 3 of 10
At the end of the course your overall percentage grade will be converted to your letter grade in accordance
with the following conversion scheme.
LETTERGRADEPERCENT LETTERG RADE P ERCENT LETTERG RADE P ERCENT
A+ 90 – 100 C+ 67 - 69 F 0 - 49
A 85 - 89 C 63 - 66
A- 80 - 84 C- 60 - 62
B+ 77 - 79 D+ 57 - 59
B 73 - 76 D 53 - 56
B- 70 - 72 D- 50 - 52
Communication and Feedback
Students who are uncomfortable in directly approaching the Instructor regarding a course concern may send a
confidential e-mail to the Area Chair, Dr. Ken Deal ([email protected]
) or the Associate Dean
If you wish to correspond with your Instructor directly via e-mail, you must send messages that originate from
your official McMaster University e-mail account. This protects the confidentiality and sensitivity of information
as well as confirms the identity of the student. E-mails regarding course issues should NOT be sent to the Area
Your Instructor will conduct an informal course review with students by Week #4 to allow time for modifications
in curriculum delivery. Your Instructor will provide evaluation feedback for at least 10% of the final grade to
students prior to Week #8 in the term.
Students who wish to have a course component re-evaluated must complete the form that can be accessed at:
http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/Form_A.pdf. In order for the component to be re-
read, the following steps will be followed:
• The component must be worth 10% or more of the final grade in the course.
• Students must pay a fee of $50 in Gilmour Hall, Room 209. The receipt is then brought to the Academic
Programs Office (APO) in DSB 104.
• The Area Chair will seek out an independent adjudicator to re-grade the component.
• An adjustment to the grade for the component will be made if a grade change of three points or greater on
the 12 point scale (equivalent to 10 marks out of 100) has been suggested by the adjudicator that is
assigned by the Area Chair.
• If a grade change is made, the student fee will be refunded.
Exams: Details Will Be Communicated in Class
Exams consist of equally-weighted multiple-choice questions that will include theory- and application-based
questions. You are responsible for all course content which includes lectures and videos.
Each midterm is one hour in length. The non-cumulative final exam is two hours in length.
www.degroote.mcmaster.ca COMM 1E03 - W2013 - 4 of 10
Arrive outside your designated exam room at least fifteen minutes prior to the exam start time. Your student
card must be brought to each exam and presented before entering the room. No student card, no entry.
Coats, vests, hats, pullovers, pencil cases, and bags must be deposited in the room before you are seated by
the invigilator. Keep your electronic devices (e.g., calculators, computers, and cell phones) at home.
When you walk down the aisle, you should only carry a few pencils, an eraser, your student card, and your
wallet. Keep in mind that McMaster University is not responsible for any items that go missing in the exam
room. No food or drinks are permitted at your seat.
Tutorial Participation: Will be Evaluated Based on Tutorials #2 to #11
For business meetings, one is expected to arrive on time and to be prepared to actively participate in
discussions. This will also be the expectation in your tutorials. A 1% deduction per tutorial will be applied for
each of the following tutorial attendance scenarios: if a student is absent; if a student is late for more than five
minutes; and/or if the students does not attend the full tutorial. If the Tutorial Leader notes that a student is not
prepared for discussions, then a deduction will be applied regardless of one’s timely attendance.
Review the Policy on Requesting Relief for Missed Academic Work (pp. 6-7) for any absent or late tutorials.
McMaster World Congress Bonus: February 5 - 6 (MUSC – CIBC Hall, Room 319)
You have the opportunity to earn up to 2% in bonus marks by attending four fifty-minute presentations (0.5%
per presentation) at the 34th McMaster World Congress. All students must pre-register for their bonus sessions
and attend these sessions. You may register online at http://worldcongress.mcmaster.ca OR in the lobby of the
DeGroote School of Business. Seats are limited so register early. Business casual attire is mandatory.
TUTORIAL A ND G ROUP W ORK
Tutorial exercises will build on some of the theory discussed in the course. Tutorials exercises will contribute to
course learning objectives (e.g., presentation skills). The tutorials will not be used to review information
covered in class or to review exam questions. Direct such questions to your Instructor.
You will form your own group of five in your registered tutorial. If a full group is not formed, then your Tutorial
Leader will randomly assign any remaining students to the group.
Group Work: Requirements Posted on Avenue
Review the documents in detail for submission requirements. Refer all submission questions to your Instructor.
The Citation Guide outlines how to format submissions. (This is in addition to the information provided on
Avenue.) You are required to use this Guide (based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition) as it is the
only acceptable Guide and you will be graded accordingly. For example, a Report with footnotes will not be
marked as the required format requires endnotes.
Group Ethics Presentation: Will Run in Group Numerical Order
Discuss a business event (domestic or international) that has been in the news in the past six months. Those
in group numbers that end with an even number (e.g., 72) should focus on an ethical behaviour example.
Those in group numbers that end with an odd number are to focus on an unethical behaviour example.
www.degroote.mcmaster.ca COMM 1E03 - W2013 - 5 of 10
All group members in attendance must participate during this five minute (maximum) presentation. You are to
communicate the issues that contributed to this event, the actions that led this event to be in the news, and an
assessment of these actions (i.e., how this situation could have been addressed differently [if there was a lack
of ethical behaviour]). The objectives of this presentation are three-fold. First of all, you are to integrate
business theory and terminology when discussing this example. Secondly, this will give your group exposure to
a formal presentation. Lastly, you and tutorial members will learn about a recent event.
Audio visual equipment (e.g., computer) cannot be used for any presentations; however, you are encouraged
to be creative and include presentation aids (e.g., overheads, posters, handouts, brochures, etc.). You should
also review the Presentation Evaluation Sheet on Avenue. This will highlight the criteria that will be considered
by your Tutorial Leader when your presentation is assessed in the tutorial.
Your attire is business casual. Business attire guidelines are posted on Avenue.
Group Report Presentation: Will Run in Group Numerical Order
All group members in attendance must present during this ten-minute (maximum) presentation. You are to
compare your company’s business activities, as they relate to the functional area of business highlighted in
your Report, to those of another Canadian company. The presentation should be informative, interesting, and
incorporate business terminology.
As with the Ethics Presentation, your attire is business casual. Review feedback that you received from the
Ethics Presentation to ensure that you present flawlessly. Audio visual equipment may not be used; however,
you are encouraged to be creative and include presentation aids.
G ROUP W ORK LOG (F ORM ON A VENUE)
Fill in the group members’ names and make photocopies of this page. You need to complete this page at the
end of each meeting. This tool should support the fees that you allocate to yourself and to your group
members near the term’s end. As well, it will keep you informed of the progress and contribution of each