FACULTY OF LIBERAL ARTS AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
SCHOOL OF ADMINISTRATIVE STUDIES
COURSE SYLLABUS, FALL 2013
ADMS 1000 - INTRODUCTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE STUDIES:
THE CONTEXT OF BUSINESS
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This course offers an examination of the external context of business and the challenges of managing in the
Canadian business environment. Our exploration of the external context of business includes consideration of
such key areas as economic, competitive, labour, technological, societal, global, and political issues. The broad
aim is to provide insight into current challenges and opportunities that play a dramatic role in the business
landscape and affect business strategy.
1. To identify the key factors which comprise the external environment of business.
2. To understand the potential impact of these external factors on business.
3. To obtain an understanding of the challenges & opportunities present in the Canadian business context.
4. To encourage critical thinking regarding the external challenges that must be addressed as part of
successful business strategy.
Karakowsky, L. (2013). Exploring The Canadian Business Environment, SECOND EDITION. Pearson: Toronto
COURSE CONTENT AND SCHEDULE
SESSION 1: The Context of Business: A Framework
Learning Goal: To consider why the most logical starting point to undertaking studies in business is to look
“outside” the walls of business and see the bigger picture. We will identify and examine the major external
contexts within which all businesses operate.
Reading: Chapter 1
Case: Facebook: when your friends are worth a billion. (p. 24-26)
SESSION 2: Societal Context
Learning Goal: To recognize the nature of business’s role in society. We identify the notion of corporate social
responsibility and examine its nature and significance.
Reading: Chapter 8 p.201-216 only
Case: The new blood diamond: cell phones. (p.225-227)
SESSION 3: Economic Context
Learning Goal: To obtain an overview of the economic issues influencing the nature of business activity. This
will include an introduction to key economic indicators and the nature of the Canadian market economy.
Reading: Chapter 2
Case: NONE 2
SESSION 4: Understanding Industries: Business Strategy
Learning Goal: To identify the forces that shape industry structure and consider how they influence business and
corporate level strategies. We will examine several major strategic business models and develop an
understanding of strategic management and its relationship to the external environment.
Reading: Chapter 9
Case: Lululemon: for the love of yoga. (p. 252-254)
SESSION 5: Competitive Context & Technological Context
Learning Goal: To develop an understanding of industry life cycles and competitive behaviour. We will consider
the stages through which all industries pass and identify the implications of each of these stages on competition.
The role of technology in industry evolution will also be examined.
Reading: Chapter 3, Chapter 4 p.83-88 only
Case: Has soda lost its fizz? (p. 80-82)
SESSION 6 MIDTERM EXAM: (during class time, 2.5 hours, CLOSED-BOOK EXAM)
SESSION 7: Global Context I
Learning Goal: To address the significance of globalization for business in Canada, as well as in other parts of
the world. We will identify the forces driving globalization and consider major actors in this phenomenon such
as multinational corporations. The implications of foreign ownership and trade will also be addressed.
Reading: Chapter 6
Case: Beijing and the Calgary oil sands. (p.163-165)
SESSION 8: Global Context II
Learning Goal: Our exploration of globalization continues with a consideration of the role and impact of trade
on Canadian business. We will also consider the topical issues that arise as a result of the power of glo