BUSI1702 Organisational Decision Making

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BUSI1702 Organisational Decision Making


1. Welcome message from your Module Leader                                    


Welcome to BUSI1702 Organisational Decision Making.  This module aims to help students establish a fundamental understanding of the complex nature of decision making in the organisational context with an evidence-based approach to exploring behavioural, organisational, and social factors. Students are expected to dedicate a minimum of four hours per week to the learning activities, including the following with estimated time:

  • Attend lectures OR watch lecture videos 50min
  • Read assigned texts & keep a learning journal (formative activities in support of the formal assessment) 120min
  • Tutorial participation 50min

This handbook provides essential information about this module including the aims and learning outcomes, the schedule of teaching and learning activities, assessment tasks, reading recommendations and, if applicable, any additional resources that you will need. Please read it at the start of term so you are aware of key details and important dates.    


2. Module details and learning outcomes


Host Faculty: Business  

Host School: Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour

Number of Credits: 15

Term(s) of delivery: 2

Site(s) of delivery: Maritime

Module aims:

  1. To help students establish a fundamental understanding of the complex nature of decision making in the organisational context with an evidence-based approach to exploring behavioural, organisational, and social factors.
  2. To provide students with a practical opportunity to develop their decision-making skills in both personal and professional context through an enquiry-based approach to solving organisational challenges.
  3. To encourage student to cultivate ethical organisational citizenship in the workplace through examining the negative individual and organisational consequences.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  1. Describe and explain the key models of decision making;
  2. Identify, evaluate, and interpret the information required for specific managerial decisions in an analytical manner;
  3. Diagnose judgemental errors and biases as well as the immediate environment that affect individual and group decision making;
  4. Apply relevant theoretical perspectives to evaluate individual and managerial decision-making processes and relevant consequences;
  5. Professionally communicate individual and group decisions in difficult workplace situations.



A learning outcome is a subject-specific statement that defines the learning to be achieved through completing this module.

3. Enquiry-Based Learning and Research-Led Teaching

Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL)

Defined as ‘an approach based on self-directed enquiry or investigation in which the student is actively engaged in the process of enquiry facilitated by a teacher. EBL uses real life scenarios (for example, from case studies, company visits, and project work) and students investigate topics of relevance that foster the skills of experimental design, data collection, critical analysis and problem-solving’.

The enquiry-based approach to learning in this module is manifested in requiring students to apply theoretical perspectives to real-life examples as well as to conduct independent research for their assignment.

Research-Led Teaching (RLT)

An element of Enquiry Based Learning links to RLT, which involves faculty introducing students to their own research where it is relevant to the curriculum being taught as well as drawing on their own knowledge of research developments in the field, introducing them to the work of other researchers. RLT sees students as active participants in the research process, not just as an audience. This is achieved by discussing such developments in lectures and classes and setting reading lists, including recent research publications at the frontier of the field. The definition of a diverse assessment regime at the programme level (incorporating an expectation of familiarity with, and use of, such publications in assignments) and the inclusion of projects at every level of the programme is also fundamental to achieving these objectives.

This module uses both classic and recent research publications as teaching and learning material. The assessment includes elements based on the module leader’s own research. The teaching and learning materials are in line with the inclusive curriculum design with organisational contexts that are relatively easy to grasp and identify with.

4. Employability  


By undertaking this module students will develop these employability skills and competences:

  • Cognitive skills: opportunity to practise complex decision-making in organisational context with exercises of gathering and assessing relevant information to assist and justify judgements independently. Reflection on skills gained and the impact of the decisions.
  • Organisational awareness: opportunities for research into current development of complex decisions in real organisations and understanding how individual, organisational, sectoral, and social factors are linked in these decisions.

You can find out more about the Greenwich Employability Passport at: Greenwich Employability Passport for students

Information about the Career Centre is available at: Career transition and job search

5. Key Dates


2021/22 Term Dates

Please note that dates may differ depending on when you start your programme of study, and where you are studying. Please refer to https://docs.gre.ac.uk/rep/sas/term-dates for full details, and details of University closure dates.

Welcome Week

13th September 2021

24th September 2021

Term 1

27th September 2021

17th December 2021

Examination Period

10th January 2022

14th January 2022

Term 2

17th January 2022

8th April 2022

Examination Period

3rd May 2022

20th May 2022

Resit Examination Period

18th July 2022

22nd  July 2022


6. Schedule of teaching and learning activities


Week No.

Week beginning




27 Sep

Introduction to organisational decision making


04 Oct

Rational decision making


11 Oct

Rational decision making


18 Oct

Rational decision making


25 Oct

Evidence-based decision making


01 Nov

Evidence-based decision making


08 Nov

Evidence-based decision making


15 Nov

Bounded rationality


22 Nov

Behavioural decision making


29 Nov

Behavioural decision making


06 Dec

Behavioural decision making


13 Dec

Assessment support: constructing & structuring arguments

Please refer to the Moodle page for further details.


In addition to the teaching and learning activities within the module, additional study support can be seen at:  Academic Skills


7.    Assessment  


First sit assessments

Deadline or exam period


Weighting out of 100%*

Maximum length

Marking type

Learning outcomes mapped to this assessment.

Management report

17th December 2021




3,000 words

Stepped and numerical

1 2 3 4 5


*The weighting refers to the proportion of the overall module result that each assessment task accounts for.

Your assessment brief:

Management report – 3000 words

You are required to write a 3000-word management report to review decisions and make recommendations for future decisions and actions in ONE of the following live business

case studies.

Live Case Study Option A

WeWork is an American commercial real estate company that offers workspace rental service to individuals and organisations. The company reported a loss of $2.1b in the

first quarter of 2021 due to losing 200,000 customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the restructuring costs that includes scaling back from unprofitable locations and paying

a settlement

the co-founder Adam Neumann (Hammond, 2021). The company has made strategic decisions to reduce its global expansion and costs since Sandeep Mathrani replaced Adam

Neumann as the new Chief Executive Officer.

You are expected to step into the role of the General Manager for WeWork UK, Ireland, and Emerging Markets to produce a report for the executive team and the investors.

The executives and investors are concerned with the financial losses, the history of problematic decisions, and the negative coverage of the company in the media.

You are tasked with (1) evaluating the strategic decisions your company recently made (1a) to restructure the organisation that involved making staff redundant (Nast, 2020),

and (1b) to attract and retain customers, including expanding the membership benefits, focusing on city centres, and developing a new ‘Growth Campus’ initiative that targets UK

university students and Small Medium Enterprise employees (Thomas, 2021).

Your report should (2) review evidence relevant to these decisions with a focus on (2a) the external, organisational, managerial, and behavioural factors that influenced these

decisions and (2b) the impact of these decisions on different stakeholders.

You are required to (3) recommend future actions to improve the business performance, decision making, and publicity in the operational environment of the UK and/or Ireland.


Hammond, G. (2021) WeWork loses $2.1bn and sheds members as lockdowns bite, Financial Times, 20 May. Available at:

https://www.ft.com/content/60ea2f72-586f-4f3e-b153-3455b93539b8 (Accessed: 9 June 2021).


Nast, C. (2021) WeWork triggers second wave of mass layoffs in the UK, Wired UK, Available at:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/wework-redundancies-uk-restructure (Accessed: 30 July 2021).


Thomas, D. (2021) WeWork offers UK tenants greater flexibility to tempt them back, Financial Times, 15 February. Available at:

https://www.ft.com/content/d540a330-d64c-4ae7-bd03-6e6ec0ad651b (Accessed: 12 March 2021).


Live Case Study Option B

Asda is one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK by market shares. The company was previously owned by Walmart but recently acquired by EG Group and TDR Capital.

Asda focuses on customer satisfaction and engagement as two key HR measures in managing its business performance. With over 160,000 employees, Asda has a recognised

union GMB. The company reported a 16.7% decline in operating profit in the first quarter of 2021, losing £486.5m due to the costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic

(Reuters, 2021). The company has made strategic decisions to

meet the changes to work and consumer demand that were accelerated by the pandemic.


You are expected to step into the role of an HR Manager at ASDA to produce a report for the executive team following the recent acquisition. The executives are concerned with

the HR implications of the changing consumer behaviours and the employee expectation of work.


You are tasked with (1) evaluating the HR decisions your company recently made (1a) to layoff 1,200 staff to meet the changing customer demand that shifted from traditional

in-store to online grocery shopping (Butler, 2021) and (1b) to adopt a hybrid model that allows its 4,000 head office staff to decide where they would like to work (Partridge, 2021).


Your report should (2) review evidence relevant to these decisions with a focus on (2a) the external, organisational, managerial, and behavioural factors that influenced these

decisions and (2b) the impact of these decisions on different stakeholders.


You are required to (3) recommend future actions to improve the business performance, decision making, and talent management in the operational environment of the UK.



Butler, S. (2021) Asda to cease baking in stores, with 1,200 jobs at risk, the Guardian, 14 April. Available at:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/14/asda-to-cease-baking-in-stores-with-1200-jobs-at-risk (Accessed: 21 May 2021).


Partridge, J. (2021) Asda to let head office staff choose where they work, the Guardian, 2 July. Available at:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/02/asda-to-let-head-office-staff-choose-where-they-work (Accessed: 11 June 2021).


Reuters (2021) Asda sales growth accelerates in latest quarter, Reuters, 10 June. Available at:

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/asdas-sales-growth-accelerates-under-new-ownership-2021-06-10/ (Accessed: 03 July 2021).


Report content

Your report should evaluate at least one of the assigned organisational decisions and recommend actions with reference to (1) the key concepts and theories covered by

this module and (2) different types of evidence from reliable sources recommended by your tutors. The number of decisions that you choose to evaluate does not affect

your grade. You should focus on the range of evidence, the relevance of evidence and conceptual ideas, and the level of critical thinking that you demonstrate in

evaluating the decisions and reviewing the evidence. Your tutorial preparation and participation will help you develop your report and obtain formative feedback from you tutor.


Report structure

Introduction approx. 300 words

  • Briefly describe the organisational context and decisions
  • Outline relevant concepts


Evaluation approx. 1500 words

  • Identify the external organisational, managerial, and behavioural factors that influence the decisions based on different types of evidence including practitioner reports
  •  (i.e. CIPD, CMI articles), academic journal articles, stakeholder values and concerns (i.e. news articles or report), organisational data (i.e. statista etc)
  • Discuss the impact of the decisions on different stakeholders based on evidence


Recommendations approx. 1200 words

  • Identify the ways to improve business performance, decision making, publicity OR talent management in relation to the assigned decisions and operating environment 
  • (see case study requirements)
  • Explain the rationale behind your recommendations based on evidence
  • Discuss the potential obstacles that might hinder the organisation from adopting your recommendations



  • Include only the references that you have cited in the report
  • Use Harvard referencing system


Marking criteria

You should read the following criteria carefully in preparation of your report. You can use the following information as a checklist to assess your report yourself before submission.


Criteria 1: Content 40%

  • Does the report demonstrate an awareness of the key conceptual and theoretical ideas covered by this module? 10%
  • Does the report identify the contextual factors that influenced the assigned organisational decisions? 10%
  • Does the report present a sound evaluation of how the decisions affected different stakeholders? 10%
  • Does the report offer specific and relevant recommendations in the assigned operating environment? 10%


Criteria 2: Research 40%

  • Does the report draw on different types of evidence to support the arguments? 10%
  • Does the report interpret the cited sources of information accurately? 15%
  • Does the report interpret the cited sources of information critically? 15%


Criteria 3: Communication 20%

  • Does the report have a logical structure overall? 5%
  • Is the report well-written, grammatically correct, and spell checked? 5%
  • Does the report present logical, concise, and well-developed arguments? 5%
  • Does the report use Harvard referencing correctly? 5%       


Important note: Coursework is marked on the understanding that it is the student’s own work on the module and that it has not, in whole or part, been presented elsewhere

for assessment. Where material has been used from other sources, this must be properly acknowledged in accordance with the University’s Regulations regarding Academic


Marking, feedback and next steps


To pass this module, students must achieve an overall mark of 40 for the assessment.

For coursework, the marks and feedback will normally be provided to students within fifteen working days of the submission deadline. In exceptional circumstances,

where there is a delay in providing feedback, you will be informed by the module leader.

If you do not pass a module at the first attempt, you may be eligible for a resit opportunity on the failed assessments. This will be confirmed after the Progression and

Award Board (PAB). Note that marks on resit assessments are capped at 40% unless extenuation has been applied for and granted.

For further details on resit assessments, please see section 7 below.

The assessment and feedback policy can be accessed at Assessment and Feedback Policy


Extenuating circumstances and student support


The University recognises there are times when serious and unexpected matters which are beyond a student’s control (such as serious illness or injury, death in family)

impact on their academic performance and ability to complete assessments by the deadline. Guidance on claiming extenuation can be found at: Extenuating circumstances


External Examiner


The External Examiner for this module is:

Name: insert

Institution: insert

Please note that the role of the External Examiner is to evaluate the overall standard of assessments on the module. They are unable to correspond with individual students

about their work. If you need to discuss your marks or feedback, please contact the module leader.



8.    Resit assessments                                       


Assessment Schedule


Resit assessments



Weighting out of 100%*

Maximum length

Marking type

Learning outcomes mapped to this assessment.


Management report

11th July 2022






1 2 3 4 5


Q&A sessions to support resit will be held in due course.


10   Reading recommendations


The following are suggested readings for the module. Additional, more detailed reading recommendations will be provided for the module topics.


Required reading:

In line with the learning aim 1, students must read these articles repetitively to establish a basic understanding of the complex nature of decision making in the organisational context.


Artinger, F., Petersen, M., Gigerenzer, G. and Weibler, J. (2015) Heuristics as adaptive decision strategies in management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(S1), pp. S33–S52.


Briner, R.B. and Walshe, N.D. (2014) ‘From passively received wisdom to actively constructed knowledge: Teaching systematic review skills as a foundation of evidence-based management’, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 13(3), pp. 415–432.


Brodbeck, F. C., Kerschreiter, R., Mojzisch, A. and Schulz-HARDT, S. (2007) Group Decision Making Under Conditions of Distributed Knowledge: The Information Asymmetries Model., Academy of Management Review, 32(2), pp. 459–479.


Rousseau, D.M. (2020) ‘Making Evidence-Based Organizational Decisions in an Uncertain World’, Organizational Dynamics, 49(1) p. 100756.


Simon, H. A. (1987) Making Management Decisions: the Role of Intuition and Emotion, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management, 1(1), pp. 57–64.


Smith, G. F. (1989) Defining Managerial Problems: A Framework for Prescriptive Theorizing, Management Science, 35(8), pp. 963–981.


Tversky, A. and Kahneman, D. (1974) Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, Science, 185(4157), pp. 1124–1131.


Tversky, A. and Kahneman, D. (1981) The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice, Science, 211(4481), pp. 453–458.


Supplementary reading:

In line with the learning aim 2, students should read the following articles to develop their decision-making knowledge and skills in both personal and professional context.


Bowman, H. (2005) ‘It’s a year and then that’s me’: masters students’ decision‐making, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 29(3), pp. 233–249.


Bazerman, M. H. and Sezer, O. (2016) Bounded awareness: Implications for ethical decision making, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Celebrating Fifty Years of Organizational Behavior and Decision Making Research (1966-2016), 136, pp. 95–105.


Cabantous, L., Gond, J.-P. and Johnson-Cramer, M. (2010) Decision Theory as Practice: Crafting Rationality in Organizations, Organization Studies, 31(11), pp. 1531–1566.


Calabretta, G., Gemser, G. and Wijnberg, N. M. (2017) The Interplay between Intuition and Rationality in Strategic Decision Making: A Paradox Perspective, Organization Studies, 38(3–4), pp. 365–401.


Kahneman, D. and Klein, G. (2009) Conditions for intuitive expertise: a failure to disagree, The American Psychologist, 64(6), pp. 515–526.


Keeney, R. L. (1982) Feature Article—Decision Analysis: An Overview, Operations Research, 30(5), pp. 803–838.


Pendleton, A., Lupton, B., Rowe, A. and Whittle, R. (2019) Back to the Shop Floor: Behavioural Insights from Workplace Sociology, Work, Employment and Society, 33(6), pp. 1039-1057.


Rousseau, D.M. and Barends, E.G.R. (2011) ‘Becoming an evidence-based HR practitioner’, Human Resource Management Journal, 21(3), pp. 221–235.


Slaughter, J. E., Bagger, J. and Li, A. (2006) Context effects on group-based employee selection decisions, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 100(1), pp. 47–59.



Advanced reading:

In line with the learning aim 3, students should read the following articles to cultivate an awareness of the ethical issues related to the individual and organisational consequences produced by different decision-making approaches.


Almeida, S., Fernando, M., Hannif, Z. and Dharmage, S. C. (2015) Fitting the mould: the role of employer perceptions in immigrant recruitment decision-making, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(22), pp. 2811–2832.


Dane, E. and Pratt, M. G. (2007) Exploring Intuition and its Role in Managerial Decision Making, Academy of Management Review, 32(1), pp. 33–54.


Leicht-Deobald, U., Busch, T., Schank, C., Weibel, A., Schafheitle, S., Wildhaber, I. and Kasper, G. (2019) The Challenges of Algorithm-Based HR Decision-Making for Personal Integrity, Journal of Business Ethics, 160(2), pp. 377–392.


Morrell, K. and Learmonth, M. (2015) ‘Against evidence-based management, for management learning’, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(4) pp. 520–533.


Rousseau, D.M. (2020) ‘The Realist Rationality of Evidence-Based Management’, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 19(3) Academy of Management, pp. 415–424.


Simon, H. A. (1991). `Bounded Rationality and Organizational Learning`, Organization Science, 2(1), 125–134.


Smith, G. F. (2003) Beyond Critical Thinking and Decision Making: Teaching Business Students How to Think, Journal of Management Education, 27(1), pp. 24–51.


Thaler, R. H. (1999) Mental accounting matters, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12(3), pp. 183–206.




11.  Additional module information




   12. Changes to the module


At the University of Greenwich, we value feedback from students as well as External Examiners and other stakeholders and we use this information to help us improve our provision. Some students suggested that they would like to have more options in assessment case study. Therefore, an additional case study of an organisational context that many students should be familiar with is added to this year’s assessment.


Important note: The University of Greenwich will do all that it reasonably can to deliver the module and support your learning as specified in our handbooks and other information provided. However, under some circumstances, changes may have to be made. This may include modifications to the:

  • content and syllabus of modules, including in relation to placements
  • timetable, location and number of classes
  • content or method of delivery of your module
  • timing and method of assessments.


This might be because of, for example:


  • academic changes within subject areas
  • the unanticipated departure or absence of members of university staff
  • where the numbers expected on a module are so low that it is not possible to deliver an appropriate quality of education for students enrolled on it.
  • industrial action by university staff or third parties
  • the acts of any government or local authority
  • acts of terrorism.


In these circumstances, the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise disruption by making reasonable modifications. However, to the full extent that it is possible under the general law, the University excludes liability for any loss and/or damage suffered by any applicant or student due to these circumstances.


13. Other Details


The majority of information relevant to you while you study at the University has been brought together into your programme handbook.  Please refer to your programme handbook for any further information you might require including:

  • Deadlines and extenuating circumstances,
  • Plagiarism and referencing,
  • Who to go to for advice or if you are concerned,
  • How to provide us with feedback,
  • Key administrative procedures.

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