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Free online course

Understanding Modern Business and Organisations

Learn how knowledge, technology, ethics and globalisation affect businesses today, with this free online course for graduates.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Understanding Modern Business and Organisations

Why join the course?

Are you a graduate who’s new to the world of work? Would you like to understand some of the key trends affecting organisations today? Are you keen to think about how the workplace is likely to change in future?

This free online course will give you these insights, looking at four themes over six weeks:

  • Knowledge: what does our shift towards a knowledge economy, away from manual labour, mean for both business and society?

  • Technology: how do organisations develop and/or use technology, and protect their intellectual property? How are the concepts of copyright, reliability and intellectual property changing today?

  • Ethics: does the rise of corporate social responsibility and environmental issues mean that businesses are more morally and socially responsible today?

  • Globalisation: how do organisations perform on the world stage and balance the global with the local? What does living in a global village mean for organisations, as well as individuals, today and tomorrow?

The course will culminate with an exploration of the complex phenomenon of the global financial crisis, which we’ll examine in the context of the four themes.

Whatever field you’d like to work in - be it for-profit, non-profit or third sector - this course will help you explore the world of business, in which all organisations are embedded.

You’ll understand the trends that are particularly forceful today and which together, determine the playing field for any organisation today and will shape the world of modern business and organisations tomorrow.

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What topics will you cover?

  • An initial understanding of modern business and organisations.
  • Up-to-date concepts to shape understanding of the four major forces that shape the world of modern business and organisations: knowledge, technology, ethics and globalisation.
  • Trigger concepts to prompt changing mind about what accepted (up-to-date) knowledge is regarding the four major sources.
  • Upcoming concepts, developed in collaboration with the participants, to facilitate an open minded exploration of knowledge that is still being developed.
  • Part of the content is developed based on the interest of the participants using the ‘Ask Viktor’ feature.
  • Based on Henry Mintzberg, the phenomenon of the financial crisis is described as the crisis of management rather than the crisis of economics.
  • Knowledge acquired in the first five weeks is applied to make sense of the financial crisis, arguing for or against Mintzberg’s position through a chosen concept from each of the four major forces that shape the world of modern business and organisations.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Develop an initial understanding of the social and business context, structures, and management and leadership process in contemporary organisations.
  • Interpret what it means for organisations to reinvent them as communities.
  • Explore the main forces that shape modern business and organisations today: knowledge, technology, ethics and globalisation.
  • Describe organisations that you know, in your own social, cultural, and economical context from the perspectives of the four major forces.
  • Compare experiences in a variety of contexts provided by the internationally diverse participants of the course.
  • Discuss hot topics from the world of modern business and organisations that matter to you.
  • Evaluate other participants' essays providing them with comments and by doing so understand your own topics of interest better.
  • Reflect on your learning and performance in the light of the comments you receive from the other participants.
  • Apply what you learnt to the phenomenon of the financial crisis in order to deepen your understanding.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at anyone interested in understanding the world of modern business and organisations, and will be of particular interest to those who have graduated from fields other than business.

It is delivered at graduate level - this means that it is thinking-intensive and relatively complex. However, it doesn’t require specific knowledge of any particular topic, as all concepts are built up from scratch.

Some work experience in a business environment, not necessarily in a business organisation, however limited, would be beneficial.

Who will you learn with?

Viktor Dörfler

Senior Lecturer in Information and Knowledge Management. My interest is comprised of areas of personal and organisational knowledge and learning as well as supporting these with information systems.

Who developed the course?

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £59.00

Statement of Participation £39.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.