In this module we will be exploring and debating the ways in which the contemporary business environment is changing and how businesses are often responding creatively and ingeniously to these transformations. The contemporary business environment is now global in its scope and its development is increasingly turbulent, rapid and unpredictable. Furthermore, new knowledge and its effective management has become the critical resource for businesses in this shifting environment. Businesses have often responded to the challenges of this new world through adopting innovative and ground-breaking structures and practices, which include flat and leaderless organisations, collaborative working, the involvement of employees in decision making, the co-production of goods and services with consumers and strategic alliances. These innovations have, of course, been aided by the immense growth over the last two decades in information technology. Throughout our discussions about these startling developments, we will be taking a critical and frequently sceptical stance towards the more fervent claims made by some about the benefits of these developments and will therefore attempt to separate the hype from the reality.

Participating in the Module

The aim of this module is to investigate innovative, challenging and fascinating ways of managing organisations, one of which is extending employee participation in decision making. Since it could be useful to experiment with this approach through the running of this module, all participants will be actively involved in deciding what themes will be addressed in it during the year and how individual sessions will be managed. As such, the intention is to ensure that the management of the module is, wherever possible, a collaborative process where we will jointly decide how it should be run. Its delivery will therefore differ significantly from most of other modules you’ve taken in the past.

In addition to providing some insights in new management trends, this collaborative approach should ensure that your learning is more fun and stimulating. Since there is ample evidence that you learn more effectively when you are able to manage your own learning, this approach should help to improve your overall performance.

My role is largely to support and facilitate your learning, rather than prescribing what you must learn. I will therefore help you to investigate those topics you find interesting, pointing you to sources that you might find helpful. I will manage the infrastructure – such as the module’s wiki and its main sessions – so that we can meet and debate our topics. I will at times offer my own views on the new trends in management and I have organised speakers from innovative organisations to tell you about their own experiences.

You will need to be actively involved in taking decisions about the module’s organisation and its main activities. You will also need to be an independent learner, deciding for yourself what you need to learn and determining how best to locate the information you need. It is essential that you engage enthusiastically and meaningfully in debates and discussions in classes.

The Wiki and Minerva

We will be using the New Trends in Management wiki to bring together all of our contributions and discussions and our thoughts and ideas about the module’s principal themes. The aim is to produce a wiki that reflects the scope and diversity of these new trends. This is a website that anybody can access via the internet – let’s try to produce something that people will find informative, challenging, useful and entertaining.

Since the wiki will be used as the main vehicle for bringing together our work on this module, there will not be a lot of material on its Minerva site. It will mainly be used for assessments and providing information to students.


Week A
9.00 am – 12.00 pm

Wk. No.

7th Oct 2011
  • Open Space Technology exercise – ‘What are we going to do?’

  • Presentation: The nature of collaborative learning

  • The module’s organisation: Its structure, themes, assessments and wiki

21st Oct 2011
  • Presentation: The changing business world – the knowledge economy – the challenges of knowledge management

  • Topic selection and their allocation to groups and individuals

  • Working with the wiki and the formative assessment
4th Nov 2011
  • Presentation: Three different ways of getting things done

  • Exercise: Brainstorming

  • Student work on the wiki
18th Nov 2011
  • Presentation: Egalitarian and leaderless organisations

  • Carole Theyer: Sparks Cooperative

  • Student work on the wiki
2nd Dec 2011
  • Presentation: Why egalitarian organisations are effective

  • Exercise: Commons-based peer production

  • Student work on the wiki
16th Dec 2011
  • Presentation: Knowledge, its economics and its management

  • Exercise: communities of practice

  • Student work on the wiki
20th Jan 2012
  • Student-led session

  • Problem based learning (PBL) exercise

  • Student work on the wiki
3rd Feb 2012
  • Student-led session

  • PBL exercise
24th Feb 2012
  • Student-led session

  • PBL exercise
9th March 2012
  • Student-led session

  • PBL exercise
23rd March 2012
  • Student-led session

  • PBL exercise
27th April 2012
  • Wrapping up the module – ‘What does it all mean?’

As you can see, there are five student-led sessions. All of the module’s participants will be responsible in the 21.10.11 class for selecting the topics for these sessions (as well as the topics to be covered by you in the wiki.)

Some of the topics selected by students in previous years are:

  • Corporate social responsibility and business ethics
  • Customer relationship management
  • Equality in the workplace
  • Innovation
  • New approaches to leadership
  • Teleworking
  • The wisdom of the crowd
  • Co-production and P2P production
  • Workplace democracy
  • Viral marketing
  • New public management
  • Knowledge management

Whilst I want that you to have as much freedom as possible in selecting your topics, I will have the final veto on whether you can investigate specific topics. This is because I want to ensure that the module’s principal topics are truly contemporary issues and they are not being covered in depth in other modules.


There are four different ways in which you will be assessed in this module.

Contributions to the Wiki – Formative Assessment


  • From 7.10.11 to 16.12.11 I’ll be posting at least six pages on the module’s wiki. These pages will also include recommended readings and suggested discussion points.

  • In this assessment you need to post an edit to each of my pages in the 13 days after I’ve posted it. For example, when I’ve posted a page on 21st October, you’ll have until 3rd November to edit it. Thus, you’ll be making at least six edits during this assessment.

  • Your edit can be of any length and can amend or delete any aspects of the pages, or add whatever you feel is appropriate. Clearly I’m looking for some constructive and worthwhile discussion between us on the wiki and perhaps you need to keep this in mind when you decide what to contribute to it.

  • What you post will be discussed in the module’s sessions and you need to come to these sessions prepared to talk about your posts.

  • You will receive an indicative mark from me for this assessment, but it will not contribute to your overall module grade. However, if you fail to complete this assessment your other summative assessments will not be marked.

Presentation – 20% of the total marks


  • From the session on 20.1.12 through the session on 23.3.12 (five in total) small groups – of about three or four students – will be responsible for managing the first hour of these sessions.

  • You may address any of the topics selected for discussion by all of the module’s participants, assuming that it has not already been chosen by another presentation group.

  • Each presentation should be no less than 45minutes and no more than 60 minutes in length. As well as speaking to your topic, you also need to involve the class in a lively, challenging and informative discussion about it.

  • Groups will need to decide on what methods to employ to convey their understanding of their topic and to ensure that the whole class is involved in a discussion about it.

  • This is a group based assessment and you will therefore receive a group mark.

  • You’ll find the marking criteria for this assessment at the end of this document.

Main Wiki entry – 3,000 words – 60% of the total marks


  • The main vehicle for bringing together all of the contributions made by the module’s participants is its wiki.

  • You are expected to make an individual contribution to the wiki on a topic you’ve selected from the list of topics drawn up by all participants in the module.

  • This topic cannot be the one you addressed in your presentation slot. There cannot be two or more contributions on the same topic.

  • Your entry must include a section where you explain why your topic is of contemporary relevance to the business world.

  • The word limit for your contribution is 3,000 words. All sources and texts should be appropriately referenced.

  • You should devote time and effort to ensuring that your entry is attractive and easy to navigate for those who access it. This aspect of your contribution will also be assessed.

  • Your contribution to the wiki must be up and running by end of Wednesday 21st March 2012. You will also need to submit – by the end of that day – a copy of your contribution to the turnitin page on the module’s Minerva site.

  • You’ll find the marking criteria for this assessment at the end of this document.

Commentaries on Wiki Entries – 2,000 words – 20% of the total marks


  • You are expected to post commentaries on the wiki entries posted by the module’s other participants.

  • As with your main contribution, your commentaries cannot be the one you addressed in your presentation slot.

  • The word limit for this assessment is 2,000 words. You can allocate these words between as many pages as you like – say, 2,000 words on a single commentary, 1,000 words each on two commentaries, or 500 words each on four commentaries.

  • All sources and texts should be appropriately referenced.

  • You should devote time and effort to ensuring that your commentaries are attractive and easy to navigate for those who access it.

  • Your commentaries on the wiki’s pages must be up and running by end of Wednesday 9th May 2012. You will also need to submit – by the end of that day – a copy of each of your commentaries to the turnitin page on the module’s Minerva site.

  • You’ll find the marking criteria for this assessment at the end of this document.

Unfair Practice

The University is concerned that you get proper credit for your work. This means making sure that you are properly assessed in relation to the learning outcomes specified for your modules, and also in relation to other students. Proper assessment is compromised when students engage in unfair practice, in particular when they plagiarize, or otherwise present others' work as their own.

To help prevent this practice, the University subscribes to a plagiarism detection service. This compares work submitted to it with millions of pages of internet-based material - including work uploaded to the service by other students here and in other universities. To help with this process, all assessed written work must be submitted electronically via Minerva.

Contacting David
David Joseph is this module’s tutor. If you have any queries about the module, then you should contact him.

Phone No.
E-mail address
Office Hours
Stanton SN.G09
01225 876185
Week A

Wednesdays 2.00 - 4.00
Fridays 12.00 – 2.00

Week B

Mondays 2.00 – 4.00
Thursdays 11.00 – 1.00

As you can see, David has designated office hours. If you want to have a tutorial with him, then you should book a specific time for it. He has sheet outside his office for this purpose. You can also book a tutorial by e-mail or by phone.

Advice and Support
Our aim is to make every aspect of the programme accessible to all our students. If you feel you are having problems with your studies you are strongly advised to seek advice as soon as possible. This advice may come from your personal tutor, your seminar/module leader or any number of people in the university who will be more than willing to help you. The student support service, for instance, are particularly well placed to offer advice and support. The difficulties you may have could be for a number of reasons, and they will be taken seriously.

The Student Support Service can offer advice with practical, financial, personal and disability issues. They are situated in Doynton building and can be contacted as follows:

Drop in Newton Park: Doynton DNG05b open between 10am and 4pm weekdays (all year):

Email or phone: (01225) 876543.

If you would like to talk to a member of staff in the School of Science, Society and Management about a disability / accessibility issue you can contact one of the following tutors:

Esther Edwards: or phone 01225 875807

Paulene Hudson: or phone 01225 875436

Alison Lee: a.c.lee@bathspa.acuk or phone 01225 875726

There are no key texts for this module, since it is impossible to predict just what topics the module might address. However, these books and web resources have influenced my thinking about new trends and I'll be discussing some of them in my presentations.


Axelrod, R (1990) The Evolution of Cooperation

Benkler, Y (2006) The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

Benkler, Y (2001) The Penguin and The Leviathan

Brafman, O and Beckstrom, R (2008) The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations

Fairtlough, G (2005) The Three ways of Getting Things Done: Hierarchy, Heterarchy and Responsible Autonomy in Organisations

Gladwell, M (2000) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

Hastings, C (1993) The New Organisation: Growing the Culture of Organisational Networking

Kane, P (2005) The Play Ethic: A Manifesto For A Different Way of Living

Kropotkin, P (1902) Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

Lessig, L (2004) Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity

Mason, M (2008) The Pirate’s Dilemma

Ostrom, E (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action

Ouchi, W (1980) ‘Markets, Bureaucracies and Clans’, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1

Shirky, C (2008) Here Comes Everyone

Surowiecki, J (2004) The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few

Tapscott, D and Williams, A (2008) Wikinomics

Thompson, G (ed.) (1991) Markets, Hierarchies and Networks

Wenger, E (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity


Creative Commons –

P2P Foundation -

Free Software Foundation –

Marking Criteria


0% – 39%

40% – 49%
50% – 59%
60% – 69%
70% – 100%
Your discussion is not based on any meaningful and concerted research and it fails to demonstrate any real understanding of your topic. You do not present evidence to support your arguments. What you have to say is superficial and always misses the point.
You have a poor understanding of your topic, although there is some limited evidence that you attempted to research it. Your discussion is often based on limited evidence and is poorly structured.
You have researched your topic, although not as thoroughly as you could have done. Your discussion is, however, often informative, clear and well structured. You present some sound evidence to support your arguments.
You draw on a reasonable number of sound and relevant sources. You present evidence to support your arguments. Your discussion is well structured, but still lacks depth, critical insights and an ability to draw together different points of view.
You draw on a wide range of pertinent sources and present sound evidence to support your claims. You are able to discuss your topic clearly and cogently and to draw together different points of view. You demonstrate an ability to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the principal contributions from the literature.
Not all members of the team have been fully involved in the presentation and there is confusion about the division of labour.
There is evidence that this is a poorly managed team and the burden of delivering the presentation and managing the debate is not shared equally between all of you.
The team is generally well managed and there is a reasonable division of labour with everybody performing an appropriate role.
The team is always well managed. There is a good division of labour with everybody performing an appropriate role.
The management of the presentation is always polished and professional with everybody making a full and meaningful contribution.
It is unprofessional, since it is muddled, unclear and far too short. It is difficult to follow what speakers are saying. Your Powerpoint slides – if used – are plain and unimpressive.
There is a lack of care about how best to present your information. You lack enthusiasm. It is often muddled and lacking in clarity. Your presentation is too short and Powerpoint is not used appropriately.
Whilst using appropriate media, you fail to communicate your ideas as clearly as you might. You make appropriate use of Powerpoint. Your presentation is slightly too short.
You are clear, keen and use appropriate media. However, at some points in your presentation there are moments when your ideas are not communicated as clearly as they might. Your presentation keeps to time.
You are enthusiastic, clear, unhurried and to the point. You use Powerpoint and the slides are legible and informative. Your presentation keeps to time.
Class participation
You make no attempt to engage in meaningful debate with your colleagues and you fail to facilitate a proper class discussion.
Your class discussion is poorly structured and does not help in developing the class’ understanding of your topic. You do not facilitate the class discussion.
Whilst there is a reasonable class discussion – and you take active steps to facilitate it – it lacks insights and depth. It is unexciting and doesn’t engage the class.
There is a sound exercise that leads to an exciting class discussion. You take active steps to facilitate it.
You have an imaginative exercise for the class that leads to a lively and engaging discussion. You take active steps to facilitate it.

BM6009 Wiki Contributions

0% – 39%

40% – 49%
50% – 59%
60% – 69%
70% – 100%
Knowledge of the topic
Your knowledge of the topics is frequently superficial and rudimentary and you rely on few and inappropriate sources. There is very limited evidence that you have researched the topics.
You have used some appropriate sources, but your knowledge of the market still lacks depth and apt insights. There is only a limited amount of research in evidence in your wiki contributions.
Your knowledge of the topics is sound but rather pedestrian. However, you have made some effort to research your topics and you have used several reliable sources.
You have a good understanding of the topics and you are able to identify clearly the most significant features and trends. There is plenty of evidence of research and you rely on sufficient reliable sources.
You have an excellent understanding of your topics and you are able to identify clearly the most significant features and trends. You demonstrate that you have investigated all of the most important sources.
Evaluation and analysis
There is no evaluation or analysis in your wiki contributions and they are entirely descriptive. You do not understand the meanings of the relevant key concepts and you are unable to use them appropriately in your analysis.
There is a lack of analysis and critical evaluation in your wiki contributions. They are therefore largely descriptive. You are unable to use key concepts appropriately and meaningfully in your analysis of your topics.
There are some critical insights into your topics. You are able to use appropriate concepts to make sense of your data, although this analysis lacks depth and real insights.
There are sound insights into the topics and a critical edge in your wiki contributions. You demonstrate skill in the use of the key concepts.
You have an excellent critical understanding of your topics and demonstrate a high level of skill in your analysis. You are able to use the key concepts to generate original insights.
Presentation and referencing
Your wiki contributions lack sound structures and are very difficult to navigate. Their referencing is careless. There are plenty of instances of poor spelling and grammar. They lack visual impact.
Your wiki contributions lack in places a sound structure and there is some poor referencing. There several examples of weak spelling and grammar and the overall presentation is rather uninspiring. They lack visual impact.
Your wiki contributions are well structured, although they lack clarity in places. They do not contain many spelling, grammatical and referencing errors and the overall presentation is of a good standard. They are attractive and easy to navigate.
Your wiki contributions have a sound overall structure and develop clear and logical arguments. The spelling, grammar and referencing is always excellent and the overall presentation is professional. They are attractive and easy to navigate.
There are no spelling, grammatical and referencing errors in the report and overall presentation is highly professional and impressive.