D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: principles of economics and marketing.
The course consists in lectures and other classroom learning activities (4 ECTS, 36 hours) and a business simulation, carried out in small groups (2 ECTS, 18 hours). An e-learning course is available in parallel with the lectures. It includes: the educational material organised in learning units, the materials and instructions for both the online and classroom practicals, self-evaluation tests and results, information and instructions on the online business simulation (for both attending and distance-learning students).
Knowledge and understanding:
The course enables students to acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of the market conditions in which agribusinesses compete and of the marketing tools, corporate communication and new media to influence these market conditions. Besides, they will acquire knowledge and understanding of issues relating to the organization of the agro-food enterprises and to (human, financial, environmental, etc.) resources management useful to support complex decision-making processes of these companies in an international context. Such knowledge, integrating with those already acquired during the three-year degree on principle of economics and marketing, will enhance the cultural background of the students in the use of main marketing tools, the management and regulation of international markets.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
Students will learn how to work with others in order to accomplish business objectives. To this end, they will participate in a business simulation in order to test their ability to analyze, by means of appropriate methodological tools, data obtained from analysis of demand and consumer behavior and to operate economical and functional analysis of alternative and innovative technical solutions.
The group work will allow students to develop their ability to analyze in detail the many complex interactions that typically take place within food companies, including how to divide responsibilities and tasks within a group.
Participation in all learning activities and in particular to the business simulation will help students to improve their degree of independence of judgment in interpreting data and information and providing adequate justification for the choices and decisions made both independently and in groups. The student will learn how to arrange collaborative interactions within working groups, how to interact with other members of a team, and how to successfully communicate ideas, problems and solutions in a business environment.
1st part – Food markets & strategy (1 ECTS)
2nd part – Getting started in business (1 ECTS)
3rd part – Expanding & Improving the Business (1 ECTS)
4th part - Business Simulation (3 ECTS)
Learning evaluation methods
For attending students: The assessment is based on individual and group activities carried out on the Moodle platform, on a group practical (team-work online play-against-peers business simulation), oral and/or written assessment of learning.
For those not attending (e-learning only): The evaluation is based on a written test, an individual practical (individual play-against-computer online business simulation) and an oral examination.
Learning evaluation criteria
The criteria for the assessment of learning are based on the accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Specifically, the various assessments of learning are designed to test students' ability to:
• Perceiving, understand, and predicting the market conditions in which they compete in the simulation;
• Develop an integrated business perspective;
• Use the tools of marketing and management to understand and manage the company's position in the market;
• Present in a clear, concise style and appropriate language the results of business management.
• Provide a tactical business plan and present it to potential venture capitalists.
• Working in teams, managing conflicts in a constructive way and negotiation.
Learning measurement criteria
All tests and practicals will be given a grade which will be converted in 0/30 marks.
Specifically, a Balanced Scorecard is used to measure the teams’ performance within the simulation. It is a measure of the ability to create value for the firm’s stakeholders. It is also a measure of the team’s ability to integrate (harmonize) all of its business functions. Optimization can only be achieved by using the tools of management to assess the performance and evaluate the relative value of each option. Furthermore, it requires an understanding of how each decision can affect the business metrics which have been incorporated into the scorecard.
Final mark allocation criteria
The final mark will be a weighed average of all assessments, based on both individual and group work.
Bruce-Cadotte, The Management of Strategy in the Marketplace, ILS.
All other educational material is available on the e-learning web platform.