Syllabus for EIO-520

ECONOMIC ISSUES IN ORGANIZATIONS


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Economic Issues in Organizations explores the complex relationship of strategic economic issues within an organization and the organization's interaction with other firms in the industry. The course begins with a brief overview of the basic economics of the firm and uses those principles to drive an analysis of the firm’s assignments and interactions with other firms. The course examines different market structures to see how overall economic structure affects decision making and interactions; this basic structure will be used to analyze competition with other firms in obtaining resources, setting prices to maximize profits, and reacting to decisions of competitors. The course also examines methodologies for evaluating results and explores ways to use that analysis in making future decisions.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the concepts that underlie the economics of the firm in terms of costs, revenues, profitability, and profit maximization.
  2. Explain the effects of economies of scale in terms of the decision to add production capacity and its effects on cost structures and profit maximization.
  3. Analyze the decision making process within a firm and the sometimes adversarial interaction of senior management with the owners of a firm.
  4. Assess the vertical boundaries of the firm and evaluate make-or-buy decisions and decisions about transfer pricing mechanisms.
  5. Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of diversification.
  6. Discuss the four market structures and how competition affects profitability and decision making in each.
  7. Evaluate market entry and exit strategies.
  8. Analyze strategic firm and product positioning, including the costs and benefits of a decision to change strategic direction.
  9. Analyze the difficulty of creating and sustaining competitive advantage.
  10. Evaluate performance measurement approaches and how best to utilize them.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0-47-037360-6

COURSE STRUCTURE

Economic Issues in Organizations  is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final paper. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to complete fourteen (14) online discussion forums.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion board interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

Online Discussions Evaluation Rubric

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules. In each module you analyze a question and synthesize module concepts in a paper of 2-3 pages (500-700 words). If you feel it is necessary, you may bring outside resources into these papers. If you do, be sure to cite any sources correctly in APA style.

Written Assignment Evaluation Rubric

Final Paper

You are required to write a graduate-level paper, due on the last day of the semester. The paper should cover a current event with a focus on issues relevant to course concepts. You may choose the topic on your own, but the topic and a description of proposed applications must be approved by your mentor before work begins. A reminder to obtain approval appears in Module 4.

The chosen event serves as a springboard to demonstrate an understanding of concepts and information covered in the course. The event should be broad enough to allow you to apply learning, draw reasoned conclusions, and make recommendations on best practices relative to the event.

Guidelines

Final Paper Evaluation Rubric

A Note About Research

The use of Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias for graduate-level papers is inappropriate. Aside from the uneven quality of the information that may be found in these sources, the real issue is that the information presented in these sources is "already digested." Use of such sources is an unacceptable shortcut for the graduate student. Students gathering information from these sites are essentially obtaining analyses done by someone else, not doing the work themselves. Rather than exploring the literature on a subject, such students are merely using the words of others who have already taken this vital step in academic research. It is imperative that graduate students be able to search the more academically-oriented literature, sift through useful (and not so useful) information, analyze, synthesize, and report the results of their assignments. All of these steps are bypassed if information is cited from an online site such as Wikipedia. To sum up: Using information summarized or annotated by someone else is an unacceptable shortcut for a graduate student.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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