Techniques for Management Decision Making
Course Co-ordinator: Roger Brooks (A44 Management School, x93866; email@example.com)
Term Taught: Lent
The course is available to students who have taken MSCI 100/101/110 or equivalent. The course cannot be taken by students who have studied MSCI 103.
Why take this course?
Techniques based on mathematics and statistics can be extremely powerful tools in helping to solve organisational problems. This module consists of five such techniques. The course will explain the business situations in which the techniques apply, and will show how to use the techniques and interpret the results to make better business decisions. The course is particularly relevant for careers in general management, accountancy, consultancy, and business analysis.
Five quantitative techniques will be introduced on the course: Forecasting, Simulation, Decision Analysis, Network Analysis, Linear Programming. These techniques are part of the scientific discipline known as Management Science / Operational Research and are widely used in practice. Emphasis is put not only on how to apply a technique, but also on when (and when not) to apply it.
Subject Specific Learning Outcomes
When you have completed this course you should
- Be able to apply the five techniques to particular cases
- Understand when to apply each technique
- Understand the benefits and limitations of the techniques
Cognitive abilities/Non Subject Specific Learning Outcomes
- The course should help to develop decision making and analytical skills
Contact Time: 18 lecture hours and 10 tutorials
The techniques are taught by a mixture of lectures, tutorial exercises and occasional computer exercises. Lectures will be used to explain the material and attendance is extremely important. Tutorial questions will be posted on the webboard in advance. An essential part of learning quantitative techniques is to practice answering questions. It is therefore very important that you attempt the tutorial questions before the tutorial. The purpose of attending the weekly tutorial is to discuss the tutorial questions and/or aspects of the lectures with which students have found difficulties. Furthermore, solutions to the tutorial questions will be given to you in the tutorial. It is compulsory to attend the tutorials and attendance will be recorded each week.
Outline Lecture Plan
Lectures 1-4 Simulation
Lectures 5-8 Forecasting
Lectures 9-11 Decision Analysis
Lectures 13-16 Networks
Lectures 17, 18 & 20 Linear Programming
Lectures 12 & 19 Coursework Tests 1 & 2
Tutorials will take place in weeks 12-21. If you have not already been assigned to one (see your timetable for details) please sign up online or contact Helena (undergraduate secretary) in A68.
The undergraduate secretary for the Management Science Department is Helena Greenwood, in A68 Management School.
Lecture notes, slides, notices, workshop questions and answers and coursework assignments will all be distributed via the Moodle board: https://mle.lancs.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1668.
Any other information relating to the department can be found on the departmental web page https://mle.lancs.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2335
There will be 2 coursework tests and a summer examination. Both the tests and the examination will be closed book format. A formula sheet will be provided for the tests and the exam and a copy will be posted on the webboard. The tests will be 40 minutes long and will be similar in format to the exam. The examination will consist of one paper of two hours in duration.
Marks for individual pieces of work will be combined as follows:
Final exam 70%
Coursework test 1 15%
Coursework test 2 15%
The total workload for the course is expected to be about 150 hours. The lectures and tutorials are about 28 hours of this and the workload also includes time to prepare for the tutorials; to complete the coursework assessment and prepare for the examination.
There is no specific textbook for this course - the lecture material should be sufficient. However, there are many books that cover management science topics that you could refer to. For example, see in the library for books with “quantitative methods” or “management science” in the title. Some books that you may find useful include:
Introduction to Business Statistics by Kvanli, AH., Pavur, R.J and Guynes, S.C. (Topics of Forecasting and Decision Analysis)
Quantitative Approaches in Business Studies by Clare Morris, Pitman. (For an introduction to the topics that will be covered in this course)
An Introduction to Management Science: Quantitative Approaches to Decision Making by Anderson, Sweeney, Williams, Wisniewski, Cengage Learning
Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions by Jon Curwin and Roger Slater, Thomson Learning Tools for thinking by M Pidd, Wiley
A Practical Introduction to Management Science, C.D.J. Waters, Addison Wesley.