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Introduction to Business Administration, BBP and E

Die Veranstaltung vermittelt Kenntnisse über den Gegenstand, die Theorien und die zentralen Fragestellungen der Betriebswirtschaftslehre. 1. Vermittlung der Grundlagen der Betriebswirtschaftslehre 2. Entwicklung eines ökonomischen Verständnisses 3. Diskussion von Fragestellungen im internationalen Kontext 4. Teamwork und Verantwortungsbewußte Führung - n/a 5. Bewertung und kritische Reflektion von Problemen in unterschiedlichen Funktionen eines Unternehmens 6. Verständnis der Rolle von Strategie, Innovation und Organisation für die Unternehmensentwicklung
Kurs ID
Art des Kurses
BSc Kurs
HS 2023
Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen, Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer
Bitte beachten Sie, dass AustauschstudentInnen im BSc-Programm der WHU eine höhere Anzahl an Credits erwerben als hier aufgeführt. Für weitere Informationen wenden Sie sich bitte direkt an das [International Relations Office].
Chapter I: Fundamentals of Business Studies (Ove Jensen)

Self-Study: Evolution of the University

  • From the medieval to the modern university
  • The Bologna process
  • Academic customs

Self-Study: Evolution of Business Studies

  • The emergence of business schools
  • Contextualizing business administration and business psychology in the sciences
  • Difference between Betriebswirtschaftslehre and Business Administration
  • History of WHU

Session 01: Societal Context of Management

  • Famine and the great betterment
  • Four industrial revolutions
  • Logic of capitalism
  • Economic and political liberalism

Session 02: Logic of Business Education

  • Criticism of (private) business schools
  • Criticism of managerial elites
  • Student expectations of business studies
  • Making sense of WHU’s curriculum
  • Knowing-doing-being framework

Chapter II: Fundamentals of Business Enterprise (Ove Jensen)

Self-Study: The Anatomy of Profit

  • Break-even calculation
  • Relative significance of profit drivers
  • Contribution margin and profit layers
  • Externalities and the limits of accounting profit

Session 03: The Anatomy of Business

  • Classification of business models
  • Structure of business units

Chapter III: Fundamentals of Strategy (Ove Jensen)

Session 04: The Logic of Manufacturing and Industrialization

  • Evolution of mass manufacturing
  • Economies of mass production
  • Supply chain economics

Self-Study: Marketing simulation

Session 05: The Logic of Marketing and Innovation

  • Segmentation and personalization
  • Economics of marketing: value, costs, price
  • Psychology of marketing and sales

Chapter IV: Fundamentals of Management (Ove Jensen)

Session 06: Evolution and Logic of the Corporation

  • Market coordination vs. hierarchical coordination
  • Rise of large enterprises
  • Chandler’s theory of scale and scope
  • Williamson’s transaction cost theory
  • Institutional theory

Self-Study: Corporate Management

  • Managerial elites and corporate power
  • Agency problem
  • Organizations as iron cages
  • Leadership vs. management

Session 07: Labor Relations and Shopfloor Management

  • Evolution of blue-collar and white-collar labor
  • Taylor’s scientific management
  • Mayo’s human relations
  • Management fashions
  • Critical management studies

Chapter V: Fundamentals of Science (Ove Jensen)

Session 08: Philosophy and Sociology of Science

  • Construction of theories
  • Paradigms
  • Naturalistic fallacy
  • Value-free science?

Chapter VI: Strategy Formulation (Utz Schäffer)

Session 09+10: Strategy Formulation

  • Key terms and concepts of strategy formulation
  • The role of competitive advantage
  • Critical evaluation of notorious strategy tools and frameworks
  • Rationality and its limits in strategic management

Chapter VII: Strategy Execution (Utz Schäffer)

Session 11+12+13: Strategy execution

  • Information
  • Planning & Control
  • Motivation & Incentives
  • Organizational Structure
  • Organizational Culture
  • Leadership

Session 14: Corporate Governance

  • Should top management be monitored?
  • Systems of corporate governance compared
  • Co-determination
Date Time
Thursday, 07.09.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 14.09.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 21.09.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 28.09.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 05.10.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 12.10.2023 08:00 - 11:15
The course provides a holistic picture of business administration that shows the interrelatedness of business functions. It gives students a map of their subsequent studies. The course emphasizes an understanding of business history. Historical awareness helps in understanding the present and predicting avenues into the future. Understanding continuities vs. structural breaks is all the more important in today’s media environment, which too quickly heralds business “revolutions” and inflates trends to proclaim something new. Against this background, the course encourages students to be skeptical about business concepts, strategy tools, and management fashions. Critical thinking is one essential meta-competence that this course seeks to foster.
There is no required textbook. We have not found a book covering the topics discussed in this course. Instead, the learning material includes presentation slides, recommended readings, video links, and whiteboard notes. These are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses/Moodle.
Students experience different learning and teaching methods in this Introduction to Business Administration. The learning methods in this course are a mix of interactive lectures, case-based discussions, self-study, and computer simulations.
The course score wholly rests on individual performance. There are no team grades and no peer evaluations. The maximum score is 90 points. The score is composed as follows:
  • 45 points (50%): Professor Schäffer’s part of the written exam,
  • 40 points (ca. 45%): Professor Jensen’s part of the written exam,
  • 5 points (ca. 5%): Participation in the simulation game “Managing customers and segments.”

All questions and instructions will be given in English. Students in Tracks E and BBP must answer in English. Students in Tracks D1 and D2 may answer in English or German. The material covered by the exam:

  • The exam reflects the course Introduction to Business Administration as taught in the Fall Term of 2023. If you are from an earlier BSc batch than BSc 2026 and have to re-take the exam, please note that the course contents may have changed compared to the version of the course that you initially participated in.
  • Examination questions can refer to the lecture slides, the readings, the whiteboard notes, the professor’s oral classroom presentation, and the classroom discussions. If you have not participated in all class sessions, obtaining the classroom notes from a classmate is helpful.
  • We will provide sample exam questions to give you an impression of our examination style.

For WHU students, the course score will enter into the module grade of the study module “Introduction to Business,” together with the course “Sourcing: Managing the Firm’s Supply Base,” co-taught by professors Lutz Kaufmann and Felix Reimann. Both courses are weighted equally. International exchange students can choose either of the two courses or both and will obtain a separate grade for each course.

The exam is a closed-book exam. The exam’s delivery is a proctored, bring-your-own-device, laptop-based Moodle quiz, whether you write on-campus or off-campus. The examination comprises two separate quizzes for Introduction to Business Administration and Sourcing. Switching between the Business Administration and the Sourcing part is impossible, but switching between Jensen’s and Schäffer’s questions is possible.

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