Course Title: Business and Government

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Business and Government

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


630H Management


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009


Malaysia Institute of Managemt


630H Management


Offsh 3 10

Course Coordinator: Nigel Munro-Smith

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5942

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 108 Level 16

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is designed to help students make better sense of developments in business government relations both domestically and globally. You will examine the causes of changing business-government relationships and their implications for managerial decision making and strategy.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The capabilities this course develops are:
· Reflective practice
Ability to reflect on and learn from experience in both familiar and unfamiliar situations.
Ability to draw insights from both experience and conceptual work to inform and improve future personal and organisational decision-making.
· Socially aware and responsible practice
Ability to make judgments about personal behaviour, particularly in relation to strategic decision-making, that are cognisant of the expectations of formal and informal political institutions and processes and society in general.
Ability to frame judgments and practice within professional, legal and ethical frameworks.
· Evidence based practice
Ability to use data and information to support positions and make and justify recommendations regarding strategy.
Ability to make sense of complex phenomena and communicate the essence of those matters in a concise and persuasive manner.
Ability to interpret the work of others and make judgments about its value in a management setting.
· Responsive practice
Ability to read the political environment, create business opportunities and show initiative in adapting personal behaviour.
Ability to work independently and build effective relationships with others (particularly governments, political parties, interest groups and other stakeholders) in diverse contexts.

These capabilities require the following enabling skills and knowledge:
· An understanding of the conceptual and practical shortcomings of ideas in the political arena, whether alternative, mainstream, simplistic, deterministic or innovative.
· An awareness of the implicit values and assumptions in both orthodox and unorthodox policies and proposals
· An awareness and nascent comprehension of the complexity of policy dynamics.
· An emerging capacity to develop and implement both personal and organisational initiatives to successfully address the challenges of managing political relationships.

This course has both an international & environmental perspective. Business and Government in a Global Context also involves problem diagnosis and solving. Students are helped to further develop their high order written communication skills. Finally this is all combined with further opportunities to enhance information management skills and literacy.

This is an ambitious agenda that will stretch even the most able students. It is not expected that those who successfully complete the course will be experts or exhibit high order practice in all aspects but substantial improvement is expected of all.

The specific objectives of this course are to develop the students’ awareness of how developments in the global business environment affect both the public and private sectors and how each sector’s pursuit of its own agenda influences decision making in the other sector. It is intended that by the end of the semester students will have gained an insight into the skills required to make better-informed management decisions. To do well students must demonstrate a high level of ability in analysing organisations and their environments (with an emphasis on the political environment). It is also intended that students develop skills in writing in a very concise and persuasive style.

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a mix of lectures, seminars (tutorials), guided research and the assessment, the specific skills this course develops are:
* Awareness (what is happening?)
* Insight (why is it happening?)
* Foresight (what are the likely developments?)
* Judgment (what are the consequences?)
* Leadership (what can be done?)

A key role is played by the assessment. Students are required to formulate a realistic strategy for a real-life organisation based on in-depth guided research and sophisticated analysis. In the process of preparing for the three components of the assessment, students are encouraged to reflect on their knowledge and understanding of the concepts and issues.

Overview of Learning Resources

The unique nature of this course means that there currently are no textbooks tailored to its needs. Consequently there are no prescribed textbooks. A wide range of materials will be available through the learning hub. These resources will have a depth and breadth far greater than is expected of student work. The best analogy is a toolkit; you can choose a spanner, hammer, screwdriver and so on but on any one task you are unlikely to use them all. The theories, models, ideas and so on found on the learning hub are like tools. The task of a manager is to select the right tool for the task at hand.

The primary role of the lecture notes is to alert the reader to the complexity to be found on closer inspection in even the apparently simplest of issues. The lecture notes also offer tools and frameworks to make sense of the dynamics of public policy.

Students are expected to keep up with international current affairs by reading journals such as the Australian Financial Review, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Economist. The electronic media such as ABC Newsradio, CNN, CNBC and the BBC are valuable sources of information as well. Finally students are encouraged to look for alternative viewpoints such as those of the International Socialists and Greenpeace.

Overview of Assessment

Students undertaking this course are required to complete a semester long research project that involves the submission of two reports that take the form of a Management Brief. Along the way the research is documented in a journal. The learn-do-reflect cycle is completed by an exam that is designed to consolidate what the student has learnt and set an agenda for future professional development.