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Learning Objectives

The main objective of this course (the WHY) is to introduce students into the field of business giving an easy and complete framework on the life condition and the existence
manifestations of all types of economic entities (for profit and non-for-profit), even if the main focus will be on the so called for-profit economic entities (i.e. business entities).
Moreover this course wants to put theory into practice and stimulate the cooperation among students and among students and professor. At the end of this module students should be able to establish a successful business contributing to the common good of the society.

In particular, the main sub-objectives are as follows:
- Familiarize with the language of business;
- Know and understand the concepts of the administration of a business, the characteristics of management processes (strategy and planning, organizational structure, human
resource management, decision making, monitoring and reporting, etc..) and management functions (Marketing, Operations, Human Resource function, Finance and Accounting
- Understand the organizations’ existence, what is their role in society, what are their responsibilities and how and for whom they create value;
- Know the differences between a small business (e.g. a small family firm) and a big business conducted by multinational corporations all around the world (e.g. Apple, Coca
Cola, Facebook, Google).

- Enhance the learning ability as well as time management capacity, with the analysis of real situations and case studies
- Be able to apply knowledge and to draw original conclusions (critical thinking), by using management tools and techniques and by making judgments about the cost-effectiveness
of management

- Demonstrate and ability to make assessments within the field of Fundamentals of business, taking into account, symultaneously, relevant economic, social and
environmental aspects.

- Improve the communication skills, using an appropriate language during the presentation of management issues.

will be assessed through the open questions formulated to require students to make connections between the topics studied and to express a personal contribution (examples
of application of the concepts, case studies presented in the classroom).






In order to reach its objectives, the course is articulated into the following seven parts
– Part I. Economic problem, organizations and aziende;
– Part II. Value creation in business and non-business entities;
– Part III. Conflicts with the primary interest of the economic entity;
– Part IV. The activity of business entities through circuits;
– Part V. Legal forms of business entities;
– Part VI. Organizational structure;
– Part VII. Strategies.
– Special content. Criminal organizations


Teaching notes of "Findamentals of business. Towards the primary interest of the firm as a guiding principle and common good". It will be available for free in the teaching materials

Teaching methods

Conventional lecture mode (frontal lesson) and interactive (the students will be required participate actively in the class discussions and group work)

Exam Rules

The method of assessment is based on Written Exam + Project Work + Assignments

The Written Exam (50% of the final mark) is the same for attending and non-attending students;

If the written exam is passed with at least 18, students may refuse the score and come back to the next exam date (Please, come if you are well prepared!). The score obtained tothe next exam date eliminate the previous one. If the score of the written exam is lower than 15 students cannot come in the next exam date;

At the end of the course there is the possibility to do a pre-exam that exonerate from the written exam of January. The final score of the pre exam is valid only for the first session (January).

For the Project Work (30% of the final mark) attending and non-attending students must present a word file and:

Attending and non-attending students can discuss their Project Work during the course (see the analytical syllabus). Presenters are exempt from the oral exam on the PW. In order to be exempt from the oral exam on the PW students need to present their PW in one of the scheduled dates;

Non-attending students and attending students who decide not to discuss the PW on the scheduled dates, have two possibilities:
they can discuss the PW on the exam date they choose for the examination. It is strongly recommended that the PW is presented, using a PPT presentation, on the same day by all members of the group. If it is not possible (e.g. because some group members are still in Erasmus) every student will be examined separately;

attending and non-attending students can also record the video of the PW discussion, uploading-it on YouTube (click here for an example).
Since the PW is strongly related to the theory asked in the written exam, the evaluation of the single student for the PW will take into account the presentation (during the course or using the YouTube video) as well as the final mark of the written exam in case of more than 5 points of discrepancy. For example, if the final mark of the PW presented by two studentsis 28, but one pass the written exam with 25 and the other with 18, the former will have confirmed 28 for the PW (since the discrepancy is less than 5 points, i.e. 3 points) while for the latter (the discrepancy is more than 5 points, i.e. 10 points!) the score of the PW will be the average (18+28)/2, that is 23. If the score of the written exam is higher than that of the PW, the score of the PW will not be adjusted, regardless of the discrepancy. Thus if you get 30 on the written exam and 18 to the PW, the final score of the PW is 18.
The Assignment is worth 20% of the final mark. Students have to bring the printed copy of their assignments that will be evaluated by the professor.
The assignment must be completed for the date chosen for the exam. Students do not have to complete the assignment for the pre-exam.

Written exam: 25
Project work: 30
Assignments: 25
Final score = Written exam + Project work + Assignment = (25*50%) + (30*30%) + (25*20%) = 12,5 + 9 + 5 = 26.5 = 27

Pre-exam: Attending and non-attending students can do the pre-exam. However, it will be focused on the topics discussed during the course.
The exam will be assessed according to the following criteria:
Not suitable: important deficiencies and / or inaccuracies in the knowledge and understanding of the topics; limited capacity for analysis and synthesis, frequent generalizations and limited critical and judgment skills, the arguments are presented in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate language;

18-20: just sufficient knowledge and understanding of the topics with possible generalizations and imperfections; sufficient capacity for analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment, the topics are frequently exposed in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate / technical language;
21-23: Routine knowledge and understanding of topics; Ability to correct analysis and synthesis with sufficiently coherent logical argument and appropriate / technical language
24-26: Fair knowledge and understanding of the topics; good analysis and synthesis skills with rigorously expressed arguments but with a language that is not always appropriate / technical.
27-29: Complete knowledge and understanding of the topics; remarkable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Good autonomy of judgment. Topics exposed rigorously and with appropriate / technical language
30-30L: Excellent level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the topics. Excellent skills of analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment. Arguments expressed in an original way and with appropriate technical language.