EXMBA558-20E (HAM)

Understanding the Business Environment

15 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Management
Strategic Engagement
Professional Programmes


Edit Staff Content




Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: clive.wilkinson@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content

All sectors – agriculture, manufacturing, services, and construction – in the economy are interrelated. A better understanding comes from an economics point of view which takes into account the interconnection as given rather than studying each sector in isolation. Economics offers a rational view of markets and society in the domestic and international context from the perspective of individual units or the economy as a whole. The paper aims at helping executives understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life.

The regulatory developments in the domestic economy, alongside the global economic environment, significantly impact the business environment affecting competition and revenue. Businesses and policy-makers need to monitor and adjust to changing domestic and global economic conditions, to respond to important opportunities and challenges.

The first part of this paper introduces economic decision-making at the micro-level, including consumers, firms, and markets. Issues covered include: anticipating opportunities in a competitive business environment, agribusiness, pricing strategies, strategic interactions between firms, market failure and sustainability.

The second part of the paper introduces economics at the macro and global level. Topics include New Zealand GDP growth, including both manufacturing and the construction sectors and analyses and forecasting most sectors of the economy, including inflation, trade, housing, labour and financial markets. Further topics covered are the official cash rate, long-term interest rate, government bond yields, and exchange rate. On the global side, the paper focuses on macroeconomic imbalances internationally, and flow of capital, crisis vulnerabilities in both advanced and emerging markets, global responses to COVID-19 pandemic in terms of monetary and fiscal stimulus. On global issues, the role of policy coordination is covered from an economic as well as a geopolitical perspective.

The paper also introduces supply chain management as a key competitive enabler for any sector in the economy. Firstly the discussion will focus on elements of supply chain strategy and how this enhances competitiveness on the company level. Secondly, the macro-level characteristics that enable competitive supply chain ecosystems at a country- or regional level will be considered.

Assessments are based on case study and assignment to ensure understanding of the paper's content and the students will be assessed based on the capability to apply the skills and knowledge gained.

Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content
This paper will be facilitated with face-to-face sessions, supported by online resources.
Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate business opportunities using microeconomic tools

    Consumer preferences, market competition, strategic pricing

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss sustainability challenges and how to meet them

    Market failure, voluntary action and government regulation

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand the key macroeconomic variables in New Zealand economy

    Economic growth, inflation, and unemployment rate.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand the macroeconomic factors behind the financial markets

    Savings and investment, taxes, budget, the national debt

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand the functioning of the reserve bank and the treasury in managing NZ economy

    OCR, long-term interest rate, yield curve, treasury bond price, interest-rate pass-through, the credit channel, COVID-19 response by the RBNZ and the Treasury

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Learn global economic issues

    The global current account balance, international reserves, capital flows, financial crises

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss supply chain strategies and cybersecurity principles that underpin competitiveness in the global business environment.
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content
All assessment is compulsory.
It is expected you have read the Corporate & Executive Education Policies.

PLEASE NOTE: The University has zero-tolerance for Plagiarism.

All assessment must be submitted as a Word document, unless otherwise stated.

Booking of rooms for group meetings.

Please refer to Moodle for assessment details.
Edit Additional Assessment Information Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Economic concepts for business - individual assignment
28 Jul 2020
6:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Case Study - New Zealand Economy
5 Aug 2020
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Case Study - Global Economy
11 Aug 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Supply chain group presentation
  • Presentation: In Class
5. Critical reflection on supply chain topics
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Other
22 Jul 2020
12:00 AM
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content
Refer to Moodle/Course Resources
Edit Required Readings Content

Recommended Readings

Edit Recommended Readings Content

Refer to Moodle/Course Resources

Edit Recommended Readings Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content

Waikato Management School Helpdesk: wms_helpdesk@waikato.ac.nz, 0800 WAIKATO, extn 4599

ITS: https://landesk.waikato.ac.nz0800 WAIKATO, extn 4008

Moodle help files

Edit Online Support Content


Edit Workload Content
As a general guide 12-15 hours per week is required over the whole period of the paper.
Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content





Restricted papers: EXED503, EXMBA504

Edit Linkages Content