The objective of the course is to introduce students to the basic steps required to plan, start and run a business by having them actually do all of these things that are part of a startup. While the course materials provide guidance and useful management tools, company success is determined by the team’s efforts.
Students are required to identify “real” business customers; to define and deliver products and services: to negotiate with suppliers, administrative agencies and other stakeholders; and to finance company operations. This is a real world, real time experience, supplemented by classroom analysis and sharing of lessons learned.
Students are expected to develop a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts of business
management and functional activities, including:
- Market & Opportunity Identification
- Intense market and industry research
- Basic financial metrics and statements
- Concepts of organizational structure and design
- Team styles and leadership techniques
- Negotiation and decision making
- Basic operations management
- Basic Corporate and Intellectual Property Law
Any applicant who meets the minimum entry requirements for admission into the University may be granted admission, the requirements are :
- An A’ Level Certificate (a Degree, HND or PGD) with 2:2, Lower credit, or Pass respectively and above.
- Transcript of the A’Level result.
- Copy of International Passport data page.
- A copy of CV.
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Tuition per Session
Tuition Fee = ₦480,000
Application = ₦10,ooo
Acceptance = ₦ 20,000
Course kit =₦30,000
Administrative Charges = ₦60,000
Project supervision = ₦20,000
Convocation = ₦40,000
Total = ₦660,000
CATEGORY MANAGEMENT IN PURCHASING
Introducing category management
Category management is a strategic approach that focuses on the vast majority of an organization’s spend on goods and services with third-party suppliers. It is a process-based approach and incorporates many familiar aspects of business improvement processes and change management. It is not an approach that is confined to purchasing but typically requires the active participation of and engagement with stakeholders, functions and individuals across the business to make it successful. Organizations therefore have to make an investment in time and commitment in order to deploy category management; however, the return on this investment is potentially very large.
Category management is defined as:
The practice of segmenting the main areas of organizational spend on bought-in goods and services into discrete groups of products and services according to the function of those goods or services and, most importantly, to mirror how individual marketplaces are organized. Using this category segmentation, organizations work cross-functionally on individual categories, examining the entire category spend, how the organization uses the products or services within the category, the marketplace and individual suppliers.
This chapter represents the methodology and my approach that I have followed to write this thesis. My literature consist of articles, literatures, past papers of relevant topic as I came across various database such as LIBRIS, BADA, Boras City Library and our varsitylibrary web site. I have used different search engine like Google, Yahoo for data reclamation as well.
Research Methodology: An Introduction
Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English lays down the meaning of research as “a careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.”1 Redman and Mory define research as a “systematized effort to gain new knowledge.”2 Some people consider research as a movement, a movement from the known to the unknown. It is actually a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness for, when the unknown confronts us, we wonder and our inquisitiveness makes us probe and attain full and fuller understanding of the unknown. This inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and the method, which man employs for obtaining the knowledge of whatever the unknown, can be termed as research. Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense. According to Clifford Woody research comprises defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organising and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences define research as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalising to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art.”3 Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement. It is the persuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research. The systematic approach concerning generalisation and the formulation of a theory is also research. As such the term ‘research’ refers to the systematic method consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analysing the facts and reaching certain conclusions either in the form of solutions(s) towards the concerned problem or in certain generalisations for some theoretical formulation.
Defining the Research Problem
In research process, the first and foremost step happens to be that of selecting and properly defining a research problem.* A researcher must find the problem and formulate it so that it becomes susceptible to research. Like a medical doctor, a researcher must examine all the symptoms (presented to him or observed by him) concerning a problem before he can diagnose correctly. To define a problem correctly, a researcher must know: what a problem is?
A research problem, in general, refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same. Usually, we say that a research problem does exist if the following conditions are met with:
(i) There must be an individual (or a group or an organization), let us call it ‘I,’ to whom the problem can be attributed. The individual or the organization, as the case may be, occupies an environment, say ‘N’, which is defined by values of the uncontrolled variables, Yj.
(ii) There must be at least two courses of action, say C1 and C2, to be pursued. A course of action is defined by one or more values of the controlled variables. For example, the number of items purchased at a specified time is said to be one course of action.
(iii) There must be at least two possible outcomes, say O1 and O2, of the course of action, of which one should be preferable to the other. In other words, this means that there must be at least one outcome that the researcher wants, i.e., an objective.
The formidable problem that follows the task of defining the research problem is the preparation of the design of the research project, popularly known as the “research design”. Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means concerning an inquiry or a research study constitute a research design. “A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.”1 In fact, the research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. As such the design includes an outline of what the researcher will do from writing the hypothesis and its operational implications to the final analysis of data. More explicitly, the desing decisions happen to be in respect of:
(i) What is the study about?
(ii) Why is the study being made?
(iii) Where will the study be carried out?
(iv) What type of data is required?
(v) Where can the required data be found?
Introduction to Knowledge Management
Concept of Knowledge
Knowledge is increasingly being recognized as the new strategic imperative of organizations. The most established paradigm is that knowledge is power. Therefore, one has to hoard it, keep it to oneself to maintain an advantage. The common attitude of most people is to hold on to one’s knowledge since it is what makes him or her an asset to the organization. Today, knowledge is still considered power – an enormous power in fact – but the understanding has changed considerably, particularly from the perspective of organizations. The new paradigm is that within the organization knowledge must be shared in order for it to grow. It has been shown that the organization that shares knowledge among its management and staff grows stronger and becomes more competitive. This is the core of knowledge management – the sharing of knowledge.
Defining Knowledge Management
There is no universally accepted definition of knowledge management. But there are numerous definitions proffered by experts. Put very simply, knowledge management is the conversion of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge and sharing it within the organization. Putting it more technically and accurately, knowledge management is the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledgebased assets. Defined in this manner, it becomes apparent that knowledge management is concerned with the process of identifying, acquiring, distributing and maintaining knowledge that is essential to the organization.
If one considers knowledge management in the broadest context, then there are multifarious definitions of knowledge management. All these definitions hint at the same idea but each one focuses on a particular aspect of knowledge management (Table 2.1). For example, a results-oriented definition may state that knowledge management is “to have the right knowledge at the right place, at the right time in the right format.” On the other hand, a process-oriented definition may describe knowledge management as “the systematic management of processes by which knowledge is identified, created, gathered, shared and applied.” And a technology-oriented definition may present a formula for knowledge management as “business intelligence + collaboration + search engines + intelligent agents.”
History of Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is a relatively new discipline and therefore has a short history. As a conscious discipline, it developed from the various published work of academics and pioneers such as Peter Drucker in the 1970s, Karl-Erik Sveiby in the late 1980s, and Nonaka and Takeuchi in the 1990s. It began when the concept of a “knowledge company” was introduced in published literature.
The early development of knowledge management came as a result of the work of a number of management theorists and practitioners. Among these early works were the papers published by Peter Drucker and Paul Strassman. In these papers they observed the growing importance of information and explicit knowledge as valuable assets of organizations. The work of Peter Senge, on the other hand, focused on the “learning organization” and emphasized the cultural dimension of managing knowledge. Other management experts and practitioners like Chris Argyris, Christoper Bartlett and Dorothy Leonard-Barton of Harvard Business School contributed significantly to the development of the theory of knowledge management and the growth of its practice by examining in their various works and publications the many facets of managing knowledge. In 1995, Leonard-Barton’s book Wellsprings of Knowledge – Building and Sustaining Sources of Innovation was published by the Harvard Business School. In this book, she documented her case study of Chaparral Steel, a company which had an effective knowledge management strategy in place since the mid1970s.
The pioneering studies made in the late 1970s by Everett Rogers at Stanford on the diffusion of innovation and by Thomas Allen at MIT on information and technology transfer were largely responsible for the current understanding of how knowledge is produced, used and diffused within organizations. This growing recognition of the importance of organizational knowledge led to an increasing concern over how to deal with exponential increases in the amount of available knowledge and the complexity of products and processes. It was at this point that the computer technology, which in the first place contributed heavily to the great abundance of information, started to become part of the solution in a variety of ways.
THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
The first mentions of the international marketing have appeared at the beginning of the 60th of the last century. Expediency of use of such marketing it has been caused by need of ensuring effective international trade in the goods and the services which volume has reached the considerable sizes. At the beginning of the 60th international trade becomes the main component of the international economic relations that a little positive influence on a condition of world economy as a whole. Further development of international trade has provided deeper division of labor between the separate countries and promoted further integration of national economies into the world. Under such circumstances firms of the different countries began to look for more favorable conditions for the business activity in foreign markets thanks to which development they increased outputs of products and deepened specialization. Thus, positive changes in the international economic relations which caused globalization and integration of the national economies, a new economic order which has developed and constantly develops on the basis of liberalization and cooperation principles, promoted practical use of the international marketing, its development and became the main precondition of its emergence (fig. 1.1.) [18, p.18]. Thus follows has noticed that emergence of requirement for the international marketing is connected with transition from the incidental trade based on natural interest to the goods and services of separate firms, to international trade which is based on systematic and intensive processing of foreign markets. This importance of the international marketing has considerably grown presently, having become the most important function of management in the world market. For business of the developed countries the international marketing is an ordinary sphere of activity, for him characteristic wide presence on foreign markets. Behind F. Kotler’s statement, the international marketing for firms of these countries is the second nature [11, р.61]. Thus the external economic policy of each state is under construction taking into account features of its economic situation and development.
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING ENVIRONMENT
Entering a concrete foreign market, the firm should consider all factors which provide both direct and indirect influence on efficiency of its business activity. Action of all such factors also defines the environment of the international marketing.
The environment of the international marketing is necessary for studying and considering irrespective of where there is a firm which carries out foreign economic activity. Thus it is necessary to systematize and analyze the widest range of factors which provide both direct and indirect influence on efficiency of business activity in each foreign market. Such approach allows firm to use more completely than its possibility in the elected markets and to avoid negative consequences for business activity. In other words, the firm can exclude possible risks in foreign markets.
RESEARCH OF THE WORLD MARKETS IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
The basic purpose of the international marketing consists in revealing real needs and needs of consumers of goods in the foreign markets and better to provide their satisfaction, than it is done by competitors. It will be possible to make so only when managers of firm to make the reasonable administrative decisions directed on elimination of problems which don’t allow to carry out foreign economic activity up to standard. The reasonable solution of the specified problems also has to provide carrying out market researches. The international market research is studying of some problem in a foreign market and development on this basis of recommendations about providing its effective decision Beginning studying of foreign markets, it is necessary to consider that the world market includes more than 200 national markets with the features which are a basis for elaboration of strategy of the international marketing. Without detailed market research, good knowledge of the market it is almost impossible to give the correct assessment to the opportunities as such assessment demands comparison of elements and market requirements to the corresponding parameters of activity of firm. For deduction and a gain of the positions in the market of a market research have to it is carried out constantly. So, for example, according to the American association of marketing in the USA market researches regularly carry out about 90% of all industrial companies and services sector firms, in Germany and Great Britain about 80%. Than the major company, that pays more attention it to continuous studying of conditions of realization of the production. In the countries with the developed market economy exist, as a rule, and the specialized research firms which are carrying out on a commercial basis different types of works on studying of the market. From among the companies interrogated in the USA which are making consumer goods and letting out production of production appointment, 99% of major companies and the same percent for medium-sized enterprises, – respectively 98 and 99%, the pricing analysis – 91 and 90%, forecasting for term more than one year – 96 and 94% were engaged in the sale analysis in measurement of market potential. In the international marketing the complex accounting of all set of major factors as the general (for example, a condition of an environment of the world commodity market as a whole, a political situation in the world, etc. is necessary). And specific character (feature of regulation in a certain country, competition level in it, specifics of local demand and requirements of the 95 legislation to these or that of goods characteristics, etc.). This can define success or failure of the exporter in a foreign market. For successful activity it is accepted to use a planning method.