Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

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Business Administration

Get down to business.

Grow your career in business and management

BUS 825 - Business Foundations C21 Online Accelerated

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Jeff May
Course Dates:
05/03/2021 - 06/27/2021

Required Course Materials:
Business Essentials, 9th Canadian Edition Etext with MyLab, Ebert, Griffin et al. Pearson. 9780135255797
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
Business Foundations explores the functional areas of management including finance, human resources, marketing, operations and general management. It provides context for students to understand the themes of change, international business, ethics and social responsibility, small business growth, information and communication technology, and quality to understand contemporary Canadian business practices and processes.

This course offers a dynamic, seminar approach to learning where students are encouraged to discuss and evaluate current events in Canadian business using concepts in management theory and their personal business experience. In addition, students will be exposed to a variety of learning activities including problem-solving tasks, case studies, discussion sessions, role-plays and simulations.  

To maximize their learning experience, students are highly encouraged to read a business newspaper on a regular basis and to be prepared with questions or discussion points regarding each week’s assigned readings.
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will have: 
  • developed an understanding of the foundational concepts and vocabulary associated with business management
  • gained a basic knowledge of the current issues and environments faced by managers and administrators in Canada as well as other countries
  • Acquired and applied fundamental management skills including: pitching ideas, case analysis, budget development, collaborative problem solving and decision-making.
Course Evaluation
Assignment  Per Cent*  Description
Assignment #1
20% This personal reflection assignment will have two parts.  Part I gives you the opportunity to review all of the key topics addressed in the course and will be due at the beginning of the course. Part II gives you the opportunity to review your Part I submission and consider how you are going to apply your new knowledge. Part II will be done at the end of the course.
Assignment #2
30% Focuses on the roles of marketing and accounting in defining the success of a business.
Homework 1 & 2 2 x 10% (20%) A comprehensive case study that requires the ability to reference and integrate many of the concepts you have learned in this course by analyzing a real world global business.
Homework 1 & 2 2 x 5% (10%) Provides you the opportunity to connect the concepts of leadership and diversity to experiences and environments that you are familiar with.  
Quiz 10% Ten multiple choice questions based on material covered in the course. The quiz is taken online.
Participation 20%  Active and timely engagement with the weekly online discussion activities. 
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in business and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation through weekly online discussion boards.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters per the weekly requirements.
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.  Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:


Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or  to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students will need to contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and other coursework. It is the student’s responsibility to contact McMaster Continuing Education to discuss accommodations related to examinations. (if applicable)

On-line Elements:

Conduct Expectations:

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the “Code”). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in-person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students’ access to these platforms.

Copyright and Recording:

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students who wish to record sessions need to acquire permission from the instructor. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.
Course Changes:

The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.

Extreme Circumstances:

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Storm Closure Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed. All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.
Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:



Learning Goals





Business System

Recognize the key components of the

Canadian Business System

Discuss historical evolution of business in

Canada; Evaluation the evolution and increasing sophistication of products and services developed by Canadian business; Appreciate the role of economics in shaping business activities; Learn the basis for analyzing a business scenario using Case Studies; Introduce basic concepts of budgets and budgeting.

Discussion 1

Griffin et al., Chapter 1*


Small Business,


& Forms of


Small Business, Entrepreneurship and

Ownership Options

The role of small (and new) businesses in

the Canadian economy; “The Entrepreneurial Process; Types of ownership: sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, Corporations, Co- operatives; Value of Business Plans in planning, pitching and financing your business; Starting a Corporation:

Partnership Agreements; Unlimited liability; Reporting requirements; Process to

Discussion 2


Assignment 1, Part 1

Griffin et al.,

Chapter 4


Business and



Organizational Structure

Different models for organizational


How mission, vision, purpose and strategy determine which model is chosen

Why organizations choose different

organizational structures

Job specialization; Departmentalization; Scalability

Organizational structure and decision- making; Role of joint ventures, co- marketing agreements and other structures in promoting Canadian business internationally

Discussion 3

Griffin et al,

Chapter 7


* Griffin, R., Ebert, R., Starke, F., Dracopoulos, G., & Lang, M. (2014). Business (8th Cdn ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson.





Management Function in Different


What a Manager Does (Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling); The Management Process; Management skills; Strategic Management; Benefits of analytical tools such as SWOT and gap analysis; How motivation and leadership qualities and techniques can drive organizational performance and success.

Discussion 4


Homework 1

Chapters 6

and 10



More Than Just a Brochure or a Website

Components of Marketing (4Ps)

What is Marketing Strategy? Target Marketing and Market Segmentation; Consumer Behaviour

Products and Services

Definition; Development; Life cycle; Branding


Product positioning; Promotional strategies; Advertising promotions


Objectives; Strategies and Tactics

The Distribution Mix

Distribution strategies; Channel

Conflict and Channel Leadership

Discussion 5


Online Quiz

Chapter 15

(473-489), Chapter 16 (510 – 534) and Chapter

17 (550




Making Financial Decisions

Scope of responsibilities for financial

managers; Differentiating between operating and capital expenditures; - Sources of financing; Securing financing for your business

When to look for external financing; What about going public; What either option offers

What are the pitfalls; Risk management options

Discussion 6

Chapter 20



Human Resources

Factors in Human Resources


Scope of human resources management from recruitment to training to compensation and benefits to performance evaluations to termination; Key trends and issues in HR Management

Diversity; Retention; Contingent workers

Special focus on labour relations:

Complexities of managing in a unionized environment; Managing expectations; Negotiating workplace expectations; Managing cost; Labour interruptions

Discussion 7


Homework 2

Griffin et al.,

Chapters 8 and 9




Operations Management

Differentiating between service operations and goods production; Defining production in a global economy; Factors of operations planning (capacity, location, layout, quality, methods); Issues in operations scheduling and control;

Why productivity is such a critical issue to Canada; Six tools of total quality management

Assignment 2


Assignment 1, Part 2

Chapter 11

and Chapter

12 (380