Syllabus for Business Analysis and Managerial Action

Affärsanalys och ledningens agerande

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FE858
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Business Studies A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2017-02-01
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 35, 2017
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in business studies. Proficiency in English.

    For incoming exchange students only 60 credits or equivalent in business studies are required, though 90 credits is strongly recommended. Proficiency in English.
  • Responsible department: Department of Business Studies

Decisions and guidelines

Master Programme in Business and Management - specialisation Marketing, International Business, Organisation. Master Programme in Accounting and Financial Management - specialisation Financial Accounting, Management and Control, Financial Management.

Learning outcomes

In a complex and dynamic business environment, it is important, yet at the same time difficult for managers to analyse and make sense of their organisation and its environment. Managers are dependent upon analyses to create knowledge for making decisions and developing strategies. Concepts like "Analytical Era", "Evidence-based Management" and "Management by Facts" are expressions for an increased interest in analytical processes. However, analytical processes are sometimes weakly associated with managerial decisions, making them irrelevant for organisational action. This is often due to organisational complexity and restrictions in human perception. This course develops and explores the role of analyses in managerial decision-making processes. Special consideration is given to the role of information technology in this process.
The general ambition of this course is for students to present, understand and, to the greatest extent possible, practice business analysis and action.

After participation in the course, the student will:

  • Be acquainted with important concepts for, and common methods in business analysis.
  • Be familiar with the complexities of analysis and action in relation to, for example, perspectives on strategy of firms and organisations.
  • Have reached an awareness about problems/shortcomings and possibilities/advantages regarding formalised analysis.
  • Be able to understand and evaluate the creative multifaceted elements underpinning business analysis.
  • Be able to practice – conduct – an advanced business/organisational analysis.
  • Have gained a deeper understanding of the importance of creating commitment to action by visualising, presenting and communicating suggestions for action.
  • Have improved critical thinking by producing and presenting well-grounded evaluations of given ’cases and situational analysis’.
  • Have gained insights about strategic and managerial considerations/decisions at different analytical levels and in various organisational contexts.


This course is developed around following important questions and content:

  • How factors attributable to business analysis are associated with different perspectives on strategy.
  • How to define and identify a specific problem for a business analysis.
  • How to enhance creativity through analysis.
  • How to incite action in a complex organisational setting.
  • Communicate and implement a specific, situated analysis
  • Evaluation (deconstruction and suggestions for improvements) of a presented analysis. 
During this course, the specialisations of the Master's program will be introduced practically by presenting examples of a typical business analysis related to the various specialisations of study. The course will also connect business analysis and action with questions of strategic importance in the fields of marketing, organisation and international business.


The course consists of lectures and seminars (small and mid-sized groups). The course will include both written and oral presentations. The course is taught in English.


The student will get one single grade, equivalent to 7.5 credits.

Examination includes a written exam, case/literature seminars and skill seminars. The grade for the entire course is based on an assessment of all parts of the examination.

Grading criteria are presented in the study guide provided at the beginning of the course. The following grades will be used: pass with distinction (VG), pass (G), and fail (U). Examinations handed in late will not be assessed except under special circumstances. Any remaining supplemental work must be completed and handed in by the deadline specified in the study guide. Otherwise the entire course (all examinations included) must be retaken during subsequent course sections, pending availability of a place in the course.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the University, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a designated period.

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Other directives

The course overlaps 2FE804, 8FE804 Management, Analysis and Action.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2017

  • Bazerman, Max H.; Moore, Don A. Judgment in managerial decision making

    8. ed.: Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, cop. 2013

    Find in the library


  • Brynjolfsson, Erik; McAfee, Andrew The second machine age : work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies

    New York: W. W. Norton & Company, cop. 2014

    Find in the library


  • Hand, David J. Statistics : a very short introduction

    Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008

    Find in the library


  • Hand, David J Measurement: A Very Short Introduction

    OUP Oxford, 2016