CIMA Enterprise Operations (E1) Syllabus - Full-time & Part-time Study
The CIMA E1 syllabus is the first of three modules in the Operational Level of the Professional qualification stage. The enterprise operations (E1) CIMA syllabus is designed to introduce candidates to the various functional areas of business as well as the economic, social and political aspects of international business. Students are also kept abreast of all major developments in the areas of information systems, marketing and managing human capital, and operations.
The syllabus is split into five distinct areas which are listed below along with their weightings in terms of the amount of study time (expressed as a percentage) that a candidate should apportion to each area.
A. THE GLOBAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT (20%)
• Cross-cultural management and different forms of business organisation.
• Emerging market multinationals.
• Liberalisation and economic nationalism.
• Outsourcing and offshoring.
• Major economic systems including US, European and transition economies.
• National account balances (especially from international trade), monetary policy and their impact on markets.
• Corporate governance, including stakeholders and the role of government.
• Principles of corporate social responsibility and the scope for international variation, e.g. between developed and developing economies.
• Business-government relations in developed and developing economies.
• Regulation in the national and international context and its impact on the firm.
• Role of institutions and governance in economic growth.
• Corporate political activity in developed and developing markets.
• Country and political risk.
B. INFORMATION SYSTEMS (20%)
• The role of information systems in organisations.
• Emerging information system trends in organisations (e.g. Enterprise-wide systems; knowledge management systems; customer relationship management systems, e.g. E-business, Web 2.0 tools).
• Information technology enabled transformation; the emergence of new forms of organisation.
• Geographically dispersed (virtual) teams; role of information systems in virtual teams and challenges for virtual collaboration.
• Assessing the costs and benefits of information systems; criteria for evaluating information systems.
• Privacy and security.
• System changeover methods (i.e. direct, parallel, pilot and phased).
• Information system implementation as a change management process; avoiding problems of non-usage and resistance.
• Information system outsourcing (different types of sourcing strategies; client-vendor relationships).
• Aligning information systems with business strategy (e.g. strategic importance of information systems; information systems for competitive advantage; information systems for competitive necessity).
C. OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT (20%)
• Supply chain management as a strategic process.
• An overview of operations strategy and its importance to the firm.
• Supply chains in competition with each other; role of supply networks; demand networks as an evolution of supply chains.
• Design of products/services and processes and how this relates to operations and supply.
• The concept of sustainability in operations management.
• Different methods of quality measurement (e.g. Servqual).
• Approaches to quality management, including Total Quality Management (TQM), various British and European Union systems as well as statistical control processes.
• External quality standards.
• Systems used in operations management: Manufacturing Resource Planning II (MRPII); Optimized Production Techniques (OPT) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
• Use of process maps to present the flow of information and product across supply chains and networks.
• Methods for managing inventory, including continuous inventory systems (e.g. Economic Order Quantity, EOQ), periodic inventory systems and the ABC system (Note: ABC is not an acronym; A refers to high value, B to medium and C to low value inventory).
• Methods of managing operational capacity in product and service delivery (e.g. use of queuing theory, forecasting, flexible manufacturing systems).
• Application of lean techniques to services.
• Practices of continuous improvement (e.g. Quality circles, Kaizen, 5S, 6 Sigma).
• The characteristics of lean production.
• Criticisms and limitations of lean production.
• Developing relationships with suppliers, including the use of supply portfolios.
D. MARKETING (20%)
• The marketing concept as a business philosophy.
• The marketing environment, including societal, economic, technological, political and legal factors affecting marketing.
• Marketing in not-for-profit organisations (i.e. charities, non-governmental organisations; the public sector).
• Theories of consumer behaviour (e.g. social interaction theory), as well as factors affecting buying decisions,
types of buying behaviour and stages in the buying process.
• Social marketing and corporate social responsibility.
• Market research, including data gathering techniques and methods of analysis.
• Segmentation and targeting of markets, and positioning of products within markets.
• How business to business (B2B) marketing differs from business to consumer (B2C) marketing in its different forms (i.e. consumer marketing, services marketing, direct marketing, interactive marketing, e-marketing, internal marketing).
• Promotional tools and the promotion mix.
• The ‘service extension’ to the marketing mix.
• Devising and implementing a pricing strategy.
• Experiential marketing.
• Marketing communications, including viral, guerrilla and other indirect forms of marketing.
• Distribution channels and methods for marketing campaigns.
• The role of marketing in the business plan of the organisation.
• Brand image and brand value.
• Product development and product/service life-cycles.
• Internal marketing as the process of training and motivating employees so as to support the organisation’s external marketing activities.
• The differences and similarities in the marketing of products, services and experiences.
• Product portfolios and the product mix.
E. MANAGING HUMAN CAPITAL (20%)
• Theories of Human Resource Management relating to ability, motivation and opportunity.
• The psychological contract and its importance to retention.
• The relationship of the employee to other elements of the business.
• Personal business ethics and the fundamental principles (Part A) of the CIMA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
• Practices associated with recruiting and developing appropriate abilities including recruitment and selection of staff using different recruitment channels (i.e. interviews, assessment centres, intelligence tests, aptitude tests, psychometric tests).
• Issues relating to fair and legal employment practices (e.g. recruitment, dismissal, redundancy, and ways of managing these).
• The distinction between development and training and the tools available to develop and train staff.
• The design and implementation of induction programmes.
• Practices related to motivation including Issues in the design of reward systems (e.g. the role of incentives, the utility of performance-related pay, arrangements for knowledge workers, flexible work arrangements).
• The importance of appraisals, their conduct and their relationship to the reward system.
• Practices related to the creation of opportunities for employees to contribute to the organisation including job design, communications, involvement procedures and appropriate elements of negotiating and bargaining.
• Problems in implementing an HR plan appropriate to a team and ways to manage this.
• HR in different organisational forms (e.g. project based, virtual or networked firms) and different organisational contexts.
• Preparation of an HR plan (e.g. Forecasting personnel requirements; retention, absence and leave, wastage).
CIMA Enterprise Operations Past Questions
CW is an established charity based in the capital city of the developed country of Statesland. It raises funds locally to finance clean water and sustainable agricultural projects in some of the poorest areas of the world. CW relies heavily on the work of unpaid volunteers and prides itself on low operating overheads and directing a large proportion of its income to ‘on the ground’ projects. CW’s sources of income involve donations from the public and the operation of charity shops in the north of the country selling unwanted clothes and household items. Recently however, a downturn in the economy, ‘charity fatigue’ and competition from other causes has made fund-raising more difficult. It is clear that CW needs to either reduce the level of projects it currently funds or increase income.
The Chief Executive of the charity has convinced her Board of Trustees that the charity needs to professionalise its operations, be more ‘outward facing’ and employ modern marketing practices. Consequently, an independent consultancy firm with expertise in this area has been engaged to advise the charity. Trustees are supportive of the Chief Executive but are worried that certain marketing practices, particularly promotional activities, might be seen as unethical and damage the good reputation of the charity.
In the first meeting between a partner of the consultancy firm and the Board of Trustees, a number of areas were covered including
• a discussion of the application of the marketing mix to the charity, and
• market research options for CW.
A second meeting has been arranged. You work for the consultancy firm and have been asked to produce some briefing notes for the partner to help him with this second meeting.
Prepare briefing notes for the partner that addresses the following questions:
a) Explain what aspects of marketing could be helpful to CW. (Do not include matters covered in the first meeting or segmentation and targeting.)
b) Explain the processes and implications of market segmentation and targeting to CW.
c) Identify two types of promotional activity and for each explain the ethical concerns that might arise for CW using them.
(Total for question three = 25 marks)
Examinations last for three hours with a 20 minute period for reading prior to the assessment.