University of Technology Sydney

21393 The Business Environment

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level: Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject explores business in its environment; explaining how the environment influences business decisions, while in turn, decisions by business help to shape the contexts within which businesses operate. This includes an understanding of the principles of market economies and sources of competitive advantage. This subject also provides the foundations for developing knowledge about the regulatory environment in Australia that govern the administration and operation of business. The subject provides skills in relation to decision-making in a legal context; management of organisations; and regulatory compliance with an application of ethics and social responsibility. The use of data and its importance in business decision-making is strongly emphasised.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Understand the changing nature of the business environment in the context of the national economic landscape
2. Understand the principle of market economies and how the dynamics of competition impacts on an organisation’s activities
3. Understand the social, legal and regulatory landscape within which business operate and the role of regulatory bodies overseeing the operation of businesses
4. Effectively use a computer-based data analysis package (i.e. Excel) to critically analyse data.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

An understanding of the business environment continues to be essential for students to understand both the context in which business decisions are taken and the major influences that impact on these decisions. The administration of any business requires owners and managers to be aware of the environment in which they operate and to be adaptive within this environment. This subject contributes to the course in that it develops a student’s understanding of the economic, social and regulatory environment in which businesses operate. The subject aims to develop an understanding of basic economic principles and their relevance to business decision making. The subject also provides an introduction to handling data to emphasize the importance of statistical thinking in business and the role data plays in informing business decision making.

This subject contributes to developing the following graduate attribute(s):

  • Intellectual rigour and innovative problem solving
  • Professional and technical competence

This subject also contributes specifically to introduce the following Program Learning Objective(s):

  • Identify, evaluate and analyse relevant information to creatively solve business problems (1.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is presented in seminar format. Essential principles are presented and analysed and students are lead through practical application exercises.

Content (topics)

  • The changing nature of the business environment
  • The national economic environment
  • Markets, competition and regulation
  • Types of business organisations, objectives and governance
  • Presentation and use of economic and business data
  • Competitive price determination and pricing strategies for firms with market power
  • Overview of Competition Law in Australia
  • Market Failure and the role of government


Assessment task 1: Online quiz (Individual)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 20%

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Assessment task 2: Computer-based project (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):


Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Media Assignment (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

Weight: 40%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

The textbook for this subject is an e book: The Business Environment, McGraw-Hill, (2nd edition) 2021.

Details on how to access the e-book will be made available on the subject website on Canvas


Harrison, A., ‘Business Environment in a Global Context’, (2nd edition) Oxford University Press, 2021

Palmer, A., and Hartley, B. ‘The Business Environment’, McGraw-Hill, 7th ed., 2011

Kew, J., and Stredwick, J. ‘Business Environment: Managing in a Strategic Context’ 2nd edChartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2008