Study program / study programs: E-BUSINESS, INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Study type and level: Undergraduate applied studies

Course: Collaborative problem solving in business

Status: Elective

ECTS credits: 7/8

Course objectives

The main objective of the course is to enable students to solve problems in business organizations based on critical thinking skills, rational methods and available facts. Problem solving refers to applying engineering skills in real-life, complex, team, unpredictable and volatile environments. Taking into account that modern companies rely on teams, units and mutually dependent parts, students will learn about the main principles and techniques of group decision making and the implementation thereof.

Learning outcomes 

The course will enable students to: 

  • identify and classify a business problem and assess its impact on the organization;
  • use software designed to document problem classification;
  • form problem solving groups or teams and take corresponding roles;
  • implement brainstorming methods, synectic methods, morphological analysis and soft system methodology;
  • identify engineering problems and propose solutions;
  • understand the importance and role of incomplete data and their impact on decision making;
  • apply problem solving skills in an efficient and timely manner.

Course content

Theoretical classes

  • Problem definition and types of problems
  • Problem solving techniques and strategies
  • Multiple-criteria decision-making methods
  • Decision making in groups and teams. Team psychology. Team contract
  • Structural system analysis methods. Soft system methodology 
  • Synectic methods in group decision making
  • Formal and logic method, engineering approach to problem solving, critical thinking
  • Morphological analysis
  • Uncertainty in data collection, the role of probability
  • Problem management in an organization

Practical classes

  • Problem classification and definition
  • Team building, creating a team contract and conflict simulation
  • Problem solving using the soft system methodology, group practice
  • Solving problems through brainstorming, group practice
  • Presenting teamwork solutions
  • Creative problem solving using the synectic method
  • Morphological analysis
  • Simulation of decision making in uncertain circumstances
  • Integrative practice
  • Project work