Principles of Business Administration and Management

A.Y. 2023/2024
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course introduces the fundamental elements of political economics and analytical accounting needed to understand the individual behaviours, markets functioning and to evaluate the cost-revenues flow of small production activities. The course explores the market theory and the behaviour of the entrepreneur and the consumer, with practical software exercitations focused on the representation of market equilibrium and the optimization of choices. Differential accounting analysis and break-even point analysis for the evaluation of investments in small businesses are also introduced during the course.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student must demonstrate the knowledge of markets' forms, of the functioning mechanism of supply and demand, as well as the behaviour of entrepreneurs and consumers. Furthermore, the student must be able to explain the components and the nature of costs and revenues of a basic production activity and explain the mechanism by which the related investments break even. At the end of the course, the student must be able to independently use a calculation software to analytically and graphically represent the basic functions of political economics and the break-even point of a small production activity.
Single course

This course can be attended as a single course.

Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Frontal lessons - 32 hours
1. The principles of economics (4h)
· The Principles of economic behaviours
· The scientific tools of economic thought
2. Market theory (4h)
· Demand, Supply and Market Equilibrium
· Perfect competition and other forms of market
3. Elasticity (2h)
· Price elasticity of supply and demand
· Sales revenue models and elasticity
4. Business cost theory (2h)
· Production function and total costs
· Efficient size and average costs
5. Theory of business behaviour (4h)
· Profit function
· Marginal costs and choice of entrepreneur in perfect competition

1. Economics and business organization (8h)
· The nature and economic purpose of the company
· The financial statements: purpose and structure
· Balance Sheet & Income Statement
· Accounting principles
· Budget analysis - Outline
· Reclassification and Indices
2. The programming and control systems (8h)
· Introduction to business operating systems
· The nature of the costs
· Direct and indirect costs
· Analysis of the breakeven point

Exercises - 32 hours
Market analysis and inverse demand curve
· Processing of individual willingness to pay data
· Construction of the market demand curve
· Calculation of revenues at different market prices
· Calculation of elasticities at different market prices
· Identification of the point of maximum revenue
· Construction of the market revenue curve
· Estimation of unit production costs: Variable and Fixed costs
· Allocation of indirect costs
· Break-even point estimation
Prerequisites for admission
No specific prerequisites are required.
Teaching methods
The teaching activity is divided into theoretical lectures focused on microeconomics and general and analytical accounting. The practical exercitations are dedicated to the analysis of original data aimed at defining the characteristics of the market for a product/service and evaluating the cost-revenue flows in a small economic activity and identifying its break-even point. Students are shown problem solving techniques through example exercises and are asked to replicate the method to new original cases.
Teaching Resources
N Gregory Mankiw Mark P. Taylor (2018). Principi di Microeconomia, Zanichelli - Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
Antoldi F. (2012). Economia e organizzazione aziendale: introduzione al governo delle imprese, McGraw-Hill - Chapters 2 and 4

Supplementary teaching material distributed through the Ariel website

WEB page of the course (very relevant point!)
A course web page is active on the Ariel portal of UNIMI -
The page, which is updated every year, contains:
1. The present Syllabus
2. The supplementary teaching material of the theoretical lessons - Slide, all released at the beginning of the course
3. The didactic tutorial material - Slide, released from time to time at the end of the lesson
4. A Notice Board, which is used by the teacher to communicate with the students;
5. A FORUM, which is used by students to ask the teacher questions regarding didactic aspects. This area is designed as a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) area to facilitate the exchange of information between all. In this sense, all students who ask "general" questions via email will receive an email from the teacher in which they will be invited to contribute on the Forum.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam takes place in a writing 90-minutes session. The exam is made up of two sections dedicated to the theoretical notions and the practical contents of the course respectively. The sections provide for two separate marks. In case the students will get at least 18/30 in both the sections, the average of the two grades will be registered as the final exam grade (please note that the two sections must be passed in the same exam).
The first exam section contains 20 multiple choice questions. Each correct answer is worth 1.6 points, for each wrong answer 0.20 points are subtracted, while there are no penalties for those who do not indicate any answer.
The second exam section contains 4 exercises dedicated to the program topics. Each exercise is worth 8 points and there are no penalties for any errors. The exercises are evaluated as follows:
· 4 points: correctness of the final result
· 2 points: formal completeness of the graphs an /or formulas
· 2 points: readability and overall tidiness of the result sheet.
Students are reminded that they will be admitted to examination upon the presentation of a valid ID document and that THE UNIVERSITY CARD CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AN ID DOCUMENT.
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours