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AGB8002 Adapting Technology in Agribusiness

Semester 2, 2016 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Management and Enterprise
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 080399 - Business Mgt not classified

Contents on this page


Examiner: Roderick Glass

Other requisites

Students are expected to have graduate qualifications in either business or agriculture, or a minimum of five years’ full-time relevant professional work experience equivalent to a qualification at AQF level 7. Students should be very familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel or similar software.

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //


Technology has become a defining feature of business. There is no doubt that to remain competitive, business must learn to adapt technology to the functioning of their operation. Not all technologies yield the same return on investment; there are many traps that can lead to a negative return on investment. This course is designed to look at some of the technologies that are relevant to agribusiness and learn to evaluate its suitability to improve business performance. The intention is not to work through an exhaustive list, but learn the evaluation process that allows for investment decisions that return the greatest benefit to the business. For business, there is always a choice for investment and one of the options is to develop its own research program, taking into account the cost and the resources required. At postgraduate level the analytical process is the key learning objective to take back to the business.


This course will explores various technologies and ways technology can be adapted to benefit agribusinesses. Students will choose a small number of technologies for comparison by evaluating in detail the investment required and the likely return from adoption. Students will begin with returns on investment and analyse how investments in technology will fit into the business function and consider social acceptance by staff. Such a comparison takes into account not only the overall cost-benefit but also includes the likelihood of a successful adoption process by including social risk analysis. The benefit of this multi-factor approach is the ability to compare the relative value of a technology adoption from a firm's competitive advantage. Students will conduct a detailed comparative analysis of the chosen technologies presented in the form of a report to inform senior management decision making.


On successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. evaluate the potential of various technologies to improve business competitiveness
  2. undertake a critical analysis in comparing the return on investment opportunities of diverse technologies
  3. apply research into how such technologies might be incorporated into the business, both from an engineering and social perspective
  4. develop an integrated understanding of the relative financial value of technology adoption to the business, incorporating technical and social considerations
  5. synthesise a comparative analysis that informs senior management about the investment opportunities.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to course 5.00
2. Review of various emerging technologies 10.00
3. Evaluating doing your own research and development function 10.00
4. Researching investment cost and calculating gross benefit 15.00
5. Evaluating the social fit into the business 10.00
6. Calculating the cost of technology adoption and associated risks 15.00
7. Comparative analysis of technology return on investment 15.00
8. Evaluating competitive advantage 10.00
9. Presenting analysis outcome 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 75.00
Private Study 50.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 10 29 Jul 2016 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 09 Sep 2016 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 60 60 21 Oct 2016 (see note 3)

  1. Assignment 1 is an executive proposal which is a one-page concept summary very carefully crafted to inform senior executive of an opportunity within your business around changes to the supply chain system.
  2. Assignment 2 is an executive presentation which is a 10-minute narrated or live PowerPoint presentation, video or equivalent directed at senior management outlining more details from your executive proposal.
  3. Assignment 3 is a business report providing all the concept details of your proposal.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //