Posted: September 14th, 2017
Business Environment in Business Management
The Business Environment module explores the relationship between organisations and their environments. For this optional Part A assessment, you should develop a plan for your answers to Part B.
This can take the form of:
1. An outline of headings and bullet points to indicate the content of your Part B submission.
2. A mind-map that illustrates the main themes of your answer. There are many web sites that deal with the technique of mind-mapping which is a useful technique for planning assignments and for examination revision, including: http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm
3. Any other type of diagram or graphic that you choose.
1. The Part A answer plan should be a maximum of 2 A4 pages.
2. You might find PowerPoint or the graphics functions in Word useful for producing a diagram.
Choose an organisation with which you are familiar, either the one where you currently work, a previous employer or one for which you have access to the required information. You should use this organisation (and the industry in which it operates) as your example when one is required.
Provide a brief introduction (maximum 200 words) that outlines the legal structure, profile and operations of your organisation, its main products and services and the industry in which it operates.
Task 1 – The organisational purposes of businesses. (LO1)
For your selected organisation:
a) List three of the organisation?s major objectives and explain how the achievement of these might be monitored. (1.1)
b) Identify the organisation?s main stakeholders. Suggest how the organisation can improve the effectiveness of its stakeholder engagement so that their expectations are met. (1.2)
c) Explain the ways in which the organisation exercises its environmental (green) responsibilities. (1.3)
You should ensure that your Task 1 answers include the following: (a) A clear identification of three significant objectives with some discussion of SMART features as a basis for monitoring (b) A detailed analysis of main external and internal stakeholders; explanation of mechanisms for ascertaining their views and expectations; an evaluation of how effective these are using a defined set of criteria and realistic suggestions for improvements in stakeholder engagement; (c)An in-depth discussion of the ways in which the organisation acts in an environmentally-sensitive way.
Task 2 – The nature of the national environment in which businesses operate (LO2)
a) Explain what is meant by the term emerging economy and use examples to support your answer. What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to a command economy? (2.1)
b) Use the business cycle model as an analysis framework to describe the current economic climate in either the UK or USA. Discuss the steps that the UK or US government might take to influence the economic climate and explain their impact on businesses. (2.2)
c) Identify three regulatory mechanisms that are in force in your chosen industry. How is compliance monitored? (2.3)
You should ensure that your Task 2 answers include the following: (a) A clear definitions of the term emerging economy with some examples of countries following this system; an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages compared with a command economy (with further examples) that looks at the perspectives of different individuals, organisations and society in general; a clear overall conclusion. (b) A well-structured analysis of the economic climate for either the UK or USA (not both) with some evidence-based suggestions for how the government might intervene. (c) An explanation of three regulatory mechanisms (e.g. competition regulators) within the selected industry with discussion of how compliance is monitored in each case.
Task 3 – The behaviour of organisations in their market environment. (LO4)
a) What are the characteristics of perfect competition? To what extent does your chosen industry?s structure fit with your definition? (3.1)
b) Using selected products and / or services from your organisation as examples, critically evaluate the impact of changes in conditions of demand. How does the organisation respond to these changes? (3.2)
c) Undertake a PESTLE analysis for your organisation. What do you conclude as regards the effects of the external environment on your organisation – does it present opportunities or threats to the organisation? (3.3)
You should ensure that your Task 3 answers include the following: (a) A clear explanation of perfect competition and an analysis of your industry’s market structure with appropriate use of economic theory; (b) An explanation of conditions of demand as an economic concept with effective use of examples to illustrate the organisation’s responses to changes; (c) An analysis of your organisations environment using the Political, Economic, Social, Technical, Legal and Environmental framework; you should provide a conclusion that considers how favourable the current environment is.
Task 4 – The significance of the global factors that shape national business activities. (LO4)
a) With reference to your selected organisation, explain the importance of international trade and the extent to which its products and services are localised for overseas markets. (4.1)
b) Use examples to explain the importance for a business to understand national culture when expanding into an overseas market. (4.2)
c) Explain the importance for UK businesses of stability within the Eurozone and use examples to support your answer. What do you conclude? (4.3)
You should ensure that your Task 4 answers include the following: a clear description of factors that determine the approach to international expansion, contextualised to the selected organisation and industry; (b) A clear outline of the national culture concept with use of an appropriate theoretical framework; good use of examples to support the discussion of its importance to businesses. You could refer to Hofstede here for example;(c) A description of the Eurozone; use of examples of the impact of instability (e.g. debt crises) and an evidence-based discussion of the stability issue leading to a clear conclusion.
1. You should write this assignment report style using a range of academic & other sources as appropriate.
2. You should use diagrams and tables of figures where appropriate ensuring to reference their source.
3. You should include a reference list and a bibliography using the Harvard referencing system. You must ensure that the submitted assignment is all your own work and that all sources used are correctly attributed. Penalties apply to assignments which show evidence of academic unfair practice. (See „Guide to Unfair Practice in Assessment? on the module page on ilearn).
4. It is advised that you write your report within approximately 4000 words
Assessment Criteria for Pass
Learning outcomes /
Assessment criteria Criteria met
(for tutor use)
LO 1 Understand the organisational purposes of businesses.
1.1 Identify the purposes of different types of organisation Introduction
Part B Task 1a
1.2 Describe the extent to which an organisation meets the objectives of different stakeholders Part B Task 1b
1.3 Explain the responsibilities of an organisation and strategies employed to meet them.
Part B Task 1c
LO 2 Understand the nature of the national environment in which businesses operate.
2.1 Explain how economic systems attempt to allocate resources effectively Part B Task 2a
2.2 Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on business organisations and their activities Part B Task 2b
2.3 Evaluate the impact of competition policy and other regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a selected organisation.
Part B Task 2c
LO3 Understand the behaviour of organisations in their market environment.
3.1 Explain how market structures determine the pricing and output decisions of business Part B Task 3a
3.2 Illustrate the way in which market forces shape organisational responses using a range of examples. Part B Task 3b
3.3 Judge how the business and cultural environments shape the behaviour of a selected organisation. Part B Task 3c
LO4 Be able to assess the significance of the global factors that shape national business activities.
4.1 Discuss the significance of international trade to UK business organisations Part B Task 4a
4.2 Analyse the impact of global factors on UK business organisations Part B Task 4b
4.3 Evaluate the impact of policies of the European Union on UK business organisations Part B Task 4c
Assessment Criteria for Merit
To achieve a Merit all of the Pass criteria need to be met, then the tutor will assess whether you have met the Merit Criteria. Each of the Merit criteria must have been met at least once within the assignment. The following statements are examples of how a merit may be achieved, if you do meet the Merit Criteria by showing you have reached this level in other ways then credit will be awarded for this. You will need to meet M1, M2, M3 at least once.
? A clear understanding of the purposes of different types of organisation
? Imagination in identifying a range of stakeholders and in-depth exploration and evaluation of engagement mechanisms
? Ability to appraise the organisation?s approach to its social, legal and ethical responsibilities
? A clear understanding of how economic systems attempt to allocate resources effectively
? Ability to present clear evidence to assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on business organisations and their activities
? Systematic analysis of the impact of competition policy and other regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a selected organisation.
? Clear understanding of the relationship between market structure and pricing and output decisions
? Evidence from examples is appropriately presented and evaluated to illustrate organisational responses
? Synthesis of theory and examples as the basis for assessing the influence of business and cultural factors
? Understands the main conceptual parameters relating to international trade
? Ability to assess the evidence around the impact of global factors on UK businesses
? Uses evidence to support the evaluation of the EU policies
Assessment Criteria for Distinction
To achieve a Distinction you have met all of the Pass and the Merit criteria. Each of the Distinction criteria must be met at least once within the assignment. The following statements are examples of how a Distinction may be achieved, if you do meet the Distinction Criteria by showing you have reached this level in other ways then credit will be awarded for this.
You will need to meet D1,D2,D3 at least once.
? In depth analysis of the example organisation, using a range of frameworks leads to clear and compelling conclusions.
? Theory (stakeholders, strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility) and practice are well-integrated into the answers and sources are fully referenced
? Understanding of limitations of theories and models that are applied.
? A critical approach throughout
? Achieves depth of critical analysis and argument in applying theories to practice.
? Clear synthesis of evidence around economic systems, employment, and social and industrial policies leading to appropriate conclusions.
? Economic theory is well-integrated into the answers and sources are fully referenced
? Understanding of limitations of theories and models that are applied.
? Able to synthesise analytical findings
? Ideas are evaluated for their validity & realism in the context the industry
? Economic theories are well-integrated with industry examples and sources are fully referenced
? Understanding of limitations of theories and models that are applied
? Makes use of appropriate theories and models relating to international trade with application to examples and critical discussion of the findings
? Highly developed arguments around the impact of global factors on UK businesses
Systematic evaluation of the impact of EU policies on UK businesses
You provided a satisfactory introduction to your organisation. This was a sound discussion of Google’s objectives in part (a) with a brief discussion of their relationship to its mission and values. In part (b) you presented a fair stakeholder analysis using the Power-Interest matrix with some discussion of how the organisation might prioritise their management although you might have been more specific here as you have taken a text book approach to this. In part (c), you presented some brief discussion of ways in which the organisation avoids workplace discrimination. Overall this is quite a descriptive section in need of some deeper analytical content at times.
In part (a), you provided a brief explanation of the emerging economy concept and included discussion of some relevant countries as examples. The second part of your answer provided some detail on China’s balance of trade with some specifics here but more detail would have been helpful. In the third section, you identified some regulatory mechanisms with a satisfactory explanation of how compliance is monitored.
Unfortunately you have not aligned your response here with the requirements of the question & you need to revisit 3a to discuss market structure & characteristics as regards perfect competition, oligopoly, etc (select the one you feel most appropriate). Currently your response whilst interesting is not specific enough to the requirements of the module. You need then to link market structure to a discussion of impacts on competitive strategies for your chosen industry. Next, you provide a brief but sound answer which demonstrated some understanding of price elasticity of demand although a more detailed discussion would have been helpful. In the third part, you needed a more detailed discussion of the ways in which your organisation matches its core competences to environmental opportunities beyond environmental as in ‘green’ initiatives but to include any relevant PEST factors – please revisit 3c to expand the discussion here a little based around the wider PEST factors.
Your first answer demonstrated a relatively sound understanding of the impact of membership of a regional trading bloc though you needed more substantial conclusions. Your second answer included a satisfactory explanation of the challenges facing businesses operating in emerging markets. The final part included a satisfactory evaluation of the impact on UK businesses of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). Good work here.
Overall, this was a sound submission demonstrating a satisfactory understanding of the Business Environment module content & clear research & effort on your part. Your approach needed a more critical perspective: much of your material was descriptive and you needed to develop stronger arguments leading to clearer conclusions. Please cite and list your references in the Harvard format.
To gain a higher overall grade in future submissions – which I’m sure is readily achievable – you should:
– Develop stronger critical arguments, clearly evaluating the evidence and considering the applicability of theories and models from the module.
– Ensure that each answer addresses the task in enough depth.
– Aim to spend some time studying the criteria for the higher grade and checkyour answers cover the required ground
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