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Business Management Assessment Overview

Business and Management – HL Overview

Name of the Name of the Weighting Marks Duration Content


assessment component (%)
External Paper 1 35 % 60 2 hr 15 min Based on a pre-seen case
assessment study
Sec A – 2 out of 3 questions
(10 marks each)
Sec B – One compulsory
question (20 marks)
Sec C - One compulsory
question (20 marks)
Paper 2 40 % 80 2 hr 15 min Sec A – 1 out of 2 questions
(20 marks)
Sec B – 2 out of 3 questions
(20 marks each)
Sec C – One compulsory
question (20 marks)
Internal Research 25 % 25 30 hr One Research Project - 2500
assessment Report words

Business and Management – SL Overview

Name of the Name of the Weighting Marks Duration Content


assessment component (%)
External Paper 1 30 % 40 1 hr 15 Based on a pre-seen case
assessment min study
Sec A – 2 out of 3 questions
(10 marks each)
Sec B – One compulsory
question (20 marks)
Paper 2 45 % 60 1 hr 45 Sec A - 1 out of 2 questions
min (20 marks each)
Sec B - 1 out of 3 questions
(20 marks)
Sec C - One compulsory
question (20 marks)
Internal Written 25 % 25 15 hr One written commentary –
assessment Commentary 1500 words
HL Internal Assessment - Overview

Background
- You must select a real organization for this, not a fictional one, and the issue or decision
under investigation must also be real. You are expected to gather primary research from the
organization.

- You have to carry out research that addresses an issue facing an organization or analyses a
decision to be made by an organization.

- You must also produce a research proposal that can be used as a primary planning document
and be presented in terms of an action plan.

- Your title is very important. Your title has to give focus and direction and must be framed
as a question.

- You must produce a written report that does not exceed 2,000 words.

- Bear in mind that some organizations fail to provide data, which may undermine the quality
of your report. So before you start, make sure that you will be able to obtain the necessary
data from the chosen organization.

Your Research project has two parts that you MUST hand in:

1. Research Proposal and action plan (500 words)

It is the primary planning documents – and will give your research project overall
direction

The written report, which follows the research proposal, is the second part of the
internally assessed research project.
Format

Research question - state the research question

Theoretical framework - give the rationale for study


- show areas of the syllabus to be covered

Methodology - indicate methods to be used to collect and


analyze data, and the reason for choosing them

Action plan - show the order of activities & timescale of the


project.
- name organizations and individuals to be
approached
- outline possible sources of information
- specify possible difficulties
2. Written Report (2000 words)
The written report, which follows the research proposal, is the second part of the
internally assessed research project.

There are three elements in this section. They are:

a. Collecting the data


You must collect both primary and secondary data. There are two factors that are important
when deciding what type data to collect:
- How is it to be used?
- How reliable is the data?

Here are some of the possible business techniques used in the past:

However, given the maximum word limit of 2,000 words you cannot choose more than 4
tools at an absolute maximum.

More is certainly not better – you lose marks for going over the word limit and for including
extraneous material.

We recommend two general points:


- 3 techniques.
- at least 1 qualitative and 1 quantitative technique.

b. Collating the data


After you have collected the data then you have to begin the task of organising it in your
project.

You need to consider what forms of presentation you will want to use. Some common types
are set out below.

You must source every piece of data you include. This is critical; you will lose marks if you
do not. You could also be accused of plagiarism if you do not source all the data.
c. Writing the report
The IB expects you to have created more than one draft of the Business Report. This is to
show that you have modified your work as you go along.

A complete Business Report format is set out below and we have indicated the parts that you
would be expected to complete.

1. Title Page
2. Acknowledgements
3. Contents Page
4. Executive Summary (Abstract)
5. Introduction
6. Research Question
7. Procedure or Method
8. Main Results or Findings
9. Analysis & Evaluation (Discussion)
10. Conclusion & Recommendation
11. Date & Signature
12. Bibliography & References
13. Appendices

The following are the general requirements made by the IB, you must make sure that you
have met these:

- Page numbering
- Word limit
- Authenticity
- Teacher guidance

Examples of past questions


Should company “x” employ an expatriate or a local manager?
Should company “y” purchase another photocopy machine?
Should company “Y” relocate to China?
Should Company “z” change its marketing strategy?

Assessment Criteria
There are nine assessment criteria for the research project.

Criterion A: Research proposal (3)


Criterion B: Sources and data (3)
Criterion C: Use of tools, techniques and theories (3)
Criterion D: Analysis and evaluation (6)
Criterion E: Conclusions (2)
Criterion F: Recommendations (2)
Criterion G: Structure (2)
Criterion H: Presentation (2)
Criterion I: Reflective thinking (2)
Criteria A – Research Proposal
- Is the research question appropriate, clear and focused?

Research question should be forward looking rather than descriptive and should require the student to
make recommendations for future action

- Have the action plan been well defined?

Should show evidence of planning

- Describe the theoretical concepts/ideas related to the project

Includes rationale for study and the areas of the syllabus to be covered

- List all the methods/techniques to be used in the project

Should include possible sources of information, whom does the student approach
(organization/individual) and the methods to be used to collect and analyze data and the reason for
choosing them.

- Mention the potential problems and solutions likely to be encountered

Anticipating the problems likely to be faced and how does the student propose attempting to solve
these problems

Criteria B – Sources and Data

- The research should predominantly be based on primary data.

- Appropriate sources should be selected (eg: interview, survey etc).

- Care should be taken on not to rely on one primary source alone.

Criteria C – Use of tools, techniques and theories


- Should have an in-depth understanding of concepts.

- Should have consistent evidence on effective use of concepts.

- Appropriate selection and application of tools/theories is important.

Criteria D – Analysis and Evaluation


- Should have a detailed analysis and good evaluation

The research question should be answered here. Look at the causes, effects and solutions and consider
the needs of the company.

- Discussion should be probing, in-depth and informative


Use the findings to back up the argument and is OK to make judgements.

- Ideas should be integrated well and the issues discussed should have logical and
coherent order

Must develop a detailed breakdown of the themes outlined earlier. It should be clearly organized.

- Evidence of critical and reflective thinking

The discussion should be well referenced and there should be evidence of interpretation of findings.

Criteria E - Conclusions
- Conclusion

Conclusions have to be consistent with the evidence presented and directly address the research
question.

- Address the research question

The conclusion must answer the question set initially and relate to the objectives set.

- No omissions

The conclusion should link together with everything that has been discovered. DO NOT worry if you
feel you are repeating yourself: when you conclude you do summarize the points already made.The
recommendations must be based on the evidence shown.

Criteria F – Recommendations

- Future action proposed

Recommendations should look into the future and should suggest what can be done. Draw heavily on
primary and secondary research collected, as recommendations must be backed up with evidence.

- Consistent

Recommendations have to be consistent and backed up with the conclusion.

- Should have practical value to the company

The company should be able to implement the suggestions/recommendations given.

Criteria G – Structure

- The project work should be within the word limit. The title question should be
answered.

- General accepted format is given below:


Format

1. Research proposal
2. Action Plan
3. Executive Summary
4. Introduction
5. Main results and findings
6. Analysis
7. Conclusion(s)
8. Recommendation
9. Appendices
10. Bibliography

Criteria H – Presentation

- Use of subject-specific terminology is important.

Must include subject-specific terminology and should be consistently correct.


Must concentrate on Spelling, punctuation, terminology and grammar.

- Bibliography, Appendix and Footnotes

These must be detailed, well referenced throughout and well organized. Each part of this has to be
clearly numbered and used at one point in the analysis.

- No surplus materials

Excessive or unwanted materials should be avoided.

Criteria I – Reflective Thinking

- The research work should evaluate various perspectives.

- The judgments should be based on the perspectives evaluated.

- Critical and reflective thinking is required to reach highest mark band.


SL Assessment criteria-Overview

Background
The SL internal assessment is a written commentary that allows students to demonstrate the
application of business management tools, techniques and theories to a real business issue or
problem.

Students must select a real issue or problem, not a fictional one, and must produce a
commentary with a title presented as a question.

• You must produce a commentary with a title presented as a question

• Your commentary must refer directly to a single business organization, but you may
consider industry-wide issues that impact on that organization.

• Your commentary must be based on primary and/or secondary data, selected for its
suitability, depth and breadth.

• Your commentary must not exceed more than 1,500 words . A word count must be
included as part of the commentary.

• The commentary requires analysis and evaluation of the business issue/problem.


Judgments can be made throughout the commentary, but are essential within the
conclusion.

• You must attach three to five supporting documents from which the majority of the
information for the commentary has been obtained. Any additional sources, such as
textbooks, class notes and DVDs/videos, must be referenced, but will NOT be
accepted as supporting documents.

The commentary must be based on primary and/or secondary data, selected for its suitability,
depth and breadth.

All supporting documents and additional sources must be fully referenced and included in
bibliography

Examples of past questions

- How will the introduction of pay per view for Times online be profitable?

- Will the merger of Nokia and Microsoft be a success?

- How can company “x” solve the dispute with its employees?
There are seven assessment criteria for the written commentary.

• Criterion A: Supporting documents (4)


• Criterion B: Choice and application of business tools, techniques and theories (5)
• Criterion C: Choice and analysis of data and integration of ideas (5)
• Criterion D: Conclusions (3)
• Criterion E: Evaluation (4)
• Criterion F: Structure (2)
• Criterion G: Presentation (2)

Criteria A – Supporting Documents


Supporting documents have to be relevant and up-to date, sufficient to provide in-depth ideas
and views.

They have to be written a maximum of two years before the submission of the written
commentary. It is also recommended that the students do not use the same supporting
documents as other students in the school.

Examples of secondary sources of information for the commentary:

- Market research surveys


- Articles from the local, national or international press
- Financial reports
- Business accounts
- Business plans
- Mission statements
- Web-based surveys
- Extracts from the company websites
- Government and other statistics
- Academic publications

Examples of primary sources might include:

- responses to questionnaires
- transcripts of interviews and discussions with focus groups
- results of surveys.

Criteria B – Choice and application of business tools, techniques and


theory

The commentary should examine broad and appropriate business concepts

The selection of your documents is very important. To achieve the highest level of each
assessment criterion, it is strongly recommended that the supporting documents present a
range of ideas and views.

Example: economies of scale, mergers and acquisitions, distribution chains, the marketing
mix and the external environment.
Criteria C – Choice and analysis of data and integration of ideas

It is important to consider the following points:

− Link the analysis to the research data


− Be succinct and ordered
− Integrate the data, analysis and evaluation
− Avoid relying too heavily on a single source (the business)
− Use independent sources
− Avoid unsupported generalizations
− Be critical – don’t take everything for granted

Students should also ensure their research project adheres to the following points:

- Are the ideas coherent & consistent?


- Is there evidence of critical thinking?
- Are judgments made?
- Is there evidence to back up the analysis & evaluation?

The findings have to be analysed in such a manner that their relevance to the question is
clearly established taking into account business theory and using, as far as possible, business
tools and techniques.

Criteria D – Conclusion

− The title question must be answered, based on the analysis of the findings and, in
particular, on the analysis of the supporting documents.
− The conclusion should not introduce ideas or judgments that have not been
discussed in previous sections of the commentary.

Some points to bear in mind when writing the conclusion:

− There should be no new material introduced here


− The conclusions should be brief statements (even bullet points)
− The conclusions must be consistent with the evidence presented
− Don’t ignore evidence because you don’t agree with it.
The recommendation should once again follow on from the conclusion and it should be brief
and consistent. It must include the following elements:

− A realistic yes/no recommendation


− Unanswered questions should be stated
− Suggestions to resolve these unanswered questions are made

Criteria E – Evaluation

− The commentary should evaluate various perspectives.


− The judgments should be based on the perspectives evaluated.
− Critical and reflective thinking is required to reach highest mark band.

Criteria F – Structure

− The commentary should be within the word limit. The title question should be
answered.
− General accepted format is given below:

Format

1. Title - Form of a question


2. Introduction - Including a description of methodology
3. Findings - Based on the supporting documents
4. Analysis
5. Conclusion(s)
6. Appendices
7. Bibliography

Criteria G – Presentation

− Use of subject-specific terminology is important.

− The commentary should contain correctly presented references and a


bibliography. Only books and web pages actually consulted should be included.
The access dates to the web pages consulted should be specified.

− If the student refers to sources of any type, these should be referenced through the
use of footnotes.