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Unit1 Business Environments

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Unit1 Business Environments

Unit1 Business Environments
Business Environment

Module Handbook

BTEC Level 5 HN Diploma in Business (QCF)

Module:

Unit 1: Business Environment

Program Name:

BTEC Level 5 HN Diploma in Business

(QCF) Unit code:

Y/601/0546

Credit value:

15 credits

Module Leader:

Cilliers Diedericks

cilliersdiedericks@yahoo.co.uk

Lecture Duration:

3 Hours (per session)

Assignment Deadline

Week 15 of the Course

Unit aim: The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of different organizations, the influence of stakeholders and the relationship between businesses and the local, national and global environments.

Aim

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of different organizations, the influence of stakeholders and the relationship between businesses and the local, national and global environments.

Unit Abstract

Organizations have a variety of purposes that depend on why they were established. Some operate for profit, whilst others do not. Organizations structure themselves and operate in ways that allow their objectives to be met. Every organization has a range of stakeholders whose interests need to be satisfied, but stakeholders have competing interests that may be hard to reconcile.

Businesses operate in an environment shaped by the government, competitors, consumers, suppliers, and international factors. Learners will understand that some influences on the business environment are direct and clear, for example taxation policies on corporate activities. Other influences are less clear, perhaps coming from the international arena and sometimes with only an oblique impact on the national business environment.

It is within this business environment that organizations function and have to determine strategies and a modus operandi that allow them to meet their organizational purposes in ways that comply with the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks. In addition, business markets take various forms and the structure of a market enables an understanding of how organizations behave. In this unit learners will consider how different market structures shape the pricing and output decisions of businesses, as well as other aspects of their behavior.

LECTURE SCHEME

Sessions

Topic and Content

Teaching

Methodology

Introduction

WEEK ONE

Course overview

PowerPoint

Presentation

Session 1

Discussion of the Student handbook

Discussion

Assignment Brief

Ground rules for effective completion of the module

Questions

Understand the organizational purposes of

WEEK TWO

Businesses

PowerPoint

Presentation

Session 2

Categories of Organizations: Legal structure; type e.g.

private company, public company, government, voluntary

Discussion

organization, cooperative, charitable; sector (primary,

secondary tertiary)

Questions

Purposes: mission; vision; aims; objectives; goals; values;

profits; market share; growth; return on capital employed

(ROCE); sales; service level; customer satisfaction; corporate

responsibility; ethical issues

Understand the organizational purposes of

WEEK

businesses

PowerPoint

THREE

Presentation

Stakeholders: Owners; customers; suppliers; employees;

Session 3

debtors; creditors; financial institutions (banks, mortgage

Discussion

lenders, credit factors); environmental groups;

government agencies (central government, local

Questions

authorities); trade unions

Responsibilities of organizations: stakeholder interests; conflict

of expectations; power influence matrix; satisfying

stakeholder objectives;

legal responsibilities eg consumer

legislation, employee

legislation, equal opportunities and

anti-discriminatory legislation, environmental legislation,

health and safety legislation; ethical issues eg environment,

fair trade, global warming, charter compliance eg Banking

Code

PowerPoint

WEEK FOUR

SUBMISSION OF TASK 1

Presentation

***Feedback on submissions***

Discussion

Session 4

Revise section 1 (if needed)

Questions

4

WEEK FIVE

FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 1

Understand the nature of the national

PowerPoint

Presentation

Session 5

environment in which businesses operate

Economic systems: the allocation of scarce resources;

Discussion

effective use of resources; type of economic system eg

Questions

command, free enterprise, mixed, transitional

The UK economy: size (gross

domestic product, gross

national product); structure; population; labour force;

growth; inflation; balance of payments;

balance

of

trade; exchange

rates; trading

partners;

public finances

(revenues, expenditure); taxation; government borrowing;

business behaviour eg investment, objectives, risk

awareness; cost

of

capital;

consumer

behaviour;

propensity

to save;

propensity

to

spend; tastes and

preferences

Understand the nature of the national environment

WEEK SIX

in which businesses operate

PowerPoint

Government policy: economic goals; fiscal policy: control

Presentation

Session 6

of aggregate demand; central and

local

government

Discussion

spending;

Public Sector Net Borrowing (PSNB) and Public

Sector Net Cash Requirement (PSNCR); euro convergence

Questions

criteria, monetary policy; interest rates; quantitative easing;

private finance initiative (PFI); competition policy (up-to-

date legislation including Competition Act 1998, Enterprise

Act 2002); Competition Commission, Office of Fair Trading;

Directorate General for Competition); European

Commission); sector regulators eg Ofgem, Ofwat, Civil

Aviation Authority; Companies Acts; regional policy;

industrial policy; enterprise strategy; training and skills

policy

PowerPoint

WEEK

SUBMISSION OF TASK 2

Presentation

SEVEN

***Feedback on submissions***

Discussion

Session 7

Revise section 2(if needed)

Questions

WEEK

FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 2

PowerPoint

EIGHT

Presentation

Understand the behavior of organizations in their

Session 8

market environment

Discussion

Market types: perfect competition, monopoly,

Questions

monopolistic competition, oligopoly, duopoly;

competitive advantage, strategies adopted by firms;

regulation of competition

Understand the behavior of organizations in their

WEEK

market environment

PowerPoint

NINE

Presentation

Market forces and organizational responses: supply and

Session 9

demand, elasticity of demand; elasticity

of

supply;

Discussion

customer

perceptions and actions, pricing decisions; cost and

output decisions; economies of scale, the short run; the long

Questions

run, multi-national and transnational corporations; joint

ventures, outsourcing; core markets; labour market trends;

employee skills, technology; innovation; research and

development; core competencies; business environment

(political, economic, social, technical, legal, environmental);

cultural environment

WEEK

SUBMISSION OF TASK 3

PowerPoint

TEN

Presentation

***Feedback on submissions***

Session 10

Revise section 3 (if needed)

Discussion

Questions

WEEK

FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 3

PowerPoint

ELEVEN

Presentation

Be able to assess the significance of the global

Session 11

factors that shape national business activities

Discussion

Global factors: international trade and the UK

Questions

economy; market opportunities; global growth;

protectionism;

World

Trade

Organization(WTO);

emerging

markets (BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia,

India, China); EU membership; EU business regulations

and their incorporation in to UK law; EU policies eg

agriculture (CAP), business, competition, growth,

employment, education, economics and finance,

employment, environment, science and technology,

regional); labour movement; workforce skills; exchange

rates; trading blocs

(eg

monetary unions,

common

markets; customs unions, free trade areas); labour

costs; trade duties; levies; tariffs;

customs

dues;

taxation

regimes;

international

competitiveness;

international business environment (political, economic,

social, technical, legal, environmental); investment

incentives; cost of capital; commodity prices; intellectual

property; climate

change

e.g.

Kyoto

Protocol, Rio

Earth Summit;

third

world poverty;

the group of 20

(G-20); global financial stability

Be able to assess the significance of the global factors

WEEK

that shape national business activities

PowerPoint

6

TWELVE

the UK

Presentation

Global factors: international trade and

Session 12

economy;

market

opportunities;

global growth;

Discussion

protectionism;

World Trade

Organisation

(WTO);

emerging

markets (BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia,

Questions

India, China); EU membership; EU business regulations

and their incorporation in to UK law; EU policies eg

agriculture (CAP), business, competition, growth,

employment, education, economics and finance,

employment, environment, science and technology,

regional); labour movement; workforce skills; exchange

rates; trading blocs

(eg

monetary

unions,

common

markets; customs unions, free trade areas); labour

costs; trade duties; levies; tariffs; customs

dues;

taxation

regimes;

international

competitiveness;

international

business

environment

(political,

economic, social, technical, legal, environmental);

investment incentives; cost of capital; commodity prices;

intellectual

property;

climate

change e.g.

Kyoto

Protocol, Rio Earth Summit; third world poverty; the

group of 20 (G-20); global financial stability

WEEK

SUBMISSION OF TASK 4!

PowerPoint

THIRTEEN

Presentation

***Feedback on submissions***

Session 13

Discussion

Revise section 4 (if needed)

Questions

WEEK

FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 4!

FOURTEEN

Session 14

ASSIGNMENT BRIEF

Lecturer Name

Assessor Name

Internal Verifier

C Diedericks

C Diedericks

Program Title

Unit No & Title

Unit Code

Edexcel BTEC Level

Unit 1 – Business

Y/601/0546

HND BM (QCF)

Environment

Assignment Title

Business Environment

LEARNING OUTCOMES

FORMAT

Learning

Understand the organizational purposes of

Outcome 1

businesses

AC 1.1

Identify the purposes of different types of

organization

Report

AC 1.2

Describe the extent to which an organization meets

the objectives of different stakeholders

AC 1.3

Explain the responsibilities of an organization and

strategies employed to meet them

8

Learning

Understand the nature of the national

Outcome 2

environment in which businesses operate

AC 2.1

Explain how economic systems attempt to allocate

resources effectively

Report

AC 2.2

Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on

business organizations and their activities

Evaluate the impact of competition policy and other

AC 2.3

regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a selected

organization

Learning

Understand the behavior of organizations in

Outcome 3

their market environment

AC 3.1

Explain how market structures determine the pricing

and output decisions of businesses

Report

AC 3.2

Illustrate the way in which market forces shape

organizational responses using a range of examples

AC 3.3

Judge how the business and cultural environments

shape the behavior of a selected organization

Learning

Be able to assess the significance of the global

Outcome 4

factors that shape national business activities

AC 4.1

Discuss the significance of international trade to UK

business organizations

Report

AC 4.1

Analyze the impact of global factors on UK business

organizations

AC 4.1

Evaluate the impact of policies of the European

Union on UK business organizations.

TASKS

Scenario:

Environmental dynamism is a widely-explored construct in organization theory, strategic and business management literature. It has growing importance according to the degree of instability or turbulence of such key operating concerns as market or industry conditions as well as more general technological, economic, social, political forces. An organization’s ability to adapt to changing environmental circumstances is key to survival. Your aim is to examine how firms behave under different types of environment and the external influences on businesses. It is also important to be aware of and how to address a wide variety of business decisions, processes and activities within the business environment.

Understand the organizational purposes of businesses

Identify the purpose of different organizations

Here you have to briefly describe a range of

organizations

for

example:

Public

Sector,

Municipality, Charity, Private Sector, Limited or Public

Limited Company or Partnership and briefly Explain

the purpose, aim and objectives of each. They are all

of course able to generate revenue, but there are

Section

many differences that you need to identify.

Outcome 1

Describe the extent to which an organization meets the

objectives of different stakeholders

Different stakeholders could include: Staff Unions,

Suppliers, Customers and Clients, Public Resources,

Banks, Shareholders, National and Local Media, Local

Communities, Local Authorities and Government.

Word Length: Approx. 400 words

***FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 1 is in WEEK 5!!!!!***

Understand the nature of the national environment in

which businesses operate

Explain how economic systems attempt to allocate

resources effectively

Give a broad response and briefly describe the economic

systems and briefly list the resources that are People, Raw

Materials, Land, ect. And explain how these systems

Section

attempt to make the best use of these resources.

Outcome 2

Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on

business organizations and their activities

Here you need to briefly explain the fiscal and monetary

and explain how Taxation Levels, Interest Rates, and the

Value of how the Pound, Dollar and Euro will positively or

Negatively affect the Business Organization.

Evaluate the impact of competition policy and other

regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a selected

organization

You will need to select a suitable organization, ideally a

large enough national or international one and discuss how

it is constrained by Competition Policy, for example

regarding Monopolies and by regulations such as the

Planning Laws. Good examples in the UK would be

Supermarket Chains or Airport Operators.

For relevant articles you could search phrases such as:

Economic Systems plus Allocated Resources, Fiscal plus

Monetary plus Policy Impact on Business and Policy plus

Impact plus Business.

Word length: Approx. 400 words

***FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 2 is in WEEK 7!!!!!***

Understand the behavior of organizations in their

market environment

Explain how market structures determine the pricing and

output decisions of a business

Describe different Market Structures and how they affect

Pricing, Distribution, Products and Service Offerings. A

good example is where there is Substantial Competition,

Suppliers and a wide range of products and services to

choose from. Another example is where there are very few

providers, little competition and high demand.

Illustrate the way in which market forces shape

organizational responses using a range of examples

Section

You should list some Market Forces for example:

Outcome 3

Recession, Competition, Changing Demographics,

ect. And explain how organizations have to respond

to or react to these Market Forces, for example:

Supermarkets offering own Brand or low cost

products.

Judge ho the business and cultural environments

shape the behavior of a selected organization

Select a National or International business organization

and describe how it changes its behavior depending on the

external environment. For example in conditions of

recession, demographic change, ect. You could also

consider if the organization move into international or

overseas markets, how it would respond to these forces.

* For relevant articles you could search using phrases

such as: Market Structure plus Influence on Business

plus examples, Market Forces plus Influence plus

Business, Business Environment plus Cultural

Environment plus Strategies.

Word length: Approx. 400 words

***FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 3 is in WEEK 11!!!!!***

Section

Outcome 4

Be able to assess the significance of the global factors that shape national business activities Discuss the significance of international trade to UK business organizations

You are to look at Imports to Satisfy Business, Raw Material Needs and Customer Needs, but more importantly look at Exports and consider how much the UK earn from these and how critical and how important they are to the UK Economy.

Analyze the impact of global factors on UK business organizations

Research and discuss the impact of the Negative and Positive Economic Situations is. For example: The USA or Europe. You could also look at the Negative Effect of the Euro problems. You could also consider factors such as Shortages of Raw Materials, Metals and Foods, ect. Or the Growing Demand from Developing Countries for Products and Services. Read more about : HNCB 038 Hydraulic Principles And Applications

Evaluate the impact of policies of the European Union on UK business organizations

Describe at least TWO EU Policies, such as those on Social Welfare, Working Conditions, Freedom of Labor Movement and look at the positive and negative Impact these have on UK Business.

For relevant articles you could search phrases such as:

International Trade plus Importance to UK Business, Global Factors plus Impact on UK, EU Social Welfare Policies plus Impact on UK.

Word length: Approx. 400 words

***FINAL SUBMISSION FOR TASK 4 is in WEEK 14!!!!!***

SUMMERY OF GRADES

In order to achieve a distinction

All learning outcomes and associated

assessment criteria have been met

In order to achieve a merit

All learning outcomes and associated

assessment criteria have been met.

All merit grade description are

achieved

In order to achieve a pass

All learning outcomes and associated

assessment criteria have been met.

GRADING GRITERIA

Indicative Grade

% Marks

Characteristics

Distinction

70%+

Very high standard of critical analysis using appropriate

conceptual frameworks.

Excellent understanding and exposition of relevant

issues. Clearly structured and logically developed

arguments. Good awareness of nuances and

complexities.

Substantial evidence of well-executed independent

research. Excellent evaluation and synthesis of source

material. Relevant data and examples, all properly

referenced.

Merit

69-60%

High standard of critical analysis using appropriate

conceptual frameworks.

Clear awareness and exposition of relevant issues. Clearly

structured and logically developed argument. Awareness of

nuances and complexities.

Evidence of independent research.

Good evaluation and synthesis of source material.

Relevant data and examples, all properly

referenced.

Pass

59-50%

Uses appropriate conceptual frameworks.

Attempts analysis but includes some errors and /or omissions.

Shows awareness of issues but no more than to be expected

room attendance at classes.

Arguments reasonably clear, but underdeveloped.

Insufficient evidence of independent research. Insufficient

evaluation of source material.

Some good use of relevant data and examples but

incompletely referenced.

Pass

49-40%

Adequate understanding of appropriate conceptual

frameworks.

Answer too descriptive and or any attempt at analysis is

superficial containing errors and omission.

Shows limited awareness of issues but also some confusion.

Arguments not particularly clear.

Limited evidence of independent research and reliance on a

superficial repeat of class notes.

Relatively superficial use of relevant data sources and

example and poorly referenced.

***PASS = 40%***

HNC/D Business

Unit 1: Business Environment

Unit code: Y/601/0546

Learning Outcome 1: Understand the organizational purposes of businesses

For a Pass the learning outcomes below must be achieved and the work to be presented in a report format.

1.1Identify the purposes of different types of organization.

1.2Describe the extent to which an organization meets the objectives of different stakeholders.

1.3Explain the responsibilities of an organization and strategies employed to meet them.

Merit Descriptor

Indicative

Contextualization

characteristic

Select/ design

Relevant theories and techniques

and apply

have been applied

appropriate

A range of source information has

Methods/

been used

techniques

Complex information/data has

been synthesised and processed

Distinction

Indicative

Contextualization

Descriptor

characteristic

Demonstrate

Ideas have been generated and

convergent/

decisions taken

lateral/ creative

Convergent and lateral thinking

thinking

has been applied

Conclusions have been arrived

at through synthesis of ideas

and have been justified

The validity of results has been

evaluated using defined criteria

Self-criticism of approach has

taken place

Realistic improvements have

been proposed against defined

characteristics for success.

To achieve the relevant grade illustrated at least one bullet point must be achieved.

Learning Outcome 2: Understand the nature of the national environment in which businesses operate

For a Pass the learning outcomes below must be achieved and the work to be presented in a report format.

2.1Explain how economic systems attempt to allocate resources effectively.

2.2 Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on business organizations and their activities

2.3 Evaluate the impact of competition policy and other regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a selected organization.

Merit Descriptor

Indicative

Contextualization

characteristic

Select/ design

●Relevant theories and techniques have

and apply

been applied

appropriate

●A range of methods and techniques have

Methods/

been applied

techniques

●A range of source information has been

used

●The selection of methods and

techniques/sources has been justified

●The design of methods/techniques has

been justified

●Complex information/data has been

synthesised and processed

●Appropriate learning

methods/techniques have been applied.

Distinction

Indicative

Contextualization

Descriptor

characteristic

Use critical

●Conclusions have been arrived at

reflection to

through synthesis of ideas and have

evaluate own

been justified

work and justify

●The validity of results has been

valid

evaluated using defined criteria

conclusions

●Self-criticism of approach has taken

place

●Realistic improvements have been

proposed against defined

characteristics for success.

To achieve the relevant grade illustrated at least one bullet point must be achieved.

Learning Outcome 3: Understand the behavior of organizations in their market environment.

For a Pass the learning outcomes below must be achieved and the work to be presented in a report format.

3.1Explain how market structures determine the pricing and output decisions of businesses

3.2Illustrate the way in which market forces shape organizational responses using a range of examples

3.3Judge how the business and cultural environments shape the behavior of a selected organization.

Merit Descriptor

Indicative

Contextualization

characteristic

Select/ design

●Relevant theories and techniques have

and apply

been applied

appropriate

●A range of methods and techniques have

Methods/

been applied

techniques

●A range of source information has been

used

●The selection of methods and

techniques/sources has been justified

●The design of methods/techniques has

been justified

●Complex information/data has been

synthesised and processed

●Appropriate learning

methods/techniques have been applied.

Distinction

Indicative

Contextualization

Descriptor

characteristic

Demonstrate

●Ideas have been generated and

convergent/

decisions taken

lateral/ creative

●Self-evaluation has taken place

thinking

●Convergent and lateral thinking has

been applied

●Problems have been solved

●Innovation and creative through

throughout

●Receptiveness to new ideas is evident

●Effective thinking has taken place in

unfamiliar contexts.

To achieve the relevant grade illustrated at least one bullet point must be achieved.

Learning Outcome 4: Be able to assess the significance of the global factors that shape national business activities.

For a Pass the learning outcomes below must be achieved and the work to be presented in a report format.

4.1Discuss the significance of international trade to UK business organizations.

4.2Analyze the impact of global factors on UK business organizations.

4.3Evaluate the impact of policies of the European Union on UK business organizations.

Merit Descriptor

Indicative

Contextualization

characteristic

Present and

●The appropriate structure and approach

communicate

has been used

appropriate

●Coherent, logical development of

findings

principles/concepts for the intended

audience

●A range of methods of presentation have

been used and technical language has

been accurately used16

●Communication has taken place in

familiar and unfamiliar contexts

●The communication is appropriate for

familiar and unfamiliar audiences and

appropriate media have been used.

Distinction

Indicative

Contextualization

Descriptor

characteristic

Demonstrate

●Convergent and lateral thinking has been

convergent/

applied

lateral/ creative

●Problems have been solved

thinking

●Innovation and creative through

throughout

●Receptiveness to new ideas is evident

●Effective thinking has taken place in

unfamiliar contexts.

To achieve the relevant grade illustrated at least one bullet point must be achieved.

COURSE GUIDANCE

Essential requirements

There are no essential or unique resources required for the delivery of this unit.

Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Centers can develop links with local employers. Many businesses look to employ learners when they finish their programs of study and may provide information about the business environment which they operate in. They will have a view about the impact of the governmental and EU factors that shape how they behave.

Many learners are, or have been, employed and will be able to draw on their experience of employment and will have had experience of the nature of the business environment and the ways in which organizations respond to and determine the nature of that environment.

GENERAL GUIDANCE

Unit1 Business Environment1

Scheduling techniques

A diary is a simple but powerful tool for organizing your time. If you do not manage your time effectively you will find yourself rushing your work, reducing its quality. By planning out your day systematically, you will be better able to see how much time is available for different activities. By having a realistic picture of how much you can achieve, you will be better able to organize your time so that you do not overload yourself with work from day to day.

Research and preparation are key to successful assignments.

There are a number of study skills, which are vital to develop if you want to become an effective independent learner. This section will support you in collecting the information that you need to complete assignments, and in making effective use of the research resources available to you through your Centre and the internet.

Effective note-taking

In order to prepare to write assignments, you will need to be able to write useful and accurate notes. Note- taking is not about creating word-for-word copies of a lecture or of a page in a book, but about summarizing key points quickly while including the main points and themes. When taking notes, it is worth investing in a notebook with a margin. This allows you to record your notes in the main part of the page and to use the margin for ‘cues’. A cue is a comment you can make on the notes you have made as a reminder to yourself, or as a stimulus for further investigation. For example, you might add a question mark in the margin next to topics that you think you should investigate further.

Alternatively, you might write questions that you will later try to answer through reflection or further study, or by asking your tutor. When you are taking notes, you should aim to reduce the material that you are taking notes on. This means you have to take information and simplify it. You can achieve this in a number of ways: Visit Now : Unit 8 Research Project Assignment

● Abbreviate terms where possible.

● Try to simplify the information by leaving out long examples or points that are not relevant to your assignments.

● Record keywords and references to the source of the information you are using, such as page numbers and titles. This will let you go back and check facts later.

Mind-mapping

There are many forms of note taking and different approaches work for different people. Some – especially those with a tendency for visual learning – find that Mind mapping is a helpful way to make notes in class or from books. A mind map visually represents the main points in a topic. It can be particularly useful for providing an overview of a topic and helping to draw out links between different key points.

Preparation Stage

Read all Core Material

Read all the Supplementary Articles

Consider the range of issues/problems/difficulties/threats that your organization is currently facing

Ideally, discuss these with your Line Manager

Discuss the final selection with your personal Tutor

When you have the final agreement from your Personal Tutor, submit the proposal.

Reviewing your notes

It is wise to review your notes within a short time of making them for two reasons:

It will help you to remember the contents. Repetition aids recollection.

You might find you have different ideas about some of the points that you made. This might spur you to write down a question for your tutor or to look up a particular

concept again so that you can clarify something you have written. It is better to find a gap in your notes the next day rather than weeks later or the day before an assignment deadline.

Recommended Resources

When you are studying for a higher-level qualification, you will need to use a library to Independently research topics. You will be expected to ‘read around’ topics that are delivered in class –the reading list at the end of this Study Skills Guide will provide you with some useful sources of further reading. This will be particularly important if you want to complete a degree or other higher-level qualification after your BTEC Higher National.

There are a number of resources that you can find in a library with which you should be familiar. Different sources have different purposes, so you should take care to use materials that are pitched at the appropriate level for your course. When investigating different sources of information, try to look at and compare a range of different titles and authors. You might find that different writers explain topics in different ways. You might find particular texts more accessible than others. This is quite normal and is nothing to worry about. If you find one resource does not meet your needs, you should investigate others.

Books

Might focus on a specific area of a topic or give an overview of a range of subjects. You should aim to use the most recent books possible. Be aware that some titles will have more than one edition. You should try to study from the newest version of a text, as this is likely to represent the most up-to-date theories and examples available in your field.

Periodicals

More commonly known as magazines and newspapers. These document current events locally and nationally, and can often be a useful starting point for contextual information

Journals

Sources of the latest academic research. These publications are often highly specialized, focusing on a particular areas of interest. Some journals are of particular importance in each field and you should ask your tutor where they would recommend you look for research.

Reports

Documents that might be published by government agencies, charities, politicalthink-tanks or businesses. They are likely to contain a mixture of quantitative and qualitative evidence. When scrutinizing reports, you should do so with a clear awareness of their source, as some agencies will have a bias. For example, think-tanks such as Policy Exchange have ties to particular political parties and may represent a specific point of view.

Interpreting an assignment brief

In order to interpret an assignment, you need to identify a number of key points. You need to:

find the command words in each question or task

determine what content is being assessed

establish the context of the assignment.

1) Command words

Each task in your assignment will contain a verb that indicates to you the level of the response that you are expected to give. It is important that you interpret these verbs correctly so that you fully recognize the level of demand in each task.

2) Content

It is important to establish which theories and concepts must be covered in your assignment. Your tutor might provide you with a copy of the specification for the qualification.

3) Context

Your assignments will relate to a particular scenario. This might be something relevant to your workplace or it might be a situation relating to a case stud y selected by your tutor. You should normally ensure that your assignment relates closely to this context. This is because of the nature of the qualification you are studying for: you are expected to demonstrate academic knowledge in a workplace setting.

There are some additional considerations that you must take account of. The word count on your assignment should inform how much you write and help you to structure your response.

A good way to do this is to start on a blank page and divide your overall assignment into subheadings. These should usually relate to the main themes or theories you need to cover. Once you have done this, allocate a number of words to each subheading, remembering that you will need to include a brief introduction and a longer conclusion to sum up your arguments overall.

Budgeting words in this way will help you to keep within your word count. It will also help you break the assignment down into more manageable pieces that you can approach step by step over a period of days or weeks.

Your assignment will have a submission deadline, set by your tutor. Finishing well before this is important. You should ensure that you plan for enough time to read through your assignment and check you have covered all of the required content. You might find what you originally thought was well written and eloquent actually lacks a degree of coherence, so you might want to make some improvements to make your arguments more sophisticated or to add a point that you had accidentally omitted.

Types of assessment

There are two different types of assessment that you are likely to experience during your Higher National course.

1)Formative assessment refers to activities that are designed to give you feedback and allow your improve your work. Your tutor might sit down with you and discuss your work and progress, helping you to prepare an action plan to improve your work.

2)Summative assessment refers to the final, formal assessment of your work that assigns you a grade. This is likely to happen at least once during each term or semester on your course. While you might get feedback from your tutor on the strengths and weaknesses of your work it is not always the case that you will be able to make further improvements to your work after these assessments.

Accessing higher grades

You will naturally be concerned with making the most of your studies and accessing the highest grades possible. There are specific qualities that an assessor will be looking for in your assignments, such as an ability to critique theories and ideas. You should make sure you are familiar with these requirements before you start writing your assignments. There are a number of practical steps you can take to maximize your opportunities to achieve higher grades.

Independent reading is vital

You will not be able to get the best grades by simply relying on the notes that you are given in class. You will be given a reading list for different modules that you study. This is the minimum that is expected of you in terms of independent study. You should aim to read and make notes on the relevant sections of each book on your reading list as well as following up on references highlighted by tutors during lectures, seminars and tutorials. Another way of finding further texts to study is to look at the references at the end of chapters in your course texts. This will allow you to explore the material that informed the books you have read and explore the concepts in them in greater depth. This can help you develop your understanding of key points.

Understand the demands of your assignment brief

One of the easiest ways to lose marks is to provide a response that does not fully answer the questions set. You should take great care to read your assignment thoroughly and to clarify any points of uncertainty with your tutor. You need to make sure that your answer is well focused on answering questions. Detailed recitals of material from course textbooks might show that you have a superficial understanding of a topic but will get you, at best, a passing grade or worse. You need to demonstrate your ability to think critically and to apply theory to a range of different scenarios.

Demonstrate originality

To achieve the very highest grades, you should demonstrate some evidence of the ability to construct original thoughts and ideas. This does not meant that you are constructing your own theories, but it might be that you find a novel application of existing ideas or offer a unique criticism of established ideas. A good way to approach this is often by using your own experiences and insights to inform your work. Basing your assignments on workplace experience or primary research can provide a source of unique insights.

However, be careful to avoid long descriptions of scenarios in this case. You should ensure that your insights are relevant to the questions that you are answering and that you are not simply going off on a tangent.

Make the most of class sessions. It might sound obvious, but regular attendance at lectures, tutorials and seminars will help you to perform better. Your tutor will regularly offer advice on skill assignments and you should take note of this. You are also likely to hear explanations of a range of theories and concepts that go beyond those in the material on your reading list. This will give you clues as to what to look for in the library to read around the topics studied more effectively.

Be critical

This does not mean that you have to tear apart every concept that you write about, but it does mean that you should not simply accept ideas at face value. Just because a concept has weaknesses does not invalidate it, but if you fail to acknowledge and address these weaknesses, then it will make your arguments far less convincing and constrain you to lower grades.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Sawyer M, (ed.) – The UK Economy: A Manual of Applied

Economics, 16th edition (OUP Oxford;2004) ISBN:9780199266517

Begg D Foundations of Economics, 4th edition (McGraw-Hill

Higher Education, 2009) ISBN: 9780077121884

Morrison J International Business Environment: Global and LocalBOOKS Marketplaces in a Changing World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)

ISBN: 9781403936912

A&C Black Publishers Ltd – Whitaker’s Almanack 2010, 142nd revised edition (A&C Black Publishers Ltd, 2009) ISBN: 9781408113646

JOURNALS

WEBSITES

Harvard Business Review (Harvard Business Publishing)

The Economist (The Economist Newspaper Ltd)

The broadsheet newspapers have daily business sections. Many business stories will appear in the news sections.

www.business-link.gov.uk

www.12image.com

www.businessballs.com

www.globethics.net

www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm

the government’s portal

www.berr.gov.uk has sections

on business support, Europe,

Business Law and regional development as well as other materials

www.ac777.dial.pipex.com/bes/index.html

Online journal for

British Economy Surveywww.competition-commission.org.uk/Competition Commission’s web site –

Regulates competition between companies in the UK by conductingin-depth inquiries

www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/journals is a directory of materials that can be used for teaching and covers a broad spectrum of business and economics

www.ofgem.gov.uk/Pages/OfgemHome. Aspx is the web site of the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets. Each industry regulator has a similar site

www.bized.co.uk/ Bized provides a selection of teaching and learning resources

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/ the BBC web site’s business section

www.thetimes100.co.uk includes a number of businesses and

economics oriented case studieshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/business/environment/

STRUCTURE AND FORMAT FOR REPORT WRITING

You are advised to use the following format

Title page — The details of author, circulation, purpose of submission and date.

Acknowledgements — To those who assisted the author in the production of the report.

Contents — With page numbers.

Introduction — The background, the issue and the aim of the investigation.

Major sections/Body — As many as necessary, usually covering the concepts used, the information collected and the evaluation.

Conclusions — Overall findings of the investigation: the overall picture that has emerged and the implications.

Recommendations — Actions that should be taken, based on the conclusions.

References — Identification of literature and other sources used and referred to in the text.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Your evidence for assessment must be handed in with a signed learner declaration

You must hand in individual work for assessment for all tasks (including group work tasks) to the examination office

You must following the assessment criteria above to ensure that you meet all of the criteria in order to pass the module Your assignment should be in report format

You must include in your assignment a cover page with your details and your course details using the template provided

Submission deadline: Check and comply with the assessments schedule in your course handbook

Submission type: Check and comply with the assessments schedule in your course handbook

References: Ensure that all references are quoted at the end of any question/document submitted; you must apply the Harvard System of Referencing in your work.

Ensure that font style should be Tahoma and font size should be 12 in all assignments

Ensure that (in paragraph) line spacing should be 1 or 1.15 and alignment should be justify

Ensure that all work has been proof-read and checked prior to submission

Ensure that the layout of your documents is in a professional format

PLAGIARISM/COLLUSION

Any act of plagiarism or collusion will be seriously dealt with according to the regulations. In this context the definition and scope of plagiarism are presented below:

Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s work as your own, It includes copying information directly from the Web or books without referencing the material; submitting joint coursework as an individual effort; copying another student’s coursework; stealing coursework from another student and submitting it as your own work.

Collusion is working collaboratively with another learner to produce work that is submitted as the individual learners work.

Suspected acts of plagiarism or collusion will be investigated and if found to have occurred will be dealt with according to the college procedure.

For Presentations students will need to prepare power point slides. This presentation slide has to be merged into their main word document. To merge these files:

Click and open power point slide and copy all content

Click and open the word document and scroll to the end of document

Paste copied slide as Bitmap using paste special option Insert 2 slides per page

REFERENCING USING THE HARVARD SYSTEM

It is not enough for you to state that you have read a number of texts in the preparation of your assignment; it is important to show how and where you have used your sources within the assignment itself.

Referencing allows you to do this and ensures that you avoid plagiarism.

The finest source of reference is the peer reviewed journal since it will be current and reliable as it has been peer reviewed. The least reliable source is the website and these should be kept to a minimum with no more than two or three appearing in a list of 30 References. Thus, if you use 150 books, articles and journals you should only have about 5 web references!!!!

Tabloids, the Metro, the Evening Standard or Wikipedia are not acceptable references and you should trace any of their material to the original source and quote this.

Equally you cannot quote a lecture unless you are citing the lecturer’s published book or journal.

Three points are important when referencing with the Harvard Referencing System

Acknowledge the work by other people that you have used in your assignment

Offer enough information to allow the reader to follow up your reference, and access it for themselves

All references should appear as a (name, date) in the text and in full on the Reference list.

CURRENT REFERENCES (THIS CENTURY!)

References should be current 2010+ and preferably post 2013. If you are using an older model then quote the original date followed by a recent journal article which mentions it to show that it is still part of the contemporary debate. For example Kolb’s learning cycle would be (Kolb, 1974; Simmonds 2010) and both would be listed separately on your reference list.

1. Referencing in the text itself with the Harvard Referencing System

You can demonstrate how you have used sources in your assignment through appropriate referencing in the text itself. The Harvard system uses the authors surname and year of publication as the main way to identify documents within the text. Here are some practical examples of referencing within the text.

E.g. It has been shown that……… (Jones, 2011) E.g. Jones (2011) shows that…….

E.g. the main features of …. have been identified as….. (Jones and Brown, 2012)

re than two authors: E.g. Smith et al (2013) indicate that …….

The full list of authors must appear in the reference section at the back

E.g. Key issues for Anderson industries were….. (Anderson plc. 2014)

E.g. Key stages in the discipline process are……. (ACAS, 2014)

Quotations

When you quote directly from a source you should place the quotation in inverted commas and the page number should be given in the reference.

e.g. “The employment relationship is central to personnel and development, whether in terms of the direct employment of staff by an organization, or the subcontracting of work to external bodies”. (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2010:7)

Direct quotations should be kept to a minimum as paraphrasing is preferred with the reference (name, date) in brackets after it. A direct quote alwaysrequires a page number.

2. REFERENCING IN THE REFERENCE SECTION USING THE HARVARD SYSTEM

The Reference section follows the end of your assignment text (but comes before any appendices). This is where you list the publications you have referred to in full and in alphabetical order. The following information should be provided to allow anyone to follow up your reference and access it accurately:ed or italicized

AMPLES OF REFERENCES ON

THE REFERENCE LIST

Reference to an article in a journal

Riusala, K. and Suutari, V. (2012) Expatriation and careers: perspectives of expatriates and spouses. Career Development International Vol.5. No. 2 pp. 81-90

NB– where the journal has volume numbers and part numbers these should be clearly shown – page numbers of an article should be given wherever possible

Reference to a book

Bloisi, W. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour (2nd European Edn.) McGraw Hill, London.

Reference to a booklet

Department for Education and Employment (2012). Delivering Skills for All: Second Report of the Skills Task Force. HMSO, London.

Reference to the work of someone cited in a different source (such as a text- book).

McGregor, D. (1960), The Human side of Enterprise. cited in Bloisi, W. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour (3rd European Edn.) McGraw Hill. & then give the page number where you found it!

Reference to a particular chapter in an edited book:

OSullivan, N. (2009) The Future of Work in Matthewman, L., Rose, A. and Hetherington, A. (eds.) (2009) Work Psychology . Ch. 16. pp. 348-367. OUP England

Reference to an item found on the internet

Internet sources should be cited in the text as (Web 1), (Web 2) etc. with a fresh number for each reference. The bibliography should then list them separately. If the same Web page is used on different dates as a regular source of information then the date should also be included in the reference e.g. (Web 1, 22/3/10) then (Web 1, 24/3/10) on subsequent occasions. They need not be alphabetical order in your reference list. This should include the fact that the item was accessed on-line& when e.g. Web1, (1999) ‘Pay and Conditions in Call Centres’, available at http://www.incomesdata.co.uk/callcent/htmAccessed 23 October 2008 graphs, charts and tables

You should make reference to Graphs, charts and tables used in your text to strengthen your arguments, clarify concepts or give proof. These should be numbered in sequential order with the data source shown beneath them.

Table 1.1 Percentage of unemployed builders in London 2010-2012

Year

2010

2011

2012

North London

23 %

27%

19%

South London

14%

38%

8%

Source: Employment Statistics (2012)

*** Remember all graphs, charts and tables MUST be sited in the back!

IF IN DOUBT, PLEASE RE FER TO UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMTON’S

REFERERNCING GUIDELINES ONLY!!! (The Officials that update Harvard Style Referencing) Available at: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/lib/PDF/harvard%202010.pdf

METHODS OF WORKING

Lectures must be attended. Weekly reading is essential!!!! You are likely to find Lecture work easier to accomplish if you have a copy of the lecture notes with you. Lectures are essential for developing the required skills for the module. On this module you are treated as an ADULT Graduates independent and autonomous learners.

As such, to succeed in the module you will need to read around your subjects; both in the recommended texts and in relevant journals, think things through, reflect in a critical way about your own transfer of knowledge to practice as well as that of organizations you notice around you, solve problems, research topics and integrate your learning in a coherent way.

It is recommended that you match your college time for this module with an equivalent independent study period each week.

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS

This handbook is not a definitive statement of EDEXCEL regulations, but merely a guide Specially written for you in order to complete the assignments.

FORMATIVE FEEDBACK PLAN

Date

Learning Objectives

Learning

Hand

Summative

Issued

Outcome

In

Assessment

30/01/16

Understand the organizational purposes

LO 1

Week

15/02/2016

of businesses

4

30/01/16

Understand the nature of the national

LO 2

Week

07/03/2016

environment in which businesses operate

7

30/01/16

Understand the behavior of organizations

LO 3

Week

28/03/2016

in their market environment

10

30/01/16

Be able to assess the significance of the

LO 4

Week

25/04/2016

global factors that shape national

13

business activities

Any students having any difficulties with any area of the assessment must inform the administrator immediately. A meeting will then be arranged with the lecturer to give further support.

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