M/617/1145 Business Environment Assignment Task Answers
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You have gained an internship with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), an organisation that supports UK businesses through its London office and a network of regional offices. You are working in a regional office in an area of high unemployment and the CBI has been approached to offer a series of lectures and seminars to support business development in the area. Some of the lectures and seminars will be aimed at those wishing to set up businesses; others will be aimed at established businesses, which may benefit from a more ‘global’ outlook.
You have been given the following tasks:
Task 1 –
You are to produce an informal talk/workshop for people who are considering setting up their own business.
Prepare a presentation about the purposes of business organisations with supporting notes. Use hand-outs to provide detailed information which you can distribute to your delegates. Your presentation and supporting notes and / or hand-outs must:
(A) Explain the different types of organisations and discuss their purposes.(AC 1.1 & 1.2)
(B) Analyse responsibilities of organisations.(AC 1.3)
This provides evidence for LO1: ACs 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
To achieve a Merit, your presentation and supporting materials must also analyse the extent to which a specific organisation meets its stated purposes. You may select an organisation where you have worked or one that you will research. (AC 1M1)
This provides evidence for LO1: AC 1M1
Task 2 –
One of the seminars will focus on the structure of organisations. You are in charge of this seminar.
(A) You will start by writing a discussion paper on the different organisational structures. This will be the first part of a handout package to be delivered to the participants. In the paper you must evaluate the different types of organisational structures.(AC 2.1)
(B) Secondly, you must prepare short case studies to be distributed to each of the five tables at the seminar. Each case study should explain the functions of different departments in organisational structures and their inter relationship. (AC 2.2)
(C) Thirdly, you should write an article for the delegate handout pack evaluating the influence of global factors on organisational structures. (AC 2.3)
This provides evidence for LO2: ACs 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Distinction Task –
To achieve a Distinction, your handout package must include assessment of the organisational structure of a selected existing organisation. The critical assessment should identify areas for improvement, either with regards to specific structural elements or to their inter relationships. (AC 2D1)
This provides evidence for LO2: AC 2D1
Task 3 –
A day’s conference and networking opportunity has been set up for local business leaders who may be interested in government support and local partnerships.
You have been asked to project manage the event and have arranged for experienced local business leaders, as well as local government representatives to present specific workshops.
You are required to prepare a written paper which will be sent to the local business leaders before the event and discussed during the conference. Your written paper needs to:
(A) Analyze the impact of supply and demand on the prices of goods and services in markets. (AC 3.1)
(B) Analyse possible planned interventions in the market place and their impact on organisations. (AC 3.2)
This provides evidence for LO3: ACs 3.1, 3.2
To achieve a Merit, your paper must include an assessment of the response of a selected organisation to changes in its market. (AC 3M1)
This provides evidence for LO3: AC 3M1
Task 4 –
You must provide a leaflet which will help participants in the lectures and seminars pursue their business ideas.
The leaflet should be titled ‘The nature of the national environment in which organisations operate’.
You must ensure that the sections in the leaflet include:
(A) An explanation of the importance of national entrepreneurship strategy.(AC 4.1)
(B) An explanation of the role of monetary and fiscal policy and the possible impact on organisations and their activities.(AC 4.2)
(C) An evaluation of the impact of competition policy and other regulatory mechanisms on the activities of a specific organisation.(AC 4.3)
This provides evidence for LO4: ACs 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
Distinction Task –
To achieve a Distinction, your leaflet must include a case study which compares and contrasts the benefits and challenges to a specific business operating in different economic environments. (AC 4D1)
This provides evidence for LO4: AC 4D1
- Understand types of organisations and their purposes.
Types of organisations
- Including private, public, government, voluntary, charitable
- Including profit, growth, return on investment (ROI) sales, service customer satisfaction, corporate responsibility, ethical, environmental and social responsibilities, expressed though vision, mission, aims and objectives, long and short-term goals, values, culture
Responsibilities and strategies
- Responsibilities: meeting legal requirements of country or countries in which it is operating (e.g. consumer legislation, employee legislation, equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory legislation, environmental legislation, health and safety legislation) safety of products and services offered, ethical practices, meeting stakeholder interests, dealing with potential conflicts of interest.
- Strategies to meet responsibilities: e.g. producing and implementing business policies and procedures, utilizing quality assurance mechanisms, compliance, communication, timely response, satisfying stakeholder objectives, taking account of business and organisation rivals and competitors, dealing with conflicts of interest, recruitment of expertise.
Meeting objectives of different stakeholders
- Stakeholders: including internal and external stakeholders, e.g. financial institutions, other lenders, debtors and creditors, owners/managers/employers, customers and clients, employees, government, trade unions, suppliers, community.
- Objectives: including financial, corporate, social, ethical and environmental, achieve business plan e.g. meet customer demand through production/sales of products and services, ensure repeat business through standards of service, ensure commitment of suppliers through payment agreements, generate profit for owners, and meet environmental objectives.
- Potential conflict between objectives of differing stakeholders.
Understand the structure of organisations.
- hierarchical structure (e.g. flat, matrix, functional, divisional), centralization vs. decentralization, specialization, departmentalization or other form of distribution of work, span of control, chain of command and level of formality in procedures.
- functions of the departments: human resource management, physical resource management, finance, marketing and sales, communications, quality of service delivery, operations, logistics, decision-making, performance management, defining the expected type of communication and relationship between employees
- nature of inter relationship in order to deliver mission and meet business strategy and objectives, impact of culture
Impact of Globalization
- requirements for operating globally
- limitations of certain organisational structures in the global field with respect to intercultural relations, geographical distances and different time zones
Understand the impact of the market environment on organisations.
Supply and Demand
- concept of supply and demand and their relationship, time and supply, equilibrium and disequilibrium, excess demand.
- examples of pricing strategies (e.g. skimming, premium, penetration, economy)
Interventions in the market place
- government initiatives: taxing and subsidies, setting maximum and minimum prices, tools of market regulation, state ownership and funding.
- impact of the planned interventions: correcting market failures, re-distribution of income and wealth, managing monopolistic situations, improvement of market performance, mobility and social inclusion.
Understand the nature of the national environment in which organisations operate.
National entrepreneurship Strategy
- definition, elements: country-specific market knowledge, identification of national strengths and priorities, market niches, coherence with related national strategies, improvement of policy framework to support entrepreneurial objectives.
- indicators: starting and surviving start-up companies, job growth, share of start-ups in national income.
Impact of national fiscal and monetary policy on business organisations and their activities
- Impact of fiscal and monetary policy: level of profit, size and nature of employment, redundancy, imports, exports, trading partners, business behaviour, consumer behaviour, propensity to save, propensity to spend, tastes and preferences, expansion, downsizing.
- Government Policy and related agencies: including fiscal policy, monetary policy, PFI, central and local government spending, quantitative easing, interest rates, competition commission, sector regulators.
Impact of competition policy on the chosen organisation
- Main aims/impact of competition policy: including to promote competition in markets and price between suppliers, improve markets, contribution to efficiency and competitiveness, wider consumer choices for goods and services, technological innovation.
- Other regulatory mechanisms: Will differ between country in which organisation located but UK examples include: 4 pillars of competition policy in the UK and European Union (antitrust and cartels, market liberalization, state aid control, merger control), Competition Act 1998, Enterprise Act 2002, European Commission, Office of Fair Trading, Directorate General for Competition, Ofgem, Ofwat, Civil Aviation Authority, Companies Act, Enterprise, Training and Skills Policies, Public Sector Borrowing Benefits and challenges of operating in different economic environments.
- Benefits: may include the ability to
o Complete effective market analysis
o Adapt to cyclical changes
o Expand business operations
o Communicate effectively (within the domestic business environment)
o Access and purchase high quality materials and labour
o Benefit from economies of scale
- Challenges: may include
o The inability to communicate effectively with the international business environment
o Dis-economies of scale
o The increase in regulations and international legislation
o Difficulty in adapting and meeting the needs of different cultures
o Language barriers.
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