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AS and A Level: Case Studies and Analysis

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What is corporate social responsibility?

  1. 1 This is where businesses behave in a way that is seen as being ethically acceptable and beneficial to all stakeholders including the wider community.
  2. 2 An example would be a commitment to only buying raw materials from fair trade suppliers. This may raise costs so the business is being socially responsible and not buying from the cheapest source.
  3. 3 Sceptics may say that the business only behaves in a socially responsible way for the publicity they get from it.
  4. 4 This may be the case but it still makes it in the best interest of the business to be socially responsible. Think of other benefits to a business e.g. in the motivation of staff, the long term profit.
  5. 5 The free market view would be that the business only has responsibility to its owners (the shareholders) and anything which raises costs in the interest of social responsibility will be passed onto customers in higher prices anyway.

Top tips for analysing a business

  1. 1 Internal sources of information about a business will include the company accounts, press releases, company website, adverts etc. Remember who is writing them and why. Treat them with some scepticism.
  2. 2 External sources of information include Wikipedia, newspaper articles and internet sites.
  3. 3 Consider why a business has taken a particular course of action. What are its corporate objectives? What are its competitors doing? Is this a response to external or internal factors?
  4. 4 When evaluating use comparisons with previous time periods, with competitors and with its declared objectives.
  5. 5 Be prepared to question. Do not take what a business says uncritically. You may not know the real situation but questioning issues will still be worth marks.

Five things you need to know about stakeholders

  1. 1 Stakeholders are any individuals or groups that have an interest in or are affected by the activities of a business. These include shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, government and local community.
  2. 2 Most businesses will need to take into account the interests and needs of the different stakeholder groups when making decisions. The relative strength and influence of the different groups may be reflected in the final decision.
  3. 3 When analysing a business you may need to consider the effects of any course of action on all the stakeholders. The effects will differ.
  4. 4 Stakeholder groups will usually have different interests that a business must resolve e.g. employees will want fair pay and job security while shareholders will want low costs.
  5. 5 Be prepared in your analysis to point out the winning and losing stakeholders. Some people criticise the whole stakeholder concept and say that businesses are only really interested in satisfying the shareholders.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 22
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  1. Analyse the possible implications for Nayudu software Ltd of a significant increase in its typical span of control.

    This change could bring an increase in productivity as the employees are delegated the authority to meet the needs of their customers by making independent decisions without consulting with the managers, such as if a customer wants to discuss a specific need for the product they have purchased the employee would be given the freedom to fulfil their need by the best possible decision they could make at the time.

    • Word count: 510
  2. Organisational structures. Case Study: the structure of HSBC

    These people would then develop an easy way of approaching employees in the business and vice versa. Therefore, every employee in a business would be assigned with a role and responsibility; however, directors and managers would be kept as seniors and would take up the responsibility of managing the needs of employees so the objectives that are set by the business are achieved on time. In this respect, managers in a business would consider a number of key factors when designing the organizations structures, such as ?Business size?, this would be an important key factor in this aspect.

    • Word count: 407
  3. Does UK and EU legislation and regulation inspire investor confidence in the UK financial services industry?

    etc. These organization aims to protect and inspire investors’ confidence by regulating firms. In this essay, I will examine whether the regulation and legislation can rebuild the confidence of investors and how they regulate financial services industry. First of all, in the case of mis-selling payment protection insurance, the financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is involved in the regulation actions. PPI has been mis-sold alongside mortgage, credit cards and other unsecured loans since the 1990s. There were around 45m PPI policies that are worth around £44bn sold by the banks. However, it is not clear that how many of those were mis-sold.

    • Word count: 1598
  4. BP operates within the energy and natural resources sector which provide oil and gas all over the world.

    They will also make use of seismology, creating shock waves that pass through hidden rock layers and interpreting the waves that are reflected back to the surface. Seismologists interpret the readings for signs of oil and gas traps and once geologists find a prospective oil strike, they mark the location using GPS coordinates on land or by marker buoys on water. Once the oil and gas is located the land needs to be prepared by clearing and levelling, ensuring there?s a source of water nearby and make a reserve pit which gets rid of rocks and drilling mud to protect the environment.

    • Word count: 1073
  5. Explain reasons why recent UK and EU legislation and regulatory decisions may be likely to inspire investor condence.

    Secondly, Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) is another regulatory body that will inspire investor confidence. PRA was created as part of the Financial Services Act (FSA) and is responsible for the practical regulation and supervision of many banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. They ensure than there is a general objective to promote safety of the firms it regulates, an objective specific to insurance firms, to contribute to the securing of appropriate protection for those who will become an insurance policyholder, lastly, an objective to facilitate effective competition.

    • Word count: 1383
  6. Evaluate the implications for financial service providers to adapt to evolving current factors and trends.

    A change in demographics will change the provision of state pension. Before there was a big strain on the government because they were paying state pension for a long amount of time because people are living longer and there is an aging population. Because people are continuing to live longer and the life expectancy for men and women is constantly increasing the government were forced to increase the pensionable age. Currently the pensionable age is 65 for men and 63 for women but in 2018 it will be 65 for both men and women and in 2020 it will increase to 66 for both.

    • Word count: 2153
  7. Explain the importance of ethical practice in the nancial services industry.

    They should also not be supporting any business that is working in an unethical way. For instance, dealing with arms exporters and tobacco manufactures. In places where tobacco is made, many of the conditions are poor and the employers treat their staff unfairly and therefore is unethical. All businesses should operate in repressive regimes and refrain from businesses conducting animal testing. Testing on animals to make a profit is unethical and should not be done, whereas testing on animals to find life-threatening diseases can be accepted. Similarly, businesses with a poor record on environmental protection should not be done businesses with.

    • Word count: 683
  8. Evaluate of your own development as a result of your work placement.

    The majority of meetings at companies are used on outlook and therefore the knowledge I learnt at BP can be applied elsewhere. BP also do a lot for young people. They provide work experience, internships and have a graduate programme. I know that BP offer a graduate program in which I may be interested whilst at university. Moreover, the majority of the employees at BP have full time jobs. However, there will be people who have part time jobs where they have set days.

    • Word count: 2708
  9. During my internship I gained an understanding on how BP operates on a day to day basis.

    Everyone who works at BP has a designated base where they work. They will be located surrounding the team to encourage teamwork. It also makes working easier because it?s easy to ask questions with team members who are located near you; it would be a hassle if you had to travel to ask something. BP also have hot desks which means that anyone who comes to work there but doesn?t have a designated base can work at these desks. BP employees are only specialised in their jobs. They do not have a rotation policy.

    • Word count: 1039
  10. Outline the structure of your work placement organisation.

    Lastly, distinctive capabilities means BP work to develop and maintain strong relationships with governments, partners, civil society and others to enhance our operations in almost 80 countries across the globe. BP do a lot to help the community and have many corporate social responsibilities. BP work closely alongside schools providing work experience, internships and workshops in their upstream learning centre to improve young peoples knowledge and to help with careers. In addition, 3 BP is a founding partner of the ?arc? programme.

    • Word count: 1546
  11. Explain how your development of workplace knowledge, understanding and experience can improve your future working practice

    They will be located surrounding the team to encourage teamwork. It also makes working easier because it?s easy to ask questions with team members who are located near you; it would be a hassle if you had to travel to ask something. BP also have hot desks which means that anyone who comes to work there but doesn?t have a designated base can work at these desks. Because BP have designated bases where employee work it means that when working at another company it is easy to ask questions, for instance asking if they do the same thing.

    • Word count: 1806
  12. Demonstrate employment skills and behaviors acquired during my work placement.

    Some employees may come in later than 9 and leave later or come early and leave early. I worked from 8am to 5pm every day. However, some days I stayed 15 minutes to an hour extra if I had a meeting or work that I wanted to finish. Because I worked an extra hour every day I could have every other Friday off work. All staff must be reliable at the work place. To be reliable all employees must do their work accurately, free of errors and be well presented.

    • Word count: 1250
  13. Analyse the consequences of current factors and trends on financial services.

    For men it will not go up, it will remain at 65. Currently the pensionable age is 65 for men and 63 for women but in 2018 it will be 65 for both men and women and in 2020 it will increase to 66 for both. By increasing the pensionable age, the government are going to save a lot of money. This will impact many people as they will have to work longer which could be considered well and bad.

    • Word count: 1592
  14. Analyse specic areas of ethical practice within the current activities of nancial services.

    An example of unethical practice was when financial institutions like bank and building societies mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). Banks devised an insurance product that was designed to not pay out due to the strict terms and conditions and began to force customers to buy the insurance when taking out loans, mortgages and credit cards. This was very unethical and the financial services were not taking any duty of care. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) then imposed fines to all banks and building societies who mis-sold PPI and were instructed the institutions to compensate their customers. Lloyds had to pay £9.8billion, Santander £500million and the Co-operative Bank £100million proving that they had to pay large sums of fines.

    • Word count: 1208
  15. Explain the sources of initial nance, that need to be taken into account when seeking to establish a new business.

    Another way to get finance is by using retained profit. Retained profits is the profits the business keep behind and is set aside for other things. If the entrepreneur owned a previous business, they may be able to use retained profits from one business to start a new one. Retained profits are risk free as you don?t have to pay it back, or with high amounts of interest. Nevertheless, if they use all of the retained profits they won?t have any other funds to use in an emergency.

    • Word count: 1525
  16. Describe the advice and nance available for a business considering expansion and growth.

    Furthermore, research will also show them the state of the economy. It is better to expand in a boom period as people have more disposable income which means there will be a demand in the products leading to a higher chance in your products being purchased. The business should also consider the nature of the product, is it a need in respectable to the state of the economy. After the entrepreneur has decided the best time, you will need to know how to expand. You could change the legal structure or type of ownership.

    • Word count: 1845
  17. Analyse the guidance, advice and support available to a business to consolidate its operations and achieve sustained growth.

    It is better to expand a business in the boom period because people have more disposable income. This means there will be an increase of demand in the businesses products of services leading to increased sales, increasing profits. Whereas expanding in the recession would result in loss of sales as your products wouldn?t be at high demand as people do not have as much disposable income. Another way to expand is to change the legal structure or type of ownership. For example, expand from a sole trader to a partnership, from a partnership to a private limited company, to a private limited to a public limited company, to a public limited to a franchise.

    • Word count: 763
  18. Analyse the guidance available to a potential business to ensure a successful start up and nancial support

    The reason for this is because you are a new business and do not have a history of success. Banks are reluctant to give finance to new businesses as it?s a risk. Furthermore, if a partnership doesn?t have a Deed of Partnership it could lead to conflict. The conflict may be in a result of sharing of profits, making decisions or if a partner wants to leave or a new partner wants to join. Moreover, controlling interest will become a problem to a public limited company. This is because they are listed on the London stock exchange and an investor may take over the business which means they get to make all the decisions. Franchises also can occur problems.

    • Word count: 1717
  19. Justify recommendations on ways in which problems with cash ow, working capital, costs and budgets and breakeven may be addressed.

    Furthermore, allowing customers too much credit will cause cash flow problems because they won?t be gaining the cash they need. Therefore, I suggest having a cash only policy. This would be good as they would always gain their cash for their products, and wouldn?t have to worry about people not paying them. However, this may lead customers going elsewhere. Alternatively, they could use a credit factoring service with their debtors. This would mean they will gain cash, improving cash flow.

    • Word count: 1588
  20. Explain the importance to a selected business of cash ow, working capital, costs and budgets and break-even.

    Furthermore, it can help Nintendo plan with minimum borrowing. If the forecast shows that they will be in danger of deficit they will need to find a way to overcome this. Instead of applying for a loan Nintendo can find ways to reduce their costs, this may be by buying cheaper raw materials or making a decision whether or not they need all their staff. Also, Nintendo may want to produce less in the middle of the year than at Christmas.

    • Word count: 1365
  21. Describe the performance of a selected business by its trading, prot and loss, appropriation accounts and balance sheet.

    This represents an increase of 15.38%. The business has done really well in increasing their sales. Furthermore, their gross profit has improved by £130,000. This has increased from £510,000 from 2013 to £640,000 in 2014. This is a 25.49% increase. Additionally, administration expenses have decreased by £10,000 from £140,000 in 2013 to £130,000 in 2014. This is a 7.14% improvement. Their operating profit has improved drastically. It has increased by £120,000 from a loss of £20,000 in 2013 to a profit of £100,000 in 2014; this represents a 600% increase. Also their profit before taxation has increased by £120,000. This has increased from a loss of £30,000 in 2013 to a profit of £90,000 in 2014.

    • Word count: 741
  22. Analyse the performance of a selected business, using information from its accounting systems, highlighting potential causes for concern.

    This is a big increase of 300%. This is a clear improvement as they began with a loss yet still made a profit of £60,000. In addition this figure is taken after they paid tax which means this is the profit they have to invest in other things, for example, going towards their expansion in Coventry. Furthermore, Abscon Ltd has £24,000 more in the bank than they did in the following year (2013). In 2013 they had £51,000 and in 2014 they had £75,000.

    • Word count: 901
  23. Explain three nancial services appropriate to meet the needs of two contrasting customers.

    Life assurance protection policies fall mainly into 2 categories, whole of life assurance and term assurance. Whole of life assurance is when the payment is payable whenever the death occurs; therefore has no fixed limit. On the other hand, term assurance is only payable if the death occurs before the end of a specified term usually up to 30 years. Post education pre-families will use life assurance to protect their families from their death. Post education pre-families will also make use of pensions. It is important that people make use of pension while they are still earning, so that they can maintain their standard of living after they stop earning.

    • Word count: 1206
  24. Explain the range of services provided by two banking providers to meet customer needs

    As its name suggests, the company originated in Santander, Cantabria, Spain. The bank was founded in Spain in 1857 and operates in Europe, North and Latin America, Singapore, Hong Kong and Africa. Key people in the bank include Ana Patricia Botin who is the executive chairman and Jose Antonio Alvarez who is the CEO. The profit made by the bank in 2014 was ?5.816 Billion and total assets worth ?1.266 Trillion. Santander offer many products to the public. Firstly, they provide many different current accounts to their customers including: * 1|2|3 Current Accounts * Everyday Current Accounts * Choice Current Accounts * Basic Current Account * 1|2|3 Mini Accounts * Student

    • Word count: 607

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • In This unit I am gong analyse the product knowledge required by employees of the organisation. The organisation that I am going to analyse is Alton Towers.

    "Conclusion From my research I have found out a great deal about how Alton Towers runs its park. From my research I have examined the secondary research methods used by Alton Towers. From my secondary research I believe that the most effective type of method to delivery product knowledge is the use of the Alton Towers website. This is because it can be easily updated and changed to suit customer types or any up and coming events. I believe it is a quick and good method of delivering product knowledge as the amount of people that have access to a computer is constantly growing. I have concluded that Alton Towers has excellent product knowledge and that the majority of its staff where able to deliver accurate and reliable answers to any of the questions that I asked members of staff. From my research I conclude that the most affective type of primary research undertaken to get up to date product knowledge from staff is questionnaires. The only problem with this is that it is time consuming to find a member of staff and ask several questions. This type of research is affective if a person needs to know one or two questions but to find out lots of product knowledge I would recommend an educational talk."

  • With reference to the car market, discuss the case for and against engaging in niche marketing as distinct from mass marketing.

    "In conclusion, the most effective market for the motor industry is the mass market which is the volume car produces because there are many people who are interested in purchasing cars at affordable prices than for higher prices from the luxury car produces. This means the mass market are more likely to become successful as a whole because there will always be people who will be interested in purchasing affordable prices cars than for high end cars who generally cater fewer customers. Therefore, since there will be on-going purchases from the volume car producers they're likely going to become much more successful than the luxury car producers."

  • Analyse the arguments for First Cars car club proposal. June 2010 AQA

    "In conclusion, I think First Cars should take the risk. The evidence shows that the business has to take drastic action to stop further falls in profit. This strategy of market development (same product but new market) is not as risky as diversification but should be more profitable than trying to penetrate the car hire market further. Although First Cars may have to wait for several years before the proposal becomes profitable there is scope for a successful result, especially as the costs of running a car are forecast to increase which should raise demand for car clubs. The main factor which will influence success is whether the business, managers and workers can change their culture from a low price low customer service business into a high price and high customer service one. If they can do this then I think the car club will be successful and I recommend that First Cars goes ahead with it."

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