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1. Critically evaluate economic data as a guide to policy making within an international, national and organisational context.

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BA Business Management



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Assignment Title:

Assessment 2

Word count (or equivalent):

2500 words

Submission deadline:

To be announced by the Assessment team- Please refer to the assessments schedule

published on Students’ Hall in Moodle

Return date of provisional marks & written feedback:

After the Exam Board

Submission method:

All written assessments, where practical and possible, must be submitted via Turnitin unless otherwise instructed by the Lecturer. (Please DO NOT put this assessment specification into Turnitin or it will match many similarities with other students’ submissions.)

Alternative submission method (if applicable):

Late submission of the assessment will result in a late penalty mark. Penalties for late submission: Up to one week late, maximum mark of 40%. Over one week late, 0%. Only the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may approve a change to submission dates.

Academic honesty / referencing:

Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment.

Module Learning Outcomes

(from module syllabus)

1. Critically evaluate economic data as a guide to policy making within an international, national and organisational context.

2. Apply a number of different economic concepts (supply and demand, price elasticity, cost analysis) with respect to managerial decision making in organisations.

3. Analyse the impact of government policy on markets and its effect on the managerial decisions.

The overall aim of the report is to convey just how significant the management economic function is within an organisation in order to support sound decision making, ensure appropriate control systems are in place, maximize economic performance and help ensure long term sustainable growth.
Assignment Guide

You are to work individually on your report and in order to complete this assignment can easily be found on past news articles about your chosen company - I expect you to become avid business news readers by the time you finish this assignment.

Your analysis should start with the study of the company’s history, overview about its activities, the industry it operates in, types of services and products it produces, business environment it operates in, main markets and other aspects of company’s business profile.

You should choose a product or a product range as a first step. For example, Procter and Gamble has gazillions of products, you will not have time and resources to study its products. Thus, choose, say, baby wipes product range and keep your focus on it.

1. Research-informed Literature about the role of Management of economics in an economy. Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions(5 marks)(300 – 330 words

  1. Describe the chosen company, its products/services and history.
  2. Describe and discuss the market structure the firm faces. (10 marks)(300 – 330 words)

1. Analyse the market it has been operating ever since its inception. Why do you think the company of your choice operates in one of the market structures i.e. oligopoly, monopoly?


[Hint: number of companies in the industry, revenue share of your company in the industry] (25 marks)(600– 660 words)

2.  Did the company operate in a different market structure in its history? For example, it could have faced monopolistic competition but later the market transformed into an oligopoly or vice versa.

Discuss the characteristics of its previous market structure.

[Hint: Historical market/industry information such as the number of firms in the industry over time, data on revenue by companies] (25 marks) (600– 660 words)

3. Considering the nature of the industry in which the firm operates,

1. Do you think operating in a different market structure is more optimal for this firm? Discuss.

2. Would you suggest greater/lesser government intervention? Discuss.

[Hint: Think about whether government intervention is good for the society or not, if yes, discuss] (25 marks) (700– 770 words)

4. Your report must be referenced using Harvard Referencing conventions [Refer to Harvard Referencing Handbook on the Library Resource]

Hint: [How to avoid plagiarism There are four simple ways to avoid plagiarism: • Do not copy from other students’ work. • Do not ‘cut and paste’ information from the Internet, or another source, without properly referencing it and showing it as a quotation.

It is easy to avoid plagiarism. ‘Forgetting’ is a common issue in plagiarism to reference material obtained from elsewhere. This can be avoided by keeping the list of references as progress in research] (10 marks)

Try to use graphs or tables plotting/showing the trends for the past five years. Data on sales, costs, profit margin, employee numbers, market share etc. could be used. These are easily collected or computed using the annual reports of the companies. Below, I provided a list of the sources of data, the list is not exhaustive. So, try using other data sources.

Markets and firms for consideration (the list is not exhaustive) Accountancy                          PwC, E&Y

Air travel                                Virgin, British Airways

Automobile                             GM, Ferrari Aircraft engineering                             Rolls Royce, Boeing Aircraft                                   Airbus, Boeing

Banking & Financial               Barclays, Goldman Sachs Brewers                                  Carlsberg, Diageo

Electrical retail                        Curries, Best Buy

Fast food                                McDonalds, Burger King

Food retail                              Wall Mart, Tesco Food and personal care          Procter & Gamble Furniture                                 Ikea

Handset                                  Apple, Samsung

Home DIY                             B&Q, Homebase

Hospitality                              Accor Hotels, Radisson Hotels Household Appliances           Zanussi, Indesit Company Microprocessors                      Intel, AMD

Mobile phone network           Vodafone, Verizon Oil & Gas Extraction                    BP, ConocoPhillips PC                                                HP, Dell

Pharmaceuticals                      Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer

Restaurants                             Domino`s, Itsu

Soft drinks                              Cadbury Schweppes, Coca Cola

Sportswear                              Nike, Adidas

Sugar                                      British Sugar, Tate & Lyle

Tobacco                                  BAT, Imperial Tobacco Group

Tyres                                       Goodyear, Michelin Group

TVs                                         Samsung, Panasonic

Publishing                               Penguin Random House, Hachette Livre

Bookies                                   Paddy Power Betfair, William Hill


Source of Data/Information https://www.warc.com/ContentandPartners/EuromonitorInternational.info https://www.census.gov/ - data on US businesses https://fred.stlouisfed.org/ - data on macroeconomic indicators https://www.ons.gov.uk/ - data on UK businesses http://www.statista.com/ - data on various indicators for various countries

http://stats.oecd.org/ - data on social and economic indicators, OECD countries http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/statistics - statistical tables, reports, etc.

Useful web sites/links

http://marketrealist.com/page/12/?tx=content-type&tm=overviews#article-919858 http://www.oecd.org/economy/

https://www.retaildetail.eu/en http://finance.yahoo.co.uk http://www.farmbusinesssurvey.co.uk/

Suggested Readings

Aigner-Walder, B. (2015) Effects of the Demographic Changes on Private Consumption: An Almost Ideal Demand System Analysis for Austria. Journal of Economic and Social Studies, 5, 1, 33-57

Andreyeva, T., Long, M. and Brownell, K. (2010) The Impact of Food Prices on Consumption: A Systematic Review of Research on the Price Elasticity of Demand for Food. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 2, 216-222.

Bagwell, K. (2005) The Economic Analysis of Advertising. Columbia University Discussion Papers No. : 0506-01

Baker, J. (2003) Competitive Price Discrimination: The Exercise of Market Power Without Anticompetitive Effects (Comment on Klein and Wiley). Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals. Paper 278.

Ellickson, P. (2013) Market Structure and Performance. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Forthcoming; Simon School Working Paper No. 13-21

Foot, D. and Gomez, R. (2006) Population aging and sectorial growth: the case study of the UK, 2006-2026. OJBE, 5:1

Griffith, G. (2003) The Impact of Supermarkets on Farm Suppliers. The Australian Economic Review, 37, 3, 329–336

OECD (2015), OECD Employment Outlook 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris. Available at: http://ifuturo.org/documentacion/Employment%20outlook%202015.pdf


Economic Outlook Volume 2015/1

Rauch, D. and Schleicher, D. (2015) Like Uber, But for Local Governmental Policy: The Future of Local Regulation of the `Sharing Economy`. George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 15-01.

Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2549919

Cigliano, J. (1980) Price and Income Elasticities for Airline Travel: The North Atlantic Market, Business Economics, pp. 17–21.


Heien, D. and Pompelli, G. (1989) The Demand for Alcoholic Beverages: Economic and Demographic Effects, Southern Economic Journal, pp. 759–769.

Shapiro, M. (1987) Measuring Market Power in U.S. Industry, NBER Working Paper, No. 2212.

Further Guidelines

The report should be well structured and presented, making appropriate use of reading materials, graphs and footnotes, and with full referencing.

In general, all pieces of work should display the following desirable characteristics as much as possible:

  • Answer focuses on question(s) asked
  • Degree to which the answer covers all aspects of question
    • Degree to which answer exhibits understanding and knowledge of relevant theoretical (and empirical) literature and of policy issues
    • Degree to which answer demonstrates consistency, coherence and purposeful analysis
    • Appropriate use of graphs (and statistical methods)
    • Analytical and critical ability – ability to go beyond the descriptive and the immediately obvious
    • Depth and breadth of the analysis
      • Originality (i.e. synthesis of a fair amount of material and being more than a rehash of some text or texts)
      • Assessment of the importance of the topic under discussion
      • Evidence of the use of a variety of sources
      • Clarity of explanation
        • Conclusions that cover the main issues and which offer a critical assessment of the work undertaken and relevant policy implications
        • Appropriate referencing
        • Use Harvard style (find the Harvard style guide on blackboard)
        • Overall quality of presentation

NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.

1. Engagement with Literature Skills

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-to- date, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 5, you should be able to demonstrate: sound knowledge and critical understanding of the well- established concepts and principles of the subject area and the way in which those principles have developed; knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. meaningfully to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

You should be able to critically analyse information, and propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis, including the critical evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking, evaluation and synthesis. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? At all times, you must provide justification/evidence for your arguments and judgements. Evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area is crucial to you providing a reasoned and informed debate within your work. Furthermore, you should provide evidence that you are able to make sound judgements and convincing arguments using data and concepts, with an understanding of the limits of knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations. Sound, valid conclusions are necessary and must be derived from the content of your work. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

4. Practical Skills

At level 5, you should be able to use/deploy a range of established techniques within the discipline, and apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts, some of which may be creative. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria. You should show awareness of the limitations of concepts and theories when applied in particular contexts.

 5. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. This includes demonstrating: professional development to advance existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume significant responsibility within organisations; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; that you can use appropriate media to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well- structured in presentation and organisation

This section details the extent to which the assessment criteria are demonstrated by you, which in turn determines your mark. The marks available for each category of skill are shown. Lecturers will use the space provided to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement.

Generic Assessment Criteria

Marks available


Marks awarded

1. Engagement with Literature Skills



Research-informed Literature about the role of Management of economics in an economy. Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions. Describe and discuss the market structure the firm faces.




2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills



Analyse the market it has been operating ever since its inception. Why do you think the company of your choice operates in one of the market structures i.e. oligopoly, monopoly? Discuss.




3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills



Did the company operate in a different market structure in its history? For example, it could have faced monopolistic competition but later the market transformed into an oligopoly or vice versa.




4. Practical Application Skills



Considering the nature of the industry in which the firm operates. Do you think operating in a different market structure is more optimal for this firm? Discuss. Would you suggest greater/lesser government intervention? Discuss.




5. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice



Attributes in professional practice: individual and collaborative working; deployment of appropriate media. presentation and Organisation.




Assessment Mark (Assessment marks are subject to ratification at the Exam Board. These comments and marks are to give feedback on module work and are for guidance only until they are confirmed. )

Late Submission Penalties (tick if




Up to 1 week late (40% Max)


Over 1 week late (0%)


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