VW’s smoke and mirrors

The German car giant Volkswagen (VW) is in crisis. In a scandal labelled “diesel dupe”, the world’s largest automaker has admitted that it rigged diesel vehicles in the US to pass emissions tests in the lab. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some VW diesel cars sold in America had devices that could detect when they were being tested, and then change the engine performance to improve emission results. Once on the road, the engines switched back from ...

Trending – Five Forces

One of the surprising omissions in the new BM programme is Porter's Five Forces at the time that a non-motivational theorist, Dan Pink, is included under motivation theory. However, Five Forces remains in the BM programme until 2015 examinations and could still be used legitimately in internal assessments and extended essays after that. Porter's Five Forces model is a useful tool that is not really understood by many students, which is possibly why it has been dropped! Five Forces is used ...

Stuck in the middle of a shifting landscape

The Millennium Bridge, a 320-meter-long suspension bridge connecting London's financial district to Bankside, south of the River Thames, opened in June 2000. Thousands of pedestrians streamed over it.  At first, the bridge was still. Then it began to sway, just slightly. Then, almost from one moment to the next, the wobble intensified. Suddenly people were walking like tentative ice skaters: planting their feet wide, pushing out to the side with each step. Left, right, left, right, in near-perfect unison. The ...

Innovation in the new BM programme

There are many favourable aspects of the new BM programme, due for first teaching in September; not least the introduction of a concept based learning. However, it is slightly disappointing that the programme, with a shelf life of 7 years, makes limited references to some potentially transformational changes in the external environment. In particular: The social media Nanotechnology 3D printing The ‘internet of things’ Big data Given the rate of technological change, it is understandable that a syllabus cannot include every ...

Data is the new oil

  ‘Big Data’ looks like it’s going to be the business buzz word of 2014. Big Data refers to large data sets that can be managed and analysed only by increasingly powerful and sophisticated tools. Over the past five years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented explosion of digitised data, which is often referred to as “Big Data.” Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009 Individuals create 70% of all data. Enterprises store 80% Data ...

Critical musical thinking though the listening paper

Greetings DP Music teachers! During this post, I will be discussing critical thinking and the listening paper. The May 2013 Subject Report was released a few short weeks ago; the report provides examiner feedback and instructional suggestions. This report is available on the online curriculum centre (OCC). I will be basing my post on the section of the report that discusses section A - the prescribed works section. ATL - Thinking skills & Communication Skills May 2013 listening paper prescribed works: Classical symphony - ...

Changing of the guard in the smartphone market

Being an established brand adds significant extra value to a business and provides some security in poor economic conditions. For example, in Brand Finance’s list top 50 cosmetic brands by value, 19 of the 50 brands are over 60 years old, whilst 15 of them are over 100 years old. However, although brand loyalty can provide a cushion for many top brands, it cannot offer total protection from change and new competition, especially in sectors such as new technology. The mobile ...

Looking for a context

One of the weaknesses of both internal assessments and extended essays that I read relates to the lack of context. As a reader, I sometimes reach the end of an investigation unclear as to the place of the organisation within its market and/or the extent of the problem that organisation is facing. This means that there is no clear business rationale for the study. The student needs to present a well evidenced and sourced situational analysis of the firm and ...

A Euro 2012 bonanza?

Research has shown that major sports competition can lead to a considerable economic development in the years following the event.  For example, after the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, there was a significant impact on tourist traffic, with the number of tourists visiting the city doubling to 3.5 million eight years later; a benefit referred to as the “Barcelona effect”. As Euro 2012 got underway in the midst of a European economic crisis, the focus on economic benefits was as ...

Wikipedia protests blacks out website in piracy row

As digital technologies increasingly dominate personal and commercial activities, the issue of copyright protection becomes ever more controversial with stakeholder groups lining up to protect their interests. In a row dubbed by some (but denied by Wikipedia) as a clash between Hollywood and old media, and Silicon Valley, the US Congress has been attempting to enforce copyrights on the Internet, by proposing new legislative controls on internet service providers of websites that offer access to pirated material.  The Congress Act, ...