Do you know your themes? That is the question…

In the following post, Danielle Maguire, teacher at  Jumeirah English Speaking School, outlines the nature, and importance, of the six concepts underpinning the new Business Management programme.

So, you are studying IB Business Management, but just how well do you understand the nature and content of the course? Can you name the 6 themes for example? I am sure many of you are already familiar with the acronym CUEGIS (Change, Culture, Ethics, Globalisation, Innovation & Strategy). There are ultimately 2 ways in which your Business Management course could be organised, through the teaching of the 6 themes, or the topic areas themselves e.g. Marketing, Finance, HR and so on. Many teachers are teaching the course in terms of topic areas, but some like myself, are taking the bold moves of teaching through the themes.

Ultimately, you need to understand all of the course content, this is key. You must also have the ability to interpret case studies in Paper 1 and 2, and use the information to fulfil all of the assessment criteria, from knowledge, to application, analysis and evaluation. You may also have to demonstrate skills such as drawing or calculating. Fundamentally, one of the main aims of the new course however is to get you making connections to real world examples in the form of case studies. Can you use your knowledge to understand real business world examples and discuss them in a coherent manner? Can you understand the relationships between themes, for example, how globalisation has influenced ethics, or how change requires certain strategies?

The 6 themes have been incorporated into your Paper 2 exam, question C which is a 20 mark essay. Here you will have to discuss one or two concepts in relation to one or two organisations of your choice. Therefore, you must understand the themes and also have knowledge of real world examples and case studies. Your teacher will of course provide examples in lessons, but there is also further emphasis on you now, as the learner, to take the initiative and keep up to date on the dynamic nature of business around you, in whatever culture or country you are from or live in. A key task will be to understand how different topics that you learn fit into each theme. You must be able to recognise and pick out relevant points to discuss, supported by evidence.

As a teacher teaching this course through the 6 themes, I can see how my students are starting to link topic areas together, especially in their essays. If your teacher is teaching by topic area, it may be a good suggestion to make notes at the end of every topic as to how that topic fits in which each theme, if it does at all. For example, when studying ‘international marketing’, you may evaluate its purpose in terms of Globalisation, Cultural aspects or Strategy. This outlook will help overall in enabling you to write holistically in terms of looking at the ‘bigger picture’, rather than simply an isolated topic area.

Remember – the themes were chosen for a reason. They epitomise the driving forces of Business Management. Use them, integrate them, and don’t be afraid of them!

Linking the 3 C’s

  1. The context (case study)
  2. Concepts:  What CUEGIS concepts are mentioned directly/ indirectly in this article?  (CUEGIS = change, culture, ethics, globalisation, innovation, strategy).
  3. Content:  What areas of the syllabus can you connect the stimulus material to?

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