Recent Posts by Paul Clark

Online Curriculum Centre

It is easy to forget to look at possibly the best IB resource - that of the Online Curriculum Centre - the OCC. Apart from routine resources, such as programme guides, examination papers and session reports, you can access specimen papers, markschemes and grade descriptors from the Business Management homepage under the assessment dropdown. The general documents section includes the Teacher Support Materials (TSM) for 2016, which contains information on conceptually focused teaching, contextualized teaching through case studies and links ...

Working smart – Say goodbye to 9 to 5

As the demands for a 24/7 consumer culture grows, organisations are increasingly recognising the benefits of working flexibly for both their staff and their profits. Technology has been a huge driver to changing the nature of the typical workplace from one where staff arrive at nine in the morning and leave at five, to organisations that accept a range of working arrangement giving employees flexibility on how long, where and when they work. Dave Coplin, the chief envisioning office at ...

Making the case

Using case studies to support the delivery of Business and Management is essential as it allows students to see how the theories taught in the classroom are applied in the operations of real businesses. There are two main types of case study that complement the IB programme. The first is a detailed analysis of the formation and timeline of an organisation that provides strategic options for future growth. This type of case mirrors the pre-seen case study, which is the focus of paper ...

Lies, Damned Lies and Accounts

In a normal sense, an account of something means the telling of a story. What financial accounts do is to tell the story of business performance through numbers, although the story may require in-depth analysis to establish the real truth. Examination questions on accounts and finance are often avoided by students in IB examinations, but perfomance tends to be better on these 'harder' topics, than on the softer topics such a marketing and HRM, where there are no right answers. As ...

Reflection in the BM classroom

Learning to think and reflect is crucial in IB classrooms. I recently wrote some resources for an examining board, which had developed a skills based programme. While researching for these materials, I came across the Harvard Project Zero site that looks at thinking and reflection skills and provides some very simple, but effective ways of developing learner profile attributes. The Visible Thinking section and tools are particularly useful for teaching and promoting understanding. You will have to scroll through the ...

Deflation – cheaper must be better

Although inflation is often considered to be an economic concept, it is of great importance to all firms and, consequently, to business management students. Inflation is part of the macro environment, referred to as PEST or STEEPLE in the guide, and sitting under economics as an external constraint. Inflation is defined as “the rate of increase in prices for goods and services” – in other words the tendency for prices to rise in an economy. Inflation, therefore, reduces the value of ...

The scourge of SWOT and other misused tools

One useful exercise to conduct with your students is to set them a task of identifying and classifying business tools, theories and techniques from the Business Management guide for the core level and also for higher extension. This list will help your students with revision, but also provide a useful checklist when writing extended essays, higher level projects and standard level commentaries. The toolkit available to Business Management students is relatively extensive, but this is not evident in the extended essays ...

Google facing European competition inquiry

The European Union (EU) has accused Google of abusing its market position to distort Internet search results, in favour of its Google Shopping service.  The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Google outlining its view that Google users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to search queries – to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services, as well as stifling innovation. The case is the first time that antitrust charges have been ...

Ketchup on hotdogs

US food giant Heinz is to merge with Kraft Foods Group, creating the third-largest food and beverage company in the US. Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the combined company with Kraft shareholders owning a 49% stake. The “mega deal” will create the world’s fifth-largest food and beverage company.  Its brands will include Kraft, Heinz, and hotdog maker Oscar Mayer, with combined sales worth some $29bn and a portfolio that includes eight $1 billion-plus brands.  Regulators and shareholders from Kraft ...

Extended essays – preparing for change

With extended essays for 2nd year students having left the premises, minds are turning, or have turned, to the next batch! So, this may be a good time to take stock of the process and the pitfalls, especially given the fact that the theory of knowledge/extended essay matrix will change from May 2015, and that the extended essay is in review for teaching in 2016, with first assessment in 2018. Since the May 2010 session, 28 points overall are required to ...

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