AQA BUSS4 Research Theme for 2015 - Manufacturing in the UK

Attend a CPD Teacher Briefing on the BUSS4 Theme  |  Order the BUSS4 Research Theme Toolkit | Book places on the BUSS4 Revision Workshops

Business Studies Resources Popular resources on the {my channel} blog Resource tags for the blog RSS Feed for the blog Twitter feed for this blog Teacher Email Resource Newsletter Category listing for this blog Business Studies Blog Home Page

BUSS4 - The Section B Essay Questions So Far

Friday, February 07, 2014

We've had quite a few BUSS4 exam papers now and it is always interesting looking back over the choice of essay titles for Section B to get a feel for the style and focus of what is on offer! It is also interesting to note which topics have been covered by the essay options in Section B! 

Over the lifetime of the specification, you would hope that all the major topics in BUSS4 would feature in some way. After the June 2013 paper, there are still three core topics that have not yet been the focus of at least one of the three Section B essays, namely:

  • Retrenchment (touched on briefly in the Section A research theme in 2010 on strategies in a recession)
  • Takeovers and mergers (Section A research theme for 2012)
  • European business (the forgotten child of BUSS4?)
read more...»

Exiting China When the Risks Don’t Justify the Rewards

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

This article in Forbes is a useful example of a multinational that has decided that China is no longer an attractive business opportunity.

read more...»

Lenovo Takes on Samsung and Apple in the Global Smartphone Market

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Lenovo has agreed to buy smartphone manufacturer Motorola from Google for $2.9bn.

As Puneet Pal Singh from the BBC explains in his excellent analysis of the deal, this is not the first time that Lenovo has used an acquisition to accelerate its growth (a good example of "external growth). 

Back in 2005 it acquired the desktop and laptop business of IBM which immediately catapulted it into the global top division of computer manufacturers. Now, Lenovo is the world's largest manufacturer of computers and it has set its sights on building global market share in mobile devices, particularly smartphones and tablets.

Overnight, the takeover of Motorola puts Lenovo into third place globally, overtaking Huawei, which itself also has global leadership ambitions. Regular readers of the business blog might also ask - where are Sony and Nokia? The answer, of course, is falling fast as competition intensifies.

read more...»

China and Western Multinationals - End of the Gold Rush?

Are the good old days over? Is the gold rush of multinationals into China at its end?

I think this is a very useful leader article in The Economist which ought to be part of the research notes for aspiring BUSS4 students looking at China.

read more...»

Anti-Corruption Drive in China - Bad News for Luxury Brands?

The Year of the Snake proved a challenging one for major bureaucrats in China who had previously enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. However, a new focus on rooting out corruption amongst China's public servants, is catching up with corrupt officials. As senior public servants fall into line with the new, stricter regime, demand for certain luxury products is falling in China! In this video from the FT, Ben Marino examines the changes and the possible implications for businesses that have relied on lavish spending. 

A great example of how a change in the political environment can impact directly on business!

read more...»

BUSS4 - the tutor2u Ten for 2014

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Each year we attempt to pick a manageable selection of businesses which offer the potential for AQA BUSS4 students to combine some Section A (China) and Section B research.

Here are our suggestions for 10 firms to follow for BUSS4 students wanting to deepen their understanding of real businesses as they prepare for the two essay questions this summer. In a couple cases we’ve grouped firms together, so the total number of businesses is actually more than 10!

The tutor2u 10 is chosen entirely subjectively, based on the following criteria:

Each entrant should ideally have;

- Accessible media coverage

- Good mix of written, audio & visual research materials

- An international/global dimension

- Potential for “compare and contrast”

- Rich sources of relevant evidence for AQA BUSS4 research theme for 2014 (China)

- Reasonable expectation of examiner familiarity

The list is shown below, with a brief comment on the reason for selection.

read more...»

BUSS4 China’s Development - Past Present and Future

Friday, January 31, 2014

Here are some notes from a talk given by Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK at the Marshall Society economics conference in Cambridge in January 2014.

read more...»

Localisation - How Design is Helping Starbucks Take A Global Brand into Local Markets

Monday, January 27, 2014

You have a global brand. But, to maximise its strength in global markets, you need to take account of the local customer needs and wants. That is the essence of the concept of "localisation" and few global brands take this approach more seriously than Starbucks.

read more...»

Localisation - the foundation of British Airways Strategy in China

very useful article here in Marketing Magazine which describes how British Airways (BA) has approached its strategy of penetrating the market in China.

read more...»

Seeing through the Smog - Clean Energy Business Opportunities in China

The pollution problems that affect China are well-documented and they show little sign of going away.  However, heightened public anger at pollution - and a growing political will to deal with the issue - has created opportunities for firms with the expertise to take a share of China's fast-growing clean-technology market.

read more...»

Rolls-Royce Cars in China - Demand for Luxury Sustained

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The crackdown on corruption in China doesn't seem to be having much of an effect on demand for Rolls-Royce motor vehicles - perhaps one of the most obvious examples of conspicuous consumption. 

read more...»

Google Buys Smoke Detectors, Thermostats…and Some of Apple’s Innovative Culture

The announcement of Google's takeover of smart home-appliance maker Nest for $3.2bn is potentially hugely significant for Google.

read more...»

Retrenchment in China for Global Cosmetics Brands

The challenges for businesses outside China gaining a profitable share of fast-growing markets in China have been illustrated by two recent announcements by leading multinational cosmetics firms - L'Oreal and Revlon.

read more...»

Samsung: Boston Matrix, Culture and Dividend Yield

Saturday, January 18, 2014

These two pieces of video evidence on South Korean multinational giant Samsung are pure business studies gold - particularly for students preparing their evidence for AQA BUSS4.

Samsung is a highly diversified multinational that is the most significant firm in the South Korean economy.  It has achieved a strong record of improved profitability, quarter after quarter, as demand for its product portfolio has grown, particularly mobile devices. However, in January 2014 it announced that it expected to suffer a fall in profits, It expects to make an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won ($7.8bn; £4.8bn) for the last quarter of 2013, down 18% from the previous three months.

read more...»

China and Chocolate - Can the Global Big Five Exploit the Opportunity?

Demand for chocolate products in China is growing fast, but from a very low base. Nevertheless, the "Big Five" global chocolate firms are now all firmly focused on capturing their share of what promises to become one of the world's most valuable chocolate markets.

read more...»

BUSS4 Section A Briefing 2014 China - CPD Briefing Days: Two Dates Left in Feb 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Section A Research Theme Briefings: Two Extra Days Added

We have added two extra overflow days for colleagues wanting resource-packed support for the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on China (June 2014). These are in London on February 5th and Manchester on February 6th.

Our BUSS4 Section A CPD Briefing Days follow the popular and successful approach adopted in recent years, to include:

  • Teaching resources designed to introduce and develop the research theme, focusing on relevant examples and effective sources of student research materials
  • Activities designed to develop essay writing technique
  • Suggestions for ways in which the 2014 research theme can be integrated into the teaching of the remaining Section B topics
  • Other ways in which a linear approach can be taken, integrating some elements of BUSS3 with BUSS4 Research Theme and Section B

The dates and locations for our BUSS4 Section A China Briefings are:

LONDON (A) Monday 30 September 2013 SOLD OUT

LONDON (B) Tuesday 1 October 2013 SOLD OUT

BIRMINGHAM Wednesday 2 October 2013 SOLD OUT

MANCHESTER Thursday 3 October 2013 SOLD OUT

LEEDS Friday 4 October 2013 SOLD OUT

NEWCASTLE Monday 7 October 2013 SOLD OUT

LONDON (C) Wednesday 5 February 2014

MANCHESTER (B) Thursday 6 February 2014

read more...»

A Simple, Stretch Corporate Objective for Xiaomi - Double Sales in 2014!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

How simple is this? Xiaomi - the Chinese manufacturer of smartphones - has set a challenging growth objective for 2014. It wants to double the number of phones it sells from just short of 20 million in 2013 to 40 million in 2014.

read more...»

Supply Chain Quality in China - Wal-Mart, Five-Spice Donkeys and Foxes

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I suspect this example might find itself appearing in more than a few BUSS4 essays on China in summer 2014 - and why not?  

Wal-Mart's business in China has been hit by a quality problem that has echoes of the UK horse meat scandal.

It is reported that Wal-Mart has recalled a "five-spice donkey" meat product in China after tests showed that it contained DNA of other animals - namely fox meat.

read more...»

Business Ethics & CSR - GSK Promises to be Good

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The global pharmaceutical industry is under threat, like never before, for the way that it markets its products.

read more...»

Wal-Mart in China - Refocuses Strategy on Affluent Consumers with Sam’s Club

Wal-Mart - the world's biggest retailer - has struggled to establish itself in China. However, the world's second-largest economy must still remain an attractive and strategically important opportunity for Wal-Mart, particularly given its need to find better growth and returns to offset maturing performance in the US.

This FT article (and accompanying video below) describes how Wal-Mart is is refocusing its growth strategy in China by using its Sam's Club chain to target affluent Chinese consumers in the main Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.

read more...»

Apple (Finally) Signs the Deal with China Mobile - 700 Million New Potential Customers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

It has been along time coming (a six year negotiation), but Apple has finally signed the deal that enables it to connect to hundreds of millions of increasingly affluent consumers in China.

Apple has agreed a deal with China Mobile - the world's biggest network of mobile phone users - to sell iPhones to the network. China Mobile, which has about 760 million customers, will begin registering orders for iPhone from December 25 2013 in a deal that is likely to add many billions of dollars of annual revenues for Apple.

read more...»

Bring Him Home - UK Manufacturing Turns to Onshoring

Monday, November 25, 2013

A fascinating survey has been released by the UK's Manufacturing Advisory Service ("MAS"). It reports that a growing number of manufacturing SMEs are bringing production back to the UK from overseas. This is a process called "onshoring" which, of course, is the reverse process to "offshoring".

read more...»

BUSS4: 10 Practice Essay Questions on China (Section A)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Set out below are 10 practice questions you might want to have a go out - perhaps initially planning some outline answers and then having a go at writing a full essay response once you've completed a good amount of research.

read more...»

BUSS4 - China: Opportunities, Threats, Success & Failure

Thursday, November 07, 2013

This revision presentation highlights the key opportunities and threats faced by firms outside China looking to do business in and with China. It also provides examples of businesses that have succeeded in China and those that have struggled!

A fully editable and printable version of this presentation is included in our AQA BUSS4 2014 Toolkit on China which is being published on 8 November 2013.

read more...»

BUSS4 - China’s External Business Environment

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

This revision presentation looks at key aspects of the external environment for firms outside China looking to do business with China. It highlights key issues relating to: urbanisation; wealth, poverty & inequality; demographics in China; pollution & energy; Working conditions; corruption and protectionism

A fully editable and printable version of this presentation is included in our AQA BUSS4 2014 Toolkit on China which is being published on 8 November 2013.

read more...»

BUSS4 - Market Entry Strategies for China

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This revision presentation provides an overview of the key considerations and options facing businesses outside China looking to enter the Chinese market.

A fully editable and printable version of this presentation is included in our AQA BUSS4 2014 Toolkit on China which is being published on 8 November 2013.

read more...»

Rising Costs and a Stronger Currency Hit China’s Manufacturing Competitiveness

A terrific article here from the FT which highlights the effect of rising wages and a strong currency on manufacturers in China. The supporting video below is also golddust for students wanting to build their understanding of how the economic competitiveness of China is changing.

Low-end manufacturing, which helped drive China's economic growth a decade or so ago, is now slowly moving out of China or moving inland (away from the higher cost coastal regions). Other emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia are taking up the slack for the production of products at the low end of the value chain (e.g. textiles, shoes).

The challenge for manufacturers in China is to move up the value chain - and many are taking up the challenge!

read more...»

BUSS4 - Key Features of China’s Economy

Monday, November 04, 2013

This revision presentation provides an overview of some of the key features of China's economy. It looks at China's economic growth; the impact of urbanisation and investment in infrastructure; China's record on poverty and the creation and use of China's substantial foreign currency reserves. It also looks at rising wage costs in China and the need for China to rebalance its economy reducing reliance on investment and increasing the role of consumption in economic activity.

A fully editable and printable version of this presentation is included in our AQA BUSS4 2014 Toolkit on China which is being published on 8 November 2013.

read more...»

Rising Wages in China: Causes and Consequences

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Wages are rising fast in China – many economists believe that China has hit a stage in its development at which demand for labour starts to grow faster than supply, creating labour shortages and pushing up the price of labour (something economists refer to as a Lewis Turning Point).

Why is this and what are some of the key business implications?

read more...»

China’s Rebalancing Act - A Balanced China is a Slower China

We used the FT video below during our recent CPD days on China and it is an excellent introduction to a core issue for students looking at the opportunities and threats for businesses looking to trade with and in China.

China's stunning record of economic growth has largely been driven by investment and exports. In particular, following the global economic slowdown in 2007-10, China responded by accelerating investment in infrastructure projects and the programme of mass urbanisation which has created the largest human migration in history.

A consequence of this approach is that China's economic growth can be said to have been "unbalanced", with the economy over-reliant on investment spending which cannot be sustained indefinitely.

China is now looking to "rebalance". That's a key term that I fully expect to feature in strong essays written by AQA BUSS4 students in 2014.

read more...»

China’s Economy - Addicted to Debt?

Much of China's recent economic growth has been financed by debt, particularly bank loans. When the global economic slowdown bit, China responded with a massive programme of infrastructure investment that was funded through debt. The FT video below examines the implications of this approach.

Debt is starting to take a toll on China, its people and businesses. So long as China was able to grow incredibly quickly, China was able to finance its debt. However, it might prove harder to sustain that as China's economy enters a period of slower growth.

read more...»

Crocs Takes on China’s Copycats

An interview here with the CEO of Crocs - John McCarvel.

Crocs counts China one of its biggest markets, but its sales are threatened by lookalike products from many Chinese companies, highlighting the risks of businesses outside China losing some of their intellectual property when they trade in China.

Why is it important for Crocs to fight counterfeiting in China when many other businesses don't bother? McCarvel explains that the reason lies in Crocs being a mass-market product which has invested a lot in its brand. It is worth fighting for!

read more...»

The Five Biggest Challenges to Doing Business in China

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A terrific six minute video here which highlights and then explains five key challenges for a business outside China wanting to do business in China. Well worth a watch. An underlying theme across the challenges is how businesses outside China can reduce or manage the risks involved in entering Chinese markets. China poses quite distinct risks, particularly around the lack of information, the different culture of doing business, the role of government and the importance of local relationships.

read more...»

Starbucks Pricing Strategy Under Attack in China

Where would you expect a Starbucks latte to be cheaper - in a coffee store in downtown New York or in a Starbucks store in China? Keep in mind that per capita incomes in China are around one tenth of those in the United States.

The answer may come as something of a surprise!

read more...»

Corruption in China - Mooncakes and Guangxi

The Chinese word "guangxi" means connections. But, as Linda Yeuh explains in this BBC news video, guangxi has come to symbolise large scale corruption when doing business in modern-day China.

A crackdown on corruption in China has even extended to the giving of mooncakes - a traditional symbol of friendship!

read more...»

China’s Changing Modern Society - Some Video Resources

Some short videos here which examine some key demographic issues in China, in particular the long-term impact of China's one child policy.

read more...»

Guanxi - How AliPay Built Market Leadership in China

China is already the world’s biggest e-commerce market and almost half of the transactions on it are made using Alipay - an online payment system set up by Alibaba.

Nearly a decade ago Alibaba launched Alipay - China's answer to online payment giant PayPal. Today it's seen as the magic password at the gate of China's online commerce treasure trove.

Unlike PayPal, used by many Western internet companies, Alipay takes money up front and puts it in an escrow account. Vendors can be sure that payments made through it will be honoured.

This works so well because many Chinese are reluctant to trust strangers. The Alipay system helps build trust (guanxi) between buyer and seller. Simple!

This video shows Alipay in action.

read more...»

The Empty Cities of China

Monday, October 28, 2013

This video report from Australia's SBS programme is 15 minutes long but is well worth viewing.

A couple of years ago the channel's cameras first reported on the phenomenon of "ghost cities" in China - the result of vast investment in housing, commercial and other property infrastructure to support the process of urbanisation in China. Whilst demand still exceeds supply in the major Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in China, in other places whole cities have been built with almost no-one to live in them. Quite extraordinary. Take a look.

read more...»

BUSS4 China - Osborne and Johnson in China

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

With the high-profile visits of George Osborne and Boris Johnson to China this week, there is a glut of resources available on the BBC website which could be very valuable to BUSS4 research.

Here are links to just a selection:

read more...»

Glocalisation: Would Ansoff Classify it as Diversification or Market development?

Students looking at international expansion strategies of multinationals will soon come across the term "glocalisation". It sounds similar to the idea of diversification and both are concerned with choices that businesses make about which products and services are offered and into which markets. Such choices are often analysed using the Ansoff Matrix. But is glocalisation the same as diversification? Or is it really a kind of market development?

read more...»

Haier Delayers to Encourage Innovation and Teamwork

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A fascinating and useful profile here from The Economist of Zhang Ruimin, the Chinese entrepreneur who has guided Haier through a successful strategy of international expansion.

Ruimin challenged the preconception that Chinese manufactured goods could be produced very cheaply but to a poor quality. His relentless focus on higher production quality has enabled Haier to become the world's largest producer of "white goods" such as washing machines, fridges and freezers.

read more...»

China’s Urbanisation - the Largest Migration in History

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Two stunning videos here which help explain the scale and effect of the largest migration of people in history - from rural to urban China.

read more...»

China’s Young Workers Shun Factory Employment

Some great evidence here about the changing labour market in China. It is becoming tougher for China's manufacturing facilities to recruit and retain young Chinese.

For example, companies like Foxconn, which assembles most of the world's iPads and iPhones, are struggling to find workers to fill their massive facilities as more young Chinese shun the factory floor.

read more...»

Hong Kong - the Great Mall of China

During our CPD briefing days on China we've often mentioned the rapid growth of the Chinese middle class and the resulting impact on demand for consumer goods. China now accounts for 20% of global demand for luxury goods and this is illustrated in the following short video from the excellent FT team based in Hong Kong.

read more...»

Set the Scene for a Top-Scoring Essay with an Essay Introduction

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Examiners Report for the June 2013 sitting of AQA BUSS4 makes a very interesting comment.

It suggests that students who write a suitable introduction to each of their two essays can contribute to a better-performing and, therefore, higher-scoring essay.

This makes perfect sense and it follows from something that we emphasis on our exam coaching workshops for BUSS4. Good BUSS4 essays start with a plan. Good essays know what they are trying to argue.

read more...»

Investing in China’s Urbanisation Opportunities - KKR Takes a Stake in Haier

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A strong sign here of the increasing competitive strength of businesses based in China that wish to expand into other markets around the world. US-based venture capitalist KKR has invested around $550m for a 10% stake in Qingdao Haier, China's largest refrigerator and washing machine maker.

We have mentioned Haier before on the Business Blog as a good example of an emerging markets multinational corporation (EMMC) and Haier is also recommended as a case study for students researching China & Emerging Markets for AQA BUSS4.

read more...»

Onshoring - Is China Losing its Competitiveness as a Low-Cost Location for Manufacturing

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More than half of U.S.-based manufacturing executives at companies with sales greater than $1 billion are planning to bring back production to the U.S. from China or are actively considering it, according to a new survey by The Boston Consulting Group.

The share of executives who are planning to "onshore" or “reshore” or are considering it rose to 54 percent, compared with 37 percent of executives who responded to a similar BCG survey in February 2012.

read more...»

Xiaomi - The Apple of China?

Here's Lei Jun (on the left). Notice something familiar about him? The blue jeans; dark top and introducing a shiny new smartphone to present to the world's media. Uncanny.

Lei Jun is the founder and CEo of a firm called Xiaomi which the Chinese media have nicknamed the “Apple of the East."

Lei Jun himself is also increasingly being called the "Steve Jobs of China" - and not just for his dress sense and presentational style!

read more...»

Can Ryanair Change its Corporate Culture with the Same Leadership?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Could Ryanair be about to make a concerted effort to change its organisational culture? Can the low-cost airline soften its corporate image and improve its customer service performance at the same time?

That appears to be the plan following comments made by Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's controversial Founder and CEO, at the recent Ryanair AGM.

read more...»

Abandoned Shopping Carts: Why did Tesco and Best Buy Fail in China?

Just why have so many Western retail giants struggled to succeed in China? If global retailers like Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour and Best Buy have struggled, what hope is there for the rest?

read more...»

Page 2 of 12 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

Enter your Email

EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014

Dates and Locations for EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 Now Available - Click here for Details...

Latest resources

Resource categories Blog RSS feed Blog RSS Feed
© Copyright Tutor2u Limited 2013 All Rights Reserved