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How did Aldi crack Tesco’s hold on the market?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Some news in the same week as Philip Clarke's high profile departure from Tesco, is that Karl Albrecht, who founded German discount supermarket chain Aldi  with his brother Theo, has died. The success and growth of Aldi is one of the thorns in the side of Tesco, and one reason for the profits warning that they announced yesterday, along with several other problems that Clarke inherited when he took over from Sir Terry Leahy three years ago. There is plenty to analyse in the criticism of Tesco's strategy, but also worth considering what it is that has enabled Aldi to break into the market, and how they have moved to a position of having 19% of those in the AB socio-economic catergory shopping in their stores. This item gives five ways that Aldi have cracked the supermarkets, and makes a great contrast to the Tesco story.

The do’s and don’t's of pitching for business investment

Here is an article which might be worth hanging on to for the start of next term, when new students start on their Business Studies course. The BBC has spoken to three venture capitalists - not the well-know Dragons, but some different names: the founder of Google Ventures, and managing partners of two funds based in India and in New York. They compare what they look for in a startup, what they avoid, and the best way for businesses to approach them.

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AQA BUSS4 Section A CPD Briefings for June 2015

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Advanced notice here of a CPD course that always sells out early. Our AQA BUSS4 Section A Briefing 2015 will once again turbo-charge your teaching planning and preparation for the research theme for 2015 which will be published on 1 September 2014.

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Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops for AQA AS/A2 Business in 2015

Friday, July 11, 2014

The dates and locations for our programme of intensive exam coaching & revision days for AQA BUSS1, BUSS2, BUSS3 and BUSS3 in Spring 2015 are now available. Details below. We'll add details of how to book online to this blog entry shortly.

To find out more about what goes on at these exam coaching & revision days, take a look at this introductory video!

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Vending Machine Pizza

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This could be an excellent starter activity for a group discussion September?

Ask students to consider whether this is a good idea? Is it worth the price? What is its USP? Wonderful for getting students who havent studied business before (and those who have) to start thinking about many business concepts. I find that students tend to engage well with the concept of enterprise when they find the idea interesting?! And who doesnt love pizza???

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World Cup glory: For country or cash?

Monday, July 07, 2014

We all know football is full of cash, and sometimes, where there is money, there is corruption (FIFA?). However, on the ‘fully’ transparent and above board side, everyone knows that players and coaches alike are well remunerated for their hard work! In line with Taylor’s thinking, bonuses tend to play a big role in football and with Cameroon’s bonus row and Ghana having $3 million in cash sent out to their players, it would be very interesting to have a look at the performance of the teams in relation to their financial incentives. No doubt, many would expect the biggest payouts to be promised to the teams who are likely to be the most successful.

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Six simple, engaging teaching and learning strategies for Business Studies

Friday, July 04, 2014

As we approach the end of another academic year I thought it might be useful to put together some of my all time favourite teaching and learning strategies for business studies.

Below are '6 of the best' and what I like most about them is that they take very little (if no) preparation smile

The Yes/ No Game

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/giveitago/comments/the-yes-no-game

Equation

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/bellwork-activity-equation/

Topic Tennis

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/topic-tennis/

Talkabout

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/a-great-starter-or-plenary-talkabout/

Thinking Skills Bingo

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/starter-activity-thinking-skills-bingo/

Prediction

http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/prediction-a-plenary-and-a-starter/

Barbie, you’re hired

Monday, June 30, 2014

"Entering the entrepreneurial world, this independent professional is ready for the next big pitch. Her "smartphone," tablet and briefcase are always by her side."

Sounds like one of the contestants to take part in the next series of The Apprentice? Actually no, it's the latest Barbie doll - Entrepreneur Barbie.

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EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We are pleased to announce details of EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 - our enrichment event that connects students with fantastic entrepreneurs - LIVE!

Download a booking form here or contact Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office with your required numbers

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Marketing, with a hint of Brazilian flavour

Thursday, June 19, 2014

As far as I know, Pot Noodles don't usually feature as a typically Brazilian dish, but they are just one of the products jumping on the World Cup bandwagon.
There are plenty of other examples to add - Domino's have new Fiesta and Rio pizzas, Tilda have 'sweet and spicy' rice and Lucozade have a new Brazilian variety. These and others all feature in an article about the range of Brazilian-themed products appearing in the supermarkets.

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Ikea in China - The Classic Long-term Success Story Built on Localisation

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I suddenly realised that, whilst we've featured Ikea prominently in our exam coaching workshops for a couple of years, we haven't linked to the wealth of resources that are out there to help tell & explain Ikea's strategy!

Here is a selection of the best - certainly contains everything you need to gather relevant evidence for why Ikea is such a timeless case study.

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BUSS4 Essay Technique - Signposting Analysis and Application

A good structure is so important when it comes to writing high-scoring paragraphs in an essay. One thought I had last night was whether it might be possible to encourage the examiner with his/her marking by making it clear what each part of a paragraph is trying to do! Let's call it "signposting" for want of a better word.

I had a go at this below with a sample paragraph point where I was trying to achieve good analysis (GAn) and good application (GAp) in just one paragraph point.

See what you think and whether you believe it might help with the writing and/or structuring of a paragraph point. I've highlighted the attempted "signposting" in bold.

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AQA BUSS4 Revision Webinar - Section B Essays

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Here is a recording of tonight's BUSS4 Section B webinar.

The materials used during the session can be downloaded here

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Revision Presentation - Problems of Takeovers and Mergers including Integration

This streamed revision presentation examines the problems of takeovers and mergers including difficulties integrating businesses successfully

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Revision Presentation - Impact On and Reaction Of Stakeholders to Takeovers and Mergers

This streamed revision presentation outlines some evidence of the impact on, and reaction of, stakeholders to takeovers and mergers

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Revision Presentation - Impact of Takeovers and Mergers on Business Performance

This streamed revision presentation looks at the impact of takeovers andmergers on the performance of the businesses involved.

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Revision Presentation - Factors Influencing the Success of Takeovers and Mergers

This streamed revision presentation considers the factors influencing the success of takeovers and mergers

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Revision Presentation - Motives for Takeovers and Mergers

This streamed revision presentation considers the motives for takeovers and mergers and how these link with corporate strategy

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10 Features of the Chinese Economy You Could Use in a BUSS4 Essay

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The BUSS4 research theme requires students to be "aware of recent trends in key economic and demographic data for China such as national income, income per person, wage costs, exchange rates and population trends".

Here are a selection of key charts  (and a brief supporting commentary) that help students ensure they are up-to-date as they plan and write their BUSS4 China essay.

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The Return of the Best Business Lesson 4!

Friday, June 13, 2014

This week TBBLE 4 (The Best Business Lesson teaching and learning CPD) event return to Birmingham and London.

Over 65 teachers attended over the two days and participated in a range of brand new, innovative business studies teaching and learning strategies to engage students in the classroom.

Each delegate received a folder with over 40 resources in addition to a CD with an array of PowerPoint games that can be used immediately within the classroom but for me, one of the best parts of the day was the chance to speak with other teachers and share good practice within the classroom and coming away with even more ideas!

TBBLE arrives in Belfast on the 24th June and Manchester on the 27th June. Details here

(Teachers participating in the 'entrepreneur cards' teaching and learning strategy)

Starbucks’ Long-term Investment in Leadership of the Chinese Coffee Shop Market

How on earth is Starbucks making a success of its push into China? China is a tea-drinking nation. In fact, China has the world's oldest and largest tea-drinking culture. Chinese people hate coffee – they say it tastes so bitter it is like tasting medicine.

But, look at the evidence. Starbucks has been in China for 13 years, with an initial presence in the major tier 1 cities Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Starbucks expects China to become its second-largest market by 2014 aiming to have 1,500 outlets throughout China by 2015. The number of staff employed by Starbucks in China is forecast to rise from 12,000 to 30,000.

According to the latest Euromonitor report, Starbucks has a 60 per cent share of China's emerging coffee house market, well above its closest competitor.

That sounds like a success story. So how has it done it?

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Jaguar Land Rover’s Strategy for Growth in China

If there is one British brand that demonstrates the potential for successful trading with China it has to be Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Ok, so JLR is now owned by Indian conglomerate Tata Group. But, to most consumers Jaguar and Land Rover are quintessentially British luxury brands – and brands which Chinese are demanding in increasing numbers.

Over 80% of JLR's sales are to overseas markets and in 2012 China overtook the UK as JLR's biggest market. In 2012 sales in China grew by 71% to nearly 72,000 vehicles. By 2013, that had risen to over 90,000 vehicle sales in China.

This is a phenomenal success story and is a great illustration of how a brand can exploit the opportunity presented by the emerging affluent middle class in China.

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New AQA Advanced Level GCE in Business - Draft Specification & Specimen Exam Papers

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The new draft specifications for AQA Advanced Level in Business and Advanced Subsidiary in Business have now been made public by AQA. Download them from the links below:

Advanced Level GCE Business

Draft Specification (first teaching 2015) [includes AS]

Specimen question papers and mark schemes (AQA submitted to Ofqual)

tutor2u’s initial range of core teaching & learning resources to support the new specifications can now be pre-ordered here from our online store.

Don’t forget that you can also now book places on our resource-packed CPD course on Teaching the New AQA A Level Business. These courses are already experiencing a high level of bookings, so please contact us as soon as possible to secure one or more of the remaining places.

AQA BUSS4 Revision Webinar - BUSS4 China Lines of Analysis

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Here is a recording of the BUSS4 revision webinar on China which played live to 430 students this evening.

You can download the slides (pdf) of the materials from here

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World Exclusive! Harry Styles shares his top BUSS3 Exam Tips!

Harry has taken a quick break from 1D's world tour to talk to tutor2u about his top BUSS3 exam tips. Watch this exclusive video below!

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AQA BUSS3 Revision Webinar - Investment Appraisal

Monday, June 09, 2014

Here is the recording of the 40 minute revision webinar that Graham Prior and I ran with approximately 250 BUSS3 students online this evening.

The slides were worked through, including the Lidl / Morrisons case study can be downloaded from here

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BUSS3 - The Stories So Far

Sunday, June 08, 2014

For students preparing to take AQA A2 Business Unit 3 (BUSS3) it is always worth remembering that the "case study is your friend". Indeed, all the answers to the four questions set are in the case study - you just need to draw them out.

It is well worth reading through the previous BUSS3 exam paper case studies to get a feel for the kinds of businesses featured and the strategic and functional issues they are trying to address.

Below, we've provided a brief synopsis of each exam case study so far. Can you spot some similarities? 

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GSK - The Only Way is Ethics?

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Has it all gone horribly wrong for UK-based global pharmaceutical giant GSK? Profits might be rising, but there still seems to be a nasty smell about the way GSK does business.

That’s bad news for GSK shareholders and stakeholders, but good news for business students. GSK has quickly become one of the very best examples of the potential costs and reputational damage that can arise when business ethics are seemingly ignored by parts of a complex multinational organisation.

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Jose talks Motivation with iFunFace

iFunFace is a great little app that can be used to brighten up any lesson. I used it recently on a school visit.

iFunFace allows you to create humorous videos from a static image. Really simple to use. You obtain an image, create a mouth and then record what you want the image to say and the app does the rest!

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From Startup to Global Competitor - Insights into Xiaomi

This is a terrific article from BusinessWeek on the growth strategy of Xiaomi, a Chinese business that is fast-becoming one of the countries best-known global brands.

Lots in the article (and the related video which I have added further below) for business students to note - I have jotted down some of the things I spotted below.

We've written before about Xiaomi and it is certainly an important business to watch - take a look at the other business blog articles on Xiaomi.

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Amazing ‘innovation’ image!!

This image has been around a while but it would look great on the board as students entered the classroom especially if the topic was innovation or technology.

Wonderful smile

Is This the End of the Road for A Level Applied Business?

Friday, June 06, 2014

In the latest announcement about curriculum reform from Ofqual (they're busy, if nothing else) Applied Business appears in the list of qualifications to be scrapped, with the last teaching scheduled for 2015-16.

There is a "public consultation" to which I think it would be well worth interested colleagues contributing:

http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/gcse-level-reform-consultation/

I know that many colleagues will feel that it is a great shame as this has helped over 6,000 students each year carry out an alternative type of A Level Business qualification that is more suited to their skills than the traditional GCE Business Studies. Please respond to the consultation if you would like to contribute to the debate.

My contacts in the awarding bodies tell me that the "consultation" is largely for-show rather than a genuine attempt to gauge opinion, and that the fate of Applied Business was probably sealed some time ago. 

Gove's view is that there are only two kinds of legitimate Level 3 qualification - truly academic and truly vocational and that this leaves no room for the likes of Applied Business.

But, you never know what might be achieved through concerted lobbying.

Back to School at Cramlington Learning Village

Yesterday saw me 'tread the boards' once again at the amazing Cramlington Learning Village. Craig Knight (HOD) is a very good friend of mine and asked a while back if I could come in and help deliver some revision sessions on BUSS3. I was delighted!

Craig and I delivered 3 interactive and challenging sessions on investment appraisal, ratios and ratio analysis as well as general BUSS3 exam skills with a specific focus on writing a strong conclusion for the 34 mark question.

The investment appraisal session involved students looking at whether Morrisons could be taken over by calculating payback, ARR and NPV and it was really pleasing to see students looking beyond the financial data and looking at the qualitative factors that affect investment decisions.

After two quick games of 'ratio thinking skills bingo' and 'spiderman ratio's' we looked at what the results of ratios actually mean and then applied them to real businesses.

I had a great day and I would also like to thank one of the students (you know who you are!) for bringing in my favourite treat. Freddo's!

Good luck in the exam!

A First Look at the New AQA Business Spec

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Interesting taking a brief look at the new AQA Business specification (for first teaching Sept 2015): highlights below. Full specs and sample assessment materials are out on 11 June 2014.

Don't forget to pre-order your free A Level Business Specification Comparison Report from tutor2u, where we'll compare and contrast ALL the new Business specs side-by-side.

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I Love Lucy in Business Studies!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

This is one of my favourite I Love Lucy clips and is a great video to use in business studies lesson.

This short clip shows Lucy and Ethel working on a production line (trying) to wrap chocolates but struggling to keep up!

I used this video when introducing production and linked it to motivation by getting the students to think of what it would be like to actually perform this job but it also wonderful to introduce management styles by getting students to analyse the supervisors slightly 'autocratic' style of management.

Enjoy...............

Brilliant Starter Activity Video - The worlds first auto-balancing bicycle

Once again the BBC has come up trumps with this superb student friendly clip of the worlds first auto-balancing bicycle. The 'Jyrobike' was developed by a team of engineers which they say can teach people to cycle in an afternoon. The "Jyrobike" contains a patented control hub in the front wheel that uses gyroscopic technology to keep riders upright, even when they tip or wobble.  The technology is specifically aimed at 3-8 year olds who are learning to cycle.

This would make a super starter activity to get students thinking about a number of different issues including:

  1. Protecting business ideas (patents)
  2. Factors determining the success of the Jyrobike
  3. Innovation
  4. Pricing
  5. Ansoff
  6. Product lifecycle

and many, many more.......

Business Gold in under 3 minutes!

BUSS4 Exam Prep. Making Connections to Achieve 5 Levels of Analysis

In preparation for June 18th, my class and I did the follow PowerPoint activity which focuses on planning and analysis.

The premise is simple; the BUSS4 questions invariably ask students to analyse the causal relationship between 2 concepts, such as “does strong leadership lead to a successful business?” or “Is targeting emerging markets the best way to improve profit?”. Students therefore have to fill in the blanks and make the connections between these two concepts to achieve good analysis. More importantly, in doing so it forces students to answer the questions set without digression, deviation or departure from the subject.

The first example is given to get the ball rolling. There are 8 questions and some blank templates below to add additional questions. In terms of differentiation (if you like that sort of thing), they can obviously be made easier or more difficult by taking away or adding some “blanks”, and a natural extension strategy would be for students to then add a paragraph of application to support the answer.

I sincerely hope it helps and wish you all the very best for the upcoming exams.

Teaching Vacancy - Business & ICT at Cardinal Wiseman (Coventry)

Monday, June 02, 2014

Many thanks to our good friends in the Business department at Cardinal Wiseman for alerting us to this opportunity to join them from September 2014. Please mention you saw this on the tutor2u Business Blog!

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BUSS4 China - China-Britain Business Council

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) partners with UKTI to promote trade between the two countries. Their mission is “...to help UK companies of all sizes and sectors, whether new entrants or established operations, access the full potential of the fastest growing market in the world.”

They publish a regular magazine called Focus, and I have been through a few recent editions looking for nuggets of information to add to the files of research for BUSS4 Section A answers. Here is a summary of what I have found – I hope that some of it is useful:

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BUSS4 China - Selling TV to the Chinese consumers

Friday, May 30, 2014

There was a great radio programme on today, For all the TV in China. As Chinese consumers become TV owners, there is a vast market for entertainment shows, and as this is one of the UK's biggest exports (see this recent report from the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport which sets out how creative industries are worth a whopping £8million per hour to the UK economy), there are plenty of UK production companies who are keen to sell their products to China.

It turns out that the Chinese can't get enought of shows like Take Me Out, and there are plenty of ways of adapting their formats so that they reflect Chinese tastes and cultural sensitivities. The programme is 28 minutes of BUSS4 gold dust, with a good sprinkling of cultural awareness scattered over it as well.

China no longer the land of opportunity?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

With just under 3 weeks until the BUSS4 exam, this article in the Wall Street Journal is absolutely perfect for any student who wants to add up-to-date information to their argument about the dangers and difficulties of operating in China.

To sum up the article as briefly as possible, The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China spoke to over 500 European businesses based in China and found that many now view China as less attractive due to the following plethora of reasons:

  • Rising labour costs
  • Slowing economic growth
  • Falling profits
  • Regulatory hurdles
  • Lack of confidence in economic reform
  • Pollution
  • Difficulties attracting and retaining staff

Pick one and develop the hell out of it!

Tesco in China “20% of something is better than 100% of nothing”

My students and I invariably use Tesco as our shining example of failure in China (and failure after the departure of a long-term leader, and failure due to over-diversification, and failure due to neglect of their core market, and failure due to complacency over smaller competitors). However, Tesco today finalised the deal with China Resource Enterprise which gives them 20% of the largest food retailer in China. This BBC article could be used as a nice evaluation point to show that in the long term, Tesco could still be winners in China.

Tesco have kept a healthy foothold in the world’s largest food market, and due to China’s efforts to rebalance the economy towards consumption, the market is due to grow by 50% over the next three years.

More interestingly, Tesco appear to have learnt from their error and won’t try to “go it alone” in India. They have announced a joint venture with JLR’s parent company Tata Group to initially open 12 stores. From what we know of Tata (and the Indian market’s rapid growth forecast), it seems possible that Tesco may still recover from their recent slump.

CHECK THE SPEC!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I always recommend  to my students that the last thing they look at before the exam is the Spec Sheet.

The examiners do this when they set questions, so seems logical to reverse the process, look at the question and relate back to the Spec Sheet.

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Exam Topic Tracker

Monday, May 26, 2014

There have been eight BUSS3 papers for the new specification, so it is possible to build a detailed profile of the topics in BUSS3 which have been examined so far, and in what way.

The link below is to the latest version of our BUSS3 topic tracker. Please note, this is not intended to encourage or condone question or topic spotting which is nearly always a recipe for exam failure. Remember that the questions in BUSS3 invite a variety of potential responses and are designed to reward students who make relevant connections between the functional areas/topics and the achievement of corporate objectives. We have allocated the exam questions to the most relevant section of the BUSS3 spec - but note that other aspects of the spec can be used as part of an effective answer.

Download the tutor2u AQA BUSS3 Topic Tracker (pdf)

...checkout our other BUSS3 resources here on the Business Studies Blog:

BUSS3 Free Revision Class on Zondle

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Revision Quizzes

Maximise your Marks in BUSS3

Four ways to make your BUSS3 exam answers stand out

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Specification Resource Map

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Key Topic Revision Checklist

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Key Term Glossary

And finally, don’t forget our BUSS3 Revision Guide – just £5!

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AQA AS Business (BUSS2) - Exam Topic Tracker

As each sitting of BUSS2 is completed, it is possible to build up a useful picture of the way in which the BUSS2 specification is examined.  Which topics have been examined more than once?  Are there key topics which have not yet been addressed in the BUSS2 exam?  Where are the calculation marks earned?

Our AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker is a free download which can help you keep track of the exams.  The link is below.  We’ll update the file (the link stays the same) after each exam sitting. The latest version includes all BUSS2 sittings up to and including June 2013.

Download AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker

Students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes. We also have a full collection of BUSS2 revision questions available for our mobile app via Zondle.

We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.

Organisational Culture - Problems of Changing Organisational Culture

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The key problems in changing organisational culture are outlined in this brief revision note:

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Organisational Culture - Ways of Changing Organisational Culture

In this revision note, we summarise some key points that students might consider when looking at ways of changing organisational culture:

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Organisational Culture: The Reasons for Changes in Organisational Culture

We've summarised below some key points that students should consider when revising the reasons for changes in organisational culture:

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Organisational Culture: The Impact of Organisational Culture on Business Strategies and Performance

This revision note summarises some of the key points that students should consider when looking at the impact of organisational culture on business strategies and performance:

read more...»

Organisational Culture: Factors influencing the Culture of an Organisation and Cultural Differences

We've summarised below some key points that students should consider when revising the the factors influencing the culture of an organisation and cultural differences within an organisation:

read more...»

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