Live revision! Join us for our free exam revision livestreams Watch now

Exam Support

BUSS2 Exam Technique: Analysis – Limited, Reasonable or Good?

Steve Whiteley

3rd May 2012

Having marked quite a few BUSS2 responses, it seems students have begun to get the message about application but are falling short on analysis. Frequently, they identify a relevant point but just describe it, failing to explain how or why their point is addressing the question. In the majority of questions, it is essential to explain how the course of action being described might affect business results.

For example, a question from June 2010 on the Eden Project, Q 1c said: 'Discuss the actions that the Eden Project's managers might have taken to maximise the performance of Eden Project's workforce as it grew from 5 to 750 employees'.

Limited application and analysis might have noted that as 50% of management had been promoted from within, this would have motivated the workforce. This is correct of course but it doesn't actually say anything about the performance of employees.

To turn this into a 'good' response, we need to consider what measure of labour force performance might we use to answer the question? Well, the obvious 'candidates' would include productivity, labour turnover and absenteeism. As this is not a business that actually produces anything, I'd skip productivity and go for labour turnover. In many BUSS2 case studies, there is some data that can be used to help you such as figures for labour turnover or absenteeism but this one was not so helpful.

Anyway, how about this: 'Eden Project has promoted 50% of its management from within. This means that employees would see that if they do a good job, they will stand a chance of getting promoted, too. This will be a strong motivating factor and staff may stay longer in the hope of getting promoted. This should reduce labour turnover, thereby helping to maximise performance of the workforce.'

While we're at it, let's try and get good application and evaluation as well by continuing … 'Since Eden Project is committed to developing its staff through training, it is especially important to keep labour turnover down so that its staff – who have a valuable set of diverse skills which could be hard to find – do not constantly have to be replaced, adding to costs of recruitment and selection. In turn, this means training costs are not wasted on staff who then leave and go to work elsewhere.'

So, for good analysis, first of all decide which measure of business results you are going to focus on and then show exactly how a course of action would affect the measure(s) you have chosen.

Steve Whiteley

Steve has been Head of Department at Reed's since 2007. He is also an experienced examiner of Economics and Business at GCSE and A Level.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.