Posted: February 26th, 2015
BS4101 Assignment (2014/5)
This Business Economics assignment accounts for 50% of the module mark. Your task is to write a report that describes, explains and analyses three relevant newspaper articles published in the UK national print press. Your report should be titled ‘Three firms: changes in their business environment’. Each newspaper article should refer to a specific firm that is undergoing or responding to a particular form of change. Each of your three stories should feature a different firm.
A firm that is either merging, attempting to take over other firms or diversifying.
A firm that is being affected by change with respect to at least one of the following general external environmental factors: political, economic, social, technological, legal or ethical/environmental, i.e. affected by changes in at least one of the general PESTLE environmental factors.
A firm that is being affected by changes in the microeconomic environment; there is change in at least one of the operating environmental categories that is specific to the identified firm, eg. changes with respect to Customers, Competitors, Complementors, or Suppliers.
You should clearly describe each story and demonstrate an ability to apply relevant microeconomic and/or macroeconomic concepts in a real world context; your report should analyse each firm’s situation from a business economist’s viewpoint as you explain the context, rationale and implications of the story about the firm.
If, for story 1 you had been describing and assessing the merger between Lloyds-TSB and HBOS (in 2008) you might have identified it as a horizontal merger and identified details with regard to the effect on market concentration and analysed rationale such as economies of scale or new business opportunities (see information on mergers in the course text book p230-234).
If, for story 2 you had been looking at an article (in the late 1990’s) on a specific firm affected by a rapid rise in house prices, you might have identified general factors such as rises in incomes, increased desire for home ownership, government interest rate policy, the cost & availability of mortgages, speculation etc. See the article on the housing market, p56/57 in the course textbook. Diagrams showing shifting supply and demand curves and reference to the concept of elasticity might have helped your analysis.
If, for story 3 (in the early 2000’s), you had been developing your analysis from an article on a specific Indian restaurant, you might have found the concept of monopolistic competition to be useful. See page 178/179 in the course textbook. Other relevant concepts besides those of market structures might have been the Structure Conduct Performance model, Porter’s 5 forces and possibly elements of game theory.
The above examples are for illustration only. You should not attempt to exactly follow those specific stories. Your story should come from an initial article published between Monday 15th December 2014 and Thursday 12th March 2015. What is relevant depends on the particular story that you choose and other Business Economics concepts may be more appropriate.
The word count does not include the front and contents page, diagrams, references, bibliography or appendices.
WHAT SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR REPORT?
Your report will be marked with regard to the following:
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