Tuesday 29 May 2012

Eating the Elephant

I have recently looked back on an article I had published in the Business Review last year on the research topic to see if there is anything that can help you with your revision. The article was called "Eating the Elephant". I have tweaked parts of the article to make it relevant to this year's research topic.

In your revision remember the importance of wow examples :- examples with real depth that would make the examiner go “wow, this student has really done some great research!” Rather than having dozens of examples against each bullet point look for a few really meaty examples against each bullet point (“wow examples”) which linked in with some business studies theory. The inclusion of appropriate counter examples can be especially helpful, particularly if you can explain the difference between the counter-example and the main example. For instance, if discussing a takeover where due diligence was lacking (e.g. RBS/ABN Amro) it could be good to contrast it with an example where a lot of ground work was done before the merger to help it go smoothly (e.g. in the BA / Iberia merger Willie Walsh has claimed that work done prior to the merger in helping to resolve cultural differences was fundamental to the merger's success)

Business Studies theory
You now know a considerable amount of business studies theory and it is essential you don’t lose sight of that. BUSS4 is supposed to be “synoptic” i.e. it brings together the content of the other three units. Consequently, rather than treating the research topic as an entirely separate exercise, try to link the theory into your research whenever you can. For example, if talking about the motives for Tata's takeover of JLR in 2008 why not bring in the fact Tata is a conglomerate business which, almost by definition,  has a strategy of diversification (Ansoff matrix: new products, new markets)

And finally ………….

 In BUSS1, 2 and 3 you have been taught business studies and have done well to survive the course up to this point. Your challenge in BUSS4, particularly in the research task, is to show the examiner that you “live and breathe” business studies. In other words, you need to convince the examiner that you have absorbed the theory and are able to come up with commercially-savvy answers of your own which you can illustrate with a handful of carefully chosen, detailed, real world examples. It may sound like a tall order at this stage; but with a measure of determination and organisation, students can surprise themselves with how well they can perform on the research topic.

1 comment:

  1. Hi – I see you’re using my How to Eat an Elephant illustration here.

    Thanks for your interest in my work, however I do require certain conditions for the use of my illustrations… those conditions are spelled out on my website: http://seangallo.com/about/

    Thanks again for your interest, and for your cooperation!