ECONOMICS AND FINANCE FOR BUSINESS
Lecturer / Tutor
Learning Outcome/s (found in the Subject Outline)
1, 2, 3
Assessment type (group or individual)
AIM FOR 2,500 WORDS (3000 WORDS MAX)
Due day & date
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE LECTURE, IN WEEK 11
Lecture X Tutorial ☐
Paper copy ☐ Turnitin X
Format / Layout of Assessment (details of what to include)
Report: ICMS cover page Table of contents Executive summary/abstract Introduction Findings Conclusion Recommendations/proposals Reference list Appendices
X No TOC X X X X X X No appendices
ICMS cover page Introduction Body Conclusion Reference list Appendices
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Oral Presentation:Paper submission PowerPoint submission Peer review (group presentation) Reference List
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Assessment instructions (clear, succinct, without repetition)
When? Question/task issued by the lecturer in Week 5/6. The complete written report should be submitted via Turnitin in Week 11, before class begins.
“What must I do?” Write a research report using primary data and secondary data.
Collect primary data (data you observe) from site visits to the premises of two competing Australian businesses in the same industry. The businesses should ideally be located nearby each other.
The lecturer will announce details of the site visits in class (which companies and where). Students may go on site visits at their own leisure. Bring along a writing pad, pen and a phone equipped with a camera to record your observations.
Collect secondary data (data from published sources, like news articles, books, journals, reports etc.) about the businesses or industry you investigated. Use this to write a literature review of market competition and structure, and to support your arguments in the other parts of the report.
the state of competition in this industry (Week 5’s topic on market structure)
how they grow their businesses. Recommend how one of the businesses could grow better (Week 6’s topic on growth strategies)
how the companies price their product and/or use non-price strategies to attract customers. Recommend how one of the businesses could improve its price and non-price strategies (Week 6’s topic on pricing and non-price strategies) How many parts will the report have? The report will have three key parts sandwiched by other sections:
A literature review (an overview) of the state of competition in the industry in recent times, and developments that have and might occur in itWrite about how the companies are trying to grow their business. Recommend growth strategies.
Evaluate the pricing and non-pricing strategies used by the businesses (based on your observations). You may support these observations by citing published works that speak about similar used elsewhere (news articles, books, reports, journal papers). Recommend strategies.
ReferencesCritical analysis is important to get good marks Use critical analysis widely in your report.
Critical analysis means demonstrate you have analysed your observations in an intelligent and creative way to unearth and identify patterns, motives or some interesting insight.
Compare. Contrast. Evaluate. Argue. Support with secondary sources.
Analysis is more than just describing what you saw.
It is not merely saying, “I saw this… I saw that”.
It is about “I saw Company A do this…, but this was not done by Company B. I noticed that because Company A had less staff, they could not do that. Also, I observed that Company A priced certain products like this… but the other company prices them differently, like this…, possibly because…”.What reference material should be used?
Make use of a combination of academic literature (books, journal papers), credible news articles (e.g., online news), magazines or reports (e.g., from the Internet).
When citing published works, use credible, reputable Internet articles and/or books, journals and government, industry or other reports to support and enrich their findings. Do not cite blogs written by people who are not authorities in the subject. Do not cite a Facebook page.
It is alright if you cannot find enough journal papers. Credible news articles and online reports are also acceptable.
Your sources of information must be appropriately cited in the text and referenced in the ‘References’ section of their report.
The report should have at least five relevant references to qualify for a pass grade.Citing/referencing/plagiarism Do not copy the work of other students and authors.
In the body of your report, cite properly (do you know how to cite and reference published work? You should have learnt about it during Orientation Week). If not, you might be at risk of committing plagiarism. And plagiarism has penalties.
Go here to learn again about what plagiarism is, and what the college’s policy on it. Learn how to avoid plagiarism by properly citing and paraphrasing sources of information (journals, books, news articles) here.Figures and tables in the report The report may contain figures (images/photographs/diagrams) and tables.
If you have figures and tables, they must be about something you wrote in the text. Do not insert a figure or table in the report, but there is no written text referring to it.
Also, if you have a figure or table, you must mention it in the text. E.g., “It is clear that the prices of petrol differ according to whether the petrol station is located in a high-income suburb or not (see Figures 1 and 2)”.
Figures 1 and 2 should then appear after the paragraph in which you mention them.
All figures and tables must be in the body of the report. All figures and tables musts have labels/captions describing what they are about. E.g., “Figure 1: Premium pricing applied to a fur coat at H&M with clever branding (non-pricing strategy)”.
Do not use appendices.In what style should the report be written? The report must be written professionally but in a clear and simple way.
Do not use big and complex words if you can avoid it.
Pretend you a business consultant doing a market survey or analysis on behalf of a client who wants to enter the industry. Or pretend you are going to enter an industry yourself.
The layout and structure of the report must be neat. The formatting must be consistent. Do not use one type of font in some parts, and another type of font elsewhere. Imagine you are selling your report to a client. How would you make it look like? Be proud of your work.How to submit the report? The assignment must be submitted electronically by Week 11 via Turnitin. Upload it onto Turnitin through Moodle. The lecturer will give you instructions on this later.
If you fail to submit it on time, you risk getting a fail grade of 0%. Are you late with your submission? See the college’s policy on late submission here. In general, 5% will be deducted if you are late by one day, 10% (two days), 15% (three days) and so on. If you are late by seven days, you fail with 0%.
Readings for the assessment (instructions where they can be found, e.g., MyAthens database, Moodle etc.)
The readings for this assessment should not limited to textbooks or reading material provided by the lecturer. Those are basic information.
Search, find, read and use any literature you can get hold of, out of your own initiative.
Grading Criteria / Rubric
Demonstrates adequate knowledge of how modern businesses behave competitively (market structure) and how they price their products (pricing and non-pricing strategies)
Correctly refers to and use of the relevant economic theories, concepts and terms in the report. A lack of understanding or incorrect use of relevant theories, concepts and terms would result in a deduction of marks.
Connect real-life observations (primary data) or the observations and findings of other researchers (secondary data) to theories and ideas, where possible.
Makes statements or arguments that are clear and coherent.
Crystal-clear and sensible writing.
Statements and arguments should not be fuzzy, incoherent or wordy. They should be concise. Writing concisely, even if you are trying to convey a complex idea, demonstrates that you understand the idea you are addressing. Thus keep sentences short or moderately long (say, 15 to 25 words). Avoid wordy sentences that do not convey your point succinctly. Rambling, unclear sentences indicate the writer is unsure about what he or she is saying. See here and here.Sentences or paragraphs should flow logically. Sentences that jump from one point to another unrelated point should be avoided.
Demonstrates a high standard of analysis and the ability to be critical where necessary.
Analysis refers to the ability to examine something in detail or carefully, and say something insightful or interesting. Tease out interesting points, patterns, behaviours or complexities. Offer a critique if possible.
Analysis shows that you had thought about the matter in a careful, creative or deep way. It is ‘perspicacious’, meaning ‘having or showing an ability to notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
When writing, therefore, dig deep and look for interesting details that are not so obvious, or contrasting points of view, opinions or highlight a related, published finding.
Reports that describe observations or provides information from a reference source are fine. However, reports that largely contain only descriptive material are not desirable. Marks will be lost.
These types of reports normally contain (i) simplistic observations without any analysis; (ii) long background sections about the subject of your study but does not address the core task adequately; or (iii) lengthy repetitions of textbook theory or concepts that is already obvious.Avoid relying on simplistic and general statements (example: “If prices go up for this product, demand should fall according to the law of demand”).
Analysis is evident when you curiously inquire. Think, investigate for information, write. For example, is the demand for Samsung smartphones rising over time, or is plateauing? Does this reveal something interesting about the nature of demand for smartphones (a bit of research might reveal that the market for smartphones in general is saturated— everybody already has one)? Higher marks for such type of analysis.
Displays a high standard of (i) written English and (ii) presentation that is clear, logical and contains few or no errors.
Mistakes in spelling, grammar and in the use of punctuation will be penalised. Marks will be deducted for incomplete sentences or sentences that do not make sense.
The style, formatting, and language used should be neat and consistent.
The components of the report (the table of contents, the abstract, and the various sections of the report and the figures and tables used within it) should be either in accordance with the ICMS Style Guide or any other guideline suggested by the lecturer.
Thus figures and tables must be properly numbered and have a caption. Black-and-white words and headings should be used. Otherwise, marks will be deducted. Use Calibri or Times New Roman font. Use font size of 12 points. Use single spacing. Have a line of spacing between paragraphs.
Inconsistent font type or font size, improper spacing between paragraphs (paragraphs should be separated from each other by a line of spacing) and a poorly-organised reference section result in lower marks.
Displays a high standard of referencing.
When you support your writing with reference sources (secondary data), ensure these are good sources of information. Ensure they are credible (avoid Wikipedia and blogs, unless these blogs are written by someone authoritative, e.g., an economist).
Acceptable literature includes news or business articles from the Internet (good sources such as BBC, The Australian Financial Review etc.), government reports, journal articles, academic or other published books. Cite your sources in the main text, and include the full reference in the references section.
The more sources, the better, but within reasonable limits – use your judgement whether you have time or space in your report. However, have at least five items in your references to qualify for a pass grade.
The reference section should be neatly constructed and in accordance with the ICMS Style Guide or as suggested by the lecturer.
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