Learn how to pick up an appropriate organisation for your IB Business CUEGIS Essay. Use our pro tips to write make your Essay outstanding.
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IB CUEGIS essay is a conceptual extended response question. It is addressed by students in section C of their Business Management Paper 2. This essay accounts for 10% of your score, and if you know how to do it right, you have an easy scoring opportunity that will take you a step closer to achieving that perfect IBDP score you have been preparing for.
These concepts are used as a foundation to address the situation and issues faced by real-life organizations. A student needs to make use of business management tools, techniques and theories to analyze the activities of the business that they have chosen. This helps them showcase their application of acquired knowledge.
For better preparedness, you must prepare by identifying certain real-life business organizations to which you can apply these CUEGIS concepts. Choose an organization that is going through a significant period of structural or cultural transformation, ethical dilemmas, challenges related to globalization, strategic decisions or innovation opportunities. By doing so, you get a lot of material to talk about and be elaborate on in your essay. One of the main aspects is to show the examiner that you know your organization inside out. This, in turn, helps you display your understanding of CUEGIS concepts in your IB Business Management paper. Even though the examination questions often prompt a student to discuss only two of the concepts in the context of their chosen organizations, it is suggested that you select organizations to which more than two concepts apply. This will allow you to gain flexibility in applying your knowledge in a way required by your chosen examination question.
Once you have selected an organization of your choice, you move towards studying the concepts of change, culture, ethics, globalization, strategy, and innovation (CUEGIS). In a nutshell, you need to highlight activities by the organization that reflects the aforementioned concepts (or the lack of them). It is suggested that your answers are backed by concrete examples.
Using business management tools while elaborating on any of the CUEGIS aspects in your chosen organisation is the ideal way to support your analysis. An example of doing so can be using the Fishbone Diagram for a problem in a company that can be initiated due to the lack of ethical protocols. Lastly, you must identify possibilities of other perspectives on any of the CUEGIS concepts in the company from the viewpoint of different stakeholders of the organization.
The CUEGIS essay is a little easy to wrap your head around when compared with your TOK essay and TOK presentation. If you have gone through and understood our TOK Essay Guide and TOK Presentation Guide then acing your CUEGIS essay will be a breeze. CUEGIS, akin to TOK, focuses on your acquired knowledge, application of the learned concepts and your ability to relate it to the real world.
Before we dive into how to write your CUEGIS essay’s answer, let’s understand the pillars around which your answer might be built.
Change refers to the adaptation of business objectives, strategies and operations to accommodate changes. These changes can occur due to exogenous factors or because of endogenous ones. As a wise man once said, 'Change is the only constant in the dynamic business environment'. Your job is to understand how effective your organisation is in accomodating unprecedented and inevitable changes. This includes the decisions which need to be made in order to keep up with the changes in the operating environment. Every change brings with it a favourable and opposing force. The relative strength of these forces concludes whether the change should take place. Due to the conflicting forces, change must be managed within organizations if they are to move forward and remain competitive. A management tool to understand the gravitas of the change and its impact on the organisation is Force-field analysis.
The tool serves as a framework for helping managers to understand the pressures for and against any change. By identifying these forces, managers are able to assess the effects that the forces may have. Through this analysis, managers can understand if the upcoming change is good for the company. If so, they will be able to investigate how to implement the change in the best way possible.
Example: For generations, Kodak was synonymous with photography. Founded in 1889, the company was one of the best-known brands of the twentieth century. However, with the rise of digital cameras, the market for camera films (dominated by Kodak) dissolved pretty quickly. Instead of embracing the wave of change, Kodak ignored the change and proceeded to expand its global workforce as well as increased its production of the old technology. By 2006 it was selling an obsolete product, and in 2013 the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Had they better analysed the forces of the change and deemed it as inevitable, perhaps they would have invested more in their Research and Development Department to adopt the new trend. You too should be able to present such claims with evidence. Here evidence would be other companies who foresaw a similar change and as a result, acted in favour of it. Of course, your answer must be well structured and more formal in nature.
To understand a company, one needs to dig deep in its culture. Culture is heavily influenced by the country in which the company operates. Culture mostly comprises of the values, beliefs and norms of an organization. It shapes the customs of people and how things get done. To say that the culture makes the soul of a company is not an exaggeration. It also helps a company have an individual identity. For instance, JP Morgan's culture will be different from that of The Timberland Company. Your job is to understand the impact of the company's culture on its operation.
Example: Consider studying about Ben and Jerry's and how their culture to help the local vendors have resulted in an exponential increase in their sales!
Ethics are the socially accepted moral principles that guide decision-making, based on the collective belief of right and wrong. The rather subjective nature of ethics means it is sometimes unclear what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, especially when looking at an issue from the perspective of various cultures. Every organisation has its own set of beliefs and have based their ethics on them.
Example: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) has a unique set of ethics that justifies the action they take. The actions might be ethically wrong for a company working in sustainable and green energy simply because they focus on eliminating the need for Petroleum as a fuel.
Globalization is the coming together of various countries and organisations to create a plethora of opportunities which were unknown to mankind a century from now. It has helped integrate social and economic factors. Moreover, it has helped various multinationals capitalize on markets across the globe. This has also enabled a better allocation of global resources.
You will need to study how your organization benefits through globalization. Not only that, but you should also be aware of the challenges that this global phenomenon has caused (likes of which include the spread of coronavirus in the year 2020).
Example: Globalisation considerably increases the level of competition. The expansion of multinationals corporations was an unprecedented challenge for local vendors. Even small and medium-sized companies needed to change their selling strategies in order to overcome this challenge.
Innovation in the CUEGIS concept refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas, that may contribute to increasing a businesses’ likelihood of succeeding. Innovation emphasizes on the necessity for businesses to renew themselves in the competitive and technologically advanced market place with increasingly sophisticated customers. Innovation in the corporate world often empowers a business to attain a competitive advantage. It is observed that the most economically successful businesses and countries are the ones that have an innovative corporate culture. Innovative entrepreneurs thrive on commercializing new ideas or reinvent the existing ones. Often innovation leads to the creation of new industries, like smartphones and tablet computers. In today’s highly unpredictable business world, innovation has become an integral strategy, which has further led many multinational companies to financially commit to innovation.
Innovation can apply to all aspects of business activities, not just products. For example, innovation is integral to Kaizen. Management guru Michael Porter (yes, he was the one behind porter’s five forces model and many more) said that innovation is essential for the prospects of a business and for the economic prosperity of a country. Creative and holistic thinking towards their entire business operations drives innovation amongst managers. To analyze how innovative your chosen organization is, you can track their continuous improvement and the innovations that they have introduced in their production processes and/or product.
Example: Look no further than Toyota when talking about innovation. Known for their process improvement concepts like Kaizen has revolutionized the way industry functions. You should also consider looking into new and upcoming innovations such as industry 4.0. Consider analyzing the way your chosen industry is integrating the upcoming innovations!
The strategy is about devising plans to achieve an organization’s long-term goals. Most organizations strive to anticipate the future needs of their stakeholders in order to be successful. Strategic analysis requires a thorough review of an organization’s current situation, including examining an organization’s current vision, mission, aims, and objectives. It facilitates a clear framework to aid decision-making and help allocate resources more effectively. The company's long term goals play a crucial role in determining the strategy. Furthermore, an assessment of associated financial costs, benefits, and consideration of qualitative factors before selecting the most appropriate strategy is imperative. One of the main tools that companies use for creating an appropriate strategy is to benchmark organizations that are already there where your organization wishes to be.
Example: To further understand the importance of strategy, consider studying how Instagram overtook Snapchat even though Snapchat was the pioneer in introducing 'snapping' photos for conversations. Another topic of interest would be Tic-Tok, and it's exponential growth. Try and study their marketing 'strategies'.
What your examiners are looking for?
A student must begin by reading and developing a clear understanding of what has been asked and then decide their approach towards answering it. Give the reader an outlook into both sides of a business, i.e. how the concepts have been helpful and unhelpful to the business, how a company has been proactive and reactive in their approach to a concept and how a company has benefited and suffered as a result of these concepts. This will help you in portraying the business in a much-balanced way.
Introduce your company’s name, its background, including the type of business, their scale, industry served, etc.
Define the key terms that you intend to use, including the concepts that you will apply.
Define your hypothesis in such a way that it becomes a single sentence answer to your question.
Explain the concepts that you have addressed in the first paragraph in a more elaborate way.
Link the concept with an example of a company.
In this section, you elaborate on the company’s major experiences with respect to the first concept.
Use at least three course-keywords in your answer and explain at least one effect on a stakeholder.
Your approach must contain a fact about your chosen company and the first concept;
Use the keywords from your course, which can be used to develop your insight into the organizational activities which talk about the CUEGIS concept at hand.
For example, you might explain how the company has really embraced the concept (i.e. globalization). Mention the benefits them, using some true facts about the company. And then show how they could have gone further (i.e. trying to outsource production overseas even more).
Quick Note: Use the keywords from your course from a meaningful perspective. For example, don’t just say that the company has used “job production.” Instead use: “They use job production because it allows them to provide a higher quality product, from the customer’s perspective. Customers get exactly what they want and this increases customer loyalty.”
Address your stakeholders in your conclusion.
Take a few minutes to explain some conflicts and agreements between stakeholder interests.
Try to make stakeholders' interests as clear as possible.
Make the whole essay cohesive in terms of the concept(s) (if there was more than one)
State the end result of the company.
Evaluate their success or failure related to the concept?
Introduction (1 Paragraph)
Definition of the CUEGIS Concept
Definition of the strategy
Background of the business organization.
Body (3 Paragraphs)
#1 Point that supports your CUEGIS Concept
Advantages (around 2)
Disadvantages (around 2)
#2 Point that supports your CUEGIS Concept
Advantages (around 2)
Disadvantages (around 2)
#3 Point that supports your CUEGIS Concept
Advantages (around 2)
Disadvantages (around 2)
Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
Short Term Implications
Long Term Implications
The Cost Implications
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