9707_w08_er - w w m e tr.X w 9707 Business Studies November...

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BUSINESS STUDIES Paper 9707/01 Short Answer/Essay General Comments This Paper proved to be accessible to most candidates although a significant number of candidates were unable to effectively respond to Question 3 on investment appraisal. While most candidates were able to confidently and accurately answer Question 4(a) many wrote extensively for just 2 marks. A succinct answer of a couple of sentences rather than a mini essay would have given candidates more time for the essay answer. A very large proportion of candidates chose to answer Question 5 in Section B of the Paper. However the responses to part (a) were often not strong. There was a reluctance to come to terms with the essence of this question-“to explain the importance of management for a large business organisation”. Candidates need to focus on the key words in a question such as “importance” in this case, so as not to drift into generalised descriptive answers. It is also important that candidates relate business concepts to practical and realistic contexts. Many responses to Questions 1(a) and 5(b) were presented in a purely theoretical and idealistic way with little evidence of critical understanding. It was however pleasing to see that more candidates are developing more substantial conclusions to their essay answers and are attempting to make some evaluative comments in those conclusions. Question 1 (a) The majority of candidates were able to demonstrate some understanding of “hierarchy” in the context of an organisational structure. Many candidates were able to describe its relevance to the chain of command and to the way in which power and or authority are distributed throughout the organisation. A small number of candidates however misunderstood the question and confused structural hierarchy with the hierarchy of needs concept as developed by Maslow. (b) Many candidates recognised the benefit to both managers and employees of knowing who each was accountable to, or responsible for, and the impact that this could have if and when problems arose. An answer such as “employees know where they are in the organisation and what opportunities exist for promotion. This can be motivating to some employees who are ambitious as they can see the jobs they could do in the future if they work hard and get noticed” is an example of a strong response to this question. However a significant number of answers simply listed potential advantages such as more effective communication and motivation as if they were automatically secured within any hierarchical organisation. Such theoretical/idealistic comments need to be qualified and described as “potential” advantages. Question 2 (a) Good candidates gave a clear definition of ‘retained profits’ either by stating that it is profits after interest, tax and dividends have been deducted or by recognising that it is undistributed profit that is kept in the business and used for future investment. Many candidates correctly defined it as being an internal source of finance.
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9707_w08_er - w w m e tr.X w 9707 Business Studies November...

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