introduction to business essay questions

introduction to business essay questions

Exploring Key Concepts and Issues in Business: A Comprehensive Guide to Essay Questions

1. Introduction to Business Studies: Foundations and Core Principles

The study of business organizations, their structures and behavior, and the impact of organizational processes and objectives on us is therefore an important area of study and one with an essential place in management education. Business studies is an academic subject of choice for many undergraduates, as well as students in professional faculties such as law and business studies for accountancy students. Those who make the decision to follow these courses come from a variety of backgrounds, and have different reasons for their choice. Some aspire to run small businesses or to use the subject as a basis for opening up opportunities in fields such as marketing. Others come from a specific vocational course, such as social work, nursing, or the hospitality, leisure, and tourism sector, where business knowledge is also of importance. Some pursue the field of study as a qualification in its own right, yet others as a stepping-stone to new opportunities or promotions in their existing careers. Whatever their reasons for studying business, students all need a basic introduction to the key concepts and issues, some of which are introduced throughout this book.

The world is full of business and business organizations. They take many different forms, but have in common the creation of goods and/or services for sale in exchange for a return of some kind. Our societies and economies being what they are, all of those engaged in enterprise spend part of their lives inside a business organization, and the services received, the goods consumed, and the quality of the enterprise all impact on the quality of their lives.

2. Analyzing Market Structures and Business Strategy

(1) Pure Competition (2) Monopolistic competition (3) Oligopoly (4) Pure Monopoly

There are four major market structures:

Market Structure refers to the organization and process of the market for outputs and inputs. It is the formal or informal description of its characteristics. Market structure can be divided by several parameters. Size of buyers and sellers, relative product homogeneity, upstream and downstream control, relative market power, are some of the generic distinctions that economists have defined.

Having defined the meaning of market, we now turn to the concept itself. The degree of competition that exists in a market and the behavior of the constituent firms are important topics of economic inquiry. The Market Structure model used by economists to address these issues is the Diamond-Economic Model.

Use the Diamond-Economic Model to explain the key characteristics of the Market Structure and identify the four main cases of Market Structure.

But the most common use of that word is to describe the environment in which interaction takes place, and not necessarily a physical location, nor, in some cases, a group of individuals. In fact, “market” can mean the aggregate of related economic transactions at some mutually adjusted price level.

Second, the “market” is also used to refer to the target group of customers towards whom businesses direct their marketing activities. In other words, “market” refers to a group of people and organizations that possess some ability to acquire goods and services. Moreover, it is only worthwhile to produce products when somebody would like to buy them. Therefore, marketing activities are closely linked to the economic environment.

First and foremost, “market” can mean the place where people use to come together to buy and sell goods. Like the traditional open market in many Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern countries, a market is often a physical scene of bustling activity, offering a wide array of merchandise, vegetables, clothes, shoes, etc.

Markets dominate the context in which business operates. Businesses do not operate in isolation. They are part of a complex web of relationships and exchange processes. But when we talk about businesses and the market environment, what are we referring to? The term “market” carries a wealth of different connotations.

Businesses do not exist in isolation. They are part of the market environment with all its implications. Discuss the concept with specific examples.

3. Ethical Dilemmas and Corporate Social Responsibility in Business

The Tension between Organizational Efficiency and Being Fair to Stakeholders. An organization exists to provide its owners – the shareholders – with a return on their investment. When it does so, it is considered to be efficient. However, the financial goal, if taken in isolation, is unlikely to prove satisfactory. Shareholders in most organizations are only a segment of the stakeholders that would be affected by the operation of the organization. The other stakeholder groups include employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, and other interest groups. For example, without a good staff, the organization is unlikely to succeed, and without customers, there is no business. It would be unusual for an organization not to have some ethical implications on these stakeholder groups. For example, decisions could be made which militate against all the interests of the other groups, thereby unfairly benefiting the shareholders.

In this chapter, students are asked to write essays examining the theme of the chapter. Examples of possible essay issues include: (a) the ethical tension between organizational efficiency and applying fairness to customers who are vulnerable markets (governments); (b) the lesson of empirical research on organizational behavior; (c) behavior at the expense; (d) a problem facing corporate managers and questions concerning all those different ethical-oriented theories and the practical applicability of corporate social reporting (CSR) as to the responsible image of the corporation, from both a managerial and juristic point of view.


4. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving Forces of Economic Growth

The proper level of technology is very important for minimizing costs of goods and services. Although most people believe that technical advances are good and will make the future better than the present, there are a few who doubt the benefits of technological progress. Rather than welcome technical progress as a hindrance to material comfort or a preliminary step to catastrophe and human suffering, there is no question that, on balance, increases in technical knowledge do raise the standard of material living. Great economic depressions and their associated suffering have not resulted from the spread of new economic ideas. Instead, economic growth has virtually always followed the introduction of new ideas. Clearly, economic growth is one of the most important considerations in public policy discussions.

The introduction of technological innovations drives economic growth. Entrepreneurs who market innovations often become financially successful. Entrepreneurs usually exhibit certain personal characteristics. Business organizations can be designed to encourage innovation and the use of innovative products and production methods. In the United States, American workers have achieved an enviable level of productivity compared to people of other nations.

5. Conclusion: Synthesizing Key Insights and Future Directions

The chapter then broadened its focus to discuss the differences between functional and business-level strategies, and introduced the imperative for businesses to develop dynamic capabilities to ensure long-term survival. And since business decisions are made by individuals and are based on subjective interpretations of the business environment, the exact rationality of these decisions is always in question. The chapter concludes with a discussion of basic concepts such as the meaning of work, the role of social approval in ethics, and the need for better customer relationships. Although first-year business students typically tackle these questions, they are still meritorious of further consideration. Indeed, the organizational and management implications of these initial business considerations are worth a great deal of subsequent pondering.

In conclusion, this chapter has introduced and discussed many of the key issues in business scholarship. It introduced the notion that business is more than just profit-making, and that stakeholders other than shareholders and owners have legitimate claims on the organization. Like any other social institution, business is subject to public institutional arrangements and public scrutiny. The chapter also discussed the role that business plays in different national or regional economies, and offered a two-level model of the business and its environment.

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