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Guide to Critically Evaluate Economic Data for Policy Making

Engagement with Literature Skills

Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment.

Critically evaluate economic data as a guide to policy making within an international, national and organisational context.

  1. Apply a number of different economic concepts (supply and demand, price elasticity, cost analysis) with respect to managerial decision making in organisations.
  2. Analyse the impact of government policy on markets and its effect on the managerial decisions.

Follow this guide to complete your report. I’ve bullet pointed the concepts and factors you will consider when conducting the analysis, accept these as hints! Bullet pointing makes the assignment look complicated, but it is not. It is a simple task. The experience you gain from working on this assignment is invaluable! Most of the information (data and major events) you need in order to complete this assignment can easily be found on past news articles about your chosen company - I expect you to become avid business news readers by the time you finish this assignment.

Your analysis should start with the study of the company’s history, description of its activities, the industry it operates in, types of services and products it produces, business environment it operates in, main markets and other aspects of company’s business profile.

You should choose a product or a product range as a first step. For example, Procter and Gamble has gazillions of products, you will not have time and resources to study its products. Thus, choose, say, baby wipes product range and keep your focus on it.

Pick a business that you know something about or can find information on. Describe the business and its main product or service.

  • What is your chosen product?
  • Why did you choose it?

Identify Demand and Market Equilibrium. For each of the factors that influence Demand, describe how your main product or service is affected. Does the factor indicate that demand is increasing or decreasing?

  • Price of substitutes - What is a substitute for the product or service? Is the substitute's price increasing or decreasing? How does this affect demand for your product or service?
  • Price of complements - What is a complement for the product or service? Is the complement's price increasing or decreasing? How does this affect demand for your product or service?
  • Consumer Income - Is consumer income increasing or decreasing? How does this affect demand for your product or service?
  • Consumer tastes & preferences - How are consumer preferences changing? How does this affect demand for your product or service?
  • Consumer expectations of price (of your product or service.) - Looking ahead, do consumers expect the price of your product or service to increase or decrease? How does this affect demand for your product or service?
  • Demographics - Number of Consumers (Buyers) - Is the number of buyers increasing or decreasing? How does this affect demand for your product or service?

The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-todate, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 5, you should be able to demonstrate: sound knowledge and critical understanding of the wellestablished concepts and principles of the subject area and the way in which those principles have developed; knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. meaningfully to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

You should be able to critically analyse information, and propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis, including the critical evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems.Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking, evaluation and synthesis. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? At all times, you must provide justification/evidence for your arguments and judgements. Evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area is crucial to you providing a reasoned and informed debate within your work. Furthermore, you should provide evidence that you are able to make sound judgements and convincing arguments using data and concepts, with an understanding of the limits of knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations. Sound, valid conclusions are necessary and must be derived from the content of your work. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

At level 5, you should be able to use/deploy a range of established techniques within the discipline, and apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts, some of which may be creative. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within anorganisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria. You should show awareness of the limitations of concepts andtheories when applied in particular contexts.

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. This includes demonstrating: professional development to advance existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume significant responsibility within organisations; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; that you can use appropriate media to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and wellstructured in presentation and organisation.

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