Business management is a rigorous, challenging and dynamic discipline in the individuals and societies subject group. The role of businesses, as distinct from other organizations and actors in a society, is to produce and sell goods and services that meet human needs and wants by organizing resources. Profit making, risk-taking and operating in a competitive environment characterize most business organizations.

Business management studies business functions, management processes and decision-making in contemporary contexts of strategic uncertainty. It examines how business decisions are influenced by factors internal and external to an organization, and how these decisions impact upon its stakeholders, both internally and externally. Business management also explores how individuals and groups interact within an organization, how they may be successfully managed and how they can ethically optimize the
use of resources in a world with increasing scarcity and concern for sustainability.

Business management is, therefore, perfectly placed within the individuals and societies subject area: aiming to develop in students an appreciation both for our individuality and our collective purposes.

The Aims of Business Management

The aims of the business management course at HL and SL are to:

  • Encourage a holistic view of the world of business;
  • Empower students to think critically and strategically about individual and organizational behavior;
  • Promote the importance of exploring business issues from different cultural perspectives;
  • Enable the student to appreciate the nature and significance of change in a local, regional and global context;
  • Promote awareness of the importance of environmental, social and ethical factors in the actions of individuals and organizations;
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of innovation in a business environment.

From the perspective of the Diploma Programme core, the value of individuals and societies subjects is that they allow students to reach beyond the classroom and their immediate school community to build
intellectual and practical connections to the wider society. In business management, the particular category of actors students learn about, interact with and reflect on is businesses. The all-pervasive and dynamic
nature of business organizations means that there are many opportunities for teachers and students to link the course with TOK, CAS and the extended essay.

Approaches to Teaching and Learning in IB BP Business Management

The pedagogical approach used in IB Business Management course is a triangular model based on Contexts, Concepts and Contents. The concept (collectively referred to as CUEGIS concepts) are anchored in the tools, theories and techniques of the subject and come alive through case studies and real world examples.

Concepts: the six prescribed concepts are: change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation and strategy

Contexts: the course is studied using case studies (real and fictitious) and real world examples

Content: the prescribed content is provided in the syllabus in the IB Business Management guide which specifies the tools, techniques and theories in the course.

During the business management course, a number of issues will arise that highlight the relationships between TOK and business management. Some of the questions that could be considered during the course are identified below in relation to the six concepts which are:

  • Change – Driving forces and restraining forces creates change in a business so that they can move forward and remain competitive.
  • Culture – the norms of an organisation, a country, or other social grouping. Culture shapes the values, beliefs, and customs of people. (Internal and External sections of the organisation)
  • Ethics – the socially accepted moral principles that guide decision making, based on the collective belief of what is right and what is wrong.
  • Globalisation – worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration
  • Innovation – Innovation generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas, and can increase the likelihood of a business succeeding.
  • Strategy – devising plans to achieve the long-term goals of an organisation.

Syllabus Outline

Unit 1: Business Organization & Environment
Key Terms
Unit 2: Human Resource Management
Key Terms
Unit 3: Finance & Accounts
Key Term
Unit 4: Marketing
Key Term
Unit 5: Operations Management
Key Term