Writing your Business Management EE Proposal effectively is crucial to demonstrate your keen interest on the topic you will be writing about as well as the strength of your research question (RQ).  Supervisors will commonly give priority to students who are studying Higher Level Business Management, those who are considering a business related degree at university, and or students who illustrate strong interest in the topic being discussed and their research question. Therefore, ensuring that your proposal is strong enough will show clarity and confidence to take on the EE, and ultimately make it much easier for you to plan out the entirety of your essay in a more coherent way.  

What is involved in your Business Management EE?

Just to set the record straight: you don’t have to write out your entire extended essay when your Business Management EE proposal is due.  Nonetheless, having a broad idea of what you would like to do and explore for your EE will help you greatly when composing your EE proposal.

So, what should your Business Management EE be about? Well, it should be about the extent that a strategic business framework or theory has impacted a global organisation.

Proposing a Research Question for Your Business Management EE Proposal

Creating a strong RQ needs to encapsulate the impact of a business theory on your chosen company. It’s easy to lose focus on the concept that will be discussed, leading to the creation of a RQ that does not demonstrate clarity and true understanding. To avoid this, make sure you are clear on the following :

  • Your EE has to be based on secondary research only. It is all based on historical information, not possible business decisions that can be made.
  • Choose a global multinational company, not a small one. It is crucial to obtain sufficient company specific articles to frame your EE effectively. For example, articles from pressure groups, newspaper articles and academic journal articles.

Ultimately, an example RQ should be framed like this :
“How has Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns impacted Company X’s growth in the long term?”

Choosing your business theory :

Ensure that the business theory chosen is one that is directly relevant to your company, and a big aspect of the company’s business decisions. This will allow you to obtain a wide range of resources when collecting your research. For example, if your chosen company often engages in CSR related activities and there are a range of different articles you could use to strengthen your research, then CSR could be a possible appropriate theory that you may choose to use.

Take note that :

  • While it is acceptable for your theory to cover any area of the IB Business Management syllabus, it is recommended that you branch out of the syllabus and discuss theories that are beyond your syllabus. This can allow students to reach top A grades in their Business Management EE.
  • It is suggested that you choose a framework that genuinely interests you, or one that you are particularly strong in, because you will be focussing on it for the entire EE.

Choosing your business tools :

Choosing the right business tools is important because it will strengthen the evaluation and analysis sections of your EE. It is fundamental that you decide which tools give you the best scope for discussion to answer your RQ.  Be sure to Integrate the discussion of theories and analytical tools throughout the essay; do not write about them separately.  Theories and analytical tools should also be supported by evidence from secondary sources.

Common tools that give you good scope for effective discussion include :

  • Ansoff Matrix
  • Ratio Analysis
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Boston Matrix
  • Break-even analysis
  • Force Field analysis
  • Ishikawa Fishbone diagram
  • Product Position mapping
  • SWOT
  • CSR framework

Choosing strong sources to support your RQ:

Choosing the right sources which will support your RQ is crucial to obtain the highest grades in your EE. Examiners appreciate research that has been obtained using strong, credible and valid resources.

To ensure that you are using strong sources, make sure that you :

  • Aim to obtain 3-6 different resources to show variety
  • Identity the specific sources from (e.g. articles, books, journal articles, newspaper articles, company websites etc) and clarify what information you have obtained from each source accurately
  • Use Google Scholar/Google Books/NLB e-resources to support your academic frameworks – they are strong resources!

Writing the rationale:

Making sure that your rationale is strong and compelling from the start is paramount. To do so, you would need to explain why you want to carry out that particular piece of research – why is it so important to you?

For example, do you feel strongly about ethical practice, which is why your research is based on Corporate Social Responsibility?

Students who are able to convey their personal connection to the RQ often manage to obtain the highest grades in their EE, because it is clear throughout the essay what their reasons are for engaging in such research. When passion relating to the RQ is conveyed throughout the essay, the EE automatically becomes stronger and of a higher quality.