Business Management Internal Assessment (IA) is a significant component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level (HL) program. It requires students to conduct research, analyze data, and apply business management concepts to a real-world business situation. The IA contributes 20% towards the final grade and is an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills and understanding of business management. However, with proper planning and preparation, students can ace their Business Management IA.

Section I: Pre-Research Proposal Material

1. Title page
Include:
● Your Research Question
● Intended Audience (i.e. To Company X)
● The IB Number (Something in the format “QWE123”
● Session (i.e. May 2019)
● Proposal word count and IA word count. (Note that the Executive Summary is not counted in the 2000 words allowed for the IA.)

2. Acknowledgements

3.Contents Page
Include information about (and page numbers for):
● Your proposal
● All parts of your IA
● Your Appendices

Section II: The Research Proposal Layout

Research Proposal (A total of 500 words)
The research proposal section is written in the future tense.
Include:
● Your RQ (Research Question)
● Rationale
○ How this RQ relates to current company priorities or challenges.
○ Discuss WHY the company should have interest in your topic! For instance, the company is currently planning an expansion for a second outlet and your IA provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis that will help them evaluate their decision.

● Theoretical Framework
○ Academic content (i.e. textbook chapters), reference to chosen business tools listed. Provide an explanation of how each will help you answer the RQ.
○ The tools with good scope for evaluation include Steeple, Ansoff, BCG matrix, product life cycle, ratio analysis, investment appraisal, break even analysis.

● Methodology
○ State the sources of primary and secondary data collation, including the names of people you will interview (and why), focus group format, or questionnaire content. It is good to  Include more than one source of primary data. If you can’t do two interviews, you’ll likely want to do something like a survey or an observation.

● Anticipated Difficulties.
○ Explain some possible problems you will likely face, the reasons for these difficulties and how you plan to deal with them.
○ Try to go beyond the obvious ones, such as bias and access to information.
○ Tell us why some of the information you need could be hard to get or unreliable.

● Action Plan.
○ Include dates and also a section where you show modifications you’ve made, as you completed your work.
○ This shows that you actually used your action plan during your IA. Also, at least one of these modifications should show that you actually learned something (or realized something related to business) and that’s why you made the change.
○ This again shows that you were growing as a result of your work which starts to build the case for Criterion I (Reflective Thinking).

● Include the word count for the entire proposal.

Section III: The IA Layout

The Internal Assessment (Maximum 2000 words)
1.Executive Summary (Abstract) (Maximum 200 words- not included in word count)
● Introduce the company and its current situation
● State your RQ
● State the tools you used in your study
● Elaborate on your primary and secondary research
● Explain key research findings
● Explain limitations of your research

2.Introduction (approx. 200 words)
● Introduce the company and explain its main business activities
● Explain their current strategic objectives
● Explain the business problem your RQ is based on
Explain which sections of the IB business course you will use for your RQ

3.Methodology (approx. 200 words)
Details of the primary and secondary data you will be using to investigate your RQ. For example, why a stratified sampling or face to face interview was conducted. You should explain how these will help you to answer your RQ
● Rationale for using the selected sources of data.
● Business tools you will be using to answer your RQ
● Explain how valid your research methodology will be,
● Explain the changes made to your IA methodology throughout your research.

4.Main Results and Findings (approx. 300 words)
Include:
● Graphs, statistics, or relevant information.
● A research summary to state the key facts you found from your primary and secondary sources

5. Analysis and discussion (approx. 900 words)
For each tool (3 or 4 of them) include:
● A clear justification of the use of the theory (how it will help answer the RQ),
● Make sure you are using a proper structure and that as much of your information as possible is coming through the tools (rather than in paragraph form).
● The analysis (i.e. the SWOT, etc), and then
● The mini-conclusion (linking the findings of the tool to the RQ).
● QE recommends at least one financial tool, but this should come after your qualitative tools. In general we like to see qualitative tools (such as SWOT and PEST) come before the quantitative ones (like ratio analysis and decision trees), because the qualitative tools set the scene and provide context for the financials.

6.Conclusions (200 words)
You should not include any new data
● Pull your mini-conclusions together (synthesize them), make some interesting insights based on them (i.e. pros and cons, short-term vs long-term effects, possible stakeholder conflicts).
● This is where you really get to shine. Take time with your conclusion, so you can really emphasize everything you’ve discovered and how it all fits together to answer your RQ.
● Mention some limitations to your research. There needs to be at least one, probably two. Show you have really reflected on your work. You could discuss other information that would be very valuable to have, but which you couldn’t access. You could discuss possible inaccuracies in your work and the reasons for those. This is similar to how you write your EE reflections.

7. Recommendations (approx. 200 words)
Include:
● 3 recommendations for improvement(such as changes or improvement to the company’s proposed action)
● One more question for future research. This will improve the reliability of your study and provide scope for future studies to address limitations of your IA.

8. Works Cited (No word limit)
Include:
● 2 books or more sources (including your textbook)
● Primary research, be sure to get other sources of primary data –including 2interviews, survey, observation data, focus group data, etc).
● 3 internet sources or more (websites, articles)
● 1 academic source or more (a trade journal or advanced academic paper)

9.Appendices (No word limit)
Do Include key content such as :
● Any interview or focus group transcripts and questionnaire results to support your analysis
● Academic analysis, support business tools, or relevant data for the marker to reference
● Further details of calculations for financial analysis
● Any additional data, including market map, in-depth steeple writeup, or more.

In conclusion, acing your Business Management Internal Assessment requires time, effort, and dedication. By following the guidelines, choosing an appropriate topic, conducting thorough research, analyzing data, and applying business management concepts, students can produce a high-quality IA that demonstrates their skills and understanding of the subject. With proper planning and preparation, students can excel in their Business Management IA and achieve their desired grade.