write an individual report of 2,000 words that focuses on the analysis of current economic global conditions and the impact on a particular global organisation. You should also comment on the economic outlook for the company in the short-medium term.
Choose a well-known public/private company (not a financial institution) that is engaged in some international trade and which is either UK-based or has well-developed activities in the UK . Also choose one other country, besides the UK, in which the company operates so as to compare the economic environment for the company in both the UK and this other country. (You should bear in mind that the second assignment for the Marketing part of the module will also need to be based on the same company.)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION These will include articles from: The Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Economist etc (but not from the tabloid press). The University’s electronic database, Nexis, is an excellent source of thousands of international, national and local publications including UK newspapers.
Other useful information will be found in textbooks; some academic journals especially those including articles on, for example, consumption patterns/global trade. Generic material from websites such as the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and a range of Think Tanks, for example, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, are also useful sources. Blogs from the BBC Economics Editors, Robert Peston or Stephanie Flanders, re: the Global Economy, are another useful resource.
Please note that the company website will be only useful for up-to-date factual information eg numbers of employees, latest profit results.
Lastly, collect information from 2009 thereby excluding the immediate economic impact of the financial crisis.
Introduce your company providing information on its business activities, ownership, locations, number of employees, profitability in recent years and its current and future plans. Allocate up to 500 words only.
Analyse and evaluate the economic characteristics of your chosen company using the following economic models and concepts. You must support your discussion with evidence by using appropriate cited references in the text. (The order of the following does not necessarily have to be adhered to and some of the questions listed will not be relevant to your chosen company but you should answer as many questions as possible by using the appropriate economic models/concepts.)
1 Is there a divorce of ownership from control? If so, what are the implications for the business and its customers?
2 How can the Structure-Conduct-Performance model be used to assess the company’s competitive environment?
3 How may various barriers to entry dissuade potential entrants?
4 How do information asymmetries (adverse selection and moral hazard) affect consumers/producers?
5 What is likely to be the price and income elasticity of demand for its main products?
6 If the firm is operating in an imperfect market, and it’s very likely to be, which type is it and why, and what are the implications for the consumer?
7 What are the characteristics of the firm’s labour markets in both economies and how have these affected its business?
8 Which of the major trading blocs does the company operate in and how does this impact on its current performance?
9 How has recent fiscal and monetary policy affected the company’s performance in both countries?
10 How has the sovereign debt crises in Europe affected your company?
11 How have the recent increases in unemployment in the UK affected your company? Is there a similarity between the UK and the other country in which the firm operates?
12 What have been the effects of the recent increases in inflation in some countries?
13 What have been the effects of recent variations in exchange rates and what would be the effect of future variations?
14 What are the possible impacts of growing awareness of the potential effects of climate change?
15 Which theories of global trade explain the firm’s overseas activities?
16 How have trading blocs affected your company’s economic environment?
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