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1. The Economick Framework

Any economic system has to solve the problem of scarcity of resources. This means that all resources such as land, raw materials, labour and machinery are limited in supply.
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2. The Context of Business

Modern economies are based upon specialisation, with people producing one particular type of good or service, e.g. being a carpenter or typist.
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3. International Trade

There are several advantages to allowing free trade between countries without restrictions on imports and exports such as tariffs and quotas.
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4. Private-Sector Firms

A private-sector business is one which is not owned by the Government. Apart from co-operatives, which are described in Section 4.8, there are four types of legal structure for privately-owned businesses:
Sole Trader.
Private Limited Company (Ltd).
Public Limited Company (PLC).
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5. Public-Sector Firms

Nationalised industries (also called public corporations) are firms owned wholly or mainly by the Government. Most of the nationalised industries were created by the Labour Governments of 1945–51,1964–70 and 1974–79. Usually this was done by the Government buying several firms from their private owners and merging them into one large public corporation.
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6. Finance for Business

All firms need finance to stay in business. This may be for purposes such as:
  • Running costs such as wages, materials and rent.
  • New premises and equipment.
  • Developing new products.
  • Ensuring adequate cash-flow through the business.
Finance may be obtained from either internal or external sources.
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7. Management of Business

The functions of management can be divided into planning, organising, command, co-ordination and control.
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8. Accounting for Business

All firms have to keep financial records, which serve various purposes, as illustrated in Figure 8.1.
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9. Marketing

The Institute of Marketing defines marketing as ‘the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumer requirements profitably’.
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10. Production

Production means creating goods and services which satisfy people’s needs. It is sometimes used in the narrow sense of manufacturing production (making goods in factories). However, a bus-driver or a stand-up comedian are also involved in production.
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11. Managing People

The quality of a business’s workforce is vital to its success. If workers are happy and interested in their work they will tend to do it better, and the firm’s products will be of higher quality.
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12. Recruitment and Training

Almost all businesses occasionally have to recruit new workers. The recruitment process is summarised in Figure 12.1.
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13. Industrial Relations

Industrial relations is a general term for the processes by which the managers of an organisation discuss pay and working conditions with its workers and their representatives.
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14. Communication

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15. The Government and Business

As explained in Chapter 1, the Government has considerable influence over the running of business. It does this in three main ways:
Economic policy such as public spending, taxation and changes in interest rates.
Assisting business through advice and financial aid.
Regulating business activity through consumer, employment and competition laws.
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16. Aiding and Controlling Business

As well as the Government, businesses can obtain advice and assistance from many private sources. Private organisations also have influence and control over business activity.
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17. Coursework Assignments

Examination coursework is part of GCSE Business Studies syllabuses for several reasons:
  • It allows you to investigate a topic at length.
  • The pressure of the exam room is removed.
  • It encourages you to work with others.
  • Approached properly, it can be great fun and motivate you to produce good work.
  • It develops skills such as interpretation of data which are tested in written examination papers.
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