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Learning objective 7-1

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • explore how and why large businesses in New Zealand make operational decisions in response to internal and external factors.


What is an indicator?

  • Investigates the application of motivation theory in a business.
  • Undertakes market research for a new product.
  • Debates the argument: 'entrepreneurs are born not made'.
  • Compares the benefits of purchasing technology versus leasing.
  • Interviews a philanthropist.
  • Explores the importance of sustaining Māori language and/or tikanga in Māori business.

Context elaborations

This level 7 learning objective is explored within the context of medium and large businesses of more than 20 employees, of regional or national significance, and connected to students’ lives; for example, listed company, retail company with multiple outlets, school, local government, large corporate, or bank.

To read why using such contexts are good teaching practice, see the connection mechanism.

Contexts will allow students to:

  • demonstrate their understanding of the internal operations of a large business
  • demonstrate their understanding of how a large business responds to external factors
  • discuss a critical problem in a given large business and apply business knowledge to provide possible solutions and recommendations to address issues
  • conduct market research
  • identify motivation practices and apply their knowledge of motivation theory in a business
  • plan, carry out, review and refine a business activity.

Internal factors

Business knowledge, concepts and content may include:

  • organisational structure (advantages and disadvantages, tall, flat, matrix, shamrock)
  • the production process for goods and services (job, batch, flow, lean production, productivity and efficiency, economies of scale, capacity issues)
  • roles and skills of managers and leaders (difference between managers and leaders, leadership styles)
  • financial information for management to aid decision making (importance of budgets, variance analysis, monthly revenue and cost reports)
  • the need for and importance of policies and procedures
  • corporate social responsibility (costs and benefits).

External factors

Business knowledge, concepts, and content may include:

  • political influences (changes to government policy, trade unions and employer associations)
  • social influences (demographic changes on sales and production, ethical influences and societal expectations of business activity)
  • impact of technological change
  • legal influences (the Employment Relations Act 2000, Resource Management Act 1991, Privacy Act 1993).

Critical problem(s)

Students can explore a significant problem/issue threatening the continuation of the business. They can explore its causes and effects, and apply business knowledge to provide a range of possible solutions and recommendations for the problem. These include problems arising from:

  • ineffective choice or management of a growth strategy
  • human resources issue such as ineffective leadership or loss of key personnel
  • internal controls failure resulting in fraud, errors
  • changes in consumer behaviour and/or the emergence of a new competitor
  • technology changes
  • issues resulting from unethical practice.

Market research

Conducting market research would typically involve:

  • identifying the aim, planning the research
  • designing resources, collecting and recording the primary data
  • presenting the data
  • drawing a conclusion from the findings
  • using business concepts to explain the research findings/conclusions
  • evaluating the market research in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and how this impacts on the validity of the findings and the ways the market research could be improved.

Business knowledge, concepts, and content may include:

  • reasons for research
  • secondary (internal and external) and primary research
  • sampling methods (random, stratified, quota, cluster)
  • methods of research (observations, questionnaires, focus groups, testing, interviews, surveys, desk top, statistics, journals, sales reports, government information)
  • advantages and disadvantages of types and methods
  • data types (quantitative and qualitative)
  • interpreting data
  • presenting data using a range of appropriate methods
  • evaluating the market research process
  • ways to improve research.

Motivation theory

Business knowledge, concepts, and content may include:

  • the purpose of motivation
  • different types of motivation, for example, collective (whānau, hapū, iwi) versus individual profit motivation
  • theories (Maslow, Taylor, Mayo, Herzberg, McGregor, Vroom)
  • factors (financial and non-financial, intrinsic and extrinsic)
  • evaluation of motivation techniques for business success.

Plan, carry out, review and refine a business activity

See: Learning objective 7-2

Business themes

See: Business themes - level 7

Related Māori concepts

Māori concepts that relate to this achievement standard include:

  • tikanga
  • pūtake
  • tūranga
  • kaitiakitanga
  • rangatiratanga.

See also:

Assessment for qualifications

Learning in relation to this learning objective can be assessed using the following achievement standards.

It is possible to combine AS90846 2.4 with AS90848 2.6. However, teachers should be aware of potential high stakes involved in combining the two standards.

See: Achievement grades at level 2

Last updated February 5, 2015