An extended essay in business and management is a formal essay and, as such, should fully meet the assessment criteria for the organization and formal presentation of an extended essay. In addition, it should be remembered that a business and management essay must be written in an objective style without personal bias. Observations and conclusions should be derived from the evidence and not based on any preconceptions of the student.
The extended essay provides students with an opportunity to develop research skills by reviewing business theory, concepts and principles, and critically analysing how these have been put into practice in the business world and the resultant impact on business activity. This will involve broad and detailed research using a range of sources. Excessive reliance on a single type of source, such as a company's annual report, is unlikely to give students sufficient scope or breadth in their analysis of the research question. The extended essay requires the application of business theory, tools and techniques to produce a coherent and structured analytical essay that effectively addresses the research question.
Extended essay | Diploma | International Baccalaureate®
From a strategic perspective, although Zara’s advantage over its competitors is not so mush a result of its IT leverage, the sustainability of its competitive edge might be at risk due to a lack in IT investment. This is the foremost problem with its current IT situation. Other competitors could in due time develop automated solutions in their operations to such an extent that Zara’s original speed to market might be outdone. Coming back to a more resource-based view, a new OS would enable the installation of modern software applications which could allow Zara to develop its capabilities. Various business processes of Zara could be enhanced and orders could be made much more efficiently. Referring to the information requirements that have been previously identified, new software could be used to automatically update the POS terminals for every sale that is made which would prove useful not only at the store level, but throughout the entire supply chain. If all POS terminals would be interlinked, store managers would have an online overview of the theoretical inventory order in the store to help determine order requirements. Sales would not have to tallied as is currently the case, since the inventory could be made available from any POS terminal in the store. This means that store managers would not have to conduct a manual audit twice a week which means less time and energy would be dedicated to administration. If this were considered on an annual basis, personnel resources would be saved which instead could be directed towards customers. Moreover, a tailored POS application for the new OS could ensure that orders, which form the basis of the shipment and the production facilities, would be made based on theoretical inventory in effect giving more accurate orders. At present, PDAs are used by personnel to count the number of items required by the store and to make new orders based on the perceived demand. If Zara would have the right software, this functionality of the PDA would be rendered useless.