An Executive Summary is a short summary of the key aspects of the Business Report. It is written after the report is completed so that a short precis of the main aspects of the report can be identified and presented in the Exec Summary. An Executive Summary usually indicate: Aim/Purpose of the Report; Any limitations or assumptions related to the report (eg Report only considers a specific time period, or a certain part of the organisation, or a certain project); Indicate the key issues covered in the report (Not every detail – the key issues); identify the key challenges and or opportunities if relevant; finally, indicate the key insights developed through your analysis OR if requested present the key recommendations to address the challenges or opportunities with a brief justification.
Table of Contents
Outline the purpose of report and approach to presenting analysis and discussion
In the instance of a Case Study – analysis and discussion would come from the case material and also researched theory and practice through – relevant academic articles, quality trade or media journals outlets eg The Economist, Forbes, HBR, Financial Times, quality on line sites.
Body of Report
This is the area to respond to specific questions provided. Headings can be constructed from the questions instead of just repeating the questions or a question number. This presents the report more as a Business Report style. Go straight to answering the questions after the Introduction.
The first step towards internationalisation began in the 1993 when Hon Chuan expanded into mainland China. Discuss the drivers of globalisation that may have influenced the global strategic goals of Hon Chuan, highlighting any challenges that might have been faced by the company when undertaking this expansion? (Strategic, operational – HR, Marketing, Logistics)
2.1 Drivers of Globalisation impacting Hon Chuan
The body of the report for the Hon Chuan Case Business Report would then include headings and responses for the remaining four case questions. Therefore headings would follow for 2.2 through to 2.5 as sections of you report.
With regard to the word limit of 2,500 +/- 10% the following is important to remember. The word limit in GSBL delivered courses and for this course BUSM3229 applies as follows:
The Executive Summary, Table of Contents, Reference List and any Appendices included after the reference list ARE NOT included in the word count. Only the words from the Introduction, through the body of report to the last word in the Conclusion ARE included in the word count. This represents standard Management Business practice.
Please note that the introduction should be short and to the point. Your use of word limit for each of the five questions depends on the focus of the question, what it is requesting regarding detail in response and whether it has several parts or is a simpler single answer type. This means that you should plan and assign your words according to the needs of the question. You should aim to be concise, relevant and to use both case evidence concisely as well as relevant theory to explain effective practice.
This final section of your business report would in a business setting most likely include key insights from the analysis you were requested to perform and recommended actions needing to be taken to address the challenges or opportunities uncovered through analysis. In the instance of this Case Study it is not requesting recommendations but asks for your analysis and insights.
In the conclusion for the Hon Chuan case you should identify the key insights on International Management practice that you have identified through your analysis (This should NOT be a repeat of you answers in the body BUT a careful selection of the three or so aspects that stand out to you as important for effective practice. You also need not only to name these but provide a REASON why these stand out for YOU in your International Management practice. This is where you identify – WHAT you have learned AND What it is important – TO YOU.
This type of conclusion provides two elements in a Business Report – it signals to your manager that you are discerning and can think and feel through managerial and business issues to arrive at key insights or areas for attention for the business.
Likewise to your academic facilitator looking at different assessments it is your opportunity to stand out a little in writing responses to set questions in the body. Though how you answer these is immensely important. The Conclusion section allows each student to display their insights.
A Solid Reference List of at least 10 references is required where the majority of those references should come from the course materials. Think of this as the minimum. Better Case reports will apply a wide range of relevant classic and recent references to support their responses. The Reference list uses the Harvard Referencing system
Any appendices attached NEED to be mentioned in the body of the report if they are to be looked at and considered. There must be a reason for the appendix related to responding to the question in the Case Study.