1.7 Organizational planning tools (HL only)

1.7 Organizational planning tools & the value of these planning tools (HL Only)

ATL Activity

In the context of your school, ask students to identify two examples of each of the following types of decisions:

  • Operational
  • Tactical
  • Strategic

Which members of staff in the school would make these decisions?

Using schools as examples of business organizations can be very useful for helping students to understand some abstract elements of the syllabus - after all, most 16/17 year olds won't have any experience of real-world businesses and their decision-making process. Some possible responses could include:

  • Operational - teachers delivering the content of their lessons, e.g. IB Business Management teachers showing students how to draw decision trees or Gantt charts in a lesson.
  • Tactical - these decisions are likely to be made by teachers in positions of responsibility, such as the Head of Department or subject coordinator deciding which textbook or online resources to purchase for teachers and students studying IB Business Management.
  • Strategic - these decisions are likely to be made by likely to be made by the senior leadership team (or an equivalent title for the executive team), such as the school's vision or mission, which curricula to offer, the timings of the school day. These plans / decisions would also include emergency procedures (contingency plans and crisis management plans) for events such as fire evacuation and lockdowns.

Top tip!

Organizational planning tools are not without their weaknesses, so managers do not always make decisions purely based on these tools. Indeed, some risks are very difficult, if not subjective and impossible, to measure. Instead, some decisions are based on intuition (gut feeling or instinct) and emotions.

For students writing their HL Internal Assessments, take a look here for a list of tools, theories and techniques (including organizational planning tools) to support your assessment work.


InThinking resources

Click the hyperlinks below to access the InThinking resources for this particular section of the IB Business Management syllabus.

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