Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 228

MANAGERIAL LEVEL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PILLAR PAPER P4 ORGANISATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS

This is a Pilot Paper and is intended to be an indicative guide for tutors and students of the style and type of questions that are likely to appear in future examinations. It does not seek to cover the full range of the syllabus learning outcomes for this subject. Organisational Management and Information Systems will be a three hour paper with two compulsory sections (for 50 and 30 marks respectively) and one section with a choice of questions for 20 marks.

CONTENTS

Pilot Question Paper Section A: Twenty objective test questions Section B: Six short answer questions Section C: Two scenario questions Pilot Solutions Pages 2-10 Pages 11-12 Pages 13-14 Pages 15-24

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2004


FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems


1

SECTION A 50 MARKS ANSWER ALL SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.15 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each sub-question is worth 2 marks. REQUIRED: On the indicative ANSWER SHEET, enter either your answer in the space provided where the sub-question requires a written response, or place a circle O around the letter that gives the correct answer to the sub-question where a list of distractors has been provided. If you wish to change your mind about an answer to such a sub-question, block out your first answer completely and then circle another letter. You will not receive marks if more than one letter is circled. Space has been provided on the four-page answer sheet for workings. If you require further space, please use the last page of your answer book and clearly indicate which question(s) these workings refer to. You must detach the answer sheet from the question paper and attach it to the front cover of your answer book before you hand it to the invigilators at the end of the examination. Question One 1.1 A B C D Bar code readers, scanners and keyboards are examples of hardware input devices. software input devices. systems processing devices. hardware processing devices.

1.2 A B C D

Local area networking is used for communication between computers within a limited geographical area. structuring an organisation within a division or business unit. exchange of information through a trade association or region. managing a complex operational issue by global interface with trade associations and professional bodies.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Organisational Management and Information Systems INDICATIVE ANSWER SHEET FOR SECTION A

Write here your full examination number:

Centre Code Hall Code Desk Number

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B

C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C

D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D

You must detach the answer sheet from the question paper and attach it to the front cover of your answer book before you hand it in to the invigilators at the end of the examination.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.16

1.17

1.18

1.19

1.20

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Space for workings for Section A

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Space for workings for Section A

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.3 A B C D

When someone commences a new job, the process of familiarisation is known as probationary period. recruitment. appraisal. induction.

1.4 A B C D

An effective appraisal system involves assessing the personality of the appraisee. a process initiated by the manager who needs an update from the appraisee. advising on the faults of the appraisee. a participative, problem-solving process between the manager and appraisee.

1.5 A B C D

The motivating potential score, developed by Hackman and Oldham, is calculated to assess the knowledge of an individual. the satisfaction with work. the content of the job. the quality of work performed.

1.6 A B C D

Quality management thinker J.M. Juran once suggested that 85% of an organisations quality problems are a result of ineffective control by supervisors and managers. a result of ineffective systems. a result of ineffective workers. a result of ineffective incentive bonus schemes.

1.7 A B C D

Job rotation involves a redesign of a persons post based upon job analysis. the movement of an individual to another post in order to gain experience. the expansion and enrichment of a persons job content. the relocation of a post holder in order to benefit from the experience of a number of potential mentors.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.8 A B C D

A grievance procedure is established by an organisation in order that there is a standing process to deal with the arbitration of disputes. the organisation can fairly discipline members of the workforce for wrongdoing. the workforce might formally raise issues where ill treatment has occurred. collective bargaining between the employers side and the workforce might proceed smoothly.

1.9 A B C D

Entropy is a term used to describe the tendency of a system to break down due to randomness. the tendency of a system to develop over time leading to randomness. a means of testing candidates in an interview to overcome randomness. a means of developing open learning using computers.

1.10 Many large organisations have established a computer intranet for the purpose of A B C D providing quick, effective and improved communication amongst staff using chat rooms. providing quick, effective and improved communication to staff. providing quick, effective and improved communication to customers. providing quick, effective and improved ordering procedures in real time.

1.11 The main advantages of a database management system include A B C D the development of separate data sources. unlimited access and open communication. end user flexibility and a devolution of responsibility. data integrity and elimination of duplication.

1.12 An expert system describes A B C D a database built upon past knowledge and experience. a powerful off the shelf software solution. an on-line library of operating advice and handy hints. an electronic version of working papers assembled by the Research and Development department.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.13 The five S (5-S) practice is a technique aimed at achieving A B C D effective investment of resources in training and recruitment. standardised procedures to improve the physical and thinking organisational environments. excellence in strategy, style, skills, staff and structure. diversity of activity and independence of thought in order to achieve closeness to the customer.

1.14 An assessment centre approach is used A B C D as part of an appraisal process. as part of a process of training and development. as part of a selection process. as part of an exit interview process.

1.15 Selection tests that fail to produce similar results over time when taken by the same candidate are A B C D contradictory. unreliable. too general. unstable.

(Total for these sub-questions = 30 marks)

Section A continues on the next page

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

REQUIRED: Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.16 to 1.20 below require a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. This response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words. Use the spaces provided on the second page (page 4) of the answer sheet.

1.16 Explain the relationship between a (Just in Time) JIT system and cash flow management. (4 marks)

1.17 Explain how computer software can assist in achieving quality in a manufacturing organisation. (4 marks)

1.18 Distinguish quality control from quality circles. (4 marks)

1.19 Explain why a phased system change-over for a computer development might help employees cope better with technological change. (4 marks)

1.20 Describe the main benefits of in-house developed information systems. (4 marks) (Total for these sub-questions = 20 marks) (Total for Section A = 50 marks)

End of Section A

P4 PILOT PAPER

10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.


Question Two Hubbles, a national high-street clothing retailer has recently appointed a new Chief Executive. The company is well established and relatively financially secure. It has a reputation for stability and traditional, quality clothing at an affordable price. Lately, however, it has suffered from intense competition leading to a loss of market share and an erosion of customer loyalty. Hubbles has all the major business functions provided by in house departments, including finance, human resources, purchasing, strategy and marketing. The Strategy and Marketing Department has identified a need for a comprehensive review of the companys effectiveness. In response, the new Chief Executive has commissioned a review by management consultants. Their initial findings include the following: Hubbles has never moved from being sales-oriented to being marketingoriented and this is why it has lost touch with its customers; Hubbles now needs to get closer to its customers and operate a more effective marketing mix; Additional investment in its purchasing department can add significantly to improving Hubbles competitive position.

The Chief Executive feels that a presentation of interim findings to senior managers would be helpful at this point. You are a member of the management consultancy team and have been asked to draft a slide presentation of some of the key points. The Chief Executive has identified six such points.

Required:
Prepare a slide outline, and brief accompanying notes of two to three sentences, for each of the Chief Executives key points identified below. Use a separate page of your answer book for each key point (meaning that your responses are contained on no more than six pages in total).

(a)

Describe the difference between a company that concentrates on "selling" its products and one that has adopted a marketing approach. (5 marks) Explain how Hubbles might develop itself into an organisation that is driven by customer needs. (5 marks) Explain what is meant by the marketing mix. (5 marks) Identify examples of ways in which the management of Hubbles could make use of the marketing mix to help regain its competitive position. (5 marks)

(b)

(c) (d)

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

11

(e)

Describe the main areas in which Hubbles Human Resources Department might reasonably contribute to assist the Purchasing Department. (5 marks) Explain how an efficient Purchasing Department might contribute to effective organisational performance. (5 marks) (Total = 30 marks)

(f)

End of Section B

P4 PILOT PAPER

12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question Three A year ago, the owner-manager of a taxi service also moved into a new business area of fitting tyres. This came about as a result of the experience of using unbranded tyres on the fleet of ten taxis. Based on several years of use, the owner-manager found that the unbranded tyres lasted almost as long as the branded tyres, but had the advantage of being obtainable at half the price. The set-up costs of the tyre-fitting business were relatively modest and the owner-manager initially fitted the tyres himself. Demand picked up quickly, however, and he was forced to employ an experienced fitter. A few months later, demand accelerated again and he has just advertised for another fitter but, unfortunately, without success. The tyre-fitting business has produced additional challenges and the owner-manager is finding it increasingly difficult to manage both the taxi service and the new business where he seems to be spending more and more of his time. He already employs one receptionist/taxi controller, but has realised that he now needs another. As if this were not enough, he is in the middle of extending his operations still further. Customers who buy tyres frequently request that he check the wheel alignment on their car following the fitting of new tyres. He has started to provide this service, but when done manually it is a slow process, so he has invested heavily in a new piece of electronic equipment. This new technology will speed the alignment operation considerably, but neither he nor his tyre-fitter can operate the equipment. The owner feels that tyre fitters should be able to operate the equipment, and an additional member of staff is not required just to operate it. To add to all these problems, two of his taxi drivers have resigned unexpectedly. Past patterns suggest that of the ten drivers, normally one or two leave each year, generally in the summer months, though now it is winter. Given all these staffing difficulties, the owner-manager has made use of a relative who happens to have some HR expertise. She has advised the owner-manager on recruitment and selection, training and development. The relative also suggests that the business needs a well thought out human resource plan.

Required:
(a) Prepare an outline human resource plan for the business and explain each aspect
of your plan. (12 marks)

(b) Discuss the important human resource activities to which attention should be paid
in order to obtain the maximum contribution from the workforce. Important: For requirement (b), exclude those areas upon which the relative has already provided advice to the owner-manager (recruitment and selection, training and development). (8 marks) (Total = 20 marks)

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

13

Question Four

Required: (a)
Using prescriptive, planned change theory, as outlined by Lewin and others, describe how any major new organisational initiative can be successfully implemented. (10 marks)

Zed Bank operates in a fiercely competitive market and has decided to implement a number of important initiatives, including: enhancing its current services to customers by providing them with on-line internet and telephone banking services; and reducing costs by closing many of its rural and smaller branches (outlets).

In an attempt to pacify the employee representatives (the Banking Trade Union) and to reduce expected protests by the communities affected by branch closure, a senior Bank spokesperson has announced that the changes will be "incremental" in nature. In particular, she has stressed that: the change will be implemented over a lengthy time period; there will be no compulsory redundancies; banking staff ready to take on new roles and opportunities in the on-line operations will be retrained and offered generous relocation expenses.

For customers, the Bank has promised that automatic cash dispensing machines will be available in all the localities where branches (outlets) close. Customers will also be provided with the software needed for Internet banking and other assistance necessary to give them quick and easy access to banking services. The leader of the Banking Trade Union is appalled at the initiatives announced. He has argued that the so-called "incremental" change is in fact the start of a "transformational" change that will have serious repercussions, not only for the Union's members but also for many of the Bank's customers.

Required: (b) Distinguish incremental change from transformational change. Explain why the
Bank spokesperson and the trade union leader disagree over their description of the change. (10 marks) (Total = 20 marks)

End of Question Paper

P4 PILOT PAPER

14

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SOLUTIONS TO PILOT PAPER

SECTION A

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B

C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C

D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

15

1.16 Just in Time (JIT) systems involve the purchase and production of goods only when needed and aim to eliminate unnecessary stocks of materials and parts. As much less money is tied up in stock, this should improve organisational cash flow. 1.17 Software such as computer aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) provide the necessary flexibility in manufacturing to meet customer requirements more closely and help eliminate mistakes and material wastage. These advances can contribute towards world class manufacturing performance.

1.18 Quality control is a traditionally Western approach to production involving inspection of work by a third party. Quality circles are part of a quality programme that involves work groups meeting to share ideas and discuss ways in which to improve quality and solve problems.

1.19 A phased system changeover allows employees time to adjust. helps reduce resistance as it does not appear too extreme. allows time for retraining and employee displacement issues to be addressed.

1.20 The main benefits of in-house development are that the information system is likely to match the needs of the users more closely, meaning staff acceptance and involvement. the development team is normally local and available if required. Possible greater focus on progress and success. the development team are likely to gain user acceptance more quickly.

P4 PILOT PAPER

16

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B

Answer to Question Two

Requirement (a)
Slide 1: Features of sales-oriented organisations: Aggressive selling, advertising and sales promotion. A concentration on selling not marketing. A strong sales department.

Marketing is about: Supplying what the customer wants. An organisation-wide philosophy.

Notes to Slide 1: The claim that Hubbles concentrates on selling implies that it is not focussed on customer needs. Instead of finding out what the customer wants, it is trying to sell whatever items it happens to have in stock.

Requirement (b)
Slide 2: Adopting the marketing concept: focus on potential customer needs (and how these can be satisfied); greatest opportunity = meeting needs (gaps) not currently met; implies market research, competitor product research; possible future benchmarking; NOT a change to the Marketing Department: a new way of organisational thinking; training for all staff? management to help by providing the right products & resources.

Notes to Slide 2: Reorientation means Hubbles needs to change the way it defines and investigates its markets, prices, products and communication with its customers. The critical people are the front line staff who customers come into direct contact with. This customer-led focus
P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

17

should permeate every department so that the needs of the customer are kept in view at all times.

Requirement (c)
Slide 3: Components of marketing mix: Product. Customers' product wants and desired characteristics; (Place) distribution. Desired quantity available right place and time; Promotion. Increasing awareness of products; inform about product features; keep interest; Price. Is critical and can be used as a competitive tool.

Plus sometimes added for service organisations: People. Staff decisions, image & actions central to the other marketing mix components.

Notes to Slide 3: After Hubbles has identified its target market, it will be in a position to develop its marketing mix. Components are decision variables that can be changed and Hubbles must decide how to create and maintain a marketing mix that satisfies consumers' needs.

Requirement (d)
Slide 4: Product Develop new products, modify/enhance existing ones and eliminate others. Place Improve inventory, transport and storage to serve market. Wellsited premises redesigned to reflect brand, and so on. Promotion Rebranding, advertising campaigns, using different media to target groups. Price Revise pricing structure to convey value, or price below competitors. People Can influence buyer behaviour. Training programmes, monitoring systems and ongoing support.

Notes to Slide 4: Must develop a marketing mix that precisely matches the needs of potential customers in the target market. First research the market for data about the age, income, sex and educational level of target market, preferences for product features and attitudes to competitors' products.

P4 PILOT PAPER

18

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Requirement (e)
Slide 5: HR contribution Helping Purchasing to function to maximum effectiveness, including: Resourcing Getting the right staff in the right position with clear responsibilities. Training & Development Improved performance: training needs analysis and programme design. Relations Agreement on necessary action to bring about improvement. Rewards Ensuring sufficient incentives to achieve improvement.

Notes to Slide 5: Purchasing includes procurement of range of materials and finished products for sale, supplier identification and selection, negotiating prices, liaising with stores over needs and stock levels and so on. HR issues include consideration of staff level, numbers, mix, attitudes, expertise and skills and supporting/leading initiatives required.

Requirement (f)
Slide 6: Purchasing Department: contribution to effective organisational performance Quantity, Just in Time (JIT) and electronic data interchange (EDI) automatic ordering and stock replenishment. Leads to: improved efficiency and reduced stock-outs. Quality supplies helps improve quality of the end product (fewer rejects/ returns). Good price (bulk discounts to reduce cost of end product). Delivery of the supplies on time crucial to avoid lost sales.

Notes to Slide 6: Critical role to the smooth running of the company and its overall performance in creation of value and supply chain management. Purchasing policies and purchasing mix (quantity, quality, price and delivery) will contribute to organisational performance.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

19

SECTION C

Answer to Question Three

Requirement (a)
Draft Human Resource Plan The human resource plan should include: Strategic review

Maintain taxi service at current level; Continue expansion of tyre fitting service by continuing to offer unbranded low price tyres and develop electronic wheel alignment service as an additional optional service.

Audit of Existing HR Staff


Owner-manager Taxi drivers Reception/Taxi Co-ordinator Tyre Fitter

1 8 1 1

Demand for additional staff due to change in strategy and labour turnover

Replacement of taxi drivers Appointment of co-ordinator Appointment of tyre fitter

2 (possibly 2 more in the summer) 1 1

Action plans to reconcile gap between demand and supply


Recruitment and selection of two taxi drivers; Recruitment and selection of a tyre fitter or of a person capable of training to be a tyre fitter; Training of taxi drivers; Training of tyre fitters in use of electronic wheel alignment equipment; Justification of each aspect of the human resource plan.

It is necessary to review the strategy of the organisation because changes in strategic direction usually have implications for human resources. In this case, we have an emergent strategy that is proving very successful in that it is resulting in the rapid expansion of a tyre fitting business. The expansion is affecting not only the tyre fitting
P4 PILOT PAPER 20

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

side of the operation, but is also impacting on the human resources of the organisation as a whole. The owner manager can no longer cope with the demands on his time as a manager/operator and so it is necessary for the company to employ additional staff to cope with the co-ordination of the taxi service and reception work. The audit of the existing staff is necessary to provide a kind of stock-take of what the organisation already has in terms of human resources. In this case, the numbers are small and we can work out mentally what the current human resource situation is. The demand for additional staff is once again easy to estimate for the company because small numbers are involved and requirements are for a limited range of skills. The principle involved, however, is just the same as if we were looking at the additional demand for workers of many different skills working in a very large and complex organisation. We need to know about any extra numbers demanded because of a change in strategy, or some other reason for extra demand or alternatively for a contraction in demand. It is also necessary to take into account numbers lost through labour turnover during the planning period, so that extra employees with the required skills can be recruited to compensate. When we have the figures of existing employees, we can use these as a basis to calculate the gap between what we have and what we need by estimating what the expansion, caused by the change in strategy, entails. This figure plus an adjustment for labour turnover will provide us with the number of employees we need to recruit. The activities to reconcile demand with supply follow simply from our calculation. It may, as in this case, be difficult to recruit people with specific skills we want and so it may be necessary to recruit unskilled people and provide them with the necessary training (for example the use of wheel alignment equipment).

Requirement (b)
In addition to training and development and recruitment and selection, the company will need to ensure that other aspects of human resource management are carried out so that the performance of the workforce is maximised. Two of the most important human resource activities that are necessary in order to ensure good performance of employees are: first, a system of performance appraisal, so that each workers performance can be evaluated; and second, a system of rewards and benefits that will both compensate workers fairly and motivate them to perform to an appropriate standard.

Performance appraisal is a systematic process of evaluating each employees contribution, his or her strengths and weaknesses and ways of determining how to improve performance. Such an evaluation may provide the basis for the allocation of merit payments that can be used to motivate workers. The information gained can also be used to move staff either between jobs by way of promotion or even out of the company because of under-performance. It can also be used as a means of identifying training and development needs and it provides an opportunity to provide feedback to employees on their past and present performance and to set targets for future performance. The reward system is also important; first to compensate workers for their efforts. This is the function of base payments. The company might also make use of incentive
P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

21

payments of various kinds in order to motivate employees to work harder. Taxi drivers, for example, might be rewarded on the basis of their overall takings per week, tyre fitters on the number of extra services they sell, such as number of customers who are persuaded to have wheel alignments carried out. There are, of course, other important human resource activities that need to be covered such as health and safety provision, which is very important when working with heavy equipment.

Answer to Question Four

Requirement (a)
In order to facilitate the implementation of a planned change such as that envisaged in the scenario, the following action steps have been found to be useful: The first step in any change process is to diagnose the current situation to identify the source of problems (or opportunities for improvement). In a large organisation, this frequently leads to a rethinking of strategy, and a redefinition of the organisation's task or work. Unfreeze The second step is to identify or create dissatisfaction with the current state. As long as people are satisfied with the current state, they will not be motivated to change. Kurt Lewin, and later Warren Bennis, pointed out that people need to be unfrozen out of their inertia in order to be receptive to change. But while creating dissatisfaction with the present state is important, it is also necessary to offer an attractive future state that organisational members will wish to achieve. A critical requirement for managing the transition state, therefore, is to develop and communicate a clear vision of the future. It is, of course, essential to communicate the plan so that all stakeholders can see what the benefits are and what has be done to achieve these. Communication can be accomplished in a variety of ways, ranging from written communications to small group meetings, large briefing sessions, videotaped presentations and so on. Movement The third step is to build in participation in the change. Participation in the change can help to reduce resistance, build ownerships of the change, and thus motivate people to make the change work. Participation also facilitates the communication of information about what the change will be and why it has come about. For a change to occur successfully, sufficient support needs to be put together to push through the change. Those groups that may oppose the change, such as some employees and some customers, have to be persuaded to change their minds. Other groups more positive to the change have to be included in the planning of the change so that their participation will motivate them. Still others, like the trade union may have to be dealt with by bargaining or negotiations. This represents the fourth step in the process.

P4 PILOT PAPER

22

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Refreeze A fifth step for managing the transition involves the use of a range of rewards to influence the behaviour of individuals, including the need to build in rewards for the behaviour that is desired, both during the transitional state and in the future state. The expectancy theory of motivation and behaviour in organisations suggests that people will tend to be motivated to behave in ways that they perceive as leading to desired outcomes. This implies that both formal and informal rewards must be identified and tied to the behaviour that is needed, both for the transition and for the future state. The most frequent problem is that organisations expect individuals to behave in certain ways while rewarding them for other conflicting behaviours. Resources for the transition such as personnel, training expertise, consultative expertise, and so on must also be available to the management responsible for implementing change. Sixth, in order to measure and control performance, the managements plan requires benchmarks, standards of performance and a specification of the responsibilities of key individuals and groups. The final action step for implementation involves developing feedback mechanisms to provide managers with information on the effectiveness of the change and to provide data on areas that require additional attention or action. Devices such as surveys, focus groups, consultant interviews and so on, as well as informal communication channels, need to be developed and used during this period. Once the change has been completed it is, of course, necessary to ensure that mechanisms are in place to maintain the new strategies, practices and processes that is, in Lewins terminology, to re-freeze the changes.

Requirement (b)
The term incremental change refers to relatively small changes. When these occur over an extended period of time such changes are sometimes referred to as evolutionary. One way of defining incremental change within an organisation is to confine its use to those changes that can be accommodated without a change to the organisations structure and culture. In the case scenario, Zed Banks spokeswoman is using the term incremental change in this sense. More particularly, she is arguing that the Bank is not doing anything radically new, except to use available Internet and telecommunications technology to improve customer service and to reduce the Banks costs. The term incremental change implies that the change envisaged by the Bank can be easily accommodated within the Banks existing organisation structure and culture and that such minor changes as will occur will be beneficial both for bank employees and customers. In arguing the case for the changes in this way, she is seeking to reassure the Banks staff and customers that the changes will be to their advantage. In order to distinguish bigger and more radical changes from the many small changes that affect organisations, the term, transformational change is often employed. In the organisational context, this is defined as a change that cannot be accommodated by the existing structure and culture of the organisation. Such changes require a major restructuring of the organisation and significant cultural changes.

P4 PILOT PAPER
FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

23

Such transformational changes, it is argued, have widespread effects. The privatisation of the railways in the UK for instance might be considered one example in which the structure and culture of the organisations that make up the industry have undergone dramatic change. Similarly, one could cite the way in which new technology facilitated the transformation of particular organisations in the printing industry in the 1980s. In the scenario, the trade union representative is using the term transformational change, to argue that the changes being undertaken by Zed Bank are just the prelude to a revolutionary change in banking, which may mean the disappearance of retail banks from the high street and their replacement by Internet Banks. He hopes he can persuade bank employees that the nature of their work will change radically and that they will come to understand that some of them may ultimately face redundancy. Similarly, he hopes, by using the term transformational change, to bring to the notice of Zed Banks customers, the possibility that the use of Internet Banking will result in the disappearance of branch banking a form of banking which many of them value. His overall intention will be to reinforce support for his view that the changes proposed by Zed Bank are dramatic and will affect Bank employees and customers in a way that is disadvantageous to all.

P4 PILOT PAPER

24

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems


25 May 2005 Wednesday Afternoon Session

Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You are allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper, and if you wish, make annotations on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during this reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read the question requirement before attempting the question concerned. The requirements for the questions in Sections B and C are contained in a dotted box. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This is comprised of 20 sub-questions and is on pages 2 to 6. Answer ALL SIX compulsory sub-questions in Section B on page 7. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 8 and 9. Write your full examination number, paper number and the examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the examination answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 50 MARKS [The indicative time for answering this section is 90 minutes] ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the twenty sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and then ruled off, so that the markers know which sub-question you are answering. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.15 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer, worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D The operating system forms part of a systems software. forms part of a systems hardware. is another term for a systems hardware. is a standalone end-user (operator) system solution. (2 marks) 1.2 A B C D Core features of world-class manufacturing involve competitor benchmarking and an investment in training and development. an investment in IT and technical skills. global sourcing networks and an awareness of competitor strategies. a strong customer focus and flexibility to meet customer requirements. (2 marks) 1.3 A B C D An ABC system refers to a Japanese style problem solving device that is particularly helpful in inventory management. an inventory management method that concentrates effort on the most important items. accuracy, brevity and clarity in the quality of system reporting. a mainframe solution to managing inventory. (2 marks)

P4

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

Corrective work, the cost of scrap and materials lost are examples of internal failure costs. examples of external failure costs. examples of appraisal costs. examples of preventative costs. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

An assessment centre helps selection by assessing job candidates by using a comprehensive and interrelated series of techniques. is the training headquarters where job interviews take place. is a desk-based process of reviewing job application forms for suitability. is a place where job applicants are subjected to psychological testing. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Training workers in methods of statistical process control and work analysis overcomes a crisis of control in an organisations life cycle. is part of a succession planning approach to Human Resources. is part of a quality management approach. is part of a scientific management approach. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

The use of standard questions in job interviews helps ensure fairness. validity. reliability. completeness. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

The so-called psychological contract is a notion that is based on segmenting then accessing a market. the buyer/supplier relationship. a distinctive style of testing used in selection procedures. the expectations the organisation and employee have of one another. (2 marks)

TURN OVER

May 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

Economies of scope refers to the economic viability of making alterations to systems. an organisation becoming economically viable through a process of rightsizing. mass production assembly lines achieving economies through volume of output. economically producing small batches of a variety of products with the same machines. (2 marks)

1.10 According to Douglas McGregor A B C D Theory X people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. Theory Y people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. self actualizing people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. hygiene factors determine whether people like work, need direction or take responsibility. (2 marks) 1.11 The purpose of a person specification is to provide details of A B C D organisational size and diversity of activity. the types of responsibilities and duties to be undertaken by the post holder. personal characteristics, experience and qualifications expected of a candidate. individual terms of engagement and period of contract. (2 marks)

1.12 Reck and Longs strategic positioning tool identifies an organisations A B C D purchasing approach. sales approach. manufacturing approach. warehousing approach. (2 marks)

1.13 Inbound logistics is A B C D a secondary activity that refers to price negotiation of incoming raw materials. a secondary activity that refers to receipt, storage and inward distribution of raw materials. a primary activity that refers to inbound enquiries and customer complaints. a primary activity that refers to receipt, storage and inward distribution of raw materials. (2 marks)

P4

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.14 The five elements of a computer system are A B C D data, communication, flexibility, hardware and data integrity. installation, hardware, maintenance, audit and compliance. hardware, software, procedures, data and people. input, processing, monitoring, control and reporting. (2 marks)

1.15 Supply chain partnerships grow out of A B C D quality accreditation. recognising the supply chain and linkages in a value system. an expansion of trade. adopting a marketing philosophy. (2 marks)

(Total for these sub-questions = 30 marks)

Section A continues on the next page

TURN OVER

May 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.16 to 1.20 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. This response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question (approximately half a page of the answer book).

1.16 Describe the main advantages of an organisation developing and using an extranet. (4 marks) 1.17 Explain the relationship between open systems and adaptive maintenance. (4 marks) 1.18 Parallel running and pilot schemes are methods of systems changeover. Explain the reasons why an organisation might instead choose a direct approach to a system changeover. (4 marks) 1.19 Explain the reasons why a department of an organisation might be continuing to use manual records rather than using a new, recently installed and fully operational computer system. (4 marks) 1.20 Describe the ways in which Total Productive Maintenance might contribute towards a manufacturing organisations quality programme. (4 marks)

(Total for these sub-questions = 20 marks) (Total for Section A = 50 marks)

End of Section A

P4

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.
Question Two
V is an innovative company run according to the principles of its entrepreneurial owner. V operates a package distribution service, a train service, and sells holidays, bridal outfits, clothing, mobile telephones, and soft drinks. V is well known for challenging the norm and giving customers quality products and services at affordable prices and doing it all with a sense of fun. V spends little on advertising but has great brand awareness thanks to the visibility of its inspirational owner. V has just announced the launch of V-cosmetics to exploit a gap in the market. The cosmetic range will be competitively priced against high street brands and have the distinctive V logo. You work for a market analyst who is about to appear on a radio discussion of Vs business interests. You have been asked to provide a clear, short briefing for the market analyst on the thinking behind V-cosmetics. Your research of the V-cosmetics range identifies innovative marketing proposals. V-cosmetics will not be on sale in shops, instead it will use two approaches to promotion and selling, namely: The use of cosmetic associates. Individuals may apply to become an associate and, if accepted, will be required to buy a basic stock of every V-cosmetic product. The associate will then use these products as samples and testers. After initial training associates organise parties in the homes of friends and their friends where they take orders for products at a listed price. Associates receive commission based on sales. The internet and mobile telephone technology will also be heavily used to offer Vcosmetic products to the public.

Required:
Prepare brief notes containing bullet points and no more than two to three sentences for each of the key points identified below. Use a separate page of your answer book for each key point (meaning that your notes are contained on no more than six pages in total).

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f)

Explain how the proposed approach can be understood within the context of the marketing mix. (5 marks) Explain the human resource implications of using cosmetic associates. (5 marks) Explain the concept of direct marketing. (5 marks) Explain the advantages of the internet as a marketing channel. (5 marks) Describe how V might use internet and mobile phone technology as part of its marketing approach. (5 marks) Identify the main ethical issues associated with the proposal to market V cosmetics. (5 marks)

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B
TURN OVER
May 2005 7 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 20 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 36 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY
Question Three
The country Mythland contains several areas of high unemployment, one such area is where CX Beers were produced until recently. CX was an old, family-owned brewery that supplied licensed outlets, including local restaurants, with its beer. CX represented one of the last local brewers of any size, despite retaining many working practices that evolved at least a century ago. Situated on a (now) underused dockside site, the company had, over the years, invested little in plant and machinery and someone jokingly once suggested that much of the brewing equipment should rightfully be in a museum! The company was forced to cease trading last month, despite having an enthusiastic, long-serving, highly skilled workforce and a national reputation for the beer CX Winter Warmer (thanks to winning several national awards). The workforce, many of whom have only ever worked for CX Beers are now facing up to the difficulty of finding alternative employment. In a press statement the owners said that the brewerys closure was sad for the area, the local workforce and traditionally brewed beer in general. The owners blamed the situation on inefficient and expensive brewing methods, fierce competition from large rival brewers and limited geographical sales. They also mentioned a dependence on seasonal sales that made cash flow difficult (35% over the Christmas period). They concluded that they would like the CX tradition to continue by selling the company as a going concern, however unlikely this was. It is speculated that property developers may be interested in the site as the dockland area is showing signs of regeneration as a leisure and tourism attraction (thanks to the efforts of the Mythland government). However, two of CXs managers would like to save the business and are drawing up a business plan for a management buy-out. They have three main initiatives that they feel could, in combination, save the enterprise: Use the site as a basis for a living museum of traditionally brewed beer (with out of date brewing equipment and methods of working as an attraction); Produce bottled beer for sales in supermarkets; Employ a more flexible but suitably experienced workforce.

One of the managers (your former boss) has asked for your help in advising him how to draft a detailed human resource (HR) plan to inform the business plan.

Required:

(a) Describe the main issues and stages involved in developing a human resource (HR)
plan for the CX buy-out idea. (12 marks)

(b) Discuss how the buy-out team can achieve workforce flexibility.
(8 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks)

P4

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
R & L is a large manufacturing firm that is well known as a good employer. Over the past few years, R & L has experienced difficult times with reducing sales and mounting losses. In desperation it employed management consultants to analyse its situation. The consultants have concluded that the downturn in sales is permanent and that R & L needs to reduce its workforce by 50% over the next year in order to survive. Reluctantly, R & Ls board of directors has accepted these findings, including the need to reduce the number of staff. The directors have also agreed to act as honestly and as fairly as possible, but realise that any changes they propose will be unpopular and may meet with resistance.

Required

(a)

Discuss what initiatives R & L can take to achieve the job reductions needed given the companys reputation for being a good employer. (Your answer should include reference to appropriate support for any individuals affected.) (10 marks)

(b)

Discuss the potential strategies available in order to overcome resistance to change, and identify those strategies that would be most suitable for R & L. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four= 20 marks)

Total for Section C = 20 marks

End of Question Paper

May 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[ this [

page is blank]

P4

10

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

May 2005

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

May 2005

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

May 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam General Comments Generally candidates appeared to cope well with this new examination paper. Most candidates handled question 1 with ease and a substantial number also produced fine answers to question 2. In terms of the elective questions in Section C, Question 4 proved to be the more popular choice. SECTION A 50 MARKS ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 The operating system A B C D forms part of a systems software. forms part of a systems hardware. is another term for a systems hardware. is a standalone end-user (operator) system solution. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.2 Core features of world-class manufacturing involve A B C D competitor benchmarking and an investment in training and development. an investment in IT and technical skills. global sourcing networks and an awareness of competitor strategies. a strong customer focus and flexibility to meet customer requirements. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.3 An ABC system refers to A B C D a Japanese style problem solving device that is particularly helpful in inventory management. an inventory management method that concentrates effort on the most important items. accuracy, brevity and clarity in the quality of system reporting. a mainframe solution to managing inventory. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 1.4 Corrective work, the cost of scrap and materials lost are A B C D examples of internal failure costs. examples of external failure costs. examples of appraisal costs. examples of preventative costs. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.5 An assessment centre A B C D helps selection by assessing job candidates by using a comprehensive and interrelated series of techniques. is the training headquarters where job interviews take place. is a desk-based process of reviewing job application forms for suitability. is a place where job applicants are subjected to psychological testing. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.6 Training workers in methods of statistical process control and work analysis A B C D overcomes a crisis of control in an organisations life cycle. is part of a succession planning approach to Human Resources. is part of a quality management approach. is part of a scientific management approach. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.7 The use of standard questions in job interviews helps ensure A B C D fairness. validity. reliability. completeness. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 1.8 The so-called psychological contract is a notion that is based on A B C D segmenting then accessing a market. the buyer/supplier relationship. a distinctive style of testing used in selection procedures. the expectations the organisation and employee have of one another. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.9 Economies of scope refers to A B C D the economic viability of making alterations to systems. an organisation becoming economically viable through a process of rightsizing. mass production assembly lines achieving economies through volume of output. economically producing small batches of a variety of products with the same machines. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.10 According to Douglas McGregor A B C D Theory X people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. Theory Y people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. self actualizing people dislike work, need direction and avoid responsibility. hygiene factors determine whether people like work, need direction or take responsibility. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.11 The purpose of a person specification is to provide details of A B C D organisational size and diversity of activity. the types of responsibilities and duties to be undertaken by the post holder. personal characteristics, experience and qualifications expected of a candidate. individual terms of engagement and period of contract. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 1.12 Reck and Longs strategic positioning tool identifies an organisations A B C D purchasing approach. sales approach. manufacturing approach. warehousing approach. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.13 Inbound logistics is A B C D a secondary activity that refers to price negotiation of incoming raw materials. a secondary activity that refers to receipt, storage and inward distribution of raw materials. a primary activity that refers to inbound enquiries and customer complaints. a primary activity that refers to receipt, storage and inward distribution of raw materials. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.14 The five elements of a computer system are A B C D data, communication, flexibility, hardware and data integrity. installation, hardware, maintenance, audit and compliance. hardware, software, procedures, data and people. input, processing, monitoring, control and reporting. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.15 Supply chain partnerships grow out of A B C D quality accreditation. recognising the supply chain and linkages in a value system. an expansion of trade. adopting a marketing philosophy. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 1.16 Describe the main advantages of an organisation developing and using an extranet. (4 marks) Answer: Extranet: an extended Intranet that links business partners. Advantages: Fosters collaboration and information sharing. Adds speed and cohesion. Facility to link and maximise dispersed networks. Enhanced inter-organisational communication. Allows electronic data interchange and e-procurement. Communication strengthens relationships with customers, suppliers and trade organisations.

Question 1.17 Explain the relationship between open systems and adaptive maintenance. (4 marks) Answer: An open system interacts with its external environment. This thinking is consistent with adaptive maintenance. Adaptive maintenance is a mid-to long-term process that adjusts information systems (IS) applications to reflect changing business operations and environments. In this way it accounts for opportunities or threats.

Question 1.18 Parallel running and pilot schemes are methods of systems changeover. Explain the reasons why an organisation might instead choose a direct approach to a system changeover. (4 marks) Answer: At a predetermined time an old system ceases entirely and a new one starts. Why this approach? Complete confidence in the system. Symbolic act to encourage commitment. Part of unfreezing the change process. Reduced system usage; lower risk of disruption at chosen time.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 1.19 Explain the reasons why a department of an organisation might be continuing to use manual records rather than using a new, recently installed and fully operational computer system. (4 marks) Answer: Group resistance to change. Cultural resistance. Lack of confidence in new system. Complexity of new system. Efficiency of manual system. Individuals lack confidence to cope. Individuals jobs feel threatened. Ineffective management, control, communication, training, support and so on.

Question 1.20 Describe the ways in which Total Productive Maintenance might contribute towards a manufacturing organisations quality programme. (4 marks) Answer: Total productive maintenance plans and implements the systematic maintenance of all equipment. This increases productivity and prevents unplanned breakdowns. Helps consistent production. Reduces scrap and rework so lowering cost of quality. Improves accuracy of forecasting requirements. Staff morale improved as quality increases.

Examiners Comments Questions 1.1-1.15 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Questions 1.16-1.20 provide further objective tests requiring a short answer response. These sub questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding. Sub questions 1.16 to 1.19 test various aspects of the Information Systems topic of the syllabus (learning outcomes A(ii), (v), (vi) and (vii)) while 1.20 tests the operations management learning outcome C(iv). Most candidates coped well with the requirements of this question and scored heavily as a result. A substantial number of scripts did not conform to the 50 word/half page limit. Common Errors A common failing on 1.18 was to compare and contrast changeover methods rather than to address the question asked. It is clear from the answers given to 1.20 that a substantial number of candidates did not know what Total Productive Maintenance was.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION. Question 2 Prepare brief notes containing bullet points and no more than two to three sentences for each of the key points identified below. Use a separate page of your answer book for each key point (meaning that your notes are contained on no more than six pages in total). (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Explain how the proposed approach can be understood within the context of the marketing mix. (5 marks) Explain the human resource implications of using cosmetic associates. (5 marks) Explain the concept of direct marketing. (5 marks) Explain the advantages of the internet as a marketing channel. (5 marks) Describe how V might use internet and mobile phone technology as part of its marketing approach. (5 marks) Identify the main ethical issues associated with the proposal to market V cosmetics. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

Rationale Question two offers a common and hopefully realistic scenario from which a series of sub questions arise. Parts (a) to (f) test candidates knowledge and understanding by the application of thinking from Marketing and Managing Human Capital topics to the scenario. Learning outcomes D(iii), D(iv), D(v), E(iii) and E(vi) are tested. Responses for each sub question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity is called for and also hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub question. Sub questions (a), (b), (e) and (f) all require application of knowledge to the scenario, although in the case of (c) and (d) purposeful illustrations might also be drawn from the scenario. Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses were expected in the form of bullet points with some elaboration in the form of a few short sentences, brief definitions and examples. Part (a) The marketing mix Explanation of the marketing mix. Description of the four main components. Identification of key aspects of each as they relate to the scenario. Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Part (b) Human resource implications of cosmetic associates Explanation of why HR is important in this context. Identification of key HR implications (for example, selection criteria, training, remuneration, supervision, monitoring & control. Others identified acceptable if relevant.) Each of several implications related appropriately to the scenario. Part (c) Direct marketing Definition/explanation of direct marketing. Explanation of key features and benefits (for example, direct marketing shortens supply chain so takes costs out of value system. Others identified acceptable if relevant.) Citation of illustrative examples. Explanation of marketing mix implications (place and promotion). Part (d) Advantages of the internet Establish relationship of internet and marketing. List benefits. Part (e) Internet and mobile telephone Identify potential marketing uses of internet using scenario to illustrate likely application for V. Identify potential marketing uses of mobile telephones using scenario to illustrate likely application for V. Part (f) Ethical issues Set ethical context. Cite specific areas related to scenario (background to V, using parties, using associates, selling approach, targeting customers) and questions or implications. Examiners Comments

Most sub questions were well handled by candidates. Several candidates illustrated their answers with examples drawn from well known companies (for example, Virgin). Common Errors Responses exceeding the limit required. A lack of understanding of the concept of ethics and its relationship to the proposals. Unclear understanding of direct marketing.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY Question 3 (a) (b) Describe the main issues and stages involved in developing a human resource (HR) plan for the CX buy-out idea. (12 marks) Discuss how the buy-out team can achieve workforce flexibility. (8 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks)

Rationale Question 3(a) tests candidates understanding of the issues and stages involved in developing an HR plan applied to the detail contained in the scenario. This part addresses the learning outcome E(ii). Part (b) explores the candidates understanding of workforce flexibility based on the scenario. This sub question arguably covers dimensions of Change Management and Managing Human Capital and could be applied in the testing of learning outcomes B(iii) and E(v). Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Identify main considerations of HR planning generally and relate to scenario. Identify main issues for CX (integration into business plan, main initiatives (developments) identified, flexibility, company image, etc). Identify main stages of HR planning generally (audit of the existing human resources, forecasting future HR demand, forecasting supply & reconciling demand and supply). Applying this thinking to the scenario and discuss each stage in turn. Part (b) Explain why flexibility is necessary at CX (work seasonal, new developments to smooth fluctuations, etc). Approaches to flexibility used by other firms (for example, yearly hours, outsourcing, numerical flexibility, functional flexibility, financial flexibility, etc). Relate potential of these to CX. Examiners Comments There was a real range of performance on this question from well-prepared candidates who successfully applied known theory to the scenario in a purposeful manner to those who merely reproduced their understanding of general HR issues. Common Errors A tendency to adopt an all I know about. approach. Marks

12 (max)

8 (max)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2005 Exam

Question 4 (a) Discuss what initiatives R & L can take to achieve the job reductions needed given the companys reputation for being a good employer. (Your answer should include reference to appropriate support for any individuals affected.) (10 marks) Discuss the potential strategies available in order to overcome resistance to change, and identify those strategies that would be most suitable for R & L. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks)

(b)

Rationale Another short scenario forming the basis for two separate questions. Question 4(a) offers the potential to apply realistic initiatives for job reductions and support within the context of the scenario. This tests the candidates knowledge, understanding and application of Managing Human Capital learning outcome E(iii). Part (b) tests learning outcome B(ii) and involves the discussion and formulation of suitable ways of overcoming resistance to change. Practical, realistic and appropriate measures are again required. These potentially could be generated by using the structured thinking and frameworks of theorists or through analytical discussion of dimensions of the scenario. Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Explain the implications of R&Ls reputation. Identify relevant practical issues arising from scenario. Describe potential initiatives and conceptualise to scenario. Identify support mechanisms for the individual arising from the above. Part (b) Describe main strategies for dealing with resistance (for example, education and communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation, explicit/implicit coercion). Use each as a framework for discussion. Identify based on reasoned argument those that represent a suitable strategy. Examiners Comments This was a popular question and most candidates answered part (a) in particular well. Some candidates drew purposeful examples from similar organisations including the recent MG/Rover experience. Common Errors A large number of candidates described change management theories in part (b) without relating them to the scenario or addressing the central issue of how resistance might be overcome. Marks

10 (max)

10 (max)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems


23 November 2005 Wednesday afternoon session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You are allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, make annotations on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during this reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read all the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is, all parts and subquestions). The question requirements for Sections B and C are contained in a dotted box. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This is comprised of twenty sub-questions and is on pages 2 to 6. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B on pages 8 and 9. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 10 to 11. Write your full examination number, paper number and the examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the examination answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 50 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 90 minutes] ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the twenty sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the letter of the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.15 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer, worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D The most radical form of organisational change includes a cultural shift and is described as emergent change. transformational change. step change. incremental change. (2 marks) 1.2 A B C D Establishing a staff help line when attempting to cope with resistance to change is an example of facilitation. manipulation. coercion. co-optation. (2 marks) 1.3 A B C D The processes of job analysis and individual performance appraisal are related in the sense that they are different terms for the same process. performance appraisal is based on job analysis. both form part of the selection process. job analysis is based on performance appraisal. (2 marks)

P4

November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

Content theories of motivation tend to focus mainly on the needs of the group. feelings of complacency or dissatisfaction. the needs of individuals. the use of carrots and sticks as devices. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

Third party consultants, therapy groups and confrontation are normally all associated with industrial disputes over terms and conditions. the process of job evaluation. a firm experiencing severe trading difficulties. organisational development (OD). (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Market shakeout involves the weakest producers exiting a particular market and occurs in a period between growth through creativity and growth through direction. introduction and market growth. market growth and market maturity. market maturity and decline. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

It is the role of outplacement consultants to provide help to redundant employees including training and finding jobs. provide help to employees wishing to gain experience in other roles. arrange for placing products in an untested market place. arrange for placing under-used assets at the disposal of start up businesses. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

F W Taylors thinking on motivation in the workplace involved a belief that social groups and individuals as part of a culture should be key considerations. reward for effort and workplace efficiency should be key considerations. managers had two different sets of assumptions about their subordinates. motivators and hygiene factors should be key considerations. (2 marks) TURN OVER

November 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

The choice to buy a fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) is normally a personal choice involving relatively low financial outlays. a personal choice involving relatively high financial outlays. a choice made on behalf of an organisation involving moderate outlays. a personal choice influenced by new features, fashions and old product wearout. (2 marks)

1.10 Analysing a market into sub-groups of potential customers with common needs and behaviours in order to target them through marketing techniques is called A B C D market research. market development. segmentation. product adaptation. (2 marks) 1.11 A main aim of electronic data interchange (EDI) is A B C D to improve communication exchanges within an organisation. to replace conventional documentation with structured electronically transmitted data. to allow employees to work at home. to create a shared data resource within an organisation. (2 marks) 1.12 International standard ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems encourages processes for controlling and improving an organisations A B C D performance on green issues. performance on quality issues as they relate to the competitive environment. performance on scanning an industry environment. performance on its internal investment in people. (2 marks) 1.13 Separate people or groups such as initiators, influencers, buyers and users are all involved in a buying decision in the context of A B C D fast moving consumer goods marketing. business-to-business marketing. business-to-consumer marketing. services marketing. (2 marks)

P4

November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.14 In terms of employment CIMAs ethical guidelines require members to A B C D act responsibly in the way that all other professionals do. act responsibly but in a way that satisfies organisational demands and pressures. act responsibly but in a way that satisfies the individuals own ethical code. act responsibly, honour any legal contract of employment and conform to employment legislation. (2 marks) 1.15 360 degree feedback is part of a system that encourages A B C D organisational appraisal based on feedback from customers and suppliers. organisational appraisal based on relative industry and competitor performance. personal appraisal based on feedback from peers, subordinates, line managers and even external parties. personal appraisal based on line manager feedback and self-appraisal documentation. (2 marks) (Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.15 = 30 marks)

Section A continues on the next page

TURN OVER

November 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.16 to 1.20 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. Each response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words.

1.16 Explain the relationship between data independence and a database approach to flexible data management. (4 marks)

1.17 Change occurs when there is organisational growth through takeover. Certain basic rules for takeovers to succeed have been suggested which need to be considered before the takeover occurs. Identify what these rules are for an organisation considering a takeover. (4 marks)

1.18 Compare and contrast product orientated organisations and production orientated organisations. (4 marks)

1.19 Distinguish Quality Assurance (QA) systems from quality control systems. (4 marks)

1.20 Briefly explain the main factors management should take into account when choosing computer hardware. (4 marks)

(Total for these sub-questions = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 50 marks)

End of Section A Section B starts on page 8


P4 6 November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Section B starts on page 8

TURN OVER

November 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time to answer this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS.
Question Two
You are a researcher employed by a topical business discussion television show Round The Table. Next weeks discussion is about managing supply to achieve quality and customer satisfaction. Invited guests will be a leading academic, public and private sector senior managers and the chief executive of a car producer. You have been asked to prepare an outline briefing that will give some background information to the shows presenter. Your research shows that the automobile industry is highly competitive and globally suffers from overcapacity. In certain countries however, there is unfulfilled demand for specialist makes and models, implying some under capacity hot spots. You understand that for any organisation, whether producing goods or services, effective capacity management is vital. It ensures that customers needs are more fully met and that there are fewer unfulfilled delivery date promises. There are several ways of dealing with variations in demand and matching production capacity including: concentrating on inventory levels (a Level capacity strategy). concentrating on demand (a Demand strategy). adjusting levels of activity (a Chase strategy).

As part of your investigation you note that distinctive issues exist for service organisations (such as those found in the public sector) compared with manufacturing organisations (such as car producers).

The requirement for this question is on the page opposite

P4

November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
As the shows researcher you are required to produce guidance notes to support the shows presenter which:

(a)

discuss why a level capacity strategy might be difficult for a firm wishing to adopt a just-in-time (JIT) philosophy; (5 marks) discuss the impact of demand strategies on an organisations marketing practices; (5 marks)

(b) (c) (d)

discuss the relationship between chase strategies and the flexible organisation; (5 marks) identify the ways that service organisations differ from manufacturing organisations when considering capacity management; (5 marks)

(e)

describe the types of software applications a manufacturing firm might introduce to improve its inbound logistics; (5 marks)

(f)

describe the types of computerised assistance that could be used by those involved in selling cars and wanting to improve demand. (5 marks)

Notes (a) to (d) should have particular regard to quality, capacity and other organisational issues. (Total = 30 marks)

Important note: Use a separate page of your answer book for each question (meaning that your responses are contained on no more than six pages in total).

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

TURN OVER

November 2005

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 20 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 36 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY
Question Three
NS is a large insurance company. The company is structured into four Divisions and supported by a small headquarters that includes the personnel function (recently renamed the Human Resources (HR) Division). The post of Head of HR is vacant following the retirement of the long serving post holder, and the HR strategy is in urgent need of review and revision. NS has recently announced a new corporate initiative of continuous improvement through the empowerment of its workforce. The Chief Executive explained: we value our people as our most prized asset. We will encourage them to think, challenge and innovate. Only through empowering them in this way can we achieve continuous improvement. Staff will no longer be expected just to obey orders, from now on they will make and implement decisions to bring about continuous improvement. We want to develop clear performance objectives and be more customer focused. Your line manager is one of the four Divisional directors and will soon form part of a panel that will interview candidates for the vacant role of HR director. She is particularly keen to ensure that the successful candidate would be able to shape the HR Division to the needs of the organisation. She is aware of your CIMA studies and has asked for your help in preparing for the interview.

Required:
Produce outline notes for your Divisional director which discuss the main points you would expect candidates to highlight in response to the following two areas she intends to explore with candidates at the interview, specifically:

(a)

The likely role that the HR Division will perform in the light of the changing nature of the organisation; and (10 marks) The aspects of the HR strategy that will change significantly, given the nature of recent developments within NS. (10 marks) (Total = 20 marks)

(b)

P4

10

November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
SX is a growing company that has successfully used local radio advertising for the past few years to raise awareness of its products. It supplies fresh quality sandwiches, home baked snacks, the finest coffee and freshly squeezed fruit juices for sale at premium prices in petrol filling stations. Products are produced by traditional methods from very early morning by a team of employees at a central depot and are delivered throughout the day by a few casual workers in a fleet of vehicles. SX has for the first time undertaken a full strategic marketing planning process. One weakness identified was that the number of deliveries required was increasing, while some of the drivers were becoming increasingly unreliable. The owner is worried that this may create an unfavourable image with customers and lead to delays in delivery. In terms of opportunities, the owner of SX is now aware that by using technology to a greater degree and identifying customer needs more fully, the firm can grow at an even greater rate. To this end it is proposed that time saving food preparation and packaging equipment be purchased. This will mean considerably fewer people involved in food preparation but the owner feels that some employees could be redeployed as drivers on a permanent basis. The role of driver would be redefined, and in addition to making deliveries, he or she would be expected to: get direct feedback from customers; persuade petrol stations to take new product lines; provide intelligence on competitors products and likely future demand; hopefully persuade other petrol stations and outlets (such as railway stations and newspaper shops) to stock SX products. The Head of delivery and customer relationships has been tasked with developing new job and person details for the driver posts. These will then be discussed with existing food preparation staff. A marketing action plan will soon be prepared based on the strategic marketing plan, which will contain immediate marketing issues and actions required. Some detail is already available on people and price so the main areas to consider are product, place and promotion.

The owner is keen to progress change, consequently:

Required:
(a) Based on your understanding of the changes proposed by SX, identify the main issues that will be included in the marketing action plan and discuss the implications of these. Your response should consider issues of product, place and promotion only. (10 marks) (b) Based upon the information given to you concerning SX, and your own study and experience, produce a draft job description for the redefined post of driver. (10 marks) (Total = 20 marks)

(Total for Section C = 20 marks)

End of Question Paper

November 2005

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level

Paper 4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

November 2005

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

November 2005

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam General Comments Although the same performance levels as May 2005 were not achieved, most candidates appeared to have coped with the requirements of the paper. Overwhelmingly, candidates scored heavily on Question 1 with a mixed performance in the remainder of the paper. In terms of Part C (the elective section) Question 4 proved to be the more popular choice. SECTION A 50 MARKS ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 The most radical form of organisational change includes a cultural shift and is described as A B C D emergent change. transformational change. step change. incremental change. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.2 Establishing a staff help line when attempting to cope with resistance to change is an example of A B C D facilitation. manipulation. coercion. co-optation. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.3 The processes of job analysis and individual performance appraisal are related in the sense that A B C D they are different terms for the same process. performance appraisal is based on job analysis. both form part of the selection process. job analysis is based on performance appraisal. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Question 1.4 Content theories of motivation tend to focus mainly on A B C D the needs of the group. feelings of complacency or dissatisfaction. the needs of individuals. the use of carrots and sticks as devices. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.5 Third party consultants, therapy groups and confrontation are normally all associated with A B C D industrial disputes over terms and conditions. the process of job evaluation. a firm experiencing severe trading difficulties. organisational development (OD). (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.6 Market shakeout involves the weakest producers exiting a particular market and occurs in a period between A B C D growth through creativity and growth through direction. introduction and market growth. market growth and market maturity. market maturity and decline. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.7 It s the role of outplacement consultants to A B C D provide help to redundant employees including training and finding jobs. provide help to employees wishing to gain experience in other roles. arrange for placing products in an untested market place. arrange for placing under-used assets at the disposal of start-up businesses. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Question 1.8 F W Taylors thinking on motivation in the workplace involved a belief that A B C D social groups and individuals as part of a culture should be key considerations. reward for effort and workplace efficiency should be key considerations. managers had two different sets of assumptions about their subordinates. motivators and hygiene factors should be key considerations. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.9 The choice to buy a fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) is normally A B C D a personal choice involving relatively low financial outlays. a personal choice involving relatively high financial outlays. a choice made on behalf of an organisation involving moderate outlays. a personal choice influenced by new features, fashions and old product wearout. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.10 Analysing a market into sub-groups of potential customers with common needs and behaviours in order to target them through marketing techniques is called A B C D market research. market development. segmentation. product adaptation. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.11 A main aim of electronic data interchange (EDI) is A B C D to improve communication exchanges within an organisation. to replace conventional documentation with structured electronically transmitted data. to allow employees to work at home. to create a shared data resource within an organisation. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Question 1.12 International standard ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems encourages processes for controlling and improving an organisations A B C D performance on green issues. performance on quality issues as they relate to the competitive environment. performance on scanning an industry environment. performance on its internal investment in people. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.13 Separate people or groups such as initiators, influencers, buyers and users are all involved in a buying decision in the context of A B C D fast moving consumer goods marketing. business-to-business marketing. business-to-consumer marketing. services marketing. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.14 In terms of employment CIMAs ethical guidelines require members to A B C D act responsibly in the way that all other professionals do. act responsibly but in a way that satisfies organisational demands and pressures. act responsibly but in a way that satisfies the individuals own ethical code. act responsibly, honour any legal contract of employment and conform to employment legislation. (2 marks) The answer is D

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Question 1.15 360 degree feedback is part of a system that encourages A B C D organisational appraisal based on feedback from customers and suppliers. organisational appraisal based on relative industry and competitor performance. personal appraisal based on feedback from peers, subordinates, line managers and even external parties . personal appraisal based on line manager feedback and self-appraisal documentation. (2 marks) The answer is C Questions 1.16 to 1.20. For guidance, the Examiner has given a fuller answer than would normally be expected from a well prepared candidate. Question 1.16 Explain the relationship between data independence and a database approach to flexible data management. (4 marks) Answer: A database approach involves collecting integrated common data that is then shared throughout the organisation. Data Independence is an essential feature of a database approach. It means that data exists independently of the programs that use it. The flexibility it gives includes: Data or programs can be amended without changing the other. Multiple users, using different programs, can access the same data at the same time Data being wholly shared represents an expanded collective resource allowing a greater potential for flexible and enhanced usage.

Question 1.17 Change occurs when there is organisational growth through takeover. Certain basic rules for takeovers to succeed have been suggested which need to be considered before the takeover occurs. Identify what these rules are for an organisation considering a takeover. (4 marks) Answer: Drucker (1982) feels that there are five basic rules/guidelines which involve asking is there: Contribution? What contribution can it make (other than money) to the acquired company? Common core? Both companies should have common markets, production operations or technology. Value? (of the products, services and customers). Available management cover? (If key managers leave the acquired company.) Linkage? Within a year there should be promotion of staff across the two previously separate companies.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Question 1.18 Compare and contrast product orientated organisations and production orientated organisations. (4 marks) Answer: Main focus Quality Cost Sales Product Orientated Product features May be high May be high Not sufficiently considered Production orientated Production efficiency May be low Low Low quality may lead to lower sales

Neither organisation: Has researched market demand Is in touch with customers and their requirements Both risk products not selling sufficiently. Note: An alternative valid interpretation of the organisations could be as follows: Production orientated companies have a production department budget (excluding purchasing)) representing the largest percentage of company turnover, whereas a product orientated company is one where the design department budget represents the largest proportion of turnover. Examples of the former include a subcontract painter or Rolls Royce and examples of the latter include an Architects practice or Amstrad with their E phones.

Question 1.19 Distinguish Quality Assurance (QA) systems from quality control systems. (4 marks) Answer: Both have a different philosophy on quality: Quality Control (QC) systems attempt to control quality areas. Quality Assurance (QA) systems attempt to create quality. QC involves managing each stage of production to minimise errors (a third party, negative intervention process). QC inspects inwards. QA checks quality in a positive way encouraging worker ownership for quality and zero defects. QA prevents beforehand.

Question 1.20 Briefly explain the main factors management should take into account when choosing computer hardware. (4 marks)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam Answer: Main factors when choosing computer hardware include: Suitability: cost, user requirements. Acceptability: manufacturers reputation, computer specification, built in features (e.g. security. Feasibility: compatibility with existing systems, computers used elsewhere within the organisations .industry, etc

Rationale Question One parts 1.1 1.15 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question 2 parts 1.16 1.20 provides further objective tests requiring a short answer response. These sub-questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding. Sub-questions 1.16 1.19 test various aspects of the Information Systems topic of the syllabus (learning outcomes A (ii), (v), (vi) and (vii)) while 1.20 tests the Operations Management learning outcome C (iv). Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Sub-questions 1.1 1.15. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.16 1.20. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question (approximately half a page of the answer book). The use of bullet points and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above. 4 3 Marks 0 or 2

2 1 0

Examiners Comments Most candidates coped well with the requirements of this question. Pleasingly more scripts conformed to the 50 word limit. (Only the first 50 words of the candidates response attracted marks. Common Errors Poor level of knowledge.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION. Question 2 As the shows researcher you are required to produce guidance notes to support the shows presenter which: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) discuss why a level capacity strategy might be difficult for a firm wishing to adopt a just-in-time (JIT) philosophy; (5 marks) discuss the impact of demand strategies on an organisations marketing practices; (5 marks) discuss the relationship between chase strategies and the flexible organisation; (5 marks) identify the ways that service organisations differ from manufacturing organisations when considering capacity management; (5 marks) describe the types of software applications a manufacturing firm might introduce to improve its inbound logistics; (5 marks) describe the types of computerised assistance that could be used by those involved in selling cars and wanting to improve demand. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

Rationale Question two offers a plausible scenario from which a series of sub-questions arise. Parts (a) to (f) test candidates knowledge and understanding by the application of thinking mainly from Information Systems, Operations Management and Marketing topics to the scenario. Learning outcomes A(iv), C(i), C(iv), D(ii) and E(v) are tested. Responses for each sub question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity is called for and also hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. When answering a sub-question candidates might use purposeful illustrations based upon aspects of the scenario. Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses were expected in the form of bullet points with some elaboration in the form of a few short sentences, brief definitions and examples. Part (a) Level Capacity Strategy Explanation of level capacity strategy. Explanation of JIT philosophy. Identification of key aspects of both that are inconsistent/difficult to achieve practically. Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of either level capacity strategy or JIT. Pass standard answer: Understanding of both aspects and some relationship relevant to the scenario established. Strong answer: Explanation of both aspects relationship/mismatch clearly identified and strongly related to the scenario. 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam

Part (b) Demand Strategy Explanation of demand strategies and their impact. Outline relevant marketing practices. Establish a relationship between both, identifying key points. Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of demand strategies. Pass standard answer: Understanding of both aspects and some relationship relevant to the scenario established with some points arising. Strong answer: Clear discussion including explanation of both aspects with key points arising strongly related throughout to the scenario. Part (c) Chase Strategies Explanation of chase strategies. Explanation of the flexible organisation. Identification of key relevant issues within the context of the scenario. Discussion of the relationship between both Limited answer: Limited or some recognition/description of chase strategies or the flexible organisation. Pass standard answer: Solid attempt with recognition and understanding of both concepts and some relationship between the two established by citation of key aspects. Strong answer: Clear explanation of both concepts and discussion with purposeful examples and key points identified consistent with the scenario. Part (d) Service and Manufacturing Organisations Establish differences for a service organisation. Identification of features/examples relevant to the concept of capacity management. Limited answer: Limited listing of features of a service organisation. Pass standard answer: Listing of different features of a service organisation. Some purposeful examples of issues relevant to capacity management. Strong answer: Identification of different features of a service organisation, several purposeful examples of issues relevant to capacity management. Part (e) Software Applications 1-2 marks per discrete application that establishes its value to inbound logistics. Part (f) Computerised Assistance 1-2 marks per discrete type that establishes its value in selling/improving demand. 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max

5 max

5 max

Examiners Comments A variable performance by candidates. Some handled most sub-questions well and scored heavily. Others did not understand the concept of capacity management (despite prompts in the question) and failed to relate their thinking to other aspects of the syllabus specifically, IS. More positively most candidates contained their responses to the requested single page.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam Common Errors A lack of basic knowledge. In some cases poor application of knowledge. There was a common misunderstanding under 2(b) of what demand strategies mean in the given context. SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY Question 3 (a) (b) The likely role that the HR Division will perform in the light of the changing nature of the organisation; and (10 marks) The aspects of the HR strategy that will change significantly, given the nature of recent developments within NS. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks) Rationale Question Three tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Managing Human Capital and requires an application of knowledge to the scenario set of change within a large insurance company. Part (a) explores the candidates understanding of the likely role the human resource management function will perform in the future and in so doing tests learning outcome E(i) Part (b) concentrates on the features of the human resource strategy that will change given the circumstances and likely future issues for the given organisation. This sub-question tests learning outcome E (v). Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Analysis of the changing nature of the company. Distinguish between HR and Personnel roles. Identification of HR roles relevant to scenario. Limited answer: Limited description of HR function. Identification of some. Little or superficial relationship to scenario established. Pass standard answer: Solid analysis of the changing nature of the company. Clear differentiation of HR and Personnel roles. Some relevant roles clearly related to the scenario. Strong answer: Purposeful analysis of the changing nature of the company. Insightful differentiation of HR and Personnel roles. Many clearly related wholly relevant examples of HR roles drawn from the scenario. 3 max 5 max Marks

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam Part (b) Identification of relevant aspects of the HR strategy (e.g. structure and job roles, job content, education and training, reward systems, target setting and appraisals, review mechanisms, communication systems etc.). Discussion of change required to each in the light of developments. 1-2 marks per relevant aspect of the HR strategy clearly related to the scenario and identifying changes required/implied. Examiners Comments This was not a popular choice and few attempting this question performed to a high standard. A substantial number of scripts were muddled and lacked structure and cohesion. Common Errors A tendency to adopt an all I know about. approach. A muddling of responses to the requirements of part (a) (the role of the future department) and the HR strategy (part (b)) with some candidates repeating the same comments. 10 max

Question 4 (a) Based on your understanding of the changes proposed by SX, identify the main issues that will be included in the marketing action plan and discuss the implications of these. Your response should consider issues of product, place and promotion only. (10 marks) Based upon the information given to you concerning SX, and your own study and experience, produce a draft job description for the redefined post of driver. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks)

(b)

Rationale Another short scenario forming the basis for two separate questions. Question Four part (a) tests understanding of strategic marketing planning and plans and requires a conceptualisation of this understanding to the organisation described in the scenario. The sub-question directs candidates to restrict their responses to three specified areas of the marketing mix. In this way candidates are assisted in scoping their answers. The learning outcome D(vi) is tested through this subquestion. Part (b) tests one dimension of learning outcome E(iii) and requires the drafting of a job description based upon the scenario. Candidates are encouraged to draw on their knowledge, understanding and personal experience when completing this requirement. Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Identify relevant marketing framework for discussing issues (e.g.Ps framework). Identify practical issues arising from scenario and their implication upon marketing. 1-2 marks per relevant issue clearly arising from scenario and requiring address through the marketing action plan. 10 max Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2005 Exam Part (b) Draft job description layout including main headings (e.g. Job Title, Responsible to, Posts responsible to the jobholder, Brief description and overall purpose, Special requirements, Physical location of job, Special circumstances, Other responsibilities etc.). . Complete job description drawing from what is known/implied from the scenario. Note: The layout of job descriptions vary and the headings suggested are indicative rather than prescriptive. Credit would be given for alternative relevant headings. Limited answer: Job description with appropriate headings and some detail relevant to the scenario. Answers that mix person and job details are unlikely to attract more than 3 marks. Pass standard answer: Job description with mainly appropriate headings/layout and containing some detail relevant to the scenario. Strong answer: Clearly laid out job description with wholly appropriate headings/layout and containing detail clearly drawn from the scenario or potentially relevant to it. 3 max 5 max 10 max

Examiners Comments This was a popular question and most candidates answered part (a) in particular, well. Part (b) however, exposed a basic lack of knowledge of the structure and content of a job description. Common Errors Part (b) contained some poor responses including development of person specifications and job advertisements rather than job descriptions. Poor levels of knowledge. Poor application of knowledge.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level

Paper 4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems


24 May 2006 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You will be allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, make annotations on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during this reading time. Candidates are strongly advised to carefully read the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is, all parts and subquestions). The question requirements for Sections B and C are contained in a dotted box. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This is comprised of twenty sub-questions and is on pages 2 to 6. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B which is on pages 8 and 9. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 10 and 11. Write your full examination number, paper number and the examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the examination answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 50 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 90 minutes] ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the twenty sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.15 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1
A B C D Charles Handys vision of a shamrock organisation suggests a workforce that comprises three different type of worker, namely strategic, operational and support. qualified, trainee and unskilled. white collar, blue collar and e-worker. core, contractual and flexible labour. (2 marks) 1.2 A B C D Activities associated with Organisational Development require universal agreement that change must take place. require interventions into the social processes of an organisation. naturally occur through a shared sense of purpose and a strong organisational culture. result from the effect of Greiners life cycle model. (2 marks) 1.3 A B C D Job family structures are examples of motivational tools. similar levels of responsibility reflected across several distinct functions or disciplines. Japanese employment practice. pay structures for jobs within distinct functions or disciplines. (2 marks)

P4

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

Abraham Maslows theory of motivation is often represented as a hierarchy of needs. individual behaviour labelled X or Y. a scientific relationship between work and reward. a series of negative and a series of positive factors. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

Effective product promotion is centred on production processes. customers and communication. bonuses for sales staff and product quality. effective systems of monitoring and control. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Conventional marketing wisdom suggests that for successful segmentation of markets, segments must be relatively unsophisticated in their needs. economic, efficient and effective. measurable, accessible and substantial. currently lacking in providers. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

The technique of force field analysis depicts change as occurring through a series of restraining and driving forces. growth of organisations through evolution and revolution. an organisations environment as a series of opportunistic and threatening factors. aggressive management styles used to drive change. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

The 5-S model refers to internal analysis involving structure, sub-structure, systems, sub-systems and strategy. internal analysis involving style, shared values, skills, staffing and soft information. operations management practices of structurise, systematise, sanitise, standardise and self-discipline. the Japanese six-sigma model adapted to Western practice. (2 marks)

TURN OVER

May 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

Distribution channels, transport, warehouse and sales outlet locations are all examples of place, one component of the marketing mix. promotion, one component of the marketing mix. physical evidence, one component of the marketing mix. the management of operations for a service organisation. (2 marks)

1.10 Gaining International Standards (ISO) in quality is mainly dependent upon A B C D effective processes for documentation and control. a shared quality philosophy. commitment from middle managers. benchmarking customer related performance against competitors. (2 marks)

1.11 The set of activities designed to familiarise a new employee with an organisation is called A B C D job analysis. induction. selection. manipulation and co-optation. (2 marks)

1.12 According to Kurt Lewin, the final stage of his three stage model of change is called A B C D unfreezing. refreezing. unbundling. support and facilitation. (2 marks)

1.13 Recruitment involves A B C D advertising a vacancy and interviewing. conducting interviews and tests. advertising a vacancy and initial screening of candidates. ensuring that contract negotiation complies with organisational policy. (2 marks)

P4

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.14 Three hundred and sixty (360) degree feedback is normally associated with A B C D exit interviews. quality circle activity. appraisal processes. reflection as part of a cycle of learning. (2 marks) 1.15 Kaizen is a quality improvement technique that involves A B C D continuous improvement by small incremental steps. a complete revision of all organisational processes and structures. immediate, often radical right first time changes to practice. a problem solving fishbone technique to identify cause and effect. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.15 = 30 marks)

Section A continues over the page

TURN OVER
May 2006 5 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.16 to 1.20 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. This response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.16 Describe the relationship between operations management and (using Mintzbergs terminology) the organisational technostructure. (4 marks) 1.17 Explain how continuous inventory systems might work against an organisations Just-inTime (JIT) philosophy. (4 marks) 1.18 Identify examples of external failure costs, and explain their significance for an organisation with a reputation for quality. (4 marks) 1.19 Distinguish between push and pull marketing policies and their impact on the promotion of goods. (4 marks)

1.20 Identify the main stages involved in developing human resource plans and programmes following the production of a corporate plan. (4 marks) (Total for 1.16 to 1.20 sub-questions = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 50 marks)

End of Section A Section B starts on page 8

P4

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[This page is blank]

May 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.
Question Two
S & C is a medium sized firm that is experiencing rapid growth evidenced by increased turnover. It has been able to develop a range of new consultancy and specialist business advisory services that it offers to its growing customer base. To cope with these developments several organisation-wide initiatives have been launched over the past two years. The existing financial systems are struggling to cope with these developments, but replacement software is due to be installed within the next six months. The new system was justified partly because it could reduce costs although precise details have not been given. The application software does not fit existing business processes exactly. However, it has the clear advantage of giving S & C access to an industry best practice system and is identical to that used by all its main competitors and some of its clients. A three-person project steering group has recommended that a phased approach to introduction should be used and has undertaken most of the project planning. A programme of events for implementing the system has been agreed but is not yet fully operational. This group has not met for a while because the designated project manager has been absent from work through illness. You are Head of S & Cs Central Support Unit. You also serve on the project steering group. A partners meeting is due to take place soon. The firms senior partner has asked you to prepare a PowerPoint presentation to other partners on implementation issues. You understand that partners are conscious that system implementation represents a form of further organisational change. They are asking questions about the approach that will be taken to the introduction of the new system, likely changes to practices, critical areas for success, system testing, support after implementation, system effectiveness, etc.

The requirement for this question is on the page opposite

P4

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
You are required to produce outline notes that will support your eventual PowerPoint presentation. These notes should:

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f)

Discuss the options to overcome the fact that the software does not fit existing business processes exactly. (5 marks) Explain why a phased approach to introducing the system is, in this case, more suitable than a direct big bang approach. (5 marks) Discuss the ways in which particular individuals and groups within S & C are important for implementation to succeed. (5 marks) Explain how users should be involved in the implementation phase of the project. (5 marks) Describe the training that should be given to targeted groups within S & C. (5 marks) Explain the aims of a post-implementation review. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

Important note: Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question. You should limit your answer to each sub-question to no more than one page.

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B

TURN OVER

May 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 20 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this question is 36 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY
Question Three
Banking services within the country of Everland are provided exclusively by a few well established banks, all offering broadly similar traditional banking services. Overall, the industry performance is viewed from within as satisfactory and historically all banks have maintained stable profits and employment levels. Marketeers would describe the industry as being classically product oriented. The profile of senior Everland bank officials and managers is of well qualified professionals, possessing long banking industry experience and considerable financial skills. Within the combined workforce other business skills (in, for instance, HR or marketing) are noticeably lacking. In the external environment, the government will soon pass new legislation that will effectively break the oligopoly-type position of banks and open the market up to other providers. Senior bank officials, however, are unconcerned, feeling that banks are in reasonable shape to face any new challenge. You work for the Everland Banking Advisory Group (EBAG), an independent body, and have been asked to analyse the banking industry in the country of Utopia to identify lessons that might be learnt. Your investigation reveals that since the sector opened up to more competition, a much wider range of financial institutions offer banking services. Despite this, banks in Utopia have all prospered over the past few years. This is thanks to wide-ranging changes in how they operate, the products and services they offer and their organisational structures. You identify some significant trends within the banking industry of Utopia, including: The use of marketing techniques; A clearer focus on customers (who have become increasingly more demanding); A new generation of bank employees, many with commercial backgrounds; Banks now exhibiting a strong sense of ethical and social responsibilities towards customers.

Required: (a) (b)


Discuss the dangers to Everland banks if they do not change. (8 marks) Discuss the types of change that Everland banks could be making in order to survive and prosper. (12 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks)

P4

10

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
CQ4 is a leading European industrial gas production company. CQ4s directors are each responsible for a geographical region containing several small strategic business units (SBUs). SBU managers report in monthly review meetings in great detail to their directors. CQ4 is showing signs of declining profitability and a new chief executive has been appointed and wishes to address the situation. She has complete freedom to identify organisational problems, solutions and strategies. At their annual conference she tells SBU managers that they hold the key to improved company performance. She has a vision of CQ4 achieving longer-term strategic goals of increases in profitability, risk taking and innovation. Under the slogan support not report directors will in future support and provide assistance to their managers to a greater degree, and the frequency and detail of reporting by managers will be reduced. She announces two new initiatives to address the lost years when managers were prevented from delivering truly excellent CQ4 performance: Revision of the existing performance appraisal system. Bonuses paid on turnover will be replaced by performance related pay for achievement of individual performance target contracts. Individual SBU managers will sign contracts to deliver these targets. Performance will now be reviewed at yearly rather than monthly meetings with directors. The remuneration and reward package will be adjusted appropriately with the current emphasis on increasing turnover shifting to profitability and innovation. A structural review to focus resources and efforts of SBUs on improving net profit. Part of the restructuring will involve SBUs no longer providing their own enabling services such as finance, information technology, and health and safety. These distractions from doing the real job will in future be organised centrally. SBUs will be given far greater responsibility, autonomy and influence over their own profitability.

She tells managers that she is stripping away the things that stop them doing their job properly. In return they must manage their SBU in the way they see most appropriate. They will be better rewarded and star achievers will be fast tracked to senior positions. SBU managers are informed that the HR department has already been tasked with redesigning the remuneration and reward package. Informal discussions amongst managers afterwards confirm that the new chief executives message has been well received. Comments such as work might be more enjoyable without central interference and for the first time I can do my job properly were overheard.

Required: (a)
Explain the thinking behind the two initiatives announced by the new chief executive using Herzbergs motivation-hygiene (dual factor) theory as a framework. (10 marks)

(b)

Discuss the factors that should be taken into account by the HR department when redesigning the remuneration and reward package for SBU managers. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks)

(Total marks for Section C = 20 marks)

End of Question Paper


May 2006 11 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

Paper 4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

May 2006

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

May 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam General Comments Overall, candidates appeared to cope well with this paper, and candidates from UK centres performed rather better than in the November 2005 examination and more in line with those who sat the May 2005 paper. Regrettably, candidates at non-UK centres achieved significantly poorer performances than those at UK centres. Most candidates handled Question 1 (Section A) with ease and a substantial number also produced confident answers to Question 2 (Section B). There was a more even take up of Question 3 or Question 4 as part of the elective choice under Section C of the paper. Section C of the paper produced the most disappointing results, indicating that candidates have some difficulty in relating their knowledge to the context of a scenario. SECTION A 50 MARKS ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 Charles Handys vision of a shamrock organisation suggests a workforce that comprises three different types of worker, namely A B C D strategic, operational and support. qualified, trainee and unskilled. white collar, blue collar and e-worker. core, contractual and flexible labour. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.2 Activities associated with Organisational Development A B C D require universal agreement that change must take place. require interventions into the social processes of an organisation. naturally occur through a shared sense of purpose and a strong organisational culture. result from the effect of Greiners life cycle model. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 1.3 Job family structures are examples of A B C D motivational tools. similar levels of responsibility reflected across several distinct functions or disciplines. Japanese employment practice. pay structures for jobs within distinct functions or disciplines. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.4 Abraham Maslows theory of motivation is often represented as A B C D a hierarchy of needs. individual behaviour labelled X or Y. a scientific relationship between work and reward. a series of negative and a series of positive factors. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.5 Effective product promotion is centred on A B C D production processes. customers and communication. bonuses for sales staff and product quality. effective systems of monitoring and control. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.6 Conventional marketing wisdom suggests that for successful segmentation of markets, segments must be A B C D relatively unsophisticated in their needs. economic, efficient and effective measurable, accessible and substantial. currently lacking in providers. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 1.7 The technique of force field analysis depicts A B C D change as occurring through a series of restraining and driving forces. growth of organisations through evolution and revolution. an organisations environment as a series of opportunistic and threatening factors. aggressive management styles used to drive change. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.8 The 5-S model refers to A B C D internal analysis involving structure, sub-structure, systems, sub-systems and strategy. internal analysis involving style, shared values, skills, staffing and soft information. operations management practices of structurise, systematise, sanitise, standardise and selfdiscipline. the Japanese six-sigma model adapted to Western practice. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.9 Distribution channels, transport, warehouse and sales outlet locations are all examples of A B C D place, one component of the marketing mix. promotion, one component of the marketing mix. physical evidence, one component of the marketing mix. the management of operations for a service organisation. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.10 Gaining International Standards (ISO) in quality is mainly dependent upon A B C D effective processes for documentation and control. a shared quality philosophy. commitment from middle managers. benchmarking customer related performance against competitors. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam Question 1.11 The set of activities designed to familiarise a new employee with an organisation is called A B C D job analysis. induction. selection. manipulation and co-optation. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.12 According to Kurt Lewin, the final stage of his three stage model of change is called A B C D unfreezing. refreezing. unbundling. support and facilitation. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.13 Recruitment involves A B C D advertising a vacancy and interviewing. conducting interviews and tests. advertising a vacancy and initial screening of candidates. ensuring that contract negotiation complies with organisational policy. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.14 Three hundred and sixty (360) degree feedback is normally associated with A B C D exit interviews. quality circle activity. appraisal processes. reflection as part of a cycle of learning. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 1.15 Kaizen is a quality improvement technique that involves A B C D continuous improvement by small incremental steps. a complete revision of all organisational processes and structures. immediate, often radical right first time changes to practice. a problem solving fishbone technique to identify cause and effect. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.16 Describe the relationship between operations management and (using Minzbergs terminology) the organisational technostructure. (4 marks) Answer: Operations management: Developing outputs (products/services) by transforming inputs (stock, human) through operations (manufacturing, assembly etc.). Technostructure Expert advice, training, research, standardising processes, outputs and skills. Involves work-study, HR managers etc. Relationship: OM = operating core and finances a technostructure that helps make operations effective

Question 1.17 Explain how continuous inventory systems might work against an organisations Just-in-Time (JIT) philosophy. (4 marks) Answer: Continuous inventory: Monitoring to keep above a predetermined level. Fixed amount ordered. Zero demand = buffer stocks (just in case); inconsistent with JIT. JIT philosophy (eliminate all waste; right part at the right place at the right time) better supported with JIT inventory approach.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 1.18 Identify examples of external failure costs, and explain their significance for an organisation with a reputation for quality. (4 marks) Answer: External failure = costs of substandard goods sold e.g. Free replacement. Redesign/rework costs, wastage etc. Warranty claims. Product liability and damages. Significance = Goods with customer, meaning Damaged reputation/staff morale? Loss of repeat sales/future custom? Reduced customer confidence? Bad PR (complaints).

Question 1.19 Distinguish between push and pull marketing policies and their impact on the promotion of goods. (4 marks) Answer: Firms may have: Suppliers (downstream). Supply others (upstream). in a value chain that links to ultimate consumer. push Aim push to wholesalers/retailers who sell to customers pull Influence final consumers attitudes through e.g. advertising. Consumer demand pulls through Shared by manufacturer

Promotion to consumer

Final firm in value chain

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 1.20 Identify the main stages involved in developing human resource plans and programmes following the production of a corporate plan. (4 marks) Answer: Stages: 1. A supply forecast: 2. 3. Analysis of existing resources. Projection of likely changes over period (natural wastage, turnover etc.).

Identify demand implied by corporate plan. Articulate both forecasts in HR plan.

4. Develop programmes with target dates to reconcile supply and demand. (Address recruitment, selection, training, management development, transfers, redeployment, redundancies, etc.). Note: This explanation is based on Mullins (2005). It is not the only way of understanding the stages. Other thinkers may express a need for internal and external data collection and analysis using models such as PESTLE etc. Valid alternative approaches to that suggested by Mullins will also receive credit.

Rationale Question One parts 1.1 1.15 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question one parts 1.16 1.20 provide further objective testing through limited word responses. These sub-questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding. Sub-questions 1.16 1.18 test various aspects of the Operations Management topic of the syllabus (learning outcomes C(i), (ii) and (vi)) while 1.19 tests the Marketing learning outcome D(iv) and 1.20 E(ii) Managing Human Capital. Responses to each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated. Responses beyond this limit are not marked. Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Sub-questions 1.1 1.15. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.16 1.20. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question (approximately half a page of the answer book). The use of bullet points and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. 3.5 to 4 Marks 0 or 2

2.5 to 3

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above. 1.5 to 2 0.5 to 1 0

Examiners Comments Most candidates coped well with the requirements of this question and scored heavily as a result. A substantial number of scripts again did not conform to the 50 word limit. Only the first 50 words of the candidates response attracted marks. Those scoring lowly on this section did so because of a lack of knowledge. Common Errors A number of candidates struggled with 1.16. Some gave no response, others provided incorrect guesses.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION. Question 2 You are required to produce outline notes that will support your eventual PowerPoint presentation. These notes should: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Discuss the options to overcome the fact that the software does not fit existing business processes exactly. (5 marks) Explain why a phased approach to introducing the system is, in this case, more suitable than a direct big bang approach. (5 marks) Discuss the ways in which particular individuals and groups within S & C are important for implementation to succeed. (5 marks) Explain how users should be involved in the implementation phase of the project. (5 marks) Describe the training that should be given to targeted groups within S & C. (5 marks) Explain the aims of a post implementation review. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

Rationale Question two parts (a) (b) (d) and (f) test candidates knowledge and understanding through the application of thinking from Information Systems (learning outcomes A(v) and A(vi)). Part (c) involves an examination of why resistance to change develops (learning outcome B(ii) and part (e) part tests Managing Human Capital (E(iii)). Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity is called for and also hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. When answering a sub-question candidates might use purposeful illustrations based upon aspects of the scenario. Part (a) Explanation of the issue/problem. Identification of at least two possible options. Indication of how choice is to be made from options available. Identification of issues associated with each option including benefits and disbenefits. Limited answer: Some recognition of the problem and tentative solutions. Pass standard answer: Understanding of the problem and identification of two or more options with clear description of features of each. Strong answer: Explanation of the issue/problem. Clearly identified distinct options including costs and benefits. Indication of basis upon which choice is made. 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Part (b) Explanation of a phased approach. Explanation of big bang approach. Identification of key points indicating a suitability of phased approach within the context of the scenario. Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of approaches. Pass standard answer: Understanding of both approaches and some points potentially relevant to the scenario established. Strong answer: Explanation of both phased and big bang approach. Clearly identified issues in favour of phased approach strongly related to the scenario. Part (c) Identification of the range of relevant individuals and groups Separate discussions of ways in which each are critical to implementation success within the context of the scenario. Limited answer: Identification of more than one person/group and discussion of importance. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of importance of some groups and individuals to the implementation process in a way that is relevant to the scenario. Strong answer: Comprehensive discussion of importance of a range of groups and individuals to the implementation process strongly linked to the scenario. Part (d) Establish relationship between need for user acceptance and also system testing. List and explain realistic ways in which users might be usefully involved in a way that is relevant to the scenario. Reference to organisational conditions that need to be in place for this to occur. Limited answer: Some identification of user training and systems testing issues. Pass standard answer: Realistic explanation of some ways in which users might be involved. Possible explanation of reasoning or reference to organisational conditions/scenario context. Strong answer: Wholly practical explanation of several ways in which users might be involved including reasoning and reference to organisational conditions. Strong conceptualisation of answer to scenario. Part (e) Identify the range of recipients relevant to scenario, possible mechanisms and content. Describe recipient needs individually, mechanisms generically, and range of content relevant to recipient. Limited answer: Some unstructured points related to training in general terms. Pass standard answer: Some structured description of training issues relevant within the context of the scenario. Strong answer: Clear, realistic and comprehensive description of training in terms of all three factors with some linkage between the factors established. 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max 1 max 2-3 max 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max

4-5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam Part (f) Establish what a post implementation review is. Identify and explain aims of the review. Limited answer: Recognition of the appropriateness of post implementation review. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of what a review is and some aims it attempts to achieve. Strong answer: Comprehensive explanation of what a review is and the several aims it attempts to achieve. 1 max 2-3 max 4-5 max

Examiners Comments Most candidates handled these sub-questions reasonably well. Some non-UK candidates gave only a few points per sub-question or did not develop the single phrase responses. Common Errors Question 2(b) was poorly answered by some. There was a tendency to explain the several approaches to implementation or ways of getting employee acceptance rather than answering the specific requirements of the sub-question. Some responses exceeded the limit required.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY Question 3 (a) (b) Discuss the dangers to Everland banks if they do not change. (8 marks) Discuss the types of change that Everland banks could be making in order to survive and prosper. (12 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks) Rationale Question Three tests candidates understanding of issues associated with marketing and requires an application of knowledge and understanding to the scenario set of banking services facing up to a more hostile environment. Question 3 part (a) explores the candidates understanding of threats associated with banks continuing to operate in a way that does not conform to enlightened marketing thinking. Learning outcome D(i) is tested. Question 3 part (b) requires a discussion of the types of marketing changes that should be made within the given business context of financial services, so part testing learning outcome D(iv).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Provide a position statement of where Everland banks are. Explain the comparative position of Utopia banks, including their marketing orientation. Discuss the potential dangers associated with Everland not changing. Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to either marketing orientation or difficulties associated with not changing. Weak or slight conceptualisation of points made to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Recognition of the differences between the present approach and a marketing orientated approach. Some references to the Everland experience and identification of dangers of not changing. Several valid points made - 1-2 marks per substantive point. Strong answer: Good presentation with a clear identification of the differences between the present approach and a marketing orientated approach. Purposeful explanation of progress made in Everland and mature discussion of dangers of not changing. Many valid points raised - up to 2 marks per substantive point. Part (b) Analysis of the changes which could arise in terms of Techniques. Analysis of the changes which could arise in terms of Structure. Analysis of the changes which could arise in terms of Skills. Analysis of the changes which could arise in terms of Systems. Analysis of the changes which could arise in terms of HR policies.

Marks

3 max

4-5 max

8 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to potential changes. Pass standard answer: Structured analysis of the types of organisational changes that could reasonably result. The answer suggests five headings but others might appropriately be used. Several valid points made 1-2 marks per substantive point. Strong answer: Good presentation with purposeful well-structured analysis of the types of organisational changes that could reasonably result. The answer suggests five headings but others might appropriately be used. Many valid points raised up to 2 marks per substantive point.

3 max 6-7 max

12 max

Examiners Comments There was a range of performance on this question. Those candidates who diligently applied their knowledge to the scenario scored well, whilst those who attempted over-theoretical answers scored far less well. Some candidates obviously failed to interpret the causes of business failure from the clues in the scenario. Part (b) of the question was answered rather better than part (a). Common Errors A failure to identify a sufficient range of significant defects in existing arrangements in order to answer the requirements of the question. Undeveloped or sketchy responses that were not commensurate with the marks available.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 13

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam

Question 4 (a) (b) Explain the thinking behind the two initiatives announced by the new chief executive using Herzbergs motivation-hygiene (dual factor) theory as a framework. (10 marks) Discuss the factors that should be taken into account by the HR department when redesigning the remuneration and reward package for SBU managers. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks)

Rationale Question Four tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Managing Human Capital, specifically the efforts of an industrial gas production company to incentivize its managers (syllabus learning outcome E(iv)). Part (a) requires knowledge of Herzbergs dual factor theory of motivation and the ability to conceptualise it to the scenario. Question four part (b) involves a consideration of the detailed factors that need to be addressed by HR professionals in a revised remuneration and reward package.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Summarise the nature of the two initiatives. Describe Herzbergs motivation-hygiene, or dual factor, theory. Apply this thinking to the scenario, giving examples of Motivators (or satisfiers) drawn from the scenario itself. Apply this thinking to the scenario, giving examples of Hygiene factors (or dissatisfiers) drawn from the scenario itself. Conclude explanation. Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of Herzbergs theory (up to 1 mark). Some relevant examples, identified points and attempt to relate them to either motivation or hygiene factors. Pass standard answer: Demonstrates an understanding of Herzbergs theory (up to 2 marks). Several valid examples of both motivators and hygiene factors relevant to the scenario. 1 mark per substantive correctly categorised point made. Strong answer: Purposeful explanation of Herzbergs theory, indicating a mature understanding (up to 3 marks). Many valid examples of both motivators and hygiene factors clearly drawn from the scenario. 1 mark per substantive correctly categorised point made. Part (b) Identify key relevant factors. Discuss each in turn making specific reference to the scenario. Limited answer: Some relevant factors identified only partially related to the scenario but attempts to discuss these factors. Pass standard answer: Discussion of relevant factors related to either remuneration or reward package redesign. Several references to the scenario. Several factors identified. 1-2 marks per substantive factor discussed. Strong answer: Mature discussion of relevant likely factors related to both remuneration and reward package redesign. Strong conceptualisation to scenario throughout. Many factors identified. 1-2 marks per substantive factor discussed.

Marks

4 max

5-7 max

8-10 max

4 max 5-7 max

8-10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 14

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2006 Exam Examiners Comments A wide range of performance on this question. Part (a) was an opportunity for candidates who were familiar with this motivation theory to score heavily. Strangely, some who opted for this question confused the theory with the work of another and scored poorly as a result. Others rehearsed a number of motivation theories instead of answering the question. Common Errors Undeveloped or sketchy responses which were not commensurate with the marks available. An inability to relate remuneration and reward redesign considerations to the scenario.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 15

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems


22 November 2006 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You will be allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, make annotations on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during this reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read ALL the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is, all parts and subquestions). The question requirements for Sections B and C are contained in a dotted box. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This has twenty subquestions and is on pages 2 to 6. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B which is on pages 8 and 9. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 10 and 11. Write your full examination number, paper number and the examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the examination answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 50 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 90 minutes] ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the twenty sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.15 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D Frederick Herzbergs study of work and people is of significance to managers because it identifies a framework for HRM involving appraisal, training and motivation. the need to assess the personality of job applicants. factors associated with job satisfaction called motivators. satisfaction from a participative, problem solving environment. (2 marks) 1.2 A B C D Data redundancy arises as a result of viruses and computer misuse. downsizing the organisation. a lack of password controls. duplication of data held. (2 marks) 1.3 A B C D Kurt Lewins ideas on change are based on the view that change is capable of being planned. emergent. inevitable and uncontrollable. transformational. (2 marks)

P4

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

A network topology refers to the physical arrangement of a computer network. the type of hardware used. the hierarchy of access. the range of software operated. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

Adding new tasks to a persons job, so increasing their responsibility, is called process re-engineering. job enrichment. HR development. career scoping. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Data integrity refers to its accuracy. security of storage. adaptability for multiple use. ethical use of personal details. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

Entity relationship modelling is a technique used within an assessment centre test used in staff selection. market research and product testing. database analysis and design. business process re-engineering. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

The intervention of a consultant or change agent is a common feature of co-operation and negotiation strategies for change. an inclusive culture. high levels of management visibility. a programme of Organisational Development (OD). (2 marks)

Section A continues on the next page


TURN OVER

November 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

A local area network (LAN) normally contains a file, print and communications server(s). distributed processing and local solutions. e-trading and e-marketing. internet access and firewall protection. (2 marks)

1.10 Public relations activity can be used within marketing as part of A B C D marketing decision support activities. a promotional mix. customer feedback processes. segmentation practices. (2 marks)

1.11 Remuneration is an example of A B C D self-actualisation reward. an intrinsic reward. an extrinsic reward. an individuals work/life balance. (2 marks)

1.12 Spot rates normally refer to a specific pay rate determined by reference to A B C D the market place. incremental progression. a negotiated point on a pay spine. experience and qualifications of a newly recruited person. (2 marks)

1.13 Charging a very low price on one item in order to generate customer loyalty and increased sales of other items is called A B C D market penetration. loss leader pricing. product penetration. skim pricing. (2 marks)

P4

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.14 Corrective, perfective and adaptive are terms associated with A B C D system maintenance. change management approaches. quality assurance. HR disciplinary processes. (2 marks) 1.15 In the expectancy theory of motivation valence refers to A B C D a belief that an outcome will satisfy organisational tasks. a persons own preference for achieving a particular outcome. a belief that the outcome will be shared by others equally. an understanding of the probability of an event happening. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.15 = 30 marks)

Section A continues on the next page

TURN OVER
November 2006 5 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.16 to 1.20 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. This response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.16 Explain the concept of physical evidence when applied to the marketing mix. (4 marks) 1.17 Identify the potential benefits of a marketing database and the source data from which it might be constructed. (4 marks) 1.18 In HR planning how might an organisation match the projected supply of human resources to future demand. (4 marks) 1.19 Identify the advantages and disadvantages of a policy of succession planning for a large organisation. (4 marks)

1.20 Identify both the advantages and disadvantages of a decentralised Human Resource provision for an organisation that has many business units and sites. (4 marks) (Total for sub-questions 1.16 to 1.20 = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 50 marks)

End of Section A Section B starts on page 8

P4

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

November 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS. EACH SUB-QUESTION IS WORTH 5 MARKS.
Question Two
The country of Chapterland has a principle that healthcare should be free to its citizens at the point of access. Healthcare is funded from national taxation and organised through a series of large health units, one of which is known as Q2. Q2 operates a huge, single site hospital and offers a variety of community services (such as health visiting) that are taken to the local population. Q2 has a management structure consisting of eight clinical and administrative directors who report to Q2s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Q2 CEO is directly accountable to the national government through regular returns of information and year-end reporting. Published quality league tables of hospital performance against government targets suggest that Q2 has one of the worst records in the country. (Targets are for cleanliness of hospital wards, treatment waiting times and staff employed per patient cases dealt with.) In addition, Q2 has in recent years been operating to a budget in excess of its funding, which is against government regulations. The current year budget again exceeds projected funding. Last year, Q2s previous CEO decided that certain changes were necessary including: better cost control; improved performance measurement; and benchmarking. He revealed this thinking for the first time in a global email he sent to Q2s staff. Later, when conducting the annual performance appraisal of the Director of Human Resources (HR), he tasked her with implementing each and every form of benchmarking within the next four months so that true performance deficiencies could be addressed. However, the Director of HR left for a new job elsewhere within that period. The CEO then undertook to manage the changes himself but was surprised to find directors unenthusiastic and even uncooperative. Under pressure from the government the CEO resigned for personal reasons and no progress was made with his initiatives. A new CEO has just been appointed. Her immediate concern is to reduce expenditure and improve performance. On her first day as CEO she spoke of a need to re-establish a culture of care through quality within Q2. She wishes to discuss a number of ideas and issues with her clinical and administrative directors at a special away day meeting to be arranged soon. You work in the CEOs central policy team and she has informed you that some ideas for initiatives include outsourcing, improved supply management and new performance management measures.

The requirement for this question is on the page opposite

P4

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
You have been asked to provide the new CEO with briefing notes on a number of issues that will help prepare her for the away day meeting. These notes should:

(a) (b) (c) (d)

Explain why the changes attempted by the previous CEO were unsuccessful; (5 marks) Explain the role Human Resources could perform in supporting any new initiatives for change; (5 marks) Analyse the potential of outsourcing as a means of overcoming some of the problems facing Q2. (The CEO has identified two services initially; IT/IS and cleaning.); (5 marks) Discuss which forms of benchmarking Q2 should use in order to contribute to better performance management; (5 marks)

(e) (f)

Discuss how a culture of care through quality might be established within Q2; (5 marks) Describe the performance measures that will be needed in order to satisfy future management and strategic reporting requirements of Q2. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

Important note: Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question. You should limit your answer for each sub-question to no more than one page.

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B Section C starts on the next page

TURN OVER

November 2006

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 20 MARKS [Indicative time for answering this question is 36 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY
Question Three
B3 is a family run personnel agency. It offers a range of services to both individuals and corporate clients (mainly local medium-sized organisations). The son of the managing director (MD) is currently studying for a specialist university business degree. His course includes a management consultancy module where students are required to analyse an organisation and identify a range of development options for the business. The MDs sons investigations of B3 have led to a consultancy report being produced, extracts of which include: B3 should maximise the opportunities offered by information technology to a greater extent. In particular: Opportunity 1. B3 could develop its recent successful experiment in e-cruitment (the identification of employment opportunities through the world wide web and the emailing of clients). Currently details of vacancies are collected and matched to individual clients search criteria. When a match is identified clients are emailed and, if they are interested, interviews arranged. This service is not offered by any of B3s main competitors. There is a difficulty, however, in that many companies have barred access to personal emails at work and web access to recruitment sites such as B3s site from their offices. Market research suggests that significant opportunities for m-cruitment (jobs by mobile telephones) also exist. Making use of recent software developments, a text message containing a job title and some contact details could be sent out to individual clients instead of an email, so providing a more convenient and speedy service. Opportunity 2. Virtually all CVs are currently received in electronic form and a policy decision should be made to develop a paperless operating environment through the development of databases, so upgrading existing office technology. Analysis of profit indicates that executive searches, corporate headhunting and vacancy identification for individuals (traditional and especially e-cruitment) are all profitable activities. Involvement in selection processes with corporate clients is unprofitable and should be discontinued. Instead B3 should identify clear guidelines for corporate clients to follow once the short-listing of candidates has occurred.

Required: (a) (b)


Evaluate the opportunities for B3 identified in the consultancy report. (12 marks) Produce guidelines for the selection process that should be adopted by an organisation presented with a short-list of candidates. (8 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks)

P4

10

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
CMs founder first began producing breakfast food from a start-up unit on a small industrial estate. Now CM is the market leader in Europe and Oceania. Once established in Europe, the company made the breakthrough into Oceania thanks to demand from ex-pats and contacts with a family member who happened to be a director of a supermarket chain in Australia. The companys founder is very hands on and has made all the major strategic decisions to date based on intuition. CM spends heavily on promoting most of its twenty products on television, normally before and after childrens programmes with high viewing figures. Research conducted ten years ago shows that children love small gifts contained within packs and the association of certain of the products to cartoon characters. CM also manufactures its most popular lines and packages them as own brand alternatives for some large supermarket chains. These sell more cheaply than CM branded products, are less costly to produce (they contain inexpensive packaging and no gifts) but sales remain low. CM is now facing a more uncertain environment with increasing competition (from a North American firm), sales levels that seem to have peaked and the prospect of the founder retiring very soon. Management consultants advising CM have identified a need to develop a structured marketing strategic plan for the organisation and for greater involvement of other staff in future strategic decisions. As a further complication, CM has recently received some adverse publicity from an international health watchdog body that claims that CMs products contain potentially harmful levels of both sugar and salt.

Required: (a) (b)


Evaluate CMs situation making specific mention of marketing and ethical issues. (10 marks) Explain how CM might develop a marketing strategic plan. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks)

(Total marks for Section C = 20 marks)

End of Question Paper

November 2006

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

November 2006

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

November 2006

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam General Comments This represented the fourth examination diet and the most disappointing set of results so far. There appeared to be significant knowledge deficits in some cases and a failure by some to harness knowledge, understanding and application to the given context. Candidates again scored heavily on Question 1 with a mixed performance in the remainder of the paper. SECTION A 50 MARKS ANSWER ALL TWENTY SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.15 are worth 2 marks each (30 marks in total) Questions 1.16 to 1.20 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 Frederick Herzbergs study of work and people is of significance to managers because it identifies A B C D a framework for HRM involving appraisal, training and motivation. the need to assess the personality of job applicants. factors associated with job satisfaction called motivators. satisfaction from a participative, problem solving environment. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.2 Data redundancy arises as a result of A B C D viruses and computer misuse. downsizing the organisation. a lack of password controls. duplication of data held. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.3 Kurt Lewins ideas on change are based on the view that change is A B C D capable of being planned. emergent. inevitable and uncontrollable. transformational. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 1.4 A network topology refers to A B C D the physical arrangements of a computer network. the type of hardware used. the hierarchy of access. the range of software operated. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.5 Adding new tasks to a persons job, so increasing their responsibility, is called A B C D process re-engineering. job enrichment. HR development. career scoping. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.6 Data integrity refers to its A B C D accuracy. security of storage. adaptability for multiple use. ethical use of personal details. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.7 Entity relationship modelling is a technique used within A B C D an assessment centre test used in staff selection. market research and product testing. database analysis and design. business process re-engineering. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 1.8 The intervention of a consultant or change agent is a common feature of A B C D co-operation and negotiation strategies for change. an inclusive culture. high levels of management visibility. a program of Organisational Development (OD). (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.9 A local area network (LAN) normally contains A B C D a file, print and communications server(s). distributed processing and local solutions. e-trading and e-marketing. internet access and firewall protection. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.10 Public relations activity can be used within marketing as part of A B C D marketing decision support activities. a promotional mix. customer feedback processes. segmentation practices. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.11 Remuneration is an example of A B C D self-actualisation reward. an intrinsic reward. an extrinsic reward. an individuals work/life balance. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 1.12 Spot rates normally refer to a specific pay rate determined by reference to A B C D the market place. incremental progression. a negotiated point on a pay spine. experience and qualifications of a newly recruited person. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.13 Charging a very low price on one item in order to generate customer loyalty and increased sales of other items is called A B C D market penetration. loss leader pricing. product penetration. skim pricing. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.14 Corrective, perfective and adaptive are terms associated with A B C D system maintenance. change management approaches. quality assurance. HR disciplinary processes. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.15 In the expectancy theory of motivation valence refers to A B C D a belief that an outcome will satisfy organisational tasks. a persons own preference for achieving a particular outcome. a belief that the outcome will be shared by others equally. an understanding of the probability of an event happening. (2 marks) The answer is B

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 1.16 Explain the concept of physical evidence when applied to the marketing mix. (4 marks) Answer: Marketing mix = a manufacturing firms blend of price, product, promotion, place. For service organisations other relevant factors include a lack of physical evidence because: Services are intangible Potential customers may therefore feel greater risk Reassurance is therefore needed, e.g. testimonials/references from past customers. Note: Other examples apart from testimonials/references might be given such as internet pages, paperwork, brochures, uniforms, the corporate logo, buildings, furnishings and signage etc.

Question 1.17 Identify the potential benefits of a marketing database and the source data from which it might be constructed. (4 marks) Answer: Sources One-off market research data already available Other marketing intelligence Internal information on products, trends, Markets and competitors etc. Benefits Improves problem solving capacity Method of structuring decisions Integrates all types of knowledge Maximises IT potential Total system of marketing information to support decisions

Question 1.18 In HR planning how might an organisation match the projected supply of human resources to future demand. (4 marks) Answer: HR planning: satisfying projected demand by adjusting projected supply. Increasing Reducing Re-training/re-skilling/multi-skilling for Early retirements potential gaps Development for internal promotions Redundancy (succession planning) Overtime Short-time working Increased use of IT Job sharing Outsourcing Recruitment and selection (new employees) Internal transfers/re-deployment to balance requirements

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 1.19 Identify the advantages and disadvantages of a policy of succession planning for a large organisation. (4 marks) Answer: Advantages Career structures, rewards visible Positive motivation Reinforces existing culture Rational approach

Disadvantages Lack of exposure to other influences Ignores possible better candidates from outside Trend for movement between companies strong Vacancies may arise at inconvenient times Expensive (?) Needs managing Only possible within a very large organisation Outdated concept?

Question 1.20 Identify both the advantages and disadvantages of a decentralised Human Resource provision for an organisation that has many business units and sites. (4 marks) Answer: Advantages Empowerment/delegation strengthened In touch with detained unit/site issues Greater local knowledge Visible

Disadvantages Lack of central control Lack of specialist knowledge May lead to maverick actions/policies HR function may be diluted Uneven provision within organisation

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Rationale Question One parts 1.1 1.15 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question One parts 1.16 1.20 provide further objective testing through limited word responses. These sub-questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding. Sub-questions 1.16 and 1.17 test aspects of Marketing (learning outcomes D(iii) and D(v)) while 1.18 1.20 test learning outcomes E(I), E(ii) and E(v) of Managing Human Capital. Responses to each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated. Responses beyond this limit are not marked.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Sub-questions 1.1 1.15. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.16 1.20. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question (approximately half a page of the answer book). The use of bullet points and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above.

Marks

0 or 2

3.5 to 4

2.5 to 3

1.5 to 2

0.5 to 1 0

Examiners Comments Most candidates coped well with the requirements of this question and scored heavily as a result. A substantial number of scripts (more than expected) did not conform to the 50 word limit. Only the first 50 words of the candidates response attracted marks. Those scoring lowly on this section did so because of a lack of knowledge. Common Errors A number of candidates struggled with 1.16 and 1.19 indicating that they were unfamiliar with the relevant concepts. Some gave no response; others provided incorrect guesses. Some muddled the notion of decentralised and centralised provision.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.

Question 2 You have been asked to provide the new CEO with briefing notes on a number of issues that will help prepare her for the away day meeting. These notes should: (a) (b) (c) Explain why the changes attempted by the previous CEO were unsuccessful; (5 marks) Explain the role Human Resources could perform in supporting any new initiatives for change; (5 marks) Analyse the potential of outsourcing as a means of overcoming some of the problems facing Q2. (The CEO has identified two services initially; IT/IS and cleaning.); (5 marks) Discuss which forms of benchmarking Q2 would use in order to contribute to better performance management; (5 marks) Discuss how a culture of care through quality might be established within Q2; (5 marks) Describe the performance measures that will be needed in order to satisfy future management and strategic reporting requirements of Q2. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

(d)

(e) (f)

Rationale Question two parts (c) (d) (e) and (f) test candidates knowledge and understanding through the application of thinking from Operations Management (learning outcomes C(ii), (vi) and (ix)). Part (a) involves an examination of why a change attempt was unsuccessful (learning outcome B(iv) and part (b) explores the potential role HR might perform (learning outcome E(i)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub-question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity are called for and also hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. Responses beyond the limit indicated are not marked. All sub-questions require application of knowledge to the scenario.

Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Part (a) Identify several key points Identify significance of each Explain implication of each on the change program Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of some failing(s) or wholly generic explanation of change methodology. Pass standard answer: Understanding of a few key points (e.g. lack of consultation, inappropriate responsibilities, lack of involvement, inappropriate communication, faulty planning, etc.) related successfully to the scenario. Strong answer: Explanation of several key points (e.g. lack of consultation, inappropriate responsibilities, lack of involvement, inappropriate communication, faulty planning, etc.) related successfully to the scenario. 1 max

2-3 max

4-5 max

Part (b) Explain what Human Resource Management (HRM) involves. Within this context explain the help HR could legitimately provide in supporting the new initiatives for change (e.g. discussion of initiatives, getting intelligence on HR practices used elsewhere, developing HR practices, HR supportive actions (e.g. training), assist in cultural change, support and counselling, etc., monitoring and control). Limited answer: Recognition of the role that can be played by HR, weak relationship to the scenario and few relevant initiatives identified. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of HRs value and a limited range of initiatives that are linked to/relevant to the scenario. Strong answer: Comprehensive explanation of HR well conceptualised to the scenario and including an extensive range of fully explained initiatives relevant to the change context.. 1 max 2-3 max

4-5 max

Part (c) Analyse problems facing Q2 Explain concept of outsourcing Analyse advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing services suggested Some summary and/or conclusion/recommendation Limited answer: Correct identification of outsourcing as a concept, unstructured discussion with weak/no linkages to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Some balanced discussion of the merits of outsourcing and the establishment of some link to the scenario. Strong answer: Comprehensive analysis including evaluation of outsourcing and its potential to overcome some of Q2s major problems. 1 max

2-3 max

4-5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Part (d) Establish what benchmarking is. Discuss relationship to performance management. Identify and discuss main types of benchmarking (internal, competitive, best practice activity). Limited answer: Correct but general discussion of benchmarking poorly related or unrelated to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of benchmarking, types, performance management and some relationship to scenario established. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of benchmarking and its relationship to performance management, including discussion of the three benchmarking types and the most appropriate within the context of the scenario. Part (e) Identification of the cultural implications of care through quality. Indication of TQM (or other appropriate mechanism) as a way of achieving care through quality. Discuss potential of TQM (or other appropriate mechanism). Limited answer: Some unstructured points relating to the issue or an attempt to present theoretical issues with little or no reference to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Some structured description of issues relevant within the context of the scenario, including some realistic quality mechanisms. Strong answer: Clear, realistic and comprehensive discussion of cultural implications for Q2, including identification of a range of purposeful scenario derived quality mechanisms. 1 max 1 max

2-3 max

4-5 max

2-3 max

4-5 max

Part (f) List measures under three headings (external, management and strategic). Describe measures within the context of the scenario and the need to support future performance management. Limited answer: Demonstration of some knowledge of measures supporting performance management, no or little attempt to relate to scenario. Pass standard answer: Either a range of ill described but relevant measures or description of several appropriate measures. Strong answer: Clearly identified and described range of appropriate measures related to all three categories, up to one full mark per substantive measure to a maximum of 5. 1 max

2-3 max 4-5 max

Examiners Comments Sub-question (f), performance measures, was particularly poorly dealt with. A significant number of candidates did not understand the concept of outsourcing (2(c)) Common Errors A large number of candidates exceeded the one page limit.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question 3 (a) (b) Evaluate the opportunities for B3 identified in the consultancy report. (12 marks) Produce guidelines for the selection process that should be adopted by an organisation presented with a short-list of candidates. (8 marks) (Total for Question Three = 20 marks)

Rationale Question Three tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Information Systems and Managing Human Capital. The question requires an application of knowledge and understanding to the scenario of a family run personnel agency facing up to the opportunities offered by information technology. Question three part (a) requires the candidates to evaluate these opportunities. Learning outcome A(iii) is tested and is worth 12 marks. Question three part (b) requires the production of guidelines for selection from job candidates. Learning outcome E(iii) and is worth 8 marks.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Identify the detailed opportunities arising from opportunity 1 (extended service offering, positive image, enhanced competitive strategy, etc.). Evaluate taking account of potential problems (costs and expertise, ethical implications, damaged reputation amongst corporate clients, company image, etc.). Conclude and make recommendation. Identify the detailed opportunities arising from opportunity 2 (potential, image, cost, etc.). Evaluate taking account of potential problems (resistance by clients, security and backup, etc.). Conclude and make recommendation. Up to 6 marks for each opportunity evaluated. Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to the opportunities. Pass standard answer: Several valid points as part of an evaluation of both opportunities, maybe lacking in depth or failing to provide guidance on desirability of opportunities Strong answer: Purposeful evaluation of both opportunities containing many valid points (similar to those in examiners answers). Clear guidance provided on both opportunities. Part (b) Identification of main stage/headings (e.g. agreement of selection criteria and testing method, testing against selection criteria, choosing the most suitable candidate, administration, etc.).. Identify appropriate checklist items under each heading (see examiners answer). .

Marks

3 max 6 max 12 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to selection. Effort might contain possible confusion with recruitment issues. Pass standard answer: Some relevant selection points appropriately presented, maybe lacking in overall cohesion or comprehensive coverage. Strong answer: Well presented, useful and realistic guidelines covering all main aspects of selection. Clear identification of stages containing many valid selection points.

2 max

4 max 8 max

Examiners Comments A substantial number of scripts were muddled and lacked structure and cohesion. Part (a) was handled better then part (b). Common Errors Rather than produce guidelines as requested, some provided a lot of detail along the lines of everything I know about recruitment and selection in part (b).

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Question 4 (a) (b) Evaluate CMs situation making specific mention of marketing and ethical issues. (10 marks) Explain how CM might develop a marketing strategic plan. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 20 marks) Rationale Question Four tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Marketing and is set within the context of a breakfast food producing company at something of an organisational cross-road. Part (a) requires an evaluation of the organisations position having regard to both marketing and ethical issues (learning outcome D(ii)). Part (b) requires the candidate to explain how a marketing strategic plan might be developed (learning outcome D(vi)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Establish framework for consideration of marketing processes (possibly Major challenges (increasing competition, sales levels that seem to have peaked, the prospect of the retirement of the key decision maker), Ethical issues, Product nature and Marketing mix, etc.). Discuss each point and evaluate each within the context of the scenario. Through evaluation, draw reference to relevant academic frameworks (e.g. Greiners organisational growth model (1972), the market life cycle, etc.). Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of marketing processes. Possibly some relevant issues, identified points or extensive marketing theory unrelated to scenario context. Pass standard answer: Discussion and limited evaluation of several salient marketing processes. Demonstrates understanding and ability to apply knowledge Strong answer: Well structured evaluation involving processes in relation to key marketing challenges, ethical issues and other issues. Demonstrates mature understanding, purposeful evaluation and ability to conceptualise relevant theory to the scenario

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 13

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2006 Exam

Part (b) Provide a context or background identifying responsibilities. Identify key stages/process (conducting an audit of the external environment, conducting an internal analysis, synthesis and discussion, communication and coordination). Explain through discussion, practical details associated with each stage/process. Conclude by summarizing the content of the strategic marketing plan. Limited answer: Confused and partial understanding. Some relevant issues identified, possibly in an unstructured fashion. Either lacking in realism or knowledge of marketing planning processes. Pass standard answer: Comprehensive, some structured explanation possibly incorporating main stages. Some identification of detailed issues. Demonstrates understanding and some attempt to relate this to the scenario. 1-2 marks per substantive factor discussed. Strong answer: Comprehensive, structured explanation containing detailed issues associated with key stages in the development process. Demonstrates excellent understanding and realistic, practical approach. 3 max

5 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Again part (a) was handled better than part (b). Common Errors Part (b) contained some poor responses including the description of the possible content of a plan rather than a concentration on how the plan should be developed..

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 14

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems


23 May 2007 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You will be allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, highlight and/or make notes on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during this reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read ALL the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is all parts and/or subquestions). The question requirements for Sections B and C are contained in a dotted box. ALL answers must be written in the answer book. Answers or notes written in the question paper will not be submitted for marking. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This has fifteen subquestions on pages 2 to 5. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B on pages 6 and 7. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 8 and 9. The list of verbs as published in the syllabus is given for reference on the inside back cover of this question paper. Write your full candidate number, the paper number and the examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 - Organisational Management and Information Systems

InstruI

SECTION A 40 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 72 minutes] ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the fifteen sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.10 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D Entity life histories, data flow diagrams and decision tables are all examples of requisite variety and system entropy. evaluation techniques when appointing a preferred supplier. recording techniques used during the analysis and design of a system. software considerations in project design. (2 marks) 1.2 A B C D An organisations credit policy represents a variable within the price marketing mix. the product marketing mix. product placement. the matrix of potential sales and growth. (2 marks) 1.3 A B C D According to Porters value chain, the final primary activity is referred to as marketing and sales. outbound logistics. procurement. service. (2 marks)

P4

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

The TQMEX model is a framework that integrates processes associated with total quality management experience through accreditation. supply chain management. both operations and quality management. organisational development. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

Input devices are communication links between the user and the computer. between hardware and software. between processing devices. within data processing. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

In systems theory a sensor is the person who acts on results. sensitive personal data used as input. the process of being sensitive to (mindful of) the wider environment. any device that measures and records the output of a system. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

Approval of documentation, procedures manuals and work instructions is associated with registration under the standards required for quality certification. total quality management (TQM). lean production methods. job evaluation. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

Centralised and distributed are examples of hard systems approaches to change. star networks. value chain approaches. systems configurations. (2 marks)

Section A continues on the next page


TURN OVER

May 2007

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

Rodgers seven-point plan refers to quality targets for world class operations. implementation guidelines for introducing new hardware. the likely headings to be found as part of a person specification. lean production processes. (2 marks)

1.10 The main advantages of a database include A B C D the development of separate data sources. unlimited access and open communication. end user flexibility and devolution of responsibility. data integrity and elimination of duplication. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.10 = 20 marks)

Section A continues on the opposite page

P4

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.11 to 1.15 below require a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. Your response should be in note form and must not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.11 Explain why a firm might choose not to engage in market segmentation after conducting appropriate research. (4 marks) 1.12 Briefly explain two techniques that might be useful in forecasting future market demand for an organisations products or services. (4 marks) 1.13 Identify eight important documents and information an interviewer should have access to when conducting a job selection interview. (4 marks) 1.14 Compare and contrast Kaizen and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). (4 marks)

1.15 When identifying the requirements of a new system explain what functional and physical aspects should be taken into account. (4 marks) (Total for sub-questions 1.11 to 1.15 = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 40 marks)

Reminder All answers to Section A must be written in your answer book. Answers or notes to Section A written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. End of Section A Section B starts on the next page
TURN OVER

May 2007

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS. EACH SUB-QUESTION IS WORTH 5 MARKS.
Question Two
XX is a manufacturing firm with a past reputation for offering a diverse range of innovative products to a traditional market. Three years ago the previous Chief Executive invested in ecommerce as a way of making longer term cost reductions and establishing an advantage over XXs competitors (all of whom trade by more traditional means). A second initiative involved building a carefully designed headquarters (HQ) to cater for a growing central staff needed to control operating activities more tightly. These initiatives were financed by a number of measures including the suspension of all other plans for the purchase of computer hardware and software; abandoning both training and research and development (R&D) in the short term; reducing both marketing and finance budgets; suspending all new recruitment even for posts falling vacant. e-commerce would replace all other forms of trading and both old and new customers would be beating at our door; the new HQ would be a visible symbol that XX means innovation.

The Chief Executive explained that

Although the new HQ won a prestigious design award, other matters did not go so well and after successive years of financial losses a new Chief Executive was appointed. The new Chief Executive soon recruited a small management team with particular expertise in company analysis and recovery. Its report into XXs problems indicated a weakening position relative to competitors due to inappropriate strategies; poor management at all levels and a neglect of XXs core business and products; weak financial control and management accounting information; inappropriate marketing practices and a failure to manage the companys product portfolio leading to unprofitable lines and few new products. halting further investment in e-commerce; reconsidering budgetary priorities including reducing central costs; delayering, decentralisation and re-skilling of the workforce; funding the re-establishment of XXs position in the marketplace; using software solutions to improve XXs manufacturing operation.

The new Chief Executive indicated several priorities to turnaround the company including

The Chief Executive wishes to present these ideas at the next Board meeting and has asked you to prepare brief notes to support the presentation.

The requirement and instructions for this question are on the page opposite

P4

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Instructions
Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question (meaning that your notes are contained on no more than six pages in total). Your notes can take any form so long as they comply with the page limit and might include diagrams, tables, sentences or bullet points, etc.

Required:
Prepare brief notes for the new Chief Executive for each of the sub-questions she has identified below.

(a) (b) (c) (d)

Explain how XX can address any two of the issues identified by the management team. (5 marks) Explain why delayering is more appropriate than downsizing in helping to turnaround XX. (5 marks) Explain the disadvantages of using the internet as XXs sole marketing tool. (5 marks) Describe the factors that need to be considered by XX when deciding whether to invest in a product. (5 marks)

(e) (f)

Identify the types of software application that would produce most advantage to a manufacturing firm trying to improve its production operations. (5 marks) Describe the potential benefits of XX resuming its investment in training. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B Section C starts on the next page

TURN OVER

May 2007

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 30 MARKS [Indicative time for answering this question is 54 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY
Question Three
YO employs buyers, designers, machinists, tailors and sales people to produce and sell its coats, jackets, trousers, dresses and skirts. YO has a long standing relationship with MX which sells directly to the public from a chain of out of town stores. Over 80% of YOs sales are to MX whose approach has been to sell clothing in great volumes at lower prices than the high street stores. It expects its suppliers (including YO) to take account of new fashion designs and manufacture its clothes at competitive prices. MX is rethinking its strategy and wishes to move more upmarket by introducing a better quality clothing range, which it believes its customers will be prepared to pay a little more for. Already YO has noticed that MX has started to be more demanding by sending back any batches it feels are in the slightest way unsuitable. MX wants to work with fewer suppliers but develop a better relationship with each of them. MX wants to renegotiate its contract with YO (which expires soon in any case). MX is prepared to talk with YO about the need to improve the quality of its products and has indicated that if it receives the right assurances, it would be prepared to pay a slightly higher unit price per item. It also proposes to work more closely with YOs designers to maximise production of the type of clothing that it feels its customers want. If these talks are unsuccessful, MX will use one of its other suppliers when the existing contract expires. YO is aware that MX has experimented by using a few trusted overseas suppliers who have managed to achieve both relatively low prices and superior quality through the adoption of total quality management (TQM) techniques. Anxious to maintain its relationship with MX, YO recognises that it must change from its present focus on price to one that includes quality considerations.

Required: (a)
Evaluate the way in which MX is proposing to manage its suppliers as part of a value system. (10 marks) Discuss the requirements for achieving total quality within YO. (10 marks)

(b) (c)

Describe how YO must change in order to meet MXs new requirements. In your answer you should only consider how YOs human resource practices and the attitude and behaviour of its employees must change. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

P4

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
ZnZ is a large government funded body that employs several hundred staff performing a wide variety of roles. ZnZ is proud of its commitment to people development and is well known for providing equal opportunities for all its employees. ZnZ employs people regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or physical disability. The organisation invests heavily in training and development and employs a number of trainees who are studying for their professional examinations. It is left to each professionally qualified member of staff to identify their own training needs and then submit requests for support to their department. ZnZs human resource plan is currently being reviewed. As part of this process two significant recommendations have emerged from groups and committees considering future human resource issues. Recommendation one (From the HR planning group) The group has recommended that a more systematic approach to the training and development of qualified staff should be adopted. Recommendation two (From the Diversity Committee) The Committee has recommended that every person who is part of a minority or disadvantaged group should have an individual career coach. Under such a scheme, individuals from these groups would be paired with an experienced colleague on a higher grade who would act as their personal individual career coach. The Committee has issued the following guidelines: The scheme will not be associated with the appraisal process. Coaches should be approachable, suitably experienced and appropriately trained. Coaches will not be the individuals own line manager. Regular meetings should take place between the two individuals where they should be able to confidentially discuss any concerns and areas for self-development. Inevitably individuals will wish to discuss career related issues and they should receive appropriate advice from their career coach. You work for the Director of Human Resourcing who is very sympathetic to the recommendation of the Diversity Committee in particular. (So much so that she feels that the scheme should include all trainees and those middle managers that have been identified as having promotion potential.) She has asked you to investigate both recommendations and brief the management team appropriately.

Required: (a) (b) (c)


Explain the stages involved in the development for ZnZ of a systematic approach to the training and development of professionally qualified staff. (10 marks) Discuss the potential advantages of the individual career coach scheme for ZnZ. (10 marks) Discuss the potential disadvantages of the individual career coach scheme for ZnZ. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(Total marks for Section C = 30 marks)

End of Question Paper


May 2007 9 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

P4

10

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

LIST OF VERBS USED IN THE QUESTION REQUIREMENTS


A list of the learning objectives and verbs that appear in the syllabus and in the question requirements for each question in this paper. It is important that you answer the question according to the definition of the verb. LEARNING OBJECTIVE
1 KNOWLEDGE What you are expected to know.

VERBS USED
List State Define Describe Distinguish Explain Identify Illustrate

DEFINITION
Make a list of Express, fully or clearly, the details of/facts of Give the exact meaning of Communicate the key features Highlight the differences between Make clear or intelligible/State the meaning of Recognise, establish or select after consideration Use an example to describe or explain something To put to practical use To ascertain or reckon mathematically To prove with certainty or to exhibit by practical means To make or get ready for use To make or prove consistent/compatible Find an answer to Arrange in a table Examine in detail the structure of Place into a defined class or division Show the similarities and/or differences between To build up or compile To examine in detail by argument To translate into intelligible or familiar terms To create or bring into existence To counsel, inform or notify To appraise or assess the value of To advise on a course of action

2 COMPREHENSION What you are expected to understand.

3 APPLICATION How you are expected to apply your knowledge.

Apply Calculate/compute Demonstrate Prepare Reconcile Solve Tabulate

4 ANALYSIS How are you expected to analyse the detail of what you have learned.

Analyse Categorise Compare and contrast Construct Discuss Interpret Produce

5 EVALUATION How are you expected to use your learning to evaluate, make decisions or recommendations.

Advise Evaluate Recommend

May 2007

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

May 2007

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

May 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam General Comments This represented the fifth examination diet and the first with revised weighting between sections of the paper. Section A has been reduced by ten marks (5x2 mark multiple choice questions) and Section C reflecting questions weighted at 30 marks rather than 20 marks. Candidates again scored heavily on Question 1 with a mixed performance in the remainder of the paper. It is curious that where responses were limited by word count or space in questions 1 and 2, many candidates exceeded those limits and in questions 3 and 4 where there were no such limits, there was, in a large number of cases, a paucity of response. SECTION A 40 MARKS ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.10 are worth 2 marks each (20 marks in total) Questions 1.11 to 1.15 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 Entity life histories, data flow diagrams and decision tables are all examples of A B C D requisite variety and system entropy. evaluation techniques when appointing a preferred supplier. recording techniques used during the analysis and design of a system. software considerations in project design. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.2 An organisations credit policy represents a variable within A B C D the price marketing mix. the product marketing mix. product placement. the matrix of potential sales and growth. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.3 According to Porters value chain, the final primary activity is referred to as A B C D marketing and sales. outbound logistics. procurement. service. (2 marks) The answer is D

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Question 1.4 The TQMEX model is a framework that integrates processes associated with A B C D total quality management experience through accreditation. supply chain management. both operations and quality management. organisational development. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.5 Input devices are communication links A B C D between the user and the computer. between hardware and software. between processing devices. within data processing. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.6 In systems theory a sensor is A B C D the person who acts on results. sensitive personal data used as input. the process of being sensitive to (mindful of) the wider environment. any device that measures and records the output of a system. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.7 Approval of documentation, procedures manuals and work instructions is associated with A B C D registration under the standards required for quality certification. total quality management (TQM). lean production methods. job evaluation. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Question 1.8 Centralised and distributed are examples of A B C D hard systems approaches to change. star networks. value chain approaches. systems configurations. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.9 Rodgers seven-point plan refers to A B C D quality targets for world class operations. implementation guidelines for introducing new hardware. the likely headings to be found as part of a person specification. lean production processes. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.10 The main advantages of a database include A B C D the development of separate data sources. unlimited access and open communication. end user flexibility and devolution of responsibility. data integrity and elimination of duplication. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.11 Explain why a firm might choose not to engage in market segmentation after conducting appropriate research. (4 marks) Answer: The market is so insubstantial that the effort is not justified Market life cycle in decline therefore little future potential Difficulty (and cost) in analysing market Homogenous market making segmentation unnecessary Competitors already established in all profitable segments

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Question 1.12 Briefly explain two techniques that might be useful in forecasting future market demand for an organisations products or services. (4 marks) Answer: Use linked variables Determine variable. Identify past trends. Project demand accordingly. Examples: DIY retailer: likely home ownership growth Ice cream producer: temperature forecasts Sales force forecasts More reliable if sales force is paid commission: Ask each region to estimate Aggregate figures Adjust for over-optimism, etc. (Note: only two techniques are required. Answers reasonably might have concentrated on quite different techniques such as: Buyer survey of intentions Expert opinion/judgement Statistical techniques using historical sales data Market testing of products Assessing total market potential/sales and relative market share, etc.)

Question 1.13 Identify eight important documents and information an interviewer should have access to when conducting a job selection interview. (4 marks) Answer: Organisational Individual candidates Job description Completed application form Person specification CV Structure and other detail References Standard assessment form Letter of application Pay scales Policies Terms and conditions of service (Note: only eight documents/information are required. Answer shows in excess of this to illustrate the potential range. Others not listed here might reasonably be identified also.)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Question 1.14 Compare and contrast Kaizen and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). (4 marks) Answer: Both: Associated with quality Aim for beneficial change and enhanced performance Customer-focused Involve learning Kaizen BPR Continuous improvement One-off exercise Small incremental steps Radical changes Longer term Short term Providing workforce with tools and techniques About business processes and structures and creative use of IT

Question 1.15 When identifying the requirements of a new system explain what functional and physical aspects should be taken into account. (4 marks) Answer: Functional requirements Each system function (data flow, user needs, etc.) Input, output, file (volume, frequency, purpose, etc.) Editing, file maintenance controls, backup, etc. Physical requirements Data storage Access, updating, growth Peripherals and communication Processing (centralised, distributed, etc.) Outputs, formats Screen layouts

Rationale Question One parts 1.1 1.10 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question One parts 1.11 1.15 provide further objective testing through limited word responses. These sub-questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding. Sub-questions 1.11 and 1.12 test aspects of Marketing (learning outcome D(ii)), 1.13 relates to learning outcome E(iii) of Managing Human Capital, 1,14 relates to learning outcome (iv) of Operations Management and finally 1.15 learning outcome A(vi) of Information Systems. Responses to each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide

Marks

Sub-questions 1.1 1.10. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.11 1.15. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question. The use of bullet points, tables and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above.

0 or 2

3.5 to 4

2.5 to 3

1.5 to 2

0.5 to 1 0

Examiners Comments Most scored heavily in sub-questions 1.1 1.10 but gaps in knowledge cost marks in the other subquestions. A number of scripts continued to exceed the 50 word limit. Those scoring lowly on this section did so because of a lack of knowledge. Common Errors Explaining more than two techniques in sub-question 1.12

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.

Question 2 Prepare brief notes for the new Chief Executive for each of the sub-questions she has identified below. (a) (b) (c) (d) Explain how XX can address any two of the issues identified by the management team. (5 marks) Explain why delayering is more appropriate than downsizing in helping to turnaround XX. (5 marks) Explain the disadvantages of using the internet as XXs sole marketing tool. (5 marks) Describe the factors that need to be considered by XX when deciding whether to invest in a product. (5 marks) Identify the types of software application that would produce most advantage to a manufacturing firm trying to improve its production operations. (5 marks) Describe the potential benefits of XX resuming its investment in training. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

(e)

(f)

Rationale Question two tests candidates knowledge, understanding and application across a breadth of the syllabus with parts (a) and (b) relating to Change Management (B(iv)), (c) and (d) relating to Marketing (D(v) and (vi)), (e) relating to Information Systems (A(i)) and finally (f) which is concerned with Managing Human Capital (E(iii)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub-question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity are called for and hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. All sub-questions require application of knowledge to the scenario.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam Marks Part (a) Identify two of the management teams issues Explain each issue more fully if necessary Identify factors arising from the scenario that represent an address of the item Identify other reasonable approaches Identify potential limitations including costs Limited answer: Identification of a number of relevant actions/limitations in an unstructured way, none developed sufficiently. Pass standard answer: Appropriate structure identifying a number of actions/limitations that may address the first two issues identified. Strong answer: Comprehensive well structured evaluation of several ways in which organisational responses might address each of the two issues identified by the management team with consequent limitations. Additional Note: Normally answers for each issue chosen will be capped at 2.5 marks each. If response does not make clear which issue is the subject of explanation no credit will be given. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (b) Explain delayering Explain downsizing Apply delayering to the facts of the scenario analysing the contribution it can make to the turnaround. Limited answer: Correct identification of either with weak/no linkages to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Correct identification of both processes with the establishment of some links to the scenario. Strong answer: Comprehensive explanation of the differences between delayering and downsizing and sustained reasoned argument for delayering as being appropriate in helping turnaround XX. Additional note: No more than 2 marks for defining and explaining both terms. 1 max 3 max

5 max

Part (c) Identify and list disadvantages of using the internet as XXs sole marketing device viewed externally to XX Identify and list internal factors e.g. investment required (both financial and otherwise) to operate Limited answer: Identification of a few relevant points, issues undeveloped. Pass standard answer: Identification of some relevant points developed to some degree. Strong answer: Identification and explanation of several (5 or more) disadvantages of using the internet as a sole marketing device. 1 max 3 max 5 max

Part (d) Identify and list factors Explain each in turn Up to 1 mark per well made relevant point up to the overall maximum of 5 marks.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Part (e) Identify, list and explain applications Explain advantage of each in turn Limited answer: Identification of two to three relevant applications with little or no explanation or amplification. Pass standard answer: Identification of several relevant applications with some explanation or identification of advantages. Strong answer: Identification and explanation of several relevant applications with a clear and extensive listing of potential advantages of each. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (f) Identify benefits in terms of employee perception Identify benefits in terms of strategic HR considerations Identify benefits in terms of turnaround strategy Up to 1 mark per relevant discrete and well described point up to the overall maximum of 5 marks. Examiners Comments A number of candidates exceeded the one page limit. Common Errors A failure to make clear which issues were being dealt with in 2(a). A failure to deal with the address of the issues in 2(a), instead concentrating on the reasons for them arising. A failure to identify types of software applications in 2(e), instead discussing the relative merits of bespoke versus off the shelf solutions.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam SECTION C 30 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question 3 (a) Evaluate the way in which MX is proposing to manage its suppliers as part of a value system. (10 marks) (b) (c) Discuss the requirements for achieving total quality within YO. (10 marks) Describe how YO must change in order to meet MXs new requirements. In your answer you should only consider how YOs human resource practices and the attitude and behaviour of its employees must change. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

Rationale Question Three tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Operations Management (C(viii), (ix)) in parts (a) and (b) and Managing Human Capital (E(ii)) in part (c). The question requires an application of knowledge and understanding to a scenario involving two companies in a supplier relationship and a change of operating emphasis and stresses quality.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Explain the value system or network and the relationship of suppliers using illustrations from the scenario Evaluate MXs supplier management both present and future Evaluate the likely outcomes of MXs new approach and its likely contribution to TQM and improved customer satisfaction Limited answer: Some unstructured or theoretical points relating to the value system and supplier management. Pass standard answer: Some worthwhile commentary on MXs supplier management arrangements properly contextualised within the framework of the value system. Maybe lacking in depth of evaluation. Up to 2 marks per well made substantive point Strong answer: Clear, purposeful evaluation of MXs current and proposed management of supplier arrangements as part of a value system. Up to 2 marks per well made substantive point. Part (b) Explain the underlying concept of quality in generic terms before relating to scenario, explaining key quality developments necessary for YO Explore definitions of quality and identify one that may be suitable given the scenario context Discuss the requirements for achieving quality in YO using an appropriate quality framework/theory or model (e.g. Commitment from the top; Competence; Communication; Continuous improvement) .

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to quality issues and/or YOs position. Pass standard answer: Some worthwhile insights into the meanings and concepts associated with total quality and some linkages made to YOs position. Maybe lacking in depth or failing to establish linkages between theory and the scenario. Strong answer: Clear, purposeful explanation of total quality using academic reference points well grounded within the scenario context. Discussion of implied concepts using academic reference points but strongly related to the scenario context.

3 max

5 max

10 max

Part (c) Identify groups of employees and describe the change in emphasis required by each group (e.g. buyers should now concentrate on purchasing better quality cloth; fashion designers should now seek to create an attractive clothing range that will be seen by the buyer as being of a higher quality. Clothing machinists and tailors should now concentrate on getting it right first time and the sales force should find new customers for the 20% of production that will not be taken up by M etc.) Identify key HR practices and describe the change in emphasis required (e.g. training in quality, recruitment practices, retention of workers who produce consistently high quality work, new employment packages, revised performance measures to encourage quality, cultural re-engineering, reporting mechanisms etc.) Describe the way in which these overall changes might support a quality approach throughout YO Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points relating to HR practice not well related to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Some realistic worthwhile points made that are relevant to the scenario and have implications for either HR practice or certain groups of employees. Strong answer: Detailed description of many realistic and worthwhile areas of HR practice and changes required by several different employee groups clearly related to achieving a quality orientation and relevant to the scenario. 3 max

5 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Common Errors Not writing enough. Some answers were nothing more than outline notes when the question had more substantial requirements (e.g. part (a) required an evaluation of supplier management).

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Question 4 (a) Explain the stages involved in the development for ZnZ of a systematic approach to the training and development of professionally qualified staff. (10 marks) Discuss the potential advantages of the individual career coach scheme for ZnZ. (10 marks) Discuss the potential disadvantages of the individual career coach scheme for ZnZ. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(b) (c)

Rationale Question Four tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Managing Human Capital (E(v)) using the context of a large publicly funded body with a strong commitment to training, development and equal opportunities.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Provide some systematic framework or process (such as the identification of key stages) in order to determine a systematic approach to the training and development of qualified staff. Use each stage to identify key points that need to be addressed or work that needs to be undertaken. The following issues are of significance in this context: Agree responsibilities Establishing ZnZs present position Establishing professional, organisational and personal requirements Identify and evaluate options for training and development provision Costing of options and agreement of a budget Establish feedback and monitoring mechanisms Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points. Pass standard answer: A structured answer indicating means of establishing a systematic approach but lacking in detail or some realistic worthwhile points made that are relevant to the scenario but lack cohesion. Strong answer: A purposeful explanation of a systematic approach to the training and development, identifying key points that need to be addressed or work that needs to be undertaken set within an appropriate framework or process.

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2007 Exam

Part (b) Evaluate the proposal within the context of the positive role the scheme could play, specifically the potential advantages, for example: Culture: Reinforcing ZnZs corporate commitment to people development and being an equal opportunity employer, strengthen organisational communication etc. HR: Enhancing total employment package, enhance future human resource plan, offer new career challenges, increase the effectiveness of investment in training, support middle managers, help vulnerable groups etc. Groups: Evaluate positive impact on key groups who are recipients of career coaching. Cost: Identify and describe cost advantages (increase the effectiveness of expenditure on professional training, increase job satisfaction and hence productivity, avoid turnover negating the need to undertake expensive recruitment of replacement staff, etc.) Conclude as to whether the scheme is worthwhile or not. Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points. Pass standard answer: Some realistic worthwhile points made that are relevant to the scenario and relate to the advantages of the scheme. Possibly lacking in cohesion. Strong answer: Cohesive evaluation of the proposal containing good discussion of the positive role the scheme could play. Many realistic points considered across all areas. Part (c) Identify the main areas of difficulty and potential disadvantages (e.g. negative attitudes, excluded groups, tensions, setting up the scheme, running the scheme, reviewing the scheme, etc.) Discuss the detail of each in turn. Limited answer: Some mainly unstructured but relevant points. Pass standard answer: Some realistic worthwhile points made that are relevant to the scenario and relate to the likely potential disadvantages of the scheme described in the scenario. Possibly lacking in cohesion of discussion. Strong answer: Lucid discussion of the likely potential disadvantages of the scheme. Many realistic points considered and discussed in a mature fashion. 3 max 5 max 3 max 5 max

10 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Common Errors Not writing enough. Some answers were nothing more than outline notes. A number of candidates failed to appreciate that the requirement in 4(a) related to qualified staff and not trainees.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 13

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems


21 November 2007 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You are allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, highlight and/or make notes on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during the reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read ALL the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is all parts and/or subquestions). The question requirements are highlighted in a dotted box. ALL answers must be written in the answer book. Answers or notes written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This has fifteen subquestions on pages 2 to 5. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B on pages 6 and 7. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 8 to 11. The list of verbs as published in the syllabus is given for reference on the inside back cover of this question paper. Write your candidate number, the paper number and examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 40 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 72 minutes] ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the fifteen sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.10 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D Activities aimed at attracting a number of suitable candidates interested in joining an organisation are called human relationship marketing. recruitment. selection. human capital harvesting. (2 marks)

1.2 A B C D

The expectations that the individual and the organisation have of one another is referred to as a hygiene factor. a psychological contract. dual theory motivation. a person specification. (2 marks)

1.3 A B C D

Hammer and Champy identified the main themes of Business Process Re-engineering as process re-orientation, creative use of IT, ambition, and rule-breaking. effective process documentation, control, and incentive bonus schemes. documentation, a clear business ethos, and an investment in training. process review and enlightened HR practices. (2 marks)

P4

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

Within the context of information systems, the term peripheral refers to a hardware device that is added to expand functionality. an insignificant computer output. an outsourced staffing arrangement. an unnecessary systems operation. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

Corrective refers to a type of systems maintenance performed to remedy software defects. allow executive level unstructured decision-making. adjust applications to user preferences. prevent future operation delays. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Larry Greiners staged organisational growth model depicts strategic stages in supply chain partnerships. market growth rate and product portfolio placement. organisational age and size, and stages of evolution and revolution. growth in market share and profitability. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

Optimised production technologies (OPT) is an operations management system which aims to improve distribution networks. improve supply sourcing alternatives. integrate operations and quality assurance. reduce production bottlenecks. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

An approach of producing goods or purchasing stock only when required is referred to as just-in-time. ad hoc. level capacity strategy. plan-do-check-act (PDCA) quality. (2 marks)

Section A continues on the next page


TURN OVER

November 2007

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

When an organisation securely shares part of its private network with customers or other outside parties it is said to operate an internet. an intranet. an extranet. a joint venture. (2 marks)

1.10 Intelligence, aptitudes and disposition are often factors identified in A B C D a job description. appraisal targets. a person specification. 360 degree documentation. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.10 = 20 marks)

Section A continues on the opposite page

P4

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.11 to 1.15 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. Your response should be in note form and must not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.11 Identify the reasons why an organisation might attempt to actively manage its relationship with its suppliers. (4 marks)

1.12 For an organisation following a strategic approach to supply, describe the organisational factors (spokes in a wheel) that need to be integrated, co-ordinated and developed. (4 marks)

1.13 Explain how reliability (the same result for a repeated event) might be improved in selection interviews. (4 marks)

1.14 Explain the relationship between the approach to organisational change described in Theory O (Beer and Nohria) and Theory Y individuals (McGregor). (4 marks)

1.15 Describe the types of test that should be conducted before a new information system goes live. (4 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.11 to 1.15 = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 40 marks)

Reminder All answers to Section A must be written in your answer book. Answers or notes to Section A written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. End of Section A Section B starts on the next page
TURN OVER November 2007 5 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS. EACH SUB-QUESTION IS WORTH 5 MARKS.
Question Two
TF7 is a progressive manufacturing company, which is open to new approaches and willing to learn from good ideas wherever they are practiced. One of the first within its industry to invest heavily in new technology, TF7 runs its database over office-wide networks and links employees computers by wireless local area network (LAN) connections. TF7 has, in the past, only dealt with wholesalers but, thanks to email links from a new Internet home page, it now receives a substantial number of enquiries from ultimate consumers of its products. TF7 feels that this will represent the majority of its business in the future. In response to employees spending more time communicating with potential customers by email, TF7 is considering expanding its technology, including the connection of its database to a web server. This would enable potential customers to search for product specifications, availability, and delivery and price information for themselves. It would also allow customers to place orders and view shopping cart items through a browser facility. Before making such an investment, TF7 has commissioned management consultants to conduct an organisational review. The consultants have produced a draft report in which they outline a number of interim findings, including the following: TF7 should gain significant benefits over its rivals through its existing database operations. TF7 should consider developing further the interconnection of applications so long as contingency plans are made for the potential of systems failure. Although there has been considerable expenditure on hardware, TF7 now needs to invest in software applications. TF7s management information systems and executive information systems are undeveloped to the detriment of the company both operationally and strategically. Culturally, TF7 needs to adjust fully from business to business trading (B2B) to business to consumer trading (B2C). Currently training is conducted by TF7s own staff. The staff training programme needs to be reviewed to take account of new skill requirements demanded by new working practices. In-house training should continue but a mixture of TF7 trainers (and managers) and specialist providers should deliver a programme designed by TF7s Human Resources Department. The effectiveness of staff training events needs to be more carefully assessed. The experiment of using quality circles, which has recently been piloted, is unique within the industry and is worth developing further.

You work in TF7s technical department and report directly to the Chief Executive, who has asked for a series of brief notes so that he is prepared when discussing the draft report with the management consultants.

The requirement and instructions for this question are on the opposite page

P4

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Instructions
Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question (meaning that your notes are contained on no more than six pages in total). Your notes can take any form so long as they comply with the page limit and might include diagrams, tables, sentences or bullet points, etc.

Required:
Provide appropriate briefing notes for the Chief Executive for each of the following issues:

(a)

Describe the benefits TF7 should be enjoying as part of its current database operations. (5 marks)

(b)

Explain the value of good management information systems and executive information systems. (5 marks) Explain what issues TF7 needs to be aware of when adjusting from business to business trading (B2B) to business to consumer trading (B2C). (5 marks)

(c)

(d) (e)

Explain how TF7 can assess the effectiveness of staff training events. (5 marks) Identify the advantages that TF7 might achieve by using specialist providers as well as its own staff in delivering a training programme. (5 marks) Describe the ways in which TF7 might encourage the development of the use of quality circles. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

(f)

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B Section C starts on the next page

TURN OVER November 2007 7 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 30 MARKS [Indicative time for answering this question is 54 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question Three
The country of Chapterland has twelve regions, each with a democratically elected regional government responsible for education, law and order. (Other public services are provided directly by the Chapterland government.) SW1 is the countrys biggest region. Following last years election, SW1 has a new regional government that wishes to simplify the several pay structures that exist in the education and law and order services as well as increase employee flexibility and productivity. A detailed investigation by SW1s new regional government indicates that: Employee groups performing similar activities in different public services are paid on different pay scales and all have different annual leave, maternity leave and sickness entitlements. Pay scales and conditions of service have developed over time as a result of national negotiations between representatives of regional employers (including SW1) and respective national trade unions. All university lecturers have the same fixed holidays, meaning no teaching takes place for five weeks of the year. In addition, weekend working is prohibited under current terms and conditions of service. Police officers receive generous allowances to assist in paying for their accommodation costs. Traffic wardens (who act as police enforcement officers for motoring regulations and deal with traffic related issues) receive allowances for laundering their uniforms and replacing their footwear. Pay for performance schemes do not operate. The unions have traditionally conducted negotiations collectively at a national level.

It is the regional governments intention that in future: A new unified pay scheme will be introduced and will incorporate a performance management system. Basic pay will be reduced but high bonus payments for hitting performance targets will be possible. Promotion policy will be based on achievement of individual targets instead of length of service and loyalty. More flexible working will be expected from all groups.

SW1s regional government instructed a negotiating team to meet with regional union representatives collectively in order to persuade them to abandon nationally negotiated contracts, and give up certain benefits. In return, SW1 is prepared to offer one-off payments to compensate staff. Although regional bargaining such as this has never been tried in Chapterland, the national government has indicated that it supports SW1s ideas. The negotiating team has met many times with the regional union groups over the past ten months but progress has been slow. It is clear that, although agreement is close for all other groups, the university lecturers union is reluctant to recommend to its members changes to the current nationally negotiated pay and conditions. This is halting any overall agreement.

Question three and the requirement continues on the opposite page

P4

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SW1s regional government is frustrated by this slow progress and has instructed the negotiating team to meet with regional union groups separately to agree the size of the one-off payments for their respective groups. The regional university lecturers union is to be made a final offer and, if rejected, SW1 will write to all lecturers personally offering them a new contract of employment with different conditions of service. As an incentive, those lecturers accepting a new contract within 30 days will receive a small payment immediately. Those not signing a new contract will be considered to have resigned from their jobs. The local regional newspaper finds out about these plans and the headlines in the evening newspaper reads SW1 governments unethical plans.

Required: (a) Evaluate the way in which resistance to change is being managed by SW1s regional
government. (10 marks)

(b)

Discuss the ethical issues associated with the regional governments attempts to alter pay and conditions. (10 marks)

(c)

Discuss the possible difficulties for SW1 in operating a reward scheme based upon achievement of performance targets. Note: Your answer should include both design and operational issues. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

Section C continues on the next page

TURN OVER

November 2007

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
4QX is a large exclusive hotel set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The hotel is a little remote due to the relatively poor transport network. It is located ten miles away from the regions main centre Old Town (the castle ruins of which attract a few tourists during holiday periods). The hotel has attained a high national star rating and specialises in offering executive conference facilities. Unsurprisingly therefore, it caters mainly for corporate guests. It is a requirement of the hotel rating system that 4QX has, amongst other things, sports and leisure facilities to an approved standard. In order to attain this standard it has, within the last two years, installed a sports and fitness centre (the centre), employing fully qualified staff to give instruction and assistance. (Facilities include a small indoor heated swimming pool, an extensively equipped gymnasium, a spa bath and a steam room.) Due to legislation, children under the age of 16 staying in the hotel cannot use the pool without adult supervision or the gymnasium without the supervision of a suitably qualified member of staff. The centre is costly to maintain and underused. The hotels manager is currently drawing up a business plan for the hotel and is reviewing all areas of operation. In discussions with sport and fitness centre staff, a proposal has emerged to offer the facility to carefully selected non-guests at certain times of the day in order to bring in some revenue. This could be in the form of annual membership fees (the managers preferred idea) or a pay-as-you-go charge. The discussions with staff confirm a number of facts: The local economy is extremely healthy. The local population is relatively affluent with high levels of disposable income. Professional groups are used to paying annual membership fees for the local theatre, a nearby golf club (the manager is also a member and has contacts there), and substantial fees for their childrens activities (e.g. dance academies and junior football teams, etc.) Old Town has a public swimming pool that is dated but almost of Olympic standards. It is used mainly by school children in the day and by a swimming club in the evenings. Taking advantage of government tax incentives to help keep the population fit and healthy, a privately operated, female only, health and beauty facility has recently opened in Old Town. Beyond these facilities, little else in the way of sports and fitness provision exists in the region.

The manager explains that: the hotel is unlikely to upgrade the centres facilities any further in the short term, despite the fact that new, more sophisticated fitness equipment is coming onto the market all the time. any promotional budget to attract members would be limited. an estimate of additional revenue potential is needed to complete the business plan.

The requirement for this question is on the opposite page

P4

10

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required: (a)
Explain the importance of the centre understanding its external (or macro) environment and identify the most significant influences in that external environment that are relevant to the centre. (10 marks)

(b)

Explain how the centre should undertake market segmentation and describe the most likely segmentation variables that will be identified by such a process. (10 marks) Explain how the centres income potential can be estimated. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(c)

(Total marks for Section C = 30 marks)

End of Question Paper

November 2007

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

P4

12

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

November 2007

13

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

P4

14

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

LIST OF VERBS USED IN THE QUESTION REQUIREMENTS


A list of the learning objectives and verbs that appear in the syllabus and in the question requirements for each question in this paper. It is important that you answer the question according to the definition of the verb. LEARNING OBJECTIVE
1 KNOWLEDGE What you are expected to know.

VERBS USED
List State Define

DEFINITION
Make a list of Express, fully or clearly, the details of/facts of Give the exact meaning of

2 COMPREHENSION What you are expected to understand.

Describe Distinguish Explain Identify Illustrate

Communicate the key features Highlight the differences between Make clear or intelligible/State the meaning of Recognise, establish or select after consideration Use an example to describe or explain something

3 APPLICATION How you are expected to apply your knowledge.

Apply Calculate/compute Demonstrate Prepare Reconcile Solve Tabulate

To put to practical use To ascertain or reckon mathematically To prove with certainty or to exhibit by practical means To make or get ready for use To make or prove consistent/compatible Find an answer to Arrange in a table

4 ANALYSIS How you are expected to analyse the detail of what you have learned.

Analyse Categorise Compare and contrast Construct Discuss Interpret Produce

Examine in detail the structure of Place into a defined class or division Show the similarities and/or differences between To build up or compile To examine in detail by argument To translate into intelligible or familiar terms To create or bring into existence

5 EVALUATION How you are expected to use your learning to evaluate, make decisions or recommendations.

Advise Evaluate Recommend

To counsel, inform or notify To appraise or assess the value of To advise on a course of action

November 2007

15

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

November 2007

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

16

November 2007

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam General Comments This represented the sixth diet and reflected a familiar style of questions with identical section weightings to the May 2007 paper. In line with previous performance, candidates scored heavily on Part A (Question 1). It was not unusual to see maximum or near maximum marks for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.10. There was, however, a mixed performance in the remainder of the paper. Part C (Questions 3 and 4) were particularly poorly answered. SECTION A 40 MARKS ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.10 are worth 2 marks each (20 marks in total) Questions 1.11 to 1.15 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 Activities aimed at attracting a number of suitable candidates interested in joining an organisation are called A B C D human relationship marketing. recruitment. selection. human capital harvesting. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.2 The expectations that the individual and the organisation have of one another is referred to as A B C D a hygiene factor. a psychological contract. dual theory motivation. a person specification. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.3 Hammer and Champy identified the main themes of Business Process Re-engineering as A B C D process re-orientation, creative use of IT, ambition and rule-breaking. effective process documentation, control and incentive bonus schemes. documentation, a clear business ethos, and an investment in training. process review and enlightened HR practices. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Question 1.4 Within the context of information systems, the term peripheral refers to A B C D a hardware device that is added to expand functionality. an insignificant computer output. an outsourced staffing arrangement. an unnecessary systems operation. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.5 Corrective refers to a type of systems maintenance performed to A B C D remedy software defects. allow executive level unstructured decision-making. adjust applications to user preferences. prevent future operation delays. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.6 Larry Greiners staged organisational growth model depicts A B C D strategic stages in supply chain partnerships. market growth rate and product portfolio placement. organisational age and size, and stages of evolution and revolution. growth in market share and profitability. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.7 Optimised production technologies (OPT) is an operations management system which aims to A B C D improve distribution networks. improve supply sourcing alternatives. integrate operations and quality assurance. reduce production bottlenecks. (2 marks) The answer is D

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Question 1.8 An approach of producing goods or purchasing stock only when required is referred to as A B C D just-in-time. ad hoc. level capacity strategy. plan-do-check-act (PDCA) quality. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.9 When an organisation securely shares part of its private network with customers or other outside parties it is said to operate A B C D an internet. an intranet. an extranet. a joint venture. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.10 Intelligence, aptitudes and disposition are often factors identified in A B C D a job description. appraisal targets. a person specification. 360 degree documentation. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.11 Identify the reasons why an organisation might attempt to actively manage its relationship with its suppliers. (4 marks)

Question 1.12 For an organisation following a strategic approach to supply, describe the organisational factors (spokes in a wheel) that need to be integrated, co-ordinated and developed. (4 marks)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Question 1.13 Explain how reliability (the same result for a repeated event) might be improved in selection interviews. (4 marks)

Question 1.14 Explain the relationship between the approach to organisational change described in Theory O (Beer and Nohria) and Theory Y individuals (McGregor) (4 marks)

Question 1.15 Describe the types of test that should be conducted before a new information system goes live. (4 marks)

Rationale Question One sub-questions 1.1 1.10 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question One parts 1.11 1.15 provide further objective testing through limited word responses. Responses for each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated of 50 words. Experience shows that the strongest candidates invariably comply with this restriction. These subquestions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding in all five sections of the syllabus.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide

Marks

Sub-questions 1.1 1.10. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.11 1.15. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question. The use of bullet points, tables and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above.

0 or 2

3.5 to 4

2.5 to 3

1.5 to 2

0.5 to 1 0

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam Detailed guidelines: 1.11 One full mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.12 One full mark per substantive relevant point made (spoke), one mark for recognising Cousins strategic supply wheel. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.13 One mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.14- One mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. If both theories correctly explained but no relationship established, no more than 2 marks. 1.15 One full mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total.

Examiners Comments As ever, candidates scored most heavily on this question. A number of candidates mainly owed their marginal passes to a good score on the multiple choice sub-questions 1.1 1.10. It was not unusual to see scores of 18 or even 20 for this section. Indeed some candidates scored 20/20 on questions 1.1 to 1.10, did reasonably well on questions 1.11 to 1.15, but still failed. Common Errors Sub-questions 1.11 to 1.15 exposed a lack of knowledge in many cases. In 1.12 for instance, many were unable to identify Cousins wheel. In 1.14, most dealt with Theory Y well, but were less certain about Theory O One common error under 1.15 was for candidates to describe change over approaches (parallel running, pilot scheme, direct, etc.) rather than types of test.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.

Question 2 Provide appropriate briefing notes for the Chief Executive for each of the following issues: (a) (b) (c) Describe the benefits TF7 should be enjoying as part of its current database operations. (5 marks) Explain the value of good management information systems and executive information systems. (5 marks) Explain what issues TF7 needs to be aware of when adjusting from business to business trading (B2B) to business to consumer trading (B2C). (5 marks) Explain how TF7 can assess the effectiveness of staff training events. (5 marks) Identify the advantages that TF7 might achieve by using specialist providers as well as its own staff in delivering a training programme. (5 marks) Describe the ways in which TF7 might encourage the development of the use of quality circles. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

(d) (e)

(f)

Rationale Question two represents 30% of the paper and tests topics from all areas (apart from Change Management). The question takes the familiar form of a common workplace related scenario (in this case a progressive manufacturing company) from which all sub questions are drawn. All sub questions require an application of knowledge to the scenario. Question two parts (a) and (b) tests candidates knowledge and understanding through the application of thinking from Information Systems (A (i) and (ii)). Part (c) involves a part testing of Marketing (learning outcome D (iv)), parts (d) and (e) Managing Human Capital (learning outcome E (iii)) and finally part (f) Operations Management (learning outcome C (v)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub-question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity are called for and hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. All sub-questions require application of knowledge to the scenario.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam Marks Part (a) Identify several types of benefit for the organisation ( maybe 5) Briefly describe the benefits Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of databases and their operation in TF7 Pass standard answer: Identification of a few benefits of databases to TF7 clearly expressed (e.g. reduced data storage costs; elimination of data redundancy; increased data integrity; data independence; privacy; potential for introducing web database technology) or identification of several benefits but not elaborated on. One full mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Identification of several benefits of databases to TF7 clearly expressed (e.g. reduced data storage costs; elimination of data redundancy; increased data integrity; data independence; privacy; potential for introducing web database technology) One full mark per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (b) Explain the advantages of Management Information Systems (MIS) in a way that is relevant to the scenario Explain the advantages of Executive Information Systems (EIS) in a way that is relevant to the scenario Limited answer: Some recognition of what MIS and EIS are. Pass standard answer: Either a comprehensive description of one system including a realistic (and relevant) explanation of value to the organisation or some relevant points discussed in the context of both MIS and EIS. 2-3 points maximum. Strong answer: Comprehensive description of both systems including a realistic (and relevant) explanation of advantages 4-5 points maximum. 1 max 3 max

5 max

Part (c) Explain main differences between B2B and B2C in outline Identify issues relevant to the case when making the adjustment (maybe 5) Limited answer: Some understanding of business to business trading (B2B) and business to consumer trading (B2C) but irrelevant or undeveloped issues identified. Pass standard answer: Identification of a few differences clearly expressed and relevant to the scenario (e.g. greater diversity and number of customers to deal with, need to monitor, maintain and enhance web based operations, a need therefore to reconsider TF7s marketing mix, a need to satisfy its customers needs more fully, a reskilling (training) of the workforce) or identification of several benefits but not elaborated on. Strong answer: Identification of several differences clearly expressed and relevant to the scenario (e.g. greater diversity and number of customers to deal with, need to monitor, maintain and enhance web based operations, a need therefore to reconsider TF7s marketing mix, a need to satisfy its customers needs more fully, a reskilling (training) of the workforce). 1 max

3 max

5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Part (d) Distinguish pre and post event assessment Identify appropriate framework (e.g. Kirkpatricks levels) to provide explanation and suggestion Limited answer: Confused or general discussion of some aspect of effective training. No more than 1 point maximum. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of ways of assessing effective training. 1 - 1.5 marks per substantive point made. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive explanation of ways of assessing effectiveness training, possibly reflecting the points made in the examiners answer. 1 1.5 marks per substantive point made. 1 max 3 max 5 max

Part (e) Outline the options for providing organisational training Identify the main advantages of using a hybrid approach Limited answer: Several undeveloped potential relevant bullet points or general discussion. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of relevant points. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of 4 5 substantive points, possibly reflecting the points made in the examiners answer. 1 max 3 max 5 max

Part (f) Explain the concept of Quality Circles (QCs) Conceptualise thinking to the scenario Identify and discuss practical ways to encourage QCs within TF7 One full mark per clearly described means of encouragement (e.g. extend the pilot, ensure management support, get support of the rest of the workforce, commit sufficient resources, provide appropriate support systems, establish guidelines on QCs operation, embed QCs within the culture of TF7, etc.). Examiners Comments Question 2, as previously, was not as well answered as Question 1. Candidates are, however, more comfortable with this format than the Question 3/Question 4 requirement. Some responses were very thin in terms of narrative content whilst others tended to repeat the question content and failed to demonstrate sufficient understanding. Common Errors For sub-question 2(a), it was common for candidates to describe the benefits of a LAN or WAN, or the internet and not the database. One common error was found in response to 2 (f) where the benefits of using, not developing, a quality circle were given 5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam SECTION C 20 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question 3 (a) Evaluate the way in which resistance to change is being managed by SW1s regional government. (10 marks) (b) Discuss the ethical issues associated with the regional governments attempts to alter pay and conditions. (10 marks) Discuss the possible difficulties for SW1 in operating a reward scheme based upon achievement of performance targets. Note: Your answer should include both design and operational issues. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

(c)

Rationale Question Three requires an application of knowledge and understanding to the scenario of a newly elected government attempting to bring about change in pay and conditions for its workforce and involving a number of ethical issues, so part testing Change Management (B(iii)) and Managing Human Capital (E(iii)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Identify a framework to understand ways of dealing with resistance to change (e.g. Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979). Evaluate the approaches adopted by SW1s government (and likely implications) within this framework. Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of influence strategies and overcoming resistance to change. Some relevant issues identified but lacking in theoretical underpinning and evaluation. Alternatively, theoretical models presented but not conceptualised to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Discussion of some relevant points with some (maybe limited) evaluation or concentration on only one phase (see Examiners answers). Possible identification of an analytic framework, possibly undeveloped issues. Strong answer: Well structured evaluation using an appropriate conceptual framework to examine approaches and implications dealing with at least two scenario phases. Demonstrates mature understanding and ability to conceptualise relevant theory Part (b) Provide some background to ethics in business and change management. Relate this thinking to both phases of attempted change implementation (see Examiners answers). Identify and discuss detailed issues from these phases within an ethical framework (e.g talks with local union representatives, compensation package, individual negotiations, sidelining the regional university lecturers union, issuing ultimatums, etc.). Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of ethical dimensions to managing change. Some relevant issues identified but limited linkage to ethical issues. Pass standard answer: Discussion of some relevant points possibly undeveloped. Partial linkage to ethical issues

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

3 max

5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Strong answer: Several relevant detailed ethical issues associated with attempts to alter pay and conditions identified. Rounded, well structured discussion, demonstrating understanding of ethical issues, purposefully related to the scenario. Part (c) Identify generic principles of a reward scheme based upon achievement of performance targets. Conceptualise this thinking to the scenario. Identify and then discuss several possible difficulties in turn. One to two marks per each clearly discussed appropriate issue possibly the same as those identified in the Examiners answers or other realistic points (e.g. agreeing appropriate goals that indicate performance, finding reliable measurement, making the system fair, the ability of individuals to exercise influence, the fairness of rewards, identifying SMART indicators of performance, robustness of measures, communication issues, corruption of existing systems, cost of the overall scheme etc.). Limited answer: Several undeveloped but potential relevant points or a more general unstructured discussion of issues. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of several relevant points, maybe not all points developed fully. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of several substantive difficulties. Reflects a realistic understanding of practical issues.

10 max

3 max 5 max

10 max

Examiners Comments For questions 3 and 4, answers were very disappointing. Given that 30 marks were available, there was a distinct lack of content in most cases indicating that insufficient time had been spent in addressing the issues in the scenarios. One common (unsuccessful) tactic for those candidates unable to link the knowledge they have to a case study scenario was to write everything I know about So, for instance, those not using the Kotter and Schlesinger theory as a framework to answer 3 (a) might write extensively in generic terms of change management. Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing more than outline notes when the question had more substantial requirements. In terms of sub-question 3 (b), a large number were very unclear or confused about ethical issues. In general this was not dealt with well, and there were a lot of very short answers.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Question 4 (a) Explain the importance of the centre understanding its external (or macro) environment and identify the most significant influences in that external environment that are relevant to the centre. (10 marks) Explain how the centre should undertake market segmentation and describe the most likely segmentation variables that will be identified by such a process. (10 marks) Explain how the centres income potential can be estimated.. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(b)

(c)

Rationale Question Four tests candidates understanding of issues associated with Marketing (learning outcomes D(iv) and (ii)) and involves the potential marketing of a sports and leisure facility within a hotel and certain issues associated with it.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Describe the concept of the organisational external (or macro) environment and its importance (its influence, impact on supply and demand, need to respond). Identify appropriate framework (PEST/STEP/PESTEL) and explain with examples potential factors. Apply thinking to scenario and identify and discuss relevant influences with appropriate explanations. Up to 2 marks for explaining the concept of the external environment and its importance. Up to 2 marks per substantial different significant factor relevant to the scenario. Limited answer: Limited response, possibly lacking cohesion of thought/argument. Pass standard answer: Some explanation and identification of factors possibly using PEST framework. Possible failure to identify and discuss sufficient influences. Possible failure to establish importance of environmental influence. Strong answer: Full explanation of the importance of the external environment with clear linkage to centre. Strong identification and explanation of key influences in the environment. Part (b) Brief introduction to market segmentation as a technique and how it might apply to the centre. Discussion of the practical issues including a need to narrow down potential segments to establish a viable, practical focus on potential customers. Discussion of specific issues for the centre. Discussion of segmentation variables relevant to the scenario. Conclude argument with likely segmentation variables and customer profile. Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of market segmentation and its application. Possible failure to conceptualise this thinking sufficiently to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Clear understanding of market segmentation demonstrated and discussion of some points relevant to the scenario. Possibly fails to identify segmentation variables and customer profile with absolute clarity. Strong answer: Well structured discussion of a practical application of market segmentation to the given scenario. Appropriate and realistic issues identified based on a cohesive argument.

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2007 Exam

Part (c) Some background to the centres need to estimate potential income. Explain traditional approaches to preparing sales estimates and the value of the centres staff in assisting in the process. Explain the marketing mix variables that in this case impact most directly on income and identify realistic means of projecting likely income levels. Explain ways in which sensitivity of calculation can be assured (e.g. use of expert opinion and collaboration) and the potential effects of competitor action. (For more details see Examiners answers.) Limited answer: Limited explanation reflecting some generic considerations with little linkage to the given scenario. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of the process reflecting some practical considerations relevant to the given scenario. Limited but well argued issues possibly the same as those identified in the Examiners answers or other realistic points. Strong answer: Mature explanation reflecting many practical considerations relevant to the given scenario. Appropriate and realistic issues identified possibly the same as those identified in the Examiners answers, or other realistic points.

3 max

5 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing more than outline notes For 4 (c) too many candidates discussed, at length, marketing strategies, but forgot to put this into the context of a business income estimate

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems


21 May 2008 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You are allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, highlight and/or make notes on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during the reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read ALL the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is all parts and/or subquestions). The requirements for questions 2 4 are highlighted in a dotted box. ALL answers must be written in the answer book. Answers or notes written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This has fifteen subquestions on pages 2 to 5. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B on pages 6 and 7. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 8 to 11. The list of verbs as published in the syllabus is given for reference on the inside back cover of this question paper. Write your candidate number, the paper number and examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2008


FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 40 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 72 minutes] ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the fifteen sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.10 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D The evaluation of candidates for a job using a comprehensive and interrelated series of selection techniques is known as psychometric testing. developing a balanced scorecard. job evaluation. an assessment centre. (2 marks)

1.2 A B C D

The systematic comparison of key factors between sections or departments within the same organisation is called internal benchmarking. performance appraisal. environmental auditing. quality assessment. (2 marks)

1.3 A B C D

In the expectancy theory of motivation a persons preference for a particular outcome is referred to as a valence. a hygiene factor. a motivator. preference discrimination. (2 marks)

P4

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

The concept of reliability of staff selection techniques means effective testing of a candidates desire for the job and natural abilities. overcoming poor performance in the interview due to nervousness. that if the test is repeated a consistent test score would be achieved. choosing the best candidate every time. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

M-marketing refers to marketing practices using mobile telephone technology. manipulation and image projection. market forecasting of current and future product demand. marketing decision support systems. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

In purchasing, the Reck and Long positioning tool is by nature strategic. independent. supportive. passive. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

The use of skim pricing as a marketing technique will result in non recovery of promotional costs. enticing new customers to buy a product or service. high prices normally at an early stage of the product lifecycle. low prices so denying competitors opportunities to gain market share. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

The technique PDCA represents a programme development control activity used in information management. a framework for bringing about quality improvement to a process or system. a software inventory system used in warehouse management. people, developments, controls and appraisal in strategic human resourcing. (2 marks)

Section A continues on the next page

TURN OVER May 2008 3 P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

Undifferentiated market positioning involves the targeting of a single market segment with a single marketing mix. a single market segment ignoring the concept of the marketing mix. an entire market with a different marketing mix for each segment. an entire market with a single marketing mix. (2 marks)

1.10 The internet is an example of A B C D parallel processing. distributed processing. a local area network. a wide area network. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.10 = 20 marks)

Section A continues on the page opposite

P4

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.11 to 1.15 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. Your response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.11 Identify the qualities normally associated with the workforce of a learning organisation. (4 marks)

1.12 List the types of internal failure cost that might arise for a manufacturing organisation considering quality issues. (4 marks)

1.13 Identify the potential challenges arising from the introduction of a database management system (DBMS) within an organisation. (4 marks)

1.14 Identify the means of recruitment that exist for an organisation other than using journal or newspaper advertising. (4 marks)

1.15 Describe the likely features of an organisation that has fully embraced the marketing concept. (4 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.11 to 1.15 = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 40 marks)

Reminder All answers to Section A must be written in your answer book. Answers or notes to Section A written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. End of Section A Section B starts on the next page
TURN OVER

May 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS. EACH SUB-QUESTION IS WORTH 5 MARKS.
Question Two
K1S is a fast growing chain of hair and beauty salons (shops) located throughout the prosperous north of the country. The company is due to expand from thirty to thirty five salons within the next year. K1Ss policy is to buy existing salons in fashionable city centre shopping malls which, it believes, are underperforming by offering too limited a range of treatments and charging too low a price. (All K1Ss salons charge top prices but provide excellent customer care. In addition to hairdressing services, K1S offers beauty treatments.) K1S also plans to sell own-brand products at premium prices from its premises. K1Ss managing director (MD) sees training as critical to keeping our service sophisticated and professional, with a distinctive K1S style. K1S now operates its own hairdessing training academy from purpose built premises. The MD has, however, identified a number of areas which need to be addressed if K1S is to continue to prosper: The opportunities for the use of information technology (IT) need to be taken, particularly in the implementation and running of the information system network and in support of management operations. Information systems (IS) need to be developed primarily based on the needs of the company as a whole but also mindful of the need to support salon management operations locally. The threat posed by competitors who are copying K1Ss approach.

The MD has appointed a management consultancy team to conduct a complete organisational review. Its report identifies a number of issues, some of which are highlighted below. Information systems are generally weak and the benefits of modern software applications lacking. The accuracy and completeness of information received from salons needs to improve, and there needs to be better coordination of activities. Several different systems are used and some are very inefficient. (For example, over 40% of salon receptionist/administrators time is spent manually analysing and searching for information.) Through its acquisition policy, K1S has inherited a series of salons operating independent systems of varying sophistication and effectiveness. Some still use manual systems, others use stand-alone computers, but none take full advantage of software capabilities and most only use basic software functions. It seems that the more complex a system the salon has, the more the staff resistance to its full use seems to be. Internet possibilities are being missed and there is no wide area network (WAN). Common computerised stock records will also be required when hair styling products and treatments are sold. Brand development and management is crucial to competing successfully. A more recognisable K1S brand should be supported by consistent shop style, uniforms, paperwork, etc. and a user-friendly website needs to be developed.

The remainder of this question and the requirement and instructions are on the page opposite

P4

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

There is a need to strengthen management locally. Salons are currently managed by senior stylists who have much industry knowledge but little management training. These senior stylists are assisted by a receptionist/administrator. Each salon keeps its own set of accounts and makes its own staffing arrangements including recruitment, selection, rotas, holiday cover and remuneration, etc. Managers should be appointed with responsibility for a few salons each (so leaving stylists to concentrate full time on hairdressing) and a centralised HR and Finance function should be established to support salons. Staff flexibility between salons would also lead to more efficient operations.

You are part of the management consultancy team responsible for the report and have been asked to prepare a series of notes on key themes for discussion with the MD.

Instructions
You should use no more than one page per sub-question. Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question (meaning that your notes are contained on no more than six pages in total). Your notes can take any form and might include diagrams, tables, sentences or bullet points, etc.

Required: (a)
Explain how information systems (IS) should be developed to serve K1Ss management operations both centrally and within salons. (5 marks)

(b)

Explain how K1Ss operations can be improved through the use of information technology (IT) generally and a wide area network (WAN) specifically. (5 marks) Discuss the significance of people to K1S within the context of the marketing mix. (5 marks)

(c) (d)

Explain the concepts of physical evidence and process and their importance in developing brand awareness for K1S. (5 marks)

(e)

Explain the role a central human resource management function could play in supporting salons. (5 marks) Discuss the factors that need to be considered when developing staff training associated with the installation of a new computer system for K1S. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

(f)

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B Section C starts on the next page


TURN OVER

May 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 30 MARKS [Indicative time for answering this question is 54 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question Three
QW9 is a large insurance company. The industry conditions are very competitive and QW9 is under constant pressure to achieve higher standards of customer service and improve profitability for shareholders. You have recently taken up a post in QW9s central project and technical support team working directly for the Director of Strategy, who is also relatively new to the organisation. In an initial briefing with you, the Director explains that he has met with most senior managers and discussed their feelings on the strengths and weaknesses of the company. He has concluded that there are a number of areas that need to be addressed, including two from the area of human resource management, namely, performance related rewards and performance management. Performance related rewards. QW9 experiences difficulty in recruiting staff even though it pays comparable salaries to its rivals. Senior managers do not feel that there are problems with either staff morale or the external image of the company. The Director of Strategy explains that although QW9 offers a number of benefits to its employees beyond basic pay, this is not made explicit enough either internally or externally. The Director has so far identified a good pension scheme, flexitime, personal insurance cover at reduced rates, a subsidised canteen and a social club. You have also heard it said that the balance between a professional and personal life is a distinguishing feature of being a QW9 employee. It is the Directors view that all benefits should be examined and a total reward package approach should be progressed. This would draw together all the financial and non-financial benefits (including working practices, development opportunities and the challenge of working for QW9 itself) into an integrated package which would be available to all employees. Performance management. A formal performance appraisal system supported by standardised procedures and paperwork has operated for a number of years. The scheme has clear organisational objectives centred on staff development and improved performance rather than as a basis for paying individual annual bonuses. It is, however, not well regarded by either managers or staff and its objectives are not being met. Senior managers complain about the time that is taken up with the process. Exit interviews are conducted whenever someone leaves QW9, and a review of a sample of recorded comments indicates staff feelings on the scheme very clearly: appraisal is just a paper exercise, a joke, a waste of time and effort.

The requirement for this question is on the page opposite

P4

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required: (a)
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of QW9 developing a total reward package approach. (10 marks) Explain how QW9 should conduct research that would help inform the design of a total reward package. (Assume that research is conducted by QW9 staff.) (10 marks)

(b)

(c)

Explain the possible reasons why the objectives of the formal appraisal system are not being met. (10 marks) (Total for question three = 30 marks

Section C continues over the page

TURN OVER

May 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
DOH is a long established family run firm which supplies parts for local motor car manufacturers. For the past thirty years DOH has exercised quality control over its manufacturing processes by employing one quality control (QC) inspector for every 40 workers. (QC inspectors sample completed batches and remove defective parts before they are despatched.) Recently, DOH was reluctantly forced to subcontract a batch of work to another firm so that it could meet new delivery deadlines. Fears by DOHs managing director that this subcontracted work might be of an inferior standard proved to be unfounded. In fact, no defects whatsoever were discovered in the subcontracted batch. At the same time, DOHs main customer is unhappy with some of the batches it has received and is insisting that in future quality failures due to defective parts produced by DOH will incur strict penalty charges, including the cost of labour involved in removing the part from the vehicle under construction. The managing director is worried that unless DOH improves its quality standards, it might in future lose contracts with key customers. At the next staff liaison committee, the managing director raises the issue of quality processes and a frank discussion follows. Apparently the workforce believes that mistakes happen and we are all human after all. Scrap and reworking costs are thought to be inevitable in our business. It is also a generally held view that senior managers are out of touch with the problems of maintaining quality standards whilst meeting production targets; the value of middle managers is not apparent; QC inspectors are not liked but are respected because they are hardworking and exercise their individual professional judgement diligently when deciding which parts to reject as unsuitable for despatch. Worried by these developments, the managing director discusses DOHs quality problems with an advisor at the government funded regional trade and industry office. The advisor negotiates access for him to see first hand how other manufacturers are improving quality in similar industries so that lessons might be learned. The managing director is very impressed by teamwork within the workforce; an absence of middle managers and QC inspectors; the way in which individual workers demand better quality and get senior manager support to achieve it. The managing director organises a weekend hotel meeting for all senior managers, where he presents his analysis of the problems of quality within DOH. He makes it clear that he is looking beyond temporary quick fixes to overcome the challenges DOH faces. After much discussion he formulates a plan for bringing about change through a programme he calls putting quality first. The programme aims to drive up quality standards through training, improved teamwork and a review of roles within DOH, particularly quality control inspectors and middle managers. If successful, he believes the programme will bring lasting improvements and longer term, increased customer satisfaction and reduced costs. Senior managers support the programme but have warned that it needs to be both sold to the workforce and carefully implemented.

The requirement for this question is on the page opposite

P4

10

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required: (a) (b) (c)


Analyse the problems of quality that DOH is facing. (10 marks) Discuss the way in which the problems of quality are being addressed by DOH. (10 marks) Explain the extent to which DOHs putting quality first programme is based upon the principles of organisational development. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(Total marks for Section C = 30 marks)

End of Question Paper

May 2008

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

P4

12

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

May 2008

13

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

[this page is blank]

P4

14

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

LIST OF VERBS USED IN THE QUESTION REQUIREMENTS


A list of the learning objectives and verbs that appear in the syllabus and in the question requirements for each question in this paper. It is important that you answer the question according to the definition of the verb. LEARNING OBJECTIVE
1 KNOWLEDGE What you are expected to know.

VERBS USED
List State Define

DEFINITION
Make a list of Express, fully or clearly, the details of/facts of Give the exact meaning of

2 COMPREHENSION What you are expected to understand.

Describe Distinguish Explain Identify Illustrate

Communicate the key features Highlight the differences between Make clear or intelligible/State the meaning of Recognise, establish or select after consideration Use an example to describe or explain something

3 APPLICATION How you are expected to apply your knowledge.

Apply Calculate/compute Demonstrate Prepare Reconcile Solve Tabulate

To put to practical use To ascertain or reckon mathematically To prove with certainty or to exhibit by practical means To make or get ready for use To make or prove consistent/compatible Find an answer to Arrange in a table

4 ANALYSIS How you are expected to analyse the detail of what you have learned.

Analyse Categorise Compare and contrast Construct Discuss Interpret Produce

Examine in detail the structure of Place into a defined class or division Show the similarities and/or differences between To build up or compile To examine in detail by argument To translate into intelligible or familiar terms To create or bring into existence

5 EVALUATION How you are expected to use your learning to evaluate, make decisions or recommendations.

Advise Evaluate Recommend

To counsel, inform or notify To appraise or assess the value of To advise on a course of action

May 2008

15

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

May 2008

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

16

May 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam General Comments This represented the seventh examination diet. The paper contained the by now familiar style and mark weighting of questions. Consistent with previous examination performance, candidates scored heavily on Section A (Question 1). There was however, a mixed performance in the remainder of the paper. Section C (Questions 3 and 4) were particularly poorly answered. SECTION A 40 MARKS ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.10 are worth 2 marks each (20 marks in total) Questions 1.11 to 1.15 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 The evaluation of candidates for a job using a comprehensive and interrelated series of selection techniques is known as A B C D psychometric testing. developing a balanced scorecard. job evaluation. an assessment centre. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.2 The systematic comparison of key factors between sections or departments within the same organisation is called A B C D internal benchmarking. performance appraisal. environmental auditing. quality assessment. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.3 In the expectancy theory of motivation a persons preference for a particular outcome is referred to as A B C D a valence. a hygiene factor. a motivator. preference discrimination. (2 marks) The answer is A

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Question 1.4 The concept of reliability of staff selection techniques means A B C D effective testing of a candidates desire for the job and natural abilities. overcoming poor performance in the interview due to nervousness. that if the test is repeated a consistent test score would be achieved. choosing the best candidate every time. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.5 M-marketing refers to marketing practices using A B C D mobile telephone technology. manipulation and image projection. market forecasting of current and future product demand. marketing decision support systems. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.6 In purchasing, the Reck and Long positioning tool is by nature A B C D strategic. independent. supportive. passive. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.7 The use of skim pricing as a marketing technique will result in A B C D non recovery of promotional costs. enticing new customers to buy a product or service. high prices normally at an early stage of the product lifecycle. low prices so denying competitors opportunities to gain market share. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Question 1.8 The technique PDCA represents A B C D a programme development control activity used in information management. a framework for bringing about quality improvement to a process or system. a software inventory system used in warehouse management. people, developments, controls and appraisal in strategic human resourcing. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.9 Undifferentiated market positioning involves the targeting of A B C D a single market segment with a single marketing mix. a single market segment ignoring the concept of the marketing mix. an entire market with a different marketing mix for each segment. an entire market with a single marketing mix. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.10 The internet is an example of A B C D parallel processing. distributed processing. a local area network. a wide area network. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.11 Identify the qualities normally associated with the workforce of a learning organisation. (4 marks)

Question 1.12 List the types of internal failure cost that might arise for a manufacturing organisation considering quality issues. (4 marks)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Question 1.13 Identify the potential challenges arising from the introduction of a database management system (DBMS) within an organisation. (4 marks)

Question 1.14 Identify the means of recruitment that exist for an organisation other than using journal or newspaper advertising. (4 marks)

Question 1.15 Describe the likely features of an organisation that has fully embraced the marketing concept. (4 marks)

Rationale Question One sub-questions 1.1 1.10 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions in a conventional multiple choice format. Question One sub-questions 1.11 1.15 provide further objective testing through limited word responses. Responses for each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated of 50 words. Experience shows that the strongest candidates invariably comply with this restriction. These subquestions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding in all five sections of the syllabus.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide

Marks

Sub-questions 1.1 1.10. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.11 1.15. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question. The use of bullet points, tables and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the majority of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing a substantial number of the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above.

0 or 2

3.5 to 4

2.5 to 3

1.5 to 2

0.5 to 1 0

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam Detailed guidelines: 1.11 Up to one full mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.12 One mark per correct cost identified. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.13 One mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.14 - One mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.15 One mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total.

Examiners Comments Most candidates scored heavily on this question, particularly the multiple choice sub-questions 1.1 1.10. Of the other sub-questions 1.13 and 1.14 were answered best. Common Errors A lack of knowledge of basic concepts such as internal failure costs (sub-question 1.12) and the marketing concept (sub-question 1.15) was exposed. Some candidates tried to compensate by adopting an everything I know about approach.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.

Question 2 (a) Explain how information systems (IS) should be developed to serve K1Ss management operations both centrally and within salons. (5 marks) Explain how K1Ss operations can be improved through the use of information technology (IT) generally and a wide area network (WAN) specifically. (5 marks) (c) (d) Discuss the significance of people to K1S within the context of the marketing mix. (5 marks) Explain the concepts of physical evidence and process and their importance in developing brand awareness for KIS. (5 marks) Explain the role a central human resource management function could play in supporting salons. (5 marks) Discuss the factors that need to be considered when developing staff training associated with the installation of a new computer system for K1S. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

(b)

(e) (f)

Rationale Question two represents 30% of the paper and tests topics from three main syllabus areas. The question takes the familiar form of a common workplace-related scenario (in this case a chain of hair and beauty salons) from which all sub-questions are drawn. All sub-questions are valued at 5 marks each and require an application of knowledge to the scenario. Sub-questions (a) and (b) test candidates knowledge and understanding through the application of thinking from Information Systems (A (iii) and (vii)). Sub-questions (c) and (d) involve a part testing of Marketing (D (iii)) and sub-questions (e) and (f) Managing Human Capital (E (i) and (iii)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub-question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity are called for and hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. As with question one, the strongest candidates invariably comply with this restriction.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam Marks Part (a) Identify common issues in IS development Explain how IS should be developed to support central operations Explain how IS should be developed to support salons (For examples of relevant issues refer to examiners answers.) Limited answer: Limited or some recognition of IS development issues relevant to K1S. Possible confusion of IS and IT. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of IS development issues, possibly either not fully related to K1S or concentration on either central operations or salons. One mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Clear and full explanation of IS development issues related to K1Ss position, covering both central operations and salons. One mark per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (b) Explain the improvements that might be brought about through the use of IT Explain the improvements that might be brought about through the use of a WAN Limited answer: Some IT or virtual network issue(s) identified relevant to operations improvement. Pass standard answer: Several relevant points related to both IT and a virtual network but only slightly linked to K1S, or a concentration on either IT or a virtual network but linked to K1S. Strong answer: Clear explanation of several aspects of both IT and a virtual network relevant to improving operations in K1S. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (c) Outline the relationship of people and the marketing mix Identify and discuss within the context of K1S the significance of people Limited answer: Some understanding of the relationship of people and the marketing mix or listing of some relevant people issues. Pass standard answer: Identification and some discussion of the significance of people, possibly unrelated or slightly related to K1S or discussion related to K1S but concentrated on either people as customers or people as employees. Strong answer: Identification and full discussion of the significance of people, clearly related to K1S and covering both people as customers and people as employees. 1 max 3 max

5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Part (d) Explain the significance of brand awareness to K1S Explain the concept of physical evidence and its importance to K1S brand Explain the concept of process and its importance to K1S brand Limited answer: Confused or general discussion of some aspects of brand awareness or physical evidence or process possibly not linked to K1S. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of brand awareness, physical evidence and process possibly slightly linked to K1S, or more full explanation, well linked but restricted to only two of these issues. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive explanation of brand awareness, physical evidence and process within the context of K1Ss situation, possibly reflecting the points made in the Examiners Answers. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Part (e) Identify the potential role (e.g. a source of help and expertise, recruitment and selection, job design, training, induction, appraisal and performance review, rewards and motivation etc.) and explain each aspect within the context of K1Ss situation. One full mark per clear relevant discrete point related to K1Ss situation. Limited answer: Several undeveloped potential points or general discussion. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of several relevant points. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of 4 5 substantive points. 1 max 3 max 5 max

Part (f) Identify the factors (e.g. nature of staff involved, level of training, who gets trained, cost, method, reaction etc.) and discuss within the context of K1Ss situation Limited answer: Several undeveloped potential points or general listing. Pass standard answer: Identification of several substantive relevant points linked to context. Strong answer: Identification of 4 to 5 substantive relevant points linked to context. Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of 4 to 5 points. 1 max 3 max

5 max

Examiners Comments In common with previous diets, Question 2 was not as well answered as Question 1, although well prepared candidates, who applied their knowledge to the scenario, scored heavily. Some responses were undeveloped in terms of narrative content, whilst others tended to repeat the question content and failed to demonstrate sufficient understanding. Common Errors For sub-question 2 (a), a large number of candidates responded in terms of IT instead of IS For sub-question 2 (c), a common error was a failure to recognize the significance of people as both customers and employees.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam SECTION C 30 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question 3 (a) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of QW9 developing a total reward package approach. (10 marks) (b) Explain how QW9 should conduct research that would help inform the design of a total reward package. (Assume that research is conducted by QW9 staff.) (10 marks) Explain the possible reasons why the objectives of the formal appraisal system are not being met. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

(c)

Rationale Question Three requires an application of knowledge and understanding to the scenario of a large insurance company addressing certain HR issues (part testing Managing Human Capital learning outcomes E(iii) and E(iv)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Part (a) Explain the concept of a total reward package approach and discuss within the context of QW9 Identify and discuss the advantages as they relate to QW9 Identify and discuss the disadvantages as they relate to QW9 Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of a total reward package and general unstructured discussion. Pass standard answer: Discussion of some relevant advantages and disadvantages of a total reward package, possibly only slightly linked to the scenario. Strong answer: Well structured discussion of several relevant advantages and disadvantages of a total reward package strongly linked throughout to the scenario. Part (b) Identify aspects involved in the research process Explain each aspect within the context of QW9s situation Limited answer: Some relevant issues identified but not fully elaborated or discussed. Confused or general discussion, possibly not related to QW9. Pass standard answer: Discussion of some relevant points possibly undeveloped, or slightly related to QW9. Strong answer: Well structured discussion of several substantive relevant developed points clearly related to QW9.

Marks

3 max

5 max 10 max

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Part (c) Describe the likely objectives of QW9s formal performance appraisal system Explain the reasons why these objectives are not being met One to two marks per each clearly explained reason, possibly the same as those identified in the examiners answers or other realistic points. Limited answer: Several undeveloped but potential relevant reasons or a more general unstructured discussion. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of several relevant reasons, maybe not all points developed fully or related completely to the scenario. Strong answer: Purposeful and comprehensive discussion of several substantive reasons, strongly related to both the scenario and likely scheme objectives. 3 max

5 max 10 max

Examiners Comments Some responses in Section C were very disappointing. A substantial 30 marks is available in this section. However there was a lack of content in most cases indicating that insufficient time had been spent in addressing the issues in the scenarios. One common (unsuccessful) tactic for those candidates unable to link the knowledge they have to the case scenario was to write everything I know about. Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing more than outline notes when the question had more substantial requirements.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Question 4 (a) (b) Analyse the problems of quality that DOH is facing. (10 marks) Discuss the way in which the problems of quality are being addressed by DOH. (10 marks) (c) Explain the extent to which DOHs putting quality first programme is based upon the principles of organisational development. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

Rationale Question Four involves a manufacturing company that is seeking change in order to improve the quality of its products. The sub-questions test candidates understanding and application of issues associated with Operations Management (learning outcomes C(ii) and C(v)) and Change Management ( learning outcome B(i)).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide

Marks

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide May 2008 Exam

Part (a) Identification of issues Analysis of each in turn by linkages to scenario and quality management thinking Limited answer: Some relevant problems identified from the scenario but little analysis of linkage to quality management thinking. Pass standard answer: Some relevant problems identified with some analysis, making use of either the scenario and/or quality management thinking. Strong answer: Well worked and comprehensive analysis of several relevant problems, well conceptualised within both the case scenario and quality management thinking. Part (b) Identification and description of main stages adopted by DOH Discussion of each stage in turn highlighting both positive and negative features and additional work required Limited answer: Confused description of certain relevant aspects of address by DOH. Mainly descriptive, possibly lacking structure. Pass standard answer: Clear identification of ways adopted by DOH. Some analysis and evaluation. Strong answer: Well structured identification and description of main stages adopted by DOH. Purposeful evaluation of each stage in turn highlighting both positive and negative features and additional work required. Appropriate and realistic issues identified throughout. Part (c) Explain the concept of organisational development (OD) Identify principles of OD and relate to programme explaining connection of each in turn Limited answer: Unclear understanding of OD with general description of programme but some relevant issues raised or general description of OD poorly related to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Clear understanding of OD and some general principles identified relating in some way to the scenario. Strong answer: Clear explanation of the concept of organisational development (OD) and the identification of several relevant principles each explained within the context of the scenario. 3 max 5 max 3 max 3 max

5 max 10 max

5 max

10 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing but outline notes It was evident that a large number of candidates did not understand organisational development and as a consequence 4(c) was particularly poorly answered

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems


19 November 2008 Wednesday Afternoon Session
Instructions to candidates
You are allowed three hours to answer this question paper. You are allowed 20 minutes reading time before the examination begins during which you should read the question paper and, if you wish, highlight and/or make notes on the question paper. However, you will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to open the answer book and start writing or use your calculator during the reading time. You are strongly advised to carefully read ALL the question requirements before attempting the question concerned (that is all parts and/or subquestions). The requirements for questions 2 4 are highlighted in a dotted box. ALL answers must be written in the answer book. Answers or notes written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. Answer the ONE compulsory question in Section A. This has fifteen subquestions on pages 2 to 5. Answer ALL six compulsory sub-questions in Section B on pages 6 and 7. Answer ONE of the two questions in Section C on pages 8 to 10. The list of verbs as published in the syllabus is given for reference on the inside back cover of this question paper. Write your candidate number, the paper number and examination subject title in the spaces provided on the front of the answer book. Also write your contact ID and name in the space provided in the right hand margin and seal to close. Tick the appropriate boxes on the front of the answer book to indicate which questions you have answered.

TURN OVER

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 2008


FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

SECTION A 40 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 72 minutes] ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS

Instructions for answering Section A


The answers to the fifteen sub-questions in Section A should ALL be written in your answer book. Your answers should be clearly numbered with the sub-question number and ruled off so the markers know which sub-question you are answering. For multiple choice questions you need only write the sub-question number and the answer option you have chosen. You do not need to start a new page for each sub-question. Each of the sub-questions numbered from 1.1 to 1.10 inclusive, given below, has only ONE correct answer. Each is worth two marks.

Question One
1.1 A B C D Computer to computer transmission of structured data in standard business documents is referred to as technology interface. process compatibility. electronic data interchange. business networking. (2 marks)

1.2 A B C D

Herzbergs contribution to understanding people in the workforce included personality testing. explaining factors associated with job satisfaction as motivators. problem-solving processes that encourage team spirit and cooperation. an integrated framework involving appraisal, training and motivation. (2 marks)

1.3 A B C D

The unwritten expectations that the organisation and the individual have of each other is referred to as a valence. work/life balance. the psychological contract. expectation management. (2 marks)

P4

November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.4 A B C D

An example of a network typology that is hierarchical by design is called a star network. a ring network. a tree network. an authoritarian network. (2 marks)

1.5 A B C D

A duplication of data held by an organisation is called data synthesis. data redundancy. data integrity. data archiving. (2 marks)

1.6 A B C D

Aptitude testing is most commonly used in staff appraisal processes. exit interviews. staff selection. market research and testing. (2 marks)

1.7 A B C D

Direct mailing, branding activities and public relations campaigns are all examples of market process. product placement. promotion. market research. (2 marks)

1.8 A B C D

Economies of scale and manufacturing experience might help a firm to compete successfully by pricing its products more cheaply than its competitors. introducing value adding features to its products. better understanding buyer behaviour. offering a broader product range. (2 marks)

Section A continues on the next page


TURN OVER

November 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

1.9 A B C D

Selling at a low price with the intention of damaging weaker competitors is referred to as price skimming. opportunistic pricing. penetration pricing. predatory pricing. (2 marks)

1.10 The product life cycle is depicted on a chart or diagram as a line against the variables of A B C D cash flow and market share. number of customers and sales value. sales volume and time. relative market share and market growth rate. (2 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.1 to 1.10 = 20 marks)

Section A continues on the opposite page

P4

November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required:
Each of the sub-questions numbered 1.11 to 1.15 below requires a brief written response. Each sub-question is worth 4 marks. Your response should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question.

1.11 Describe four likely variables a private health scheme company might investigate as a basis for segmenting the market. (4 marks)

1.12 Many commercial retail websites contain the opportunity to purchase goods and services online. Describe four features of a good retail website. (4 marks)

1.13 Explain four advantages of centralised data processing. (4 marks)

1.14 Explain four reasons for job redesign. (4 marks)

1.15 Identify eight factors that influence employee productivity. (4 marks)

(Total for sub-questions 1.11 to 1.15 = 20 marks)

(Total for Section A = 40 marks)

Reminder All answers to Section A must be written in your answer book. Answers or notes to Section A written on the question paper will not be submitted for marking. End of Section A Section B starts on the next page
TURN OVER

November 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION B 30 MARKS [the indicative time for answering this section is 54 minutes] ANSWER ALL SIX SUB-QUESTIONS. EACH SUB-QUESTION IS WORTH 5 MARKS.
Question Two
OK4u is a national leisure and sports chain selling specialist equipment and clothing for every sport. A relatively young organisation, all OK4us growth has been internally generated and has been led by its entrepreneurial founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is known for his creativity and person centred approach. Store managers are given discretion to display items in imaginative ways and use promotions to generate sales locally. All store managers report directly to the CEO who tries to oversee all aspects of the organisations functioning without the help of a management team. In its advertising, OK4u makes a feature of the creative way in which it is reducing nonrecyclable packaging. It also claims to follow ethical policies. It has a few trusted long term suppliers of sports equipment and clothing. All suppliers are personally known to OK4us CEO, and some are close friends. Good logistics mean that valuable floor area is not taken up by excessive in-shop storage. Known for good design, broad appeal and no stock outs, OK4u has established itself over the past five years as one of the countrys favourite high street brands. Unfortunately, all that changed last year. A year ago, OK4u expanded its product range by introducing fashion clothing into its stores. This was manufactured by a number of new suppliers. Initially sales were disappointing, until OK4u decided to discount prices. Thanks to tightly negotiated contracts, OK4u was able to pass the costs of the campaign on to its many new suppliers. As sales improved, these same suppliers were pressurised by threats of financial penalties into meeting late orders to tight deadlines. Six months ago, a national newspaper ran a story under the front page headline The Shame of Sweatshop OK4u. The article claimed that the chain was using workers from third world countries and paying them a fraction of the selling price. Further, it had discovered cases of children as young as eight years old working long hours. This was television news for two days and sales fell by 40% within a week. The CEOs investigation of the newspapers claims found that: The incidents related to a few of the new fashion range items. None of the workers featured in the story were OK4u employees. The fault lay with its new clothing suppliers, some of whom OK4u knew little about. In some cases, these new clothing suppliers had sub-contracted work in order to keep costs low and meet delivery deadlines. In doing this, they had exploited vulnerable workers. OK4u immediately withdrew its new fashion range and issued a public apology. In it, it explained that the fault had been with its suppliers and that it would be more careful in developing new supplier relationships in future. Although sales have recovered over the past six months, they are nowhere near their previous levels. The brand was also voted one of the most poorly regarded in a recent independent survey. The events have also affected morale and staff turnover has increased. Last week, OK4us CEO reviewed the situation and acknowledged a need to combat the negative public perception. He sent a personal letter to all employees in which he explained that OK4u intended restoring confidence with the public that OK4u is still following ethical policies. He explained that the key to becoming one of the countrys favourite high street brands again is to deliver excellent customer satisfaction. This can only be achieved through a superb combination of marketing, HRM and operations.

The requirement and instructions for this question is on the opposite page
P4 6 November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Instructions You should use no more than one page per sub-question. Use a separate page of your answer book for each sub-question (meaning that your answers are contained on no more than six pages in total). Your answers can take any form and might include diagrams, tables, sentences or bullet points, etc.

Required: (a)
Explain OK4us ethical and management failings associated with its expansion into selling fashion clothing. (5 marks)

(b)

Describe appropriate measures OK4u might take in order to restore public confidence that it is following ethical policies. (5 marks) Explain how marketing, HRM and operations in OK4u could deliver excellent customer satisfaction. (5 marks)

(c)

(d)

Evaluate OK4us strategic relationship with the two sets of suppliers those supplying sports equipment and clothing and those who supplied fashion clothing. (5 marks)

(e)

Explain the past year for OK4u using the basic marketing mix variables as a framework. (5 marks) Explain OK4us past growth and recent crisis in terms of the early stages of Larry Greiners organisational growth model. (5 marks) (Total for Question Two = 30 marks)

(f)

(Total for Section B = 30 marks)

End of Section B Section C starts on the next page

TURN OVER

November 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

SECTION C 30 MARKS [Indicative time for answering this question is 54 minutes] ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question Three
ARi9 is an information systems solution company employing 250 staff. When staff are not at clients premises they work from a corporate headquarters (HQ) in the countrys capital city. The premises, which are owned by the company, are spacious and modern but have extremely limited car parking. A senior staff meeting takes place every month. The agenda for last months meeting included a number of significant issues. Unfortunately, the start of this meeting was delayed because of a public transport strike which led to gridlocked roads during rush hour. Those travelling by car found public parking spaces scarce, and parking charges high. When the meeting eventually started, a report by the Director of Human Resourcing identified a number of difficulties: ARi9 is losing talented staff when they take career breaks or maternity leave and never return. Competition amongst firms in the industry for talented individuals who live within a reasonable commuting distance is intense. Recruitment is becoming more difficult as local property prices are very expensive. ARi9 employs significantly fewer people with disabilities than the Governments suggested quota. Clients are making demands on staff outside normal working hours resulting in staff dissatisfaction and increasing claims for overtime payments. Staff productivity is declining, in part due to interruptions to work caused by the office environment (which is open plan and has crowded workstations where conversations can be easily overheard).

At the same meeting, a review by the Finance Director of the companys cost structure showed the high cost of office space, which was contributing to reduced profitability. Someone joked that ARi9 is in the technology not the property business! In the debate that followed, the option of relocating the HQ to somewhere outside the capital was suggested. The Chief Executive tasked both directors to collaborate and produce some radical solutions for the future. At this months meeting their joint report outlined a number of ideas: ARi9 should sell its HQ and relocate to much smaller accommodation outside the capital. When they are not at clients premises, staff would be expected to work mainly from home. On the occasions when they were required to be at the HQ, the new building should contain a flexible area where staff can hot desk. There should also be some meeting rooms that could be booked in advance, if needed. In future, staff working from home would be expected to stay in touch with colleagues and clients through email, webcams and teleconferencing (so-called teleworking or telecommuting). New equipment purchased for staff would be financed from anticipated improved productivity gains.

The report concluded with the claims that the proposals were win/win/win. The company would produce significant HR and financial gains, society would benefit environmentally through reduced travel, and the employees would be given greater autonomy to structure their own working arrangements.

The requirement for this question is on the opposite page

P4

November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Required: (a)
Evaluate the claims made by the reports authors that the proposals would produce significant gains for the company. (10 marks) Discuss the potential benefits and potential difficulties of the proposals from the employees perspective. (10 marks)

(b)

(c)

Explain Maslows motivation theory in the context of the potential impact of the move to teleworking by ARi9. (10 marks) (Total for question three = 30 marks

Section C continues over the page

TURN OVER

November 2008

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Question Four
ENO9 has, for many years, operated a mail order catalogue scheme selling top brand name clothing, electrical goods, home furnishings, kitchen utensils and jewellery. Quarterly glossy catalogues (containing between 1,000 and 1,200 pages) are produced and delivered to members of the public, who act as agents. Agents show the catalogue to their friends, place orders on their behalf, collect money owed and post it monthly to ENO9. In return, agents receive a commission on sales and are alerted first to sale items towards the end of each quarter. ENO9 promises delivery of goods (excluding furniture) by a complimentary courier service within three working days of receipt of an order. ENO9 accepts returns on faulty goods free of charge and promises to replace or refund items, provided they are returned complete and unused, within 14 days of receipt by the customer. Taking advantage of advances in technology, the company also operates an online shop facility to place orders, obtain catalogues, browse products and email queries. ENO9 recognises that it operates in a highly competitive environment and periodically monitors its share of the market and compares its prices with those of its competitors. Recently, ENO9 appointed a Director of Performance Enhancement to bring about greater performance improvement. So far the new Director has identified the need to operate a more systematic method of performance improvement. To this end, she believes that benchmarking is necessary and has information that at least one of ENO9s main competitors benchmarks already. In conjunction with senior managers, she has identified performance measures of price, product quality, delivery, quality of product information, and customer service, for which data needs to be collected. The intention would be to compare performance on a regular basis to that of its competitors and drive improvement accordingly. The new Director will present a comprehensive report at the next Board meeting. The report will contain her proposals, accompanied by full costings, an analysis of likely benefits and an implementation schedule that she herself will oversee. The report recommends that the effectiveness of benchmarking should be reviewed after six months.

Required: (a)
Analyse the way in which the new Director is attempting to bring about the change she believes is necessary in ENO9. (10 marks)

(b) (c)

Discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of benchmarking for ENO9. (10 marks) Explain how objective data for the performance measures identified might be collected. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks)

(Total marks for Section C = 30 marks)

End of Question Paper

P4

10

November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

LIST OF VERBS USED IN THE QUESTION REQUIREMENTS


A list of the learning objectives and verbs that appear in the syllabus and in the question requirements for each question in this paper. It is important that you answer the question according to the definition of the verb. LEARNING OBJECTIVE
1 KNOWLEDGE What you are expected to know.

VERBS USED
List State Define

DEFINITION
Make a list of Express, fully or clearly, the details of/facts of Give the exact meaning of

2 COMPREHENSION What you are expected to understand.

Describe Distinguish Explain Identify Illustrate

Communicate the key features Highlight the differences between Make clear or intelligible/State the meaning of Recognise, establish or select after consideration Use an example to describe or explain something

3 APPLICATION How you are expected to apply your knowledge.

Apply Calculate/compute Demonstrate Prepare Reconcile Solve Tabulate

To put to practical use To ascertain or reckon mathematically To prove with certainty or to exhibit by practical means To make or get ready for use To make or prove consistent/compatible Find an answer to Arrange in a table

4 ANALYSIS How you are expected to analyse the detail of what you have learned.

Analyse Categorise Compare and contrast Construct Discuss Interpret Produce

Examine in detail the structure of Place into a defined class or division Show the similarities and/or differences between To build up or compile To examine in detail by argument To translate into intelligible or familiar terms To create or bring into existence

5 EVALUATION How you are expected to use your learning to evaluate, make decisions or recommendations.

Advise Evaluate Recommend

To counsel, inform or notify To appraise or assess the value of To advise on a course of action

November 2008

11

P4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Business Management Pillar

Managerial Level Paper

P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems

November 2008

Wednesday Afternoon Session

P4

12

November 2008

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam General Comments This represented the eighth examination diet. The paper contained the by now familiar style and mark weighting of questions. Consistent with previous examination performance, candidates scored heavily on Section A (Question 1). There seemed to be an improved performance in Section B. Questions 3 and 4 (Section C) were poorly answered. Overall however, a high percentage of candidates were successful in this examination diet. SECTION A 40 MARKS ANSWER ALL FIFTEEN SUB-QUESTIONS Questions 1.1 to 1.10 are worth 2 marks each (20 marks in total) Questions 1.11 to 1.15 are worth 4 marks each (20 marks in total)

Question 1.1 Computer to computer transmission of structured data in standard business documents is referred to as A B C D technology interface. process compatibility. electronic data interchange. business networking. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.2 Herzbergs contribution to understanding people in the workforce included A B C D personality testing. explaining factors associated with job satisfaction as motivators problem-solving processes that encourage team spirit and cooperation. an integrated framework involving appraisal, training and motivation. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.3 The unwritten expectations that the organisation and the individual have of each other is referred to as A B C D a valence. work/life balance. the psychological contract. expectation management. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 1

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Question 1.4 An example of a network typology that is hierarchical by design is called A B C D a star network. a ring network. a tree network. an authoritarian network. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.5 A duplication of data held by an organisation is called A B C D data synthesis. data redundancy. data integrity. data archiving. (2 marks) The answer is B

Question 1.6 Aptitude testing is most commonly used in A B C D staff appraisal processes. exit interviews. staff selection. market research and testing. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.7 Direct Mailing, branding activities and public relations campaigns are all examples of A B C D market process. product placement. promotion. market research. (2 marks) The answer is C

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 2

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Question 1.8 Economies of scale and manufacturing experience might help a firm to compete successfully by A B C D pricing its products more cheaply than its competitors. introducing value adding features to its products. better understanding buyer behaviour. offering a broader product range. (2 marks) The answer is A

Question 1.9 Selling at a low price with the intention of damaging weaker competitors is referred to as A B C D price skimming. opportunistic pricing. penetration pricing. predatory pricing. (2 marks) The answer is D

Question 1.10 The product lifecycle is depicted on a chart or diagram as a line against the variables of A B C D cash flow and market share. number of customers and sales value. sales volume and time. relative market share and market growth rate. (2 marks) The answer is C

Question 1.11 Describe four likely variables a private health scheme company might investigate as a basis for segmenting the market. (4 marks)

Answer Geographic ( country, region, urban/rural) Demographic (age, gender, income, children in family, occupation) Profile, etc. (lifestyles, smoker/non-smoker) Attitudes, etc. (healthcare preferences, attitudes to private medicine, social status) Behavioural, etc. (health history, patterns and frequency of healthcare usage, knowledge of company, brand loyalty) Individuals/corporate customers

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 3

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Question 1.12 Many commercial retail websites contain the opportunity to purchase goods and services online. Describe four features of a good retail website. (4 marks)

Answer Features: user friendly/formative Links to other sites/information, email follow up potential Aesthetic and technical (layout, colour, graphics Maintenance: potential to update quickly and easily Feedback: facility for customer reaction and comments Question 1.13 Explain four advantages of centralised data processing. (4 marks)

Answer Economies of centralisation Duplication minimised Increased central control (incl. common standards) Less points of failure and security risks Compatibility of component data Simplified management Ability to support several organisational information systems Question 1.14 Explain four reasons for job redesign. (4 marks)

Answer Increased motivation Job enrichment: new challenges Job enlargement: additional tasks for personal development Rebalancing variety, task identity & significance, autonomy, etc. Job simplification Combining roles & technology more efficiently Realignment following restructuring, new IT, etc. Financial (reduced training and recruitment costs) Question 1.15 Identify eight factors that influence employee productivity. (4 marks)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 4

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Answer Personal Motivation by financial incentives Motivation by non-financial rewards Ability and experience Relevant training undertaken Organisational Equipment, necessary facilities Support systems Support of fellow workers, control and supervision exercised etc. Quality, suitability & timely arrival of necessary materials

Rationale Question One sub-questions 1.1 1.10 test candidates knowledge of a wide variety of topics within the syllabus through the use of objective test questions (OTQs) in a conventional multiple choice format. Question One sub-questions 1.11 1.15 provide further brief testing through limited word responses. Responses for each sub-question are expected to conform to the word limit indicated of 50 words. Experience shows that the strongest candidates invariably comply with this restriction. These sub-questions (valued at 4 marks each) test knowledge and understanding in all five sections of the syllabus.

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide

Marks

Sub-questions 1.1 1.10. These sub-questions have been constructed on the basis that there is only one correct answer. Marking is therefore on the basis of 2 marks for a correct answer and 0 marks for an incorrect answer. Sub-questions 1.11 1.15. Responses should be in note form and should not exceed 50 words per sub-question. The use of bullet points, tables and short definitions as part of notes is perhaps the most effective approach. An excellent response containing the points suggested in the examiners answers or with alternative valid points instead. An excellent demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A good/very good response containing the points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. A good demonstration of understanding and application of subject matter. A sound response containing some points suggested in the examiners answers or with valid alternative points instead. Demonstrates understanding and application of subject matter. A weak response that nevertheless may contain some valid point(s). Demonstrates little understanding and application of subject matter. A failure to achieve the standard suggested above. Detailed guidelines: 1.11 1.14 Up to one full mark per substantive relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total. 1.15 One half mark per relevant point made. No more than 4 marks in total.

0 or 2

3.5 to 4

2.5 to 3

1.5 to 2

0.5 to 1 0

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 5

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Examiners Comments Most candidates scored heavily on this question, particularly the multiple-choice sub-questions 1.1 1.10. Of the other sub-questions, 1.11 appeared to be the only sub-question that caused difficulty. Common Errors 1.11. Describing the concept of segmentation rather than the likely variables for segmentation. SECTION B 30 MARKS ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THIS QUESTION.

Question 2 (a) Explain OK4us ethical and management failings associated with its expansion into selling fashion clothing. (5 marks) Describe appropriate measures OK4u might take in order to restore public confidence that it is following ethical policies. (5 marks) (c) Explain how marketing, HRM and operations in OK4u could deliver excellent customer satisfaction. (5 marks) Evaluate OK4us strategic relationship with the two sets of suppliers those supplying sports equipment and clothing and those who supplied fashion clothing. (5 marks) Explain the past year for OK4u using the basic marketing mix variables as a framework. (5 marks) Explain OK4us past growth and recent crisis in the terms of the early stages of Larry Greiners organisational growth model. (5 marks) (Total for Section B = 30 marks)

(b)

(d)

(e) (f)

Rationale Question two represents 30% of the paper and tests topics from four main syllabus areas. The question takes the familiar form of a common workplace related scenario (in this case a national leisure and sports chain) from which all sub-questions are drawn. All sub-questions are valued at 5 marks each and require an application of knowledge to the scenario. These sub-questions test a number of learning outcomes and require an application of candidates knowledge and understanding as follows: 2(a) and (b) Managing Human Capital (learning outcome E(vi)) 2(c) and (d) Operations Management (learning outcomes C(ix) and (vii)) 2(e) Marketing (learning outcome D(i)) 2(f) Change Management (learning outcome B(iv))

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Responses for each sub-question are expected on a single side of A4 and in a form that might include a few sentences and bullet points. This limit simulates a real life scenario in which accuracy, brevity and clarity are called for and hopefully prevents candidates from spending a disproportionate amount of time on each sub-question. As with question one, the strongest candidates invariably comply with this restriction.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 6

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam Marks Requirement (a) General reference to ethics and management failings Identification of failings in the scenario Discussion of each, highlighting both ethical and management failings Limited answer: Limited or some identification of failings. Possible confusion over ethical issues. Pass standard answer: Some discussion of failings, possibly either not fully developed or related to management failings only. One mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Cohesive discussion of several relevant issues related covering both management and ethical perspectives. One or two marks per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max 5 max

Requirement (b) Identification of realistic measures Some explanation that the measures are appropriate Limited answer: Some measure or measures listed. Points underdeveloped or measures clearly not realistic or scenario related. Pass standard answer: Some realistic, scenario related measures identified. Suggestions either partially developed or limited in number. One full mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Several realistic, scenario related measures identified. Suggestions well explained and fully developed. One to two marks per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max 5 max

Requirement (c) Explain the role marketing can play in helping to deliver excellent customer satisfaction and its relationship to the other two functions/activities. Repeat the process for HRM Repeat the process for operations Limited answer: Some general discussion of the issue of customer satisfaction with reference to the functions. Confused or insufficiently related to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Some explanation of the functions. Explanation either insufficiently related to the scenario or links between functions not established. One full mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Cohesive explanation of the three functions, clearly relevant to the scenario with links between the functions clearly established. One to two full marks per substantive point made. 1 max 3 max

5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 7

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Requirement (d) Explain the concept of strategic supplier relationships Evaluate relationship with its sports equipment and clothing suppliers Evaluate relationship with its fashion clothing suppliers Limited answer: Some discussion of OK4us relationship with suppliers. Possible failure to discuss suppliers separately or establish strategic nature of relationship and lacking in meaningful evaluation. Pass standard answer: Discussion of OK4us relationship with both sets of suppliers and some evaluation. Possible failure to fully evaluate strategic aspects of relationship. One full mark per substantive point made Strong answer: Meaningful evaluation of OK4us strategic relationship with both sets of suppliers. Clearly expressed and comprehensive in coverage of key points. One to two full marks per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max

5 max

Requirement (e) Identify and explain the basic variables of the marketing mix (product, place, promotion and price) Use each variable as a framework for analysing OK4us past year Limited answer: Explanation of the basic variables of the marketing mix, slightly related to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Clear explanation of the basic variables of the marketing mix all related to the scenario, some analysis. Possibly lacking comprehensive analysis of the past year. Strong answer: Comprehensive coverage of the basic variables of the marketing mix with each variable used analytically to make sense of OK4us past year. 1 max 3 max 5 max

Requirement (f) Explain Greiners model including the notion of phases of growth Describe key features of OK4us past growth and recent crises Explain these happenings within the context of the early stages of the model Limited answer: Either explanation of Greiners model insufficiently related to the scenario or explanation of the key features of OK4us past growth and recent crises without reference to the model. Pass standard answer: Explanation of Greiners model related to the scenario, limited explanation of the key features of OK4us past growth and recent crises. Possible undue concentration on the middle or later stages of the model. One full mark per substantive point made. Strong answer: Explanation of Greiners model related to the scenario accompanied by clear identification of the key features of OK4us past growth and recent crises, and explanation within the context of the early stages of the model. One to two full marks per substantive point made. 1 max

3 max

5 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 8

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Examiners Comments Question two was generally well answered and well prepared candidates who applied their knowledge to the scenario scored heavily. Common Errors For sub-question 2(b), a large number of candidates failed to develop their thinking For sub-question 2(f), a large number of candidates did not attempt this question, others failed to recognise the theoretical model suggested

SECTION C 30 MARKS ANSWER ONE QUESTION ONLY

Question 3 (a) Evaluate the claims made by the reports authors that the proposals would produce significant gains for the company. (10 marks) (b) Discuss the potential benefits and potential difficulties of the proposals from the employees perspective. (10 marks) Explain Maslows motivation theory in the context of the potential impact of the move to teleworking by ARi9. (10 marks) (Total for Question Three = 30 marks)

(c)

Rationale Question Three requires an application of knowledge and understanding to the scenario of an IS solutions company considering radical changes in the way in which it operates. Information Systems learning outcome A(iv) is tested in requirements (a) and (b) and Managing Human Capital learning outcome E(iv) in requirement (c).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Requirement (a) Identify the potential HR (motivation, work opportunities, skill retention, flexibility, customer responsiveness, resilience, etc.) and financial (premises costs, efficiency gains, reduced employee costs, etc.) gains of the proposal Explain each, evaluating the likely gains for ARi9 Conclude as to whether the proposals would produce significant gains Limited answer: Confused or unstructured discussion, some understanding of the likely gains. Pass standard answer: Identification of a number of potential gains for both aspects (HR and financial), some discussion and limited evaluation or comprehensive evaluation of a number of potential gains for one aspect (HR or financial). Strong answer: Comprehensive evaluation of a number of potential gains for both aspects (HR and financial).

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 9

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Requirement (b) Identify and then discuss the potential benefits of the proposals for the workforce (reduced travel time and cost, reduced stress and illness, rewarding working arrangements, stable family life, control of work/life balance, opportunities for the disadvantaged, etc.) Identify and then discuss the potential difficulties of the proposals for the workforce (motivation, distractions, loss of learning from human contact, loss of social interaction, erosion of own time, unsuitable home environments, etc.) Limited answer: Confused or unstructured discussion, some understanding of workforce implications. Possibly only slightly linked to the scenario. Pass standard answer: Identification of a number of workforce benefits and difficulties, some discussion with undeveloped argument or comprehensive discussion of either benefits or difficulties. Discussion linked to the scenario. Strong answer: Well-structured discussion of several relevant benefits and difficulties for the workforce strongly linked throughout to the scenario. One to two full marks per substantive point. 3 max

5 max

10 max

Requirement (c) Explain Maslows motivation theory in outline including the five needs stages (Biological and Physiological, Safety, Affiliation, Esteem, Self-actualisation) Explain ARi9s move to teleworking within the context of each stage in turn Limited answer: Explanation of Maslows motivation theory. Confused or poor linkage to the scenario or general unstructured discussion unsupported by Maslows motivation theory Pass standard answer: Explanation of Maslows motivation theory. Discussion of some aspects of the move to teleworking by ARi9 partially explained by the theory. Strong answer: Explanation of Maslows motivation theory. Identification of several aspects of the move to teleworking by ARi9 explained with clear reference to the theory. Wellstructured and strongly linked throughout to the scenario. 3 max 5 max

10 max

Examiners Comments Most responses in Section C were disappointing. A substantial 30 marks are available in this section. However, there was a lack of content in most cases, indicating that insufficient time had been spent in addressing the issues in the scenarios. One common (unsuccessful) tactic for those candidates unable to link the knowledge they have to a case study scenario was to write everything I know about Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing more than outline notes when the question had more substantial requirements 2(c) Confusing Maslows theory with an alternative theory of motivation

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 10

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam

Question 4 (a) Analyse the way in which the new Director is attempting to bring about the change she believes is necessary in ENO9. (10 marks) (b) Discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of benchmarking for ENO9. (10 marks) (c) Explain how objective data for the performance measures identified might be collected. (10 marks) (Total for Question Four = 30 marks) Rationale Question Four involves a mail order company looking for performance enhancement through competitive benchmarking. The requirements test candidates understanding and application of issues associated with Operations Management (learning outcome C(v) in requirements (b) and (c) and Change Management (learning outcome B(iii) in requirement (a).

Suggested Approach/Marking Guide Requirement (a) Identify an appropriate framework for analysis (e.g. ideas for change, the need for change, adoption, resources, implementation) Using the framework, analyse the way in which the new Director is attempting to bring about the change Note: There are many alternative frameworks that might be adopted to conduct the analysis necessary in a systematic fashion. One is used in the examiners answers. Limited answer; Confused or partial discussion of some relevant points. Pass standard answer: Discussion and some analysis of several relevant aspects of the way in which the Director is attempting to bring about the change. Possibly unlinked to a relevant analytic framework. Strong answer: Well developed analysis of the way in which the Director is attempting to bring about the change. Several key points identified in the process. Likely to be linked to a relevant analytic framework. One to two full marks per substantive point made. Requirement (b) Identify the main types of benchmarking and relate to scenario Identify and discuss the potential advantages (a structure for systematic performance improvement, insight into relevant strengths and weaknesses, ongoing review and monitoring process, driver for change, etc.) Identify and discuss the potential disadvantages (negative staff reaction, expensive monitoring systems, pressure for changes to other systems, cost of monitoring the system) Limited answer: Confused or partial understanding of benchmarking and general unstructured discussion. Pass standard answer: Discussion of some relevant advantages and disadvantages of benchmarking, possibly only slightly linked to the scenario. Strong answer: Well-structured discussion of several relevant advantages and disadvantages of benchmarking, strongly linked throughout to the scenario.

Marks

3 max

5 max

10 max

3 max 5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 11

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com

Paper P4 Organisational Management and Information Systems Post Exam Guide November 2008 Exam Requirement (c) Distinguish internal data collection from external collection in terms of potential problems of access Take each of the five measures in turn (price, quality, delivery, quality of information, customer service) and explain how relevant, objective data might be collected Limited answer: Confused discussion of data collection relevant to the scenario but unlinked to the five measures identified. Pass standard answer: Explanation of several relevant data collection issues for the five measures identified, all relevant to the scenario. Possible lack of address of issues of objectivity. Strong answer: Comprehensive explanation of several relevant data collection issues for the five measures identified, all relevant to the scenario. Full address of issues of objectivity throughout. One to two full marks per substantive point made. Examiners Comments Common Errors Not writing enough! Some answers were nothing more than outline notes 2(c) some answers lacked imagination and realism 3 max

5 max

10 max

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Page 12

FOR FREE ACCA, CIMA & CAT RESOURCES VISIT: http://kaka-pakistani.blogspot.com