IB Business Management IA Structure: A Guide for 2024

In this guide, we look at the structure that you should use for your IB Business Management IA.

Note that IB now refers to this assignment as the Business Project, and it has an updated format for 2024 or later exams.

There isn’t so much information online about the Business Project yet. However, we’ve tried the best we can to give you a summary of what we’ve been able to find so far for students graduating May 2024 or later.

Continue reading to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • The IB Business Management IA is now 1,800 words long.
  • Your teacher will grade the paper from 0 to 25 marks.
  • In terms of percentage, the IA is worth 30% at Standard Level (SL) and 20% at Higher Level (HL). 

IB Business Management IA Structure

The following is a format you can use to organize the research for your IB Business Management internal assessment:

Title Page

The title page should have the following:

  • Research question
  • One key concept
  • The IB number
  • Session (i.e. May 2024)
  • IA word count

Do not include your name, school, student number, or candidate number on this page. They’re no longer required.

Table of Contents 

The tables of content should have:

  • Introduction
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Supporting Documents

Introduction (200 Words Maximum)

Give a clear overview of the business or organization. Mention the name of the entity and its core operations.

Identify the specific issue or challenge under investigation and its direct correlation to the fundamental concept. Explain the methodology used to investigate the issue or problem at hand. Describe your selection of sources, mention their relevance and varied perspectives, and state how essential they’re to conducting your analysis.

Include in-text citation to reinforce your assertions and claims (if you make any).

Analysis (1,325 Words Maximum)

The analysis is the body section of your assignment. Here, you use tools and theories to present your analysis and then link the analysis to the key concept.

  • Use the supporting document to present your findings and analysis. 
  • Include the tools and theories used to address the research question.
  • Explain how reliable your sources are and equally mention their limitations.
  • Your mini-conclusions should show how your insights relate to the key concept, the themes that emerge from your analysis, your findings, the usefulness of the tools in answering the question, and a synthesis of your insights.

Conclusion (250 Words Maximum)

Give a direct answer to your research question in the conclusion section. State how your insights link to the key concept, the themes that emerge from your analysis, and how they relate to the business question.

Evaluate the insights from each tool and theory used in your mini conclusions and explain how relevant they’re to your conclusion.

You should also share the impact of your insights, but do not introduce new arguments or facts in this section.


Mention the 3 to 5 sources used. Also, include any other source that you may have used.

You should use a standard referencing system such as APA or MLA, depending on the instructions provided in the assessment brief.

Supporting Documents

For the supporting documents: 

  • Mention all the sources with clearly readable words and highlights that are easy to see.
  • You should label each supporting document so that they are easy for the reader to identify.

Note that the above structure is effective beginning May 2024 and onwards.

How to Approach Your IB Business Management IA

IB teachers recommend that pay attention to the most important elements of the subject to write a comprehensive IA in the subject.


1. Choose a Relevant Business and a Problem

You can choose any business for your internal assessment, as long as it’s a real establishment.

Usually, IB allows you to choose a topic of your choice with the condition that it fits in the subject in question. It’s the same case when it comes to choosing a business. As such, we highly recommend that you choose a business that you’re interested in exploring.

Then, determine what question would be more appropriate to investigate in relation to your business (or organization) of choice. Your question can be backward or forward-looking.

2. Identify the Key Concept

There are four business IA key concepts in IB, and they are sustainability, change, ethics, and creativity. You should use only one concept to analyze your internal assessment.

Don’t just refer to the concept you’ve selected, explain it in-depth to demonstrate a higher level of understanding through a thorough development of your analysis.

Lastly, you should not include an additional concept such as culture, innovation, or globalization in your analysis, or you risk scoring a zero for Criterion A. 

3.  Choose the Right Tools

Figure out which tools and theories can best help you answer the business question and then use them. Some of the options include:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Decision trees
  • Ansoff matrix  
  • Business plan
  • Descriptive statistics
  • STEEPLE analysis
  • BCG (Boston Consulting Group) matrix
  • Force field analysis (HL)
  • Gantt chart (HL)
  • Critical path analysis (HL)
  • Simple linear regression (HL)

4. Select 3 to 5 Supporting Documents

The information to answer your business question will mostly come from these documents. Consider sources that let you complete 3 or 4 business tools. Also, ensure your sources meet the following conditions:

1.RecentConsider sources published three years before your project submission date.
2.DiversityOpt for sources that have a range of idea and views.
3.ReliabilityEnsure you choose supporting documents from reliable and trustworthy sources.
4.Primary/SecondaryYour sources can be primary, secondary, or a combination of both.
5.TranslationYou should translate the document if they’re in a different language.
6.LengthIB Business’ guide states clearly that each source should be 5 pages or less in length.
7.DetailedYour supporting document should have depth to allow you to explore your business issue in detail.
8.Traceable Include sources as citation so that you and your teacher know where you got them.

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