As we begin to consider some parallels between the business world and the natural world, we can identify some very similar patterns in extinction, adaptation, and supply and demand in both. For example, an organism faces many challenges as it attempts to survive in the natural world, just as a business will struggle to succeed in the marketplace. When resources in the environment are limited, like consumers in the marketplace, organisms and businesses will compete. Those that can maximize their efficiency at production will succeed over those that cannot. Let’s look at how the principles of economics determine production costs and the role that these costs play in the success of a business. (Complete the production costs tutorial before you proceed).
In module one you were first introduced to communities. Organisms within communities interact primarily through the following ways: competition, predation and symbiosis. View the following PowerPoint on Interaction Between Communities (be sure to open the file in full view for audio capability). Read about the unusual relationship documented between Ethiopian wolves and Gelada monkeys at the website below and then answer the following questions:
Luntz, S. (2015). Symbiotic Partnership Between Monkeys and Wolves Discovered IFLScience. Accessed on August 16, 2016 at http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/monkey-wolf-symbiosis/.
What type of relationship is found between the Gelada monkeys and Ethiopian wolves?
Follow the link within the article to read the full-length study. What are the short-term and long-term benefits for each species as a result of their relationship?
What are some of the costs for each of the species as a result of their mutual relationship?
Do you think their relationship could change if resources became scarce? Why or why not?
Now consider the production costs to extinct businesses: choose one of the following: Kodak, Borders or Blockbuster. Do some independent research and use the production cost tutorial from the overview above to address these questions:
What were the fixed and variable costs for this business?
What were some of their long-run costs?
Who were their competitors?
What were the factors that contributed to the decision to shut down production?
Do you think your chosen company could have been successful by adapting a mutually beneficial partnership, similar to organisms in the wild? Why or why not?
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