Management Concepts

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Business Environment; Communication Techniques; Controlling; Decision Making; Directing; Employee Motivation Theories; Group Dynamics; Leadership; Organizational Structure; Organizing; Planning; Policies and Strategies; Staffing

Skills: For success in business as either an employee or an entrepreneur, the professional manager must build a solid foundation of business knowledge including its operation and its management.


Objective Test

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Format Guide

Website Resources
Business Environment
1. Explain the impact of business on the environment.
2. Explain the nature of managerial ethics and demonstrate ethical behaviors in the work place—responsible behavior, honesty, integrity, and ethical work habits.
3. Describe current and emerging trends in business (e.g., acquisition/downsizing, e-commerce, data mining, labor market, and social issues).
4. Differentiate social, ethical, and environment issues facing business.
5. Describe the impact of demographic issues on business..
6. Evaluate the impact of liaisons with community, governmental, and professional organizations on the business environment.
7. Construct an initial survey regarding possible locations for a business within the community.
8. Plan physical layout, furnishings, and equipment for a business environment and analyze for maximum efficiency.
9. Identify stressors in the business environment and employ strategies for dealing with stress.
Communication Techniques
1. Define communication (formal and informal) and discuss its implication for effective management.
2. Describe the communication process.
3. Examine communication barriers and ways to eliminate them.
4. Define active listening and review the keys to effective listening.
5. Describe the role of computer networks, videoconferences, and telecommuting as organizational communication
6. . Discuss the communications skills and le
7. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and terminology and communication skills to produce and edit clearly written traditional and electronic documents.
8. Prepare a meeting plan/agenda and demonstrate a productive meeting.
9. Prepare and deliver a presentation to achieve greatest impact.
10. Demonstrate effective communication techniques and skills in working with individuals groups and supervisors (e.g., verbal and nonverbal).
1. Define control and its role and importance.
2. Describe controls in the functional areas to include: human resources, production, marketing, information, and financial activities.
3. Identify the steps of the control process.
4. Identify and compare three types of control: preventative, concurrent, and corrective.
5. Describe the nature of managerial control (e.g., control process, types of control, and what is controlled).
6. Identify areas of control: costs, inventories, quality, safety, and employees.
7. Discuss steps to change negative attitudes and manage change in organization.
8. Analyze and understand the importance and purpose of financial information and statements.
9. Track performance of business plan.
10. Develop and implement budgets and expense-control strategies to enhance a business’s financial well-being.
11. anage quality-control processes to minimize errors and to expedite workflow.
12. Develop and analyze process control charts to include Pareto Charts, Histograms, X-bar and R-charts, Flow Charts, Cause and Effect Diagrams, and Scatter Diagrams.
13. Describe the basic concept behind Total Quality Management and its application to a business.
14. Describe the concepts behind Six Sigma, ISO 9000 and similar systems.
Decision Making
1. Define the role of decision making and problem solving.
2. Compare advantages and disadvantages of group versus individual decision making.
3. Define key stakeholders and their roles in making high-quality decisions.
4. Use information management techniques, data analysis, and strategies to guide business decision making (e.g., describe current business trends, monitor internal records for business information, and interpret statistical findings).
5. Write internal and external analytical reports that examine a problem/issue and recommend an action.
6. Distinguish between making effective decisions in a team structure vs. a non-team structure and individual versus group.
7. Discuss different decision-making styles, group decision making, the management of creative people, and techniques to maximize the effectiveness of decision making.
8. Analyze the impact and relationship of government regulations and community involvement on business management decisions.
9. Establish decision making processes that work across organizational boundaries
10. Effectively assess and manage risk critically evaluating costs, risks, benefits, and impact.
1. Identify and describe the directing function of management.
2. Cite the principles of effective delegating and directing.
3. Compare and contrast leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire
4. Explain management theories: Theories X, Y, Z, Herzberg’s, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs..
5. Explain the nature of a project life cycle.
6. Prioritize task to be completed, develop timelines, and track progress and results.
7. Use project management skills and information technology tools to improve workflow and minimize costs.
8. Perform scheduling functions to facilitate on-time, prompt completion of work activities.
9. Manage business records to maintain needed documentation.
10. Prepare documentation of business activities to communicate with internal/external clients.
11. Establish procedures to maintain equipment and supplies.
12. Explain the concept of authority, delegation, responsibility, and accountability as a requirement of any managerial position.
Employee Motivation Theories
1. Identify and compare various motivation theories and explain their importance for understanding employee behavior including job rotation, job enlargement, and job enrichment.
2. Define motivation and discuss actions and techniques to maximize motivation in the workplace.
3. Describe techniques managers use to motivate individual employees (e.g., goal setting, management, cross-training, empowerment, and self-direction).
4. Coach employees and support performance with effective feedback.
5. Identify motivational lessons taught by Maslow’s theory and Herzberg’s theory
6. Discuss extrinsic rewards and intrinsic rewards to motivate the workforce.
7. Describe the contributions of quality circles to job performance
8. Describe how staff growth and development increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
9. Develop program for improving employee satisfaction and performance evaluation.
10. Define empowerment and discuss principles and procedures involved with employee empowerment.
11. Discuss methods for improvement of employee morale.
12. Discuss techniques to manage stress effectively.
Group Dynamics
1. Describe the approaches and methods used to build teams.
2. Discuss the importance of teams and utilize new approaches for systematically involving others in team communication, team visioning, and decision making.
3. Identify the stages of group development.
4. Describe the significance of cohesiveness, roles, norms, and ostracism in regard to the behavior of group members.
5. Describe the types of work groups in the United States and discuss the various group dynamics that can be identified during this evolution.
6. Identify the characteristics of effectively functioning teams and how the supervisor encourages their development.
7. Describe the principles of managing group conflict and difficult team behaviors.
8. Show the benefits of self-managed work teams.
1. Discuss the five managerial functions (e.g., planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling) within the context of today’s diverse workforce.
2. Identify how technology is changing the supervisor’s job.
3. Define leadership and describe the difference in manager, leader, and supervisor.
4. Differentiate between task-centered and people-centered leadership behaviors.
5. Describe a variety of leadership theories and models
6. Identify important qualities, behaviors, skills, and characteristics of effective leaders.
7. Evaluate business situations to determine whether the leadership style is participative, autocratic, leadership grid based or entrepreneurial.
8. Evaluate business situations for appropriate use of team leadership versus solo leadership.
Organizational Structure
1. Identify and provide examples of basic ownership forms and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each form of ownership.
2. Identify types of organization structure: line, line and staff, matrix, team, committee, and grapevine; centralized vs. decentralized; and understand organization charts.
3. Develop an organizational plan and structure to facilitate business activities
4. Describe the types of organizational structures and discuss their relationship to the success or failure of organizations.
5. Identify management levels and describe the interaction between and among management levels.
6. Identify functions of organizational culture and describe how to create, sustain, and change an organizational culture.
7. Describe formal and informal organizational structures.
1. Define organizing and empowerment.
2. Describe work specialization.
3. Identify values of job descriptions.
4. List the steps of delegation.
5. Utilize organizational and project management skills to improve workflow, minimize costs, and monitor and evaluate business projects.
6. Explain the importance of organizing in business.
7. Describe how organization provides accountability by delegating authority and assigning responsibility.
8. Identify major management tasks involved in implementing the work of an organization.
9. Define lean management and explain its implementation in organizations.
10. Organize business activities related to company’s vision, mission, and values to achieve established action plans.
1. Compare and contrast the planning function to other management functions.
2. Explain what planning is and the importance of planning.
3. Define time management and identify effective time management guidelines.
4. Define how plans should link from the top to the bottom of the organization, utilizing the definitions of strategic and tactical planning.
5. Describe Gantt and PERT charts.
6. Identify components common to management by objective (MBO) programs.
7. Distinguish between strategic (long-term) and operational (short-term) plans
8. Describe the strategic planning process and assess how strategic planning impacts the organization and the individual.
9. Develop and identify examples of strategic plans, tactical plans, and operational plans.
10. Create or select measurable outcomes to meet organization, program, or unit objectives.
11. Explain the purpose, list the parts of a business plan, and develop an effective business plan.
12. Identify and use planning tools (e.g., business and action plans, company goals and objectives, budgets, policies, SWOT, and benchmarks) to guide organization’s activities.
13. Identify and assess business risks, select risk-management strategies, and develop and evaluate a risk-management plan.
14. Analyze the components of a financial plan.
15. List and explain the types of plans: strategic, intermediate, operational, and contingency.
Policies and Strategies
1. Define SWOT and conduct an organizational SWOT
2. List the steps in strategic management.
3. Explain the nature and scope of quality management practices and frameworks (e.g., Six Sigma, ITIL, and CMMI) within a business.
4. Develop, interpret, and explain written organizational policies and procedures to help employees perform their jobs according to employer rules and expectations.
5. Determine alternative actions to take when goals are not being met.
6. Develop and implement security policies/procedures to protect employees and to minimize chance for loss.
7. Implement personal and job site safety rules and regulations to maintain safe and healthful working conditions and environments.
1. Discuss HR related laws and how they influence human resource decisions, including: Civil Rights Act, American with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
2. Discuss the effects of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act) and the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act) on labor relations.
3. Develop a staffing plan and prioritize staffing needs to minimize costs while maximizing business contribution.
4. Discuss the purposes of the orientation and training of employees.
5. Identify methods/procedures for recruiting employees, publicizing job openings, interviewing, and selecting applicants for employment.
6. Discuss factors and outline the procedures used in employee performance documentation, promotion, and termination including grievance processes.
7. Review legal issues (e.g., harassment, employee rights, privacy, drug testing, labor dispute, discrimination and substance abuse) and potential impact to the business.
8. Resolve staff issues/problems to enhance productivity and improve employee/employer relationships.
9. Define job analysis, job descriptions, and job specifications.


PBL Program of Study


States may submit up to 3 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


Test: 1 hour