The Real World of Management
Individual Assignment (100% of the module assessment)
The assignment requirements
Kurt Lewin proposed that “there is nothing so practical as a good theory” (Lewin 1951). It is with this in mind the purpose of this module is to critically explore and evaluate academic theories and concepts within a real-world context.
This will be accomplished by the on-going development of a critical portfolio in which participants compare, contrast and critically evaluate the potential linkages, tensions and contradictions between a chosen academic conceptual framework and its lived experience.
The module takes an ‘action oriented’ approach encouraging students to engage and reflect on their own learning and development, in terms of both knowledge and self. Participants have the opportunity to develop key employability skills by critically exploring, at both a theoretical and practical level, concepts such as leadership, followership, cultural awareness, creating and sustaining relationships / networks, problem solving, decision making, and enterprise / entrepreneurship.
This portfolio will be an individual piece of work, with a 3,000 word count (+/- 10%) of critical commentary.
Please note this assignment must be seen as a distinct piece assessment, and should not be based on any assignments currently or previously submitted for assessment.
The Portfolio A ‘Portfolio’ is a ‘collection of work’. Your portfolio should draw on your individual research into people’s views, experience and stories and also draw on a range of theory from appropriate academic literature. Secondary research data can also be used to support and enhance the critical discussion.
From past experience the portfolios achieving the higher marks were built on an on-going basis through researching and gathering appropriate evidence to support analysis and evaluation of the concept(s), emerging themes and their application to the real world of management and organisations.
It is your responsibility as a researcher to ensure that permission has been requested and given from individual participants before adding the data material to the portfolio.
Although it is possible to work with secondary sources care should be taken to ensure that these are not simply used in a descriptive manner and that they are utilised to develop a critical discussion based on the focus established. The stronger portfolios will also identify and demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives drawn from a range of academic literature selected as relevant to your portfolio’s focus and emerging themes.
The stronger portfolios will use the literature and data / evidence to thoughtfully work through a series of coherent phases of analysis and evaluation discussion from which reasoned conclusions are then drawn.
As with all of your assignments you should seek to make effective use of all available resources to help develop the portfolio.
Your portfolio should have an introductory page which clearly sets out your focus i.e. key questions / issues you will you be focusing on through the research project. What factors have led you to choose the focus – your rationale?
The stronger portfolios will draw their research from a range of sources to introduce different perspectives. However, what tends to make these portfolios are the more thoughtful and unique ways to introduce peoples’ lived experience. Secondary research can be used to compare and contrast these experiences.
Format of the report
This assignment is to be submitted as printed A4 sized hardcopy.
Include a title page on your Portfolio, including: the name of the assessment (Individual Portfolio), your name, your student id, module name (The Real World of Management), module code (MAN6006), your lecturer, and your submission date. Following this, you are to include – Introduction, including your rationale for the research Benefits and limitations the findings of secondary research in a real-world context Application and use of appropriate research approaches, tools and techniques to academic / organisational contexts From primary research, critically evaluate the role of managers as researchers Draw on research, experience and appropriate literature to evidence depth and breadth of learning and development through an on-going Critical Learning Portfolio References page Appendices of evidence of primary data collection
Final suggestions – The assignment should be word processed and 1.5 line spaced. Do not (ever) use bullet points (except on PowerPoint slides!) – Use Arial size 12 point (this font and size) for your assignments. – State the word count used in the Portfolio – On each sheet, ensure you have page numbers in the format ‘Page x of y’ – see the footer in this assignment brief for an example. – All work, including the References pages should be referenced in Harvard style format – there are hand-outs available on-line via Moodle and at the Library website if you are unsure about this. – Do not use Wikipedia, Google, Googlebooks or Yahoo – the former is not peer assessed and the work is unreliable and the latter are search engines. – Do use contemporary academic text books and academic journal articles (newspapers are not articles); use post-year 2010 academic work.
University Regulations The word limit is for your coursework assignment, and does not cover material which is submitted as an appendix. Material submitted as an appendix provides background for your coursework, but it will not be marked unless specified in the brief. Also, it is important that you cross-refer between the main text of your assignment and any appendices, in order to demonstrate the linkage, and that the Appendices do not constitute additional material unrelated to that included in the body of your assignment. If you do not refer to this work in the Appendix, then this included work in the Appendices are not marked.
Your References page will not be included in the word count, but where you quote within the assignment (e.g. Smith and Jones (2010) identified that…) will be included in the word count.
Since your work is submitted in hardcopy format, you are required to declare the number of words used in your assignment. Your work will not be marked without this declaration. All coursework will be checked for adherence to the word limit. If you produce less than or exceed the word limit by up to 10%, no action will be taken, though you may receive adverse feedback. If you produce less than or exceed the stipulated word count by more than 10%, a deduction of the mark awarded will be made to reflect that you have not met the assessment requirements.
Avoiding issues of academic misconduct Please note this is an individual piece of assessment and you should ensure you have read and understood the University’s guidance on avoiding issues of alleged plagiarism and collusion.
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