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Describe a work experience you have or had in the past, including your role and tasks. Answer the following questions: What skills, knowledge or capacities do you need to conduct your tasks?

HRM2018 summative assessment: Individual essay

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Instructions

Describe a work experience* you have or had in the past, including your role and tasks. Answer the following questions:

- What skills, knowledge or capacities do you need to conduct your tasks?

- Describe the main difficulties you face in getting tasks done.

- How do you overcome the difficulties?

- What are the causes of the difficulties?

- If you were a management consultant, what changes would you implement to overcome the difficulties in your work tasks?

In your answer, refer to at least ONE from box A and TWO from box B below

*The following count as work experience:

B

  1. The iron cage of rationality
  2. Red tape
  3. Bureaucratic personality
  4. Blau’s notion of bending the rules of bureaucracy
  5. Marx’s notion of alienation
  6. Emotional labour
  7. Braverman’s deskilling thesis
  8. Organizational Panopticons
  9. Precarious work
  10. Bell’s critique of the human relations approach
  11. Barker’s notion of control through team-work
  12. Willmott’s notion of control through culture
  13. Theories of empowerment
  14. Mary Parker Follett and workplace democracy
  • Paid employment in an organization
  • Voluntary work
  • Work internship
  • Paid or unpaid employment in family business
  • Work that forms part of a formative or summative assignment at university
  • If you struggle to think of suitable work experience, please talk to your tutor or the module leader

 

Recommended references

 

The main textbook King, D. and Lawley, S. (2019) Organizational Behaviour (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15

Marking criteria

This assignment addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4 (see page 6 in the module handbook)

Criteria

Excellent

+70%

Good 60-69%

Average 50-59%

Pass 40-49%

Fail

-39%

Introduction

-       Work role is clearly stated

-       A brief but clear outline of the essay is given (what will be written about in the essay and the theories and concepts that will be drawn on)

-       Around 250 words

 

 

 

 

 

Theories

-       Is able to compare and contrast various schools of thought that explain behaviour in organizations (such as ‘managerialist’ and ‘critical’ perspectives)

-       Is able to evaluate the interrelationship between individuals, groups and managers in organizations

-       Is able to assess the key internal variables impacting upon organizations’ work (e.g. culture) and the outcomes associated with the management of people and organizations

-       Relevant application of concepts and theories to the

 

 

 

 

 

 

work role and work difficulties

 

 

 

 

 

Evidence of use of research

-     Apply research skills to collect information/data to support an argument (The relevant chapters in the main textbook have been properly read and referenced)

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation and structure

-       Use of academic writing skills

-       Clear and logical structure

 

 

 

 

 

Focus on question

-     Addresses the questions

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion includes

-       The conclusion provides a clear summary of the essay by repeating the answers to each question.

-       Around 250 words

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guideline structure of essay

It is recommended that you structure your essay in the following way.

 

Introduction

The introduction should include the following:

-         State your work role and the type of organization

-         Provide a brief but clear outline of the essay (what you will write about in the essay and the theories and concepts you will draw on)

-         Around 250 words

Tasks and skills, knowledge and capacities required

  • In this part of the essay, you should define your role, what type of organization you work for, describe your tasks and the skills, knowledge or capacities you need to carry out your tasks.

Difficulties of the task and how I overcome them

  • Here you focus on the difficulties you face in carrying out your work.

You should discuss the strategies (formal or informal) you use to overcome the difficulties. The above two sections should be around 800 words in total

Theories and concepts: Causes of the difficulties

  • You should answer the following question by referring to theories and concepts covered in the module (one from box A and two from box B above):
  • What are the causes of the difficulties?

Theories and concepts: Recommendations for change

  • You should answer the following question by referring to theories and concepts covered in the module (one from box A and two from box B above):
  • If you were a management consultant, what changes would you implement to overcome the difficulties in your work tasks?

The above two sections should be around 1200 words combined. When writing the two ‘theories and concepts’ sections, you need to define key terms and show that you have understood theories and concepts. As stated in the ‘theory’ section in the marking criteria above, you need to be able to

  • Compare and contrast various schools of thought that explain behaviour in organizations (such as ‘managerialist’ and ‘critical’ perspectives)
  • Evaluate the interrelationship between individuals, groups and managers in organizations
  • Assess the key internal variables impacting upon organizations’ work (e.g. culture) and the outcomes associated with the management of people and organizations
  • Relevantly apply theories and concepts to your work role and work difficulties

Conclusion

  • The conclusion should provide a clear summary of the essay.
  • This means briefly repeating the answers to each question above.
  • Around 250 words

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What headings should I use in the essay?

It is strongly recommended that you use the following headings in your essay. This should also help you to structure your essay:

  • Introduction
  • Tasks and skills, knowledge and capacities required
  • Difficulties of the task and how I overcome them
  • Theories and concepts: Causes of the difficulties
  • Theories and concepts: Recommendations for change
  • Conclusion

Even though this is a reflective essay, you still need to use theories and concepts in organizational behaviour. If you do not properly explain and discuss theories and concepts from box A and B by making reference to the academic literature (such as the essential textbook), you will likely fail the essay or get a reduced mark.

What is the difference between the role and tasks?

Your role is your formally assigned title. Your tasks are the activities and duties you carry out when actually working.

What do knowledge, skills and capacities mean?

These terms refer to the abilities and competencies required to carry out your tasks well. When you describe this, do not just draw from what is stated in your formal job description (such as the education level required to carry out the role). You need to refer to the skills and capacitates that are required to actually carry out the work. Sometimes the capacity is an emotion, such as patience or enthusiasm (this is called ‘emotional labour’ in the literature), which is not always explicitly stated in your job description

Shall I write about the difficulties of the job from my perspective or from the perspective of the organization I work for?

This is a reflective essay about your own work experience. So, you need to write about the difficulties that you face from YOUR perspective, not from the perspective of the organization - although of course, these two perspectives may be linked.

How many references are required?

You need to make reference to at least 2 chapters in the essential textbook. These are the minimum required references. You can of course use more academic references, but the quality of your answer is more important than the quantity of your references.

Note: You have to first prioritise reading the chapters in the essential textbook. Once you have done this you can consult other academic sources.

Do I need references for the section where I describe my tasks?

No, you don’t necessarily need to reference this as you are describing your tasks, drawing from your own experience.

Do I need references for the sections on ‘causes’ and ‘recommendations’?

Yes you will need references here because you will have to draw from theories and concepts to explain the causes of the difficulties and to make the recommendations. In these two sections, you will have to engage in a discussion, comparing and contrasting the ‘managerial’ and ‘critical’ perspectives in organizational behaviour. Remember, if your essay does not sufficiently discuss theories or concepts from the module, you will likely get a reduced mark.


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