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Understand how relevant motivation theories and other organisational behaviour principles can be applied to inform human resources practices that aim towards maximising employees’ performance and potential.

Levaraging Human Capital (N1590)

Invdividual Written Mid-Term Assignment


Course information:           Spring Semester 2020

                                                Credits 15

                                                2000 word Essay (30% weighting)

Essay to be completed in A3 by e-submission via Turnitin (details on Canvas).


You are a consultant to a company (pick a real example by exploring current news, websites, social media, etc.). The CEO has come to you because he/she has noticed that the motivation of the workforce is low , and the company is not attracting the right applicants for new jobs (you can design and imagine these issue yourself and locate them in the company you picked from reality). The CEO has come to you, and asked you to identify the HR or OB issues behind this situation, and to propose a way to improve any organizational aspect to ensure people are motivated and the right applicants are attracted for new jobs.


To complete the essay, you will need to think about the following:

  • Problem identification – your essay should identify and clearly describe two key organisational, management and/or leadership issues that are afflicting motivation in your chosen company.
  • Theoretical Analysis – your answer should draw on relevant and correctly referenced ideas, theories, models and concepts covered in the module.  Please do not overuse quotes.
  • Practical application – you need to ensure that you include a relevant business example, by applying your theories/processes/models to a real company of your choice.
  • Theoretical Critique – you are expected to apply and critically review theories/models/concepts to business contexts. That means that each theory or model can be appraised with its pros and cons.
  • Structure – a clear structure that provides the reader with a clear narrative route to a robust conclusion.
  • Presentation – grammatically correct, in an academic style.  Please check spelling.

Please Note:

  • The word limit is 2000 words (+/-10%).
  • Please include a front sheet with your candidate number and word count.
  • Please note Harvard or APA referencing style is required.
  • In-text references DO count towards the word limit; end of essay (bibliography) references DO NOT.
  • Text style: Please use Times New Roman, size 11 or 12 font in 1.5 line spacing.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how relevant motivation theories and other organisational behaviour principles can be applied to inform human resources practices that aim towards maximising employees’ performance and potential.
  2. Critically evaluate the different human resources practices that can be implemented by organisations to utilise human capital resources, including recruitment and selection, performance management, human resource development etc.
  3. Understand what organisations can do to address issues that may hinder the utilisation of human capital resources, such as workplace diversity, workplace conflicts, organisational change, etc.
  4. Apply the theories, concepts and practices covered in the module to analyse the current business context.

The essay must meet LO4, ie, using business examples.

A Good Answer:

A good answer will focus on two topics (covered in Weeks 1-5), no more.  These topics should be applied to a relevant business example(s).  A good answer would also consider the internal and external environment and the impact this may have upon the business and the practices that it might use. It might propose how the topic studies can help the organization resolve their issues.

Model Answer:

An answer could include some of the following:

  • Identify and discuss the challenges in motivation, and attraction of new workers, experienced by your chosen example company.
  • Discuss two HR/OB (Human Resources and or Organization Behaviour) processes that can be optimised to achieve the CEO’s objectives of improved motivation and attraction.
  • Discuss the steps that can be taken in the organization to implement these processes, and the plus and minuses that these have.
  • You can pick from a number of theories and processes explored in the first four lectures, from HRM practices, views of Human Capital, Selection techniques, to Employer Branding and company culture, and motivation/job design any other aspects we studied in week 1-5.
  • A critical review of the impact that the chosen HR/OB processes and initiatives can have on the companies for employees and/or customers and/or managers. This can be done by theoretically exploring the pros and cons of these techniques, and highlight how these pros and cons will materialise in practice.
  • Good answer might also touch upon, for example, a critical review of the leader/manager’s role in motivating people or companywide strategies of attracting the right people etc. Higher level students may find the critical review leads them to discuss the darker side of these processes.

Please use the following essay rubric as a guide to help you produce a good essay.  The University general Assessment Criteria are also attached

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