Aims of the Assignment
The assignment for this element of the module requires you to prepare a report based on two of the contemporary or emerging issues in management covered within the class. The main aim of the assessment is to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the key areas and themes covered in the module. The word limit for the report is 3,000 (+/- 10%,not including the reference list). It is worth 100% of the mark for the module. Please note that you cannot simply revise and resubmit a previous version of this assignment. You must select a new industry to analyse and two different contemporary issues.
The submission date for the individual assignment is Thursday 23 March 2023 at 11.59pm. The report should be uploaded directly to Turnitin. (Please see the guidance on p. 3).
At a minimum, your report should include the following (indicative percentages have been included in order to guide you in terms of how to best utilise the word count):
- Introduction to the Report (10%)
Introduce the industry selected, and the two contemporary and/or emerging issues that you will be analysing for the reader.
- Overview of the Contemporary or Emerging Issues (20%)
Explain the contemporary and/or emerging issues for the reader, drawing upon academic and,where relevant, non-academic sources to do so. Include supporting evidence from reputable sources. What is the issue and why should the industry be concerned about it?
- Critical Analysis of the Risks and Opportunities Presented by the Issues (50%)
Critically analyse the risks and opportunities presented by the issues. Given the limited word count, two to three risks and two to three opportunities is sufficient, particularly if you support your arguments with good quality evidence.
- Tailored Recommendations for the Industry Selected (15%)
Offer one to three recommendations for the industry you are analysing for each of the issues.
Again, aim to support your suggestions with good quality evidence. This will help to make your submission more robust.
- Conclusion to the Report (5%)
Briefly summarise the key points/arguments for the reader.
For ease, you may wish to structure the report as follows:
- Introduction to the Report (inc. Overview of the Industry)
- Contemporary Issue 1: Overview, Risks, Opportunities, Recommendations
- Contemporary Issue 2: Overview, Risks, Opportunities, Recommendations
- Conclusion to the Report
You should aim to be critical in your approach and draw upon relevant academic literature and theories to guide or inform your arguments. Being critical in academic work means not accepting things (information, ideas, and arguments) at face value, but questioning them with an open mind,subjecting them to careful scrutiny. It can involve exercising judgement to ‘weigh up’ different perspectives and/or evidence from different sources, to help you form your own opinions and make well-reasoned arguments. It involves ‘higher skills’ like synthesis, analysis, and evaluation, therefore going beyond mere description or simple explanation.
Topics Covered within the Module
A wide variety of topics will be addressed within the module, any of which would serve as a suitable focus for your assignment. These include, but are not limited to:
- Responsible and Sustainable Management
- Rapid Technological Advancement
- Socio-Demographic Change
- Geo-Political and Geo-Economic Shifts
- The Future of Work
Please note, the list above consists of the ‘headline topics’ covered within the module. Within these,there are numerous sub-topics that you could choose to focus upon (for example, climate change within the context of ‘Responsible and Sustainable Management’ or the gig economy under the ‘The Future of Work’). You are not required to cover the full range of issues within the headline topics.
However, you must address two of the headline topics (e.g., Responsible and Sustainable Management and Socio-Demographic Change). Where appropriate, you can connect these together (e.g., rapid technological advancement is reshaping the future of work. Climate change may have very significant geo-political and geo-economic implications). This can help to demonstrate that you understand the complex relationships between the different topics.
A Note on Data Collection
You are forbidden from collecting primary data, for example, via interviews or questionnaires, as part of this assignment. The collection of primary data is subject to strict University procedures and failure to adhere to these constitutes a serious academic offence. Instead, information should be derived from secondary sources, such as books and journal articles, government publications, industry statistics, organisational websites, company reports, newspapers, etc.
The assignment will be marked against the following criteria, using a marking template (see later in this document). Levels of attainment for each criteria will be informed by the QMS postgraduate conceptual marking scale (also included at the end of this document).
- Overview of the selected industry and two contemporary and/or emerging issues, including justification of choices made.
- Critical analysis of the two contemporary/emerging issues, using insights from relevant academic literature.
- Level of academic understanding demonstrated thorough engagement with relevant academic literature and concepts.
- Evident research on chosen issues and use of supporting evidence and citations.
- Clarity of writing and quality of argumentation.
Some Tips on how to Approach the Assignment
#1 Treat your reader as if they have general knowledge, but not subject specific knowledge: in other words, you will need to concisely explain key terms, theories, concepts, etc., and cite a relevant academic source. (An easy way to think about this is, would a friend or family member who has never studied this topic know what the term or concept meant? Could they, for example, describe what is meant by ‘planetary boundaries’, ‘deglobalisation’, ‘big data’, or ‘machine learning’? If not, you should explain it in your assignment).
#2 Remember to include some contextual information, but not so much that your report is merely descriptive: Some contextual information about the topic you are investigating is very important. It helps to set the scene and is often highly interesting! However, you should complement this with significant consideration of relevant academic content (for example, key leadership, risk management and/or sustainability concepts). Connect these theories and concepts to the descriptive content. It is not enough to say, for example, that a specific action is unsustainable, you must explain what it means to be ‘unsustainable’ and examine why the action in question can be considered unsustainable. Which connects to #3 …
#3 Draw upon a wide range of academic literature (journal articles and textbooks) and support the arguments you are making with evidence: Weaker assignments contain limited reference to academic literature and include arguments based on unsubstantiated personal opinion (e.g., ‘I think globalisation presents both risks and opportunities for businesses’). Stronger submissions demonstrate evidence of extensive research and evidence-based argumentation (e.g., ‘Crane and Matten (2019, p.19), argue that increased globalisation, which they define as ‘the ongoing integration of political, social, and economic interactions at the transnational level’, has brought with it both challenges and opportunities for businesses’).
#4 Think carefully about your structure: You do not have to adhere to a rigid structure based on the elements outlined above. Select the one that works best for the topic you are analysing. However, we would strongly encourage you to use headings/sub-headings and regularly ‘sign-post’ for the reader.
It must be clear how/where you have addressed the main points in your report.
#5 Connect the different sections together: Weaker assignments will consist of multiple disconnected sections; stronger assignments will flow clearly and logically from introduction to conclusion. The way to achieve this is by regularly signposting (see above) and drawing connections between the different sections. These connections could be based on the contextual information and/or the academic content.
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