1 The University of Manchester IDPM70072 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR 2013-14 ASSIGNMENT QUESTION WORD LIMIT: 3000 WORDS The assignment must be submitted via Blackboard by 12.00 (mid-day) on Monday 28th April, 2014. ——————————– Assignments should be word processed: 12pt font size, with 1.5 or double line spacing WARNING: The University has a strict policy on plagiarism. Unacknowledged copying of another person’s work will result in the automatic failure of the assignment and may lead to disciplinary action being taken against the study fellow. Your answer must be fully referenced where appropriate. For guidance on how to make sure you avoid plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice, please consult your handbook, section 4.8. Please note that in accordance with Faculty policy, any student who submits a piece of assessed coursework after the submission deadline will receive a penalty, unless they are subsequently able to prove Mitigating Circumstances (See Section 4.7 of your Programme Handbook). ——————————– 2 Write an essay (+/- 3000 words) in response to ONE of the six tasks below, based on the syllabus you have studied in the semester. 1. Critically analyse three well-known motivation theories and consider the implications of these theories for the ways in which work is planned, designed and implemented in a specific organizational context that you know about. 2. Distinguish between three approaches to the study of leadership and discuss critically what you see as the relevance of each of these approaches today, illustrating your discussion with a case in a given organizational context with which you are familiar. 3. Analyse critically and consider the implications of two or more communication theories for the ways in which work can/should be planned and implemented in a known organizational context. 4. Assess the contribution that scientific management makes to the experience and management of contemporary work, with reference to a specific organizational context known to you. 5. “The design of an organization’s structure must meet the needs of its strategy”. Critically discuss this statement with reference to a case study of an organization that you are familiar with. 6. Write an essay on a chosen topic from the OB module and discuss critically whether theories on this topic are relevant to and organization or organisations in a country with which you are familiar. Structure your essay using the following framework: 1. Review current thinking on your chosen topic by outlining the main points of related academic theory. Your essay should refer to up to date literature. Cite the references you use, observing standard citation conventions as described in your Programme Handbook. 2. Examine the topic critically from an academic perspective. For example, you are encouraged to highlight and discuss the main points of debate that surround different academic theories relating to the topic. 3. Discuss the extent to which these key theories on this topic are relevant/applicable to the setting of an organisation or group of organisations in a country with which you are familiar. Provide specific examples of relevant organisational practice/behaviour when seeking to discuss the relevance/applicability of these theories to the organisation/s. You may choose to refer to your actual or prospective role in the organization in this aspect of the discussion. 3 ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES As a guideline, a pass grade essay (50% +) should demonstrate: 1. That the study fellow has addressed a subject area that is relevant to the OB syllabus. (NB: All study fellows will have been offered the opportunity to talk about their proposal with the module tutor.) 2. That the study fellow is competent to synthesise a body of literature relating to the chosen subject area by means of providing an overview/summary of relevant theory. 3. Evidence of the study fellow’s competence to evaluate critically literature that relates to the chosen subject area. 4. Evidence of the study fellow’s competence to apply relevant theory to an organisational context, with a view to analysing both theory and work-based practices/behaviour. 5. That the study fellow can put together a logically-structured and organised essay, using an appropriate level of writing skill. ADVISORY NOTES Your module tutors will be happy to discuss your proposal for the assignment with you. You can send an outline to these persons, at a mutually convenient date and time. You will also have an opportunity to talk with your tutors about your assignment during the module. It is recommended that you structure your essay along the lines of the three headings in the assignment specification. For sections one and two, your essay should be grounded in relevant academic theory. It is anticipated that essays will contain a minimum of 10 references to sources such as textbooks and journal articles. You are not likely to have covered enough theory if you have not consulted at least 10 articles or books – for those wanting a higher mark then wider reading would be needed. A full listing of these references should be presented, using the standard prescribed referencing format, at the end of the essay. The references should include current journal and book references. The emphasis in Section 3 is on the application of relevant theory to organisational settings. This section must present the organization that you are examining briefly but effectively to a reader who is not familiar with it, so that your subsequent discussion is firmly grounded in that description. You are reminded that, if you have limited work experience, you may draw on your knowledge of ‘social organisations’ such as clubs, societies, religious organisations etc. in order to address this aspect of the assignment.