GROUP ASSIGNMENT: FIELD STUDY,
MANAGER INTERVIEW AND REPORT
Semester 2, 2014
PREPARED BY: Alan McWilliams
Group Assignment: Field Study, Manager Interview Report
This assessment accounts for the following proportion of marks for this unit
LEARNING OUTCOMES BEING ASSESSED
1. Critically analyse management practices in the Australasian context.
2. Understand organisational behaviour and management theory.
3. Critically analyse the underlying values of these theories.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of management theories and evaluate their impact on practical management decision making in the Australasian context
5. Develop skills and knowledge with regard to individual and group behaviour in the context of organisations and their environment.
(See the unit of study guide for the full list of learning outcomes for BMO1102).
Reports must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word document file via the VU Collaborate Assignment Submission process. The file name for your essay must be in the format of Family Name 1_ Student ID _Family Name 2_ Student ID_Family Name 3_Student ID numbers_Assignment. For example: McWilliams_s1234567_Lawrence_s1234568_Kett_s1235469_Report Given Name_Family Name
Student_ID_Number_Assignment. Essays submitted with any other file name format will not be accepted.
Midnight, Friday of Week 10
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT
This semester the subject has been structured around the classical management functions of planning, leading, organising, and controlling. We know from the work of Mintzberg and others that managers seldom have the luxury of structuring their day so that they spend a certain amount of time Leading, a certain amount of their time Planning and so on. A managerâ€™s day is typically busy with short periods of time spent on many different tasks. Often managers are reacting to events taking place both inside and outside of the organisation.
In groups of three students, your task is to interview a manager in order to find out how they typically spend their day, week, month, or year. The next task is to compare the answers you receive and your observations of the managers you interview with the theory outlined in your textbook. This process of comparing information and observations with theory is the basis of much of the academic writing that you will undertake during your time at university. Your comparison should lead you to being able to make informed comments about the role of the manager you interview. By comparing actual management in practice with the theoretical â€œideal best practiceâ€ described in the textbook and other sources you will be able to see how closely successful managers follow good theory.
Below is a set of questions to for you to use; your interview may be more comprehensive if you wish to prepare extra questions. You can discuss any extra questions you may wish to ask with your tutor. However, a good starting point is to address the themes covered in this subject during the semester. Do not try to ask too many â€œclosedâ€ questions. Closed questions are questions that can (and will) be answered with a â€œyesâ€ or â€œnoâ€.
â€¢ How do you plan your workday?
â€¢ How far into the future do you plan for your job role?
â€¢ How do you plan for your career, and how far into the future do you plan for it?
â€¢ What is it about your job that makes it difficult to achieve goals, and what makes it easy?
â€¢ How do you motivate your subordinates and how do you maintain your own motivation?
â€¢ How do you approach the task of leading others?
â€¢ What things do you look for in a person who leads you?
â€¢ Who do you see as your mentors, and whom do you provide mentoring for?
â€¢ How do you mentor?
â€¢ How do you achieve goals by working with subordinates and fellow managers?
â€¢ How do you deal with conflict in the work groups you manage?
â€¢ How do you deal with conflict between you and other managers?
â€¢ What ethical issues do you face in your management role and how do you deal with them?
â€¢ How important is it for you to be aware of workplace diversity?
â€¢ Does workplace diversity give your organisation a competitive advantage? If so why (or why not)?
Your final task is to reflect upon and discuss the skills required by your group to complete this assessment task. What skills did you need to plan and prepare for this task, what skills did you need to complete this task and what could you do to improve the outcome in the future? Why would you do things differently? What are the possible problems with your suggestion, and how would you overcome them? Draw upon your group process journals to help you reflect upon how your group worked together. Write a brief section summarising these reflections as part of your report.
Each group will be required to give a brief oral presentation (no more than 2 â€“ 3 minutes) in each of the tutorials prior to the submission of the group assignment. All group members must be present for this brief oral report. The oral report will focus on detailing the progress made towards completing this assessment task, and outline such topics as: how tasks have been allocated amongst group members; who is being interviewed and any issues related to gaining access to your interviewee/manager; any problems that may be occurring with group members meeting their obligations and completing their group assigned tasks. These reports should be written up as a reflective â€œgroup process journalâ€ (no more than 100 to 200 words) and used in the preparation of your description of team member contributions. These Group Process Journals are to be printed, signed and handed to your tutor at the time you give your feedback report. (See below following the description of the assessment task).
Your Field Study / Manager Interview findings are to be presented in formal report format. You will find a template for this report on VU Collaborate. The template will help you to organise your report and show you how a formal report is structured. You will see from reading the template that you need to include the following in your report:
â€¢ A cover page that clearly states; o The names and ID numbers of the members of your group o Your tutorâ€™s name o The day and time of your tutorial o The name of the organisation and manager interviewed
â€¢ A table of contents that shows section headings and page numbers
â€¢ An introduction that tells the reader who you interviewed, where they are a manager, why you chose them, how you contacted them, and when the interview(s) took place. You should also include a short description of the company, the industry it is in and where it is located.
â€¢ A main body to your report. The main body of your report will be a logical explanation of your findings presented in clearly defined sections.
â€¢ A comparison between what you observed and relevant theory that will be set out with clearly defined sections.
o Be aware of the fact that every organisation is unique, and the way things are done in the organisation you visit may not be exactly â€œby the bookâ€ but it may be the most efficient and effective method for that organisation.
â€¢ A conclusion section. Your report will have a conclusion that sums up the key points of your discussion and comes to a concluding statement.
â€¢ A reference list that includes a minimum of three sources as well as your textbook. (This must MATCH the in-text reference citations of your report).
â€¢ Appendices for your group process journal and description of individual contribution (see appendices I and II of this document), interview questions and responses as well as any other material that is important to your report but may be too long to include in the main body of the work.
â€¢ To verify your interview process, an appendix showing the contact details of the manager you interviewed, with their business email address or web page address showing, if possible, both the organisation and their position or job title (e.g. company web page).
â€¢ An appendix containing a reflective discussion of the skills used by you for this assessment task. This section will appraise the skills you used in this field study assignment and outline the strengths and weaknesses of your assignment group in relation to those skills. Refer to the description of Graduate Capabilities in the Unit of Study Guide for a list of skills that your group may have developed by doing this assignment. Draw upon your group process journals to help you reflect upon your current skill levels.
Your report must be no longer than 3000 words, word processed (MS Word format) with line spacing set at 1.5 and printed on one side of the page only. All referencing must be done using the Harvard referencing system. Marks will be deducted for poor presentation, spelling, or grammar.
BMO1102 Mgt and Org Behaviour Report Assessment Criteria Grid and Feedback Sheet
CRITERION HD (80%) D (70 – 79%) C (60-69%) P (50 – 59%) Refer/FAIL ( 50%)
Presentation & Style
Presentation of assignment Shows a well-structured and thoughtful approach to the topic Carefully & logically organised Shows organisation & coherence Shows some attempt to organise in a logical manner Disorganised/incoherent
Clarity of expression (incl. accuracy, spelling, grammar, punctuation Fluent writing style appropriate to document. Grammar & spelling accurate Language fluent. Grammar & spelling accurate Language mainly fluent. Grammar & spelling mainly accurate Meaning apparent, but language not always fluent. Grammar &/or spelling contain errors Meaning unclear &/or grammar &/or spelling contain frequent errors
Referencing (in text and at end of document) Referencing is consistently
accurate both within & at end of document Referencing is mainly accurate Some attempt at referencing Referencing is absent/ unsystematic
Clarity of objectives & focus of work Has defined objectives in detail & addressed them comprehensively & imaginatively Has defined objectives & addressed them through the work Has outlined objectives & addressed them at the end of the work Has provided generalised objectives & focused the work on the topic area No information provided in relation to clarity of objectives & focus of work
Content & knowledge
Content & range Comprehensive/detailed knowledge of topic with areas of specialisation addressed in depth. Reasonable knowledge of topic & an awareness of a variety of ideas/contexts/ frameworks Has given a factual &/or conceptual knowledge base & appropriate terminology Evidence of limited knowledge of topic & some
use of appropriate terminology Lacks evidence of knowledge relevant to the
topic &/or significantly misuses terminology
Use of literature / evidence of reading Has developed & justified using own ideas based on a wide range of sources which have been thoroughly analysed, applied & discussed Able to critically appraise the literature & theory gained from a variety of sources, developing own ideas in the process Clear evidence & application of readings relevant to the subject; uses indicative texts identified Literature is presented uncritically in a purely descriptive way & indicates limitations of understanding Either no evidence of literature being consulted or irrelevant to the assignment set
Knowledge of theory Assignment demonstrates integration & innovation in the selection & handling of theory Insightful & appropriate selection of theory in key areas Most key theories are included in the work in an appropriate straightforward manner Selection of theory is appropriate but some aspects have been missed or misconstrued Inaccurate or inappropriate choice of theory
Analysis, Synthesis & Critical Reasoning Can analyse new &/or abstract data & situations without guidance using a wide range of techniques appropriate to the topic Can analyse a range of information with minimum guidance; can apply major theories & compare alterative techniques Can analyse with guidance using given classification/principles Can analyse a limited range of information with guidance using classification/principles Fails to analyse information
Can critically review evidence supporting conclusions / recommendations with reliability, validity & significance Can select appropriate techniques of evaluation & can evaluate the relevance & significance of data collected Can evaluate the reliability of data using defined techniques &/or tutor guidance Limited & only partially accurate evaluation of data using defined techniques &/or tutor guidance Fails to evaluate or use techniques of evaluation, or evaluations are totally
Conclusions Analytical & clear conclusions wellgrounded in theory & literature showing development of new concepts Good development shown in
summary of arguments, based in theory/literature Evidence of findings & conclusions grounded in theory/literature Limited evidence of findings & conclusions supported by theory/literature Unsubstantiated / invalid conclusion based on anecdote & generalisation only, or no conclusions at all
CRITERION HD (80%) D (70 – 79%) C (60-69%) P (50 – 59%) Refer/FAIL ( 50%)
Practical / interperso nal / intrapersonal skills
Data / information gathering processing Selects & processes data with confidence & imagination.
Explores a variety of perspectives & employs creative techniques to enhance thinking Selects appropriate data & processes using relevant tools. Applies creative techniques & skills Makes a selection from data & applies processing tools. Uses a limited range of creative techniques Collects some information & makes some use of processing tools. Shows little imagination Random information gathering. Inappropriate use of processing tools. Lacks imagination, does not exercise creative skills
(includes planning & managing learning) Is confident in application of own criteria of judgement & can challenge received opinion in action & reflect on action Is able to evaluate own strengths & weaknesses; can challenge received opinion & begins to develop own criteria & judgement Is largely dependent on criteria set by others but begins to recognise own strengths & weaknesses Dependent on criteria set by others. Begins to recognise own strengths & weaknesses Fails to meaningfully undertake the process of self-criticism
Interactive & group
skills (include teamwork, negotiation /micropolitics & empathy) Can interact effectively within a learning or professional group. Can recognise or support or be proactive in leadership. Can negotiate & handle conflict Can interact effectively within a learning group, giving & receiving ideas; modifying responses where appropriate Meet obligations to others (tutors &/or peers); can offer & / or support initiatives; can recognise & assess alternative options Make efforts to develop interactive skills. Use basic interactive skills appropriately Have problems working with others/avoid work with others. Do not contribute or contribute inappropriately in groups
Critical review (to be
used in peer assessment) Able to assess / examine the work of others using broad ranging criteria. Can offer insight into how skills could be developed Able to assess / study work of others & judge against criteria, suggest areas for improvements Able to examine work of others &
identify its strengths & weaknesses Able to comment in general terms on the work of others Unable to make reasoned comment on the work of others
GROUP PROCESS JOURNAL
To be handed in each tutorial at the time of your oral presentation
Record of Meeting:
You are required to keep a record of every group meeting. At these meetings you should discuss how tasks are to be achieved, who will be responsible for various tasks and when these tasks are due to be completed â€“ usually by the next meeting date.
Time, date and place of next meeting: ______________________________
TEAM MEMBERSâ€™ CONTRIBUTION TO THE GROUP REPORT ASSIGNMENT
Please provide a brief description of the work you contributed to the group assignment. This description of your contribution should be agreed to and signed by your fellow team members.
Each member must:
1. Complete 1 form individually
2. Have it signed by the remaining group members, and
3. Attach all individual statements to the group assignment (e.g. If there are 3 members in the group, there should be 3 copies of this form appended to your assignment).
Brief description of YOUR contribution to the group assignment (in point form).
YOUR name: â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.
Student No.: â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ YOUR signature: â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦
Fellow group membersâ€™ verification (fellow group members to write your names and sign alongside, if other MEMBERS AGREE with the contri