Main Report. 8000 words (parts A and B 4000 words each)
Part A: 4000 words. You should research an issue within an organization and make recommendations for its resolution. As the title of the unit suggests this should be an issue that requires integration of a wide range of the areas that you have studied during your MBA. This is a business report on the organization and the issue that you are investigating. You should cover the problem identified and propose solutions with a commentary on issues around implementation. The individual report will identify an issue, research suitable data and produce recommendations including an implementation plan. You should use appropriate tools and frameworks to analyse the issue and to propose a solution. The solution must require an integrated approach. For example if a change of strategic direction is proposed you must specifically demonstrate how the marketing, HRM , Operations etc. of the organisation must be aligned to achieve the required strategic solution. The nature of this section is to identify issues and provide practical solutions based on using tools and frameworks or theories that have been covered in the MBA. You must therefore provide references within the text and the reference section for any data, information or academic frameworks and theories (etc.) used. There is no need for discussion of theory in this section – i.e. you do not have to explain how the theories, tools and models work, you merely have to select the appropriate ones and use them properly in order to gain insight into the issue and to generate an appropriate solution.
Part B 4000 words. This section is an academic commentary on the literature that you used to solve the business problem. This means that you must provide justifications for the choice of, and critical reviews of the theories, tools and frameworks that you have used. You should think of this as explaining the following questions: ‘why did I choose these theories, frameworks and tools’ – i.e ‘why were they the most suitable for the tasks?’ ‘What are the deficiencies of these tools etc.?’ PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE ARE NOT SUITABLE HEADINGS FOR THIS SECTION Do not merely produce a list the methods used followed by an explanation of their use. You should produce a review that discusses the appropriateness of the methods used and discusses research conducted (from reputable academic sources) into their application in a variety of contexts. This may involve you examining some of the recognized weaknesses of the methods (remember none are perfect and there will be discussion in the academic literature about this).
The review should take into account the most up to date articles. It should also be critical. You should use academically rigorous sources rather than popular websites. You should make use of a wide range of articles. This is important as it enables you to take into account a number of expert opinions and therefore draw conclusions about the methods used that are robust and will help you to improve your own awareness and use of these theories etc. References should follow the Harvard style. You are therefore expected to have conducted a wide ranging search of literature relating to the techniques for identifying and solving organizational issues. Please note that you are expected to use materials that are from serious and recognized academic sources. The sort of ‘quick fix’ advice that is available from the internet is utterly inappropriate and unacceptable. This is very important as the academic sources will contain research that is rigorous and therefore the opinions stated are more likely to be trustworthy and useful. An MBA is an academic programme and use of inappropriate sources is likely to contribute to a poor result. Section 2
Reflective paper 2000 words This should be an account of your learning journey. You should reflect on what you have learned. Further guidance will be given on this process during the unit. Please note that this is not just be a narrative of what you did but a serious reflection about the issues that were presented in conducting research, identifying and agreeing upon issues and solutions and integrating theory (part of the group process) and in particular how this unit and the process has helped you to develop as a practitioner. You should select and use academic framework(s) to help you to reflect upon, understand and demonstrate the value of this process of learning. There is a lot of serious academic literature about reflection as well about individual skill development. You should access and use this literature to help you to structure and benefit from reflecting upon this process.
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