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Organizational Behaviour

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Assignment Task 4 – suggested length 1000 words
Using Pfeffer’s model of organizational commitment, evaluate whether the introduction of a group project in an undergraduate module would improve student commitment. Suggest three further changes that the Essex Business School could implement to gain more commitment from our students. For each suggestion, explain why you think this would work, with reference to academic theory, and what result you would anticipate from the changes.
Start date: 6th November 2014
Discuss in class: w/c 10th November 2014
Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015

Assignment task 5 – suggested length 500 words
Should managers try to control organizational culture?
This assignment should present short, concise points for and against. It should be presented in the form of notes that you might use in a formal debate, with references listed to support each point. You do not need to give the full text you might use in a debate, just a list of key points you would discuss, and relevant empirical examples or theories to support the claims. You should include a short paragraph giving a conclusion and taking a position in this debate and explaining why you take that position.
Start date: 27th November 2014
Discuss in class: w/c 1st December 2014
Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015

Assignment task 6 – suggested length 600 words

To what extent is this image an apt metaphor for the way (a) people, and (b) organizations, tend to relate to technological ‘progress’? Given that not everyone benefits from developments in new technology, which groups of people could the pig represent?

Start date: 4th December 2014
Discuss in class: w/c 8th December 2014
Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015

BE410 Coursework Assignment 2014/15
The assessment for BE410 is by coursework only and takes the form of a reflective
learning portfolio. This will be structured in two parts, with the first part comprising 15% of
the module mark and the second, final submission comprising 85% of the mark. The whole
portfolio will combine several separate mini-assignments, each between 500 and 1500
words, to give a total word count for the module of up to 5500 words.
The idea of a learning portfolio like this is twofold:
– It provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate to us the work that you have
done on BE410. This means that you have to show us that you have read and
understood not only the readings from classes and lectures, but also some of the
supplementary readings. The assignments are related to key class activities, so if
you neglect the readings and case studies we provide, you are unlikely to pass. For
the highest grades you will also be expected to take your research and reading
beyond the reading lists.
– It provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate a wide range of different
academic skills. This includes your knowledge of the subject, but also your ability to:
summarise and explain academic theories; describe empirical examples; apply
theory to explain examples; synthesise and combine different bodies of knowledge;
reflect upon your personal experience using theory; critically evaluate theories,
models and examples on the basis of evidence and consistency; develop and
defend your position in an academic debate; conduct research in the library in order
to find and analyse appropriate academic materials.
Part one will be the first section of the portfolio. This is summative, as it counts for 15% of
the module mark, but the main intention is that it should be formative. Students will engage
in peer evaluation and feedback as well as receiving feedback from the module team. The
intention here is for students to reflect upon their own work, and particularly their written
work, by evaluating the work of their colleagues. The formal mark will be given by the
teaching team and not through peer assessment. On the basis of the feedback you
receive, you will be able to revise and improve this part of the portfolio as it will be included
in the second submission as well. This gives you an excellent opportunity to learn from
your first attempt and improve you grades.
Part two is the final, full submission of the portfolio which is made up several distinct but
interconnected assessment tasks that together comprise an on-going log of your work and
learning on the module.
Assessment task 1 – suggested length 1000 words
Explain the main elements of a bureaucracy as Weber describes them.
Explain what Robert Merton means by ‘goal displacement’.
Is goal displacement an inevitable outcome of the bureaucratic organizing or could this be
reduced by managing a bureaucracy more effectively?
· Start date: 16th October 2014
· Peer evaluation: w/c 30th October 2014.
· First (draft) submission: Monday 3rd November 2014.
· Second submission (as part of final portfolio): Monday 12th January, 2015
Assignment task 2 – suggested length 800 words
(a) Describe and explain the informal work group dynamics that the Hawthorne
researchers discovered in the Bank Wiring Observation Room.
(b) Reflecting upon a place where you have worked, or on your work as a student at the
University of Essex, compare and contrast your experiences of informal work groups with
those discovered in the Bank Wiring Observation Room at Hawthorne.
· Start date: 23rd October 2014.
· Discuss in class w/c 27th October 2014
· Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015.
Assignment Task 3 – suggested length 600 words
Would you like to work in a post-bureaucracy like Valve or at Morning Star Tomatoes? If
so, why? If not, why not?
Your answer should refer to the academic literature on post-bureaucracies and you can
refer back to your earlier assignment on bureaucracy to compare and contrast these two
forms of organization.
· Start date: 30th October 2014
· Discuss in class: w/c 3rd November 2014
· Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015
Assignment Task 4 – suggested length 1000 words
Using Pfeffer’s model of organizational commitment, evaluate whether the introduction of a
group project in an undergraduate module would improve student commitment. Suggest
three further changes that the Essex Business School could implement to gain more
commitment from our students. For each suggestion, explain why you think this would
work, with reference to academic theory, and what result you would anticipate from the
changes.
· Start date: 6th November 2014
· Discuss in class: w/c 10th November 2014
· Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015
Assignment task 5 – suggested length 500 words
Should managers try to control organizational culture?
This assignment should present short, concise points for and against. It should be
presented in the form of notes that you might use in a formal debate, with references listed
to support each point. You do not need to give the full text you might use in a debate, just
a list of key points you would discuss, and relevant empirical examples or theories to
support the claims. You should include a short paragraph giving a conclusion and taking a
position in this debate and explaining why you take that position.
· Start date: 27th November 2014
· Discuss in class: w/c 1st December 2014
· Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015
Assignment task 6 – suggested length 600 words

To what extent is this image an apt metaphor for the way (a) people, and (b) organizations,
tend to relate to technological ‘progress’? Given that not everyone benefits from
developments in new technology, which groups of people could the pig represent?
·
·
·
Start date: 4th December 2014
Discuss in class: w/c 8th December 2014
Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015
Assignment task 7 – suggested length 1000 words
Andrew Metcalfe (1992: 627) argues that the curriculum vitae (CV) is a ‘confessional
technology of the self’. Explain what Metcalfe means by this and evaluate his arguments in
light of your own experiences of education, job-searching and CV writing.
·
·
Start date: 11th December 2014
Submission: Monday 12th January, 2015
The assignment, like others in EBS, will be assessed on four main criteria:
comprehension, presentation, research and analysis. These are clearly explained in the
following table, along with the expected level of attainment against which you will be
assessed in BE410, a UG Level 2 module.
A) Comprehension
B) Presentation
C) Research
D) Analysis
Evidence of subject knowledge; Communication of ideas,
appropriate understanding of
structure, referencing.
theories and concepts.
Evidence of ability to locate,
extract and analyse evidence
from appropriate sources;
evidence of independent
learning and study skills.
Explanation and
evaluation of
appropriate argument
and evidence.
UG
Level
1
Introductory level of subject
knowledge and understanding.
Basic understanding of relevant
theories and concepts.
Well-structured, coherent
and effective
communication.
Acknowledgement of
sources and appropriate
referencing.
Ability to locate and
incorporate appropriate
evidence. Appropriate
planning, structure, style, etc.
Argument based on
appropriate
examples and
evidence.
UG
Level
2
Evidence of intermediary level
of subject knowledge and
understanding. Evidence of a
developing understanding of
the nature and limitations of
relevant concepts and
theoretical ideas.
Ability to present a focused
argument with analysis and
commentary. Correct
referencing incorporating
material from a variety of
appropriate resources.
Ability to locate, extract and
integrate evidence from
multiple sources. Evidence of
developing autonomous study
skills.
Evidence of analysis
and explanation with
reference to relevant
empirical sources
and theoretical
concepts.
UG
Level
3
Evidence of in-depth
knowledge and understanding.
Critical evaluation of relevant
theoretical concepts and ideas.
Critical, imaginative
evaluation of arguments
and ideas. Correct
referencing including a
wide range of academic
resources.
Ability to synthesise, integrate
and evaluate material from a
variety of appropriate sources.
Evidence of independent
thinking and insight.
Evidence of critical
analysis and
evaluation with
reference to relevant
theoretical ideas and
debates.
PGT
Specialist subject knowledge
and understanding. Critical
evaluation, integration and
development of relevant
concepts and theoretical ideas.
Ability to synthesise ideas
to form a coherent
argument. Evidence of full
and accurate referencing
including evidence of
independent research.
Evidence of ability to
undertake independent research
in order to source appropriate
evidence. Advanced level
specialist study skills
Evidence of critical
analysis integrating
relevant empirical
and theoretical
material.

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