People and Organisations Coursework Brief 2015/2016
The purpose of this coursework is two-fold. Firstly, it is intended to develop your ability to search the academic literature, read and think critically, and write a short discursive piece. This will in turn help you with the academic programme at postgraduate level. Secondly, the coursework requires you to delve deeply into a contemporary issue confronting human relations in the context of project management. The coursework is worth 33% of the marks in this 15-credit core unit. Therefore, you are expected to expend approximately 50 hours worth of personal effort in delivering this coursework. Please read the instructions found in this coursework brief carefully.
You are required to produce a critical review of the following theme:
Coursework theme: “Psychological Contract and Project Management”
Your critical review must be based on a peer-reviewed academic journal article of your choice. You are required to read extensively around the coursework theme and identify a particular article that has inspired you to write this critical review.
The review must be word processed, and MUST NOT exceed a single page of A4, using the Arial font, minimum of 12 point in single line spacing, and margins of a minimum of 2 cm all around. You are also required to include the list of bibliographic references cited in your critical review on page 2. Therefore, your submission must not exceed 2 pages, otherwise you will get zero for this coursework. Also, do not continue your critical review on to the second page. The second page should only contain the list of bibliographic references cited, preferably presented using the Harvard referencing system. The full reference for your chosen peer-reviewed academic journal article must be included at the top of page 2, in bold, for which your critical review is based on. Please ensure that your selected article is from the University of Manchester Library electronic journals collection.
Subject to availability of space in the timetable, it is possible that a coursework seminar session is organised for you to share lessons learnt from the coursework with your peers. If this is the case, you will be expected to attend and contribute to the Coursework Seminar (details to be advised). If a coursework seminar is organised and you fail to attend, you will not qualify for the coursework marks.
The deadline for submitting this critical review is 2359hrs on Friday 13 November
2015 on the link found in the Home Page of the Blackboard 9 site. Please upload
interim drafts before the deadline to avoid missing the deadline as a result of bottlenecks on the day of submission. New uploads will overwrite previous versions.
Guidance on How to Construct a Critical Review
Your critical review must be related to the above theme, i.e. “Psychological Contract and Project Management”.
You must select a peer-reviewed journal paper that focuses on a particular aspect of psychological contract, and relate this to the field of project management. There are many ways of achieving this. However, it is important that you read more than one peer-reviewed journal article on the theme before making a choice on which article to focus on for your critical review. It is expected that you must familiarise yourself with the concept of the ‘psychological contract’ – what this means, why this is significant, and what has already been studied on and written about this – before you can make a judgement as to which article you choose for the purpose of constructing your critical review. It is suggested that you choose an article that has really inspired you to think about psychological contract in the context of project management.
What is a peer-reviewed academic journal? You can find quite a detailed explanation of what peer review is and what it means to a lay person here: http://boingboing.net/2011/04/22/meet-science-what-is.html (accessed 27 July 2015). Moreover, you should be able find detailed information about any academic journal on the homepage of the journal’s website. The peer-review process (if there is one) is normally explained in the “Instructions for Authors” or equivalent. Periodic guidance will be provided on a needs basis and during the formal session in Week 5.
The paper selected must be critically reviewed using appropriate sources and logical argument. Students are advised to focus on appraising the subject matter when constructing the critical review, and not to state their personal views or opinions and to avoid writing in the first person. There is generic advice on library and study skills found on Blackboard 9 (see Learning Resources). Please consult this before beginning your assignment.
Typically, when writing a critical review of this nature, you are advised to consider the following questions (not exhaustively):
• What is the chosen peer-reviewed academic journal article about? What is/are the central argument(s)? What conclusion(s) are the author(s) making?
• How have the author(s) derived their arguments? What methods were used, and how have the methods influenced the strength of the argument(s)? To what extent do the methods used convince you of the argument(s) they make?
• How does the chosen article contribute to our collective understanding of the coursework theme? What are the implications of the argument(s) found in the chosen article, especially for the theory and practice of project management?
• What are the limitations of the chosen article? Where are the weak points?
What are the implications of these, for theory and for practice?
Thinking through these questions might help you focus when reading the literature.
Care should be taken when searching the literature and selecting peer-reviewed journal articles, in that the articles you read must be of sufficient substance. A common flaw is
that students select journalistic pieces. Journalistic pieces or “light weight” unreferenced material will not be accepted. It must be reiterated that students will need to undertake significant library work in order to select suitable material.
General Points to Note
The School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) exercises a policy on late submissions of coursework. Any coursework received after the deadline will be treated as follows: work submitted after the deadline will be marked, but the mark awarded will reduce progressively for each day, or part thereof by which the work is late. The mark awarded will reduce by 10% of the marks available, per day late. For example, if you achieved 71% for the coursework, this would reduce to
61% if you submit a day late; similarly, if you achieved 55%, then the mark will reduce to 45% if you submit a day late. Additionally, work submitted more than 5 days after the official deadline will be awarded a mark of zero. This, however, should not affect your right to seek recourse to the Personal Mitigating Circumstances procedure.
You must not plagiarise. Plagiarism is a form of cheating. At the very basic level, all work written by others must be cited clearly and unambiguously. All internet references must be cited accurately. Guidance will be given by the tutor and if in any doubt students must discuss matters concerning referencing with the tutor. Your work will also be subject to checking using plagiarism software. This software will allow tutors to check for collaboration between students and copying and pasting from sources via the web (including .pdf files, e-books and journal articles).
A formal coursework tutorial has been scheduled for Week 5. You are advised to attend this session. It may not normally be possible for tutors to provide tutoring outside of the scheduled time shown. Students are therefore encouraged to use the discussion board on Blackboard 9 to post queries. This is also an effective way for sharing information with the entire group.
Marks are not given for the quality of presentation. Submissions should be of a good quality, as would be expected in a professional environment. Submissions containing typographical errors, weak structure and very poor grammar will receive lower marks as this reduces understanding. Your coursework will be evaluated as follows:
Assessment criteria Maximum Award
To what extent have you demonstrated understanding of the coursework theme, especially of cutting-edge thinking?
Structure and evidence of research: 20
To what extent have you organised your critical review in a coherent, easily comprehensible structure? To what extent have you comprehensively searched and reviewed the literature?
Referencing, substantiation and justification: 35
To what extent have you provided adequate supporting reference materials to demonstrate and explain the points you are making?
Logical argument and synthesis: 30
To what extent have you made a persuasive argument? To what extent is this argument well thought-through and put
This coursework constitutes a third of the Unit’s assessment. More detailed marking criteria can be found on pages 5 and 6 of this coursework brief.
You will be able to access feedback on your critical review on Blackboard 9. It is expected that feedback will be made available in Week 12 before you break for the vacation in December. This will give you ample time to learn from the feedback in preparation for the examination.
MACE60006 People and Organisations Coursework Marking Criteria Guidelines
Whilst you will only receive a total mark on the Blackboard site, the guidelines below provide an explanation of how the component marks are constructed.
Class Mark Range Understanding (out of 15) Structure (out of 20) Justification (out of 35) Logic (out of 30)
Distinction >80% This is an excellent explanation of the coursework
theme that traces its origins
and cutting-edge thinking. The explanation provided is very critical. This is an exquisite submission that is worthy of a short
publication. There is evidence of reading a very wide range of peer-reviewed academic
journal articles around the coursework theme, including a
number of obscure references. The discussion presented in this submission is clear
and unambiguous. Points made are fully justified
with strong evidence, based on multiple sources of relevant reference
materials. The discussion/argument is extremely easy to
follow. It is very difficult to question the line of reasoning as the points raised in this submission are very persuasive.
>70% but <80% There is a good attempt at
demonstrating understanding of the coursework theme in this submission. Explanation is reasonably critical. This is extremely easy and
coherent submission. There is evidence of reading a wide range of peer-reviewed academic journal articles around the coursework theme. There is a good level of
justifying points made in the submission, with clear sources of relevant evidence or reference materials cited and explained. The discussion/argument
is easy to follow. The reader is convinced, and it is difficult to question the line of reasoning
presented in this submission.
Merit >60% but <70% There is a reasonable attempt
at demonstrating understanding of the coursework theme in this submission. Explanation could be more critical. This is very easy to follow and
the discussion follows coherently from the aims and objectives. here is evidence of reading a range of peer- reviewed academic journal articles around the coursework theme. There is a reasonable
attempt made to justify points raised in the submission. However, the evidence used (or substantiation) could be strengthened. The discussion/argument
is very reasonable. The submission is reasonably convincing, although there is scope for more clarity of explaining the line of reasoning.
Pass >50% but <60% There is some demonstration
of understanding of the coursework theme in this submission. Explanation could benefit from some more depth, especially in terms of current thinking. This submission is easy to
follow with a set of aims and objectives clearly stated.
There is evidence of reading a range of peer-reviewed academic journal articles on the coursework theme. There is some attempt to
substantiate points made in the submission with evidence. Reference material used to justify the discussion could be explained more fully. The discussion/argument
is reasonable. The reader is not convinced about some of the points made
in this submission.
Class Mark Range Understanding (out of 15) Structure (out of 20) Justification (out of 35) Logic (out of 30)
Compensatable >40% but <50% There is a basic attempt at
drawing out textbook explanations of the coursework theme. Explanation is superficial. There is a basic articulation of
the aims and objectives of this submission. The structure is reasonably easy to follow. The reading is somewhat
superficial. This submission is very
basic. Points are raised in the submission that could benefit from more depth of justification and explanation. The discussion/argument
in this submission is basic. The reader is not entirely convinced by the line of reasoning.
Fail >30% but <40% There is little demonstration of
understanding of the coursework theme in this submission. Explanation is vague and incomplete. This submission is difficult to
follow. The submission lacks clarity of aims and objectives, and the structure is somewhat disjointed. There is some evidence of searching the literature. This submission is poorly
constructed. Some points are made without appropriate and adequate justification. The discussion/argument
in this submission is weak. It is difficult to follow the line of reasoning.
<30% There is very little
understanding of the coursework theme demonstrated in this submission. Explanation is sparse. This submission is very difficult
to follow. The submission seriously lacks clarity of aims and objectives, and it is unclear where the review is going. There is very little evidence of searching the literature. This submission is very
poorly constructed. Many points are made without appropriate and adequate justification. The discussion/argument
in this submission is very weak. It is very difficult to follow the line of reasoning.
MACE60006 People and Organisations Coursework Brief 2015-2016 – 6 –
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