Title: Evidence based management – Evaluating potential effectiveness of goal setting strategies using evidence from journal articles
Word limit: 2000 words
Learning objectives and outcomes
- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate management practice using Organisational Behaviour theories and research and make practical recommendations (Evidence Based Management)
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct literature search and review
- Demonstrate the ability to write in an academic style
The task – Evaluating potential effectiveness of goal setting strategies using evidence from journal articles
After graduation, you join the HR department of a hotel chain as a graduate employee. The hotel chain has 9 hotels in different parts of the UK and is acquiring 4 hotels in France. Given the tough economic conditions and increasing competition from larger chains, the top management feels that the overall performance levels need to drastically improve if the organisation were to remain profitable. They are considering introducing goal setting as a way of motivating the staff to perform better and improve productivity.
Your manager is asked to put together a detailed strategy document on goal setting. She drafts a document that lists various aspects of the strategy as follows.
- Goal setting process:
Based on the company’s annual plan, specific goals will be assigned to the staff.
- Types of goals:
Individual goals will be assigned to managerial staff, and group goals will be assigned to non-managerial staff.
- Levels of goals:
The goals will be set at two levels – a basic set of goals and a challenging set of goals – in order to provide greater motivation.
- Interim review and feedback:
There will be a mid-year review for managerial staff and feedback will be provided. Non-managerial staff will not receive any such feedback.
She discusses the above informally with one of the senior managers. The senior manager asks if there is any evidence to show that these would actually result in increased performance.
She realises that in order to convince the top management to implement these strategies, they will have to be evidence-based (i.e. evidence from previous research must be provided to show that similar strategies have worked in other organisations). Knowing that you have a degree in Business Management, she asks for your help. She would like you to evaluate each one of points in her strategy document in the light of existing research and make your inference as to whether they are likely to work or not. If not, you are also requested to make your recommendations as to how the strategies need to be modified.
She gives you 3 journal articles containing research that is relevant to the strategies (These will be handed over to you in coursework setting lecture).
You are required to –
- Collect a minimum of 5 journal articles on your own that are relevant to the strategies.
- Read all 8 or more articles (3 that were given to you + 5 or more collected on your own).
- Write an essay
- critically evaluating each of the organisational strategies in the light of the findings from the journal articles and making inferences about the potential effectiveness of the strategies
- recommending how to modify the strategies that you find are likely to be ineffective.
- All four points related to the strategy must be analysed. If all are not analysed, it will be considered that you have not fully addressed the task and you will lose marks.
- Identify journal articles that provide findings in support and not in support of each point. Evidence from at least 2-4 articles must be used to evaluate each point.
- Identify the conditions under which the particular strategy has been effective and ineffective (e.g. type of organisation, size of organisation, country, how the strategy was communicated etc.). This will help you make the inference as to whether the strategy will work in your organisation or not, and also to make recommendations about what should be done to make the strategy effective.
- While reading journal articles, also pay attention to other effective strategies that are mentioned there that are not part of the list given to you. You may be able to include them in your recommendations.
- All the arguments that you make must be supported by academic theory and evidence from the journal articles
- Structure and style of writing
- There should be an introduction (explain the purpose and structure of the essay), main body (containing the analysis and recommendations) and conclusion (a summary of the inferences you make) to the essay.
- There must be logical flow to your writing from the beginning to the end. The ideas and arguments must have a clear logical sequence.
- Subheadings must be used to indicate each strategy that you analyse.
- Make sure that every paragraph is centred on only one key idea. There should be a smooth flow from one paragraph to the next. Ideas that are presented in earlier paragraphs must not be repeated in the later ones.
- You must write your ideas in full sentences and proper paragraphs. Bullet points are not encouraged.
- You can use tables and diagrams, but there should be proper explanations for them.
- Make sure that every sentence communicates the meaning clearly and grammatical errors are avoided.
- You must use formal academic language and avoid conversational expressions.
- Use of resources
- It is expected that you will make use of at least 8 journal articles. You will lose marks if you don’t.
- You could use other resources such as books, business magazines, reports and statistics from public bodies etc. But those will be considered as additional resources and cannot be used in place of journal articles.
- Please note that references from websites that provide academic essays are not acceptable.
- Lecture slides are also not acceptable resources.
- All resources used must be cited and listed following Harvard referencing guidelines. Refer to your student handbook for details. You will lose marks for not following the referencing guidelines.
- There should be a title page (with the title of the coursework, module name and your registration number. Do not write your name.), a contents page (with the list of headings and subheadings and their page numbers) and a reference list.
- The word limit is 2000 words (excluding title/contents page and the reference list. Citations within text will be counted. ).
- The text must be in Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing.
- There should be a 1 inch margin all around the page.
- Pages must be numbered.
- Coursework setting lecture
The lecturer will cover all aspects of the coursework in-depth in the lecture in week 8 in semester 1. YOU MUST ATTEND THIS LECTURE.
- Coursework workshops
There will be 2 workshops in weeks 9 and 11 that demonstrate how to approach each aspect of coursework (details available in Modules Outline under the section on Workshops). ALL STUDENTS MUST ATTEND BOTH WORKSHOPS.
- Formative assessment
Following the workshops, there will be a formative assessment where you are required to turn in your notes including a research log after reading journal articles. This is an opportunity to receive feedback and make sure you are on the right track. Details and templates will be provided in the workshops.
- Blackboard discussion forum
There will be a discussion forum on Blackboard where the students can post specific questions related to coursework.
- Office hours
Students are welcome to approach the lecturers/seminar leaders during their office hours to discuss their coursework-related questions in person.
Please note that additional help related to the literature search and academic writing is available from Learning Enhancement Tutors at the Dean of Students Office. Special training sessions are offered at the library as well (Information available on their website). Students with learning disabilities are encouraged to meet with the Disability Co-ordinator at Dean of Students Office.
Assessment will be based on the Senate Scales provided in your student handbook(http://www.uea.ac.uk/learningandteaching/staff/assessment/Marking+Criteria).
The weightings for various elements will be as follows.
- Analysis (60%)
- Structure and style of writing (10%)
- Use of sources (20%)
- Formatting (10%)
Note: If the coursework is not submitted on time, a penalty as per the NBS regulations will be applied. This coursework is subject to NBS plagiarism policies.
Re-assessment of any failed piece of work will be undertaken in line with the university regulations, which are outlined in the Student Handbook.
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