INDIVIDUAL REPORT: BACKGROUND ON THE ASSESSMENT

 

In an organisational world characterized by cutbacks, expectations of increasing worker productivity, and tough competition, many employees feel the stress at the workplace. Members of organisations are increasingly finding themselves facing uncertain future.  Organisations have a responsibility to provide employees with jobs that are challenging and intrinsically rewarding, but what some are offering, is simply ‘uncertainty’ that leads into stressful atmosphere within the organisation that might result in mental and physical illness of employees.  Examples of uncertainty in the office have been given different names and forms, such as the process of ‘re-shaping’, ‘re-designing’, ‘re-assigning tasks’ or ‘re-sizing’.

 

THE ASSESSMENT TOPIC:

 

It is inevitable that companies are going to make poor decisions.  Such decisions can result in fatalities, economic loss, litigation, disgruntled customers, or hurt company reputation.  Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson, (2014) posit that managers who might fall victim to any of the following decision-making traps are more likely to make poor or failed decisions: (i) failing to understand people’s concerns and competing claims, (ii) overlooking people’s interests and commitments, (iii) defining expectations in an unclear manner, (iv) limiting the search for alternatives and remedies, (v) misusing evaluations of possible alternatives, (vi) ignoring or downplaying ethical questions, and (vii) neglecting to analyse the results of the decision to understand what worked and did not work.  Although decisions are usually made without the benefit of perfect information and unlimited time to search for and evaluate alternative solutions, managers should try to avoid the common decision-making traps that can lead to expensive and time-consuming failed decisions.  In your capacity as a consultant appointed by the World Bank, you are required to write a report. For this report you need to conduct your research providing input on poor decisions by organisations that might have taken place between the years 2000-2013.  You need to research two companies in five countries – i.e. a total of ten companies.  While we cannot provide you with the names of the companies, but we can outline the five countries where you need to conduct your research (i) Australia, (ii) USA, (iii) India, (iv) UK, and, (v) Germany.   This report needs to provide a background of the essential and key management and organisational behaviour theories as derived from the literature.  In addition, you need to elaborate on the issue of ‘decision making’ in organisations (e.g. alternatives and outcomes, decision-making process, behavioural factors, individual vs group decisions).  The main outcome of your assessment will be two frameworks, one to be used by individuals and the other by groups, which can be derived from the literature, but you need to add to these frameworks two steps each that will enhance those frameworks justifying how.

 

 

A template for this assessment available on the blackboard, however, as a guide your report should include the following sections:

 

  1. Transmittal Letter (According to University of Canberra this letter is This is a formal business letter to the person or organisation that commissioned the report “announcing” the completion and delivery of the report.  It usually includes:A salutation (e.g. Dear …)The purpose of the letter (e.g. here is the report you commissioned)The main findings of the report. Any important considerations. Acknowledgement of any particular help. Thanks.  Further, Transmittal letters are usually brief. The first paragraph describes what is being sent and the purpose for sending it. A longer transmittal letter may summarize key elements of the proposal in one or two sentences and provide the recipient with other useful information.End transmittal letters with a one-sentence paragraph that establishes goodwill by thanking or complimenting the recipient.
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Introduction
  4. Background and Literature (This relates to the literature review about the theories from management and organisational behaviour theories that you will use to support your arguments and report)
  5. Methodology
  6. Results
  7. Analysis and discussion
  8. Conclusion and recommendation
  9. Your personal reflection on your journey of research and write up.
  10. References
  11. Appendices (if applicable)

 

This report should be about 3,000 words +/- 10%. Please note that the executive summary, your reflective account, appendices and the reference list are outside this word count:

 

The report must conform to the guidelines for written assessments as well as to rigorous academic standards, especially with regards to referencing. You will be assessed on the quality of your sources of information, howwell you have used these resources to support your arguments, and your referencing skills. You need to adhere to the requirements of Chicago 16 style referencing for in-text citation and reference list to acknowledge your sources. You are expected to use a diverse base of sources. The use of Wikipedia is not permitted.

 

At the postgraduate level, you do not need us to specify how many sources you need to use, and what is the calibre of these sources, however, in order to assist you, please note that you are expected to have included at least 18 sources 75% of these sources need to be peer-reviewed journal articles others to be derived from other sources that you might find useful for the specific purpose of this report (e.g. books, professional magazines, government websites, stock exchange websites etc…).

 

Please note that when we assess your work, we will not only look into the number of references, but will look into how you used these references in your report.

 

This report will be submitted ONLINE through the turnitin embedded in the blackboard.

 

Please ensure that the DECLARATION mentioned underneath is included in every assessment including this one.

 

Quote

DECLARATION BY MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR STUDENTS

I declare the assessment two is my own work and has not previously been submitted for assessment.

 

This work complies with Curtin University rules concerning plagiarism and copyright.

I have referred to www.policies.curtin.edu.au/documents/unit_outlines_plagiarism_state.docfor plagiarism and copyright information. I have retained a copy of this assignment for my own records.

Unquote

 

Above items derived from the Unit Outline. Were refined following some queries from student – 2014.

SUGGESTED FORMAT OF THE INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT

 

Letter of transmittal

This is a letter to the person who commissioned the report, in which you effectively hand over your work to that person. Include:

 

  • a salutation (eg. Dear …)
  • the purpose of the letter (eg. Here is the final version of the report on ‘………………’ which was commissioned by ………………..)
  • the main finding of the report
  • any important considerations
  • an acknowledgement of any significant help
  • an expression of pleasure or gratitude (eg. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work on this report.)

 

Title page

This must contain:

  • the report title which clearly states the purpose of the report
  • full details of the person(s) for whom the report was prepared (Your Unit Coordinator/Facilitator &/or Local Lecturer)
  • full details of the person(s) who prepared the report (Your full name and student number)
  • the date of the presentation of the report
  • the name of the unit under which this report is presented

 

Table of Contents

This is a list of the headings and appendices of the report. Depending on the complexity and length of the report, you could list tables, figures and appendices separately. Make sure the correct page numbers are shown opposite the contents. Up-to-date word processing packages can generate a table of contents for you.

 

Abbreviations and/or glossary

  • If necessary, you should provide an alphabetical list of the abbreviations you have used in the report, especially if they may not be familiar to all readers of the report.
  • If you have used a lot of technical terms, you should also provide a glossary (an alphabetical list of the terms, with brief explanations of their meanings).

 

Acknowledgements (if appropriate)

This is a short paragraph thanking those who might have helped in coming up with this report – helped with collecting data, analysis, enlightenment, or any other issue that they might have helped you with.

 

Executive Summary

An executive summary is quite different from an introduction. It is a summary of the report, in which you include one sentence (or so) for every main section of your report. For example, you can include:

 

  • the context of the research
  • the purpose of the report
  • the major findings (you may need several sentences here)
  • the conclusions
  • the main recommendations

 

Write the executive summary after you have written the report.

 

Now…

 

Please always remember the three key things in any written academic work (INTRODUCTION, BODY AND CONCLUSION)… However, in the case of report there are some other additions to make the report look and feel professional… thus, the previous section.

 

Introduction

  • Give enough background information to provide a context for the report
  • State the purpose of the report.
  • Clarify key terms and indicate the scope of the report (ie what the report will cover).

 

Body

You report is considered a report of primary research (based on your own observations and experiments) would include:

  • Literature review (what other people have written about this topic. See our webpage for hints on writing a literature review). The literature review should lead towards your research question.
  • Method (summarises what you did and why). Use the past tense.
  • Findings or results (describes what you discovered, observed, etc, in your observations and experiments). Use the past tense.
  • Discussion (discusses and explains your findings and relates them to previous research). Use the present tense to make generalisations.

 

Conclusion and recommendations

  • Sum up the main points of the report. The conclusion should clearly relate to the objectives of your report. No surprises please! (that is, don’t include new information here.)
  • Recommendations are suggestions for future action. They must be logically derived from the body of your report.

 

Your personal reflection on your journey of research and write up.

This will be your personal account (and can be written with the use of ‘I’) on your journey in this unit – from the work that you have done on the blogs/journals to your work on this report, to your learning journey so far.

 

 

References

In alphabetical order in line with the Chicago Style Referencing guide available under the library website.

 

Appendices

  • An appendix contains material which is too detailed, technical, or complex to include in the body of the report (for example, specifications, a questionnaire, or a long complex table of figures), but which is referred to in the report. Appendices are put at the very end of the report, after everything else.
  • Each appendix should contain different material.
  • Number each appendix clearly.
  • Ensure that you clearly refer to them within the report

 

Presentation of the report

  • The content and structure of your report is important; so is the presentation and style. First impressions count, so consider these simple tips to ensure your report is reader-friendly:
    • Use plenty of white space
    • Ensure the separate parts of your report stand out clearly
    • Use subheadings
    • Allow generous spacing between the elements of your report
    • Ensure the academic writing with the in-text citations
    • Use tables and figures (graphs, illustrations, maps etc) for clarification. Label them clearly and cite the source. These graphics should relate to the text of your report; for example, Figure 1 shows that the population of Bandung has increased dramatically since 1890, or The population of Bandung has increased dramatically since 1890 (see Figure 1).
    • Number each page (a neat header and/or footer makes your work look more professional)
    • Use consistent and appropriate formatting (you may like to follow the report format supplied with your word processing package)
    • Use formal language. It would be worth having a look at the language which is used in other, similar reports to check out useful expressions and terms.

 

Common problems

  • Some common problems with research report writing that you should take care to avoid are:
    • the inclusion of careless, inaccurate, or conflicting
    • the inclusion of outdated or irrelevant data
    • facts and opinions that are not separated
    • unsupported conclusions and recommendations
    • careless presentation and proof-reading
    • too much emphasis on appearance and not enough attention to solid content.

 

The guidelines derived from Canberra University.

 

Please refer to the guidelines provided including some samples of reports…

 

In addition, this URL has several reports by the Government:

 

http://australia.gov.au/topics/government-and-parliament/annual-reports

 

 

All the best.

 

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