Assessment 2

The purpose of this assessment is to give you the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in this course to your own organisational life.

Specifically,

  1. You will analyse a specific incident that you (or someone you observed) could have handled more effectively,
  2. Explain the organisational context within which the incident happened, and
  3. Logically derive from your analysis specific actions you will take to improve your management assignmentpractice next time you encounter a similar event.

You should aim to draw on concepts from two to three Units of the course in your organisational action learning review (OALR).

Please present each ALR under the following four headings:

Specific incident: Provide a very brief description of a specific incident that you (or someone you have observed) could have handled more effectively. Be clear about what was said and done, but don’t get lost in the detail of the event. Include only as much detail as is necessary to create a platform for the analysis in the next section of your ALR.

Suggested length: Approximately 23 sentences

Organisational Context: Conduct an analysis of the organisational context.

Drawing on relevant data, describe the external and internal environment of the organisation. This may include an analysis of the changes in the PESTEL characteristics that have an impact on the way the organisation and employees within are behaving (Unit 3), a careful articulation and analysis of the strategy (Unit 3), structure (Unit 3), culture (Unit 4), and various policies and systems (Units 9, 10, or 11) of the organisation.

Be given for using lots of different ideas/concepts, but for presenting a tight and well-argued analysis of the organisational context. As such, you should draw on relevant data in order to justify your diagnosis.

This data could be from public records, any company documents you have access to, observations of the organisation, and/or interviews with managers.

Suggested length: Approximately 2 pages

Analysis: Explicitly draw upon relevant course concepts to illuminate why you (or another) did not think and act as effectively as you might have. Do not provide definitions for concepts. Instead, demonstrate your understanding of relevant concepts by the way you apply them to analyse how the event was handled.

Suggested length: Approximately 2 pages

Improvement planning: Logically derive from your analysis some specific, conceptually driven actions that you, personally, will take to manage similar situations more effectively.

State how you would evaluate your effectiveness at applying the steps or initiatives you identify. Describe any obstacles that are likely to occur (e.g. emotions, lack of time, insufficient resources, and unsupportive colleagues) and how you will address them.

Suggested length: Approximately 2-2.5 pages

Guidelines:

The best OALRs are produced in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Focus on a specific incident. Without a clearly focused beginning, it’s virtually impossible to produce an adequately focused analysis and improvement planning section. ALRs with incidents described in any more than four to five lines rarely, if ever, have sufficient focus to be of high quality.
  • Focus on concepts. In your analysis section especially and throughout the report, demonstrate your understanding of every concept you use by showing: (i) exactly what the concept reveals about why you did not act as effectively as you might have; and (ii) in your improvement planning section, precisely what you will do (not just remember or keep in mind) to apply the concept to act more effectively in future.
  • Try to focus on you! Strong ALRs focus on events that you, rather than other people, could have handled better. While it may be relevant to analyse the actions and reactions of others in the situation, focus as much as possible on how you contributed to the challenges you encountered (including ways you might not have brought out the best in others). Also, provide concrete plans about how you will act more constructively next time you encounter a similar predicament.
  • Make your improvement in planning section SMARTER+ (Unit 4).
  • In ensuring that your improvement plan is SMARTER+, avoid indicating this in the form: ‘My plan is specific because …’ Your plan will be SMARTER+ if it makes explicit precisely what you plan to do, when, etc.
  • Be coherent, succinct, and logical. Your review should have a coherent argument or set of points presented within the length limit.
  • Be sure the recommendations in your improvement planning section logically follow from your analysis. Similarly, the issues raised in your analysis should all be addressed by specific steps in your improvement plan. Thus:
  • Avoid detailed descriptions and narratives that contain the minimal application of relevant concepts.
  • Avoid using the ALR as a place to explore your feelings about work.

This kind of exploration is a useful exercise that you can do at another time.

  • Whenever you use a course concept to make a point, provide enough descriptive detail or concrete evidence to show that you understand the concept and that it applies in the way you claim.
  • Avoid listing multiple concepts within a sentence. Only use a concept when applying it to make an analytical point about the event or about an improvement step. If concepts are presented adjacently, they are typically just being listed rather than applied in an adequately evidence-based manner.

 

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