Assignment guidance for Contemporary Issues in Management Assessment BUS020X628A
This guidance is intended to support students with a structure and offer direction about how to think through the assignment.
If you are aiming to get above 65% then you need to include criticality and originality. This means you need to question what you are finding (reading, watching, learning) either by examining the information in different ways – using a model such as PESTLE to evaluate or analyse your data, comparing and contrasting what is being said by different authors or some other way to demonstrate critical thinking. Even presenting options where perhaps something working in one area can be adopted in other similar areas presents a good technique. You need to demonstrate you have understood the industry’s key drivers: customers, competitors, government pressures, suppliers, attitudes, technological advances etc. The way to do this is by looking through the ‘future of’ lenses.
We do expect a bibliography at a minimum AND you should add your horizon scanning industry tracker in the appendix.
Sample Assessment Structure
Industry Report on ………………………… (specify the industry e.g. financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, professional services, retail etc )
Date submitted ……………………………………………………… (specify the assessment deadline)
Word count …………………. (excluding reference/ bibliography and appendices, note that the word limit is 3750 – 3200, i.e.3500 +/-10%. Words in figures or tables do not count towards the word limit)
Sample Table of Contents ……………. (Label report sections and page numbers)
In here you should summarise the big issues that affect the industry today and what may affect it in the long term. In addition, you should demonstrate you know the industry and provide key stats such as contribution to the economy, global scale etc. Include anything of relevance that defines the industry for example, emphasis on people, processes, technology or access to finance.
This is where your horizon scan tracker becomes important because you need to identify the technological advancements – key technologies, innovations or concepts and evidence them through your referencing. Focus only on the key enablers affecting the industry related to the issues that are raised in your overview.
In each section provide examples from different businesses to explain what is happening. Be clear about the opportunities and/or threats presented to businesses in each ‘future of’.
For example, here is a fictitious short paragraph that ties all three scenarios together.
“In the media industry, digital technologies have shifted consumer consumption in type of platform and access, and in the type of media consumed such as user generated content, shorter programmes etc (Forrester, 2020). This shift presents opportunities for future consumption such as convenience and experience (McKinsey, 2018) but increases privacy issues as customers trade off their data for access to content (Financial Times, 2019) such as YouTube. The rise of Netflix as a challenger (EatBigFish, 2017) to traditional TV provider models demonstrates consumer’s appetite for digital convenience-based services. (Nielsen, 2018) Netflix is a cloud infrastructure enterprise with customers globally. (Netflix, 2020) It is currently under scrutiny about its tax obligations from its revenue sources where countries like the UK are not benefitting from its trading. (New York Times, 2020) As a tech enterprise, Netflix manages its operations on fewer employees than traditional businesses of the same size and scale. It has fewer jobs at its core business but opens opportunities for more content creators. (McKinsey, 2018)”
This section can be written in first person. It is reflective and your reflection needs to draw from the learning made in the paper.
You can summarise your story – think of this as your pitch like the three things you have learned or a recap on the story. The conclusion is up to you as it is an opportunity to bring the story together.
Your references should be broad and can include more than those sources found in the tracker. Make sure you reference correctly.
It is important to remember that we expect much of the material to be derived from sources other than your own, therefore you must reference and reference correctly. A lack of referencing will lead to lower marks automatically and could mean plagiarism.
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