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Assignment 2–Case Study Report

MMM132 Management
Trimester 2, 2011
Assignment 2–Case Study Report (group work)


On graduating from Deakin University, you and your group member are employed as management trainees by a large manufacturing organisation, BSG Ltd. (Note: this is a fictitious organisation ie it doesn’t exist). Profits of the organisation have fallen short of projections for the last two years in light of aggressive competition and a declining economy.

Of more significance however are the results of a culture/employee attitude survey recently conducted within the organisation which show (amongst other things) a lack of cohesion amongst employees, low levels of job satisfaction and organisational commitment, low levels of trust between management and employees, poor team work, and a belief by many that there was little opportunity for advancement. In addition, an analysis of company data for the year ending 2010 revealed a 30% increase in pilfering, in both warehouse stocks, and stationery supplies. Staff turnover is an issue also, up by 15% in year ending 2010.

James Waters, CEO, announced at the Board of Directors’ meeting held in June 2011 that changes needed to occur. ‘It’s hard enough competing with external factors impacting on our profits and market share, we don’t need this internal bleeding of profits! We need to commit resources to creating changes within the organisation as a matter of urgent priority. We certainly seem to have developed a strong culture in this organisation, but it’s one that’s killing us’ he claimed.

Both of you have been assigned the task of presenting a report to the Board of Directors outlining what changes need to be made, and making recommendations to address the issues outlined above.

To succeed, you are going to need to draw deeply on the management theory you have learned, on your abilities to understand how theory can be applied in practice, and your capacity for synthesizing these two into practical and well thought-out management recommendations.


More specifically, you need to present a management report to the Board of Directors which:

i) argues the benefits of a strong cohesive culture;
ii) Identifies the changes that need to be implemented by management to this workplace;
iii) Recommends how these changes should be implemented by management to give them the best chance of being accepted by the workforce.

Compulsory assessment task: You must complete all assessment tasks for this unit in order to be considered for a pass grade or better. It is therefore compulsory to submit Assignment 2.
Due date: In your lecturer’s locker before 1.00 pm on Monday 12 September (AEST).
Assessment marks: This assignment is worth 30 marks, which is 30% of your final grade.
Word limit: 3,000 words (+ or – 10%; excluding References).
Group assignment: This assignment must be done by a group of 2 students (maximum).
Sources: You must obtain information from, and cite, a minimum of ten academic sources.
Referencing: ALL sources must be properly cited and referenced, using the Deakin author-date (Harvard) system.

1. Carefully read the literature review:
Khan IU, Usoro A, Majewski G, Kuofie M 2010 ‘An Organisational Culture Model for Comparative Studies: A Conceptual View’, International Journal of Global Business, June, 3(1), pp 53-82.
2. Construct a case study report which includes the following:
i. A concise description of the benefits of a strong, cohesive organisational culture.
ii. A well-justified and thoroughly supported discussion of changes that need to be implemented by management to address the issues outlined.
• To help you to start thinking about this, consider for instance issues raised in the article provided related to the relationship between organisational culture ad organisation performance and efficiency, creativity and innovation, internal integration and coordination (to name just a few)
• When thinking of the changes that need to be implemented you will need to refer to, and cite, relevant management theory. Depending on what changes you identify as necessary, theory might cover further issues of organisational change, motivation, morale, leadership, innovation, or HR, for example).
• In this section, it would be good also to include information about how organisational culture is maintained/learned ie rewards, ceremonies etc. This may help you with next section on recommendations for change.
iii. A well justified and thoroughly supported set of practical recommendations for how the changes you identified could be successfully implemented by management in this organisation.

• Requests for Special Consideration or variation to the assignment task require supporting documentation and must be emailed to the Unit Coordinator ( before the due date. If necessary, please consult the Special Consideration Policy and Procedures available on the MIBT Portal.
• Assignments submitted late without an approved extension being granted will not be marked.

• Font size 12 Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial font
• 1.5 line spacing
• No paragraph indentation, but extra line spacing between paragraphs
• Headings and sub-headings
• Alphanumeric or decimal outline/numbering system for sections
• Page numbers:
o Roman lower case in preliminary sections
o Title page counts as page i but no page number showing
o Arabic numbering commencing at Introduction
• Header or footer containing both student names and both student ID numbers
Title Page
• Title of report
• Both students’ names & both ID numbers
• Unit code & unit name
• Date submitted
Table of Contents (new page)
List of illustrations (only if your report includes any diagrams, figures or illustrations, new page)
Executive Summary (approx 250 words, new page)
Summary of the complete report including purpose, findings and recommendations.
Introduction (approx 150 words, new page, page number 1)
Overview of the task, the report purpose and structure.
Body and Recommendations (approx 2500 words, provide appropriate sub-headings, start on new page)

Conclusion (approx 100 words)
Summary of report contents including your report generalisation and your group’s opinion.
References (minimum of 10, new page)
• Contains all sources cited in the report
• Alphabetical order
• No separate sections, numbering or bullet points
• Presented in the Deakin author-date (Harvard) system
In order to complete this assignment you will need to obtain information from academic textbooks or academic journal articles. You should be making good use of your unit textbook, of references and further reading signalled in this book, and of the articles and further reading contained in your lectures, tutorials and unit guide.
Academic journals can be found by conducting a search of the Deakin Library databases. Instructions on how to do this are available on the MIBT Portal. A list of good management journals is also provided on the Portal. Access these journals via the Deakin Library website to obtain these articles free of charge. A pdf version generally is the best one to work from, so make sure that you already have Adobe Acrobat software loaded on your computer.

Your results and assessor’s comments will normally become available to you within 15 business days of the due date (unless an extension has been granted). After all marking has been completed, papers will be returned to students in classes.
Before results are returned to students, the unit team will moderate the marking process to ensure that the same marking standards are applied to all students within the unit. Penalties will be applied to students who have submitted reports which contain plagiarism or other forms of cheating.
Please note that it is compulsory to submit Assignment 2, but it is not compulsory to pass Assignment 2 in order to pass the unit.
In this report students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of management through a practical and realistic approach to their basic research methods and discussion of relevant real-life applications.
Researching, writing and referencing skills are valuable in all facets of management practice. Effective writing is an essential skill for good managers because written documents provide busy executives with accurate information and appropriately informed viewpoints from reliable sources. Poorly researched work leads to poor decision-making, thereby compromising management.
Students are also expected to be constructively critical and analytical when they write about what they have read. This is important because an important aspect of presenting material to senior managers is to provide a balanced viewpoint; that is, to present alternative interpretations and to outline both the positives and negatives of any particular option. This ensures that the conclusions drawn are not biased.
Please note that all ideas within your group’s report which have been obtained from your sources, will need to be cited and referenced using the Deakin author-date (Harvard) system. This system is used for other assignments submitted for Faculty of Business and Law units.
These are the reasons why you need to develop your academic writing skills and learn the art of constructive report writing.
You are required to include in-text citations throughout this report, as in all your academic assignments, to demonstrate your research and show the sources of your ideas. All sources cited in the report must also be included in the References section. Citing and referencing correctly is how you show that you understand the rules of academic writing and avoid plagiarism.
It is highly recommended that you obtain and use the following booklet published by the Deakin Division of Student Life and provided free of charge to first year Deakin students:
Gaspar, M & Shepherd, M 2011, Guide to assignment writing and referencing, 4th edn, Deakin University, Geelong.
The following Deakin weblinks also provide relevant and helpful explanations and examples. Most of these can be downloaded if you wish:
• Division of Student Life: ‘Referencing using the author-date (Harvard) system’:
• Division of Student Life ‘How to Reference Your Writing’:
• Library: A virtual tutorial on referencing and online quiz:
• Division of Student Life: ‘Resources: Reading and Writing’ including different writing styles:

Disciplinary procedures will be initiated if any student’s work is found to include plagiarism (i.e., penalties will be imposed relative to the degree of infringement). Plagiarism is the copying of another person”s ideas or expressions without appropriate acknowledgment and presenting these ideas or forms of expression as your own. It includes not only written works such as books or journals but data or images that may be presented in tables, diagrams, designs, plans, photographs, film, music, formulae, web sites and computer programs. Plagiarism also includes the use of (or passing off) the work of lecturers or other students as your own.
Plagiarism is a form of cheating that MIBT, and Deakin University, regards as an extremely serious academic offence. The penalties associated with plagiarism are severe and extend from cancelling all marks for the specific assessment item or for the entire unit through to exclusion from your course. These penalties are detailed in the relevant policies on the MIBT Portal pertaining to Academic Misconduct.
It is important to realise, however, that it is certainly not cheating to use the work of others in your work. On the contrary – a well-constructed report should normally refer to and build on the work of others for positioning, supporting and strengthening your work and advancing knowledge. Plagiarism occurs when due recognition and acknowledgement of the work of others is not provided. Therefore, whenever you are using another person”s research or ideas (whether by direct quotation or by paraphrasing) you must appropriately cite the source. If you are ever in doubt about the most appropriate form of referencing, you should consult your lecturer, MIBT Academic Skills Advisor (, or Deakin Student Life.
Talking about your assignment with other students is acceptable and encouraged. However, jointly writing up the assignment, or using the same written words from your discussion, is a form of cheating because we are not able to identify whose idea the information is. Unauthorised collaboration involves working with others with the intention of deceiving examiners about who actually completed the work. If there has been any collaboration in preparing individual assessment items, this must be disclosed (clearly stated that it is a joint effort). In the case of group project work, lecturers provide guidelines on what level of collaboration is appropriate and how the work of each participant in the project is to be presented. If you have any doubt about what constitutes authorised and unauthorised collaboration you should consult your lecturer.
Plagiarism occurs when a student presents the work of another person as the student”s own work, or includes the ideas of others as quotations, summaries or paraphrases, without acknowledgement as to its authorship.

Collusion occurs when a student obtains the agreement of another person for a fraudulent purpose with the intent of obtaining an advantage in submitting an assignment or other work.

TRI 2 2011
Learning objective Performance Indicator
Needs Improvement
Well Done

Find information appropriate to the task

(max. 6 marks) • Poor or no reference to relevant issues from the case study
• Few or no academic texts or theories used to discuss the case
• Information sources provide no evidence of reasonable research skills

(0 marks) • Some reference to relevant issues from the case – but either too few or two many from which to build your report
• Some academic texts and theories used to discuss the case, but not sufficient for the task
• Information sources provide little evidence of reasonable research skills
(1.5 marks) • Reference to relevant issues from the case on which to build this report
• A reasonable range of academic texts and theories used to discuss the case
• Information sources provide evidence of reasonable research skills

(3 marks) • Evidence of a careful selection of very relevant, key issues taken from the case.
• A good range of highly relevant academic texts and theories used to discuss the case.
• Information sources provide evidence of good research skills

(4.5 marks) • Evidence of a careful selection of very relevant, key issues taken from the case – including some subtle and sophisticated understanding of issues
• An excellent range of highly relevant texts and theories used to discuss the case
• Information sources demonstrate very good research skills
(6 marks)
Structure and present information in a logical way

(max. 6 marks) • Required formal report structure largely not followed.
(For example: Executive Summary not provided; Headings not provided and/or inappropriate; No numbering system used; Formatting does not follow requirements in most instances; No evidence of any attempt to comply with indicative word counts)
(0 marks) • Formal report structure mainly followed, but with significant errors or omissions

(1.5 marks) • No significant errors in following formal report structure
• In addition, a satisfactory professional tone used throughout the report

(3 marks) • Formal report structure utilised well to aid the presentation of information, to analyse and make recommendations
• In addition, a professional tone used throughout the report

(4.5 marks) • Formal report structure utilised very well to present information, to analyse and make recommendations
• In addition, a highly appropriate professional tone used throughout the report

(6 marks)
Critically analyse and synthesise the information gathered.

(max. 10 marks) • Information presented within the report lacks internal coherence.
(For example, summary of case does not link with problems identified; problems identified do not link with theory; recommendations do not follow problems.)
• Recommendations unrealistic, poorly conceived or not supported by case material or theory.

(0 marks) • Some internal coherence within the report, but significant parts still fragmented or disconnected
• Recommendations reasonable but poorly supported by case material or theory

(2.5 marks) • Case summary, the problems identified and recommendations have some logical flow
• Recommendations reasonable and largely supported by case material or theory. However the analysis and recommendations could have been deepened further

(5 marks) • Case summary, the problems identified and recommendations demonstrate a clear logical flow
• Recommendations reasonable, well argued and well supported by case material and theory
• Analysis and recommendations starting to show some depth of thought

(7.5 marks) • All elements of the report flow logically and make a compelling argument for the changes identified and recommendations made
• Recommendations well thought through, well argued and very well supported by case material and theory
• Analysis and recommendations showing some subtlety of thought and a real appreciation of the complexities of managing other people

(10 marks)
Communicate information accurately

(max. 4 marks) • Extensive spelling and/or grammatical errors.
• Paraphrasing closely resembles a quote
• Too much quoted material provided and presented incorrectly

(0 marks) • Some spelling and/or grammatical errors
• Paraphrasing uses too much of the authors own words
• Too much quoted material provided, and some presented incorrectly

(1 mark) • Few spelling and/or grammatical errors
• Paraphrasing correctly portrays another’s ideas in student’s own words
• Too much quoted material used, but presented correctly

(2 marks) • One or two spelling and/or grammatical errors
• Paraphrasing correctly portrays another’s ideas in student’s own words.
• Fewer quotations could be used, but presented correctly

(3 marks) • No spelling and/or grammatical errors.
• Paraphrasing correctly portrays another’s ideas in student’s own words
• Quotations used sparingly and presented correctly

(4 marks)
Refer to information sources accurately

(max. 4 marks) • In-text citations not utilised or inaccurate
• References do not use the Harvard method correctly

(0 marks) • In-text citations are too sparse and/or mostly inaccurate
• An attempt to use the Harvard method has been made, but with several errors

(1 mark) • In-text citations are accurate in most cases and are just adequate to the task
• References provided under the Harvard method are accurate in most cases

(2 marks) • In-text citations are accurate and support the arguments made in the report quite well.
• References provided under the Harvard method are accurate

(3 marks) • In-text citations are accurate and support the arguments made in the report very well
• References provided under the Harvard method are accurate

(4 marks)


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