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Develop Your Understanding of the Nature of Organisation Theory

Essay by   •  September 10, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,905 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,802 Views

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Guide to the Individual Assignment

This 2,800 word assignment consists of two parts. Part A focuses on your understanding of organisational perspectives and requires you to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical issues. Part B requires you to apply these perspectives to understand a particular multinational organisation; the application of theory, using it as a tool, to make sense of a real-world situation.

You may choose to write the assignment as two distinct essays with their own introductions, bodies and conclusions or you may choose to write it as a single integrated essay. Regardless of your decision, you must be able to demonstrate that you have covered the requirements of both parts A and B.

Aims of the assignment

The aims of this assignment are for you to:

* develop your understanding of the nature of organisation theory;

* develop your understanding of different theoretical approaches and how they can be applied to understand different aspects of an organisation.

* develop your understanding of the organisation of multinational companies;

* develop your understanding of organisations and the environment;

* gain skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which scholars incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers

Criteria for assessment

For this assignment your essay will be assessed on the extent to which it demonstrates:

* an accurate comprehension of two perspectives;

* an accurate comprehension of the organisation chosen for the case study and its relationship to its environment;

* an in-depth engagement and application of relevant organisation theories to understand the empirical case study.

* an ability to present in written form a clear, compelling, well-presented and properly referenced argument.

Part A (worth 50% of the overall marks for the assignment) (should be completed by week 5 of the semester)

'The pervasiveness of power is the most central aspect of organisational life....for this reason it is important to understand the limits of power and authority, resistance and obedience' (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis, 2008: 294).

Modern, symbolic-interpretive, post-modern and critical theory perspectives have different ways of understanding power and the limits of power in organisations.

Choose two of the four theoretical perspectives and discuss how each perspective contributes to different ideas about power and the limits of power in organisations.

You must present your argument in an essay format. You may use examples to support your argument. In answering the question please remember it asks you about ways of understanding, seeing and analysing and not doing, managing or constructing.

You are required to engage with and reference a minimum of six different sources which includes the textbook and Jaffee, 2008. Students will be expected to use the Library and other resources such as the World Wide Web to access relevant information. In selecting your sources it is important to ensure that your argument is underpinned by reputable and relevant academic sources.

Additional guidance

The following points are to help you to understand and complete Part A of your assignment:

1. The question asks you to compare and contrast the views of two perspectives. The focus for this comparison is on the perspectives' views on power and authority, resistance and obedience in organisations and how these views contribute to different ideas about power and the limits of power in organisations.

2. In your essay you must explain--in your own words--how the perspectives you have chosen provide a particular understanding of power and authority and the limits of power, including resistance and obedience in organisations. You must demonstrate an understanding of the perspectives and their associated theories.

3. This is not an essay asking you to consider management practices or styles of management. It is asking you to focus on 'ways of seeing' and thinking about the organisation (i.e. perspectives of the organisation) and ways of understanding power and the limits of power. Think of yourself as a researcher (rather than manager) of organisations and you have two devices you can choose from to study power and authority, resistance and obedience. Each device provides you with the ability to learn something different about organisations. Your job is to explain how each of the devices you have chosen provides a different way of understanding power and the limits of power in organisations. You will be expected to identify the major differences and similarities between the perspectives as part of this exercise.

4. You must make use of at least 6 references which includes the textbook and Jaffee, 2008.

5. Before you begin to look for additional reading you should first acquire a good understanding of the two perspectives through the discussions about these perspectives found throughout the textbook. Once you acquire this understanding you will then begin to recognise these perspectives in the articles beyond the textbook. You can do this by looking for key concepts or theories used by the different perspectives. For example, if you see an article referring to 'deconstruction' or 'self-surveillance' you can be pretty sure it is coming from a postmodern perspective. If you come across articles using general system's theory or structural contingency theory you can be pretty confident that these are articles drawing upon modernist ideas. You can then draw upon and talk about this reading in your essays.

6. You can make use of the Web but only for reliable sources - Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. We encourage you to make use of journal articles which can be found via a range of library databases. I suggest you use Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale) database which is located through the Databases section of the library website. This database allows you to search a range of journals using keywords. Some of the keywords you should consider are: organisational



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