Assessment Task: ‘Write a critical and academic essay that shows why, how and in what ways the movie – Walmart – has enabled you to deepen and extend your understanding and knowledge of three ideas from the list below, one of which must be contemporary capitalism:
leadership and management (Please do this one)
the nature of globalization
organization as deceitful practice
ethics applied to organizational realities
‘managerialism’ and Walmart
psychology and organizations
organizational power and control
researching employee experiences of working for Walmart
In your essay you should comprehensively and thoughtfully address THREE of the themes set out above, one of which must be contemporary capitalism, and the other two chosen by you. You should not attempt to cover all of the themes. (Please could you do ‘contemporary capitalism’, ‘leadership and management’ and which ever one you feel most comfortable doing) (The full name of the movie is Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price)
Some useful reading:
• DRIVER, J. (2006) Ethics: The Fundamentals. London: Wiley Blackwell
• GREY, C. (2009) A very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations. London: Sage – Read the Introduction, and Ch’s. 4, 5 and 6
• HUGHES, M., (2010) Change Management: A Critical Perspective. London: CIPD
• JACKSON, B., and PARRY, K. (2011) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Leadership. London: Sage
• Krasikova, D.V., Green, S.G., and LeBreton, J.M. (2013) Destructive Leadership: A Theoretical Review, Integration and Future Research Agenda. Journal of Management 2013 39:1308
• LINSTEAD, S., FULOP, L., and LILLEY, S. (2009) Management and Organization: A Critical Text. London, Palgrave MacMillan
• RAYNER, A.D., and MURRAY, Y P. (2013) Leading from the Natural Inclusional Middle: From the Wasteland of Ideological Enmity to the Fertile Ground of a New Political Animal. Best Thinking: August 2013
Don’t feel compelled to use all of these, however some referencing from these would be greatly appreciated!
Some other info that may be useful for the task:
To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of what is meant by managerialist and critical approaches to people, management and organisation in the assessment task
2. Explain, evaluate and critically argue/discuss/present the strengths and limitations of a variety of contemporary theoretical frameworks and approaches to the study of people, management and organisation. For example, pre-modernist, modernist, postmodernist, interpretivist and positivist.
3. Describe, explain and account for the importance of power and control in leading, managing and organizing in the workplace
Apply theoretical materials to the study of performance and motivation, learning and development, leadership, equal opportunities, and globalization as a sociopolitical context that mediates how people experience management and organization.
This assessment is in the form of an academic essay (not a bullet point list or ‘business report’) in which you will be expected to demonstrate the following:
• You have some knowledge of theory and ideas studied in the module
• That this knowledge has helped you to develop insights into the essay question
• That you can develop a persuasive argument to demonstrate your insights
• That you are able to express your ideas clearly
• That you are able to demonstrate creative, innovative, and non-linear thinking in moving between ideas in your head, ideas in the film, and ideas in the texts and literature you are expected to be familiar with in this module
It is expected that you will cite ideas and material that you have read in preparation for this essay. Ensure that you present citations and a list of references used in the Harvard referencing approach. If you use website citations, be careful to establish the author of the work, the hosting website and the date retrieved.
Do not be tempted to quote large passages of theory or material from the texts you read. A short statement of the theory (model or concept) is all that is needed to show the reader that you have awareness of it, and have taken it into account in the development of your argument. It is much more convincing if you use these ideas from your reading to help you to develop your own understanding of the context and positions taken in the essay.
It is often helpful if you adopt a position and then seek to defend it. Try to show that you have awareness of possible alternative positions to the one you have taken.
The essay should be word processed, and you should use spell check to edit your final composition.
1. What do I want the student to demonstrate in this assessment?
Knowledge of ideas, concepts and a creative/innovative ability in applying these ideas and concepts to an analysis of the films purpose; acceptance of an invitation to critically question/examine the dynamics of business management and organization within contemporary globalizing capitalism
2. What concepts do I want the student to use?
Specifically: ethics, leadership and strategy, business management, managerial knowledge and expertise, presentation and persuasion, management skills, creativity, innovation and non-linear thinking; entrepreneurialism, management as ‘bull shit’ and irony; the nature of capitalism, and a quality of reflexivity in which the student shows awareness of the nature of their investment in the capitalist project.
• An excellent answer will show reflective and reflexive qualities. The student will be able to see how their own thinking has been affected by the film. The student will also be able to draw a conceptual distinction between the managerialists and the critics approach to business management and organization. In this way the student will be able to draw ideas out of the film and relate them critically to their curriculum. In addition, excellence will be demonstrated by going beyond module texts and ideas presented in class to show research awareness of ideas in other books, alternative media, and refereed journals. Care and clarity is required in coordinating description, analysis and understanding in the essay. For excellence to be established, a student would need to ensure that their argument, reasoning and engagement with critical debates is made explicit to the reader and review of literature has been thoughtful, considered and open-minded. Creativity, innovative thinking and non-linear movement between ideas in the film and ideas raised in the module would be demonstrated seamlessly.
I have put 10 sources/references to be included, but I do not mind if this figure is a little higher or lower, please feel free to do what you believe to be best and what you are comfortable with. If not stated elsewhere, please use the Harvard Referencing system.
Good luck with the essay!!
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