You are being asked to ‘discuss how an awareness of management theories can influence the practice of management’. You could draw on your own direct experience of managing or organising tasks and it is also legitimate for you to reflect on experiences of being managed/organised by others. In either case, you are being asked to choose some aspect of managerial practice, and discuss how an awareness of relevant theories such as those covered in this course might inform and/or improve such practice. We have not specified how many theories you should use, but we are expecting it to be ‘theoretically rich’ meaning if you choose fewer, we are expecting a deeper level of analyses. You can use any theories taught within the course, but we will be expecting you to move beyond the theoretical focus chosen for your first assignment.
Remember when we talk of managerial practice, it is managers in organisations doing managerial and organisational things. Examples of managing are almost limitless but might include issues such as delegating tasks to members of a team, coordinating activities, reviewing performance, training colleagues, redesigning tasks, recruitment, disciplinary issues, developing new products/services, handling complaints, dealing with customers/suppliers, etc. How might an appreciation of relevant theories help improve the delivery of these tasks?
When it comes to ‘a critical and reflexive approach’ we are asking you to demonstrate that you are not just thinking in the abstract about other people as managers but that you can ground your discussion in your own experience. This may take the form of reflecting on your own experience of managing or being managed. Focus on your own attitudes and responses. How has your own thinking changed? Be critical in your selection of examples and ask what does this reveal about the nature of management practice? What assumptions are being made, which theories might suit which situations, what do your reflections tell us, what can’t they tell us? Please note this is not an invitation to tell an anecdote about your experience of managing or being managed. Clear, critical and theoretically informed reflections on your experience are more important than telling us a
long story about what happened. Build an argument and take a point of view on the subject. The reflexive element of your assignment might reasonably constitute 200-300 words and is not the only task you have to undertake in this assignment.
Simple searches through Business Source Premier will show various reputable articles which apply theories to certain managerial practices. These articles will likely apply a critical lens to the theories. Read them and use them.
In the assessment process we will be looking at:
To structure your writing in a way that is clear and helps the reader follow your argument. To provide comprehensive, appropriate and connected sets of ideas that flow together well.
To provide accurate references (e.g. Harvard style, number of journals such as web-based or other published materials).
Explain relevant theories accurately
Show good evidence of understanding of key ideas, concepts, definitions, etc. from a thorough review of relevant literature.
Informed reflection account of the relationship between theories and managerial practice.
Apply how the theories explain what is or what should be going on in a managerial situation.
Account reflexively for your own managerial practice and/or your experience of being managed.
Application of a critical lens to managerial practice Provide well-reasoned argument