MPM722: Human Resource Management
ASSESSMENT TASK 1 – WRITTEN RESEARCH PROJECT
Due date: Tuesday 5 January 2016
Word length: 3,000 (min) – 3,500 words (max) by individual
4,500 (min) – 6,000 words (max) by group of up to 4 members, plus 500 words from each group member
CHOICE OF OPTIONS AND TOPICS
You have the choice of four individual or one group assignment options for Assessment Task 1. You must do either: ONE of the individual topics, OR the group topic, but NOT both! The group topic requires access to an organisation, whereas the individual topics are research-based.
OPTION 1 – GROUP WRITTEN RESEARCH REPORT
This assignment requires you to conduct research based on an actual organisation you can have access to. Your aim is to find out about HR strategies in one or both topics below that the organisation has chosen to help achieve their organisational outcomes, and recommend whether these strategies should remain or be changed.
You may choose to address ONE or BOTH of the following two topics, which are related to the contemporary HR issues discussed in this subject:
1. Performance assessment of staff, particularly focussing on processes linking with talent management.
2. Talent management, particularly focussing on processes building future capability in the organisation.
This option of the assignment is designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt and developed in the subject study to the practical case analysis on key contemporary HR issues. You are encouraged to speak to HR personnel and/or managers/employees in your own organisation or in one you are familiar with; or to reflect on what you have been doing if you are in a HR role. This is to ensure that you conduct a thorough analysis and are able to draw out organisational strategies to address the specific HR issue(s).
This task may only by undertaken by a GROUP. It is your responsibility to form your own group. You must provide names of up to 4 members in your group to your on-campus lecturer no later than Week 3 of Trimester 3 (NOTE: for off-campus or remote students, please provide the list of names of your team to the unit chair on Week 3 also). Please note: if you cannot pull a team together in a short time (within three weeks), you would find it difficult to work together with only 6 weeks to complete your group project report as group work requires much more effective time management and coordination.
Individuals within the group must also respond to the following question with a 500 word individual response which should be submitted separately by each student:
Each choose another country where the organisation is not based. From your understanding of the organisation and its practices, please explain how these practices would need to be adjusted due to cultural or other considerations for the strategy to work effectively in that other country.
The Group Report must be written in 4,500 (min) to 6,000 (max) words, plus 500 words from each group member. The individual contributions should be submitted separately by each student.
REPORT FORMAT – STRUCTURE AND PRESENTATION OF YOUR REPORT
Please use a formal report style with headings and a clear logical numbering system. You should also include a full list of references. Only include information in your references and appendixes that have been directly referred to in the body of your document. Your report should include:
Format of report and explanation of required content:
(i) Title page – containing the subject title and code, lecturer’s name, all group members’ names and student id numbers and the word count
(ii) Table of contents
(iii) An executive summary which includes the objectives, methods and key findings of your report. Your executive summary should be no longer than one page – approximately 200 – 300 words Main Report:
1. Introduction – a brief introduction to the paper
2. Overview of the organisation – this should be brief
3. Literature review – this is a large component of the paper and so needs to include a thorough review of relevant literature
4. Identified best practices or issues and problems – this would be based on your interviews and research about the organisation
5. Discussion and analysis – this is the other large component of the paper and needs to discuss and compare your findings about the organisation in relation to its practices and issues with the literature.
6. Conclusion – this would include recommendations and suggestions about what options for the organisation in what it should continue to do, stop doing, improve, or change.
7. References – note the reference requirements in the assessment criteria.
8. Appendices (e.g. research questions asked in interviews could be included here).
Please include the word count on the front page of your assignment.
Additional 500 word reports from each individual: No need for a formal structure. However, it is recommended that you have an introductory sentence and a conclusion.
OPTION 2 – INDIVIDUAL WRITTEN RESEARCH PAPER
If you prefer to work on your own, you may choose to write a research paper based on ONE of the following topics:
1. Gender diversity. One of the most topical issues in HR in Australia is the perception that many women are not able to be promoted to senior positions because of a ‘glass ceiling’. However, gender diversity can be a key differentiator in becoming an employer of choice. Discuss what can be done to address the imbalance of gender diversity in senior positions and compare Australia’s progress in gender diversity with at least two other countries in different continents. Use academic and practitioner literature to support your argument.
2. Performance assessment. In a number of organisations there has been a shift away from annual performance appraisals as the prime mechanism for assessment of staff performance. This has been partly due to feedback from staff and managers that they do not like the process, as it can be seen as time-consuming, a ‘numbers game’, unreliable, unfair, and not a true reflection of actual performance. With this in mind, discuss alternative performance review processes that can be used by organisations, and how organisations may need to modify performance systems to suit the cultural context in different countries. Use academic and practitioner literature to support your argument.
3. Employee voice. Involving employees in the decision-making processes of organisations is seen by many theorists as essential in building good employee relations. How can organisations enable employee voice in both unionised and non-unionised contexts? Discuss this by comparing processes operating in at least two different countries from different geographical regions of the world. Use academic and practitioner literature to support your argument.
4. Employee engagement. The level of employee engagement is becoming increasingly important for organisations to remain productive and competitive. What can organisations do to more effectively increase commitment and engagement of their key employees? How would these processes vary for multi-national organisations operating in different countries and cultures? Use academic and practitioner literature to support your argument.
The individual options for the first assignment are designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply and synthesise the knowledge learnt and developed in the subject study and critically discuss and analyse contemporary HR issues. You are required to conduct a thorough research on the chosen topic area and write a discussion paper of 3000-3,500 words (exclusive of title page, figures/tables, appendices and references).
STRUCTURE AND PRESENTATION OF YOUR RESEARCH PAPER
Although a research paper, the format of your paper should still be based on report format. You may use headings and a clear logical numbering system. You should also include a full list of references. Only include information in your references and appendices that has been directly referred to in the body of your document. In your research paper, you do NOT need a table of contents or an executive summary. Your paper should include:
1. A title page containing the subject title and code, lecturer’s name, your name and student id number and word count
2. Introduction (brief outline of the topic and your argument)
3. Relevant literature review – synthesising key academic and practitioner journal articles and other literature related to a discussion of the topic area
4. Identifying best practices or issues and problems (what issues and problems or best practices of organisations did you find through readings?)
5. Discussion and analysis (how could the issues and problems identified be addressed by using a set of HR solutions/strategies?)
6. Conclusion (what are your key points of learning/findings or recommendations for organisations?) 7. References
8. Appendices (if any – this can include descriptions of practices or processes that are too long to fit in the body of the paper).
Please include the word count on the front page of your assignment.
The assessment criteria and weighting for written assignment applicable to both Options 1 and 2 are displayed in the table below:
Knowledge of HRM: knowledge of topic and issues interpreted from different perspectives 10
Critical thinking: critical evaluation of theory and practice of relevant literature* 10
Problem solving: answering the question and providing realistic solutions and recommendations 10
Global citizenship: clear understanding and explanation of global issues related to the topic 10
Communication: effective structure and presentation of essay within word limits; accurate and relevant referencing* 10
It is a standard requirement for postgraduate students to reference at least a total of 15 book chapters and/or journal articles in the written assignments. The majority of these references should be from peer-reviewed publications.
Please also refer to the details about Assignment Feedback Form and Assessment Criteria and Standards Matrix uploaded on the DSO site for further information about how your assignment will be assessed.
___________________________________________________________________ SUBMISSION: BEFORE COMMENCING THE ASSIGNMENT YOU SHOULD READ THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS IN THE UNIT GUIDE:
• Submission and assessment policy,
• Planning assignments and getting started
• Useful references
• Assignment submission rules
Assignment submission rules
All assignments for this unit are to be submitted online as a ‘word document’ in an area provided in DSO. They are counted as ‘on time’ if submitted by 11:59pm AEST or AEDST on the due date. If necessary, you can look up your local time at: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock .
When submitting online, you must check that you have submitted work correctly by following the instructions provided in DSO.
A two-step procedure has been introduced for submitting your assignment on line. First, ALL students must complete the “Plagiarism Declaration” declaration on line. Second, you can then upload your assignment. Each group needs to upload the assignment if you complete the assignment in group, including their individual content.
Completing the online Plagiarism Declaration means you no longer need to complete the Faculty Assignment Attachment Sheet for your DSO submission. Please ensure, however, that the names and student numbers of all members of your group are included on the front page of your assignment.
Assignments are on time if they are submitted via DSO on the due date.
Students enrolled through partnership agreements must submit as required by the unit coordinator at the partner institution on the due date.
No extensions will be considered for assignment submission due dates unless a written request is submitted and negotiated with the designated Unit Chair/Coordinator. Assignments submitted late without an extension being granted will not be marked.
Return of marked assignments and requests for reviews
Your assignment will be marked, commented upon and despatched back to you within 21 business days of the due date of the assignment.
Please note that before results are returned to you, the teaching team will have applied moderation methods to ensure that the standards by which your work has been assessed are the same for all students enrolled in the unit.
You may request additional information from assessors or checks on addition or recording errors. You can contact the unit chair/coordinator directly, or use the ‘Stage 1 Review’ form available from the Faculty office. However, no reviews or remarks of assessment tasks are allowed unless you formally request such a review through the Faculty Academic Progress and Disciplinary Committee. Such requests must be submitted on the Administrative Review of Result form and may be submitted at any time up to 10 days after the release of final results for the unit.
If you consider that your assessment was or is likely to be adversely affected by serious and exceptional circumstances beyond your control, you may apply for special consideration. Grounds can be medical, compassionate or hardship/trauma. A form is available from the Faculty office. Special consideration is not normally intended for assignments and other forms of continuous assessment during the semester – you should apply to the unit chair/coordinator for an extension in such cases.
Applications for special consideration must be made no later than three days after the due date of the assessment task. They are referred to the relevant unit chair or nominee for determination and the outcome is notified within 10 working days of the application or before publication of final results for the unit.
Plagiarism and other academic offences
Plagiarism is the copying of another person's ideas or expressions and presenting them as your own without an explicit indication of the source of the material. It includes copying written works such as books or journals, 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 the work of lecturers or other students as your own without acknowledgment.
Intention to cheat is irrelevant in determining whether plagiarism has occurred – if you pass off the work of others as your own without acknowledgement, then you have offended, whether you knew you were doing it or not. Even the ‘George Harrison defence’ is irrelevant in determining if plagiarism has occurred. George’s explanation for “My Sweet Lord” sounding like “He’s So Fine” as recorded by the Chiffons in 1962 was “I did not knowingly copy another’s work – it was just in my head so that I assumed it was original”. George still plagiarised.
The University regards plagiarism as an extremely serious academic offence. The penalties associated with plagiarism may be severe and extend to cancelling all marks for the specific assessment item or for the entire unit or even exclusion from your course. These penalties are detailed in Part 2 of Regulation 4.1 (1) Student Discipline.
It is important to realise, however, that it is certainly not an offence to use the work of others in your work. On the contrary - a well-constructed essay or 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 or Student Life.
Teaching teams will use a variety of methods to detect plagiarism, and some units may require that you submit your work to a system that can check your work for possible plagiarism.
Unauthorised collaboration is a similar offence. 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. 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 assessed. If you have any doubt about what constitutes authorised and unauthorised collaboration you should consult your lecturer.
ASSESSMENT TASK 2 – FINAL EXAMINATION
The final examination will be based on the whole unit and will be two hours in duration with 15 minutes reading time and will be worth 50 per cent of your final mark. You will not be allowed to take any notes or references into the examination room. You will be advised later in the trimester about the date and place of the final examination.
DETERMINATION OF FINAL GRADE
The assignment and the exam are compulsory. To pass Human Resource Management a student must obtain a minimum of 45 per cent of the marks allocated to the final examination, as well as 50 per cent or more for the unit as a whole.
ACADEMIC SKILLS – UNDERSTANDING ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
Writing style requirements
Written assessment tasks can vary from unit to unit and even within one unit. It is important that you understand what is required of a particular writing style to maximise your chances of academic success. Examples of writing styles used for assessment in the Faculty of Business and Law include assignments, essays, case studies and reports.
The following link to the Student Life website provides instruction on all of these different writing styles: http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/administrative-divisions/student-life
Referencing involves acknowledging original sources of information when producing written work. By referencing correctly, you not only give weight to any arguments or statements made in your work, but also avoid plagiarism.
The Student Life website provides a comprehensive guide on ‘How to Reference Your Writing’.
The Library website provides a virtual tutorial on referencing and helpful resource guides:
The library provides many resources to support your research. See www.deakin.edu.au/library/findout/research/
Examinations are an important part of assessment for most units in the Faculty of Business and Law. It is imperative that you learn how to prepare for an examination and how to best use your time during an examination so that you can attain academic success. The Student Life website also provides valuable information about how best to prepare and sit for an examination.
The Division of Student Life provides free on-campus academic skills workshops including: Organising and Time Management Skills; English Language Class; How to Avoid Plagiarism; Working in Groups; Your First Assignment; Lectures and Tutorials; and Writing University Assignments.