Recent Question/Assignment

Assignment workshop
(Strategic operations management)
6,000 words (+/- 10%)
You need to provide a reference list at the end (not a bibliography)
You can use diagrams and tables but they must be discussed and critiqued in the discussion
All assignments to be marked electronically
Assignments marked by lecturers who taught the module
Assignments are then second marked within the teaching team to ensure consistency
Students are advised of a provisional mark
Assignments then go to an external examiner who reviews the assignments and marks – again to ensure consistency, this time from across UK institution perspective
Marks are confirmed at the Award exams board – only at this point are they deemed final
Why reference?
To acknowledge other writers
To offer the reader evidence in the construction of your thinking
To enable other to easily track down the sources used
To evidence the body of knowledge
Avoid plagiarism – all assignments and dissertations are put through plagiarism detection software
To develop critical debate!
You are required to use the Harvard referencing system for your assignments and dissertation
For example:-
The work of Lewis (2006), Barker et al. (2005) and Mason-Jones et al. (1997) concluded….
It has been argued (Forrester, 1961) that the essential……
….supply chain management is an enabler to collaboration (Towill and Christopher, 2001)
Note et al. signifies more than 3 authors
Critically discuss a contemporary issue in strategic operations management.
What do we mean by critically?
What do we mean by contemporary?
How to structure your assignment?
Introduce the reader to your subject.
Explain the background of the topic etc.
Define key terms and explain your interpretation of any ambiguities in the question
State/explain the objectives
Outline what you intend to cover in the essay, your main arguments and conclusions (structure, structure, structure).
Split this section into clear subsections Explaining each point of the argument
One paragraph, one point
Introduce idea
Define/explain the idea
Offer evidence and argument
Relate to question/brief
If you are evaluating, be sure to state the criteria on which you are making judgements.
(For example)
Literature review
Need to demonstrate an in-depth study of the topic has been undertaken
Range of sources – include books, journal articles, business news articles
A range of industry sectors have been looked at
Up to date sources (2015 - 2020 (maybe)) have been used as well as past research
(For example)
Literature review (getting the most from a journal paper - USW supply chain management group)
What is the context of the article. WHY is the author writing about this topic/doing this research?
What does the author really want to know? Ie WHY are they doing this particular piece of research?
What did the author find out? What is the KEY message of this article? Try to write this in just 2-3 sentences.
What type of research is the author doing?
What other literature is this author citing and can it be useful for you?
Notes – challenges with the article
(For example)
Literature review (getting the most from a journal paper - USW supply chain management group)
What is the context of the article. WHY is the author writing about this topic/doing this research?
What does the author really want to know? Ie WHY are they doing this particular piece of research?
What did the author find out? What is the KEY message of this article? Try to write this in just 2-3 sentences.
What type of research is the author doing?
What other literature is this author citing and can it be useful for you?
Notes – challenges with the article
Remind the reader of the purpose of the assignment
Summarize what you have discussed/ implications of your discussion
Indicate future research/ application
Remind the reader of the purpose of the assignment
Summarize what you have discussed/ implications of your discussion
Indicate future research/ application
Knowledge – 30% of overall grade
Addressing the assignment question. Demonstrating breadth and depth of knowledge of subject area.
Discussion of theory – 30% of overall grade
Wider reading incorporating practitioner and academic sources
Application of theory – 30% of overall grade
Demonstrating the ability to apply theory to practice
Presentation – 10% of overall grade
Referencing standards, structure, writing style, grammar, spelling
Less than 40% - fail (potential reasons)
The author has not answered the assignment question
Limited/ poor referencing – including high similarity
Word count issues
Lack of understanding
Poor theoretical engagement
Limited evidence of wider reading
Late/ non-submission
40% - 49% (pass)
The author has demonstrated an adequate understanding of the subject, though there are some gaps;
The author has demonstrated wider reading, though more depth is required. Typically a descriptive style is adopted rather than a critical one
The author has made some attempts at applying the theory t practice, though this is limited
Typically there may be referencing/ structure/ style/ grammar errors.
50% - 59% (strong pass)
The author has demonstrated a good understanding of the subject, though more depth may be required in places
The author has demonstrated wider reading around the subject and has given some indication of consensus and debate.
The author has attempted to apply the theory to practice, this may need to be developed further;
Presentation is of a good standard.
60% - 69% (merit)
The author has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the subject area and related concepts
The author has demonstrated strong engagement with the extant literature – mostly up to date. Good critical discussion;
The author has robustly applied theory to practice by means of contemporary case example;
Presented to a high standard.
70% - 79% (distinction)
The author has demonstrated an excellent understanding of the subject and can contextualise it within wider issues;
The author has demonstrated significant critical engagement with the extant literature. Strong synthesis and critical debate.
The author has critically applied the theory to contemporary cases, indicating merits and limitations of the theories
Excellent presentation
80% - 89% (strong distinction)
The author has demonstrated expert, leading-edge knowledge in the subject area;
The author has demonstrated significant engagement with the extant literature, advanced synthesis critically highlighting the wider theoretical perspective and the maturity of each theoretical lens.
Advanced application of theory to practice, highlighting limitations in conceptual/ theoretical frameworks through the critique of case examples
Presented to an excellent standard.
90% - 100% (distinction - excellent)
This assignment is of a standard that could be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
Lean/TQM
Industry 4.0/big data/virtual reality/internet of things
Risk management/operations improvement
CSR/sustainable supply chain
Outsourcing and insourcing
Innovation/open innovation/regional innovation system/sustainable innovation
Global supply network
Service
Public sector supply chain management
By the end of today’s session you should:
Have identified your contemporary issue to discuss;
Created a plan for your assignment – titles of each sub-heading
Generated key words to search for each sub-heading
Created folders and downloaded material for each sub-heading (literature…)
Identified some potentially useful cases to use
Be happy that you know what to do to finish your assignment to a high standard.

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