“Choose your case. This must be a real organisation. It could be one where you are currently or were recently employed, one with which you are familiar, one discussed as a case on the module, or one that you have identified yourself and plan to research independently. The key is to be guided by what is of most relevance and interest to you, and one where you can gain access to relevant evidence.
Identify one OB/HRM theme or topic that is particularly pertinent to your chosen case and critically analyse it with reference to the theories and concepts presented in the module.”
These are the instructions. The organisation I thought about is a small independent business I was a supervisor for (hospitality) which was poorly managed. The structure of the paper should be as follows:
The main body of the assignment should be devoted to a detailed analysis and critical evaluation of your case study, focusing on your chosen theme, and using theory from your reading around the module.
Evidence is important. Aim to substantiate assertions or inferences you make with illustrative material. This can be drawn from your own memory/experience, from documents, or from conversations with those involved. When using this type of material, show that you are aware of limitations in the evidence, e.g. the need to consider alternative perspectives and interpretations, and to be cautious in generalising too widely based on the subjective accounts of a limited number of people.
Consider what light your case might throw on the particular theories/frameworks you choose to discuss. Remember, evaluation works both ways: theories help to understand practice, and practice also helps to evaluate the utility of theories. A case that can be claimed to contribute something towards the latter appears to have added value.
Conclude the assignment by indicating how the lessons learned from this case might be of use in making sense of OB and HRM issues in other organisations and contexts; for example:
What are the general principles that seem to be involved?
How transferable do you imagine these are?
Your conclusion is a good place to make links to other OB/HRM topics and issues, drawing insights about how they can impact on each other in your chosen case and beyond. Consider synthesising a few key messages that flow logically from what you have analysed rather than a summary of all the points.