Foundations of Managing and Organising summative essay brief and guidance – Essaylink

Foundations of Managing and Organising summative essay brief and guidance
Assessment weighting: Summative 60% of module marks​
Due Date: Wednesday 3rd February 2021, 11pm (2300 hours)
Essays should be submitted as an electronic copy to the Dropbox.
Assessment brief
You are required to produce an individual essay with a maximum of 2500 words, which addresses the following brief:
Provide a case study analysis which focuses on ONE of the following aspects of managing and organising at Amazon:
​• Personality and motivation
​• Leadership, power and politics
​• Knowledge and learning
​• Globalisation and communication
​• Corporate social responsibility
Within your answer you should cover the following:
– Describe theories from the module which are relevant to the aspect of managing and organising that you have chosen, and to the case study
– Explain how the area of managing and organising that you have chosen is done at Amazon. In doing so, you should apply the theories that you have described to the case study.
– Describe and explain an example of an organisation which takes a contrasting approach to Amazon, again applying relevant theories.
– Evaluate the contrasting approaches taken by the two organisations to your chosen area of managing and organising.
There are a number of areas where you can find guidance for this essay:
• You will choose one of the topic areas from units 5-9. We recommend that you look back over the video materials and seminar activities for the topic area which you choose. Also look at the relevant chapters in your module textbook.
• Unit 10 of the online materials will be released in week 20, before the Christmas break. This will provide video lectures which will talk you through the assessment brief, and there will be a presentation which relates the Amazon case study to each of the topic areas. The unit will also highlight some key readings. Unit 10 will help you with a lot of the preliminary work and reading which you may wish to do over the Christmas break. Bear in mind that you will not be able to cover everything that was taught in your topic, nor will you be able to cover every aspect of Amazon, so Unit 10 will help you with some ideas of how to focus your essay.
• We recommend that your initial reading for the Amazon case study should be the following article from the New York Times: Kantor, J and Streitfeld, D. (2015) ‘Inside Amazon: Wrestling big ideas in a bruising workplace.’ New York Times, August 15. The article is linked from Unit 10. The article covers areas relevant to all 5 of the topic areas.
• Unit 11 will be released when you return from the Christmas break. This will focus specifically on essay writing skills which are relevant to this assessment.
• The seminars after Christmas, in weeks 25 and 26, will focus entirely on the essay. In these sessions, you can ask individual questions about your work.
• The on-line engagement sessions in weeks 25 and 26 will also focus on the essay.
Your reading for this essay should come from the following sources:
• Course textbook
• Suggested readings for your topic area
• Your own independent reading
Unit 10 will go into more detail about the suggested readings for your topic area.
After completing this unit, you will be able to:
Understand the requirements of the assessment brief for your individual essay assessment
Describe the main features of work at Amazon
Have a broad understanding of how to apply the content of units 5-9 to the Amazon case study
Choose the topic for your individual essay and begin the preparatory reading and research for the essay
King, Daniel, & Lawley, Scott. (2019). Organizational Behaviour, Oxford: Oxford University Press
In your module textbook, there are a few times where Amazon is mentioned, and links are also provided below to where this is covered in the online videos. Some of the sections in the textbook are short, but you will see how they are linked to wider module topics.
p54 – See the case study of Amazon and big data Link to unit 1 video (See ‘informated organisation and big data’)
pp93-94 – Links Amazon warehouse work to rational work design Link to unit 2 videos
p242 – An example of the Amazon mission statement
p304 – The Amazon haptic wristband is linked to motivation Link to unit 2 video (See ‘Time and motion study today’)
p372 – Amazon Alexa is linked to artificial intelligence Link to unit 4 video (See ‘Hotels and automation’)
p573 – Amazon is mentioned as a part of processes of globalisation
Wignall, J (2020) ‘Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: The richest person in the world’ BBC News, 6 July. Access via this link
This news report profiles Jeff Bezos and also looks at some of the issues and controversies which are linked to Amazon. Again, this is a good overview of Amazon that you can use to begin your research, and also links to many of the five topic areas that you can choose from for your essay. Follow the link above or watch the video embedded below
Kantor, J and Streitfeld, D. (2015) ‘Inside Amazon: Wrestling big ideas in a bruising workplace.’ New York Times, August 15. Access via this link
We recommend beginning your research with this article from the New York Times. It covers a lot of areas of work at Amazon, and there is something in this article which relates to all of the five topic areas.
In this section we focus on the topic area of personality and motivation. This section will give guidance for anybody choosing this topic for their essay. it is not intended to be a definitive essay plan, but instead gives some ideas to think about for your essay.
First we recap the main points of the unit. When you do your essay, it is strongly recommended that you go back to the only materials for that unit, and your seminar notes, as a starting point for the essay.
Now, we turn to the introductory article on Amazon:
Kantor, J and Streitfeld, D. (2015) ‘Inside Amazon: Wrestling big ideas in a bruising workplace.’ New York Times, August 15. Access via this link
Here we pick out some of the areas of Amazon mentioned in this article which relate to the key theories in this topic area. This doesn’t cover everything related to Amazon and this topic area, but is intended as a starting point to apply the theories in this topic area to the Amazon case.
In this section we present some academic resources which provide a background to relevant theories in this topic area. The list is provided to get you started on the topic, and you are encouraged to do your own searches to find more academic literature. Choose items from this list that are most relevant to your focus within the essay.
King, Daniel, & Lawley, Scott. (2019). Organizational Behaviour, Oxford: Oxford University Press
In your module textbook, chapter 8 covers personality and chapter 9 covers motivation. This is a good starting point for your reading, and you may wish to use the reference list in each chapter to find further readings
CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). 2015. A head for hiring: The behavioural science of recruitment and selection. Available at this link
This research report gives an overview of recruitment and selection techniques, how they link to psychological perspectives on personality, and how bias is found in the process and can be minimized
Dunning, D., 2010. What’s your type of career? : find your perfect career by using your personality type. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Available at this link.
The first two chapters examine the MBTI test and the meanings of the different scales
McGee, H.M., and Johnson, D.A. 2015. Performance motivation as the behaviorist views it. Performance Improvement 54 (4): 15–21. Available at this link.
This article provides an overview of behavioural theories of workplace motivation
Herzberg, F. 2003. One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review 81 (1): 87–96. A vailable at this link.
Herzberg’s explanation of his motivators and hygiene theory
Resources on personality and motivation at Amazon
The following are additional resources on Amazon which are particularly relevant to personality and motivation. You should see these as additional to the resources in section 10.3
Amazon (2015) ‘What is it like to work at Amazon: Go Beyond the Badge with Nimisha.’ May 15. Available at this link.
This is the interview with the Amazon worker who talks about the need to fit in
At this link,  Amazon talk about the stages of their recruitment and selection process
Locke, T (2020) ‘Jeff Bezos looks for these 3 traits when hiring at Amazon’, CNBC, February 4. Available at this link
Mikel, B (2019) ‘Watch Out for 1 Red-Flag Personality Trait, Says a Manager Who’s Hired for Amazon and Google’. Inc., February 25. Available at this link
Taube, A (2014) ‘Here’s One Type Of Person Amazon Loves To Hire.’ Business Insider, November 21.

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