Module title: Managing strategy, operations and partnerships (SG7001)
Assessment task: Report
Word count limit: 4500 words +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)
Ensure that you are familiar with the relevant regulations regarding academic misconduct.
The assignment should be MS Word processed, using Times New Roman size 12 font, double spaced, with numbered pages. Note this is a report supported by academic research so you should adhere to the appropriate referencing guidance. The majority of references should come from primary sources (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, reports, etc.) although you can also utilise area specific textbooks. You must ensure that you use the Harvard style of referencing. Please indicate the word count length at the end of your assignment.
Produce a 4500-word report (+/- 10%) (excluding the list of references)
Students are required to produce a report (LO8) on one international organization of their choosing and address the following issues:
Brief introduction to the organisation and sector it operates in, including a summary of the past 3 years’ revenue, operating profits and general overview of the business’s operational activities (LO2).
An outline of one strategic business issue they are, or have recently, faced; contextualised within the organisational setting, including an overview of relevant strategic decisions that led to their current position (discussed through relevant literature, tools and techniques) (LO2/3).
Critical analysis of why the issue has strategic implications and its impact on its stakeholders (discussed through relevant literature and supported by other contemporary examples) (LO2/6).
In selecting the company to analyse, students will want to spend time identifying an international organization which has experienced, or is experiencing, major issues as a result of current and emerging global trends, and satisfy themselves that there are a number of credible resources from which to refer. Well established media (e.g. BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, etc) may be used to develop the context of the discussion, but the material used to underpin the research and analysis should be from academic books and/or peer reviewed academic journals.
What is a report?
A report is written for a clear purpose and to a particular audience. Specific information and evidence are presented, analysed and applied to a particular problem or issue. The information is presented in a clearly structured format making use of sections and headings so that the information is easy to locate and follow.
When you are asked to write a report, you will usually be given a report brief which provides you with instructions and guidelines. The report brief may outline the purpose, audience and problem or issue that your report must address, together with any specific requirements for format or structure. This guide offers a general introduction to report writing.
The style of writing in a report is usually less discursive than in an essay, with a more direct and economic use of language
The main features of a report are described below to provide a general guide. These should be used in conjunction with the instructions or guidelines provided by your department.
This should briefly but explicitly describe the purpose of the report (if this is not obvious from the title of the work);
The summary should briefly describe the content of the report. It should cover the aims of the report, what was found and a brief review of the conclusions. Aim for about 1/2 a page in length and avoid detail or discussion; just outline the main points. Remember that the summary is the first thing that is read. It should provide the reader with a clear, helpful overview of the content of the report.
The contents page should list the different chapters and/or headings together with the page numbers. Your contents page should be presented in such a way that the reader can quickly scan the list of headings and locate a particular part of the report. You may want to number chapter headings and subheadings in addition to providing page references. Whatever numbering system you use, be sure that it is clear and consistent throughout.
The introduction sets the scene for the main body of the report. The aims and objectives of the report should be explained in detail. Any problems or limitations in the scope of the report should be identified, and a description of research methods, the parameters of the research and any necessary background history should be included.
Information under this heading may include: a list of research methods used (e.g. literature review using ProQuest resources and the filter criteria applied for each search) and other sources of information and details of selection/rejection; reference to any problems encountered and subsequent changes in procedure.
The main body of the report is where you discuss your material. The literature and evidence you have gathered should be summarised, analysed and discussed with specific reference to the problem or issue. If your discussion section is lengthy you might divide it into section headings. Your points should be grouped and arranged in an order that is logical and easy to follow. Use headings and subheadings to create a clear structure for your material. Use bullet points to present a series of points in an easy-to-follow list. As with the whole report, all sources used should be acknowledged and correctly referenced (remember to use the most credible resources available).
In the conclusion you should show the overall significance of what has been covered. You may want to remind the reader of the most important points that have been made in the report or highlight what you consider to be the most central issues or findings. However, no new material should be introduced in the conclusion. Remember to specifically answer the initial questions posed.
Under this heading you should include all the supporting information you have used that is not published. This might include tables, graphs, questionnaires, surveys or transcripts. Refer to the appendices in the body of your report.
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