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ASSIGNMENT TITLE Group Assignment: Manager Interview Report. Part 1 – Interview Analysis and Comparison with Relevant Theory This part of the assessment task (Part 1) accounts for 10 of the marks for this unit Word Limit: 2000 - 2500 words LEARNING OUTCOMES BEING ASSESSED 1. Critically analyse management practices in the Australasian context. 2. Understand organisational behaviour and management theory. 3. Critically analyse the underlying values of these theories. 4. Demonstrate knowledge of management theories and evaluate their impact on practical management decision making in the Australasian context 5. Develop skills and knowledge with regard to individual and group behaviour in the context of organisations and their environment. (See the unit of study guide for the full list of learning outcomes for BMO1102). SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Reports must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word document file via the VU Collaborate Assignment Submission process. The file name for your essay must be in the format of Family Name 1_ Student ID _Family Name 2_Student ID_Family_Name_3_Student_ID_Family Name_4_Student_ID_Assignment. For example: McWilliams_s1234567_Nguyen_s1234568_Chol_s1235469_Smith_s1234567_Report_Part_1. Reports submitted with any other file name format will not be accepted. The assignment Rubric (Marking Guide) is shown in the assignment Dropbox. Read the assignment Rubric Carefully before starting work on this assignment. SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Midnight, Friday Week 10 (01/5/2020) 1 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE OVERALL ASSIGNMENT. This management unit has been structured around the classical management functions of planning, leading, organising, and controlling. We know from the work of Mintzberg and others that managers seldom have the luxury of structuring their day so that they spend a certain amount of time Leading, a certain amount of their time Planning and so on. A manager’s day is typically busy with short periods of time spent on many different tasks. Often managers are reacting to events taking place both inside and outside of the organisation. In groups of four students, your task is to review an interview of a manager in order to find out how they typically spend their day, week, month, or year. The next task is to compare the answers given by the manager in their interview with the theory outlined in your textbook. This process of comparing information and observations with theory is the basis of much of the academic writing that you will undertake during your time at university. Your comparison should lead you to being able to make informed comments about the role of the manager in the interview. By comparing actual management in practice with the theoretical “ideal best practice” described in the textbook and other sources you will be able to see how closely successful managers follow good theory. Below is a set of questions that form the basis of the interview. The questions are developed from the themes covered in this subject during the block. • How do you plan your workday? • How far into the future do you plan for your job role? • How do you plan for your career, and how far into the future do you plan forit? • What is it about your job that makes it difficult to achieve goals, and what makes it easy? • How do you motivate your subordinates and how do you maintain your own motivation? • How do you approach the task of leading others? • What things do you look for in a person who leads you? • Who do you see as your mentors, and whom do you provide mentoring for? • How do you mentor? • How do you achieve goals by working with subordinates and fellow managers? • How do you deal with conflict in the work groups you manage? • How do you deal with conflict between you and other managers? • What ethical issues do you face in your management role and how do you deal with them? • How important is it for you to be aware of workplace diversity? • Does workplace diversity give your organisation a competitive advantage? If so why (or why not)? Your next task is to reflect upon and discuss the skills required by your group to complete this assessment task. What skills did you need to plan and prepare for this task, what skills did you need to complete this task and what could you do to improve the outcome in the future? Why would you do things differently? What are the possible problems with your suggestion, and how would you overcome them? Draw upon your group process journals to help you reflect upon how your group 2 worked together. Write a brief section summarising these reflections as part of your report. Your reflections on the assignment and your group process journals will be submitted as appendixes to your final group report submission (Part 2 of the group assignment). Each group will be required to give brief oral feedback on progress (no more than 2 – 3 minutes) in sessions prior to the submission of the group assignment. All group members must be present for this brief oral progress feedback. The oral progress feedback will focus on detailing the progress made towards completing this assessment task, and outline such topics as: how tasks have been allocated amongst group members; who is being interviewed and any issues or problems that may be occurring with group members meeting their obligations and completing their group assigned tasks. The feedback on progress should be written up as a reflective “group process journal” (no more than 100 to 200 words) and used in the preparation of your description of team member contributions. These Group Process Journals are to be printed, signed by all group members and handed to your tutor at the time you give your progress feedback. (See below following the description of the assessment task). Your manager interview findings are to be presented in formal report format. You will find a template for this report on VU Collaborate. The template will help you to organise your report and show you how a formal report is structured. You will see from reading the template that you need to include the following in your final report: • A cover page that clearly states; o ThenamesandIDnumbersofthemembersofyourgroup o Your teacher’s name o The name of the organisation and manager interviewed • A table of contents that shows section headings and page numbers • An introduction that tells the reader who was interviewed and where they are a manager. You should also include a short description of the company, the industry it is in and where it is located. • A main body to your report. The main body of your report will be a logical explanation of your findings presented in clearly defined sections. • A comparison between what you observed and relevant theory that will be set out with clearly defined sections. o Be aware of the fact that every organisation is unique, and the way things are done in the organisation the interviewed manager works in may not be exactly “by the book” but it may be the most efficient and effective method for thatorganisation. • A conclusion section. Your report will have a conclusion that sums up the key points of your discussion and comes to a concluding statement. • A reference list that includes a minimum of three sources as well as your textbook. (This must MATCH the in-text reference citations of your report). 3 • Appendices for your group process journal and description of individual contribution (see appendices I and II of this document), interview questions and responses as well as any other material that is important to your report but may be too long to include in the main body of the work. • An appendix containing a reflective discussion of the skills used by you for this assessment task. This section will appraise the skills you used in this field study assignment and outline the strengths and weaknesses of your assignment group in relation to those skills. Refer to the description of Graduate Capabilities in the Unit of Study Guide for a list of skills that your group may have developed by doing this assignment. Draw upon your group process journals to help you reflect upon your current skill levels. This part of the report must be no longer than 2500 words, word processed (MS Word format) with line spacing set at 1.5. All referencing must be done using the Harvard referencing system. Marks will be deducted for poor presentation, spelling, or grammar. 4 INSTRUCTIONS FOR PART 1 OF THE GROUP REPORT: Each group will be assigned a video recording of a manager interview to analyse. Your report will be based on the video recording and this part 1 of the assignment will be included as a component of your final report. You are required to watch the manager interview and identify key information to be transcribed. Next, you are required to use your transcription of the manager interview to compare the answers given by the manager with relevant theory from your textbook. Your transcription of the interview will be included as an appendix to this Part 1 submission, and will be also included as an appendix in Part 2 “final report” submission. The comparison with relevant theory should be written up as a Word document of 3000 words (not including the interview transcription). Use the Group Report Template as a style guide. If you use the template for this first part of the assignment, it will make your task easier when you start work on writing up the formal business report for part two. Task 1: Interview Review 1. Watch and listen to the interview at least twice before starting your transcription. 2. Write out the questions and sub-questions the interviewer asks. 3. Number each question (i.e. Question 1) and each sub-question (i.e. 1a) 4. Paraphrase the manager’s response to each question and sub-question. You will notice that the manager refers to different managerial functions in different questions in the interview, often two or more managerial functions are referred to in one question. 5. After transcribing the interview, highlight what aspects of the interview relate to the managerial functions of Planning, Organising, Leading & Controlling (POLC). You may find it useful at this stage to use different colours to highlight the different management areas, for instance, P=Green, O=Yellow, L= Pink, C= Purple. Task 2: Interview Analysis and Linking to Relevant Theory Instructions for comparing the interview with theory: For this part of the assessment task you will need to identify the main themes of the questions being asked (e.g. planning, leading, organising or controlling) and see how the manager’s answers link to theories and practices described in those sections of the textbook. You will find it helpful to use the transcript that you prepared for this task rather than watching the interview video to identify key information. By reading the transcript of the interview you can focus on each of the different functions of management. For example, the manager might respond to questions about leadership and motivation like this: 5 How do you approach the task of leading others? Manager Response: I try to adjust how I work with the team based on each project. If it is a type of project that is the same as something we’ve done before, I know that the team knows how to do it and what needs to be done. In that case I’ll step back and let them get on with it. In that situation my job is to just make sure they have what they need to get the project completed and to keep an eye on them so that I can help where necessary. If the project is completely new, something we haven’t done before, I’ll spend more time showing what has to be done and making it very clear what standard I expect to be met. I do a lot more “telling” and a lot more “showing” them what to do until I feel confident that they actually know what they are doing and what I want. How do you motivate your subordinates? Manager Response: I usually try to set specific goals for each of my staff, something that they can achieve in the next six to twelve months. The goals are something that we discuss and agree on. All the goals that are set are linked to the strategic plan for my department. Achieving the goals will result in the staff member getting their bonus – if they achieve all of their goals, they get 100% of their bonus, and if they only achieve half of their goals they only get 50% of their bonus. Having the bonus as a reward helps to keep them focussed on achieving their goals – so they work hard for the bonus without me looking over their shoulder all the time. If their performance reviews show that they are meeting goals they have a much better chance of success when they apply for promotion. If one of the teams points out that they need extra help or training to achieve a goal, or if I know that already, I’ll try to make sure they get the help or training that they need. These questions come from the Leading section of the textbook, and are about leading (chapter 13) and motivation (chapter 12). The manager is using the Path-Goal approach to leadership and a goal- setting approach to motivating staff. In this example you should write a brief summary of the Path- Goal leadership theory and goal-setting under the heading ‘Leading’ then show how the manager’s answer contains aspects of these two theories, under the heading ‘Analysis’. For example: 4.0 Leading 4.1 Theory According to Williams, McWilliams, Lawrence and Waheduzzaman (2020) leading is the process of influencing others to achieve group or organisational goals (p 241). In her role as a project manager at Australia Post, Ms. X adjusts the way she talks to and directs her staff, so that she can meet the deadlines associated with project management. She has a clear vision of the desired end result and is effective in guiding her team to achieve this. Ms. X states that she is strongly motivated to meet her goals and that she uses goal setting to motivate her staff. If goals are met, she and her staff are rewarded with annual bonus payments and promotion opportunities. The leadership style described in the interview is closely aligned with the Path-Goal theory and it is also evident that Ms. X uses goal setting to motivate herself and her staff. The Path-Goal leadership theory states that leaders can increase subordinate satisfaction and performance by clarifying and clearing the paths to gaols and by increasing the number and kinds of 6 rewards available when goals are achieved (Williams, McWilliams, Lawrence and Waheduzzaman 2020, p 251). Path-Goal leadership states that there are four leadership styles that managers can choose from, directive, supportive, participative and achievement orientated. The choice of leadership style is based on subordinate contingencies and environmental contingencies. Subordinate contingencies are the manager’s perception of the subordinates’ ability, locus of control and level of experience. The environmental contingencies are the structure of the task, the formal authority system and the nature of the primary work group. The correct choice of leadership style will result in subordinates’ positive satisfaction and high performance (Williams, McWilliams, Lawrence and Waheduzzaman 2020, p 251). 4.2 Analysis Ms. X states that she changes her leadership style depending on the project tasks as well as if she thinks her staff have the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to do a good job. This approach aligns with the Path-Gaol theory of leadership in that it shows that Ms. X selects her approach to leading based on her evaluation of subordinate contingencies such as level of skill and experience. However, it is not clear from the interview if Ms. X takes into account environmental contingencies other than the type of task. If Ms. X thinks the staff are confident undertaking tasks that they have done before, and that the staff work well together she says that she will not get in their way, and supports them by making sure that they have the resources they need to get the job done. This is similar to the “supportive” leadership style in the Path-Goal theory. If she thinks the task she is asking them to do is new or complicated, she will spend more time telling them what standards she expects and how to get things done, and watches closely to make sure they are on the right track. This approach closely resembles the “directive” leadership style in path-goal leadership. By changing her leadership style in these ways, Ms. X closely follows the Path-Goal approach where a leader adjusts their style according to the situation (Williams, McWilliams, Lawrence and Waheduzzaman 2020, p 237). With the project that Ms. X states she and her team were working on at the time of the interview, she demonstrates classic goal setting theory. The Ms. X is motivated by goal achievement herself and uses that to motivate and inspire her team. She is clear about the goals that need to be achieved and works with her staff to set goals, which, according to goal-setting theory increase employee motivation to achieve goals (Williams, McWilliams, Lawrence and Waheduzzaman 2020, p 237). She ensures her team are aware of, and understands the specific goals that they set and in line with goal theory provides feedback and strategies to assist her team to achieve their goals. Ms. X assists her team to achieve those set goals by building a rapport with her team, keeping the communication lines open and providing assistance and/or training when either requested or required. Ms. X establishes a firm vision for the duration of projects by making sure each team member knows what is required and expected of them and ensures both she, and her team, continue to look forward

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