Undetstanding Organizations

Topics: Organizational studies, Modernism, Postmodernism Pages: 11 (3286 words) Published: January 7, 2013
MMM262 Understanding Organisations Trimester 3, 2012 Assignment Details Case Analysis with Progress Report Learning Objectives This assessment offers opportunities for you to: 1. Critically evaluate organisational issues from multiple perspectives; 2. Conduct industry-relevant analysis of modern, symbolic and postmodern concepts of organisational theory; 3. Identify the assumptions underpinning organisational theory and explain the strengths and limitations that flow from these. Assessment Overview Tasks: 1. Analyse a chosen case organisation using modern, symbolic-interpretive, and post modern perspectives. 2. Submit a progress report as part of the assignment. Due Dates: 11.59pm) Case Analysis (report) Sunday 13 January 2013 (by 11.59pm) Marks: 40% of total marks (5 marks for the progress report and 35 marks for the case analysis) Word limit: Case Analysis = 3000 words +/-10% (plus cover page and reference list) Progress Report = 100-200 words Progress Report Monday 3 December 2012 (by


Note: You have the option to work as an individual or with a group on this assignment. For a group, there may be either 2 or 3 members per group. Purpose and Background The purpose of the assignment is for you to analyse an organisation of your choice using the three main perspectives of this course; modern, symbolic-interpretive, and postmodern.

How to get started To start, select an organisation that you are interested in analysing. You need to be able to identify and verify sufficient details about the organization for the markers so that you can link key facts of the case to organisational theories in this course. An organisation with lots of published detail in business press, on their website, and in their annual reports will be the best option for you to choose. Next, recall the definitions of each organisational perspective:

Modernist: rooted in the Enlightenment idea that progress is based on scientific knowledge and rationality (page 36), and can be seen in three main theories: • General Systems Theory (pages 37-39): we can explain scientific and social phenomena by viewing them as systems governed by laws and principles. Socio-Technical Systems Theory (pages 40 -41): an offshoot of General Systems theory that includes human behaviour in the system. Contingency Theory (page 41): which states there is no one best way to organise, rather that the most appropriate way in a given situation will depend upon particular circumstances or contingencies.

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Symbolic-Interpretive: emerged in response to some of the shortcomings of the modernism perspective. Key factors include: • Anthropologists began to question whether we could accurately represent the culture of other people when we interpret observations and data through our own cultural lens. They also claimed that to interpret other’s actions means that we impose our own views. There is no one understanding because meanings and social realities are created by people as they interact (social construction theory, pages 43-44). So we need to try to understand how ‘natives’ (e.g., organisational members) shape their world and understand it in different ways (multiple interpretations). The social/organisational world is not objective but becomes ‘objectified’ – seemingly real or taken-for-granted as real We ‘enact’ or construct our world as we act/interact and try to make sense of our experience (Weick’s sensemaking theory, pages 44-45). Symbols are part of the process of making meaning (Institutional theory, pages 45-46). We need to understand and study how we create our world and meanings and also how we generate knowledge about our world (reflexivity, pages 46–47).

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The Postmodern perspective: draws heavily on a philosophical understanding. Postmodernists shun simplification. Postmodernists often look either at: 1. • • 2. Social and cultural conditions There is no fixed, external social reality but images and simulacra/simulations. The...

References: to the chosen organisation are clearly related to the issues under discussion and well chosen to support your analysis. Conclusion Succinctly draws together and summarises the main issues emerging from the case analysis. No new references included here. Presentation and submission: (Learning objectives 1, 2, & 3) Electronic file named correctly. Assignment submitted according to policy. Correct in-text citations; and appropriate and full Harvard referencing of sources; all references cited in the text are included in correctly formatted list of references. Cohesively and logically written and structured. Formatted according to guidelines provided--eg. spacing, title page etc. Progress Report (Learning objectives 1, 2, & 3) Progress report submitted on time. Sufficient detail provided to assess degree of progress. Level of engagement with the research skills activity in CLOUDDEAKIN is explained. 5 marks
35 marks
Assignment Submission and Assessment Policy Note that part of the assignment score relates to correct submission procedure, so please take care with this aspect of your work. All assignments are to be submitted online in CLOUDDEAKIN in the area provided. Students enrolled through partner institutions must submit as directed by the unit coordinator at the partner institution on the due date. • • All students need only submit electronically in CLOUDDEAKIN. For group submissions, each individual submits electronically in CLOUDDEAKIN. For Electronic (CloudDeakin) Assignment Submissions (All Students): Your assignment file must be attached as a separate file in the submission area, and must be named using the following format: • Student id_unit code_Assignment For example - 123456789_MMM262_Assignment.doc Your assignment attachment sheet must be submitted with the assignment file and must be named using the following format: • Student id_declaration For example - 123456789_declaration.doc Assignments are on time if they are submitted online by the due date. Test the assignment submission area ahead of the due date to be sure your computer is functioning correctly. It is your responsibility to locate a properly functioning PC to submit the assignment on time.
Academic Honesty The following declaration relating to academic honesty must be made and submitted along with any assignment: “I certify that the attached work is entirely my own (or, where submitted to meet the requirements of an approved group assignment, is the work of the group), except where material quoted or paraphrased is acknowledged in the text. I also declare that it has not been submitted for assessment in any other unit or course.” A Faculty Assignment Attachment Sheet containing this declaration is available online in CLOUDDEAKIN – and must be completed and attached with any assignment submitted. Extensions and Late Submissions No extensions will be considered for assignment submission due dates unless a written request is submitted to and negotiated with the campus coordinator or the unit chair. Assignments submitted late without an extension being granted will not be marked. Return of Marked Assignments and Requests for Reviews Your assignment will be marked, commented upon and despatched back to you within 15 working days of the due date of the assignment. All variances to due date initiated by students, whether negotiated or otherwise, mean that feedback on the assignment may not be returned in time for the final examination. Please note that before results are returned to you, the teaching team will apply methods to ensure that the standards by which your work has been assessed are the same for all students enrolled in the unit. You may request additional information from assessors or checks on addition or recording errors within 15 working days after your results have been returned to you.
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