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U25294 Operations Management

Assignment - Individual Coursework


Issue Date: Week 2 of Teaching Block One
Due Date: Week 10 Friday 1st December by 23:55
Submit to: Online submission through Turnitin
Return Date: Friday 12th January 2018 by 15:00
Weighting: 80%
Word Limit: The coursework MUST NOT exceed 2000 words. The 2000 words do not
include footnotes, numerical tables and references.
Learning 1. Analyse and interpret company information, from annual reports and other
Outcomes: relevant sources, in order to analyse business problems and apply
appropriate decision making, planning and control techniques.
2. Critically evaluate the major principles of operations management.

General Skills Research skills


Outcomes: Study and self-management skills
Employability Critical thinking analysis and synthesis
Skills Research business and management issues
Outcomes: Creating and evaluating options
Reasoning: Very often Operations practitioners have to use theories or techniques to
solve real problems or make decisions. These decisions have an important
impact on business’ operations in terms of profit and efficiency. This requires
them to analyse and interpret information from various sources and to
critically evaluate the appropriateness of the theory but also apply it business
problems. This assignment prepares you for this by assessing your subject
knowledge base and your ability to independently research for information
and apply theory to real operational problems. In addition it also develops
important skills of critical thinking and academic writing.
Moderated by: Huijing Chen and Philip Brabazon

All work submitted must adhere to the University Policy on ‘Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism’.

Learning Outcomes Assignment 2


1 Analyse and interpret company This will be addressed in the application part by
information, from annual reports  Relevance of information gathered about the
and other relevant sources, in order company
to analyse business problems and  Quality of how theory is applied to the company
apply appropriate decision making,
planning and control techniques
2 Critically evaluate the major This will be addressed in the review of your chosen
principles of operations paper by
management.  Quality of the critical review of the paper
 Completeness of the review

Task
Critically review one academic journal article from a list of carefully selected six papers on the
Moodle site. Each article focuses on different Operations Management perspectives. The review,
about 1000 words, should cover research questions, methodology, main findings and limitations of
the research. You need to demonstrate clear understanding of the chosen paper and its research
area.

In the second part of the coursework, also about 1000 words, you need to show application of the
reviewed topic area, to an organisation of your own choice. Your application does not have to use
the same theory from the reviewed paper. For example, the reviewed paper may propose a new
theory in supply chain management, you can apply any related theories in supply chain
management, not necessarily the one proposed from the reviewed paper.

It is advisable to avoid very small independent companies, because you may not be able to find
enough information on their operations. Annual reports can provide very useful information and
insights into an organisation’s operations. Remember to use good quality resources and provide a
reference list (in the APA style).

Assessment
The assignment will be assessed against the following:
 Quality of the critical review of the paper

 Completeness of the review

 Relevance of information gathered about the company

 Quality of how theory is applied to the company

 Quality and selection of academic sources

 Presentation of the work including conformance to the APA citation and referencing style

Assignment Specification
Word Limit 2000 words not including quotations, reference list and appendices
Page Size A4
Printing N/A
Spacing Proportional, single line
Font 12 point Arial
Justification Right and left justified
Margins Left, right, top and bottom 2.5 cm
Pagination All pages numbered
Title Bold capital letters, left aligned
Headings Bold upper and lower case
Paragraphs One line space between paragraphs, no indent
Quotes Long quotations in indented paragraphs.
References All sources should be acknowledged, appropriately cited within your work and included in your
reference list, following the University's approved referencing conventions. [APA 6th ed/
Oscola] For further guidance see http://referencing.port.ac.uk/

Assessment Criteria
The assignment will be graded for individuals as defined below:
70%+ Independent thought. ‘Flair’, originality in style, a personal response. Original insights and/or
synthesis of theory and practice. ‘Surprise’ for others. Lateral, creative and sophisticated
connections with other ideas and disciplines. Wide and original reading. Criticism of opinions and
arguments found in literature. Ability to generalise and hypothesise. Style and credibility - clarity
and conciseness. Ability to plan, carry out and evaluate own work without guidance.
60-69% Ability to inter-relate concepts and ideas. Able to relate theory to practice. Able to make connections
with wider issues. Ability to exercise research techniques. New, unusual or imaginative
texts/sources. Sense of controversy or disagreement. Appreciation of moral and ethical
considerations. Accurate comprehensive coverage. Flow, style, presentation, consistency and
credibility. Independence in planning and carrying out work.
40-59% Technically competent in academic conventions with some but limited reading of mainstream texts
and lecture notes citations used and some evidence of clear arguments being developed alongside
personal and/or general opinions/assertions not always fully supported. Main aspects covered with
some uncritical acceptance of popular or current ideas or rhetoric. Generally accurate in research
methods and content, attempts to relate and balance theory and practice with some limitations.
Generally coherent with some style and presentation issues that restrict the audience. Some
evidence of independence in planning and carrying out work with some guidance and help needed.

The above criteria are to be considered in the context of the University Criteria:
80+ As below plus:
 Excellent work - able to express an original reasoned argument in a lucid manner by reviewing &
critiquing a wide range of material. Original, critical thinking based on outstanding insight,
knowledge & understanding of material. Material contributes to current understanding & is of
70-79
potentially publishable quality in terms of presentation and content
 Wide reaching research showing breadth & depth of sources
60-69 As below plus:
 Clear, balanced coherent critical & rigorous analysis of the subject matter. Detailed
understanding of knowledge & theory expressed with clarity
 Extensive use of relevant & current literature to view topic in perspective, analyse context &
develop new explanations and theories
50-59 As below plus:
 Detailed review and grasp of pertinent issues & a critical contextual overview of the literature.
Thorough knowledge of theory and methods & uses this to underpin arguments and conclusions
 Confidence in understanding and using literature
40-49  Demonstrates grasp of key concepts & an ability to develop & support an argument in a
predominately descriptive way with valid conclusions draw from the research
 Familiarity with key literature which is cited and presented according to convention
 Logical & clear structure, well organised with good use of language and supporting material
30-39 FAIL Some knowledge of relevant concepts & literature but significant gaps in understanding and/or
knowledge. Little attempt at evaluation, conclusions vague, ambiguous & not based on researched
0-29 material. Limited or inappropriate research. Deficits in length, structure, presentation &/or prose