Evaluation of the impact of leadership performance

Summative Assessment 2 –

Dissertation The format of the dissertation and the outcomes to be achieved are included in this Dissertation guide.

The Dissertation will comprise a number of key sections.

  1. There should  be  an  Executive  Summary  (approximately  300  words)  at the beginning  which  should  review  what  has  been  covered  and  the  main outcome proposed.
  2. The main body of the report should cover a Strategic Project overview developing and enhancing  the  first  section  of  the  proposal  covering  the  rationale  for  the  project  and  its  importance  to  an  organisation  or  business    This  may  be  expressed  in  terms  of  sustaining  competitive  position  or  improving  that  position. This  section  might  usefully  consider  the  subject  from  the  threats, opportunities,  and  business  contextual  factors.  It  should  avoid  too  broad  a  scope.  This  might  discuss improvement to internal business processes: customer   care, service  quality,  improvement  in  skills  and  or  organisation  of  resources  etc.  It  might  include  better  service delivery, marketing  strategies  or  identification  of  new  markets  and  or products  or  services  to  the  external  business  environment.  These  are illustrative only. (Approximately 500 words)
  3. The project will include a robust and critical literature review. The main purpose is to  establish  the  important  areas  of research  and  enquiry  such  that  the  project  objectives can be achieved. It serves an important purpose in expanding the body of knowledge that we have with which to understand current performance and as a secondary base to build better informed practices for the future. It should review both the academic literature and the empirical practices that organisations operate. Your ability to shape the ideas and practices is one of the key skills. It is not just a question of presenting other authors ideas without comment. The better marks are to be achieved whereby you identify areas of difference and consensus and from 9 these works and draw a strong conclusion as to what is important in managing the particular area under review. The outcome is likely to have not much more than 4-6  key  ideas  and  principles  in  the  conclusions  and  will  be  framed around  the  question ‘what makes this a successful strategic business practice- and how can it be  managed  effectively  in  practice  ‘.  These  will  be  the  areas  you  will further examine  in  your    This  needs  to  be  written  in  logical  and  coherent chapters  that  flow  together.  It  should  be  clear  as  to  what  is  being covered  and  it  should  avoid  extending  into  too  many  areas  otherwise  critical  depth  is  lost.  The  number  of  primary  sources  will  vary.  We  expect  a good  range  of  relevant  and  contemporary  sources  but  the  treatment  of   them  is  more  important  than  shear  number. (Approximately 5000 words).
  4. The project must include a critical review of both primary and secondary methods that are  possible  but  more  importantly  those  deployed  in  the  project     from  the  perspective  of  such  things  as  selecting  valid  and  reliable sources  of  information  against  the    Discussion   of   sample  sizes   and   drawing   reliable conclusions).  It  should  address  specific  tools  used  (interviews,  questionnaires,  case  studies  etc.)    and  the  various  strengths  of  these  and  how  they  can  be  best  designed and used for the designated project.  Approximately 2000 words
  5. There must be a strong section looking at the research findings from both primary and secondary sources but emphasising new material collected specifically for the project. This  section  is  important  as  this  is  the  area  where  you  engage  with  newand  original  material  that  you  have  collected  and  the  skills deployed  here  are  definitive in terms  of  the   scope   final   assessment   grade   together   with   the   Data  must  be  presented  systematically  and  structured  clearly  around tables – if appropriate- or in terms of outcomes against the areas identified from  the  literature  and  linked  back  to  project  objectives.  Having  presented  the  data descriptively  you  will  be  expected  to  interrogate  the  findings   by  asking  questions of your information such as: what is significant here, where is there key agreements    between    participants    /sources    what    are the main areas of disagreement,  how  does  this  information  reflect  the  outcomes  (confirm  or  deny)  from the literature review etc. What does this say about important ideas to shape policy /strategy and its implementation etc.  Approximately 2500 words.
  6. You will  need  a    This  needs  to  draw  together  the  findings   from  your  research  and  the  literature  review  and  start  to  feedback  and   comment  on  the  possibilities that now arise in terms of meeting the objectives. It should shape the agenda  and  start  to  define  what  it  is  you  now  think  can  be  done. It should summarise main points and decide what stance you are taking with respect to the practice  /policies  under  review.  It  should  flow  naturally  from  the  earlier  work  .This  section  should  not  introduce  new  ideas  or  new  debates  even  if  you  have 10 discovered  new  information!  If  this  is  the  case  earlier  chapters  need  reworking.  Approximately 1500 words.
  7. Recommendations should  follow  the    At  this  stage  you  move  away from  a  research  stance  and  adopt  a  leadership  stance.  Here  you  will     advocate  a  possible  direction  for  the  organisation  or  sector.  It  can  be    specific  as  to  future  strategy  and  policy  or  it  might  offer  an  alternative  view  and  scenario  depending  on  particular  future  contexts.  It  should  be   carefully  presented  in  management      terms.    Imagine  you  are  presenting   to  a  body  of  interested  organisational  managers  with  different  levels  of   commitment  to  what  you  are  proposing!  It  should  clearly  state  what      issue  /  opportunity  is  being  addressed  and  the  impact  desired.  It  should  state  what  should  be  done  and  it  should  say  something  on  the implementation  around;  resources,  barriers,  risk,  timescales  and  organisation  of  the changes. It should not overly direct to further work or decisions otherwise the project  is  likely  to  be  overly  ‘contextual  ‘and  general  and  not  solution    driven.  Again  no  new  ideas  should  be  introduced  here  and  it  should  be  clear  how  the  recommendations  can  be  derived  from  the  foregoing  work. Approximately  2000  words.
  8. The final  section  you  should  address  personal  The  MBA   is  about  leadership  and  developing  leadership  capability.  This  section should  briefly  comment  on  your  current  stage  of  development  and  the   challenges  you  feel  you  need to consider in going forward in a management career or to develop further. You   should   aim   to   identify   and   map   your   skills   against   an  established   management  /leadership  framework  and  comment  on  the  outcome.  You  are  not  required  to  present  a  detailed  personal             development  plan  though  you  could  include  such  a  document  in  an  appendix  if  you  have  one  and  comment  on  the  main points in this section. Approximately 500 words. The  dissertation  should  not  exceed  15000  words.  However  the  exact  make  up  of  the  sections may vary between dissertations so the above word counts are strictly indicative. It is unlikely you will be able to meet the learning outcomes in terms of depth and range of analysis in a study of less than 15000 words. The remainder of the dissertation should comprise your research proposal (final) and the bibliography and any appendices that you have chosen to include.  Appendices should be carefully  selected.  They  should  be  referenced  in  the  main  body  of  the    study  and  should clearly  relate  to  and  provide  further  important  reference  for  the  reader.   They  should  not  be  included  if  they  have  no  central  bearing  on  the  study  or  simply  a  catalogue  of  all  organisational information you can find.  Please  treat  all  word  guides  (except  the  final  overall  word  guide)    flexibly  as  different  projects will emphasise different priorities and weightings so these are indicative.
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