Conduct industry-relevant analysis of modern, symbolic and postmodern concepts of organisational theory

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.
These objectives are incorporated into the grading criteria for the task.
Due Date: 5pm on Tuesday 8th September 2015

Marks: 40% of total marks

Word limit: 3000 words (+/- 10%) not including cover page, in text citations and reference list.

Individual submission: No group option. Individual submission only.

Written Assignment – Decision Analysis
The purpose of the assignment is for you to choose one of the organisational decisions below and analyse the decision’s formulation and consequences using the three main perspectives of this course; modern, symbolic-interpretive, and postmodern. You will need to ensure that you are familiar with these perspectives before you begin.
Choose one of the following decisions:

Decision 1:

Bendigo Trust’s decision to close the Bendigo Science and Technology Discovery Centre.

Cluff, C 2015, ‘Bendigo Discovery Centre faces closure’, Australian Broadcasting Commission Central
Victoria, retrieved 12 July 2015,
<http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/06/04/4248891.htm>

Decision 2:
Hope Dairies’ decision to purchase large dairy farms in Western Australia and Queensland.
Cranston, M 2015, ‘Rinehart dairy play refreshed’, Farm Online, retrieved 12 July 2015,
<http://www.farmonline.com.au/news/agriculture/cattle/dairy/rinehart-dairy-play-
refreshed/2727888.aspx>

Decision 3:

Fairfax Media’s decision to retrench 35 staff and restructure at least 18 newspapers in
South Australia.

Hough, A 2015, ‘Fairfax Media accused of abandoning regional South Australia over extensive cost-cutting plan’, Perth Now, retrieved 12 July 2015,
<http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/fairfax-media-accused-of-abandoning- regional-south-australia-over-extensive-cost-cutting-plan/story-fnii5yv8-
1227425872056>

Decision 4:

A decision from your own workplace or work experience. This must be a well-defined decision known in the public domain, with reference material that can be included and analysed. If you choose this option, check with the Unit Chair by email that your identified organisational decision is
appropriate for the assignment.

All of the decisions listed above are widely accessible through the business press, on their websites, and in other organisational documents.

For the decision you choose, you are required to demonstrate an understanding and application of the modern, symbolic-interpretive, and postmodern perspectives by completing the tasks using the format as follows:
Structuring your assignment

Present your analysis as follows:
Introduction (100 words)
A good introduction would include:
• The decision chosen and background
• Aim and purpose of the assignment, that is, analysis of the decision from different
perspectives
• Outline of structure

Body – Modernist Analysis (approx. 1450 words)

Present a modernist analysis of your chosen decision by applying in discussion some modernist theories from topic 3 (environment), topic 4 (social structure), topic 5 (technology) and topic 6 (culture). Apply your selected modernist theories in your discussion of the chosen decision to explore the decision’s consequences in relation to these topics.

As you enter into this analysis, acknowledge the complexity of your organisation. Also consider how changing one element may affect many other elements of the organisation. For example, the chosen organisational decision might have cultural, political, technological and other implications for the organisation. Your analysis must include and address these implications in detail (with references to organisational theory).

Body – Symbolic-Interpretive Critique (approx. 800 words)

Develop a critique (an alternative point of view) of your decision analysis, this time using the symbolic-interpretive perspective. In other words, Task 2 asks that you must contrast your modernist view with a symbolic-interpretive perspective for the decision you analysed in Task 1.

Body – Postmodern critique (approx. 500 words)

Develop a critique (an alternative point of view) of your Task 1 analysis and solutions, this time from the postmodern perspective. In other words, Task 3 asks that you must contrast your modernist view with a postmodern perspective for the decision you analysed in Task 1.

Conclusion (150 words)
Sum up the content of your report including:
• Significance of analysis of the decision using modernist theories
• Key points of contrast/difference between modernist analysis of the decision and symbolic- interpretive and postmodern perspectives

References (not part of word count)
Suggested steps when planning the assignment
Do as the assignment details suggest:

1. Analyse the situation from the Modernist Perspective. As your other studies of commerce will probably have been from a predominantly Modernist approach, it should be a relatively straightforward, comfortable exercise. Be sure to take into account environment, social structure, technology and culture.
2. Take off your Modernist hat and critique that Modernist analysis from the Symbolic
Interpretive Perspective. As a Symbolic Interpretivist, what do you take issue with, what are you ambivalent about, and what, if anything, do you agree
with? Explain why.
3. Put on your Postmodernist hat and critique the Modernist analysis from the Postmodernist Perspective. As a Postmodernist, what do you take issue with, what are you ambivalent about, and what, if anything, do you agree with? Explain why.

NOTE: Avoid launching into a separate Symbolic Interpretive analysis of the decision instead of the required critique of your Modernist analysis. In general, performing separate analyses and then trying to compare them would be harder work and would demand more words than you are allocated. Similarly for your Postmodern section. So remember: one analysis and then two critiques of that analysis.

In your critiques, you could consider whether, from your alternative perspective, you would argue a Modernist approach:

• Is unduly negative/positive about the perceived problem(s) that led to the decision,
• Is constrained by mindsets/assumptions that miss possibilities and alternative solutions,
• Is unduly accepting of negative outcomes.
• Is driven by issues, or an alternative agenda, not addressed by a Modernist rationalisation of the decision.
• and so on …

4. Refer to the grading criteria (also see rubric below and on the CloudDeakin site) to ensure that you are addressing the learning objectives.

Critically evaluates organisational issues from multiple perspectives.

This criterion requires you to write with balance and consideration of the many different points of view in the literature. You need to draw your references from well beyond the prescribed readings and show that you understand how one point of view is not the only, or best, point of view. You are not trying to convince the
reader of a particular angle. Instead, you are aiming to present a range of different possible ways of seeing the issues in the case example.

Presents industry-relevant analysis of modern, symbolic and postmodern organisational theory.

This criterion requires you to close the loop between theory and application. This is done by explaining key aspects of your decision case example with direct reference (in-text citation) to theories and concepts drawn from your readings. Reference your case and reference the literature that provides underlying support and reasoning for the facts and projections that you make about the decision analysis.
Identifies the assumptions underpinning organisational theory and the strengths and limitations that flow from these.

This criterion requires you to expand on the things you discover about each perspective. You need to be clear about the pros and cons of each of the theories that you discuss. Avoid a one-sided coverage of a theory. Every concept has good and bad points, Make sure your writing is balanced and realistic. When you find yourself discussing the strengths of an idea in relation to your case example, ask yourself what the flip side must be and also write about that.

Clear, readable, and addresses the formatting, referencing, and policy requirements of the assignment.

This criterion requires you to observe the stated format guidelines for line spacing, font size and margins. It also looks for mastery of clarity and readability elements, such as appropriateness of headings and subheadings and a cohesiveness in the overall assignment that contributes to connecting all ideas with a logical flow for the reader.
Research
You will be assessed on the quality of sources of information and how well you use these resources to support your arguments and your referencing skills. You are expected to use at least EIGHT (8) different academic sources. These include text books and peer reviewed academic journals. You must use the Harvard author-date referencing system to acknowledge your sources of information (both in-text and as a reference list at the end).
Academic sources include academic journals, working papers, conference papers (peer reviewed and subscribed by university libraries), and university textbooks. Not counted as academic sources are Wikipedia and other non-academic (not peer reviewed) internet websites, including news reports. You can use non-academic sources (excluding Wikipedia) properly referenced to build your assignment only if essential to your argument, but these will NOT count in the eight (8) minimum required academic references. There is no cap on the total number of references you can use.
Formatting Instructions
Written Assignment (Decision Analysis) and Referencing

Your Decision Analysis must be typed, using 12-point font and a line spacing of 1.5. It is recommended to use headings and subheadings, throughout the assignment to distinguish between the three different perspectives of your decision analysis, modern, symbolic-interpretive and postmodern. Pages should be numbered and include your name and student ID in the header or footer on each page. Referencing must be Harvard style as follows:
• Every article referred to is accurately cited using in-text referencing, author- date/the Harvard referencing style; NOT foot note). All direct quotes must have page numbers in addition to author, year.

• All references are to be notated in text (author and date) with the full publication details placed in your Reference List, and correctly formatted using the Harvard referencing style.

• You can use other academic references such as book, book chapters or peer reviewed journal articles which are available from Library online databases (e.g., Business Source Premier, ABI Inform, Emerald Management Plus, or Science Direct)

• Note that Wikipedia, answers.com, general websites and other personal opinion or social networking websites are NOT accepted.

• Note that lecture slides are NOT counted as an academic reference so if you want to use the information on slides, you need to go to the original source and reference it.
Grading criteria for MMM262 Decision Analysis (T2, 2014): Student ID:

No attempt Needs more Sufficient Good Well done Excellent
Critically evaluates organisational
issues from multiple
perspectives.

(out of 10) Missing Makes a start but not up to the basic standard of
critical evaluation Basic understanding of multiple
perspectives and limited ability to analyse critically
and/or evaluate them Sometimes perceptive and capable of critical
analysis and synthesis Consistent conceptual, critical and logical
approach to critical evaluation Original and exceptional mastery of the
multiple perspectives
Presents industry- relevant analysis of
modern, symbolic
and postmodern organisational
theory.

(out of 10) Missing Makes a start but not up to the
basic standard of
industry-relevant analysis of theory Basic understanding of
the multiple
perspectives and limited ability to
present industry- relevant analysis Sometimes perceptive and
capable of critical
analysis and synthesis of
industry-relevant theory Consistent conceptual, critical
and logical
approach to industry-relevant
analysis of the three perspectives Original and exceptional
mastery of the
multiple perspectives
through industry- relevant analysis
Identifies the assumptions underpinning organisational theory and the strengths and limitations that flow from these.

(out of 10) Missing Makes a start but not up to the basic standard of identifying assumptions, strengths and limitations of theory Basic understanding of the assumptions, strengths and limitations of theory Sometimes perceptive and capable of identifying assumptions, strengths and limitations of theory Consistent conceptual, critical and logical discussion of assumptions, strengths and limitations of theory Original and exceptional mastery of the assumptions, strengths and limitations of theory
Clear, readable, and addresses the formatting, referencing, and policy requirements of the assignment.

(out of 10) Missing Makes a start but not up to the basic standard of the assignment formatting referencing and policy requirements Basic application of the formatting, referencing, and policy requirements Good writing and good attention to formatting, referencing, and policy requirements Very readable with formatting, referencing, and policy requirements really well done Enjoyable to read and exemplary, almost faultless application of formatting, referencing, and policy requirements

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