HOM Essay advice
Critically evaluate the application of theory about how processes and resources can be managed so that productivity and customer satisfaction are maintained.
The essay assignment brief requires you to focus on a process within a hospitality department and offers the following advice:
“It is important to have a context in mind because the most appropriate theory will be influenced by the nature of the context. You need to investigate what journals say about the link between productivity and customer satisfaction / quality. You need to investigate what affects productivity and how you can configure your resources and processes to be productive and provide the customer with what satisfies them.
You are strongly urged to read the article below before starting on your essay.
Grönroos, C. & Ojasalo, K. (2004) Service productivity: Towards a conceptualization of the transformation of inputs into economic results in services, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 57, No. 4, pp. 414–423
Don’t forget to carefully read the assessment criteria later in this document.”
• There are different definitions of what productivity is and opinions about how it should be measured.
• We are not going to insist that you use a particular definition, it may be that one definition is more appropriate for the process that you are looking at.
• You do need to ensure that you consider an appropriate definition, or metric measures, appropriate to your discussed context.
• Think about what can be meant by the phrase ‘how processes and resources can be managed’. Note the word ‘how’, this indicates the need for a practical application of operations management theory to achieve productivity and customer satisfaction.
• While there may be some debate about what productivity and customer satisfaction are the focus of the essay is clearly on the ‘how’. It is about analysing the process and its resources and providing academic evidence about how operations management theory can be (or is being) applied so that the outcome is a process that is both productive and consistently satisfies customers.
• It is up to you to decide the most appropriate operations management theories to critically evaluate the application of.
• You need to use text books and journal articles as verified knowledge to support for your assertions (opinions, choices, claims). These should be books and articles available in the Summer Row UCB library or via the UCB ‘Library and E-resources’ tab of the student portal. Some articles used in lectures or seminars should also be used.
• Remember that the most appropriate solution may be context specific as explained, for example, in the article by Ponsignon (2012) (see seminar reading week 3). You could include some analysis of how certain features (properties) of your process, resources, or flow units indicates that one particular theory (principle) is more appropriate than another.
Students need to focus closely on the assignment remit and select appropriate theories to apply. Look at the generic grading criteria for level 6 and think carefully about what it is asking you to do.
If you are not sure what essay writing or critical evaluation is all about then you could try searching the internet for “academic essay writing”, a good place to start is with the advice that Reading University offers about this.