>> Other Subject
Business and Politics in Europe ASSIGNMENT
Procedure & Format.
1. Save your paper in a Word document.
2. Make sure to staple the hard copy
- UM printers have an automatic staple function (when submitting)
- you don't want your assignment to be mixed up with others
3. On the front page put:
- Your name
- Name of the course
- Number tutorial group
- Name tutor
4. Use 1.5 line distance. This means ca. 400-450 words on 1 page.
Total length should be 3-4 pages, 1500 words maximum for the text (excl. title page and references).
5. Answers should be handed in in two ways concurrently:
- In hard copy at the secretarial office of OS, office A2.16. Put it in the box of your tutor.
- Digitally at the course site, under the tab Assignments (as Word document)
Important Instructions on Content and Writing Style
1. Make sure to formulate in your own words. Neither copy from the sources, nor from other students. Do take this serious. Routine checks are performed. If you are caught, you might be excluded from the course. See course manual.
2. Carefully follow all the instructions on writing style as given in the course manual and in the writing guidelines.
3. Throughout your answers, make sure to refer to your sources, in particular to the relevant page numbers in the text (see course manual, section 6.3). E.g.:
- Oliver and Holzinger (2008, p.511-512) give a range of examples of how proactive political strategies provided firms with sustainable competitive advantage in the market place.
This is in your own interest, as it allows tutors to check your argument. Not following this instruction will lead to a deduction of points. To give you an indication, the absolute minimum number of references to page numbers in the text is 12.
4. Do not refer directly to articles you haven't read. In the framework of this assignment it is usually sufficient to refer to the four assigned articles. There might be two kinds of exceptions:
a. The original source seems so important to the argument, that you really want to refer to it.
b. You would like to juxtapose or compare the arguments of two (or more) sources referred to in the articles.
In those cases, make sure that it is clear where your argument comes from. Examples:
- Following Teece, Pisano and Shuen (1997), Oliver and Holzinger (2008, p.496-7) define dynamic capabilities as ...
- Both Hillman and Hitt (1999, p.830-831) and Oliver and Holzinger (2008, p.498-9, 500) refer in this respect to Olson's (1965) well-known problem of collective action.
Don't overdo it - only revert to this in exceptional cases.
5. Add a reference list to your paper.
Discuss the role of corporate political strategies, in particular:
1. How corporate political strategies could influence the performance of a firm;
2. a. Through what means firms can influence public policy;
b. What makes them prefer certain political strategies over others;
3. How 1 and 2 are influenced by the wider societal-political context, in particular the degree to which the environment is characterized by a corporatist or a pluralist system (you should explain what a corporatist and pluralist system are).
In order of importance, your argument should be based on the following literature:
- Oliver, Christine & Holzinger, Ingo (2008), The effectiveness of strategic political management: a dynamic capabilities framework, Academy of Management Review 33(2), p.496-520.
- Hillman, Amy J., & Hitt, Michael A. (1999), Corporate political strategy formulation: A model of approach, participation and strategy decisions, Academy of Management Review 24(4), p.825-842.
- Magone, José M. (2011), Contemporary European Politics. A Comparative Introduction, London: Routledge, esepcially p.177-181, p.486-492, 497-508, 511-515
- Guéguen, Daniel (2007), European Lobbying, 2nd edition, Brussels: Europolitics, p.117-127.
- Discuss the problem statement in a coherent paper, blending arguments of the four papers, and NOT just by successively summarizing the argument of the four articles one-by-one (this is a common error).
- Your paper should have a clear structure, to be developed by yourself. It should start with a brief introduction, explaining the problem statement (and sub-questions) and the structure of the paper. It should finish with a brief conclusion.
- The problem statement should be developed by you, based on the task given above. You may use phrases and parts of the text given in the task above, but you may not just copy the entire task.
You should give it a twist of your own.
- Bear in mind that the four articles all have different problem statements, none of which is identical to your task. In other words, make sure to follow your own problem statement and the structure of your own argument.
- Your argument should be self-contained, that is, it should be clear to an intelligent reader who hasn't read the sources. This requires that in relevant places you concisely (!!) explain relevant concepts and approaches.
- The purpose of the paper is to reflect your understanding of the assigned literature (as far as relevant to the task at hand). You NEITHER have to read additional literature, NOR add examples of your own, NOR look at recent developments, NOR come with path-breaking insights from your own. Just a (very) good review of the four papers.
- If you think that's relevant, you may be critical of (parts of) the assigned articles. However, make sure to include a clear description of the argument you are criticizing and have a well-founded argument to support your criticism. Don't forget you are just at the beginning of the course. The purpose of the assignment is first of all to review the four articles.
- The maximum length of 1500 words is meant to force you to be concise while at the same time reaching analytical depth. It is NOT meant to encourage you to be satisfied with the first thoughts that come to your mind.