The aims of this assignment are for you to:
- Develop your understanding of the nature of the key organisation perspectives and their related theories. Demonstrate an understanding of the key perspectives and the meta-theoretical assumptions that underpin each
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the relationship between perspectives and their respective theories.
- Develop research skills and the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various debates and arguments.
- Gain skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which scholars incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers
Criteria for assessment
For this assignment your essay will be assessed on the extent to which it demonstrates:
- An ability to write a clear, compelling, well-presented and properly referenced argument.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organisations? In answering the question you will need to engage with the nature of the various perspectives and how they enable and limit our understanding of organisations.
In answering the essay question you must focus explicitly on the key issues identified in the question.
A failure to follow this and the following instructions will have a significant negative impact on your marks.
In this section you must provide an overview of your answer to the question; provide answers to the key what and why questions of your argument/answer. These should take the form of direct responses to the key issues raised by the question. Your argument should be informed by a critical analysis of the content of the key readings.
Please keep in mind that in all sections of your response you must move past description to analysis, this means providing answers to the why questions that emerge from your key statements.
Exploration of your argument:
In this section of the essay you need to accomplish two tasks. First, you must explore the key perspectives showing how each is underpinned by different assumptions that determine the way organisations are interpreted and understood. You must also address the theoretical implications of these various ways of seeing and how they enable and limit our understanding of organisations.
Second, having demonstrated an understanding of the perspectives and their theoretical implications you need to evaluate the different arguments for and against a multi-perspective approach to understanding organisations. This evaluation must draw on and relate to your discussion about the individual perspectives and how they enable and limit our understanding of organisations.
The whole response must be informed by an engagement with relevant sources, especially the textbook and the readings provided on the Blackboard. You must draw upon and evaluate academic debates and arguments. This is not to be viewed as an exercise in which you make up a response off-the-top-of-your-head.
You must conclude with your general answer to the question. It should reiterate the key argument and answer to the question provided in the introduction and indicate to what extent it has been supported or challenged by your analysis of the debates and arguments of other authors.
note form lecturer:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organisations?
- This means the following:
1. The essay is NOT about a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of EACH individual perspective.
2. In answering the question, you address the multiple perspectives as a whole. Therefore, your arguments will go something like this: "The advantage of using a multiple perspective is..." AND NOT "the advantage of modernism is..." or "the advantage of symbolic interpretivism is...".
3. Lastly, the evidences used to support your arguments need not include all four perspectives. What I mean by this is for example, you may argue that one of the advantage of using a multiple perspective approach is a wider understanding of organization culture, you may support this argument by drawing on the different theories of culture from 2 or 3 different perspectives. However, if you want to use the theories of culture from all four perspectives, you are free to do so as well. This is a decision that you make on your own depending on your strategy for your essay and the organization of its structure.
In answering the question you will need to engage with the nature of the various perspectives and how they enable and limit our understanding of organisations.
This means the following:
1. The nature of the various perspectives refers to the meta-theoretical (ontology, epistemology), the theoretical (theories), and methodology (methods).
2. In discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the multiple perspective approach, you need to show how the various perspectives (on the whole) enable and limit our understanding of organizations.
For example, if you argue that one of the advantages of a multiple perspective approach is a comprehensive understanding of different viewpoints, you could support this argument by discussing how the modernist, symbolic interpretivist, and critical theorists' theoretical ideas allow a comprehensive understanding of organizational structure. If you show then that each of these perspectives you have chosen allow us to understand aspects of organizational structure that the others do not, you have then shown how the various perspectives enable and limit our understanding of organizations. As I have mentioned above, the choice of how many perspectives to include in supporting your argument is your own to make.