You must produce a portfolio which is appropriately presented and includes the following activities. Tables, diagrams and headings are excluded from the word count.
- Portfolio Content
Activity 1: You are required to research and write up two short practical case scenarios drawn from sources such as journal articles, newspapers, and/or the internet which illustrate a range of information, systems, and supporting technologies relating to companies of your choice.
The two cases should be around 750 words each. Each case should introduce a company using information drawn from a number of sources and provide a short analysis of how they relate to areas of module content. You will need to:
- analyse and evaluate information from numerous sources to create a case study relating to information and knowledge management in an organisation
- apply information and knowledge management models/frameworks in an analysis of the approach within the organisation and make justified recommendations for improvement.
Guide word count: 1500 words
Activity 2: Critically reflect on the key communication challenges being faced by your organisation or an organisation with which you are very familiar.
Your analysis should include:
- critical appraisal of the organisational approach to communication using theory and models to further your critique
- evaluation of current communication practice required to operate in a diverse global environment, drawing on cross-cultural communication
- provide justified recommendations of how the communication could be improved within the organisation
Guide word count: 1500 words
Activity 4: Critically reflect on your own learning in this module, evaluating how the theories and concepts influence your role as a leader and manager and exploring the potential impact on your organisation. As a result, please identify any effects on your personal and professional development, citing actions which you now need to take and any potential barriers.
Guide word count: 500 words
All the reading material is available in the Learning Centre (Adsetts) either in physical form or via electronic versions.
There is a wide range of material available within the field of Information and Knowledge Management and communications, far more than you could be expected to read. In this module, we are trying to provide you with a framework from which to explore the subject area. Your understanding of this will benefit greatly from reading about alternative approaches and different views on the issues covered in this module, and the reading list below gives you a start on that.
|Knowledge and Information Management
|Adams, G.L, and Lamont, B.T. (2003) Knowledge management systems and developing sustainable competitive advantage, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol 7, No.2, pp.142 – 154
Boddy, D., Boonstra, A., & Kennedy, G. (2008). Managing information systems: Strategy and organisation. Pearson Education.
Davenport, T. H. &Prusak, L. (1998), Working knowledge – how organisations Manage what they know. Harvard Business School Press
Gladstone, B. (2000), From Know-how to Knowledge – the essential guide to Understanding and implementing knowledge management. Industrial Society
Gottschalk, P. (2000), Studies of key issues in IS management around the world.International Journal of Information Management, Vol 20, No. 3, pp 169-180
Hansen, M.T., Nohria, N., Tierney, T. (1999) What is your Strategy for Managing Knowledge, Harvard Business Review, March- April issue
Huysman, M. and Wulf, V. (2004) Social Capital and Information Technology. MIT Press
Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P. (2006) Management Information Systems: Managing the digital firm. Prentice Hall
McKeen, J.D. and Smith, H. (2009) IT strategy in action. Prentice Hall
Robson, W. (1997). Strategic management and information systems: an integrated approach. Prentice Hall
Ward, J. &Peppard, J. (2002) Strategic Planning for information systems, Wiley
Wong, K. Y. (2005). Critical success factors for implementing knowledge management in small and medium enterprises. Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol 105, No. 3, pp 261-279.
|Interpersonal and Organisational Communication
|Brown, T. and Bull, M. (2012) Change communication: the impact on satisfaction with alternative workplace strategies, Facilities, Vol 30, No. 3 pp 135-151
Bull, M. & Brown, T. (2011) Implementing Change. In Finch, E., (Ed) Facilities Change Management, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Ltd Pages 108-122.
Bull, M. &Kortens, J. (2012) Strategies for Communication within Facilities Management in Alexander, K. and Price. I. Eds (2012) Managing Organizational Ecologies: Space, Management and Organizations.
Carte, P. and Fox, C. (2008) Bridging the culture gap. A practical guide to international business communication. 2nd Edition. Kogan Page Ltd.
Cornelissen, J. (2011) Corporate communication. A guide to theory and practice. 3rd Edition. Sage.
Dawson Shepherd, A. (1997) Communication in organisations operating internationally, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 2 Iss 2 pp. 158 – 166
Gabbott, M. and Hogg, G. (2000) An empirical investigation of the impact of non-verbal communication on service evaluation. European Journal of marketing, Vol 34, No. 3/4, pp. 384-398
Guirdham, M. (2011) Communicating across cultures at work. 3rd Edition. Palgrave Macmillan
Grant, D., Keenoy, T., Oswick, C. (1998) Discourse + Organization. Sage.
Hartley, P. and Bruckman, C.G. (2002) Business Communication. Routledge [ELECTRONIC BOOK]
Hoogervorst,J. van der Flier, H. Koopman, P. (2004) Implicit communication in organisationsJournal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 19 Iss 3 pp. 288 – 311
Jolly, S. (2000) Understanding body language: Birdwhistell’s theory of kinesics, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 133 – 139
Larson,J. and Kleiner, B.H. (2004) How to read non verbal communication in organisations, Management Research News, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, pp. 17 – 22
Maude, B. (2011) Managing cross cultural communication. Palgrave Macmillan.
Morreale, S.P., Spitzberg, B.H., Barge, J.K. (2013) Communication. Motivation, knowledge, skills. 3rd Edition. Peter Lang.
Quirke, B. (2008) Making the connections: using internal communication to turn strategy into action. 2nd Edition. Gower Publishing Ltd
Tourish, D. and Robson, P. (2003). Critical upward feedback in organisations: processes, problems and implications for communication management’. Journal of Communication Management, Vol 8, pp 150–167.
van der Molen, H.T. and Gramsbergen-Hoogland, Y. H. (2005) Communication in organizations: basic skills and conversation models. Psychology Press [ELECTRONIC BOOK]
|Storytelling in Business||
Gabriel, Y. (2015). Narratives and stories in organizational life. The handbook of narrative analysis, pp. 275-292. John Wiley and Sons
Smith, R., Pedersen, S., & Burnett, S. (2014). Towards an Organizational Folklore of Policing: The Storied Nature of Policing and the Police Use of Storytelling. Folklore, Vol 125, No. 2, pp. 218-237.
Snowden, D. (1999). Story telling: an old skill in a new context. Business Information Review, Vol. 16, No.1, pp. 30-37.
Solnet, D., &Kandampully, J. (2008). How some service firms have become part of “service excellence” folklore: An exploratory study. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol 18, No.2, pp.179-193.
You should also make use of a range of other reading material including Journals such as:
- MIS Quarterly
- Journal of the Association of Information, Science and Technology
- Journal of Information Technology
- International Journal of Management Science
- Information Technology and People
- Industrial Management and Data Systems
- Information Management
- Journal of Strategic Information Systems
- Journal of Knowledge Management
- Journal of Communication
- Journal of Communication Management
- Journal of Business Communication
- International Journal of Business communication
We recommend that you make use of the databases available through the Learning Centre for additional materials, e.g. Emerald and Business Source Premier.
Here are some general pieces of guidance on some specific aspects of what we expect from students in assignments and exams.
What is academic writing for?
Students sometimes seem to think learned articles and their assignments are almost unrelated. Not at all. The purpose is the same, even if the audience is different. Academic writing – and your assignments are examples of this – share one especially important feature: they are intended to convince the reader by force of argument. (Or at least to convince the marker you understand the material, which is not so very different in principle.)
This is not the place to try to set out everything which you need to do to mount a credible and convincing argument, but broadly, if you make a significant point in your assignment, you should support it with an argument, an example or illustration, and/or a reference. It’s a matter of judgment which you use in each case, or indeed whether you use one, two or all three.
There are three main “sins” in academic writing which undermine the persuasiveness which is its main goal. If you commit them, you lose marks.
The three sins are:
(1) The unappetisingly named “regurgitation“. This means quoting or paraphrasing theory out of the literature with no critical appraisal or application (example or illustration).
(2) “Description“. This means merely reciting facts, e.g. like a case study written for class comment, without using theory to analyse it or make sense of it.
(3) “Prescription“. This involves asserting a point – a recommendation, say, or some important conclusion – without supporting it with argument, example or reference.
These sins do not stop a piece being interesting in itself or good “journalism” (writing which fails to fully supply the evidence a reader needs), but good academic writing aims to be more than just interesting: it aims to convince the sceptic by the force of argument. It is good academic writing which gets the marks.
It is very important indeed to note here that in UK academic culture tutors do not expect students to repeat to them in assignments what they have said in class or in articles or books. We expect students to develop their own arguments. Students show they have learnt about the subject by how effectively they answer the questions the examiners set.
We see ourselves as trying to produce post graduates who can think for themselves, who know how to learn and to present an argument without having to be supervised by someone else, who can be trusted to exercise initiative: “autonomous – and lifelong – learners”. This is what employers tell us they want – autonomy is not just a narrow academic requirement. In other words, we academics and employers want students who can themselves deal with new learning in new situations. One way you show that is by learning from the course. Not “just repeat what tutors and books say” – but learn so you understand, internalise and use the material. You may know that SHU is a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (funded by the government) for Autonomy and for Employability.
What we want you to do in assignments, then, is for you to answer the questions we ask – not just to quote out of books or from lecturers, and least of all to cut-and-paste from the web. Of course we also want you to support your arguments with material from the literature because that is based in research – but what we are really trying to establish in assignments is what you have learnt in terms of how to handle strategy management.
“Critical appraisal” or “Critical Evaluation” is fundamental at level 7 (Masters Degree). It means comparing and contrasting, and evaluating, theory, and how it can be applied. The academic literature contains many differing views of how the contemporary world works, and it changes with time (it would be very strange if it did not). The jargon to explain this is that knowledge is “contested”. Students are expected to be able to deal with contested knowledge, i.e. the many different ways of looking at management issues found in the literature: critical appraisal is fundamentalat this level of business and management study.
“Evaluation” means identifying the good and bad points of a theory (or whatever) – and its alternatives. It is very hard to say how important one thing in a situation is, without comparing it to other things. Suppose your favourite team in your favourite sport loses too often. Someone might ask: “Is the most important reason we lose that the goal keeper is bad?” If you tried to answer this question you would certainly look at the goal keeper’s performance, but in order to say whether this was the most important reason you would also have to look at all the other factors which might have contributed – poor defense, poor training, a poor manager, bad tactics, a penny-pinching chief executive who won’t buy the best players, poor morale due to bad leadership, and so on and so forth. To say that one thing is the most important factor – to evaluate it – is to compare and contrast it with other factors.
So, if we ask a question like “Evaluate the contribution of managing culture to strategic management”, what we are expecting is not only that you will explain the significance of managing culture (if that is possible), but that you will also compare it to other factors in managing strategy – stakeholders, the environment (and its components), choice, change, and so on ad infinitum (and you make the choice of which items to deal with).
You must include critical appraisal in your assignments. It is one of the most important assessment criteria.
There is further support for students around academic writing, critical thinking and much more via the My Study Skills Toolkit on Blackboard site. This is set up for undergraduates and postgraduates and if it has been some time since your studies it could be an excellent refresher!
|% Grade||0 – 39||40-49||50-59||60-69||70-79||80+|
|Classification||Fail||Marginal Fail||Pass||Merit||Distinction||Distinction +|
|1. Application of information and knowledge management models/frameworks to appraise the current approach within the organisation||Insufficient strategic models and frameworks applied to the organisation||A limited number of strategic models/ frameworks applied to the organisation||A satisfactory range of strategic models/frameworks applied to the organisation||Good application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks||Excellent application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks||Outstanding application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks|
|1. Analysis and evaluation of information and knowledge management strategies and recommendations for way forward||Limited analysis and evaluation of current approach and no recommendations made for way forward||Limited analysis and evaluation of current approach and limited recommendations for way forward with little justification for this approach||Some analysis and evaluation of current approach and some recommendations for way forward with some justification for this approach||Good analysis and evaluation of current approach and some recommendations for way forward with relevant justification for this approach||Excellent analysis and evaluation of current approach and recommendations for way forward were justified and suggestions made for implementation.||Outstanding analysis and evaluation of current approach and recommendations for way forward were justified and suggestions made for implementation|
|2. Application of communication models/frameworks to appraise the current approach within the organisation
|Insufficient strategic models/frameworks applied to the organisation||A limited number of strategic models/ frameworks applied to the organisation||A satisfactory range of strategic models/frameworks applied to the organisation||Good application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks||Excellent application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks||Outstanding application of a range of strategic models/ frameworks|
|2. Analysis and evaluation of current communication practice required to operate in a diverse global environment, drawing on cross-cultural communication with creation of a proposed communication strategy||No analysis and evaluation of current approach and no consideration of cross cultural issues and no communication strategy supplied||Limited analysis and evaluation of current approach and little consideration of cross cultural issues and no communication strategy supplied||Some analysis and evaluation of current approach and some consideration of cross cultural issues and an a reasonable attempt at providing a communication strategy||Relevant and appropriate analysis and evaluation of current approach, reasonable consideration of cross cultural issues and a partially justified communication strategy||Good analysis and evaluation of current approach and good consideration of cross cultural issues and a well justified communication strategy||Excellent analysis and evaluation of current approach and consideration of cross cultural issues and a well justified communication strategy with suggestions for implementation|
|4. Reflection upon application and progression of learning from this module||Limited or no evidence of personal awareness or engagement.||Limited self-awareness and critical reflection and little application of module theories.||Satisfactory evidence of engagement with the relevant theory and offering some reflections and examples.||Ability to inter-relate concepts and ideas, drawing on personal reflection and experience.||Excellent ability to critically reflect on personal experience and engagement with others. Extensive use of course theory to support arguments as well as use of||Outstanding ability to critically reflect on personal experience and engagement with others. Extensive use of course theory to support arguments as well as use of examples.|
|1-4. Well-presented piece of work, demonstrating postgraduate written and academic skills||References inappropriate.
Many errors in grammar and spelling, making it difficult to read.
Some errors in grammar and spelling, making it difficult to read.
|References adequate but clearer and/or more references needed.
Reasonable grammar and spelling but with several notable errors.
|Referencing clear and mostly accurate using appropriate conventions.
Good grammar and spelling with some errors.
|Referencing excellent and accurate using appropriate conventions.
Near perfect grammar and spelling, with few errors.
|Referencing impeccable using appropriate conventions.
No errors in spelling and grammar.