7BSP 1248

Assignment 1: Brief and guidance – the environment of an organisation

As a team critically assess the environment of an organisation using a PEST analysis, presenting your findings to the class (20%); then write an individual critical reflection on your approach to Assertiveness within your presentation team (30%); fully integrating authoritative Harvard references. Assessing learning outcomes 2,3,4,6, 7.

Full details are provided in week 2. All team members get the same mark. The reflection is marked individually.


In 2014 the University consulted on a new Strategic Plan for the period from 2015 to 2020. Your presentation analyses this management environment.

Team assessment and presentation

1. Give your team a name (no marks) and create a title (first) slide.
2. Second slide: one slide about the organisation + reference
3. Next: one student to give reasons why PEST may be a good analytical tool (one slide, with reference)
Then critically analyse the strategy, with each student presenting one factor:
4. Political ) One slide relevant theory; one slide
5. Economic ) applying it to the University strategy
6. Socio-cultural ) i.e. two slides per student
7. Technological ) For teams of four, delete number 7.
8. Final slides; conclusion and full references.

On the day of the presentation submit two paper copies of all slides (6 per page) with all references and submit the record of meetings, signed.

No more than 16 slides (for a team of five). For each factor (e.g. political, economic …) state the theory on one slide + reference, then on the next slide apply the theory / research to the University; give evidence, examples, analyse, perhaps compare evidence from other universities.

Keep it simple. Highlight key issues only. Do not try to put in too much data. Use a large font-size for easy reading (and condensed thinking), font 24 is good. Use PowerPoint or paper. No more than 15 minutes, including 3 minutes for questions.

Produce a record of all your meetings:
? Date/time, who present, roles within the team, discussion topic(s)
? Assigned tasks with deadlines, outcomes, comments, individual views
Keep it brief (if possible: one side of A4 to cover all the meetings).

With this assignment:
? There is no one correct answer
? It is the analysis and reasoning that matters – in academic study and in real life management.
Wide reading and research will lead to better proposals.

Write your team name on ALL documents, number all pages.
Team presentations: Wednesday 4 November. Dress: smart or smart casual.

During the presentation there will be a 10% deduction for any student entering the classroom or talking. Please show respect for those who are presenting.

The individual reflection

An individual critical reflection on your approach to Assertiveness within your presentation team (30%) integrating authoritative references. 1,000 words (+/-10%) excluding title page and references at the end. Submit: Sunday 8 November in the ‘Assignments’ portal on the module web site by 23.00 as one ‘Word’ document. Feedback is via the web site. Use Arial 12 font. Number all pages. On the first page state the title, word count, no name.

This is your individual reflection integrated with relevant theory. So:
? reflect on your experience of your approach to working in your team,
? write a brief descriptive introduction, about 100 words, e.g. a reflection on Assertiveness. Reflection is defined as … . Assertiveness is defined … .
? next section (sub title); compare and contrast differing, relevant, theories
? next section; integrate i.e. what you have learnt from the theories and if they are helpful to understanding your approach and why, 400 words+/-
? write a conclusion (100 words +/-) derived from your analysis, stating what you will change (if anything) in the future.
There is no single correct answer. It is your reflection integrated with theory.

When finished, check that you have:
? integrated at least four to five different authoritative references per page,
? not cited MindTools or Businessballs; cited the original author of the theory
? used inverted commas “ … “ for all quotations with reference (name/date)
? cited full Harvard references correctly, in the text and at the end
? used the first person e.g. I, me mine, not the third person.
Draw on your reading and research to highlight your thinking. The references provided in the module handbook and lectures provide a start.

Assessment criteria
Grading criteria are in the Module Guidebook. In summary: presentation and structure 10%, referencing 10%, content 20%, application 30%, analysis 30%.

University of Hertfordshire (2014) Strategic Plan Consultation Document Hatfield, Hertfordshire (in ‘Teaching Materials’; module web site, week 2).
Other references are available in the module guide and web site and PowerPoint presentations e.g. CASE (2015) Participating in Group/Team Work

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