Individual Assignment

Guide to the Assignment
Individual Assignment:
Due date:       To Be Advised
Length:          2,000 words
Weight:          40%
 
Aims of the assignment
The aims of this assignment are for you to:
Develop your understanding of the natureof the key organisation perspectives and their related theories;
Demonstrate anunderstanding of the key perspectives and the meta-theoretical assumptionsthat underpin each;Developresearch skills and the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses ofvarious debates and arguments;Gain skills in thewritten presentation of an argument, including the ways in which scholarsincorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers.
Criteria for assessment
For this assignment your essay will be assessedon the extent to which it demonstrates:
Your ability to present a clear,compelling, well-presented and properly referenced argument.Your ability to respond directly to thekey issues raised by the question.Yourability to engage with the work of other authors and extract relevantdetail and explanation. 
Yourability to assess the arguments and debates of and between other authorsand incorporate them into your response.
QUESTION:
“In consideringthe influence that technology in general or any single technology has overhuman affairs, it is … necessary to consider not only the technology and itspresumed “imperatives,” but also the key human agents of thetechnology, the organisations in which they operate, and how these influencethe course of technological change” (Rudi, 257).
Select two of the fourperspectives and discuss how they provide different insights into the relationsbetween technology, organisations, management and employees.  
Answering the Question:
Inanswering the question you will need to engage with the nature of the variousperspectives and how each provide different insights into the relations betweentechnology, organisations, management and employees.  
You must focus explicitly on the key issues identified in thequestion.
You must consider at least two of the four perspectives.
A failure to follow this and the following instructions will have asignificant negative impact on your marks.
This essay is designed to develop your knowledge of the theoreticalperspectives, to build your understanding that each perspective is underpinnedby different assumptions that lead to different ways of seeing or understandingorganisations.   Given their ontologicaland epistemological underpinnings, each perspective has different ways ofseeing how organisations and technology intersect. 
This essay is not an exercise indescribing various technologies and how they are used by organisations,managers or employees. 
There is a lot of literature available about how technology impactson contemporary organisations.  Do notget side-tracked into a descriptive discussion of technology-driven changes incontemporary organisations. Remember, the question is about the relations between technology,organisations, management and employees.  If empirical examples of technologywithin contemporary organisations are introduced they must be used to illustratehow a theoretical perspective would view therelations between technology, organisations, management and employees.
Presenting your answer:
Please use headings with care. It is better to avoid using them inan essay but if you must, please keep them to a minimum and ensure that theyenhance rather than undermine your argument.
In order to construct a logical response to the question thefollowing structure is suggested.  You donot need to use the provided headings (see above comment regarding‘headings’)and the structure itself is notmandatory. But, if you are going to use an alternative structure pleaseensure that it enables you to present a clear and direct response to thequestion asked. 
Introduction:
In this section you must provide an overview of your answer to thequestion; provide answers to the key what and why questions of yourargument/answer. These should take the form of direct responses to the keyissues raised by the question. Your argument should be informed by a criticalanalysis/engagement with the content of the essential readings.
Please keep in mind that in all sections of your response you mustmove past description to analysis, this means providing answers to the whyquestions that emerge from your key statements.
Explorationof your argument:
In this section of the essay you need to accomplish two tasks. 
First, youmust explore the key perspectives showing how each perspective’s theoreticaland metatheoretical approaches lead them to provide different insights into therelations between technology, organisations, management and employees.
Second,having demonstrated an understanding of the perspectives and their theoretical approachesto the relationship between technology, organisations, management and employeesyou then need to use these to explore the issue raised by the statement; thenotion of technological ‘”imperatives,” but also the key human agentsof the technology, the organisations in which they operate, and howthese influence the course of technological change.’ In other words what does each of the perspectiveshave to say on this issue and why do they say it? What criticisms do they offerof each other and why?
You can address the above, two tasks sequentially; beginning withan exploration of the how and why of each of the chosen perspectives (ontologyand epistemology), and second: an exploration of the positions advanced by twoof the perspectives (modernist, symbolic interpretivist, critical theory andpostmodernism) as they provide different insights into the relations betweentechnology, organisations, management and employees. In your essay, you mustconsider at least two of the four perspectives. 
An alternative structural approach is to integrate the explorationof the how and why of each perspective and how each provides different insightsinto the relations between technology, organisations, management and employees.For example; explore the how and why of the modernist position and then itsapplication to modernist arguments concerning the relations between technology,organisations, management and employees. On completing the how and why of themodernist position and its application and move on to the other selected perspective.
The two alternatives outlined above will enable you to present aclear direct and disciplined response to the question.
The whole response must be informed by an engagement with essentialreadings. You must draw upon and evaluate academic debates and arguments. Thisis not to be viewed as an exercise in which you make up a responseoff-the-top-of-your-head nor is it one in which you focus on description andignore analysis.  You should also avoiddrawing on case studies of actual organisations. What you should focus on isthe theoretical aspects of the debates concerning the relationsbetween technology, organisations, management and employees.
Conclusion:
You must conclude with your general answer to the question. It shouldreiterate the key argument/answer to the question provided in the introductionand indicate to what extent it has been supported or challenged by youranalysis of the debates and arguments of other authors.
 
ADDITIONAL GUIDENCE: –
This essay questionhas been designed to encourage you to prepare your own individual essay.  There is no single ‘right’ answer.  Markers will be looking for evidence that youhave read broadly, including the provided material, and have synthesised thematerial to develop your own answer/ argument. The markers will also expect youto answer the question in your own words.
The following points are to help you to understandand complete your assignment:
The question asks you to compare and contrastperspectives with regards to how they provide different insights into therelations between technology, organisations, management and employees.
The essay has beendesigned to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the course materialcovered in weeks 1-4.
Do not try to coverevery single detail; you only have 2000 words so concentrate on the majorpoints rather than fine details.
The focus in thisessay is on analysis rather than description. Any description of your chosen perspectives must form part of youranalysis and must contribute to the argument that you are making in your essay.
This is notan essay asking you to consider management practices or styles ofmanagement. It is asking you to focus on ‘ways of seeing’ and thinking about technologywithin organisations (different perspectives) and ways of understanding andtheorising about technology within organisations. Think of yourself as aresearcher (rather than manager) of an organisation and you have a range ofdevices you can use to study technology within organisations. Each deviceprovides you with the ability to learn something different about technology andits relationship toorganisations, managers and employees. Your job is toexplain how each of the devices provides you with different insights into therelations between technology, organisations, management and employees.
You must use the sources provided to develop your answer.They have been selected because they provide the essential material required toanswer the question.You will lose marksif you fail to use them.
Before you begin to look for additional reading youshould first acquire a good understanding of the basics from the textbook andthe required readings. Once you acquire this understanding you can then lookfor other material.
You can make use of the Web sources but they needto be reliable sources-Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information.  We encourage you to make use of journalarticles which can be found via a range of library databases. I suggest you useExpanded Academic ASAP (Gale) database which is located through the Databasessection of the library website because it allows you to search a range ofjournals using keywords.  Some of thekeywords you should consider are: technology in organisations, organisationsand modernism, organisations and symbolic interpretivism, organisations andcritical theory,organisations and postmodernism, etc.  You will find an enormous amount of relevantliterature.  You can also do authorsearches which can be helpful to locate recent articles by scholars mentionedin the textbook.  We also encourage youto make use of the references and further reading suggested by the textbook atthe end of each chapter. ‘Citation Linker’ found through the library website isa useful tool to locate some of the journal articles mentioned in the textbook.There is a lot of information out there regarding the topic.
Studentsare NOT allowed to use lecture notesas reference materials.
Youshould look at the assessment sheet found in the course guide.  It will give you a feel for the sorts ofthings we will be assessing. 
Youshould also look at the other part of the course guide which outlines thedifferences between the grades -i.e. what separates a ‘P’ from a ‘C’.
A key point to remember in answering the questions is not to beoverly descriptive.  In answering thequestion you will need to develop an argument. An argument requires‘expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence’ (see http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/argument.html)The basic components of an argument include:
Making a claim (informed by relevantorganisationalperspectives and/or theories)Supporting your claim with evidenceRecognising and engaging with counterclaims “Looking for a Similar Assignment? Get Expert Help at an Amazing Discount!”
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