Leadership and Change Management

PROJECTS AND PEOPLE

ASSESSMENT 2 – LEADERSHIP ESSAY 

For Online and Internal students

Due date: 4 April 2016 midnight via Turnitin.

40% of your mark

Word Count: 1500 words

MARKING GUIDE (PAGE 4) – PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ATTACH THIS TO THE END OF YOUR ANSWER.

SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  • Please complete the essay in a Word document that you will need to upload to Blackboard via Turnitin by midnight 4 April 2016.
  • The file name of your Word Document should follow this format: Surname_First Name_student number_PRJM6010 Ass2.  For example: Jones_Mary_12465976_ PRJM6010 Ass2. docx
  • At the top of the first page you must have your first and last name, your student number, your email address and the following heading: PRJM6010 – Leadership Essay Assessment 2.
  • N.B. Please cut and paste a copy of the marking guide (below on page 4) at the end of your essay.

ASSESSMENT 2 – LEADERSHIP ESSAY

 Assessment 2 consists of one 1500 word essay worth 40%.

Choose one essay topic from this list:

  • Leadership and emotional intelligence
  • Leadership in project teams
  • Leadership and change management
  • Self Leadership

2 AREAS TO COVER IN EACH ESSAY

  • Summarise the key themes from the literature on your chosen topic
  • Discuss how this topic is relevant for project managers

SUGGESTED FORMAT FOR EACH ESSAY:

  • Introduction
  • Main Body
  • Conclusion

REFERENCES

Minimum 6 scholarly references from academic journals.

References from other sources such as textbooks, reputable magazines such as the Economist etc can be used as long as you have 6 scholarly references.

Wikipedia is not acceptable as it has very little credibility since anyone can go in and change a Wikipedia page.  Wikipedia is a wonderful quick reference for everyday enquiries but not suitable for academic writing which is aiming for intellectual rigor which is based on reliable evidence.

ACADEMIC WRITING

This essay, like all the assessments in this course, uses academic writing style. Academic writing is an exercise in higher order thinking and developing intellectual rigor, skills which are beneficial for all aspects of your life.  It is a life long learning skill and the hallmark of an educated individual so it is worth the endeavour.  As William James, philosopher and psychologist said, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”


USEFUL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PRESENTATION:

Under the Assessment Tab on Blackboard – the folder “Essential Information for the Assessments – Everything you need for academic writing and research” You will find the following items in detail:

1. GOOGLE SCHOLAR – A VERY USEFUL AND EFFICIENT RESEARCH TOOL – Everyone please read! This document has been compiled by myself and the Curtin librarians.  Google Scholar allows you to find the most cited articles (articles that have been used by other academics in their own articles) quickly – it is win win – you find the best quality information quickly.

2. CRITICAL THINKING – A very comprehensive and graphically engaging document from the University of Plymouth –  “Academic work is intended to be ‘scholarly’. This means it should be of a high standard and appropriate to the particular level of study it represents. An important way to demonstrate the quality of your arguments, or evidence in your academic writing is by referring to work by others. The status of this work depends on how authoritative it is. If you are a critical reader, you look for ‘authority’ in the form of references to relevant supporting work, which has been published, in academic journals, or text books. In these kinds of publications the content has been ‘peer-reviewed’. This means that another qualified academic who will have read it critically to ensure that the material it contains is factually accurate and that the reasoning behind it is sound should have independently evaluated it. This is unlike the material which may often be found in newspapers, magazines or from many online sources, where the content may not have been checked by anyone else, or where the work simply puts forward one person’s opinion. “ p. 8

This PDF contains an excellent chart comparing the characteristics of Descriptive Writing vs. Analytical and evaluative writing on Page 7  – using descriptive writing is most common mistake made in writing academic essays, with incorrect or absent in text referencing and a correct bibliography being a very close second, leading to the next topic.

3. Referencing and Bibliographies – links to all the Curtin library sources of information on this topic

4. FACTIVA DATABASE – The database Factiva is very useful for reputable magazines, newspapers etc. and it is very up to date – it contains information up to yesterday. This fills in a gap in the academic literature, which are often one or two years old. Factiva is a mixture of scholarly and non-scholarly sources, mainly non-scholarly but nonetheless, reputable. It will be a very useful source for your assessment.

5. Library videos for Curtin University – a very useful list especially suited for beginners compiled by our English Language Development Coordinator Dr. Trish Dooey.

DR. TRISH DOOEY’S VIDEOS ON ACADEMIC WRITING AND ASSESSMENT 2 – UNDER THE ILECTURES TAB ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE

You can see Trish’s excellent videos made especially for this unit under the ilectures tab on the left hand side of BB.

  1. The first one is a 10-minute introduction to Academic Writing, which is very useful whether you are new to academic writing or refreshing your skills.
  2. The second one is a short video on Assessment 2, the Leadership assignment (Individual Analysis).

Dynamic business models and inconsistent consumer behavior characterize the modern-day business environment and organizations. Leaders have an obligation to ensure that changes are accommodated in the business and the workforce[1]. Leadership is a concept that refers to the combination of skills and knowledge that contribute to performance in a group of people. Through leadership, organizational goals are met as the individuals in the position influence the workforce through motivation and providing the direction to follow. Scholars allude that it is a product of complex social relationships and professional experience. Van de Ven and Sun (2011), review that change is a continuous and infinite during the existence of the company. Despite the fact that people would like to explain, control, and predict the process, it often does not result in the expected way. Sensemaking is important to explain the factors that facilitate change and the outcomes of change considering that it is a means used by the company to survive the cues presented by the environment[2]. Leaders play an indispensable role in Sensemaking. Consequently, they are key players in change management[3]. Scholars and managers have raised interest in change models of leadership because of the extraordinary organizational outcomes[4]. Studies on various organizations have identified that the leadership styles influence how change affects the organizational performance[5]. The insights from these ventures suggest that there is a need for effective change management that includes leaders understanding the strategic objectives and identifying the actions necessary to meet them with the existing ideologies[6]. Considering these sentiments, it is important to understand how to recognize and manage organizational aspects during the transition.

            Understanding the factors that trigger change is the first initiative to comprehend leadership and change management[7]. Companies, projects, institutions, and other ventures require change for them to appreciate the opportunities that arise outside the organization. Additionally, change is significant for leaders to handle threats that are likely to compromise the performance or profitability. In the Sensemaking process, leaders as managers can identify the happening around and within the company and lead the workforce, stakeholders, and adjust business processes to deal with the change, while upholding productivity[8]. Change can be internal or external. Internal factors that leaders address concern the management policies, the organizational structure, flow of responsibilities, and the organizational culture. External triggers of change are beyond the leaders control and only knowledge about them can be used to manage their influence. Such factors include technology, market dynamics, government regulations and policies, and the economic status of the location of company undertakings[9]. Alkaya and Hepatkan (2003) allude that the influence leaders have on external factors is highly affected by the strategic location of the company…


[1] Belias, Dimitrios, and Athanasios Koustelios. 2014. “THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY ON ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE.” European Scientific Journal 10 (7).

[2] Weick, Karl E,. 1995. Sensemaking in organizations. Sage Publications.

[3] Merrell, Phil , and Towers Watson. 2012. “Effective Change Management: The Simple Truth.” Management Services 20-23.

[4] Belias, Dimitrios, and Athanasios Koustelios. 2014. “THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY ON ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE.” European Scientific Journal 10 (7).

[5] Van de Ven , and Sun. 2011. “Breakdowns in Implementing Models of Organization Change.” Academy of Management Perspectives Articles 58-74.

[6] Belias, Dimitrios, and Athanasios Koustelios. 2014. “THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY ON ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE.” European Scientific Journal 10 (7).

[7] Alkaya, Asil , and Erdem Hepatkan. 2003. Organizational Change. Celal Bayar University.

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

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