Critical Analysis for Managers

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Essay topics (Choose one topic below)
1. Managers often describe what they do as ‘managing people’. Critically appraise this view, drawing on at least TWO of the perspectives on organization that focus on institutions, systems, or culture.
2. An emphasis on delivery by management, whether over projects, products or budgets, brings into focus questions of identity. Discuss the way different takes on identity may alter a manager’s approach to performance appraisal.
3. Arguably power flows towards hierarchy more than agency is distributed as authority to subordinates below. Explain how managers accomplish domination over colleagues while delegating responsibility.
4. Discuss the proposition that the liberation of senior managers from the inward- looking principles of administrative theory has to be set against a growing intensification in the oppression of employees.

Framework: All essays follow the same basic framework: an introduction; a discussion that explicitly addresses the debates in the form of an argument; and a conclusion. This structure is better achieved if you have prepared a good outline.

Introduction: starts with a statement of your understanding of the subject, its importance and its implications. This is a useful place to introduce your key terms or concepts by way of making some key distinctions or definitions. It is helpful for the reader if you provide ‘signposts’ as the direction of your essay.

Main discussion: here you develop your argument and provide support (in the form of examples, research findings etc) for each of the main points of your argument. It will usually involve an assessment of the various competing and opposing analytical perspectives. If appropriate, do use headings to organise and highlight your line of argument – but beware of using headings that fragment your essay. Main ideas should have their own paragraphs. Make a clear distinction between your ideas and those of the authors you draw upon – even if your views are the same: the reader needs to see explicitly that you know what X’s argument is, and then your justification of why you agree (or disagree) with them. Sources should be identified in the body of the essay in the following way: Jones (2000); or Jones and Smith (2001: 29) – where you make a direct quotation include the reference of the page number. Always include co-authors, not just the first named author, in your referencing.

Conclusion: this reprises the main ideas and summarises your line of argument in answer to the question set

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