Contemporary Issues in Business NX0328 Assignment

The Assignment Brief (NX0328)
Instructions on Assessment:
You will be supported by a lecture and workshop programme in developing an individual 5,000 word assignment involving three major components:

1. The identification and justification of a contemporary issue in business for investigation. This issue should be consistent with your programme title and level 6 study

2. The development of a coherent and critical literature review consistent with the identified contemporary business issue drawing on both academic and practitioner sources.

3.The development of a coherent and critical synthesis of the academic and practitioner literature resulting in the identification of “best practice” with respect to the management of the identified contemporary issue in business.

Marking criteria:
The marking scheme for the assessment is provided in grid form indicating the weighting for the respective components of the assignment presented. In short, this comprises:
•Essay structure and general presentation (10%).
•Abstract and keywords (10%).
•References (10%).
•Body of the paper (50%).
•Summary/Conclusions (20%)

The Assignment
• You are required to identify an individual “Contemporary Issue in Business” for investigation

• This choice of topic is yours giving you academic freedom in its selection but it must be agreed with your workshop tutor and be consistent with your degree programme

• Your investigation will require you to engage critically with “literature” both academic and practitioner resulting in robust conclusions with respect to the effective management of the contemporary issue under investigation

• The word count for this assignment is 5,000 words (+/- 10%)


Assignment Structure
Potential Structure, however please feel free to adapt it
Title (up to 10 words)
Abstract ( up to 100 words)
Introduction (around 300-500 words)
Main Body (The remainder around 3500 to 4000 words)
Conclusions (around 500-1000 words)
Total 5000-5500 words.
These totals are only indicative, and you may use your judgement to alter them as you wish.

Assignment Structure 

Title (up to 10 words) & Abstract ( up to 100 words)
•A clear specific and focused title
•The abstract – a clear short summary of what you have investigated and how.
•A list of key words (terms) e.g. Absenteeism, Nursing , NHS, management, best practice

Introduction (around 300-500 words)
•Purpose of the work and some “signposting” around the structure of the assignment
•Focus of Research, Research Boundaries (Including inclusion/exclusion criteria)
•Clear justification(s) for the importance of the work (Scale of NHS nurse absenteeism
(is it a crisis?), showing that nurse absenteeism rates are higher than one would
expect (e.g. public vs private sector etc.), costs (financial and impact on patient care
etc., quotes from key stakeholders (e.g. Government ministers etc.) (Draw on “good”
news papers, academic journal relating to UK nursing, and Professional bodies such as
the Royal College of Nursing.
•Indications (Maybe) from the academic literature (Scholar Google) around the
currency of the topic under investigation

Assignment Structure
Main Body (The remainder around 3500 to 4000 words)
•Introduction of key construct(s) such as absenteeism, including direct quotes
•The identification of extant literature linked to the assignment title and key words.
•The identification of seminal writers, theories models and frameworks (including
diagrams linking key constructs along with their discussion)
•Identification of areas of agreement and disagreement (e.g. Hofstede versus
McSweeney on National culture), the uncritical use of theories “given to you” in level
4 and 5 study such as Maslow and Herzberg on motivation will lead to a reduced
mark. Better students ask questions such as are these theories gendered? Are these
theories appropriate for studying nurses, are there more recent theories around
human workplace (and specifically nursing) based motivation (yes there is!)
•Will identify that “real” organisation (including the NHS) have done to minimize
(unjustified) and produce a synthesis of academic theory and professional practice
(e.g. professional HRM staff in the NHS).

Conclusions (around 500-1000 words)
•A short summary of key findings (e.g. tensions/agreements in the academic
literature), the relationship between academic theory and current professional
practice (e.g. do they agree, if not what are the differences etc?)
•What should HRM professional (particularly those managing NHS nursing) staff do to
ensure that their management systems around absenteeism are comparable with the
very best organisations (i.e. “best practice”)?

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