MGTS2606 Written Assignment Guide

Organisational Communication:
Processes underlying communication success and failure
1. Describe a real-life example of successful organisational communication.
What were the factors that promoted the effective communication?
2. Describe a real-life example of ineffective organisational communication.
What were the factors that caused this failure in communication?

The PURPOSE of this essay is to reflect upon the successes and failures of your own
communication experiences within a real-life organisation. This can include experiences in
a work organisation, a recreational organisation (e.g., a sports club or hobby group), a
philanthropic organisation, a religious organisation, a small tutorial group, etc.
The aim of this essay is for you to critically evaluate the effectiveness of communication by
way of a successful and unsuccessful communication example. In this assignment you are
required to 1. describe, 2. evaluate and 3. analyse communication events within A REAL
ORGANISATION in which you were one participant.
The content of the assignment should be as follows:
1. Description of the communication scenario: The description of the workplace scenario
e.g. what was the situation/context, who communicated with whom, where, when and
how and why?
2. Evaluation: was this communication attempt successful or not?
3. Analysis: here you need to reflect upon the theories and principles of communication
you have learnt in the course thus far and use these to provide an analysis or rationale
as to why the communication was successful or not. For example, what was the
organisational structure and how and why did it contribute to this ineffective
communication? What were the significant verbal, non-verbal and defensive
communication behaviours used by staff and how and why did they cause ineffective
communication? While it is not compulsory, we recommend that you explore
individual AND organisational-level factors in your analysis if possible.
4. Suggestions for improvement (for the failed communication example only): Drawing
on communication theory and principles provide some recommendations as to how
the communication could have been handled better.

The GOAL of this task is to provide you with the practical understanding of how to analyse
and evaluate factors that influence communication within a real-life organisational
The essay should be 2200 words in length +/- 10%.
In the essay you need to draw on evidence from at least 6 peer-reviewed journal articles to
provide appropriate evidence and support.
Recommended Steps
1. Starting out
This should happen early in the semester to give yourself adequate time to complete the
essay. The essay is due in Week 8, so begin doing the required and suggested course
reading in Week 1, and keep up to date with the reading every week. The essay question
addresses the core concepts in Lectures 1-8, therefore the reading is essential to help you to
understand the theory you will need to address in the essay. You are also free to read
ahead to other required and recommended readings in Weeks 9-12 if you wish to
incorporate later topics into your essay, but all of your factors must be discussed in the
course. These concepts will be explained further and demonstrated in the tutorials.
2. Before you begin to write
 Read the task description in the Electronic Course Profile and carefully review the marking
rubric available at Blackboard and at the end of this guide.
 Do the required and recommended reading for Teaching Weeks 1-8.
 You should begin thinking about your real-life communication scenarios early, as
these scenarios will form the basis of your analysis. Once you have determined your
chosen scenarios, you should start thinking about the factors that produced the
communication that you observed and/or experienced.
 Tips for essay plan: Write a list of original ideas, references, sources and
examples from the reading for each of your factors. Link them together with
arrows. You may also find it helpful to do a spider-diagram or mind map. This
will help you to construct a coherent argument.
 Write a one page essay plan (see example below).
 Remember, you are telling the marker a coherent ‘story’ from the beginning to end
of your essay, with detailed and supported analysis drawing on the literature.
Example Essay Plan:
1. Introduction: State the context of your essay topic, include relevant definitions, and
provide the purpose, key argument and structure of the essay (200 words*)
2. Describe a real-life example of successful organisational communication (150

3. Describe the factors that promoted this success and explain how and why they
produced the behaviours you described above; integrate substantial evidence from
the scholarly literature here to build your argument (650 words)
4. Describe a real-life example of ineffective/unsuccessful organisational
communication (150 words)
5. Describe the factors that caused this failure and explain how and why they
produced the behaviours you described above; integrate substantial evidence from
the scholarly literature here to build your argument (650 words)
6. Provide some brief recommendations about how the communication could have
been improved, based on the scholarly literature (250 words)
7. Conclusion: Summarise your analysis overall, including your key argument, and
note the lessons learnt from your analysis (150 words).
* Note that these are suggested word limits only
3. Literature search
Now you know the structure of your essay, you should begin to search for at least 6 peerreviewed journal articles to reference in your essay. The required and recommended
reading should give you some ideas for additional references to read but we expect that
you will read far beyond these to develop your understanding of your chosen factors.
You should make sure that you use the library databasesto search by keyword for new
Start to examine your topic in depth through peer-reviewed journal articles. Peer-reviewed
articles have the highest quality information and are much more trustworthy than non-peerreviewed sources such as magazines, newspapers and websites. If you use high quality
sources such as peer-reviewed journals, you will produce a better essay. If you use multiple
high quality sources, you will improve it further.
Good search engines for management include:
 EBSCOhost
 ISI Web of Knowledge
 PsycInfo
 ScienceDirect
These are available via the UQ library webpage. As you read through articles that are
relevant to your topic for a literature review, start taking notes. See Blackboard for the
required and recommended reading – this should be your starting point. However, we
expect that you will find additional references elsewhere.
4. Writing your essay
The essay task is designed to help you produce a coherent and logical argument, supported
by the literature. Writing is an iterative process; you will need to draft, revise and re-daft
your essay. Keep in mind the marking criteria (on the course profile). Make sure you cover
each criterion.

We recommended that in your analysis section you discuss at least 2-3 factors to explain
the communication for each example (i.e., 4-6 factors overall). In your analysis (each
scenario/example), we suggest that you discuss specifically interpersonal-level (individual)
factors (e.g., non-verbal behaviours, active listening etc.) and in addition, you may also
discuss organisational-level factor (e.g., structure) to explain the communication.
Remember that each time you make a claim you must support it with a reference. Avoid
speculating; your argument should be founded in evidence and published theory. Your
writing and argument should be persuasive; try to persuade the marker that you have an
evidence-based argument that makes a compelling case. It is recommended to use at-least 6
academic references appropriately to support your analysis of the essay.
Try to outline the implications of the evidence. Evaluate, rather than describe the research.
If you are describing a research study, HOW do the findings support your argument? In this
assignment, half of the marks are awarded based on the use of research evidence to build
a convincing argument, so it is important that you do this as well as possible!
If you require general assistance with writing or structuring your essay, please visit the link
below to enroll for workshops and/or individual assistance from Student Services. Please
note that this is NOT a proof-reading service.
It is also expected that you will have you read all important information at Blackboard,
including the Frequently Asked Questions, example scenarios, and Discussion Board.
5. Submitting your assignment
Your assignment is due Friday Sep 20 at 2:00pm and must be submitted online via the
Assessment link at Blackboard
When you are submitting your assignment, please include:
 Assignment title page with your name, student number and essay title
 Essay (page numbered)
 Reference List
A note about plagiarism: All assignments are automatically submitted to TurnItIn. TurnItIn
enables us to check that your work is original. If we detect plagiarism, you will be penalised
according to the UQ Academic integrity and plagiarism policy

MGTS2606 Written Assignment Checklist:
Before submitting your assignment, ensure that it complies with each of the following
 At least 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced
 Page numbers are included
 Proof-read for typographical and grammatical errors
 Margins are 2.5cm
 Reference list is UQBS Harvard Style, Academy of Management Journal or APA 6
style and alphabetised by first author
 All in-text citations are correct
 Essay is 2200 words (+/- 10%)
 Contains introductory paragraph, main argument, and concluding paragraph which
summarises the main points of the argument and take home message
 At least 6 peer-reviewed articles have been referenced in the text
 The argument has been used consistently throughout the essay to link each point
you make
Finally . . .
Submit to Online Submission Folder on the MGTS2606 Course Blackboard site.

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