Summative Assessment Marking Scheme (Generic Feedback – Summer 2017)
The assignment is marked out of 100. The following table shows the mark allocation and the approach required.
Using Lewin’s Force Field Analysis and the details from the case study, critically analyse relevant, key factors that Burmah Castrol may have considered when expanding into Vietnam.
|20||For an excellent mark the reader will be provided with a clear picture of the business context,
Apply Lewin’s Force Field model to critically analyse what you consider to be driving and resisting factors in the expansion of Burmah Castrol into Vietnam.
Full and correct pictorial demonstration of the model is required. Only the relevant force(s) should be shown on the diagram, explanations with critical analysis of internal and external factors from the case study should be in the main body of the report and not in the diagram/table.
|It’s helpful to introduce Lewin’s model, however it would be beneficial to briefly introduce the purpose of the report before explaining the model. NB The report is not ‘a case study’; it is the analysis of a case study…
It is always helpful to have a brief introduction of the nature of the situation to set the scene, however it would also be helpful to have a brief introduction to the purpose of the report.
There is evidence of valuable business and industry related context, however this can be ‘blurred’ if there isn’t a summary force-field model which shows the driving and resisting forces at a glance. Also, without this diagram it is less easy for the reader to recognise which are the most and least significant forces. This diagram also helps to highlight you have considered a reasonable range of internal and external factors. Also, give the diagram a label or title!!
There is some insightful analysis of context (e.g. the use of inferior quality lubricants costing some industries significant sums of money. However the sources of this sort of information need to be cited.
Some issues are certainly interesting, however they can appear a little detached unless their relevance as a driving or restraining force for Burmah Castrol expanding into Vietnam is made clear.
The argument can often be stronger if the diagram is presented before the analysis, after the model is introduced (and NOT as an appendix!). This is because the reader gets an initial ‘heads up’ as to what are the most significant forces. Also, it is always helpful to clarify how significant each force is, in the text.
Ensure you check that the issues in the Force-Field diagram are reflected in the supporting text. You could use subheadings that relate to the various forces (or groups of forces).
Occasionally a significant ‘macro’ issue is cited (e.g. ‘political uncertainty’, ‘local international unrest’ etc.). Here there needs to be some clarification on the impact of this, related to the expansion of the company – Try to cite some specific applications relevant to the case study, rather than just saying this is a restraining force.
The above comment applies to significant ‘micro’ external issues (the industry) – e.g. relating generically to barriers to entry etc. Here, some examples that emphasise the nature of the barriers is helpful and provides more specific context for the reader.
Make sure that you use the diagram to indicate the relative strengths of the forces – that’s the point of the tool. Also, have different arrows for each issue!
NB ‘Resistance to Change’ isn’t a restraining force, you need to cite where the resistance is coming from – this is where the force will lie.
It’s OK to use content from the case study to help paint the picture of the analysis, but try to avoid copying and pasting – the key here is to focus on the forces first, and then justify these using information from the case study. If the reader cannot feel the linkage, your argument will be weakened. Only refer to the case study when it has DIRECT relevance to your argument.
Examine the nature and type of changes that can exist when a company expands into new territories, and critically evaluate how these changes could impact on behaviours and culture.
|20||For an excellent mark, students should focus specifically on the expansion of businesses into new territories and then critically evaluate organisational practices that could impact on culture (10 marks) and behaviours (10 marks).
Students will use examples from the case study and independent research from the wider world of business to support their evaluation, supported by application of relevant models and theories.
|The section always benefits from some clarification/introduction about the concept of change.
This section is significantly better when models of the nature and type of change are incorporated. However, occasionally the response can read like a textbook, discussing the validity of the actual models in too much depth, meaning there is limited coverage on the application of the model(s) to the situation. It is application that is key, and effort needs to be focused on this aspect.
Make sure that you don’t spend all this section on just examining the nature of change! Make sure you also consider how the nature of change impacts on stakeholders’ behaviours and culture.
The use of cultural models is really helpful in developing a robust framework for analysis. The different aspects/categories within the model can be used as subheadings to explore distinct issues, where examples from the case study can ensure the model is specifically applied. NB Diagrammatical/pictorial representations of cultural models can be helpful here. There reader can find these helpful to sum up a model you are seeking to explain.
Some useful commentary and analysis is evident and helps to paint a useful picture, however the responses that consider different stakeholders and relate the concepts of cultural norms to these stakeholders are stronger. The reader is then able to visualise how these stakeholders might respond to the proposal for Burmah Castrol to expand their operations into Vietnam.
Make sure this section considers the ‘nature of change’ before going on to critically evaluating the impact of the changes on behaviour and culture. Refer to and incorporate models of the nature of change (see PP slides for week 3 on the VLE)
If referring to terminology related to the theory of the nature of change (e.g. frame-breaking, frame-bending), it would be helpful to outline which model this comes from. A diagram can be helpful here, as it doesn’t use up your word-count.
This section works well, when the nature of change (and models) are supported by genuine examples of the interaction of the driving and restraining forces. For example, is you have cited cultural issues as potential restricting forces against change in question 1, you could make the link to question 2 fairly easily.
‘Ethical issues’ are likely to be relevant, but these should be a subset within this section, rather than in the ‘heading’.
Critically evaluate, using appropriate scholarship, theories and models, how leaders could have contributed to this successful move by Burmah Castrol.
|30||For an excellent mark, students will clearly explain the concept of leadership in a Change Management situation such as the Case Study.
They will refer to more than two theories and models of leadership, accurately relating these to a suitable business context.
The case study does not give any detail on the leaders at any level in Burmah Castrol, so students should use their knowledge and research of Change Management and Leadership to evidence successful leadership skills and abilities in business expansion situations.
|The section always benefits from some clarification/introduction about the concept of leadership. Also, the considered application of models can be a good way of analysing the situation. However, whilst some brief references to the validity/applicability of the model is helpful, try not to get distracted too much by this argument. This section is about application of leadership theory to the case study, rather than a critique of leadership theory.
As in question 2, the consideration of different stakeholders can help to provide a more insightful and tailored analysis. Otherwise the reader is presented with a range of generic arguments about what approaches to leadership will be more (or less) effective. This will probably meet the standards, but will not generate a high mark for this section.
When referring to theirs and models it is relatively easy to make general points about what leaders could do to support effective change, however better responses provide more specific examples. Also, the cross-fertilisation of models of change management and leaders’ actions can generate an insightful argument. For example, explaining what a leader can practically do that helps various stakeholders to progress along the stages of change (e.g. Kotter, Lewin, Beer etc.)
Take care in this section not to just continue to expand on the issues relating to change. Make sure you focus on what leaders can do to facilitate change and get people on board. Also, make sure you include some analysis on the approaches leaders should take, and relate this to ‘what leaders can do).
Explain and justify two recommendations to effectively manage current, potential or future issues and tensions between Burmah Castrol and its stakeholders based on your findings from Q1-Q3.
|20||For an excellent mark students will develop a comprehensive and coherent pair of recommendations (10 marks each) that are fully explained and justified in the business context at Burmah Castrol.
Students should consider current or future tensions and apply Change Management theories to support their two answers.
|The recommendations work well when there is a clear linkage into the preceding analysis. This linkage is best evident when the justification for the recommendations refers to the issues that arose in the report.
Also, the better recommendations will incorporate cross-cutting themes, which relate to a range of issues and stakeholders. They will also relate to the tensions that exist, and the preceding analysis could be revisited to ensure the key tensions are overtly apparent. The recommendations will then appear more intuitive to the reader.
Models of change management can also add impact here – helping to justify the proposals you are making (helping to generate a climate for change, enable the change, or embed the change etc.)
You can also explain and justify your recommendations by highlighting how they can increase the driving forces or reduce the resisting forces for change.
|Use of relevant structure, introduction, contents tables and Harvard referencing||10||For an excellent mark, students will use correct Harvard referencing and clearly structure their paper, with appropriate titles, subtitles and a reference page.
Short introductions and conclusions should be present.
The language used should be appropriate to the academic context and business communication as outlined, avoiding colloquialisms informal terms and jargon.
|When subheadings are used to present key themes in the responses, it is much easier for the reader to identify and absorb the key issues.
It’s possible to create a really good mix of references – news and journals etc. along with text book references. Also can easily get 30 references or more…
Try to make sure you adopt Harvard referencing protocol for website sources
Sometimes a specialist concept is referred to, and this would need referencing, so the reader is confident that this is a recognised/tested concept.
There is a temptation to put the URL in the main body of the text as a quick reference. However this needs to be author and data only. If you keep referring to mindtools (and other generic business sites, it tends to undermine the argument a little – try to locate more unique sources/writers.
Use clear headings to indicate where you are moving on to the next question.