A small to medium sized organisation employing 120 people in Singapore has been having difficulties with staff motivation and performance, especially within teams since covid-19.



 Individual  Assignment 20/21 (100% of overall mark)

A small to medium sized organisation employing 120 people in Singapore has been having difficulties with staff motivation and performance, especially within teams since covid-19.

Sam, the owner and manager of the firm has very clear ideas about how the organisation should be managed.  Some employees describe the owner/manager as very directive.  One of Sam’s beliefs is that teams contribute to improving performance of the entire organisation. 

Two teams in particular have been having challenges.   Both teams have 8 members.  Prior to covid-19 these two teams were operating reasonably well, although there were indications of underlying tensions.  Since the onset of covid-19, relationships between team members in both teams has deteriorated.   Both team leaders also use an autocratic leadership style, similar to that of the owner/manager.  

The present situation is that whenever a team meeting is arranged through zoom in particular, only about 6 members are present, with the others either coming to the meeting late or not at all.  The meetings are characterised by complaining, ignoring what some members say, and blaming others for not doing their required work.

Your essay task is as follows:

Using 2 selected OB topics and relevant literature/theories/concepts as a lens through which you can view this situation, examine what might be some potential causes of the current situation and secondly, based on the literature, propose a set of concise, clear action focused recommendations to Sam, the owner/manager.  You may use action focused bullet points as a format for your recommendations.

You may use any two topics or concepts that we covered on the course – ones such as personality, culture, motivation, teams, and change along with the other topics covered on the course could all be relevant.  There is no right or wrong choice of topics, and the choice is up to you.  Suggest that you chose two topics of interest.

It is recommended that you use the following or a similar process and structure:

  1. Overview of the focal problem:
  2. This could include a brief discussion of how you view the problem and identifying the two concepts you will be using in the essay
  3. Using the two concepts as a lens and relevant literature/concepts/theories examine potential explanation for the two teams under performing.  This will be the largest part of the essay.
  4. Then, using what could be termed ‘best practice literature’ come up with some proposals or recommendations to Sam the owner/manager about how to improve relationships within the teams as well as team performance.  It would be preferable to have fewer, though focused recommendations – so something between 3-5 recommendations would be ideal.
  5. It would be acceptable to a use bullet pointed set of recommendations.
  6. Conclusions:
  7. This is where you draw the evaluation together along with the key themes that were identified and any key learning from the evaluation
  8. References:
  9. Ensure that you use correct Harvard referencing style
  10. Any relevant appendices:
  11. Include any relevant appendices, though avoid using it as a dumping ground for what you may not be able to put into the assignment

Note:  Using too many theories or concepts will not be an effective way to approach the task – so use relevant theory, yet avoid ‘theory dumping’.

Word limit:  2000 words

Due date: 21 October 2020

Guidelines for Individual Assessment

  1. Did you answer the question that was asked?

Ensure that you read the brief, and context for the essay and address that question

  • Was the argument logical and based on evidence?

Provide evidence to support the argument. Avoid giving personal opinion and general discussion.

  • Was there evidence to support the argument?

Provide evidence in the form of either the literature or the scenario presented in the essay brief in answering the question.

  • Presentation:

Use size 12 font and 1.5 spacing, not single spacing.  Use subheadings for structure and insert one or two visual diagrams to break up the text.  Use correct Harvard citation style and avoid plagiarism.

  • Appropriate use of the literature:

Use appropriate literature, theory and concepts to explain potential causes of the current situation and to propose relevant recommendations.  Avoid using theory for the sake of it, though do use relevant theory, along with some brief critique for some of the theory.

  • References:

Provide a list of references using Harvard citation style in alphabetical order

  • Appendices

Any relevant supporting evidence can be put here, though avoid using it as a dumping place for discussions that do not fit into the word count.  It is not a requirement to have an appendix.

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