Recent Question/Assignment

PBL group project
Purpose
To enhance skill and confidence in addressing realistic and challenging organisational problems in the international HRM domain, through a group centred problem­based and open­ended learning exercise.
Background
HR Services Ltd is an Australian human resources services company seeking to expand the company’s services in the area of international human resource management (IHRM).
Your group is one of several employed by HR Services Ltd.
The CEO has instructed your group to identify and profile a suitable multinational company (MNC) that HR Services could target with their expanded IHRM services.
The task
Your group is required to identify a MNC and prepare a report for the CEO profiling the targeted company and in particular the company’s international human resources management structure, function and potential IHRM services requirements.
The task requires
? Identify a MNC with sufficient publicly available information regarding its offshore operations and international human resources management and administration. Groups should review not only the company’s official internet site but also relevant and reliable sources such as academic journals, government and institution reports, global consultants (e.g. PwC, KPMG, Mercer, etc.), business journals, newspaper media releases and so forth. Sources must be cited in the APA 6th citation style.
? In your information search, take note of, for example, public announcements regarding any proposed mergers, acquisitions or divestments. Also, take note of employee disputes or litigation in newspaper reports from the MNC’s parent and/or host operating countries as these may indicate that the litigation/dispute concerns the MNC’s recruitment and selection policy, performance management process, industrial relations (unions) issues and so forth.
? Always check to confirm the parent company and the nature of the parent company's operations. For example, your chosen MNC may be a highly recognised entity, however it could also be owned by an investment consortium with a diversified corporate portfolio. The nature of the ownership may have bearing on what the future strategy could be for the company.
? Note, a well­sourced and explained organisation chart(s) is not only -visually rich- to the reader but may also help your group in understanding the scope of your targeted MNC.
? Be guided by the ten topic modules as detailed in the Course Outline weekly schedule and your textbook. Use these to research your chosen multinational company and remember that some topics will have a richer source of information compared to others.
? Where information is limited on some of the international human resources management functions of the company, groups may make reasonable assumptions and structure their report on the basis that, given the known company information, HR Services could provide certain outsourced IHRM services to the company.
You must email your lecturer your chosen multinational company for approval before commencing your assignment.
The report
Your group will prepare a report not exceeding 3,000 words (excluding references). Appendices are not required.
Assessment criteria
Three major criteria are used:
1. Scoping of the issues (20%)
? Clear description of the issue and its boundaries
? Successful communication of a thesis informing the paper
2. Substantive content (40%)
? Research skills as demonstrated by the range and relevance of references
? Demonstrated understanding of the practical implications of the issue
? Accurate reporting and demonstrated understanding of information/data
? Awareness of strengths and weaknesses of different reference material (e.g. company information, academic literature, personal experience) as a base for argument
3. Response to the issue (40%)
? Critical analysis of competing approaches/solutions to the issue
? Development of a logical and well­structured response to the issue
? Use of substantive detail to support the recommended response to the issue
Purpose and Function of Group Work
Group work facilitates peer learning and encourages students to develop collaborative skills. Research indicates that studying collaboratively directly enhances student learning by:
? enhancing understanding;
? students learning from one another and benefiting from activities that require articulation and testing of their knowledge;
? providing an opportunity for students to clarify and refine their understanding of concepts via discussion and rehearsal with peers.
Group work can facilitate the development of generic skills valued by employers that include:
? teamwork skills (skills in working within team dynamics; leadership skills);
? analytical and cognitive skills (analysing task requirements; questioning; critically interpreting material; evaluating the work of others);
? collaborative skills (conflict management and resolution; accepting intellectual criticism; flexibility; negotiation and compromise); and ? organisational and time management skills.
Procedures for Selecting Groups, Roles and Responsibilities, and Conduct of Meetings
It is advisable to form groups as early as possible in the trimester; but no later than the Trimester 1 census date.
It is the responsibility of students to form into groups of four (4) members. To do this, students should actively engage with one another in class activities and identify other students with, for example, similar learning styles.
Following identification of four group members, one group member should coordinate and complete the SPARK Excel spreadsheet on Blackboard and Email to the lecturer. The lecturer will set up groups on Blackboard and SPARK and forward a confirmation Email to groups.
Groups should then develop a Group Processes Plan and a Pre­Project Action Plan
(templates are available on Blackboard). The Group Processes Plan details member
roles, identifies group rules, allocates tasks and responsibilities, and shows agreed project milestones. The Pre­Project Action Plan details problems and issues that may arise and how the group will manage them. One group member should coordinate and complete the aforementioned plans and Email to the lecturer.
Students must actively manage the conduct of group meetings and record member contribution.
Useful Faculty T&L intranet resources for Group Process Plan and general conduct of group work include:
? Pre­Project Action Plan: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/faculty/businesslaw/resources­staff/teaching­and­learning/
? Templates for Managing Teams: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/faculty/businesslaw/resources­staff/teaching­and­learning/
? Peer Assessment processes
? Use of diaries in group work
The Faculty Teaching and Learning intranet has additional group work resources: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/faculty/business­law/resources­staff/teaching­andlearning/group­process­resources.html
Other useful university websites on group work processes:
? http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/assessinglearning/03/group.html (Scroll down the page to the heading Providing Explicit Guidelines)]
? http://www.eng.monash.edu.au/current­students/download/groupwork.pdf
? http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/study­support/peer­learning/year­11­and­12study­skills/working­in­groups
? http://app.griffith.edu.au/study­smart/docs/groups
? http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/html/icb.topic58474/wigintro.html
? http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/ltd/campus/grpwork.pdf
? http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/metallurgy­materials/about/cases/groupwork/why.aspx
Assessment
Each student will receive the same grade unless there is a case to the contrary (peer evaluation, meeting diary and other evidence). When conducting a group meeting maintaining evidence of meeting objectives, member participation and contribution become critical for evaluating individual member’s contribution.
The group assessment grade is an overall grade. Students will need to complete the
Peer Assessment through a software program called SPARK (The Self and Peer Assessment Resource Kit) for allocation of individual group member’s grades ­ http://www.newcastle.edu.au/spark. The Peer and Self­Assessment process through SPARK ensures that the allocation of an individual member’s grade accurately reflects the contribution of the member to completion of the assessment item. Please refer
Blackboard for further details on SPARK and actions required by group members.
Feedback
This assignment is marked online including written comments. It is the group leader’s responsibility to ensure they provide copies of the group assignment with the online comments. If a group requires clarification of any online comments, a member of the group should coordinate an Email to the lecturer.
Conflict and Grievance Procedures
Group work functions best when everyone participates actively in the development of the project. However, sometimes you will need to address situations where one or more members do not participate as agreed in the Group Processes Plan and Pre­Project Action Plan. In the first instance, the group must handle such conflict and grievance issues with full­knowledge that SPARK will reflect participation and contribution.
Useful resources include:
? Dealing with freeloading – Assessing group tasks pdf – scroll down to page 17 http://www.reading.ac.uk/engageinassessment/assessing­group­work/eiagroup­challenges­freeloaders.aspx
? Dealing with conflict, absence and non­cooperation www.lboro.ac.uk/admin/ar/policy/aqp/appendix/10/app10b.doc ]
If the grievance issue cannot be resolved within the group, the next step is to raise the matter with the lecturer. One group member should coordinate the collection of ALL group members concerns and/or views, and then Email the lecturer. Supporting documentation should also be attached, e.g. online meeting attendance records. If necessary, the lecturer may require a meeting with the group – all members of the group must attend this meeting.