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14 November 10 studentfocus

relates to part (b), they will receive no marks for part (a).

Questions should be answered in a coherent manner; it should be clear how one point links to the next.

Use of business English is mandatory As a student of business management, one of the skills you must acquire is the ability to write in good business English.

Avoid the following: l The use of ‘buzz’ words or phrases; such as ‘they have great DNA’;

l The use of such phrases as ‘I think’*, ‘in my opinion’, ‘they should’. For example, instead of writing ‘I think joint venture is the best method....’, students could write ‘Joint venture is the best method for the following reasons…’;

l Saying that companies ‘join hands’ when discussing joint ventures;

l Writing long rambling sentences. It is better to use precise shorter ones that are focused on the key points.

The assignment This concerns your personal development as a manager while studying the unit, in the sense of what you have learnt about the global business environment and how you are able to apply that to ‘real world’ situations.

The assignment concerns your personal development as a manager while studying the unit

The structure of the assignment could take the following form:

1. A critical assessment of your:

l Strengths and weaknesses in terms of learning style; l Perceived strengths and weaknesses in managerial skills; l Knowledge of business areas.

2. A personal development plan, which includes the:

l Key areas for development; l Actions that will be taken to improve these development areas;

l Critical success factors (the evidence you will have that you have achieved the improvement targeted);

l Target date for completion.

3. A learning log. Start your learning log from day one. A learning log is a journal about what you have actually learned in a professional and personal way. It is not a repeat of the subject studied in each lecture and a date.

There should be a number of columns such as: l Date l Subject area l Preparation undertaken (if any) l Content of the learning l Reflection on the learning l Action to be taken to improve the learning

This log should (preferably) be completed daily, but no less frequently than once a week. It is impossible to recall two semesters learning when completing the assignment.

Learning is not taking in knowledge such as ‘I now know Porter’s 5 Forces’. It is rather how Porter’s 5 forces have helped you to understand how your chosen company has managed to survive and prosper.

An example of personal learning is recording the improvement in the skill of giving feedback to others on their performance (how that felt, the preparation that went into making the negative points acceptable to the recipient and stating the positive points without appearing to be patronising, etc.).

Writing the assignment The structure is suggested by the tutor or:

l Can be accessed on the ABE website. Failing to adhere to the structure will result in lost marks.

l The main body of the assignment is intended to be one in which the student:

‘critically reviews how this unit has contributed to their personal and professional development.’

It is not just writing a case study on a chosen company, using some of the knowledge content of the CMIA unit.

‘Students will need to reflect on the ideas, models and concepts studied in this unit and how they relate to working practice.’

Students should choose an organisation and critically evaluate the way it operates by reflecting on the theories, models and concepts learnt in the unit. This will involve making some analytical comment on the models by examining the company information and providing evidence from this information that demonstrates how the company appears to interpret these models and use them (or not) in the way they operate, in the strategic decisions they have made, and so on.

Key learning from CMIA includes how to: l Approach a complex problem; l Generate multiple solutions; l Make a decision based on objective criteria;

l Express and present an opinion in high level business language, backed by evidence;

l Work successfully within a team, including handling conflict and motivating others;

l Give and receive objective feedback; l Research using reliable sources and methods.

Other learning points include a key understanding that the functions of a business are complex and interdependent and that, unless they are moving in the same strategic direction, there will not be an improvement in performance.

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