University University of Birmingham (UoB)
Subject MAN6006: The Real World of Management

Learning outcomes and pass attainment level:

Module Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the significance, strengths, and limitations of theory in a real-world context
  2. Apply appropriate research approaches, tools, and techniques to academic/ organisational contexts
  3. Critically evaluate the role of managers as researchers
  4. Draw on research, experience, and appropriate literature to evidence depth and breadth of learning and development through an on-going Critical Learning Portfolio

You will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Evidence of an effective introduction (i.e. focus, scope, and purpose) Evidence building, through gathering data
  • Demonstrates insights into the nature and significance of interaction and relationships within organisations (for example at individual, group, corporate, corporate/social, and inter-organisational levels)
  • Use of academic literature to support questioning, critical analysis, and evaluation (with appropriate referencing of sources – Harvard format)
  • Learning drawn from the e-portfolio
  • Effective communication, presentation, and use of structure

The following are indicative of the threshold pass requirements for the module.

  • Evidence of working with the e-portfolio format

Portfolio introduces the focus, scope, and purpose of the e-portfolio in line with learning outcomes1,2,3 and 4 and the module’s indicative concepts

  • Some evidence of gathering appropriate data

Uses the evidence/academic literature to support some discussion in line with the portfolio focus

Demonstrates some appreciation of the implications of collaborative working for organisations

  • The conclusion evidence learning is drawn from the portfolio

The communication and structure enable the expression of some understanding and discussion in line with the focus and data

  • The stronger portfolios will clearly build on these threshold requirements to demonstrate increasing levels of originality, depth of research, criticality in terms of analysis and evaluation, and effectiveness of the use of the e-portfolio format. Discussion relating to the levels of assessment will be an integral part of class discussions and seminars.

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The assignment requirements

Kurt Lewin proposed that “there is nothing so practical as a good theory” (Lewin 1951). It is with this in mind the purpose of this module is to critically explore and evaluate academic theories and concepts within a real-world context.

This will be accomplished by the on-going development of a critical portfolio in which participants compare, contrast, and critically evaluate the potential linkages, tensions, and contradictions between a chosen academic conceptual framework and its lived experience.

The module takes an ‘action-oriented’ approach encouraging students to engage and reflect on their own learning and development, in terms of both knowledge and self. Participants have the opportunity to develop key employability skills by critically exploring, at both a theoretical and practical level, concepts such as leadership, followership, cultural awareness, creating and sustaining relationships/networks, problem-solving, decision making, and enterprise/entrepreneurship.

This portfolio will be an individual piece of work, with a 3,000-word count (+/- 10%) of critical commentary.

Please note that this Re-sit assignment is based on the same topic as previously chosen by the student. Students should include concise comments to highlight what changes they had made to address gaps identified in their first submission.

The Portfolio

A ‘Portfolio’ is a ‘collection of work’. Your portfolio should draw on your individual research into people’s views, experiences, and stories and also draw on a range of theories from appropriate academic literature. Secondary research data can also be used to support and enhance critical discussion.

From past experience, the portfolios achieving the higher marks were built on an on-going basis through researching and gathering appropriate evidence to support analysis and evaluation of the concept(s), emerging themes, and their application to the real world of management and organisations.

Your portfolio should have an introductory page that clearly sets out your focus i.e. key questions/issues you will be focusing on through the research project. What factors have led you to choose the focus – your rationale?

The stronger portfolios will draw their research from a range of sources to introduce different perspectives. However, what tends to make these portfolios are more thoughtful and unique ways to introduce peoples’ lived experiences. Secondary research can be used to compare and contrast these experiences.

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