ESSAY QUESTION: Identify an article (from one of the academic journals listed below) that you believe represents an interesting and exciting development in the field of organization studies. Briefly outline the main arguments proposed by the article and critically discuss why you think this article is important.

WORD LIMIT: 2000 words +/- 10%

VALUE: 50% of overall module mark

DEADLINE: 15th December 2020 at 11am
SUBMISSION: Assignments must be submitted electronically in PDF format via the ‘Assignments’ section on Learning Central

You should select your article from the following journals. Although there are many other journals in the field of organization studies, these are considered to be among the best. I would anticipate all the articles contained in these journals to represent a significant challenge to read. Don’t let this worry you. Persevere as best you can, and keep in mind that this is your first attempt at reading and working with what can be extremely complex academic arguments. You do need to understand and be able to recount the main arguments, but you don’t need to understand absolutely every aspect of what is written.

To begin with I would suggest accessing all of the journals, and looking at the sorts of articles each journal publishes. You can do this by looking at the titles, keywords and abstracts of the most recent issues. Keep in mind that each journal has its own character. Also keep in mind that some journals are more challenging to read than others. For example, the Academy of Management Journal and Academy of Management Review are both regarded to be highly elite journals within the field, and contain articles that can run to some 20,000 words! However don’t let that put you off – long articles can also be incredibly interesting.

Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Review
British Journal of Industrial Relations
British Journal of Management
Culture and Organization
Human Relations
Human Resource Management Journal
International Journal of Human Resource Management
International Journal of Management Reviews
Journal of Management Studies
Management Learning
Organization Studies
Work Employment & Society

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to search through each journal individually for an article that interests you. It may be that you are interested in an article that I’ve mentioned in the lecture – this is okay too. Alternatively, most of the journals publish league tables of the most highly cited/downloaded articles in particular period. For example: ‘the most downloaded article ever’ or ‘the most downloaded article this year/month’ – these are good indicators of the article that are trending at the moment. Many publishers also give a ‘best paper award’ each year – typically for the article that they think has had the greatest impact. This is another good place to look.


Essay or similar

Demonstrates unusually clear insight and/or exceptional sophistication.
Faultless ability to analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge and concepts.
Fluently expressed, original and shows clear mastery of the subject area.
Unusually well organised showing proficient use of independently obtained information.

An excellent piece of work showing consistently high levels of insight and sophistication in approach.
Demonstrates an excellent ability to analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge and concepts.
Well organized and presented and free of all but the most minor errors.
Ideas clearly expressed but lacking some of the originality and mastery needed to justify 80+
60-69 Very good.
A very good piece of work showing high levels of insight and sophistication in approach, but lacking the depth and breadth needed for a first-class mark.
A good attempt at analysis, synthesis and application, but more limited in scope than that required for a 70+ mark.
Mostly well organized and presented but with some lapses in clarity are areas for improvement.
50-59 Good.
Signs of insight and sophistication in approach, but with lapses in understanding that are sometimes significant.
An attempt at analysis, synthesis and application, but mainly reproduces lecture or textbook material.
Errors should not betray significant misunderstanding of standard material.
40-49 Average.
Few signs of insight and sophistication in approach.
Displays some surface knowledge of the subject matter, but with minor or major errors in understanding.
Little attempt at analysis, synthesis or application of knowledge.
Struggles to address the question, ideas are poorly expressed and badly structured.
35-39 Poor.
Insufficient insight and sophistication in approach, lacking competence and showing major gaps and serious misconceptions of the subject area.
Little or no attempt at analysis, synthesis or application of knowledge.
Does not address the question and ideas are extremely poorly expressed and structured.
1-29 Very Poor.
Little or nothing of relevance in answer to question.
Comprehensive mistakes, failures and misunderstandings, showing that little or nothing of value has been understood from module material.
Failure to understand the question, or to identify and resolve the issues it poses. Work showing inadequate ability and understanding. Errors of fact and interpretation.
0 Work not presented.


1. The criteria are not regarded as absolute, they should be regarded as guidelines for marking. Students will be given credit for demonstrating aspects not mentioned in these generic criteria when doing so enhances the quality of the answer given.

2. Weighting between the components depends upon the nature of the assignment. Not all components have equal weighting. For example, Reading, Knowledge and Understanding may, in balance, be given more weighting than Structure and Presentation in an essay as compared to a business report.

3. A student’s performance may not be equal under all headings. For example, referencing may be present and accurate throughout, but knowledge and understanding may be poorly articulated. Therefore, the exact mark given will be a matter of professional judgement of the marker(s)

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