Problem Solving and Decision Making - Essay Prowess

Problem Solving and Decision Making

Text Box: LEVEL 4 ASSESSMENT SPECIFICATION
Programme:CertHE Skills for the Workplace
Module:Problem Solving and Decision Making
Module code:BMSW4004Contribution to Overall Module Assessment (%):100%
Module Leader:Internal Verifier:
Assignment Title:Problem Solving and Decision MakingWord count (or equivalent):2000 words + role play
Submission deadline:To be announced by the Assessment team Please refer to the assessments schedule published on Students’ Hall in MoodleReturn date of provisional marks & written feedback:After the Exam Board
Submission method:All written assessments, where practical and possible, must be submitted via Turnitin unless otherwise instructed by the Lecturer. (Please DO NOT put this assessment specification into Turnitin or it will match many similarities with other students’ submissions.) Alternative submission method (if applicable): Late submission of the assessment will result in a late penalty mark. Penalties for late submission: Up to one week late, maximum mark of 40%. Over one week late, 0%. Only the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may approve a change to submission dates.
Academic honesty / referencing:Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment – Component 1 (100%)

Mode of assessmentVolumeWeighting
Practical exercise (e.g. based on a case study) supported by an individual written report or equivalent5 to 10 minutes per person supported by 2000 words individual paper or equivalent  100%

Role play supported by 2000 words individual report

Task 1 – Role play (50% of the overall mark)

Read the case study that follows task description to gain an understanding of the complex problem of ‘Job dissatisfaction’ faced by UK employees, then prepare to participate in a 10-15 minute role play (in the classroom, or, in the case of online students, on MS Teams) where you will play the role of a management consultant tasked to solve the complex problem. You will be paired with another student acting as an unsatisfied employee (who will not be assessed). During the role play, expect the dialogue to cover:

  • A discussion on the nature and impact (actual and potential) of the complex problem on the overall performance of organisations.
  • A research-informed cause-and-effect analysis of the complex problem.
  • A PESTLE analysis of the macro-environmental factors contributing to the complex problem.
  • An evaluation of alternative solutions to the complex problem with an aim of choosing the most appropriate solution among these alternatives.
  • A demonstration of how organisations may plan implementation of chosen solution and evaluate outcome.

Note: If you are unable to find a partner for your role play, your lecturer can act as your role play partner.

Task 2 – Individual Report – 2000 words (50% of the overall mark)

Write a report of 2,000 words, in which you apply recognised problem-solving tools and techniques to identify and propose solutions to a work-based problem, to include an evaluation of possible solutions. Discuss and agree with your lecturer a suitable problem to be solved which may be drawn from your current or past work experiences or an agreed situation.

Consider the following aspects:

  • define a complex problem in the workplace including its scope and impact;
    • analyse information on the identified problem, to help inform the decision-making process;
    • propose a range of alternative solutions to the problem;
    • use a decision-making technique to evaluate a range of solutions to identify the most appropriate option;
    • develop a plan for implementing the solution;
    • communicate the plan to stakeholders;
    • assess appropriate monitoring and review techniques to ensure successful implementation of the solution.

Please note: at the end of the module, the marks from both tasks will be merged into one overall mark.

Text Box: GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDANCE

1.	All of your submissions must include a title page that clearly states your name, your student number, the module code and title, your lecturer’s name, and your assignment title.
2.	All of your submissions should be typed in Arial font, size 11.
3.	All of your submissions should be typed with 1.5 line spacing.
4.	All of your submissions should have an appropriate structure, include page numbers and have a reference list.

Job dissatisfaction refers to when an employee is unhappy or holds negative feelings toward their job and the company they work for. There are many factors that could cause job dissatisfaction in an employee, including: long hours, underpaid, no work/life balance, and so much more. When an employee is dissatisfied in their work environment or the overall company they work for, managers and CEOs can start to see the effects in company productivity.

So why should employers care about their employee’s satisfaction? The worst consequences of employee dissatisfaction affect both the company and the organization. It can result in lack of motivation, lack of interest, poor productivity, absenteeism, frustration, and if bad enough, high turnover rates. There are several specific reasons that an employee may be feeling job dissatisfaction, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of the bigger main reasons.

  1. Underpaid

One of the primary reasons for job dissatisfaction is when an employee feels as though they are being underpaid. One way they could come to this conclusion is by researching what others are being paid doing the same job in the same area. Underpaid employees often have to stretch their money further than others, and often have to choose necessities over doing anything nice or fun for themselves. The stress of having to pay bills with limited income can cause employees to feel dissatisfied with their jobs.

  • Work/Life Balance

When companies fail to recognize the need for their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, they are ultimately affecting their productivity levels. Too much emphasis on work frequently results in feelings of loneliness and frustration for employees. Acknowledging each employee’s efforts to strike a balance between work and personal life allows CEOs to be part of the solution. Job satisfaction typically increases with improved work-life balance, which increases employee loyalty, creativity, productivity and overall satisfaction.

  • Little to No Vacation Time

Employees need time to recharge and come back to work with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. Research has shown that not taking a healthy break from work can lead to a wide range of unwelcome mental and physical effects on the average worker. When an employee does not have the time to take vacation, they increase the risk of job burnout and decreased efficiency in their work. These employees ultimately become less productive and valuable employees.

Allowing employees to take time off to recharge and have some fun allows them to return to work refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Giving employees generous amounts of vacation is ultimately a benefit for the company overall.

  • Bad Management / Unsupportive Boss
Page 4 of 12  

Managers are responsible for motivating employees and controlling the organization. Bad management plays a huge role in employee dissatisfaction. When a manager has poor leadership skills, they tend to offer little to no feedback on their employees’ work, which ultimately causes dissatisfaction in the workplace. Employees want to be led in the right direction, they just need a good manager to lead them, along with good leadership. They need a manager who will tell them they are doing a great job.

  • Company Culture

Employee engagement is a direct outcome of a high-performance company culture. This is because high-performance cultures outline behaviors that are healthy and supportive. In these cultures, employees clearly understand their roles and what is expected of them. These employees are highly motivated, creative and overall happy. Employees in high-performance cultures feel connected, heard, supported, and involved. When you take this company culture away from an employee, they can start to feel dissatisfied with their job. Employees start to not feel listened to or involved in their job, and this causes employees to not want to participate.

  • No Room for Growth

It is easy for an employee to disengage from their work when they feel that the company does not value these or they do not have incentives for job growth. If an employee feels as though they can never grow within the company and work toward a different role than what they are in now, there is no motivation for them to excel at their jobs. When an employee feels as though they are working toward something better, they tend to work harder and enjoy their jobs.

Source: https://chaplain.org/news/2021/top-6-factors-that-cause-employee-job- dissatisfaction/ [Accessed on 14/10/2021]

End of case Study

NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.

  1. Engagement with Literature Skills

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-to- date, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your research for both tasks can be based on different online resources available in the online reading list on Moodle and UWTSD Online Library. You can also use some of the relevant online resources with academic authenticity such as ft.com, bbc.com, business magazines and national newspapers etc. If in doubt about the suitability/relevance of the source, please consult your lecturer and/or the Academic Support tutor.

2.    Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 4, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with your area(s) of study. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

For the role play exercise, you need to show that you understand relevant tools and techniques of problem solving and decision making in context with the provided case study.

For the report, you need to show that you understand the how to solve complex problem/s at workplace by applying recognised problem-solving tools and techniques. You also need to support the usefulness of the topics discussed, with detailed examples.

3.    Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

You should be able to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of your subject(s) of study. You should be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to your area(s) of study and/or work. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? You should provide justification for your arguments and judgements using evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area and that you are able to make sound judgements and arguments using data and concepts. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

For the role play exercise, explain why you think you possess the problem solving and decision-making skills

you discuss and draw appropriate conclusions, suggesting how you plan to improve them.

For the report, you need to demonstrate the ability to reflect on your learning experience (both in and outside of the classroom) by making logical connections between the material presented by the lecturer, your feelings about it, your thoughts during the class activities and your predictions as to how useful they will be for you in future.

4.    Practical Skills

At level 4, you should be able to apply the basic underlying concepts and principles to evaluate and interpret these within the context of your area of study. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

For the role play exercise, you need to be able to evaluate your own skills in light of industry expectations. Make use of the different tools and techniques discussed in class or discovered through reading.

For the report, you need to be able to apply relevant tools and techniques discussed in class or discovered through reading.

5.    Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. This includes demonstrating: that you can communicate the results of your study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well-structured in presentation and organisation.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

For the role play exercise, you should be able to make a discussion on the nature and impact (actual and potential) of the complex problem on the overall performance of organisations. Your role play should demonstrate the in-depth research on and around the given case study.

For the report, you need to be able to apply the recognised problem-solving tools and techniques discussed in class or discovered through reading. Your report should be appropriately structured; it should have a cover page, a table of contents and logical sections. It should be written using formal language, in clear paragraphs, in a way that conveys the meaning intended. You should ensure the grammar, spelling, punctuation and use of vocabulary are correct and reflect the way you normally write in English. The use of translation and/or paraphrasing software is discouraged but you are welcome to use a dictionary/thesaurus.

This section details the extent to which the assessment criteria are demonstrated by you, which in turn determines your mark. The marks available for each category of skill are shown. Lecturers will use the space provided to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement.

  Generic Assessment CriteriaMarks available  Marks awarded
1. Engagement with Literature Skills .20 
   
2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills20 
   
3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills20 
   
4. Practical Application Skills20 
   
5. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice20 
   
Assessment Mark (Assessment marks are subject to ratification at the Exam Board. These comments and marks are to give feedback on module work and are for guidance only until they are confirmed. )Late Submission Penalties (tick if appropriate)  100%
Up to 1 week late (40% Max) 
Over 1 week late (0%) 
Level 4FAILMARGINAL FAILSATISFACTORY (3rd / Pass)GOOD (2.2 / Pass)VERY GOOD (2.1 / Merit)EXCELLENT (1st / Distinction)EXCEPTIONAL (1st / Distinction)
Category0-29%30-39%40-49%50-59%60-69%70-84%85-100%
Engagement with literature (including reading, referencing, academic conventions and academic honesty)Little or no evidence of reading and/or reliance on inappropriate sources. Views and findings mostly unsupported and non- authoritative. Referencing conventions used incoherently or largely absent.Poor engagement with essential reading. No evidence of wider reading. Reliance on inappropriate sources, and/or indiscriminate use of sources. Heavily reliant on information gained through class contact. Inconsistent and weak use of referencing.Engagement with a limited range of mostly relevant and credible sources but with some reliance on information gained through class contact. Some omissions and minor errors. Referencing conventions evident though not always applied accurately or consistently.Engagement with an appropriate range of literature, including sources retrieved independently. Some over- reliance on texts rather than other sources. Referencing may show minor inaccuracies or inconsistencies.Engagement with a wide range of literature, including sources retrieved independently. Selection of relevant and credible sources. Generally sound referencing, with no/very few inaccuracies or inconsistencies.Engagement with an extensive range of relevant and credible literature. Consistently accurate application of referencing.Exceptional engagement with an extensive range of relevant and credible literature. High- level referencing skills consistently applied.
KnowledgeMajor gaps in knowledge and understanding of the basic underlying concepts and principles of the subject matter. Inclusion of irrelevant material. Substantial inaccuracies.Gaps in knowledge of the basic underlying concepts and principles, with flawed or superficial understanding. Some significant inaccuracies and/or irrelevant material.Limited knowledge and understanding of the basic underlying concepts and principles within the subject area. Some elements may be missing.Knowledge of the basic underlying concepts and principles is accurate with a good understanding of the field of study but lacks depth and/or breadth.Competent knowledge of the basic underlying concepts and principles. Exhibits very good understandingExcellent knowledge and understanding of the basic underlying concepts and principles of the subject.Exceptional, detailed knowledge and understanding of the basic underlying concepts and principles
and
understanding
(Knowledge of the
basic underlying
concepts and principles of a subject.)
Level 4FAILMARGINAL FAILSATISFACTORY (3rd / Pass)GOOD (2.2 / Pass)VERY GOOD (2.1 / Merit)EXCELLENT (1st / Distinction)EXCEPTIONAL (1st / Distinction)
Category0-29%30-39%40-49%50-59%60-69%70-84%85-100%
Cognitive and intellectual skills (Evaluate underlying concepts and principles of a subject and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements.)Wholly or almost wholly descriptive work. Little or no evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles. Failure to develop arguments, leading to illogical or invalid judgements. Minimal or no use of evidence to back up views.Largely descriptive work, with superficial evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles. Weak interpretation of data, flawed development of arguments and judgements. Information accepted uncritically, uses generalised statements made with scant evidence and unsubstantiated opinions. Ideas sometimes illogical and contradictory.Limited attempt at evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles, tending towards description. Can interpret qualitative and quantitative data but with some errors. Some evidence to support emerging arguments and judgements but these may be underdeveloped or with a little inconsistency / mis- interpretation.Good evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles. Can interpret qualitative and quantitative data, with minor errors. An emerging ability to use evidence to support the argument. Mostly valid arguments and logical judgements.Sound evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles. Can interpret qualitative and quantitative data accurately. Ability to devise arguments using evidence to make mostly appropriate and valid judgements.Excellent evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles. Can interpret qualitative and quantitative data accurately and with some insight. Excellent ability to devise arguments using evidence and make appropriate and valid judgements.Exceptional evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles based evidence. Outstanding interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data. Exceptional ability to devise arguments using evidence and make wholly appropriate and valid judgements.
Practical skills (Different approaches to solving problems in particular contexts.)Limited or no use of taught, basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Little or no appreciation of the context of the application.Rudimentary application of taught, basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques but without consideration andAn adequate awareness and mostly appropriate application of basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.A good and appropriate application of basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Clear appreciation ofA very good application of a range of basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Very good consideration of the context ofAn advanced application of a range of taught, basic methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. The context of the application isExceptional levels of application and deployment skills in particular practical contexts. Outstanding identification of
Level 4FAILMARGINAL FAILSATISFACTORY (3rd / Pass)GOOD (2.2 / Pass)VERY GOOD (2.1 / Merit)EXCELLENT (1st / Distinction)EXCEPTIONAL (1st / Distinction)
Category0-29%30-39%40-49%50-59%60-69%70-84%85-100%
 Very weak evidence of different approaches to problem-solving in particular contexts.competence. Flawed appreciation of the context of the application. Weak evidence of different approaches to problem-solving in particular contexts.Basic appreciation of the context of the application. Can identify problems in particular contexts and propose basic alternative approaches or solutions though there may be errors.the context of the application. Good evidence of different approaches to problem-solving in particular contexts and proposes mostly appropriate solutions.the application. Very good evidence of different approaches to problem-solving in particular contexts and proposes appropriate solutions.well considered, and insightful. Excellent evidence of different approaches to problem-solving in particular contexts and proposes appropriate solutions.problems in particular contexts and formulation of wholly appropriate, thoughtful solutions / different approaches.
Transferable skills for life and professional practice (Communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments; the qualities needed for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility within a structured and managed environment.)Work is poorly structured, disorganised, inaccurate and/or confusingly expressed. Very weak use of language and/or very inappropriate style. Failure to work effectively individual or as part of a group. Little or no evidence of the skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.Work is poorly presented in a disjointed manner. It is loosely, and at times incoherently, structured, with information and ideas often poorly expressed. Weak use of language and/or inappropriate style. Flawed approach to individual or group work, meeting only partial obligations to others. Limited evidence of the skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.Mostly ordered presentation and structure in which relevant ideas / concepts are reasonably expressed. Work may lack coherence and/or accuracy in places. Can work as part of a group, meeting most obligations to others but perhaps with limited involvement in group activities. Demonstrates the basic skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility, with some areas of minor weakness.Mostly coherent, organised and accurate work, in a suitable structure and is for the most part clearly expressed. Can work effectively independently and/or as part of a team, with clear contribution to group activities. Demonstrates the skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility, with some areas of strength and some of minor weakness.Work is accurate, coherent, fluent, well-structured and organised. Can work effectively independently and/or as part of a team, with very good contribution to group activities. Demonstrates very good skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility, with just occasional minor weakness.Work is coherent, very fluent and is presented professionally. Can work effectively independently and/or as part of a team, with an excellent contribution to group activities. Demonstrates excellent skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility with an appetite for further development.Work is accurate, exceptionally coherent, very fluent and presented well. Can work effectively independently and/or as part of a team, with an exceptional contribution to group activities. Demonstrates exceptional skills for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility with an appetite for further development.

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