An Integrative Analysis (2500 Words with no leeway)
The main assignment is application-based and attempts to be as relevant as possible to the needs of students. To this end you may select the service operation to be studied and the analytical focus of the assigned project. The assignment is to critically analyse and evaluate a service operation using material from the module. The assignment develops and tests your understanding of, and ability to synthesise and apply a range of service management theory, concepts and tools. The assignment also tests your ability to go beyond module content, and find and apply more advanced material from, for example, library resources such as journal articles. A list of key journals is provided in the -analyse the service operation- section below.
Your task is to address the following issues in your assignment submission:
Select the Service Operation:
Select a service process, service operation or activity (not an industry or a whole institution). The subject service may be from your work environment, or it may be a service that you use in your private life. It may be that you have access to an interesting service operation via friends or family. It does not matter how you get access really, as long as you can get sufficient information to carry out an analysis.
One exception to this latitude in the choice of operation is that you are not allowed to
take a -ready-made- case study and then analyse that. For example, you cannot
analyse an existing research or teaching case from textbooks or journal articles. The
information on your subject operation should come mainly from primary data.
Access to managers, and possibly customers is desirable. Another criterion for selection of the subject is that the operation has some obvious problems. It is much easier to write a meaningful critical appraisal if you have some interesting problems to analyse.
Identify Operational Challenges:
What service operations challenges or problems are there to be addressed in your
subject operation, and why?
Provide a rationale for your choice of tools and methods:
What theory, concepts, tools and techniques could be used to address these challenges and problems, and how might you apply them?
Select material from two, or at most three topic areas of the module. A broadbased analysis using four or more topic areas is feasible, but it is not recommended as the work might become a little 'thin'. Stay focused.
Collect your Data:
Your analysis should be based on data gathered from observation, public domain information, survey work, interviews, discussions with customers/managers and from any secondary sources that might be available. Please do not include lots of raw data in the main body of the report. If you feel the need to include lots of data, put it in an appendix. You should explain your methodology for data collection and analysis clearly in the body of the report.
Note. Many students get hung up on the word “data,” assuming that it refers to the information derived from quantitative survey work. This is not the case. Data is pretty much anything you can get your hands on that informs you about the subject of your analysis.
Analyse the Service Operation:
The core of the assignment is to analyse your data using one or two tools, concepts or techniques provided on this module. (Keen students will actually go beyond the module content and carry out further reading into the topic areas of interest. Evidence of this additional research will be rewarded.) The analysis of the data should be provided in the body of the report.
The following are the key journals where you could focus your additional research:
• Journal of Service Management
• The Service Industries Journal
• Journal of Service Research
• Journal of Service Theory and Practice
• Service Business
• International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
• International Journal of Public Sector Management
Evaluate the Service and the Theory:
As a result of the analysis, what can you say about the operation and the tool/concept/ technique? What recommendations would you make about how to improve the operation and the tool/ concept/technique? How robust/valid are your recommendations?
Important Notes – Please Read:
• Start your work by briefly explaining the environment and competing priorities of the service operation. You might want to use one of the summary devices from the early part of the module like the service concept. Keep it brief. The introduction has got to do a practical job of work but should do so using, where possible service management frameworks, language etc. The introduction has to quickly inform the reader about the service operations’ task.
• Briefly explain the service operations challenges or problems that you are going to analyse. Why is the service operation of interest? Don’t provide loads of background information; it earns few marks.
• It might be worth ranking the problems in order of importance.
• What theory, tools, techniques and concepts are you going to apply in your analysis, and why? The theory needs to be appropriate for analysis of the operations issues of interest. The method section also briefly explains how you will apply your selected Service Operations material. You do not need to repeat back a lot of theory … sections of my notes, the textbook etc. If you do so you will earn hardly any marks from this repetition.
• Focus your analysis and make recommendations for improvement. Do not try to cover everything. Provide a brief argument for focusing on one or two operational problems and then concentrate on those.
• You may use material from Service Management subjects covered in the module. Chapters covered in the module are (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17)
• Critically, you should search for further reading in the Service Management journals that enhance your knowledge of the concepts you will apply. If you apply module content thoroughly, then you will likely get a pass. If you can show application of further reading in the peer-reviewed Service Management journals then you are likely to earn higher marks. If you discover some bit of Service Management theory outside the mainstream that you want to apply in your work, great. As long as it is Service Management, and not marketing, economics etc, then fine.
• There is nothing wrong with common-sense, but if all you do in this assignment is apply common-sense you will fail. You really need to demonstrate, by application that you understand Service Management.
o A structure guide is provided which you can use as a template for your submission.
o The page setup is A4, portrait. Please do not change this format. o For each report, the typeface to be used for body text is 11 Arial. The structure guide already has this typeface for the body text.
o Use any type-face you like for headings. o Insert additional diagrams, photos, tables as you see fit. It is up to you to decide on the balance of content.
Criteria Ratings Pts
Application of Operations Management concepts
We are looking for students to demonstrate high levels of knowledge and understanding. Assignments earning higher marks will clearly demonstrate, by appropriate and correct application, an understanding of the Operations Management theory, concepts, tools, techniques etc. 40.0 pts
Analysis, Argument and critical engagement
A student earning high marks would demonstrate application of theory that goes beyond the merely descriptive. Work earning low marks would be reportage…very descriptive. Of all the criteria -Crirical Ability- is the most difficult for students, but it is also the criterion that we prize the most in our graduates. Work earning higher marks will demonstrate that the student understands, for example: the limits to applicability of theory; the context specificity of theory...and so on 40.0 pts
Use of sources and supporting evidence
Work earning high marks will be well supported by reference to the module notes, videos, textbook and the Operations Management literature. In addition, higher marks will be awarded for work showing clear evidence of wider reading of peer-reviewed articles in the Operations Management literature. 10.0 pts
Organisation and Structure
Work earning high marks will be engaging, well structured, make good use of graphics, tables and other presentational devices. The best work will be accessible to the reader; the reader should not have to hunt for arguments or supporting references etc. The work should be an enjoyable read. 10.0 pts
Total points: 100.0
Final Assignment Rubric