Master of Business Administration

Module: Managing the Human Resource Assignment
Date of Submission: 25th July 2011

Please note this question will be removed from the port on the 25th July. If you have been granted an extension or you are planning to submit late (penalties apply for late submissions) it is your responsibility to download this question before the submission deadline date.

Assignment Brief As part of the formal assessment for the Master of Business Administration you are required to submit a Managing the Human Resource assignment. Please refer to the Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments. Learning Outcomes Upon completion of the whole assignment learners will be able to:


Critically appraise the contribution that HRM can make to organisational productivity Identify and evaluate a high commitment strategy of HRM Analyse a human resource problem and apply appropriate models to develop solutions. Analyse how factors concerning the management of the human resource vary within an organisation and across situations.


Title: THE CONTAINER STORE'S CUSTOMER SERVICE: RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING AS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Reference: 406-036-1

Assignment Task
In recent years, there has been much interest in the notion of ‘best practice’ or ‘high commitment’ human resource management (HRM). Considering this premise provide a reasoned and academically underpinned analysis of how the container store fits with this ‘high commitment’ model and analyse the possible problems associated with a manager trying to link HRM to performance? Marking Scheme Answers will be marked in accordance with the following scheme (marks available for each element are shown in brackets):

1. Underpinning knowledge – demonstrates understanding of relevant concepts,
approaches and theoretical frameworks in relation to best practice HRM. Information gathered and used is valid, relevant and of masters level quality. All sources are have a HR focus, with a strong academic underpinning. (30)

2. Application of knowledge – knowledge and evidence is applied to the case study
organisation in an appropriate way that demonstrates understanding of the company and its context. Therefore, all knowledge will be integrated and not presented in isolation to the case (20)

3. Critical analysis – shows capacity for objective review and critical evaluation. Uses
information and underpinning knowledge to provide a balanced critique of relative strengths and weaknesses and to justify choices and decisions. Develops coherent and justified arguments and conclusions. Information will not be presented in a narrative or descriptive manner. (40)

4. Structure and presentation – clear and logical structure and presentation,
containing appropriate standard of Harvard referencing. (10)

Learning Outcomes assessed: ALL

Your answer must be based around the information contained in the case study but you are also expected to show that you have researched topics beyond the case study content, bringing into your answer other relevant information from published academic sources. Discussions should be critical and underpinned by relevant referenced sources. You should also ensure that your answer includes appropriate HRM academic thinking and that this is also properly referenced.

Below is an outline of the criteria for each grade > 69%  Reference to appropriate theories of high commitment HRM  Well-argued, critical evaluation of the case study, engaging with academic debate  Well written and good clarity of expression  Well justified arguments, supported by academic references 60 – 69%  Exceptionally well written and presented, with no obvious errors in spelling, but may lack clarity of expression in places.  Engages with key areas of debate and utilises some of the key academic sources  Attempts to think critically and makes a good attempt to engage with academic debate. 50 – 59%  A clear understanding of high commitment HRM  Reasonably argued analysis of the case study  Arguments mostly well justified and some attempt to provide a critical perspective, although may be descriptive in places  Reading goes beyond basic module content.  Well presented, although there may be some minor errors in spelling and referencing 40 – 49% • Some general but not complete understanding of high commitment HRM  Analysis of the case study may be limited and descriptive in places  Little justification for arguments and limited supporting references  Reading appears to be limited to module content. < 40% • Little understanding of the concept of high commitment HRM  Descriptive or narrative with no critical evaluation  Incomplete knowledge of module content  Little or no reference to the key concepts covered in the module

The Harvard Style of referencing is required for all academic assignments. Word Limit: 4,000 words (maximum) excluding the title page, reference list and appendices. Penalties will be applied for assignments exceeding the word limit by more than 10%. Please include a front sheet that contains your full name, student number, course title, module name and exact word count.

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