Leadership and people management are synonymous and equally critical when it comes to achieving a  team/organization’s goal. Change requires people to get out of their comfort zone and exceed one’s expectations. It also encourages innovation. As an HR manager, you are required to display a sound  understanding of the following: 

1) Contribution that an organization’s employees can make gain competitive advantage and endorsement of strategic vision. 

2) Apply appropriate strategies for people resourcing, retention, and development. 3) Strategies for enhancing employees’ commitment and engagement within the organization. 

What does the assignment require? 

As this assignment is being undertaken in the context of a Postgraduate Diploma qualification, its scope must embrace the choice of a scenario requiring investigation. A number of options can be considered in  terms of: 

This could include the following aspects:  

1) The potential value of leadership approaches linked to High Performance Working 2) HPW at all levels of organisation (strategic, managerial and operational) to be able to implement theories, concepts and techniques associated with organisational change. 

3) How to apply capabilities associated with effective management of change, and to be able to maximize the potential of people within the HPW culture. 

It is also crucial that the assignment embraces all the Learning Outcomes related to the syllabus for  Leadership, Change and People Management. 

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

The purpose of the assignment  

The assignment is intended to test the student’s capabilities in several key areas that are concerned with  the achievement of world-class levels of people performance, leadership and change management,  especially through the strategies and processes linked to High Performance Working.  

The specific capabilities which the assignment seeks to develop in students, and which should be  demonstrated within the final version of the assignment text, are as follows:  

(1) The effective management of change – both incremental and transformational. (2) The mobilisation of support for change – through the application of suitable leadership skills and techniques intended to overcome resistance and also create commitment to whatever courses of action are ultimately proposed. 

(3) Integrative thinking and action – developing alignment (bundling) between connected functional strategies so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (synergy). 

(4) Situational analysis – identifying the core issues, the opportunities and the threats, and the relevance of factors in the present, probable and possible future environment. 

(5) Investigative skills – generating evidence-based proposals by means of primary or secondary research methodologies. 

(6) Information management – separating facts from assumptions, beliefs from empiricism, in a spirit of academic, professional and clinical detachment. 

(7) Problem-solving and decision-making – both analytical and creative, taking lessons from world-class enterprises but also, where relevant, developing entirely original „solutions‟ for situations never previously encountered. 

(8) Influence and persuasion techniques – when defending or promoting recommendations in relation to their commercial cost-beneficial outcomes. 

(9) Presentation methods – to create a reader-friendly, business-focused, strategically-convincing report that will be favourably received and endorsed by the visualised high-level recipients/addressees

The selection of an assignment topic  

It follows that an acceptable assignment topic must fulfil a number of expectations, not least that it should  permit or enable the student to demonstrate the above capabilities. Therefore, it must: 

(1) Be concerned with a ‘live’, authentic problem or opportunity. 

(2) Be linked directly with a specific organisation, business sector or economic environment. (3) Exhibit a comparative thrust, i.e., a comparison between organisations, between sectors or between nations. 

(4) Represent a theme for which there already exists an available, preferably research-based literature. (5) Incorporate opportunities for an integration between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. 

(6) Have a strategic rather than a solely operational orientation. 

(7) Reflect the values of integration that underpin the whole assessment process, i.e., have resonance for all the principal dimensions of the ‘Leadership, Change and People Management’ syllabus. 

An assignment topic will not be acceptable if:  

(1) It is entirely ‘theoretical’ or ‘academic’ in nature and scope. 

(2) It is entirely historical, i.e., simply recounts past events without drawing lessons for future business practice. 

(3) It has no grounding in the reality of organisations. 

(4) It presents no opportunity for learning, i.e., conclusions to be drawn, lessons to be learned, solutions to be devised and advocated. 

(5) It only addresses one aspect of the syllabus for ‘Leadership, Change and People Management’. 

Note: Submitted assignments that contain any of the five features above are unlikely to receive a pass  grade. Tutors should take account of this provision when advising students about a suitable assignment  topic so that time and effort are not wasted in producing an assignment that will not fulfil LRN’s  requirements. 

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

Examples of acceptable assignment topic titles  

It may be helpful for both tutors and students to consider the following topic titles as exemplars of what  would be acceptable against the selection criteria outlined above.  

These titles are intended purely as guidelines and are not compulsory. However, students should ask their  tutors for advice before committing themselves to the assignment topic and timetable.  

Choice of the assignment topic depends upon satisfactory answers to the questions below:  What is the problem or opportunity around which the assignment is to be written? What is the named organisation or business sector or economic environment around which the assignment is focused? 

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

Producing the assignment  

Ideally the assignment should be presented in the form of a report as if addressed to the Chief Executive of  the organisation around which the assignment is focused. If that is not the approach adopted, however, the  assignment should still be written as a report, with the following sections:  

(1) Title page – title of the assignment, author’s name, date  

(2) Acknowledgments – people who have helped in preparing the assignment  

(3) Declaration by the author – that the assignment is an original work (with signature)  (4) Executive summary – a one-page outline of what the assignment contains  

(5) Contents page – each section itemised with page numbers  

(6) Introduction – an outline of the assignment theme, reasons for selecting it, and the general  background  

(7) Method of investigation – the techniques used to ascertain the problem and the facts  (8) Literature review – a survey of the important literature related to the assignment’s theme  (9) Facts, findings, discussion and analysis – with headings appropriate to the subject-matter  (10) Conclusions – inferences and deductions from the facts and findings (no new facts or findings)  (11) Recommendations – reasoned proposals for change, problem removal, improvement, etc.  (12) References – sources cited in the text  

(13) Bibliography – sources consulted but not cited  

(14) Appendices  

(15) A self-evaluation section – about the learning that has taken place during the various processes  concerned with the production of the assignment, i.e., the selection of a suitably manageable topic, the  literature search, the other methodologies employed, and the production of the assignment report itself.  What has the student learned from this exercise which they can apply to their future careers?  

Criteria for assessing the assignment  

There are five criteria which will be applied to an evaluation of the assignment. These can be conveniently  remembered through the acronym ‘BACKUP’:  

Business orientation and acumen  



Knowledge of the subject-matter  


Presentation/persuasion skills  

Business orientation and acumen  

Application capability  

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

Knowledge of subject matter  

In-depth understanding  

Presentation and persuasion skills  

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

Mark Scheme  

Business orientation and acumen [marks 0-15] 

Application capability [marks 0-20] 

Subject matter knowledge [marks 0-30] 

LO1: The organisation’s workforce as a source of competitive advantage and as a contributor to the organisation’s strategic, high-level purposes. 

LO2: Strategies for people resourcing, retention and development, with special reference to the organisation as an ‘employer brand’. 

LO3: Strategies for enhancing employee commitment and engagement within the organisation, especially through performance management, positive employee relations, and total reward. 

LO4: Leadership approaches linked to High Performance Working at all levels in the organisation. 

LO5: The theories, concepts and tools associated with organisational change, together with the application of these instruments to identified scenarios. 

LO6: The intellectual, leadership and managerial capabilities associated with change management and the optimal contribution of people to organisational purposes. 

In-depth understanding [marks 0-15] 

Presentation and persuasion skills [marks 0-20] 

Total marks for the assignment = 100 marks 

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 

Word count  

The word count for this assignment is 3,500 words. A tolerance of +/- 10% is allowed where no penalty is  incurred.  

Where an assignment falls outside this tolerance the total mark awarded will be reduced. Assignments  which are up to 10% under or above the word count tolerance will be subject to a deduction of 5 marks,  with subsequent penalties of an extra 5 marks deducted for every further 10%. 

For clarification the word count applies to the entire body of the text (i.e. including headings, citations,  content of tables and diagrams) but does not include the reference list or the appendices. 

Materials included in appendices should add to the reader’s understanding of the assignment. All  appendices must be cited within the body of the assignment and must be clearly numbered. 

An accurate electronic word count must be noted on the front of all assignments. The penalty for not  providing a word count, or for providing an inaccurate word count, will be a deduction of 3 marks.

Unit 3: Leadership, Change and People Management (May 19) 


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