Faculty of Business and Law Assignment Brief Module Title Contemporary Issues i

Faculty of Business and Law
Assignment Brief
Module Title:
Contemporary Issues in HR Service Deliver
Assignment Number
Module Code:
Assignment Title
Allocation of HR Service Delivery in SME case study
Assignment Weighting
Release Date:
Module Leader
Konstantinos Kakavelakis
Submission Date/Time:
16/03/17 :  23:55:00
Time and Place:
Submission through Turnitin ONLY
Assessment Information
This assignment is designed to assess learning outcomes:
1.       Understand the reasons behind organisations changing the structure and location of HR service provision.
2.       Understand the different HR service delivery models available to contemporary organisations.
3.       Understand the challenges involved in maintaining and managing HR services and how standards are established and monitored.
This assignment is an individual assignment.
This assignment requires you to:
Company Case Study: Softwire
Who We Are
Softwire is a UK-based software development company with offices in London and Bristol.
Our highly talented and dedicated staff deliver work of exceptional quality, and can help you no matter what stage you are at in developing your software. We are totally committed to customer satisfaction, and this drives everything we do.
Customer Satisfaction Softwire is a complete software partner for our clients, from initial consultancy and design phases right through to deployment and ongoing support. We can provide a one-stop shop for your project through our partnerships with trusted third parties such as web designers and ISPs. Our proactive and capable project managers run project smoothly and efficiently, leaving you with an exceptional software solution for a highly competitive price.
We have experience of a vast range of markets and technologies and are continually broadening our horizons yet further. Our can-do attitude and deep technical experience allow us to deliver the most challenging projects with a minimum of fuss.
Website – http://www.softwire.com/
In building up the company, the founders of Softwire have always valued the contribution of its employees to its success.  Currently, all HR services are performed by the foundering members.  They have decided recently that it is now time to invest in a small team of employees to enable the company to extent its existing HRM services.  The founders wish to retain some HRM services internally but also to consider outsourcing other HRM services.  One of the founders, has agreed to produce a report outlining the company’s plans on this issue. 
Imagine then that you are the member of the team with the task of producing this report.  The report will illustrate:
·         a brief outline and justification of your view of HR service delivery (i.e. generalist/specialist. centralised/decentralised).
·         identification and justification of what HR services would be retained and what HR services would be outsourced.
Your discussion should draw on and make reference to academic material
Criteria for Assessment – see below
Word Count
The word count is 1750
There will be a penalty of a deduction of 10% of the mark (after internal moderation) for work exceeding the word limit by 10% or more.
The word limit includes quotations, but excludes the bibliography.
How to submit your assessment
The assessment must be submitted by 23.55:00 on16/03/17. No paper copies are required. You can access the submission link through the module web.
·         Your coursework will be given a zero mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin. Please take care to ensure that you have fully submitted your work.
·         All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason (see below) will be given a mark of zero.
·         Extensions of up to two calendar weeks can only be given for genuine “force majeure” and medical reasons, not for bad planning of your time. Please note that theft, loss, or failure to keep a back-up file, are not valid reasons. The extension must be applied for on or before the submission date. You can apply for an extension by submitting an Examination/ Coursework Deferral/Extension Application Form. Application Forms along with the supporting evidence should go to the relevant Student Support Office. For a longer delay in submission a student may apply for a deferral. 
·         Extenuating Circumstances – The University wants you to do your best. However we know that sometimes events happen which mean that you can’t submit your coursework by the deadline – these events should be beyond your control and not easy to predict.  If this happens, you can apply for an extension to your deadline for up to two weeks, or if you need longer, you can apply for a deferral, which takes you to the next assessment period (for example, to the resit period following the main Assessment Boards). You must apply before the deadline. You will find information about the process and what is or is not considered to be an event beyond your control at https://share.coventry.ac.uk/students/Registry/Pages/Deferrals-and-Extension.aspx
·         Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment.
·         Checks will be made on your work using anti-plagiarism software and approved plagiarism checking websites.
As part of your study you will be involved in carrying out research and using this when writing up your coursework. It is important that you correctly acknowledge someone else’s writing, thoughts or ideas and that you do not attempt to pass this off as your own work.  Doing so is known as plagiarism.  It is not acceptable to copy from another source without acknowledging that it is someone else’s writing or thinking. This includes using paraphrasing as well as direct quotations. You are expected to correctly cite and reference the works of others. The Centre for Academic Writing provides documents to help you get this right. If you are unsure, please visit www.coventry.ac.uk/caw.  You can also check your understanding of academic conduct by completing the Good Academic Practice quiz available on Moodle.
Moodle includes a plagiarism detection system and assessors are experienced enough to recognise plagiarism when it occurs. Copying another student’s work, using previous work of your own or copying large sections from a book or the internet are examples of plagiarism and carry serious consequences. Please familiarise yourself with the CU Harvard Reference Style (on Moodle) and use it correctly to avoid a case of plagiarism or cheating being brought.  Again, if you are unsure, please contact the Centre for Academic Writing, your Academic Personal Tutor or a member of the course team.
Return of Marked Work
You can expect to have marked work returned to you 13/04/17.  If for any reason there is a delay you will be kept informed. Marks and feedback will be provided online. As always, marks will have been internally moderated only, and will therefore be provisional; your mark will be formally agreed later in the year once the external examiner has completed his / her review.
Assignment 1 – Suggested Outline
A short intro outlining the purpose of the report – around 150 words maximum
Task 1
Here you are asked to provide your view regarding HR service delivery. Should it be generalist in its outlook (i.e. including a bit of everything in terms of the areas that HRM entails) or should it be specialist (i.e. specialising on key HRM practices which are crucial to the company’s success). You also need to consider whether HR delivery will be centralised (delivered by one central department – responsible for the design and implementation of HRM practices) across the organisation or decentralised (whereby HRM responsibility would be devolved to line managers in the various locations in which the company operates) – dedicate around 650-700 words to this task.
Task 2
Here you need to consider what HR services (i.e. HR practices) could be kept in house and what HR services need to be outsourced (i.e. becoming the responsibility of an external provider – around 650-700 words
Summarise your conclusions (key points from your analysis in relation to both tasks) and outline some recommendations which would help support HR service delivery in the way you have envisaged it. The recommendations need to flow from the points you raised previously in your analysis – around 200/300 words.
As the scenario is based on a real life organisation you are encouraged to take a look at the company’s website to get a better idea about the nature of their business which would ideally inform their HRM approach (the topic of the assignment). Needless to say that your argument needs to be justified with reference to academic concepts/theories we have covered in class. Two chapters from the recommended textbook (Marchington and Wilkinson) pertaining to the role of line managers (which is relevant to the debate around decentralisation) and outsourcing have been scanned and uploaded on moodle (week 4) alongside other material which you are invited to use. Obviously, for a distinction mark you need to demonstrate more extensive search for relevant information which goes beyond what we have provided in the class.


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