Management Issues Proposal

Assignment Details
Based on the issue identified in Assignment 2, and using the same scenario, you are now required to write a proposal. The proposal, using evidence from literature, will outline the issue in greater detail and propose possible solutions for how the problem could be resolved within an organisation (or within a particular part of the information industry depending on your problem statement) including strengths and weaknesses. Following this the proposal will make a recommendation for a particular solution and outline possible steps for implementation and evaluation.

What is a proposal?
Proposals exist to indicate a recommended course of action in response to an existing or anticipated problem. Looked at another way, proposals propose something that will achieve a desired solution or outcome. In short, the proposal can be seen as a persuasive plan for action.

Proposal structure
The following is a guide (from Forsyth, 2010) for how you might structure your proposal:
1. Setting out the situation: What is the topic? What is the problem? Why is it a problem?
2. Describe the implications: What are the effects or potential effects of this problem? What are the implications for information organisations and/or the information profession?
3. Review the possibilities: What solutions are available? What have others done? What are their strengths and weaknesses? If implemented how they might be evaluated?
4. Make a recommendation: Be assertive! Out of the possible solutions you’ve identified, recommend one you feel could provide the greatest positive impact on the problem and discuss why you have chosen it and why others should choose it.

Differences between Reports and Proposals
Differences between a report and a proposal are that the report is mainly a factual document; it stresses objectivity and leaves the decision-making (on whether to adopt its conclusions and recommendations) to the manager. The proposal on the other hand is usually seen as a “persuasive plan for action”; therefore, it attempts to advocate change. Even so, the Proposal still has to be evidence-based (either factual evidence via statistics, or support from the management and/or research literature, as well as good arguments) as persuasive devices. Thus, the proposal has its own requirements for objectivity. You should also anticipate the reader’s objections: that is, just as if your reader (perhaps even your boss) is going to eyeball you across the table, and say: “Is this really necessary? Where’s the evidence these things you are suggesting will actually work? Will the expense be justified? If so, prove it!”

Suggested readings
Cervone, HF (2008) “Managing digital libraries: the view from 30,000 feet. Developing the business case for a digital library project” OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives. Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 18-21 (available via Emerald Insight). Although this article is written about proposing technical projects, most of the questions posed are helpful when considering what to include and perspective to take when preparing your proposal.

Forsyth, Patrick (2010). Creating a good report . In P. Forsyth (2010). How to Write Reports and Proposals. 2nd ed. Kogan Page. (available via Ebook Library).

Please include a short (1 page) reflection and self-allocation of grade at the end of your paper. This is where you can take time out to critically reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of your work. IF the assessment was done as a pair, the reflection should be completed individually and a breakdown of each individual’s contribution should be included. The Reflective Discussion should be about 500 words. You might like to consider discussing:

? How clearly did you state the importance of the issue for information organisations?
? How do you feel about the solutions proposed?
? Were your conclusions and recommendations clearly linked to the body of the proposal?
? Did you sufficiently use evidence from the literature to support your proposal?
? What you would do differently if you were undertaking this research for a specific organisation?
? The overall strengths and weaknesses of the work you have done.
? What did you learn by first understanding the problem before focusing on and proposing solutions?

Based upon your reflective discussion, what grade do you deserve for the work? The grade you allocate should reflect what you consider to be the overall quality of the whole piece of work. You should consider the overall strengths and weakness of the work – your Reflective Discussion will assist you in this process. In deciding upon the final grade you may like to revisit the Assessment Dimensions proposed by Duncan Nulty and outlined earlier in this Assessment Guide. In addition, you may like to consult the Marking Criteria provided in this document. Remember to justify your grade allocation (i.e. why does your work deserve the grade you have allocated?)

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