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Module Name: Strategy, Change and Leadership
1. Individual Assignment – Strategy & Change
The aim of this assignment is to provide students with an opportunity to consider a potential intervention related to introducing an inclusive procurement initiative in Corporation ALPHA, using the theories/concepts, tools and techniques covered in the first part of the module (Strategy and Change).
Corporation ALPHA - Inclusive Procurement and Supplier Diversity
In the US, the last four decades saw a number of government and private sector initiatives actively targeting small firms (employing fewer than 50 workers) owned by underrepresented groups that face some form of disadvantage - women, ethnic minorities, disabled, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people - with varied results. More recently in the UK, there has been a discussion in policy making circles about the increasing importance of such businesses as underrepresented suppliers, in socio-economic terms (Ram, Theodorakopoulos and Worthington, 2007; Theodorakopoulos et al., 2013, 2015), and the necessity to ensure that they can access the supply chains of large purchasing organisations (LPOs). Some of the latter, in line with their commitment to HR diversity and inclusion, have initiated programmes aiming to ease access for small/diverse suppliers to their procurement systems.
Notably, there are also considerable benefits for the LPOs involved in supplier diversity initiatives. It is perceived that there are added-value/innovative input gains obtained by LPOs willing to engage with underrepresented suppliers (small firms run by women, ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT people). It is also argued that there are other benefits accruing for such LPOs by being good corporate citizens, i.e. positive reputation. This can be an important factor in securing access to markets constituting these underrepresented groups. Given prevailing demographic and social changes in the UK, the latter becomes increasingly significant. Moreover, although preferential procurement and positive discrimination is illegal in EU, the advent of the Equality Act (2010) provides an additional stimulus for procurers to engage with supplier diversity, as it gives public authorities a statutory duty to promote equality in all functions, including procurement.
Corporation ALPHA specialises in infrastructure projects, construction and maintenance of facilities, mainly for the public sector. It is based in Buckinghamshire since 1988 and has recently expanded its activities abroad. Ruth Smith is responsible for Organisational Development and deals mostly with the business unit that delivers construction projects, maintenance and related services to the public sector. Ruth is currently considering alternatives to make the company’s supplier base more diverse. She believes that Corporation ALPHA should be aiming at levelling the play field for smaller/underrepresented suppliers, so that they have the opportunity to access Corporation ALPHA’s procurement system on a competitive basis. She sees that smaller suppliers can offer new perspectives and that they tend to be more flexible and focused on purchasing requirements. Beyond that, as Corporation ALPHA deals mainly with the public sector, there is a need to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion at different levels, including procurement. However, this is something that she has not dealt with before, and she is well aware that any inclusive procurement initiative in Corporation ALPHA is destined to face some serious challenges:
However, besides the ethical argument, inclusive procurement is seen as way to develop positive reputation and benefit from the capabilities and commitment of underrepresented/small suppliers.
“I am going to call John and see what they’ve managed to do about that” she thinks to herself. John King has been the Purchasing Director of a local authority. She met John in one of the Diversity and Inclusion conferences she attended and ever since they often draw on each other’s experience. “I am facing the same problems here Ruth…I think we ought to bring in an external. Like a consultant…that sort of thing…” says John. “Where are we going to find that person John?” says Ruth. “Let’s meet and work it out” says John. “Yeah, good idea - let’s just do that” says Ruth.
In the form of a 1,250-word essay, critically discuss:
The argumentation must be coherent and substantiated and must use relevant theory/conceptual underpinnings in a critical fashion, demonstrating analysis, synthesis and evaluation skills. Sources of information must be referenced appropriately.
The task for referrals and students re-taking the course remains the same.
Module Learning Outcomes Assessed:
2. Individual Assignment – Leadership Case Study Portfolio
3. Individual Assignment – Leadership Workshop Skills Portfolio
Word Count: 1250 (Includes citations in the main text of the essay but excludes the list of bibliographic references at the end of the essay, any tables, graphs and schemas/frameworks. Essays that exceed the word limit by more than 10% will be penalised.)
Font Size: Times New Roman 12
Line Spacing: Single or 1.5
Margins should be normal (2.54 cm all around). The word count must be stated on the cover page.
A word count must be provided on the cover page.
2. Individual Assignment – Leadership Case Study Portfolio
Word Count: 500 (Includes citations in the main text of the essay but excludes the list of bibliographic references at the end of the essay, any tables, graphs and schemas/frameworks. Essays that exceed the word limit by more than 10% will be penalised.)
Submission Date & Time:
Date for referrals and students re-taking the course TBC
2. Individual Assignment – Leadership Case Study Portfolio Thursday 15th March 2018 at 12 midday
Assessment Weighting for the Module:
Assessed on a Pass/Fail basis
A satisfactory completion of the Skills Portfolio (Pass) will be a prerequisite for achieving CIPD accreditation
The argumentation must be coherent and substantiated. The analysis, synthesis and evaluation must use relevant theory/conceptual underpinnings in a critical fashion. Moreover, the value of theories and conceptual models to address the change process should be critically considered. Sources of information must be referenced appropriately.
A satisfactory completion of the leadership workshop skills portfolio will require students to attend the workshop, participate in the various workshop activities and submit a portfolio that addresses both questions. There are no right or wrong answers. However answers should be sensible, and critically reflect upon lessons learnt from the workshop and the sessions on leadership. Sources of information must be referenced appropriately.