Annotated Bibliography.

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  • Summarises articles relevant to your chosen individual report topic
  • Five journal articles, published in 2007[ or later should be included
  • Focus on organisational behaviour analysis of the organisational failure in your report.

Task Description:

The annotated bibliography must list and summarise articles relevant to the topic you choose for your Individual Organisational Problem Analysis. The summaries must concisely and accurately present the main arguments or issues raised in each reference. The key criterion for including a reference in the list is its relevance to the topic. For this assignment, only five journal articles, published in 2007 or later, should be included.

The Task:
The purpose of this assessment item is to help you to develop an understanding of contemporary research on the topic of your main assignment for this course. Your job is akin to that of an investigator who has a problem to be solved and looks for clues on the causes and consequences of the problem. You will use the existing management literature as your toolkit to develop an understanding of the problem you will be tackling in your main assignment.

This annotated bibliography must feed into your individual organisational problem analysis. We strongly urge you to think of these two assessment items as two parts of the same larger project. In the annotated bibliography you will do the groundwork that will enable you to analyse the organisational problem more effectively.


Briefly, there are several steps you should follow when completing this assessment item.

  1. You must first decide what the topic or focus of your main assignment will be. Once you have decided on the problem or issue, you are going to examine the behavioural factors that may contribute to the problem. (Explanations may, for example, include inappropriate leadership style, lack of teamwork, poor communication from management, decision-making processes, insufficient participation and consultation, and so on).
  2. Finally, you must construct a summary that presents the major issues raised in the articles included in your annotated bibliography. This summary must present an argument or position in relation to the topic. If the articles you have chosen do not assist you to develop this argument, discard them.

In conducting your bibliography:

  1. You must choose the topic for your organisational analysis. We strongly urge you to use this opportunity to begin to develop the central argument of your analysis. Please feel free to discuss your topic with your lecturer if you are in any way unsure about its suitability.
  1. The challenges in writing the bibliography are to identify the best possible set of relevant journal articles, to read each article thoroughly and to identify the main argument being presented. You must establish that the article makes an important contribution to the topic, and write a concise and accurate summary of its content. The skills required to complete these tasks are vitally important for academic study and professional development.
  1. You need to summarise five (5) articles published from 2007 onwards and submit the first page of each of them (and the abstract, if it is not on the front page) with your paper. You will need to refer to databases in the library to search for relevant material.

What does an annotated bibliography look like?

Your bibliography should be presented in three main parts (2100-2200 words) as follows:

  1. Introduction (approximately 100-200 words): This section should describe the topic you have chosen and provide a brief rationale for your choice. You should describe the scope of the bibliography and clearly specify any aspects of the topic that it will not address.
  1. b) The bibliography: The bibliography itself should present the full citation of each of the five references. Each citation should be followed by an accurate and representative summary of approximately 200 words. You should include for each article a brief review of its strengths and weaknesses. The following is an example of the form that a citation and summary should take:

Dutton, J.E., J.M. Dukerich & C.V.Harquail. 1994. Organizational images and member identification. Administrative Science Quarterly 39(2): 239-263.

The basic premise of this article is that an individual’s identification with an organisation is a function of two forces: (i) the individual’s beliefs about the distinct, central, and enduring features of the organisation, and (ii) the individual’s beliefs about what outsiders think of the organisation. They refer to the former as “perceived organisational identity” and to the latter as “construed external image”. The authors argue that the strength of organisational identification is determined by the extent to which the organisational identity and external image contribute to the individual’s self-esteem, self-distinctiveness, and self-continuity. Individuals tend to identify with organisations that help them enhance their self-esteem, provide them with a sense of uniqueness, and help them maintain their self-image.

The key strength of this article is that it provides a fairly comprehensive model of organisational identification. The authors integrate research from areas such as social identity, self-concept, and organisational identity. The article, however, does not recognise the realities of the modern workplace wherein individuals may have multiple demands for identification, such as the case of a person who holds two part-time jobs. The article also assumes identification with a monolithic organisation, while in reality individuals may tend to identify primarily with their workgroup.

  1. c) Overall summary and conclusions (approximately 1,000 words): This final section should state the central argument you are making and use the reference material to substantiate your position. It should present your understanding of the topic, identify key variables, and suggest potential solutions or interventions drawn from the literature you have discussed. You should even-handedly, but critically, evaluate the evidence presented in each article and integrate it into a representative summary.

(d) Appendix: Please copy and paste the front pages (and abstracts where they are not reproduced on the front page) of the articles in your bibliography and include them in an appendix. Note that these are not included in the word count for this piece of assessment. Each one should be clearly labelled with a full citation of its source, using the AMJ Style.

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