Individual essay assignment

A 2,000 word essay on operations and supply chain management is due by 11:59 pm on Monday 7th December 2020. All assignments should be submitted electronically to Canvas. This part of the assessment will relate to material covered in the second half of the module.
Students should answer ONLY one of the following essay questions.
Companies are under increasing levels of pressure to tackle uncertainty issues (e.g., Brexit uncertainty, Covid-19 uncertainty and ect) within their internal operations and broader supply chains.
“Companies should always work together with their customers and suppliers to tackle the uncertainty issues.” Critically evaluate this statement with consideration of the uncertainty on companies in the local/global supply chain, the challenges of doing this in practice and the complexity of achieving this in practice.
“Companies should totally adopt the agile approach to tackle the uncertainty issues arsing within their operations and supply chains.” Critically evaluate this statement with consideration of the companys’ operations strategy and performance objectives, the challenges of doing this in practice and the debate around whether or not it pays to totally adopt agile approach.
In one of the lectures towards the end of term time will be spent providing advice and guidance on essay writing and approaching this question. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about the assignment and receive feedback on how to approach it.
Word Limit
The word limit for this assignment is 2,000 words. Clarity and succinctness in your discussion is encouraged. References and quotations are included in the word limit but bibliography is not included. Please note that any appendices containing additional material beyond the word limit will not be considered. Be wary of using too many direct quotes. One or two is ok but each quote uses up the word limit and takes away from your own contribution in the essay. Some words (max 200) over or under the 2000 word limit is ok but students are strongly advised to stick to the 2000 word count as closely as possible.
Essay Structure
It is up to students how they structure their assignment and there are no strict guidelines on this. Just ensure that the discussion flows coherently and that you reach a logical conclusion at the end. The use of subheadings to draw out key points you want to cover is helpful with this.
However, you do need to include a cover page with the title, student number and program information. If you still need a structure, you can write your essay in the following order: Introduction, Main Text, Conclusion.
Marking Scheme
A good essay should be well structured with a logical flow to the discussion and points being raised. Students are encouraged to read widely from a range of academic journals and bring in some original content beyond that covered in the Lectures. Some of the key things I will be looking for are;
Well-argued answer supported by wide reading in the relevant academic literature. Students should read and reference at least 15 academic articles on their topic. Other non-academic sources may also be used to provide information on examples.
Independence of thought and critical judgement
A thorough understanding of the main issues involved and their relevance
A degree of originality
Critical analysis
Use of examples to support discussion
The assignment must be submitted electronically to Canvas no later than midnight on Monday 7th December 2020. Further details on this will be given in Canvas and MS Teams.
Late submissions will be penalised at the rate of 5% for every day or part thereof the assignment is late for up to 5 days, after which a mark of zero will be awarded.