reflective essay

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2.5            Reflective Writing Essay

The Reflective Writing is NOT formally marked. However, it is compulsory to all members of the group. Any member of the group who does not write the individual reflective writing essay will receive a penalty of 50% in final marks. The following table is a guideline when writing the reflective writing essay.

Reflective Writing (RW) Guidance
Primary Reflection – What? For this section you should describe concisely your personal experience of the simulation. You might wish to comment here on your general role and whether it surprised you or whether you adopted a role you would have expected to adopt before starting the project.
Secondary Reflection – So What? For an excellent essay you will provide more insight into events making links to theory and your own knowledge and skills. Were you content with your performance?  Where are the areas of learning and what needs to be addressed? The best reflection is highly personal; it also tends to reflect on critical moments, where learning for different reasons was more substantive. These can be moments of success, failure, progress, people management, task management or use of ideas and concepts. Be honest and self-aware. Seek evidence from your peers.
Future Intentions – Now What? The real value in reflecting comes from the realization of the need to take action and the identification of what you will do. What have I learned from this? What does this mean for my future? What are your actions? Remember to include both what you did well and what you can improve on. Here you should include how your approach would change given a new opportunity to work in a project as such, for example, in a different sector, a slower market or a predominantly global or high technology business.
Presentation and use of Harvard Referencing It is important that you relate your interpretation of events to the readings and theory of the course and demonstrate this though appropriate citations and references.

Your reflective writing should be based on your experience of the business investigation and the individual reflective statement should include:

  • A critical evaluation of how you contributed to the team. What role(s) did you play, why did you play that role(s), and what did you learn from that role and from the roles others adopted? Focus on critical moments such as those that led to either bad or good performance, moments of team cohesion, conflict, inefficiency or efficiency.
  • A critical evaluation of how ideas and theories used helped you at the time or with hindsight
  • Any ideas and theories that are fully referenced.

Guidance

You might like to structure your reflective writing Essay as follow:

  • Primary reflection (What?)
    In the body of the statement summarise what happened during the simulation that either you contributed to or which your observation resulted in substantive learning. Avoid consuming too much word count by writing in detail about what you did in the simulation or the simulation results. Place background information in an appendix along with any other supporting material e.g. a recording of reflections, copies of your reflective notes or annotated mails from team members. More specific work, which backs up your reflective thinking, needs to be in the main text.
  • Secondary reflection (So what?)
    Dedicate around 40% of the word count to ‘secondary reflection’ by considering how you performed as a manager and team member during the simulation. You should also refer to how you selected and critically engaged with course content and information provided by the simulation in order to contribute to the management of the company. Overall, show what you learned from the experience; this may be based on the overall teamwork or be more focused on a particular event, conflict or relationship.
  • Future Intentions (Now what?)
    Include further, more generalised reflections on how you might tackle managing a business in the future. Identify gaps in your knowledge and skills and identify the actions you need to take to be successful in business. Identify what you did well and how you might improve that strength. Consider how you might adjust your management approach and style if the context you faced was different. Focus on what it means to become a professional, learning, reflective manager.

Consider using diagrams and tables as well as photos, simulation outputs and diaries creatively. These all provide evidence that you have used the simulation to develop as a manager between when you started the course and the end of the course. The extent to which you consider that management will or will not be a part of your future, and what management will mean to you in that future, is personal to you and will differ from others. Peer reviewing each other’s submission can help you refine that difference.
You MUST engage with theory and provide evidence of its use in a way personal to you.  A highly descriptive report of the experience of working with your team is not acceptable.  ALSO avoid making claims about yourself that you cannot justify with evidence, e.g. feedback from your peers or your tutor. Reference all theory or other material that you use.
 

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