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Your task is to prepare an evaluation of the leadership and management style of Steve Jobs. The Gladwell article should be your starting point. You are then invited to supplement the information in this article by wider reading. You will find extensive information on Steve Jobs on the web. Biographies of Steve Jobs are also available from the University library.
Your report should be about 2,500 words excluding references, typewritten Ariel 11 point, single-sided, 1.5 line spacing. A 10 per cent variation in word count is acceptable. Submission date via Turnitin will be agreed in class.
In writing your report you are expected to utilise leadership and change theory in your critical assessment of Jobs. In order to help structure your work ensure that your answer addresses a minimum number of issues:
Do you consider Jobs to be a manager, a leader, or both?
The characteristics that helped Jobs drive Apple forward,
What could be the consequences of taking his style too far?
Would Jobs have been the right person for Apple during the times ahead, or does the company now require more of a manager than a leader?
Stress is placed on referencing and the application of appropriate theory. For example, in looking at Jobs as a manager/leader you are expected to assess Jobs by specific reference to appropriate theory.
Your challenge is complex and you should therefore make reference to a range of literature and introduce other issues that you consider to be relevant to a thorough understanding of leadership at Apple. You are expected to demonstrate that you have understood the relevant application of theory to this case study. Higher marks will be awarded by demonstrating a critical approach to the application of theory.
There is a guide to referencing on the Library website. If you do not follow these guidelines you will lose marks.
Advice on writing style and presentation
Some students find assignments such as this case analysis to be difficult due to the relative lack of structure this is no different to management problems you will eventually face in industry and commerce. No correctly answered list of questions or mechanical process will lead to the “right” answer. Indeed, there is no “right” solution to many managerial problems.
When analyzing the information provided, remember that there are many possible approaches, answers and solutions. The goal is not to figure out a definitive answer but to sharpen your analytical and skills. Use theory to analyse the data which you collect. The following steps outline the basic approach that I suggest you adopt in preparation for a written analysis.
Read the material in the Gladwell article. Take notes about the important issues that the material raises. Analyse what is occurring and why. You should be able to identify outcomes and/or issues that the material raises. Read other material about Steve Jobs. Does this confirm or contradict the information in The New Yorker? But be alert for the danger that some information may be coming from biased observers and participants
In your written analysis there is no need to summarise the information in the Gladwell article. This is merely a waste of space, as I have read the material. Rather, you should use this material and from your wider reading to support your analysis or to provide examples to back up your arguments. Remember, your objective is to explain not describe.
Make sure that your analysis is well-written, clearly organized and has a logical flow. The following is a safe format (in other words, you can do it other ways, but this one is likely to work). First, start out by stating your executive summary, highlighting your main findings and conclusions. Second, write a short introduction telling the reader what is to follow thus indicating the structure of the work overall. Third, analyse the evidence by critically applying relevant theory, making sure you address the key questions set out above. Fourth, summarise and draw conclusions.
Finally in terms of writing style, I suggest you effectively write a management report with references. Therefore, please feel free to use headings.
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