Assignment brief 1

Your task is to review the theoretical and empirical literature on non-executive directors on boards, and their effect on board and firm performance. Your report should include the following:
a) An introduction to the domain of corporate governance and within it the role of boards.
b) A critical review of different theoretical perspectives on the role and contribution of non-executive directors
c) A review of the empirical literature on the effects of non-executive directors on board and firm performance.
d) A conclusion in which you put forward recommendations on boards’ composition regarding the ratio of executive and non-executive directors (including implications for policy and practice).

UWBS038g Assessment Briefing for Students

Assessment brief 1: Individual assignment – literature review RESIT TASK

Module leader:    Prof Silke Machold        email address: S.Machold@wlv.ac.uk
Academic Year: 2015/16 RESIT
Module assessment detail (approved at validation as amended by module modification)
Module code & title    7IB001 Corporate Governance in an International Context
Module Learning outcomes:    Tick () if tested here
LO1    To critically compare and contrast theoretical perspectives on organisations and their implications for organisational objectives and goals    
LO2    To critically evaluate organisations and their international activities from a strategic management perspective    
LO3    To critically evaluate corporate governance from a strategic and OB perspective in an international context to improve corporate direction
Assessment types    Weightings (%)
Literature review    50%

Assessment type, weighting and LOs tested by this assessment indicated in the shaded area above by a 
Important requirements

Mode of working    Individual

Presentation format    Assignment (comprising introduction, main part, conclusion and list of references)

Method of submission    Electronic Submission via WOLF

Mark required to pass this coursework    50%

Hand in date & time    11th July 2016, 23.59 (e-submission)

Date & method by which you will receive feedback    By 1st August 2016 via WOLF
Resit/retrieval date
This is the resit assignment.
Assessment limits (in accordance with UWBS assessment tariff)
No more than 3,000 words

Do clearly state your student number when submitting work but do not indicate your name.  Always keep a copy of your work. Always keep a file of working papers (containing, for instance, working notes, copied journal article and early drafts of your work, etc.) that show the development of your work and the sources you have used. You may need to show this to tutor at some point so notes should be clear and written in English. This is an important requirement. There may be circumstances where it is difficult to arrive at a mark for your work. If this is so you may be asked to submit your file within 3 working days and possibly meet with your tutor to answer questions on your submission.
Explanation of submission requirements and further guidance

•    Assessments are subject to a word limit to ensure consistency of approach across all modules. Your work should not exceed the limit indicated (excluding references and appendices). Do not feel that you have to “achieve” this word count in your work.  What is important is that the work satisfies the stated learning outcomes which are articulated through the assessment criteria (see following page).
•    Care is taken to ensure that work has been marked correctly. Checks are conducted by both a second lecturer and an independent expert from outside the University on batches of work.
•    Your work will not be returned to you but you will receive detailed feedback explaining how your mark has been arrived at and how your work could have been improved upon.
•    Always use the Harvard style referencing system. The University’s Learning Information Services have produced a series of guides covering a range of topics to support your studies and develop your academic skills including a guide to Harvard referencing http://www.wlv.ac.uk/lib/skills_for_learning/study_guides.aspx
•    Expensive or elaborate bindings and covers for submissions are not required in most instances. (Refer to guidelines however in the case of dissertations).
•    The Business School has a policy of anonymous marking of individual assessments which applies to most modules.  You should not identify yourself directly in the work you submit and you may need to use phrases such as “the author of this assignment ….”in the detail of your submission.
Avoid academic misconduct
Warning: Collusion, plagiarism and cheating are very serious offences that can result in a student being expelled from the University.  The Business School has a policy of actively identifying students who engage in academic misconduct of this nature and routinely applying detection techniques including the use of sophisticated software packages.
•    Avoid Collusion. The Business School encourages group working, however to avoid collusion always work on your own when completing individual assessments.  Do not let fellow students have access to your work at any stage and do not be tempted to access the work of others.  Refer to your module tutor if you do not understand or you need further guidance.
•    Avoid Plagiarism. You must use available and relevant literature to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject, however to avoid plagiarism you must take great care to acknowledge it properly. Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own.  This includes incorporating either unattributed direct quotation(s) or substantial paraphrasing from the work of another/others.  For this reason it is important that you cite all the sources whose work you have drawn on and reference them fully in accordance with the Harvard referencing standard. (This includes citing any work that you may have submitted yourself previously).   Extensive direct quotations in assessed work is ill advised because it represents a poor writing style, and it could lead to omission errors and a plagiarism offence could be committed accidentally.
•    Avoid the temptation to “commission” work or to cheat in other ways. There are temptations on the internet for you to take “short cuts”. Do not be tempted to either commission work to be completed on your behalf or search for completed past academic work.
When you submit your work you will be required to sign an important declaration that the submission is your own work, any material you have used has been acknowledged and referenced, you have not allowed another student to have access to your work, the work has not been submitted previously, etc.

Assessment Brief/ Task
The detailed requirements for this task are as follows:
Your task is to review the theoretical and empirical literature on non-executive directors on boards, and their effect on board and firm performance. Your report should include the following:
a)    An introduction to the domain of corporate governance and within it the role of boards.
b)    A critical review of different theoretical perspectives on the role and contribution of non-executive directors
c)    A review of the empirical literature on the effects of non-executive directors on board and firm performance.
d)    A conclusion in which you put forward recommendations on boards’ composition regarding the ratio of executive and non-executive directors (including implications for policy and practice).

The following information is important when:
•    Preparing for your assessment
•    Checking your work before you submit it
•    Interpreting feedback on your work after marking.
Assessment Criteria
The module Learning Outcomes tested by this assessment task are indicated on page 1. The precise criteria against which your work will be marked are as follows:
•    Thoroughness of understanding and evaluation of organisational theories related to corporate governance.
•    Comprehensiveness of review of empirical studies on non-executive directors and firm performance,
•    Quality of recommendations and their evidence base
•    Coherence of argument; accuracy of spelling, grammar and referencing

Performance descriptors
Performance descriptors indicate how marks will be arrived at against each of the above criteria. The descriptors indicate the likely characteristics of work that is marked within the percentage bands indicated.

90-100%    Outstanding review and synthesis of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. Exceptional breadth of review of empirical studies and an outstanding ability to categorise and synthesise results of empirical findings. Exceptional conclusion and recommendations that are fully theoretically and empirically grounded and offer potentially original insights. Exceptional coherence of arguments, flawless writing and completely accurate referencing.
80-89%    Excellent review and synthesis of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. Excellent breadth of review of empirical studies and associated ability to categorise and synthesise results of empirical findings. Excellent conclusion and recommendations that are fully theoretically and empirically grounded. Excellent coherence of arguments, excellent writing skills and completely accurate and complete referencing.
70-79%    Very good review and synthesis of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. Great breadth of review of empirical studies and associated ability to categorise and synthesise results of empirical findings. Very good conclusion and recommendations that are theoretically and empirically grounded. A very good line of arguments, very good writing skills, and complete and accurate referencing.
60-69%    A good review and synthesis of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executives. A comprehensive review of key empirical studies and a good ability to categorise and synthesise results of empirical findings. Sound conclusion and recommendations that are theoretically and/or empirically grounded. Arguments are coherent, the writing is good, and referencing is largely accurate and complete.
50-59%    A competent review and synthesis of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. A sound review of empirical studies and a reasonable ability to categorise and synthesise results of empirical findings. A clear conclusion and recommendations that are backed up by some evidence. Arguments are reasonably coherent, the writing is competent, and referencing is fairly accurate and complete
40-49%    A basic review of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. Some empirical studies are cited but there is insufficient categorisation and synthesis of results. Conclusions and recommendations are made but insufficiently backed up by evidence. Arguments lack coherence, and writing and referencing errors are evident.
30-39%    A weak and incomplete review of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. A weak and largely incomplete review of empirical studies with no real attempt at categorisation and synthesis of results. Weak conclusions and recommendations that are not evidenced and/or unrelated to the arguments in the main body. Arguments are not coherent, and there are numerous writing and referencing errors.
20-29%    An inadequate review of organisational theories related to corporate governance and specifically non-executive directors. A very poor and incomplete review of empirical studies with no attempt at categorisation and synthesis of results. Very poor conclusions and recommendations that have no evidence base and/or are wholly unrelated to the arguments in the main body. A very poorly written assignment that is replete with language and referencing errors.
10-19%    Little to no attempt to engage with the assignment brief
0-9%    No attempt to address the assignment brief

To help you further:
•    Refer to the WOLF topic for contact details of your module leader/tutor, tutorial inputs, recommended reading and other sources, etc.
•    The University’s Learning Information Services offer support and guidance to help you with your studies and develop your academic skills http://www.wlv.ac.uk/lib/skills_for_learning/study_guides.aspx

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