Internal Factors Driving And Enabling Organisational Performance Education Essay

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The module aims to ensure students develop an understanding of the external and internal factors driving and enabling organisational performance improvement and business excellence. The syllabus introduces current issues and debates regarding the challenge of balancing efficiency, effectiveness and equity/societal outcomes. Students proceed to evaluate the application of business excellence and performance/quality management frameworks commonly used across industry sectors, while also critically reflecting on the theories, assumptions and management practices underpinning these improvement models.

Students that successfully complete this module will have developed critical awareness and understanding of the need for organisations to continuously improve their processes in order to maintain competitiveness and deliver value to stakeholders across a range of sectors. The module therefore focuses upon continuous improvement principles, practices and techniques for ensuring effective and sustainable improvement of processes, thereby developing an ability to analyse and continuously improve the performance of operating systems; their design; management; associated planning and control and socio-economic performance.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

Critically evaluate the role of continuous improvement within total quality and total organisational excellence models and frameworks.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of key principles, practices and techniques of continuous improvement; including the distinction between continuous improvement and innovation.

Critically evaluate performance measurement and improvement systems and approaches and the utilisation of contemporary review /improvement approaches to the enhancement of operating systems.

Critically evaluate the role of quality system standards in promoting continuous improvement demonstrating knowledge of how strategy and policy deployment encourage and develop the commitment and participation of everyone in the organization for continuous improvement.

The following employability/transferable skills are embedded within the module:

Critical thinking and problem solving

Cognitive/intellectual skills

Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject

Learning style and orientation to learning

Independent working; planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development

Information retrieval skills

Research skills

Group working.

Module Teaching Team:

Angela Sutherland, tel: 0141 331 3966, email:,

room W226B (Module Leader).

Chengbo Wang, tel: 0141 331 8379, email:, room W218A

Dan Perry, tel: 0141 331 3344, email:, room: W209.

Karen Fryer, tel: 0141 331 3384, e mail: room: W218A

2. The Learning, Teaching & Assessment Strategy

The learning, teaching and assessment strategy supporting this module is designed to enable students to deepen their conceptual understanding of organisational performance management issues building on their personal knowledge and experience, while also learning from the collective experiences of other students on the programme. Lectures aim to help students develop an understanding of Continuous Performance Improvement theories, concepts, tools and techniques. Seminar discussions aim to consolidate this learning and give students a chance to engage in critical reflection with their peers, to test-out ideas and get feedback on their learning. Seminar activities include student-led discussion of case studies, as well as group presentations and discussion forums held to facilitate peer support and learning.

The teaching and learning strategy will primarily focus on the achievement of learning outcomes by the students. A managed learning environment will be created to support and enhance the student learning experience. Lectures and seminars will be used to introduce the key theoretical principles, practices and techniques relating to the continuous improvement of organisational processes and systems. Group working in participative seminars using case studies and practical examples will support both the development of module outcomes and a range of personal transferable skills. The teaching philosophy revolves around the use of Blackboard VLE whereby student resources will be served on a dedicated module website which provides a range of sophisticated learning resources.

Blackboard support

The module is supported on Blackboard. The site provides access to selected slides/visuals from lectures; additional materials; web-links relevant to lecture topics; further reading associated with lectures and seminars; and details of seminar and assessment tasks. The site will be updated regularly with information where appropriate.

The CPI module site on Blackboard should be regularly consulted: however, it is not a replacement for lectures/seminars, as only support material will be placed on it. The idea of lectures is that they provide "added value" - i.e. you will gain insights into different concepts and understandings of a subject, and will often have things explained in a number of different ways to help you understand what is important about the subject area.

What is expected of you in this module?

You should remember that a single lecture or seminar on a topic cannot cover everything you ought to know: you are expected to undertake reading before and after lectures and seminars to inform your note-taking, and deepen your understanding of the topic. Reading and proper preparation before seminars is vital. You are wasting your own time if you come along without any prior knowledge and do not contribute to discussion.

You are expected to listen / respond / ask questions / act like a human being and show some interest / signs of life during seminars. The module will pass so much quicker this way….

The satirical bit to try and put modules into perspective.

Technically speaking your effort for each 15 credit postgraduate module (such as this one) should equate to 150 hours over the semester. Knock off 36 hours for lectures and seminars and that leaves you around 114 hours worth of reading, assessment preparation etc. That's about 8-10 hours a week, outside class hours - which you should be using on study for the module. (Ever wondered why you don't score higher than 55% in assignments? How much time do you actually spend on class preparation; and how many of the course texts have you actually read? This might hint at a reason.)

Lecture resources

To help you get the most out of each lecture, and assist you with note-taking and further study, each lecture will have a designated learning outcome and plan. Relevant reading for the lecture will also be highlighted, along with any websites which might provide further information resources. Follow-up activities and related seminar activities have also been designed to help make the topics more understandable.


The assessment of the module is a report undertaking a critical analysis of a particular issue and or topic area. The report should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words, and may contain diagrams, table, illustrations, charts, and supplementary materials etc.

Learning methods

Approximate Student Time



Directed learning






Independent learning




Notional student effort

150 hours

3. Teaching and Learning Schedule

The 3 hour teaching block with be used flexibly, and will contain a mixture of lectures, team workshop activities and plenary sessions to give you the opportunity to share your experiences and test and develop your level of understanding through discussion with your tutors and your peers. Part of this time will be devoted to assessed team presentations and discussions. Lectures are used to communicate to the key concepts, theories, tools and techniques which you will need to understand to successfully complete the assessments on the module. The lectures will cover the topics outlined in the lecture schedule below and you should attempt to keep up with the weekly reading - try to do some before and some after each class. Attendance at lectures is extremely important as the PowerPoint slides available on BB are only an outline of material covered and do no contain the fuller explanations and examples provided in class. It is therefore important to listen, take notes and participate in lectures in order to develop your level of understanding, as well as to share your knowledge and experiences. It is also important to follow up the reading references given weekly in the lectures. The following is an indicative schedule and may change.

Lecture Schedule


Weekly Topics


Lecturer - Angela Sutherland

Module Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy.

The need for continuous performance improvement: What is continuous improvement? Difference between continuous improvement and innovation.

2 & 3

Lecturer - Chengbo Wang

The role of quality standards and awards: Generic and industry quality system standards and awards that drive improvement: e.g. ISO 9001:2000 & EFQM Excellence model; The role of benchmarking and self-assessment within the Excellence Model and Best Value frameworks.


Lecturer - Chengbo Wang

Continuous improvement practices and techniques: Quality tools and techniques for process improvement:


Lecturer - Karen Fryer

Process improvement: The process model and performance objectives of operating systems.


Lecturer - Karen Fryer

Performance measurement: Key performance indicators; setting improvement objectives and targets, process measurement systems and their effects upon motivation; Balanced Scorecard Methodology.


Lecturer- Karen Fryer

Continuous improvement principles: Key models of Continuous Improvement. The meaning of 'quality' in the manufacturing, service, voluntary and public sectors. The service 'Gap' model, measuring service quality.


Lecturer - Chengbo Wang

Cost of Quality, quality circle tools, statistical process control and 6-sigma framework, technical and process improvement; Business Process Reengineering and its link with CI.


Lecturer - Karen Fryer

Human resource and culture: the development of improvement programmes and their effect on staff and the associated culture and barriers to the creation and implementation of sustainable continuous improvement programmes.


Lecturer - Angela Sutherland

Operations with a 'conscience'. Challenges with multiple objectives & stakeholder groups, Frameworks to promote CSR awareness and business ethics.


Lecturer - Daniel Perry

Benchmarking for Continuous Improvement


Lecturer - Angela Sutherland

Review of overall module and discussion of Coursework Assignment (100% weighting)

4. Reading

Reading/study materials

The general reading list will provide much of the basic knowledge you need to get to grips with for the module. You will need to undertake wider reading and follow up references from these and other materials however if you want to gain a good understanding of the module subject area.

Essential reading

Brown, Steve; Blackmon, Kate; Cousins, Paul; Maylor, Harvey; Operations Management, policy, practice and continuous improvement; Butterworth-Heinmann, 2001


Brown, Steve; Lamming, Richard; Bessant, John; Jones, Peter; Strategic Operations Management; Butterworth-Heinmann, 2000

Dale, Barrie G, Managing quality, 3rd Ed, Blackwell, 1999

Imai, M. Kaizen (Ky'zen): The key to Japan's competitive success, McGraw-Hill NY 1986

Johnston, Robert & Clark, Graham, Service Operations management, Pearson Ed / Prentice-Hall, 2001

Oakland, John S. Total Quality Management: The route to improving performance (2nd Ed), 1994, Butterworth-Heinmann

Oakland, John; Total Quality Management: Text with cases (2nd Ed), Butterworth-Heimann, 2000.

Oakland, John S; Total Organisational Excellence: Achieving world class performance, Butterworth-Heinmann, 2001

Schonberger, R.J.; Knod, E.M.; Operations Management: Continuous Improvement (5th Ed.), Irwin, 1994

Watson, L; Gallagher, K; Managing for Results, London: CIPD. 2005.

Journals, Sources and References

International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management

The TQM Magazine

Total Quality Management

Journal of operations management

Managing Service Quality


British Standards Online

ISO 9000

Investors in Peoplehttp://www.iipuk/about/index.html


European Organisation for Quality:

Chartermark, Service First:

Quality Scotland Foundation:

Competitive Scotland

British Quality Foundation,

Chartered Management Institute,

European Centre for Business Excellence,

Office of Government Commerce,

Quality Management Systems,

Six Sigma,

5. Avoiding Plagiarism [1] 

Plagiarism is considered by Glasgow Caledonian University to be a very serious offence, which can result in severe penalties. The regulations concerning this area are complex and students are strongly advised to study the definitions and interpretations that are contained in Appendix 8 of the University Assessment Regulations It is vital that all students have read and understood this section of the University's Assessment Regulations.

Plagiarism is defined in the Assessment Regulations as the deliberate and substantial unacknowledged incorporation in students' work of material derived from the work (published or unpublished) of another. Essentially, to plagiarise means to steal from the writing or ideas of another [2] . Whilst the writings and ideas of others form an important part of academic work, the work of others must be clearly identifiable and distinguished from the students own writings and ideas. Failure to acknowledge properly the work of others is plagiarism, whether or not you intended to represent the work as your own.

Examples of plagiarism include:

The use of another's material or ideas without due acknowledgment of the source.

Copying the work of another student with or without that student's knowledge or consent.

Deliberate use of commissioned material or data collected by another and passing it off as the student's own. This includes the 'cutting and pasting' of material from websites, without acknowledgement.

To avoid any possible allegation of plagiarism being made it is important to fully acknowledge the source when using ideas or written material, including tables and figures, from another person or from an internet source. Please refer to the full guidance given by your programme study skills induction sessions on how to reference books, journal articles and internet sources, but, in brief, the basic principle of citation and referencing are as follows :

In the case of a short section of text that is taken unchanged from another's work, the text must appear within quotation marks with an acknowledgement to the original work using the surname, year, page number convention [Example: (Oakland, 2003, p8)].

If a large section of text is taken unchanged, the selected text must be indented from both sides and appear within quotation marks with an acknowledgement given to the original work using the surname, year, page number convention [Example: (Oakland, 2003, pp40-41)].

Where an idea, argument or work of another is paraphrased, the paraphrased version should be sufficiently removed from the original text version so that obvious copying, with only minor changes being made to the text, does not occur. An acknowledgement must also be given to the original idea, argument or work using the surname year convention [Example: (Oakland, 2003)].

Full details of all reference cited in your work, should be disclosed by the inclusion of a complete and comprehensive listing of all sources cited in the text, listed in alphabetical order, by author surname. [Example: Oakland, J. S. (2003), 'Total Quality Management: text with cases', Oxford:Elsevier].

The Harvard Referencing System is the recommended style for citation in the text and reference listing.

For further detail please consult Glasgow Caledonian University's Regulations on plagiarism.

6. Submission Guidelines

If you require an extension you must request one in advance of the hand-in date and put your request to the Module Leader. Late submissions without having been granted formal permission will be subject to penalties, with 10% deducted off the final mark for coursework submitted up to 1 day after the given date, 20% deducted for submissions of between 2 and 3 days late and 30% deducted for late coursework of between 4 and 5 days. Coursework submitted after 5 days of the due date may be accepted and awarded a '0'% mark.

Your coursework should be submitted to Turnitin prior to submission, to enable you to 'self-check' that you have referenced properly throughout your coursework. The Turnitin system has been specifically set up to allow you to submit as many times as you feel is necessary to avoid possible allegation of plagiarism.

You must submit an electronic copy of your coursework to the programme leader, in addition to submitting a hard copy in the box outside the Programme Administrator's office. Failure to do this will result in an automatic 'fail'.

If you do not submit at all and have not provided evidence of extenuating circumstances, this will then be counted as a non-submission and a failed first attempt. You are then given a second and final attempt situation where the coursework has to be submitted by a given date.

Please note that you have only two attempts at passing any piece of coursework.

7. Assessment Marking Guidelines

N.B. This marking scheme is only indicative as every element of the scheme may not be appropriate for every assignment component.


Exceptional performance

Remit set for the assignment is fully covered.

Mastery of the subject area that demonstrates exceptional insight into relevant literature and both breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding.

Extensive evidence of critical and deep knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

Demonstrates outstanding ability to make inter-relationship between concepts, theories and industry policy and practice.

Displays outstanding effort to undertake research.

Excellent presentation, writing style, and accurate referencing/citation.

Fully meets the module learning outcomes covered by the assessment.


Excellent performance [distinction mark is 70%]

Remit set for the assignment is fully covered.

Very good and critical comprehension of the subject area with some evidence of deep knowledge and understanding of a number of relevant theories, principles and concepts.

Presents evidence of critical and deep knowledge of the subject area and literature.

Demonstrates a clear ability to make relationships between concepts, theories and industry policy and practice. 

Displays excellent secondary research skills.

Demonstrates significant ability in synthesising knowledge from different sources.

Excellent presentation, writing and referencing/citation style.

Fully meets the module learning outcomes covered by the assessment.


Good performance

Full coverage of the remit.

Good comprehension of the subject area with some evidence of knowledge and understanding of key theories, principles and concepts, but lacking depth or critique in some areas.

Demonstrates some ability to make relationships between concepts, theories and industry policy and practice. 

Good comprehension of how concepts and knowledge may be applied to improve business policies or practices.

Demonstrates ability in synthesising knowledge from different sources and use findings from a literature review appropriately.

Overall very good presentation, writing and referencing/citation style, with only minor flaws.

Fully meets the module learning outcomes for the assessment.

50 -59%

Satisfactory performance

Satisfactory coverage of the report remit.

Satisfactory comprehension of the subject area with some insight into relevant issues, theories, principles and concepts, but lacking depth of analysis or critique.

Some relevant company/industry research undertaken and some appropriate literature has been drawn on in the discussion, but further evidence required to fill gaps in some parts of the report.

Some ability to identify and comprehend how concepts and knowledge may be applied to improve business policies or practices.

Further practice required in skills related to synthesising knowledge from different sources

More attention required to presentation, writing or citation/referencing style.

Meets the module learning outcomes for the assessment.

40 -49%

Unsatisfactory performance - Marginal Fail

Unsatisfactory coverage of the remit.

Poor comprehension of the subject and little evidence of a full understanding of relevant theories, principles and concepts. 

Unsatisfactory evidence that sufficient industry/company research has been undertaken or literature reviewed.

Demonstrates a poor ability to synthesise knowledge from different sources

Significant weaknesses in presentation, writing and referencing/citation style also need to be addressed.

Meets only some of the module learning outcomes for the assessment.


Poor Fail

Unsatisfactory; significant gaps evident in meeting the remit set for the assessment.

Only demonstrates a very basic and superficial level of knowledge of the subject area with inadequate evidence of industry/company research and/or engagement with literature.  

Minimal evidence of understanding of link between theories and business policy and practice.

Demonstrates little evidence of an ability to synthesise knowledge from different sources.

Incomplete evidence presented for arguments or conclusions presented.

Does not meet the module learning outcomes for the assessment.


Bad fail

Clear failure, does not meet the remit set for the assessment.  

Minimal knowledge of the subject area and lack of evidence of even a basic understanding of relevant theories, principles and concepts. 

Inadequate and incomplete evidence of research effort or of reading of appropriate literature.

Severe weaknesses relating to the synthesise of knowledge from different sources.

Little/no understanding of links between theoretical concepts and business policy or practice.

Major flaws in presentation, writing style and referencing/citation style

Does not meet the learning outcomes of the module.


Very bad fail

Demonstrates a serious and unacceptable lack of knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

No evidence of understanding of relevant theories, principles and concepts.

No evidence of appropriate company/industry research

Very serious flaws in presentation, writing style and referencing/citation style.

No ability to synthesise knowledge from sources.

Does not meet the learning outcomes of the module.