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According to Fish and Twinn (1997) reflection can be defined as systematic, decisive and inspired thinking regarding certain act with the purpose of understanding its roots and procedures. According to Fish and Twin (1997), reflection has three stages-
The learning opportunity
The collection of information and critical analysis
The changed prospective ( Spalding, 1988)
So from the stated definition it can be presumed that reflection is a daily process where we reflect as a person in order to face everyday problems and situations. In other words it can be said as moveable processing of beliefs and judgments regarding an incident. So the reflection can be presented as:
What is reflection?Experience
Systematic, decisive and inspired thinking
(Fish and Twinn, 1997)
So the purposes of the Reflective analysis report is to identify gaps between the learning and skills, to analyze multifaceted and testing situations, to analyze the group dynamism and inspect the technique we normally use for decision making. (Bolton, 2001)
In order to translate the personal reflection in to formal procedure, Kolb’s (1984) reflective practice can be discussed.
Figure- Kolb’s cycle of reflective practice (Taken from Experimental learning, prentice Hall)
Here in this applied management project the main action from my point of view is to review the literature on market segment from a consumer manager’s prospective. Another mentionable action is the analysis and discussion part where I need to analysis the effects of new technology on market segmentation.
In case of completing this applied management project, the challenges I face are a lifelong experience to me. This applied management project is intended to imitate a realistic business situation, giving me the opportunity to show my ability in case of using knowledge and expertise obtained through the structure of the program. Through this applied management process I have successfully able to carry forward the learning of realistic business scenario in to the academic field. In addition I have also learned to underline the relationship among the variables of the program by synthesising and discovering new areas in details.
In the academic prospective the true reflection of this project will come when I will receive grades for this module. But the important point for me is the reflection in my career. That means how this project will help me to advance forward to face the challenges offered by the corporate world.
My overall impression regarding the writing of this applied management project is that this project will make me stronger and completive before I confront with the corporate world.
Chapter-2 Recollection of Experience
In order to demonstrate the experience I have faced in case of completing this applied management project, I would like use Gibbs (1998) cycle.
(If it arose again what you will do?)
(What were the feelings?)
(What was good and bad regarding the experience?)
(What sense can you make of the situation?)
Figure- Gibbs (1998) reflective cycle (Taken from A guide to teaching and learning methods, Oxford Brookes University)
Stage-1 Description of the event
As a part of the post graduate course ‘Msc in Marketing and Business Management’ I was asked to ask to complete an applied management project as my final module of the masters program. My project topic is on market segmentation and the effects of new technology into its effectiveness. As a part of this event, University authorities organized a whole week of tutor support sessions where topics such as plagiarism and Turnitin UK, discussion regarding the subject matter of reflection report and relevant information for referencing were discussed. That whole week of support session is worked as introductory pillar for this project.
Before the tutor support session, I was very nervous about the applied management project. As I have never done this types of project in my previous academic events. In fact the system of study I have faced in UK is very new to me and that was adding the pressure even more. But after that particular session where the full guide lines about the project was given, I felt relatively relaxed and confident of how I should approach this project.
After the tutor support sessions I formally started to plan about how to approach this project. At that point of time, I have two and half months in my hand to complete this project. First thing I have done was to prepare the notes about the lecture given at that study session. After that I prepared notes on daily basis. But one bad experience I have felt that when I heard that no formal tutor supports will be given after that particular event. Finally my over all experience at that time was very effective in case of completion of this project.
From the beginning I have prepared a plan regarding how to approach this project. As a part of my plan firstly I started collecting journals on daily basis. On the basis of those journals I started making notes regarding the subject matter. I took help of the hand book in order to break down the report into sub-parts. I also estimate the words allocation for each part. After that I started writing my project. So the experience I have gained in case of preparation of this project will be helpful for rest of my career.
After the successful completion of my report I can conclude that the challenges I have faced in the time of preparation of this project was to relate the articles of several authors to my designated topic. At the time of preparing this project I felt that the primary data such as questionnaire would make this project better. But we were limited to use only researched based secondary data and that is one of the limitation I have found.
Stage-6 Action Plan
If I am being asked to prepare an applied management project again in future, I will definitely do that particular task in a different way. Because from my point of view, if I do what I have done previously then I will only have what I have already got. So I will try to reflect the experiences I have gained through this particular project. Last but not the least, from my point of view the reflection cycle will be the same in case of the second task but the approaches, feelings, evaluation and analysis of that reflection will be more mature, as I will have the experiences of writing a reflective report before.
Chapter-3 Personal feelings and learning from the experience
In order to exhibit by my learning experience at different stages I would like to use Kolb’s and Fry’s (1996) experimental learning cycle.
Testing in new Situations
Figure- Kolb’s and Fry’s experimental learning cycle (Taken form Experimental learning: experience at source of learning and development, prentice-Hall)
The four stage of learning will demonstrate how my learning experience converted to reflection in the time of completing this applied management project. The first stage ‘concrete experience’ gives the learners opportunity to learn at the field level (Kolb, 1996) my learning at the tutor support session was a concrete experience for me. As according to the requirement of our applied management project, we don’t need to do any primary research at the field level. From my point of view that was a missed opportunity of gaining concrete experience. The second stage concentrates on ‘Observation and Reflection’ where a learner seriously considers and remembers about the experience gained at the first stage. (Kolb, 1996) According to my learning cycle, the period when I started to take the notes, regarding what happened to the tutor support session was the observation and reflection period. According to Kolb (1996), the third stage is ‘Abstract conceptualization’ where learners try to build a model or theory based on the observations made at the previous level. With no difference with other learners I have also gone through this stage. The time when I built a format of this applied management project based on the observations made during and after the tutor support period. On that session I also identified sub-sections of the project. At the final stage of Kolb’s (1996) learning cycle (Active experimentation), learners try to test the model and plan for upcoming events. In case of my scenario, the period where I was implementing the observations made at the earlier stages and time when I started thinking about this particular reflective report was the stage of active experimentation to me.
Chapter-4 Group dynamics and learning from the experience
According to dictionary.bnet.com, group dynamics can be referred as communication and interpersonal relationship among the group members. Basically it gives the direction, in which a group is formed and functioned. Although this applied management project is an individual task, but in order to facilitate our work we were formed in a group initially by the module coordinator. In order of develop an effective group there are certain stages. (Tuckman, 1965) they are-
Figure- stages of group development (Taken from Management and Organizational Behaviour, 7th edition, p-532)
Forming- This is the first stage when number individuals are bring together for the initial formation of our group. In case of our group, the stages of forming the group took place in the middle part of the tutor’s support session before we were handed out the AMP project.
Storming- In the second stage of group development, the members of the group let themselves know about each other and it is better for any group to give their opinions regarding any particular subject matter. The first storming session for our group held on the last three days of that particular session when students have the accessibility of taking helps from several tutor. On the first day of our meeting we formally get introduced to each other and have general discussion about the project.
Norming- This stage of group development involves conflicts and hostility among the group members. As our group members are from three different locations, we have differences in attitudes and norms. In the time of group sessions, we have certain conflicts regarding any particular subject matter but those brainstorming are constructive rather than distractive.
Performing- When any group overcome the previous stages of group development successfully, then we can assume that it has developed the structure and cohesiveness to perform. After the general discussion, the first task we allocated to ourselves as group is to collect one journal which relates to our project. Through that activity we formally started performing as group.
Adjourning- The final stage of group development was the time when the support session was over. From then we share certain information related to our project through mail and started giving concentration towards writing the project.
In order to identify the cohesiveness of our group, factors that are contributing to group performance can be used.
Level of participation in the group
Level of conformity to norms
Emphasis on goal accomplished
Figure- Group cohesiveness and performance (Taken form Management and Organizational behaviour, 7th edition, p- 529)
Group Size- Our group for this applied management project has consisted of nine members. Five of them including me are Bangladeshi. Two of them from India and rest of the two are from Libya.
Managed Diversity- In case of diversity, the more homogenous the group in terms of characteristics such as shared backgrounds, interests, attitudes and values, the more successfully the cohesiveness works. ( Mullins, 2005) In case of our group, the group members are from three different locations and that’s why we need to cope up with the diversification factors such shared value.
Group Identity – Out of nine members of our group five of them including me are Bangladeshi, two of them are Indians and rest of them are from Libya.
Success- The more cohesive the group, the more likely to be successful. Success is a big motivational factor in a group. Our main motivation as group is to get good grades in the project from the academic prospective. But from the career point of view the reflection of this group work will be a great lesson for our future career development.
Based on those features the following outcomes will come:
Level of participation in the group- After the formation of the group, we assign sever task among the group members. All our group members participated equally in the specified task selected by ourselves. For example on the first day of group meetings, we were assigned ourselves to collect a journal each and with the help of those articles we discussed several issues regarding matters related to our topics.
Level of conformity to norms- As previously mentioned our group members are from three different locations, we have certain disruptions and conflicts amongst us in regard to certain issues. But those conflicts help each of us as several issues were come out because of those sessions. So although the conformity of our group was low at starting level but we began to jell together as a team as our discussion goes on.
Emphasis on goal accomplished- In those group sessions, our main goal was to complete this applied management project on time. But before that we have set certain objectives for our group in order to achieve the main goal. For example we have discussed regarding structure of the project. After that particular group session we focused on our individual task which is to writing the project individually.
Chapter- 5 Lessons for future projects
Finally from the learning and experience I had in terms of completion of this applied management project, I have generated five lessons which can prove useful for the future projects.
Critical Analysis- The first thing I want to mention, after the successful completion of this applied management project, is the analysis abilities. If I wish to do better in such kinds of projects in future, I will need to use the experiences and knowledge gained from this project, so that I can analyse certain issues much more critically and constructively.
Synthesis/creativity- After the successful completion of this applied management project, I have understood that creative thinking is very important in case of handling these kinds of project more efficiently. If can synthesise information unconventionally, generate new hypothesis and redefine previous knowledge to develop new ideas, I will able to improve my performance for future group activities and projects.
Evaluation of the situation- Another key lesson I have learned through this applied management project is the ability to evaluate certain situation. In order to do well in future projects, I will have to evaluate recent research autonomously, need to use the methodologies appropriately and will have to justify the work of self and others.
Enhanced level of confidence- Before the start of this applied management project, I was feeling very nervous regarding the matter of how should I approach this project. But towards end part of this project the lessons I have learned have increased my confidence level to a certain level that will help me in case of handling any future group task or any other individual project.
Time consciousness – Final lesson I have learned is the time awareness. By completing this project I have learned how I need to utilize the timing factor more effectively.
Chapter -6 Conclusion
Finally at the end of this reflection report it can be concluded that people’s visualization may vary person to person but it’s important not to go far away from our main topic. This report is basically the reflection of work that I have done in my main project. Form the word reflection we can presume that it is a middle process of turning experience into learning. (Boyd and Fales, 1983) So form the above definition we can say that reflection is the process through which person can become efficient in one behaviour by repeating the same behaviour again and again or may learned from his previous experiences in order to improve his techniques. Last but not the list, in order to increase generic skills outcomes, presentation and evaluation skills more effectively we need to utilized the concept of reflection in the academic purposes as well as outside the academic field.
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