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Support for Assessment 2 - Case study


For assessment 2 you must critique a supplied case study, and answer an associated key question. You responses will be submitted as a report. This resource will assist you in finding scholarly references to support your responses. 

Please see your course outline and course site for the full assessment details, case study and key question.

What is a case study?

Watch the video below for an overview of case studies (4 min):

For more information and tips on case studies, consult the link below.

1. Identify keywords

Before you start searching you should:

  • Identify the main concepts within your topic or question
  • Think of alternative words or synonyms you could search for

For the sample question:
Does the rewards system ensure strategic objectives are met and employees are suitably motivated to perform?

Concepts Alternative words and synonyms
Reward system rewards and recognition, compensation, employee benefits, pay for performance, renumeration
Strategic objectives organisational goals, business targets,
Employee performance staff motivation, employee motivation, staff performance, performance management, staff engagement

You've also been encouraged to address HR theory in your responses. You could add this as another search concept:

Concepts Alternative words and synonyms
Theory theories, theorist, behavior reinforcement theory, expectancy theory, equity theory, agency theory, Vroom, Adam, Alchian, Demsetz, Jensen, Meckling, Ross, Mitnick

2. Plan your search

Now combine your terms, to create a search strategy:

  • Use AND to connect different concepts 
  • Use OR to connect alternative keywords 
  • Use "double quotes" around phrases to find an exact match 

Some search tools feature multiple text entry boxes.
Enter your search in a table, like box 1 above. For example:

  "rewards and recognition" OR compensation
AND "strategic objectives" OR "business targets" OR "corporate goals"
AND motivation OR engagement

Other search tools only have a single search box.
Enter your search as a single line, using brackets around each concept:

("rewards and recognition" OR compensation) AND ("strategic objectives" OR "business targets" OR "corporate goals") AND (motivation OR engagement)

To learn more about planning your search, view:

What are scholarly sources?

For this assessment, you must use a minimum of ten scholarly, authoritative sources. 

Scholarly sources are also referred to as academic sources. They include peer-reviewed (refereed) materials. These can include journal articles, books, book chapters, reports and other sources.

The resources below explain further:

3. Find scholarly references

The Library Collection can be a useful starting point in locating scholarly sources.

Here is our example search for the library collection:

Image: Library collection search box with keywords

: From the results page, select "Refine my results" to limit to Peer Reviewed, a date range, or Full Text Online

Google Scholar can also find scholarly material.  Use the Advanced search for greater option flexibility when searching:

  • select the hamburger menu in the top left (),
  • then select Advanced search.

Note that in the Google Scholar Advanced Search:

  • "All of the words" is used instead of AND, and
  • "At least one of the words" is used instead of OR.

An example Google Scholar advanced search is below:

Image: Google scholar advanced search entry box with keywords


Tip: Access Google Scholar via the link above, or from the Library home page. This will recognise the Library's subscriptions and provide access to the full text of many scholarly/academic articles.

Business Source Ultimate is the world's definitive scholarly business database, covering all things business. 

An example search in Business Source Ultimate is below.
Note that you can use the + icon under the search box to add more rows if necessary.

Image: Business Source Ultimate search box with sample keywords

Tip: One your results have loaded, use Limit To on the left to filter to peer-reviewed journals or select a publication date. 

4. Additonal resources

5. Evaluate references

Before writing, consider whether you have enough information. You may need to revisit your search strategy:

  • Not enough results? Remove a concept, or add extra keywords.
  • Too many results? Add a concept, or remove extra keywords

It is also important to evaluate the suitability of the resources that you find. The below video can help:

6. Write your report

It is now time to assemble your information into a report. Your course site has some tips to get you started and details the required structure.

Another useful source is Study Help, an online hub packed with resources to help with assignments and develop study skills. Their below short video (2 min 53 sec) discusses report writing specifically:

Need more help? Consult the below guide.

7. Cite (referencing)

You are required to cite the references you have used in your report. Consult your course page for information about the style you should use. 

The resources below will help you to get started.