Skip to Main Content

Finding resources for Assessment 2

1. What do you need to do?

Assignment 2: Case study

Assessment 2 consists of two connected parts:

  • a PowerPoint presentation (Assessment 2a) and
  • a Report (Assessment 2b).

The purpose of these two assignments is to develop your strategic awareness and capability in the design and delivery of HR systems and operations.

Note: For full assessment details read the assessment details in your course website and course outline.

2. STEEPLED analysis

In your assignment you must consider the external environment which affects organisational policy. You can consider some external factors from the table below, using the STEEPLED analysis.

Field Some examples of key drivers for SHRM strategy
Socio-cultural Social characteristics & geographical distribution, working population, cultural groups, education & training, religion, social values & beliefs
Technological Information & communication technologies, biotechnology, medical advances, nanotechnology, robotics, technological change, research & development
Economic Macro-economic policy, markets & prices, price levels, global trends, market structures, size of firms, profits, public spending, taxation, consumption & investment spending, wages & salaries, public services, imports & exports, exchange rates, balance of payments, employment & unemployment, labour & capital markets
Environmental Global warming, conserving natural resources, sustainable development, pollution, carbon footprints, protecting the eco-environment
Political Party politics, government, opposition, public administration, public policy, local government, pressure groups, public opinion, international organisations
Legal Laws: employment, health & safety, consumer protection, company, codes of practice, regulatory bodies, the legal system & the courts
Ethical Balancing stakeholder interests, ethical: business/workplace relations; production; consumption; purchasing. Employee welfare, human rights, corporate social responsibility
Demographic Demography by size, age, gender, ethnicity, social background

3. Plan your search

Before you start searching for academic sources, plan your approach. 

Start by:

  1. Identifying the key concepts to search for your topic.
  2. Then brainstorm alternative terms that may be used. Consider:
    • plurals and various word endings (e.g. work, workplace, workplaces) 
    • common acronyms (e.g. HR, HRM, SHRM)
    • different word spellings (e.g. organisation, organization)

A mind map or table can be a good strategy for organising ideas. As you search you will identify more terms which you can add to the table.

In this example, we explore these concepts: the SHRM strategy "talent management" AND age (the external factor):

Key concepts Strategy example: talent management External factor example: (Demographic): age
Alternative terms


"talent management"

"talent pool"

"workforce management"

"personnel management"




"aging workforce"

"older talents"

4. Background research

Use a variety of sources of information in your background research on the organisational context.

Start by searching the company's website. They may have listed media releases, annual reports, and promotions.  Look for key information under headings such as:

  • About or About us
  • Our story or Our history

Use the Company and Industry Information guide to source company/ industry information, financial/annual reports, media coverage and legislation/regulation.

Use the News Media guide to access international news sites and databases.

5. Understanding scholarly sources

Watch the video below to learn about scholarly sources (2 min 22 sec)

6. Choose where to search

As well as referring to your readings for ideas, facts and concepts for this assessment you can also find academic sources to support your report.

Tip: Googling is not considered as a legitimate search method for this assignment nor is it a substitute for reading relevant course material.

We recommend searching the following:

Getting Started  Key databases
Library Collection  Business Source Ultimate

7. How to search

The Library Collection is a useful starting point for locating academic references. It contains books, DVDs, journal and newspaper articles and more.

To perform a search, add:

  • double quotes (" ") for phrases
  • truncation (*) to find the plural and other forms of a word

Connect your terms using AND, OR and NOT

  • Use AND to combine different concepts (all terms must appear in results)
  • Use OR to combine alternative words (any term can appear in results)

From the results list you can:

  • Limit to articles from Peer Reviewed publications 
  • Limit by Date eg 2013 to 2023
  • View the full text for many items

More help:

Business Source Ultimate provides information covering all areas of business including accounting and finance; banking; finance and insurance; construction; computer science; economics and more.

How to search Business Source Ultimate:

  1. Type each of your different concepts into a search field. Using the connector AND will include both concepts in your search results.
  2. You can broaden your search by adding synonyms or alternative concepts using the connector OR.

From the results page, the limits menu on the left will allow you to refine by date range and to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals.

Scopus is one of the largest multidisciplinary bibliographic databases. Scopus covers peer reviewed journals, trade journals, books and book chapters, conference papers and patents. Material chosen for inclusion meets strict selection criteria such as type of peer review and significance to the field. 

Learn how to conduct a basic search in Scopus by watching the tutorial video on their website:

8. Prepare your PowerPoint presentation

For Assessment 2a you are to produce a PowerPoint presentation

9. Report writing

Now that you have done your research it is time to put all of your information together.

Watch this video (2m 53s) on report writing.

10. Referencing support

Other referencing support tools: Referencing software (EndNote)

What do you do with all those references you have found? Use a bibliographic management software to store, organise and cite your references.

The Library supports the bibliographic management tool EndNote. There are also many free systems available.

EndNote Guide

11. Rate this resource