Work and Organizational Behaviour

Second edition

by Peter Sawchuk, Carolyn Forshaw, Militza Callinan & Martin Corbett

Skill development guide

Welcome to the skill development guide.

The exchange of information and the transmission of meaning are the very essence of work organizations. As others have pointed out, exercising organizational leadership depends upon the effective use of verbal and nonverbal language and behaviour. In order to be a successful manager of the future – and, of course, to pass your degree! – you will need to master these skills. This skill development guide is here to help you! Lecturers use a variety of assignments and methods to evaluate their students. This guide covers three popular approaches frequently used in business schools:

Click on the links above to find out more about each of them.

This guide has been designed help improve your communication skills rather than to replace taught modules in business communication.

The skill development guide has been prepared by Carolyn Forshaw. Click here to find out more about Carolyn and the other Work and Organizational Behaviour authors.

Further in-depth guidance on study skills is available on

Critical essay

The critical essay typically requires you to write a literature review of an OB topic, a description of an issue or problem related to the topic, and criticism and/or discussion. You need to learn how to go beyond a mere statement of facts as this will not be sufficient.

This guide will show you how to be objective, precise, logical and relevant, as well as how to support your argument/case with appropriate comment and/or quotations, and how to cite your sources. And it will also take you through the process of reviewing and editing your work to make sure it is as good as it can possibly be.

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Formal report

Written formal reports are a fact of life in organizations. They are difficult to define because of their diversity in purpose, length and form. However, management reports have one common purpose: they are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. Because of this, they will often form an important part of your course – in order to ensure that you are fully prepared for your future career.

This guide will take you step by step through the process of writing the report, giving you an explanation of each section it should contain.

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Oral presentation

The oral presentation, done individually or in a team, is another popular approach used by lecturers to evaluate students – especially as it develops oral communication and leadership skills, both important qualities for your future career.

However, preparing a presentation can be nerve-wracking and intimidating. This guide will take you through the process, explaining how you can use effective preparation, planning and practice to make sure things run smoothly.

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