BSc Business Management


Work, Organizations and Society


Coursework assignment


Spring Term 2016

The assignment is to write a 1,000 word essay on one of the following topic areas:


  1. Skills/wages/technology/inequality/bad jobs
  2. Manufacturing/industry/service/retail/finance
  3. Labor/union
  4. Professions
  5. Gender/Race

The assignment requires you to base your paper on four academic journal articles:


An academic or scholarly journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research. Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews.


Here links to lists of sociology journals and academic management journals. You should find research articles or review articles (not book reviews, which are clearly labelled as such).


The assignment involves the following steps:


  1. In order to figure out a specific topic to write about within the general topic areas above, read about a topic area on Work in Progress, a blog of the American Sociological Association on work and organizations.
  2. The majority of the blog posts are short articles, typically around 800-1,500 words. There are a small number of shorter blog posts, which are brief commentaries rather than polished articles (here is an example). You should focus on the polished, 800-1,500 word articles.
  3. On the blog, search around a topic area using the above terms (e.g. “skill,” “wage,” “technology,” etc). Pick a blog article you like, and then find an academic journal article from that author on that topic.
  4. Look on the author’s webpage for a list of their publications or their CV; or search for their name (and possibly the topic) on Google Scholar
  5. In most – but not all – cases, the author of a blog article will have written a journal article or book chapter on the topic. If not, you can write on any topic (which is about sociology of work in a broad sense) about which that author has written an academic journal.
  6. Find three other academic journal articles that are on the same topic as the one you picked in step 3. Your essay must be based on a minimum of FOUR academic journal articles, one of which must be from the author of the blog article you picked (if a blog article has more than one author, you only need to cite a journal article by one of the authors). The other three journal articles should be from different authors.
  7. It will take some creativity in finding a coherent topic; you’ll often have to broaden your topic from the focus of the first article to a wider focus.
  8. Come up with your own title for the essay
  9. Make an argument about the topic, using the journal articles as the basis – evidence and theory – for your argument.
  10. In order to find the other three academic journal articles, search Google Scholar
  11. If you have any questions about finding academic sources, ask a librarian!
  12. You should not have to pay for journal articles; KCL has access to most of them through the library. In order to access journal articles from off campus, please see this page.

iii. You must include a citation of the blog article you based your search on. Example:

  1. “Cervantes, Andrea Gómez and ChangHwan Kim. 2016. “Male immigrants with darker skin have fewer job opportunities than women and those with lighter skin,” Work in Progress 26 Jan.”
  2. You may email me questions regarding whether the blog articles and theme you have picked are good and whether your four journal articles are good and on a coherent theme.

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