Assignment #2 Overview
Students will undertake further critical analysis of the problem introduced in Assessment 1, from a systems perspective. Students will develop a complex map of how various actors and factors contribute to, or inhibit, the problem being investigated. Students will draw on, and justify the system dynamic model, using existing data.
Length: 1,500 words
Brief overview of Assessment Item #2
This assessment item is about creating a systems map of the factors and actors of modern day slavery in your chosen industry.
To put that as a question:
• How does systems thinking explain the development of modern slavery in a specific context?
The first stage of this process is to set a boundary to ths system by selecting a particular industry, or even part of an industry. For example you can look at fashion or you can look at a specific sub-section (e.g. footware) or even smaller (e.g. athletic footwear). The reason you do this is to have specific information about that industry, so you are not trying to map everything but just the specific elements. Additionally if you do look at footwear, then you will be also looking at the components of the shoes, such as plastic / rubber for the soles as well as the materials for the upper (fabric).
You may also bound the system by focussing on a couple of countries. All of this is about trying to make sure the assignment is manageable.
In order to do this you should gather information from existing sources on the key elements of the system:
• The actors (so which are the main organisations involved). The best way to do this is to understake something like a stakeholder analysis, but also look for other main groups.
• The factors (such as markets) - a good way to start this is to think about a PESTLE analysis.
• How do these actors and factors interact in order to cause slavery?
• Think in terms of causes and consequences.
• The information needs to be from reputable sources such as government departments, academic research, think tanks, news sources, etc.
• You will need to reference all material which is not your own.
From this information you will need to work at creating a systems map. We will be working in class and in the tutorials on how to develop these. As discussed in class how you create a map is up to you (so in word, using a mind map software, using online tools, by hand with post it notes and paper)
Your final assessment item will include the system map and will also include an essay arguing the key elements of the system. You will need to discuss the actors, factors and how they interact to create the dynamic of the system.
Brief description of your chosen industry
• Size, scale, importance
• Make clear the context and system boundary for your industry
Overview of the system
Brief outline and justification of systems thinking to understand modern slavery as an ethical issue.
Articulation of the various parts of the system (actors and factors) with evidence and justification in the form of an assignment. How you can show that a factor is linked to another should be explained in this part of the assignment. For example, if you found an article which stated that -increased demand for cheap goods has placed pressure on suppliers to increase supply- then citing this in your assignment and including it in your text will help to demonstrate the causal link between the two.
Over all you are seeking to develop a comprehensive map of the system with the factors and actors, the nonlinear interaction between the two. The causes and consequences of modern day slavery should be clearly articulated. Additionally the consequences (or impact) on the lives of those impacted by slavery should be made clear and the consequences of leaving the system unchanged should be clearly articulated.
The assignment text should be clearly linked to the systems map you have developed.
The final part of the assessment is a reflection on systems thinking and how this helps to understand the causes and consequneces of systemic evil, such as modern slavery.
Appendices / Attachments
You should attach the systems map (causal loop diagram) as an attachment to the assignment.
You can also attach the PESTLE Analysis and Stakeholder Analysis as well.