Assessment Task 2: Academic Research- Evidence based approach to People Analytics

Assessment Brief


This assessment is a report and students will work in groups (maximum of 3 in a group).  Assessment 2 (A2) and Assessment 3 (A3) are constructively aligned – that means you need to complete A2 to be able to complete A3. You will complete A2 and scaffold the results of this assessment to then apply to A3 for the hypothetical organisation, Australian Outdoors. As part of the People Analytics Team, your role is to analyse business problems, identify potential causes, and use data analysis to inform decision-makers.

Learning Outcomes

The targeted Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this assessment are:

  • CLO2: Explore and evaluate different sources of information about people, and the information systems in which they are kept.
  • CLO3: Examine the importance of good quality data and effective data governance to robust analytics.

Marking Criteria

This assessment will measure your ability to:

  • Conduct academic research to develop evidenced-based approach to People Analytics
  • Apply People Analytics to solve business issues
  • Design quantitative survey instruments

Assessment Details


In Assessment 2, you will take evidence-based approach by conducting academic research to identify causes behind a specific problem face by Australian Outdoors. You will then develop hypotheses to inform the management at Australian Outdoors and create a survey to collect relevant data to explore the causes behind a chosen business problem. In A2, you will meet Assurance of Learning #AoL3a Adaptive: Option 4. Constructs solutions based on comprehensive theoretical knowledge. In this assessment you will clearly identify the business problem that your team would like to work on and conduct research to develop evidence-based hypotheses to establish causal relationships between potential predictors of the problem. You will also develop a survey instrument to collect data to test your hypotheses (note that you are not collecting actual data, but only developing a survey).  You may use Google Form, Survey Monkey, Qualtrics or any other free tool to develop the survey. You should include the link to the survey in the assessment.  Each student is to contribute equally to the assessment.

Business scenario for Assessment 2 (this also applies to A3).

Australian Outdoors, a preeminent Australian brand, stands as a beacon of quality and innovation in the global market for premium outdoor clothing, footwear, camping gear and accessories. With a workforce exceeding 15,000 people, Australian Outdoors has been a trailblazer in providing high-performance products for everybody enabling outdoor enthusiasts to embrace nature in style and comfort. Despite the brand's strong reputation, Australian Outdoors faces a challenge as employee productivity and engagement levels show signs of decline across various departments. Australian Outdoors also has witnessed a rise in customer complaints, signalling a need to reassess internal dynamics impacting the issues. Operating in the competitive landscape of outdoor retail, Australian Outdoors is known for its commitment to delivering premium products that cater to its clientele. However, recent performance indicators indicate a potential erosion of market share prompting the company to recalibrate strategies to maintain its leadership position in the industry. This situation has prompted the leadership team to address potential impacts on the company's performance and competitive standing in the market.

Assessment Task Details

Addressing these concerns is vital to fostering a positive work environment, aligning with the brand's ethos of enhancing the outdoor experience for its customers. The People Analytics Team is assigned with the task of conducting an in-depth analysis to identify and rectify people related issues affecting company's performance. In response to these challenges, the People Analytics Team at Australian Outdoors (that is you) embarks on a mission to comprehensively analyse the the situation. By evaluating areas of concern, the People Analytics team aims to provide actionable insights and recommendations.

Assessment Task 2 – Academic research and develop a survey: Evidence based approach to People Analytics. Weighting 2000 words academic research and a survey, 30% (+/-10%).  

  1. Clearly identify the business problem that your group would like to explore.
  2. Conduct comprehensive research using both academic literature, industry reports and practitioner insights to identify potential causes behind the business problem you've chosen to work on. Although there can myriad of reasons affecting the situation, you should limit your research to following People Analytics areas.
    1. Strategic workforce planning.
    2. Employee experience and wellbeing.
    3. Organisational culture.
    4. Diversity and Inclusion.
    5. Based on the research that you conducted, develop an evidence based, theoretical hypotheses in the form of a behavioural model to establish causal relationships between your chosen variables.
    6. Based on the research findings, develop a survey to collect data that may be useful to inform the management about the current situation the company. Consider who your stakeholders are before you develop the survey.

The structure for the Research report should be as follows:

Introduction (200 words): Scene setting with the purpose of the project and order of the report to follow. Clearly mention the business problem and the people analytics area/s that your group focuses on.

Literature review, discussion, and findings (1400 words): Examine relevant literature relating to the identified problem area within Australian Outdoors. For instance, explore whether negative employee experiences could be a contributing factor to the current challenges faced by the company, such as increased customer complaints, decreased productivity, and lower employee engagement. Discuss the findings from the literature as to how negative employee experience might influence the observed issues.  Then research what causes negative employee experiences. Develop and present your hypotheses based on the insights gained from scholarly articles, theories, and empirical studies. This section aims to integrate academic knowledge with the specific context of Australian Outdoors, providing a theoretical foundation for your subsequent analysis and recommendations in Assessment 3.

Theoretical hypotheses: (200 words) Based on the research that you conducted, develop an evidence based, theoretical hypotheses and a behavioural model establishing causal relationships between potential predictors of the problem relating you researched. Your hypotheses and the behavioural model are outcomes of the research that you conducted.  Therefore, a reader should be very clear on the elements of the model.

Survey instrument : Develop a survey tool to collect data to understand causes of the problem you have identified. When developing the survey, apply survey design principles we discussed in this course and consider various PA stakeholders. Include the link to the survey at the end of the report, after the Conclusion and before Reference.

Conclusion (200 words): Assurance of Learning #AoL3a Adaptive: Option 4. Constructs solutions based on comprehensive theoretical knowledge. Here you will demonstrate your solutions based on the research you have conducted and the model you have developed. You will also make a strong argument for the survey instrument to be disseminated to employees. Ask yourself: What are the most salient points of your research findings? And make them clear in the conclusion.

 Works Cited: User RMIT Harvard referencing style.

You are expected to cite at least 20 peer-reviewed references/refereed journal articles (no older than 10 years) and a maximum of 3 industry reports in your project report. You will find high quality journals via the RMIT Library. Do not cite the internet or textbooks.

The report is to be written for educated executives who may not have much exposure to these research methods or themes, and therefore should be written in a language that they would understand. Avoid use of jargon and explain specialised terms and acronyms if you use them.

The report is to be based on peer-reviewed literature that you have sourced for yourself through literature and database searches; that is: peer-reviewed journal articles, papers, books, etc. You can also reference published government reports and publications, institutional reports and regulatory standards, and other similar official materials. You are not permitted to use general websites for information.

You are expected to cite at least 5 peer-reviewed references in your report.

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