“A learning method based on using problems as a starting point for acquisition and integration of new knowledge.”
Create and present a report that identifies, describes and uses up-to-date information sources relating to changing influences on the amenity horticulture industry
1. Identify and describe different sources of reliable information on factors that affect the amenity horticulture industry
2. Use and compare up-to-date sources providing information on landscaping, environment, urban planning, architecture, social development, finances and/or politics.
You have been appointed as a manager in the landscaping department of a large international environmental consulting company. The company develops landscaping and rehabilitation projects throughout Europe, including some recent operations in the Mediterranean area. You are based in Brussels and have extensive experience in senior management roles in the amenity horticulture industry in the UK. The company wishes to expand its market further on a worldwide basis (including fast-growing Asian economies). You need to prepare for a meeting where you have to present the state of the industry and the expansion potential that your company has in the Mediterranean area and in Asian countries, to the other area managers and to the general manager of your company.
You have 3 days to prepare yourself, the report and the presentation. You have the help of your personal assistant, but you need to tell her/him what information you need, which sources of information are available, and which reviews you need to have. The information that you use will have to be included in an appendix of the report, so it has to be well sourced, reliable and up-to-date.
To do this, you need to:
- Define and describe briefly the sources of information that you use for the report
- Compare the information from different sources, in terms of quality, availability and accessibility
- Find out the main issues being discussed in those information sources affecting the amenity industry worldwide.
Team Structure and Mode of Interaction
Your team will consist of yourself and your tutor:
- You are in the hypothetical role of a manager of the landscaping department.
- Your tutor is in the hypothetical role of a specialist industry consultant. You should approach your tutor in the same way that you would approach a professional consultant.
You must contact your tutor two times via phone, fax or email during the project, before attempting to commence the final submission. At each point of contact, you should ask your tutor three questions that will help you to define the sources of information you need.
You should be mindful that the hypothetical consultant (tutor) is both an expert but also one that charges by the hour, so the questions you put should be meaningful, designed to contribute toward achieving the stated project aim and, above all, should not be repetitive. Contact should be concise and time efficient.
You must also seek support from your tutor and any other interested parties within the school community, by submitting relevant questions to a student room forum, seeking meaningful feedback, on at least two occasions during the project, before attempting to commence the final submission. You must also check for responses and, if useful, incorporate the responses into your final report.
You may ask for guidance, assistance or simply report on your progress. You may request more frequent assistance if necessary, within reason. It is not your tutor’s role to solve the problem.
- What are the preferred sources of information for landscape and planning professionals in managing roles today?
- What are the main research and/or discussion groups in the world concerning landscape and urban planning?
- What are the main events where industry professionals meet annually or biannually?
- Which publications or information sources should a manager or researcher read at least quarterly to be properly informed on professional issues in your industry?
- Which publications or sources of information should a manager or researcher read at least quarterly to be properly informed on social, economic and political issues?
- What are the main issues being discussed concerning or affecting the amenity industry in the world today?
These are issues or questions that you should address in your solution, whether or not you can find answers.
Human resources (optional) – You may draw on the skills, knowledge and assistance of others – other students, experts whom you consult, friends. All assistance must be formally acknowledged.
Other resources (compulsory) – You are expected to use some resources, but the choice of which ones are yours. You may gather the information required to solve this problem from course readings, books, journals, news programs, the internet, etc. All sources must be acknowledged.
This project should take up to 14 hours (including communications with a tutor or others) and must be completed within 3 weeks from the date of commencement. When 10 hours of work has been completed, you should be moving onto the final report; and when 14 hours are completed, submit what you have, no matter what stage it is in. You may be penalised for exceeding this time limit.
You may use any of a variety of means to present your project but should not spend more than a quarter of the total time involved in the project, on preparing the presentation.
Your presentation must include:
- A brief description and comparison of the preferred sources of information for landscape and planning professionals today.
- An explanation of the main research and discussion groups in the world concerning landscape and urban planning, including main industry meetings.
- What type of additional information a manager should have in order to make good strategic decisions.
- What are the main issues being discussed recently concerning planning, landscaping, the amenity industry and its development in those sources of information?
- A list of issues that arose during the project that you either could not deal with or that were not essential to the project.
- A list of resources used, including human resources.
- An evaluation of your performance, including what you did very well, and what you can improve.
- A summary of what you learned about information sources for good management in the amenity horticulture industry.
- A summary of what you learned about using information sources for good management in the amenity horticulture industry.
The report should be no longer than three to four pages long, or the equivalent orally.
See the following table for presentation requirements: