Note: The purpose of the literature review is to give you an opportunity to become familiar with the major topics of this course by writing a critical analysis of 7-10 scholarly articles that would be of interest to people in management, administration, and leadership positions. Regardless of the role within your organization, keeping abreast of the current literature in the field of organizational leadership, organizational learning, systems thinking and other related areas is essential. This miniature literature review is also good practice for the much broader literature review you will be expected to produce for your dissertation.
Using the attached Annotated Bibliography, select a minimum of 7-10 articles related to learning organizations, knowledge management, systems thinking and, of course, leadership. You may use the major topics of this course to search professional journals, the Internet and books.
For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field. For the purposes of this assignment, the literature will contain an organizational pattern and combine both summary and synthesis. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates. A literature review is usually organized around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organized. This means that you will not just simply list your sources and go into detail about each one of them, one at a time.
Rather as you continue to read widely but selectively in your topic area, consider instead what themes or issues connect your sources together. Do not try to cover all the topics. Pick one and concentrate on that particular one so you can go a bit deep into the literature. Do they present one or different solutions? Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? How well do they present the material and do they portray it according to an appropriate theory? Do they reveal a trend in the field – a raging debate?
Pick one of these themes to focus the organization of your review. Use long quotes sparingly, organize your thoughts and themes, be selective (the majority of your sources should be within the last 5 years, unless they are considered benchmark or seminal works), use caution when paraphrasing and maintain your voice (the author?s voice).