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Referring to theory

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When referring to theory in the Problem Identification section, you have the choice of using:

  • Direct quotation - the actual words of another writer contained in "quotation marks" and inserted into your own sentence. A reference (citation) + page number(s) must also be supplied.
  • Indirect quotation - the use of another writer's ideas but using your own words (i.e. paraphrasing). A citation must be supplied, but a page number is not necessary.

REMEMBER:

  1. Indirect quotation is the usual way to report facts/information in academic writing.
  2. Direct quotation is normally used only to emphasise:

    • definitions
    • viewpoints which are not your own
    • key information (i.e. first principles or statements of a theory)
    • information expressed in an original way

Note: NEVER use a direct quotation as a substitute for your own sentence. Instead, insert the quotation (inside quotation marks) into your own sentence. An example follows:

As pointed out by Bartol, Martin, Tein and Matthews (1995:471), "using directive leadership to clarify task demands that are already clear will be ineffectual; it might frustrate employees and reduce the work's intrinsic valence."

Re-read the sample on Leader Mismatch below which contains four references to journal articles on organisational behaviour. Then, do the exercises that follow to check your ability to recognise the use of direct and indirect quotations, and the use of referencing.

Sample

1.1 Leadership Mismatch

[1] The Path-Goal Theory suggests that it is a leader's job to assist his/her followers in attaining goals as well as providing direction and support (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 1994). [2] There are four types of leader behaviour that can be used to affect a subordinate's motivation, but leadership behaviour which is effective in one situation may not always be effective in another (Schermerhorn et al., 1994). [3] According to the case study, Mrs Blakely, the staff supervisor, checks each piece of work with the WPC staff before they do the job. [4] Since the workers are qualified for their work and well-trained, this leads to annoyance and frustration. According to Kathleen Pearce, Mrs. Blakely makes the WPC staff feel they are still in school because of her constant supervision. [6] As pointed out by Bartol, Martin, Tein and Matthews (1995:471), "using directive leadership to clarify task demands that are already clear will be ineffectual; it might frustrate employees and reduce the work's intrinsic valence." [7] Workers do not need a manager telling them how to do something they already know how to do because "redundant behaviour by the leader will not help and may even hinder performance" (Schermerhorn et al., 1994:504). [ 8] Thus a major problem in the WPC is that Mrs Blakely is too concerned with the work of her staff which results in their frustration because they are not allowed to be independent and show initiative.

For each sentence (below), tick the description which best fits.

Sentence 1:

The Path-Goal Theory suggests that it is a leader's job to assist his/her followers in attaining goals as well as providing direction and support (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 1994).

Description Answer
contains a direct quote + full reference
contains a direct quote + abbreviated reference
contains an indirect quote + full reference
contains an indirect quote + abbreviated reference

Check your answers


Sentence 2:

There are four types of leader behaviour that can be used to affect a subordinate's motivation, but leadership behaviour which is effective in one situation may not always be effective in another (Schermerhorn et al., 1994).

Description Answer
contains a direct quote + full reference
contains a direct quote + abbreviated reference
contains an indirect quote + full reference
contains an indirect quote + abbreviated reference

Check your answers


Sentence 6:

As pointed out by Bartol, Martin, Tein and Matthews (1995:471), "using directive leadership to clarify task demands that are already clear will be ineffectual; it might frustrate employees and reduce the work's intrinsic valence."

Description Answer
contains a direct quote + full reference
contains a direct quote + abbreviated reference
contains an indirect quote + full reference
contains an indirect quote + abbreviated reference

Check your answers


Sentence 7:

Workers do not need a manager telling them how to do something they already know how to do because "redundant behaviour by the leader will not help and may even hinder performance" (Schermerhorn et al., 1994:504).

Description Answer
contains a direct quote + full reference
contains a direct quote + abbreviated reference
contains an indirect quote + full reference
contains an indirect quote + abbreviated reference

Check your answers

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