Task Description ( Self leadership: Literature Review / Report) :
For this assignment, you will need to conduct a literature review where you critically analyse and synthesise
theories/concepts/models from the broader self-leadership or positive psychology literature. You will need
to have chosen at least 15 sources to read, analyse and integrate into your review of a chosen
Length: 2,000 words 10%less or more
What is a literature review?
A literature review is a critical evaluation of previously published literature or research. Through organising,
integrating, analysing and synthesising previous works, the author of the literature review/research report is
able to consider the progress of the research towards clarifying a problem of interest. A literature review
frequently defines and clarifies a research problem; summarises the current state of the research in a field;
identifies relationships, contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies in the literature; and often suggests the next
step towards solving the research problem.
Why is the literature review important?
The primary purpose of the literature review is to critique and analyse previous literature, analysing how and
why previous research studies were conducted, and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. It is not
usually sufficient to merely cite, chronologically, a number of studies and their relevant findings. The author
must show academic scholarship by organising the literature in an interesting and useful way. The value of
the literature review is established through the author’s ability to demonstrate a professional grasp on the
research problem by summarising the background and current state of knowledge in the field. Thus the key
elements of the literature review include: evaluating the contributions of others, highlighting research trends
in the field, identifying areas of theoretical and empirical weakness in the previously published material, and
to clarify the research problem or identify specific research questions to be addressed.
Literature Review Research Activities
Research and Gathering Information: Begin the literature review process by identifying the research
problem or theme of interest. Secondly, working back from new to old, from general to specific, seek out
relevant academic and literature regarding the theme or problem previously identified. After gathering,
sifting through, and analysing the information on the topic, focus or narrow the problem and generate
hypotheses or research questions for future study. In management disciplines, there are usually three
primary sources of academic literature: refereed journals and major texts in the field.
For this assignment, you will need to have reviewed at least (15) sources.
Reading and Analysing Literature: To write the literature review you need to have read a number of articles
to identify the facts? Who are the eminent scholars? What ideas, theories, questions, or hypotheses seem
most important? When reading the literature, consider what developments, controversies or breakthroughs
are currently being proposed by leading researchers/practitioners. What are the most commonly used
research methodologies in the field? Is the methodology used the most appropriate or most useful? To
assist with the analysis, some researchers build tables or charts of various studies to help systematically
review research questions, methodologies, findings and limitations.
When reading the literature that you have gathered judge, evaluate and look critically at the research. The
following questions are useful things to ask yourself about the literature you are reading. For example:
& Is the problem and theoretical basis clearly stated?
& Are the researchers aware of what others have done? (e.g., is the review complete?)
& Is the author telling a “story” that makes sense?
& What are the assumptions behind the research?
& Is the methodology, sample size etc., adequate?
& Are the results accurately presented?
& Is the research influential (e.g., has it sparked research interest by others)?
& Is the argument convincing?
& Are the generalisations justified based upon the evidence presented?
& Are suggestions offered for further research?
Writing the Literature Review
The shape of an article: Similar to an academic essay, the literature review takes an hourglass shape. The
review begins with general statements and progressively narrows towards a specific area of inquiry, then
broadens out again to more general conclusions. As you approach the end of the literature review it is
recommended that you summarise gaps/contradictions/debates in the field by introducing your own
suggestions or questions for future research.
Rationale or purpose: Begin the literature review broadly by generating a rationale or significance for
reviewing the literature. Identify the importance of the inquiry by placing the problem or issue in context so
that readers know why it is a significant field of investigation.
Critique and review of what is known and unknown about the topic: When reviewing previous work, it is
important that you do not simply describe every study that has ever been done on the problem or issue.
Rather you need to be selective, only cite articles that are pertinent to the specific issues with which you are
dealing. Emphasise the major conclusions, findings, or relevant methodological issues of these studies and
avoid unnecessary detail. As you progress through the review and the logic of the argument, offer
suggestions for future research. For instance, do further studies need to be conducted with different
populations, were flaws identified in previous methodologies, could the studies be extended or narrowed
Evaluate your literature review
* Does it show thorough knowledge of the research, theory, concepts, ideology, and opinion?
* Is the reader made aware that the review has been selective and are the criteria for selection and
* Is there any critical assessment of the reviewed literature?
* Does the review demonstrate a relationship between what others have previously done and the
suggestions offered for future research or study?
* Are transitions provided from one section to another?
* Is there a final summary that clinches the need to do further study?