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COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES

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MGMT591 Course Project Paper Guidelines
The purpose of this Preparation Guide is to provide you with some general direction concerning the content, process, and structure of your course project. In the sections below is proffered some helpful information that will prove valuable with respect to facilitating your completion of a course project reflective of the high standards of quality work and personal learning that should be the aim of each participant in the course. Members of the class are required to prepare an applied research paper on the broad theme of "organizations and leadership." Within this broad theme, the project is intended to be an opportunity to explore in some depth a topic related to the course objectives (TCOs) that is of significance to you or your organization. The research shows that people learn effectively when working on real problems grounded in their own work experience. To this end, the project is designed to incorporate students’ work experience into the learning process in this course. More specifically, in developing the project, select a specific organization of interest to you. Think of yourself as an organizational consultant and assume that a key manager has requested a thorough analysis and recommended course of action to resolve an actual LOB (leadership and organizational behavior) problem that will make a difference to the future performance of the organization. Focus your study on one specific LOB topic area.

Research
Students must conduct research to obtain information from which the paper will be written. The student will be graded in part on the depth and thoroughness of the research. You are expected to use a minimum of eight (8) references. Do not cite from our course textbook or general encyclopedia sources such as Wikipedia. Those will not be counted in your reference total. It is important that you work on this paper throughout the session and not procrastinate. As should be evident, this course project is not designed as a “make-work” type of exercise. Rather, it is aimed at affording students the opportunity to bring major course concepts to “life” via their

references or appendices) paper in which you develop the theme you put forward in your proposal. events. If you are unaware of relevant prior theory and research. you must know in detail prior theory and research that have addressed your chosen topic. be sure to properly frame the problem. it behooves each student to carefully deliberate on the overall project objective and component tasks as defined in the section below. Include a copy of your OCI circumplex as an appendix. Provide a brief overview of the organization and your role in it. a paper that reveals a lack of knowledge of . As with symptoms of physical illness. Part 3: Literature Review (50 points) Conduct research within the literature related to your topic area to expand your knowledge within the specific area of scholarly work relevant to your problem. Determine the essential issues. Remember. or actions to help frame the problem and subsequent discussion points. Remote historical data is unnecessary. you risk recreating the wheel. To maximize the prospects for success with this project. In sum. Part 2: Problem Statement (10 points) Identify and clearly state the problem—the leadership / management issue in which an element of the identified organization is not meeting expectations.COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES 2 application to “real-world” organizational issues and problems. Include a one paragraph overview of your OCI profile if it focused on the same organization. that what appears to be the business problem may actually be just a symptom of a bigger problem--dig deep to be sure you've identified the real problem/s. double-space (not counting title page. Assignment Write a no more than 15 page. More specifically. abstract page. the symptoms will persist or return. if the doctor merely treats the symptoms and doesn’t treat the cause of the problem. The paper should be composed of the following parts: Part 1: Introduction (10 points) Usually a few brief paragraphs suffice to give the immediate background required to set the context. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your mastery and application of the course Terminal Course Objectives. Further.

Part 5: Solutions (35 points) To make an informed decision. Provide an identification and description of the causes of the problem/issue.COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES 3 prior work lacks credibility. Discuss the concepts. and propose at least two action steps that will leverage the organization toward the more desirable state. ideas or insights that are most valuable in helping you make sense of the causes of the leadership problem. Describe exactly what should be done and how 1 See http://www. It’s important we consider not just how to cure the problem (“single-loop” learning). Alternatives are these choices. A critical element of the strength of this section is to apply LOB concepts and models from your literature review. values or assumptions driving those behaviors or issues. After weighing the merits of a variety of alternatives.org/thinkers/argyris. Avoid the tendency to rush in and focus on the surface behaviors or issues without considering the underlying forces. explore the problem in depth. Be sure the causes you identify relate directly to the problem/issue. In the absence of alternatives. and it rarely produces an effective decision.htm . there is no decision (solutions). compare this state to what happens if no changes are made. Do not use the course textbook as a source. Remember. Be cautious of falling into the trap of accepting the surface diagnosis of your problem. Support your analysis with reference to appropriate research and to illustrations of how the causes manifest in the focal organization. Suggest consequences to the organization in 3-5 years if nothing is done differently or no actions are taken to address the causes of this problem. Recommend a more desirable state of affairs (behaviors). You should address no less than 4 scholarly resources in this section. you will be in a better position to make the best decision for a given situation. Often times the first diagnosis is merely the manifestation of the symptom.infed. but that we explore what has allowed the problem to develop unchallenged in the first place (“double-loop” learning 1). you need choices. Look for the deeper underlying cause. Part 4: Analysis (40 points) In this section. people are faced with a yes-or-no choice: Should we do this or not? That’s not much of a choice. if there are no alternatives.

with whom. references and appendices do not count in the page count. with no direct acknowledgment of the source. as opposed to others. Note that title page. and professional leadership and managerial development. The most common (and unconscious) form of plagiarism is to paraphrase a direct quotation. Plagiarism in its purest form involves copying passages either verbatim or nearly verbatim. separated by proper headings. To use the ideas or words of another person without crediting the source is plagiarism. including by whom. and in what sequence. but all references must be cited in two places: within the body of your paper and on a separate reference list. Always explain your thinking behind your final solution set. ideas. identifies the source for readers. You are expected to submit your best work for this assignment. Grammar and APA Style (15 points) Clear writing is an important element of good business communications. which means knowing and using good grammar and APA style. and you are expected to demonstrate such skills in this paper. . Paraphrasing does not relieve you of the obligation to provide proper identification of source data. Part 6: Reflection (10 points) Think about this assignment and write a well-thought out reflective statement about how this assignment influenced your personal. Citing an author's work within your text documents your research. and enables readers to locate the source of information in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper. academic. It’s important to be clear about why a particular alternative (solution) was chosen. Choose references judiciously and cite them accurately. It goes without saying. or conclusions not your own are given proper acknowledgment in your text.COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES 4 it should be done. References (10 points) You must use no less than eight (8) resources outside your textbook. Format. The content of your course project paper should be divided into the sections shown above. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make sure all quotes. abstract page.

and why? • You should cite at least 4 sources (none of which is to be the course text) within the literature review section. journal articles. • Your task is to search the management and OB literature to: (a) discover the most common underlying causes of the type of problem symptoms you have observed. • Your objective in this section is to demonstrate that you can access the management and OB literature to help you diagnose and identify possible solutions for specific management problems. Scan the titles of the articles that come up and look for interesting ones to read in full. you can access Keller’s online library and its search engines. • You should supply some commentary on what you find. Your job is to compile those two lists and to cite your sources. and even personal interviews with knowledgeable industry observers. you will find a large number of articles and studies that have identified a list of common causes and another list of recommended solutions. company records and documents. and (b) discover the various solutions to the problem that have been recommended and tried in other organizations. The “literature” refers to books. send me an e-mail and ask for help. If you find yourself totally spinning your wheels. They will lead you to others. and information on a topic. or insights that have the most value for helping you make sense of your project. try using different key words. Also. if your problem is high turnover. ideas. Then. You should talk about the concepts. What theories can you use? What writers say something of value? And why? Which models are the most helpful. Don’t just describe what’s written in articles. For example. • A good place to start your review is in the course text and in the chapter notes at the end. If your initial searches don’t produce what you’re looking for. commentary. be sure to check the references of interesting articles or books. You can enter key words such as “employee turnover” and you will access recent articles on the subject. The long- . magazine and newspaper articles.COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES 5 Literature Review Guidelines A literature review is a written discussion of published or unpublished research.

COURSE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES 6 term benefit is that after this class is over. . you will be able to use the literature for the rest of your career to confront unfamiliar problems.