The project requires you to examine a current people-related problem (as opposed to a process-related problem) in a real organization. A problem that has already been resolved or is historical in nature is not acceptable. The purpose of the project is to give you an opportunity to apply what has been learned in the course to organizational problems in an organization of your choice. You should identify a public, private, or not-for-profit organization (or part of one) to study. I prefer if you select an organization where you work or have been a member. I advise you to be selective in choosing an issue or problem within an organization, as a lack of depth in the issue itself will not be an acceptable excuse for lack of depth in the analysis. You will want to ensure that you conduct primary research and that you document this primary research in your report. Gathering first-person information is important in any project. In addition, you need to come up with at least one highly creative, out-of-the-box solution. It should not be based on the text or other solutions that are common. This solution should reflect your creative, innovative and “wildly” imaginative thinking.
You are required to gather first-hand (primary) information from people in the organization through direct contact with these people. To obtain a balanced unbiased view, you should speak with more than one person to fully understand the scope of the problem. This information must be documented and verifiable. In person meetings are best although you can have conference calls with the individuals as well as follow up questions via e-mail. However, e-mail should not be your primary form of communication. You may supplement this information with secondary data. Secondary data will only be accepted if it comes from a reliable source. For purposes of this project, data is considered reliable if (1) it comes from the website of the organization you are studying or (2) if the data comes from any book, magazine, database or journal that is available through the library in paper or electronic format. You should identify a current problem to analyze rather than historical problem. You should focus your analysis by applying the concepts from the course.
Your final written project should contain a 6-8 double-spaced pages (12 point font, 1 inch margins). The limit does not include the cover page, appendices, which you are free to use to provide charts, figures, primary research findings, or other material not necessary in the main body of your analysis. If you utilize any published works, please add the appropriate references and properly formatted citations. American Psychological Association (APA) citation style is acceptable. The lack of citations is the most common form of plagiarism.
Your written report will be graded based on the following criteria. The written report is worth 150 points and the grading rubric below has the point breakdown for each section.
Name of organization being studied
Specific nature of the organizational behavior problem being studied
Use and understanding of course concepts (20 points)
a. Did the project utilize concepts, terminology, and theories that were discussed in the textbook?
b. Are the concepts, terminology and theories properly used?
Understanding of the problem(s) (20 points)
a. Does the student truly understand the problem?
b. Is the problem an organizational behavior (people) problem or a process problem? Sometimes a problem is caused by a process that is in place rather than a real people problem. If the process were changed, the problem would resolve.
c. Is the cause and effect of the problem related?
d. Is the problem reflective of what was learned/determined via primary research?
Standard solution (20 points)
a. Provide your overall best recommendation first. This recommendation should have a good balance between solving the problem, solving the problem quickly, and at a “reasonable” cost.
b. In addition to the preferred solution, the student should also provide two alternatives that may not meet all the criteria listed above.
c. If I worked at the company, would I view the recommended solution as feasible and within reason to implement?
d. The solutions should demonstrate that the student understands the benefits and the risks of the recommended solutions.
- Creative solution (20 points)
a. The creative solution should be highly creative yet believable.
b. Solution needs to be a positive solution, not negative (fire everyone, bankruptcy, etc.)
c. There are no barriers to the creative solution in regards to cost, time or actual feasibility.
d. Creative solution must have high certainty of solving the problem.
Primary research (20 points)
a. Demonstration and proof of primary research is required including names of people contacted and summaries of discussions in the appendix.
b. If surveys were completed, survey results must be presented in the appendix.
c. Understanding what you learned from your sources of primary research should be demonstrated.
Writing-style-grammar (20 points)
a. Is the report written properly with good grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and spelling.
b. Does the report have a natural flow or is it fragmented and difficult to follow.
c. Are secondary sources of information cited and referenced? Please use the American Psychological Association (APA) style for citations.
Overall analysis (30 points)
a. Was the overall report well thought through, designed, and implemented professionally?
b. Does the report provide a brief synopsis of the company and the problem?
c. After reading the entire report, is it clear and concise and the solutions clearly address the problem?
d. Is the document balanced between research, understanding the problem, and providing solutions?
e. Does the report ramble on or is it direct and to the point.
f. If the report were submitted to the company, would it be viewed with credibility?
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