Course Project for Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Objective | Summary | Guidelines | Milestones | Project Outline | Grading Rubrics
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Research shows that people learn effectively when working on real problems grounded in their own work experience. To this end, our course project is designed to incorporate students’ work experience into the learning process in this course.
The project is an opportunity to explore, in-depth, a topic related to the course objectives (TCOs) that is of significance to you or your organization (current or former).
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Members of the class are required to prepare an applied research paper, with a minimum of 10 pages but not to exceed 12 pages in length (excluding cover page and appendices), on a specific issue related to leadership or organizational behavior.
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Select a specific organization of interest to you and identify a problem at the firm related to organizational behavior (OB).
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 organizational problem that will make a difference to the future performance of the organization.
Identify which of our TCOs or specific topics in the syllabus are related to the problem you identify.
All papers must have a minimum of six scholarly sources cited within the text of the paper and identified in the references section.
Additional research sources can be attached in a bibliography.
Review the following document for instructions on how to access and use EBSCOhost for your research: EBSCOhost.
All papers should be single sided, double-spaced, using a 11- or 12-point font.
Length of the paper to be between 10 and 12 pages, not counting cover page and appendices.
The first page should include the title of the work, student name, address, telephone and e-mail address, course number, date, and instructor name.
Follow APA style for general format and citations.
Paper sections must adhere to the guidelines below and each section must be labeled in the text.
Language should be clear, concise, and precise.
Tone should be professional, consistent, and not filled with jargon.
Grammar and syntax (sentence structure) must be correct.
Report must be free of misspellings and typos.
Tables and Figures
All figures and tables must be referred to in your text before they appear on the page.
Figures and tables should appear on the same page as or the page after the text that refers to them.
All figures and tables need captions. Captions go below figures and above tables.
Quotations and Citations
Quotations and citations are crucial components of a research paper and must be present.
Failure to properly cite research sources and borrowed ideas is plagiarism.
Refer to APA style guide for assistance with properly citing quoted and/or borrowed materials and ideas.
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Familiarize yourself with course content and select an organization and problem area to research.
Submit written Brief Proposal of Research containing the following:
A brief overview of the chosen organization and your role in it
Preliminary problem statement in the form of a researchable question
A brief narrative description of the organizational problem that you would like to research and resolve
Which TCO or textbook topic your problem is related to
Conduct library research on your topic.
Identify a minimum of six scholarly resources for your project.
All resources for the paper must come from the DeVry library and must be of scholarly quality.
Use the librarians for assistance in accessing materials.
Review the “using EBSCO” tutorial.
Please Note: Articles found online (many on consulting company websites, Internet magazines, or other blogs) will not be considered an acceptable scholarly resource. Conduct your research through a library where you can be assured that the sources are of scholarly quality.
Submit written Expanded Research Proposal containing the following:
Documentation of at least three initial scholarly sources from the library
Expanded introduction to the organization
Expanded description of your chosen problem
Preliminary solution options (bulleted)
Preliminary analysis of leadership and organizational behavior concepts addressed in the paper
Continue to work on class project; seek instructor help as required.
Submit completed project.
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Please print out the Course Project Paper Organization Guide available in Doc Sharing and use it as a checklist while constructing your paper and again before you turn it in.
Your paper must include the following sections:
Title of your applied research paper, e-mail address, course number and title, instructor, and date.
Provide an overview of the organization and your role in it. Give enough information about the firm to acquaint an unfamiliar person (no matter how famous the company). Identify name, location, size, market segment (business line), and a brief history. Identify the essential issues, events, or actions to help frame the problem and subsequent discussion points.
Identify and clearly state the problem (the leadership or organizational behavior issue that you have selected to research).
The problem statement should be phrased in terms of a researchable question. For example, if a work group is not performing effectively, an effective problem statement might be “How can group performance be improved?”
A well-formed problem statement has:
Focus – the problem should be well defined and specific enough for the reader to gain a clear idea of the OB topic area and the direction of your study and research.
Structure – if the problem statement is sufficiently focused, it will provide a basis for decisions about which information to include and which to exclude from the paper.
You must address at least six scholarly resources in this section. Approach this section as a mini “book report” on each of the reference sources that significantly informed your analysis and proposed solutions. Give the reader an encapsulated review of what information you found most relevant to your research. You may have found conflicting opinions/theories related to your topic area. Identify and discuss any such contrasts and/or describe in detail significant agreement among your sources. Your literature review should be separate and distinct from your analysis section; it is a summation of your research.
Explore the problem in depth and with scholarly rigor.
Provide an identification and description of the root causes of the problem/issue. Be sure not to address only symptoms of your problem. Diagnose the problem and its origins.
A critical element of this section is to apply leadership and organization concepts and models from our text, from class discussions, and from your literature review. Discuss the concepts, ideas, or insights that are most valuable in helping you make sense of the causes of the problem. Support your analysis with reference to appropriate research material.
Identify at least three potential workable solutions to your problem and identify the pros and cons of each alternative solution and its high-level implementation steps.
Identify your preferred solution and describe exactly what should be done and how it should be done, including by whom, with whom, and in what sequence. Always explain your thinking behind your final solution set. It’s important to be clear about why a particular alternative (solution) was chosen, as opposed to others.
Think about this assignment and write a well-thought-out reflective statement about how this assignment influenced your personal, academic, and professional leadership and managerial development.
You must use no fewer than six library resources outside your textbook.
All references must be cited in two places: within the body of your paper and on a separate reference list. Choose references judiciously and cite them accurately. Cite all sources using APA format.
Please note: Citing an author’s work within your text documents your research, identifies the source for readers, and enables readers to locate the source of information in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper. To use the ideas or words of another person without crediting the source is plagiarism. Plagiarism in its purest form involves copying passages either verbatim or nearly verbatim, with no direct acknowledgment of the source. The most common form of plagiarism is to paraphrase information from your source material. Paraphrasing does not relieve you of the obligation to provide proper identification of source data. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make sure all quotes, ideas, or conclusions not your own are given proper acknowledgment in your text.
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Failed to Meet Minimum Standards
Barely Meets Minimum Standards
60+% – D
Meets Minimum Standards
70+% – C
80+% – B
90+% – A
Title of your applied research paper.
Your name, e-mail address, course number and title, instructor, and date. (5)
Introduction is not apparent. (0)
Introduction is vague, incomplete, or lacks a focus. (6)
Introduction reflects barely adequate information to acquaint reader to the problem context. (7)
Contains a focus and provides sufficient detail to set the stage for the analysis but may contain extraneous information. (8)
Introduction has a sharp, distinct focus; complete information. (10)
No problem statement apparent. (0)
Problem statement is vague; does not agree with title of paper. (9)
Presented mostly as symptoms of the problem. (11)
Presented as a disguised solution. (13)
Focused and concise. (15)
None provided. (0)
Too shallow; insufficient depth; provides review of only one source; does not cite sources properly; may include analysis of the problem in this section. (27)
Provides a review of only 2–3 sources; does not address topic areas germane to the problem; including analysis of the problem; does not cite some sources properly. (31)
Provides a review of the minimum six research articles; lacks reference to insights or findings from many of the readings that are applicable to the problem. (35)
Discusses the concepts, ideas, or insights that have the most value for helping make sense of problem; excellent use of citations; follows proper citation protocol; exceeds all standards defined in the syllabus guidelines for the project. (40)
No analysis evident or presents a simplistic, inappropriate, or incoherent analysis of or response to the problem. (0)
Illogically analyses the problem; may lack coherent structure or elaboration with examples.
Does not apply findings from literature review. Clear lack of evidence to support analysis; makes broad generalizations and unsupported assertions. (27)
Presents an adequate analysis of the problem, elaborating the analysis with sufficient examples and acceptable reasoning. May not apply findings from literature review appropriate.
Lack of evidence to support analysis; making broad generalizations and unsupported assertions. (31)
Presents a thoughtful analysis of problem, elaborating that response with appropriate examples and sensible reasoning. (35)
Presents a cogent analysis of the stated problem, elaborating that response with well-chosen examples and persuasive reasoning supported by the literature. (40)
Solutions and recommendation not included. (0)
The choice of solution(s) is not linked to the analysis. (20)
Presents only a single solution that may or may not be fully supported by the analysis. (23)
Solution or recommendations linked to the analysis. Partially supported and defended. (26)
Solution or recommendations logically flow from the analysis. Well supported and defended. (30)
No reflective statement offered. (0)
Perfunctory effort at drawing lessons from the assignment. (6)
One key lesson; no other insights offered. (7)
Good faith effort in discussing the lessons from the assignment; some insights are included. (8)
Well presented insights on how the assignment influenced personal, academic, and professional development. (10)
Few or no references listed. (0)
Insufficient references listed; inconsistent format. (6)
A few appropriate references listed. (7)
Well chosen references used; minor errors. (8)
Well chosen references used; follows correct format for listing; no errors. (10)
NOTE: Points will be deducted for grammar, syntax, and/or punctuation errors. Failure to cite sources properly or using incorrect protocol when citing sources and listing references is cause for point reduction. Failure to cite sources will result in submission for academic integrity review.