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Homework answers / question archive / RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT Since the first class, we have been putting several terms together that have focused on how best to create a concept: the ability to shape a meaningful pattern among a variety of ideas, situational aspects, themes, people and things

RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT Since the first class, we have been putting several terms together that have focused on how best to create a concept: the ability to shape a meaningful pattern among a variety of ideas, situational aspects, themes, people and things

Management

RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Since the first class, we have been putting several terms together that have focused on how best to create a concept: the ability to shape a meaningful pattern among a variety of ideas, situational aspects, themes, people and things.  The context of this discussion has been leadership and culture, which has occasioned excellent discussions about culture, about leadership, and about the role of leadership and culture in management.  Your research assignment is to bring all this together around the scenario, below.

 

The Problem Scenario

Your manager has been presented with the problem, below, from the head of another division.  She has been asked to recommend a course of action that the head of division can use to handle the situation.  They are asking your manager for insight to solving the problem because a) do not understand why the woman is acting in this way and b) what to do to make her more effective.  They cannot afford to lose her.

 

Your manager would like you to prepare, for her, a two-page, single-spaced memo that a) explains the cultural context of the woman’s behavior (defining the problem in terms of culture and leadership) and b) how the woman’s behavior can be addressed to improve her leadership ability (recommended course of action based on research).  Because this is such a sensitive issue, your manager has asked that you prepare a research- supported paper that shows specific research support for your recommendation.

 

The Scenario Situation

The division needs this specific woman supervisor to succeed because, for various reasons, the main office of the corporation definitely does not want to lose this valuable employee.  However, the woman has been in a position of leadership, as manager, for two months.  In that time, half of her staff has asked to be transferred or has threatened to quit.

 

The unhappy staff has expressed feelings of anger at the communication they have received from the manager.  They point to instances of stereotyping in memos and statements she has sent to staff; favoritism and raises granted to younger staff, especially those with more technical skills; and, employee training has been reduced to nearly zero.  She has moved staff around, eliminating single person offices and having staff share offices.  Staff does not see how their shared space relates to their work and is causing conflict.  Arguing that the main office is looking for cost savings as well as increased efficiency, the supervisor is preparing to recommend reduction in time allowed for pregnancy with pay.

 

Observers sent to the office feel that the manager is often confused.  Even though she is a near genius in the mathematical demands of the job, she finds herself facing too many complex issues and seems to have a lack of focus on what is the central theme of the various responsibilities or reactions of staff.  The manager feels that staff is overly sensitive about irrelevant and emotional issues.

 

Deliverables on this assignment

  1. Do a sentence outline of research assignment (2 pages):  Do some scanning research (brief inquiry based on your initial thoughts about the problem presented) to explore what you might say to your manager about the scenario situation.  From this, provide me with an outline.  Make sure it has enough information for me to determine that you have a viable thesis that will take a reasonable amount of research to handle a reasonably argued solution to the scenario situation. 
    1. State the argument you would like to make (see definition, below).
    2. Present your thesis statement (see definition, below).
    3. Present a sentence outline of your research paper.  See Writing Center video

http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/web/assign_analysis.html

  1. Do a research assignment.  It has two parts: the research paper and a recommendation memo.
    1. Research paper: 7 pages, double-spaced based on your outline and my feedback.  Use your research and what you have learned in this class about how leadership, perspective, and concept formation fit into a given cultural situation. 
      1. Think about the thesis statement you developed above; does it need any changes that better reflects what you are considering recommending.
      2. Do the same re-evaluation of your research question: has it adequately guided your research on your thesis statement?
      3. If your answer to (i) & (ii) is yes, then:
      4. Prepare your final paper.
    2. Memo of recommendation (1 page single spaced (2 pages for payment) ).  This will have four sections (1-3 paragraphs each):
      1. A recommended course of action.
      2. The 2-3 findings that support your recommendation.
      3. Constraints or conditions that might impact the success of your recommendation in this particular situation.
      4. A summary statement: your research-based recommendations for similar situations that could arise for the company in the future.

 

RESOURCES

UMUC Writing Center

http://www.umuc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/writing-resources/getting-started-writing/prewriting-and-outlining.cfm

 

What is an Argument?*

An argument takes a stand on an issue. It seeks to persuade an audience of a point of view in much the same way that a lawyer argues a case in a court of law. It is NOT a description or a summary.

  • This is an argument: "This paper argues that the movie JFK is inaccurate in its portrayal of President Kennedy."
  • This is not an argument: "In this paper, I will describe the portrayal of President Kennedy that is shown in the movie JFK."

 

What is a Thesis?*

A thesis statement is a sentence in which you state an argument about a topic and then describe, briefly, how you will prove your argument.

  • This is an argument, but not yet a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy."
  • This is a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy because of the way it ignores Kennedy’s youth, his relationship with his father, and the findings of the Warren Commission."

A thesis makes a specific statement to the reader about what you will be trying to argue. Your thesis can be a few sentences long, but should not be longer than a paragraph. Do not begin to state evidence or use examples in your thesis paragraph.

  • Find a Focus: Choose a thesis that explores an aspect of your topic that is important to you, or that allows you to say something new about your topic. For example, if your paper topic asks you to analyze women’s domestic labor during the early nineteenth century, you might decide to focus on the products they made from scratch at home.
  • Look for Pattern: After determining a general focus, go back and look more closely at your evidence. As you re-examine your evidence and identify patterns, you will develop your argument and some conclusions. For example, you might find that as industrialization increased, women made fewer textiles at home, but retained their butter and soap making tasks.

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