project paper

individual project paper assignment allows you to select from one of several options to customize your learning experience in this course. The assignment requires you to complete one of the following options and submit your project paper on Session 6 (February 15). Be sure to review the options below and clearly identify your selection and focus when writing your individual paper using APA format.

Option #1: Executive Interview & Analysis Paper
This assignment requires you to conduct a semi-structured interview with a chosen executive and write an 10-12 page paper that summarizes your findings. Your chosen executive should have strategic decision-making responsibilities for a unit, division, department, or work team, or one who executes such duties within the organization. Ideally, your interviewee should be an executive-level manager in the organization, have been in such a leadership role for at least one year, and have P & L responsibility (or budgetary responsibility for non-profit organizations). The interview will seek to understand the executive’s approach to assessing his/her work unit’s performance (team, department, division, organization, etc.) through alignment of organization design dimensions (structure, job design, human resource systems, management style, etc.) and the operating environment. The interview will seek to uncover the executive’s priorities concerning organizational diagnosis or assessment through addressing questions such as: What are the critical drivers of his/her work unit’s performance?; How are changes in the operating environment monitored?; and What are the most significant challenges associated with maintaining alignment across organization design elements? Appendix C includes a suggested semi-structured interview protocol for this assignment. Your final paper should be 10-12 pages and include at least six (6) academic references specifically integrated the course material.

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Option #2: Case or Research Paper
This assignment requires you to prepare an 10-12 page research paper or a case study based on your current or most recent employer. The case study describes a situation in your current or former organization that illustrates at least one of the topics (e.g., organization design, structure, HR systems, etc.), frameworks, principles, or theories discussed in class. The case should include relevant facts, your diagnosis of the situation (e.g., application of the MPA process), and potential solutions with justification and support from course material. This is a great opportunity to get input and further insight on some event or phenomenon occurring in your current organization, or a challenge that you faced at your former employer. For the research paper, you will select a relevant topic that further illuminates issues related to organization design, organization structure and alignment, leadership, and/or change management. Suggested topics include managing mergers and acquisitions, downsizing/restructuring, team-based organization structures (e.g., self-managed teams), leadership challenges in virtual organizations, and organizational culture change. Your final paper should be 8-10 pages and include at least six (6) academic references specifically integrated the course material.

Option #3: International Analysis of Organization Design
This assignment involves selecting one country outside the U.S. that is of particular interest and relevance to you. The assignment is to write an 10-12 page paper that summarizes the culture of the country and how the culture influences the elements of organization design (organization structure, job design, scanning practices, human resource systems, etc.) and management practices. One option for this assignment is to select a multi-national company that has operations in a particular country as the focus of your analysis. You are also encouraged to review Chapter 6 in the Daft text (Designing Organizations for the International Environment) to generate potential countries and topics for your paper. As with the other selected individual assignments, you will want to integrate your findings with the concepts and principles discussed in the course. Your final paper should be 10-12 pages and include at least six (6) academic references specifically from the course material.

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