Organizational Behavior Analysis: Research, Interview, & Recommendations
For this assignment, you may work alone or in a team of up to four members to conduct an OB audit of an organization. The purpose of the assignment is for you or your team to apply course concepts to a real-world organization and its practices.
Step One: Find an Organization Alone, or as a group, identify an organization that you may use for this project. You may use your professional and personal networks to find an organization. This organization must allow you to gather pertinent information via two interviews with current and/or recent employees. Step Two: Select a Topic After finding an organization and gaining entry, select a topic from the list of class topics below. Please pick only one topic. It is critical that you pick a topic that aligns with the organization you identified. • Job Attitudes: investigate the level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment within the organization; examine the antecedents (predictors) of these attitudes • Work Motivation: use a motivation theory to assess work motivation at the organization • Job Design: apply the Job Characteristics Model and analyze jobs from this perspective • Feedback: analyze the performance appraisal system used by the organization to provide feedback to employees • Stress Management: analyze the organization’s programs aimed at managing employee stress • Diversity: identify and analyze a diversity program within the organization; investigate the level of diversity in the organization, the organization’s plan for managing diversity, and employees’ perceptions of and/or attitudes toward diversity management • Leadership Effectiveness: using leadership theories investigate the type of leadership within the organization and its outcomes • Organizational Culture: analyze the culture of the organization Step Three: Research Your Topic Prior to conducting the two interviews, it is imperative that you research your group’s topic to craft efficient/effective and well-informed interview questions. Using your background research, your group will identify what the organization is doing well and poorly with respect to the chosen topic. Further, using this background research, you will provide recommendations about how to address any deficiencies or problems with the organization. When beginning your background research on the topic, I recommend that you read the corresponding section/chapter of the textbook, as well as review any slides that may have been presented.
Your group will find at least 8 peer-reviewed journal articles published 2001 or later for your chosen topic. I recommend that you use Google Scholar, EBSCO host, and/or PsycINFO (which
may all be accessed via the PSU library website) to find and access peer-reviewed journal articles. Step Four: Develop a List of Interview Questions Based on your background research, develop a set of interview questions to ask your two interviewees. The purpose of these questions is to gather important general background information about the organization (i.e., what it does, how it is structured, etc.) and more specific information about the organization with respect to your chosen topic. That is, you will want to determine whether the organization is engaging in good (or bad) practices as informed by your background research. In addition, you will want to use the questions to investigate areas where the organization could be improved in relation to the chosen topic. Finally, it is important that your group refrains from asking sensitive and/or confidential information; this will put the interviewees more at ease and all you to gather better information. Step Five: Conduct Interviews and Collect Information about the Organization Conduct your interviews with two current or recent employees at the organization. You may also gather additional information from the organization’s website, the media, or another source that may provide useful information. Conduct the interviews via telephone, Skype, or preferably in-person. DO NOT CONDUCT INTERVIEWS (OR GATHER INFORMATION) VIA EMAIL OR SURVEYS. Step Six: Write the Team Project Paper
For the final step, write the 10-13 page (excluding title page and references) team project paper as a team. Follow the term project format instructions below.
Term Paper Project Timeline
STEP TASK START FINISH 1 & 2 Find organization and select topic Week 3 Week 4 3 & 4 Research topic & develop interview questions Week 4 Week 6 5 Conduct interviews & collect information about the organization Week 6 Week 7 IF NEEDED Conduct any follow-up research based on interview findings Week 7 Week 8 6 Write term paper Week 8 Week 10
Team Project Paper Format
General Formatting and Submission Guidelines
• Double-spaced; size 12 Times New Roman font • 10-13 pages in length • 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper • Turn in the paper in Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx) • Turn in the completed paper by the deadline via D2L • Turn in only one copy of the paper, only 1 person but make sure EVERYONE’S name is listed on the title page
Title Page (1 page)
• Title of paper • Names of all group members (without this, they will not get credit)
Introduction (1/2 page – 1 page)
• Provide an overview of the paper • Summarize the structure/outline of the paper
Overview of the Organization (1/2 page – 1 page)
• Provide a brief overview of the organization (e.g., industry, product/service, etc.) • Describe how your group collected information (e.g., interviews, website, etc.) • While maintaining interviewee confidentiality, describe the interviewees (e.g., job titles, tenure, position, etc.)
Findings (4-6 pages)
• Describe what your group found via the interviewees and other information-gathering methods • Describe what the organization is doing; describe whether the organization’s practices/programs are working • Structure your findings in a user-friendly and meaningful manner (e.g., use headings/subheadings) • In this section, only write about the organization and what it is doing with respect to your focal topic; DO NOT summarize journal articles—rather, use journal articles to help support a point or evaluation you are making about the organization’s practices/programs
Recommendations (4-6 pages)
• Based on your findings, provide at least 3 recommendations for how the organization might address its weaknesses/deficiencies with respect to your topic • Describe what the organization is doing well and poorly with respect to your chosen topic—your background research and theory will help you here • Make sure that your recommendations are logical and feasible • Apply key course terms and concepts where appropriate • Cite the appropriate journal article authors to give credit where credit is due • Make sure your recommendations are based on specific issues facing the organizations (i.e., NOT generic best practices or advice) and that you cite journal articles to justify your recommendations • Stick to your topic—please refrain from making recommendations related to other topics • Be sure to cite your articles using APA style
Conclusion (1/4 – 1/2 page)
• Provide a summary of the organization • Summarize your findings • Summarize your recommendations
• Provide a reference list for all sources you used • Use APA style—a citation manager software (e.g., EndNote, Mendelay) can help • See me if you have any questions about formatting