Objectives (3 people project)
This course project will help you utilize the concepts in this class, by doing a thorough analytical and in depth review and comparison of “change” in two companies. You will accomplish this project through 5 deliverables in the course:
- Proposing and having approved your project topic. (2 references) (Week 1)
- Researching two publicly traded companies, and comparing and contrasting their methods of handling a significant change in their organizations. Analyze and write about images of change in those organizations. (4 new references) (Week 2)
- Diagnosing the change in those companies and their barriers and resistors. (4 new references) (Week 4)
- Analyzing and creating applications for a change project communication based on the change in one of your researched companies. (2 new references) (Week 6)
- Utilize multiple references using online research, Keller Graduate School of Management’s live or online libraries, perhaps your public library for print resources, and any other primary or secondary research source you feel would be appropriate for this project. You will complete an annotated bibliography at the end of the term of strong references to support your findings. At least 12 total references used in the project. (All term – bibliography due Week 7).
Do not use Wikipedia as a reference source. If you find useful information from Wikipedia, triangulate your research and find other, more credible source(s) which provide the same (or better) information, and then utilize the information from that more credible source in your paper and reference page/bibliography.
Your project will have five separate parts, due throughout the term. It will incorporate the learning of the course as we go through – and hopefully will cement the process for you. At the end of the term, your final exam will contain 4 randomly selected Change Management questions based on YOUR Course Project companies and research findings as related to the course content, as well as other questions (multiple choice and essay) which are not specifically related to your project (but are related to Change Management course content!).
Thus, the initial “topic selection” where you pick the companies you will research throughout the term is critical for you to ensure you are interested enough in the material that it will keep you engaged throughout the term.
Here are some examples:
Example: Both Ford and GM experienced serious issues during the pre, during and post TARP period causing them to restructure and change how they do business. Each of them reacted to these pressures differently. A paper comparing and contrasting the way both companies reacted to this pressure would be very interesting and easy to set up in an organized fashion. Further, utilizing the images grid, you can discuss how they did handle these pressures (using which image) and how a different style of leader (image) might have handled it differently.
Example: Both HP and Home Depot have had issues with selecting a new CEO for their company. Reviewing the last 10 years of CEO history, a paper comparing and contrasting the pressures involved, and how they impacted the overall productivity of the companies would be sustainable throughout the term.
Example: Review any two companies in the airline industry, their entrance into (and possibly their completion of) bankruptcy, and how they handled the changes through management as a result. (i.e. United Airlines and American Airlines)
Example: Review any two companies who have recently been through some part of Merger and Acquisition change and how they handled the culture changes.
Example: Review any two companies who have had industry changes and how they have reacted either successfully, or unsuccessfully and how their reactions perhaps resulted in their success or failure. (i.e. Yahoo vs. IBM)
Completing the alternate project will help you develop your skills by assessing a real organization in need of change and developing a plan for the implementation of that change. In some cases, students have actually used the plans they developed to help their organizations through change scenarios.
· The entire paper, including title page and references, should be about 10 to 12 pages long. There is no particular required length of each part of the paper. But keep the overall length in mind as you are writing the individual parts.
· The paper is to be about a real organization.
· The change should be anticipated, not historical. If you want to write about a change that has already happened, discuss it with me and we will figure out how to do that.
· The paper is to be in APA format, not only in terms of citations and references but in style as well.
· The names of the dropboxes you will be using do not correspond very well to what your deliverables will be. The dropbox names are based on the standard project.
· Never use Wikipedia or something similar as a reference in an academic paper unless you are doing a paper about Wikipedia.
Alternate Project Part 1 Topic Selection (Due Week 1)
Select a need for change in an organization. The needed change must involve humans. Remember that this is a Human Resources course. We are not talking about marketing, operations, finance, information systems, or other functional areas although changes in those areas may also require a change in human resources. The needed change must involve an actual organization. This organization may be a current or past employer but does not have to be. You will want to choose an organization that you are close enough to that you will be able to get the necessary information.
Typically, this needed change would be a change that the management who would implement the change are aware of and are supportive of. If you need to pretend management is supportive that is okay. For example, you may think that your department needs to implement a team structure but your boss in reality does not agree. You may do your project as if the boss agrees.
The needed change must be something that would be relatively difficult to implement. For example, ending work at noon on Friday would involve change, but in most organizations, the change would not be difficult to implement from human resources point of view.
Briefly describe the organization. The organization description should not be more than a couple hundred words. Describe the current situation. Describe the desired changed the situation. Describe who is responsible for making the change. If you would like to use a pseudonym for an organization, that is fine. You really should use pseudonyms for any people that you mention.
We need to know only what we need to know about the organization. The history of the company, for example, is probably not relevant. But it might be in some situations.
Write your paper in APA format. I have provided some resources in doc sharing to assist you in this. In particular, note that academic papers are not typically written in first person. This paper is not to be in first person.
Submit the paper to the Topic Selection dropbox by the due date, or a few days later.
Some Other Information
At least four scholarly references must be used in this paper. A scholarly reference generally means something from a peer reviewed journal although there are other types of scholarly references as well. Our textbook cannot be used as one of the four scholarly references although it is okay to use the textbook as a reference. It is also okay to use additional non-scholarly references. Any reference that is listed must actually be used for some beneficial purpose in the paper. It should not be crammed in just so there are four scholarly references.
Alternate Project Part 2 Images of Change (Due Week 2)
Keep working on your project but you do not have to submit anything.
Alternate Project Part 3 Diagnosis (Due Week 4)
Analyze the case using the tools in the course.
Create a force field diagram and use one of the other diagnostic models as well. Be sure you include the drivers for change as well as likely sources of resistance.
This portion of the project is to be submitted to the Part 3 dropbox on the due date for Part 3 of the project. No separate submission is required for Part 2. Points for Part 2 will be included in the Part 3 grade.
Part 3 is a continuation of the paper that you started in Part 1. You should take Part 1 and start at the end of it with Part 3. Making revisions to Part 1 is allowed and encouraged. Revision will not affect the grade for Part 1.
Part 4 Communicating the Change (Due Week 6)
Part 4 consists of a detailed action plan. Use your findings from the diagnosis to develop an action plan and a communication plan. Specific steps to be taken are to be described and they are to be related to a timeline. Who is to do what and when they are to do it.
A communication plan for both internal and, if appropriate, external audiences is to be provided. Part 4 is a continuation of the paper that you started in Part 1. You should take Parts 1 through 3 and start at the end of it with Part 4. Making revisions to Parts 1-3 is allowed and encouraged. Revision will not affect the grade for the previously graded parts.
Part 5 – Annotated Bibliography (Due Week 7)
Part 5 consists of polishing the paper, adding a conclusion section, and making sure that the reference page is in good shape. Hand in the paper, in its entirety, one more time. Here is where previous revisions may pay off. Part 5 is included for two reasons. First, I want you to have a polished, completed document you can be proud of. I forgot the second reason.
Although you do need a references section, you do not need to do an annotated bibliography