Objective
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).
Summary
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.
Guidelines
Topic Selection
1. Select a specific organization of interest to you and identify a problem at the firm related to
organizational behavior (OB).
2. 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.
3. Identify which of our TCOs or specific topics in the syllabus are related to the problem you
identify.
Research Sources
1. All papers must have a minimum of six scholarly sources cited within the text of the paper and
identified in the references section.
2. Additional research sources can be attached in a bibliography.

3. Review the following document for instructions on how to access and use EBSCOhost for your
research: EBSCOhost.
Paper Format
1. All papers should be single sided, double-spaced, using a 11- or 12-point font.

2. Length of the paper to be between 10 and 12 pages, not counting cover page and appendices.
3. The first page should include the title of the work, student name, address, telephone and e-mail
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

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
1. All figures and tables must be referred to in your text before they appear on the page.

a. Figures and tables should appear on the same page as or the page after the text that
refers to them.
2. All figures and tables need captions. Captions go below figures and above tables.
Quotations and Citations
1. Quotations and citations are crucial components of a research paper and must be present.

2. Failure to properly cite research sources and borrowed ideas is plagiarism.

3. Refer to APA style guide for assistance with properly citing quoted and/or borrowed materials and
ideas.
Milestones
WEEK

ACTION REQUIRED

1

Familiarize yourself with course content and select an organization and problem area
to research.
Submit written project proposal containing the following:
1. A brief overview of the chosen organization and your role in it

2. Preliminary problem statement in the form of a researchable question
3. A brief narrative description of the organizational problem that you would like

2

4.

to research and resolve
Which TCO or textbook topic your problem is related to

Conduct library research on your topic.
1. Identify a minimum of six scholarly resources for your project.

2. 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.

3.
4. Review the "using EBSCO" tutorial.

3

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 project outline containing the following:
1. Documentation of at least three initial scholarly sources from the library

2.
3.
4.
5.

4

57
7

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.

Project Outline
Please print out the Course Project Outline 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:
SECTION

POINTS

DESCRIPTION

Title Page

5

Title of your applied research paper, e-mail address, course number
and title, instructor, and date.

Introduction

10

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).

Problem
Statement

15

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:
1. 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.
2. 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.

40

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.

40

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.

Solutions

30

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.

Reflection

10

Think about this assignment and write a well-thought-out reflective
statement about how this assignment influenced your personal,

Literature
Review

Analysis

academic, and professional leadership and managerial development.

References

10

Total

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.

160

Grading Rubrics

Criteria

Failed to Meet
Minimum
Standards
095

Barely Meets
Minimum
Standards
60+% - D
96111

Meets
Minimum
Standards
70+% - C
112127

Good
80+% - B
128143

Superior
90+% - A
144160
Title of your
applied
research paper.
Your name, email address,
course number
and title,
instructor, and
date. (5)

Title Page
(5 Points)

Introduction
(10 Points)

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)

Problem
Statement
(15 Points)

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)

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)

Presented as a
disguised
solution. (13)

Focused and
concise. (15)

Provides a
review of only
23 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)

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)

No analysis
evident or
presents a
simplistic,
inappropriate,
or incoherent
analysis of or
response to the
problem. (0)

Presents an
adequate
Illogically
analysis of the
analyses the
problem,
problem; may
elaborating the
lack coherent
analysis with
structure or
sufficient
elaboration with examples and
examples.
acceptable
reasoning. May
Does not apply not apply
findings from
findings from
literature
literature review
review. Clear
appropriate.
lack of evidence
to support
Lack of
analysis; makes evidence to
broad
support
generalizations analysis;
and
making broad
unsupported
generalizations
assertions. (27) 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)

Solution
(30 Points)

Solutions and
recommendatio
n not included.
(0)

Presents only a
single solution
The choice of
that may or may
solution(s) is
not be fully
not linked to the
supported by
analysis. (20)
the analysis.
(23)

Solution or
recommendatio
ns linked to the
analysis.
Partially
supported and
defended. (26)

Solution or
recommendatio
ns logically flow
from the
analysis. Well
supported and
defended. (30)

Reflection
(10 Points)

No reflective
statement

Perfunctory
One key lesson; Good faith effort Well presented
effort at drawing no other
in discussing
insights on how

Literature
Review
(40 Points)

Analysis
(40 Points)

offered. (0)

References
(10 Points)

the lessons
lessons from
from the
insights offered.
the assignment.
assignment;
(7)
(6)
some insights
are included. (8)

the assignment
influenced
personal,
academic, and
professional
development.
(10)

Few or no
references
listed. (0)

Insufficient
references
listed;
inconsistent
format. (6)

Well chosen
references
used; follows
correct format
for listing; no
errors. (10)

A few
appropriate
references
listed. (7)

Well chosen
references
used; minor
errors. (8)

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.