The term paper is a comprehensive semester-long project. Students will complete this project in the steps described below. Your final project is your major contribution, where you will exhibit your learning. Students will individually select an organization, assess its managerial effectiveness and make recommendations to improve its operations management plans and results through the approaches, principles and methods learning in the class. You are free to choose an organization that you are familiar with, including an organization you have already started or worked for or you may also choose a fictitious organization that you want to start sometime in the future.
This project will incorporate important concepts and frameworks introduced throughout the course and will demonstrate the students’ ability to understand and properly apply these concepts in real-life contexts.
Parameters and guidelines for the term paper are as follows:
- Select an organization, e.g., a corporation, company, firm or association (ideally, an organization which you have some interest in starting or running) for in-depth analysis of their operations management practices.
- The term paper should be at least 1,500 words with at least 3 scholarly references in addition to your eText for a minimum of 4 total references. Please keep in mind that the word count requirements point out the minimum amount of effort that should be put into the paper. Word count isn’t everything because quality of writing and research matters as well, but it is an indication of the quantity of effort put into the assignment. Note that word count does not include title, abstract, or reference pages. Not following this requirement will significantly impact the grade.
- Use scholarly peer-reviewed references rather than websites. Scholarly references are generally more credible and make a more persuasive argument. Non-academic websites are not typically recommended for academic writing. While most of the information generally is correct, it is not always reliable because anyone can change the content, bias is often present, and it is not peer-reviewed. For example, it’s best not to use news websites, Wikipedia, investopedia.com, about.com, smallbusiness.chron.com, huffingtonpost.com, ehow.com, forbes.com, cnn.com, online encyclopedias, or similar non-academic websites. Articles in these types of websites are written by reporters or individuals who may or may not be experts in the field, and consequently may have incorrect or biased information. Instead, it adds much more credibility to use the class eText, other related textbooks, and peer-reviewed articles, i.e. scholars have analyzed and evaluated the content for accuracy, quality, and reliability. Be sure to use the university library to help you find these types of scholarly references. The library has a setting in database searches that allow you to search for peer-reviewed articles only.
- It is acceptable to use a company website for research, say for example if you are researching Apple, it’s ok to use www.apple.com to describe their mission, strategy, financials, etc.
- The Term Paper should be well organized and encompass the above subject and content guidelines, and an electronic copy of the project should be submitted via Turnitin.
The Term Paper will consist of five major sections:
- Background and Context: Discuss type of industry, products/services, and how organizational vision and strategies have influenced their operations management.
- Analysis of current operations management practices and organizational culture.
- Analysis of key terms and principles learned in class and how they relate to the current status and future goals of the company.
- Your recommendations for the next 1-2 years of the company in regards to operations management. Ensure that these align with the organization’s vision and values.
- References – Use at least 3 scholarly references in addition to your eText for a minimum of 4 total references.
Company Selection and Summary (20%)
You may submit your company choice during weeks 1-4. You must choose a company and it must be approved by the end of week 4. You only need to post the company name and a short 1-paragraph summary of your plans for your term paper in the submission box – this is all that is required for this component of the assignment. If you receive a grade for this assignment, this means your project has been approved. The instructor will ask you to resubmit if not approved.
Final Draft (80%)
Your final draft should be submitted no later than Saturday, 11:59PM EST of week 13. Please thoroughly review all requirements above to ensure you have included all required components.