Critical Thinking

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Comm 210 Project Guidelines
Summer 2012 Section CA
G. Leithman

1. In this project, students explore contemporary issues in organizations or business and develop a critical analysis of these issues. This term, topics include: a. Progress or roadblocks in a major Canadian industry b. The physical workplace c. Impact of the economic recession on employees, firms or customers d. Changing workforce demographics e. Another new idea...

2. Your team will select a specific aspect of one of these broad issues and collect evidence from a variety of sources, as follows: f. Interviews with 10-12 informants. These informants may include neighbourhood business owners, employed friends, family members or other acquaintances, students as consumers and so on. You must study the ethical guidelines for doing research with human participants before starting these interviews. Your instructor will provide more information in class about the interview as well as the ethical guidelines. Visit the Office of Research website for detailed information and human research ethics compliance. http://oor.concordia.ca/services/researchethicsandcompliance/ g. Secondary sources such as articles about a particular industry and its major players, statistical information about populations or markets, feature articles about particular companies, other reports from the business press, company annual reports, and so on. h. One or two of the classic management theories that you will use as a specific analytic framework to explain and draw conclusions about your topic.

3. In presenting your argument, you must start with a clear claim about your issue, and draw explicitly on the evidence you have collected in discussing the validity of your claim. Be sure to integrate your detailed descriptions, analysis and evaluation of the evidence to build a persuasive argument about your claim (and sub-claims where applicable).

4. On (Class #5) you must hand in a one-page progress report which includes i. The broad issue your team has selected and a brief description of your specific topic j. A description of your proposed participants and 4-5 interview questions k. An initial annotated bibliography of at least 5-6 secondary sources l. The classic management theory you have selected, with a brief explanation of the relevance of this author to your analysis. Note that later in the term you may encounter other theories that may be equally or more applicable to your analysis m. Your work plan (specific tasks, completion dates & name of team member who is responsible).

In-class capacity-building exercises will be used to help further your progress throughout the term.

5. The project report will take the form of an article that might appear in a business periodical. Examples will be provided in class, and many other examples are available in Canadian Business, The Economist, Fast Company and other popular business magazines. The report should be about 2000-2500 words long. In an appendix to the report, you will provide summaries of your interviews and a list of secondary sources. The report is due at the start of class on (Class #12).

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