BA 301 Research and Analysis of Business Problems
Tuesday/Thursday Noon-1:50 p.m., Lincoln Hall 249
Office hours: T, W, TH 9:30-11:30 a.m. in UCB 486-F (above McDonald’s)
The School of Business Administration identifies three core competencies necessary to ensure success in the workplace – problem-solving, theory to practice and long-term perspective. This course will help you to enhance those competencies, focusing on problem-solving, and build a strong set of tools and skills for the remainder of your formal business studies. You will spend a great deal of time solving problems and making decisions in your future business careers. This course will help to make you better at it.
The course content and structure focuses on the six step PSU SBA framework for problem-solving. Although similar to other methodologies, the PSU approach adds some subtle and not so subtle elements that make it a bit more complex, but also more comprehensive and useful in the real world and in day-to-day business decision making. With a unique combination of reading, writing, lecture and group activities, BA 301 should help to provide a strong foundation for knowing not only how to use the framework, but when to use it.
This course uses a custom text, combining the original text by PSU Professor Kristi Yuthas and a range of supplemental chapters.
Research and Analysis of Business Problems, by Yuthas, Barker, Terry, Daft, Anderson, Marcic, Cengage Learning, ISBN-13: 978-1-435-42885-0, available at the PSU bookstore.
• Understand why you need to develop formal skills in problem-solving. • Understand the importance of data analysis in problem-solving, and learn how to gather relevant data for problem-solving from credible sources. • Increase your facility in addressing challenging, complex and unstructured problems, using qualitative and quantitative techniques for analysis. • Develop your ability to manage and evaluate your own learning and critical thinking process. • Learn a thorough process for exploring and solving problems, allowing you to identify and consider various solution alternatives and present a logical case for the chosen solution.
This class requires weekly effort. There are a few short quizzes, but no midterms and no final exam. Class attendance and participation are critical for success. You’ll get the best grade by putting a strong effort into each of the four grading areas – research paper, homework assignments/quizzes, group work, and attendance/participation.
This is a student-centered, process-oriented class. The lectures are short and the readings are brief. Learning comes through repeated practice in applying conceptual material to problems – most often in small groups. You can expect several hours of homework every week completing the reading, the homework assignments, and the group work (although most of the group work is completed in class). PSU expects you to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours outside class for every hour spent in class. You may spend more than that if you have below-average skills in focused, critical thinking or in English writing. Even if your skills in these areas are strong, other course requirements such as library research or statistical analysis cause problems for you or take more time that you expect.
If you can’t make it to most of the classes or you don’t think you can complete the homework on time, I would suggest that you reschedule the course to a future term. Dropping out of the course during the term wastes money and time. In addition, it will cause problems for others in your group as they complete course requirements without your help. If you take the class this term, please make the commitment to complete...
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