Objectives and Instructions
The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to conduct an interview with a manager to enable you to have a better understanding of a manager’s day-to-day responsibilities. Using concepts and theories discussed throughout the course, you will then examine the approaches this person uses on the job and prepare a written summary of your findings and assessment. The assignment is worth 15 points.
Identify a manager who is willing to be interviewed. For purposes of this assignment, a manager is a member of an organization with three or more subordinates who report directly to him or her. Any type of organization is acceptable. You will structure the interview into two sections: Manager Background and General Responsibilities, and Managing Employees. The Manager Background and General Responsibilities section of your interview should take approximately one-fourth to one-third of the time. You will need to ask the following questions: How long have you been with the company? How long have you held your current position? What are the three most important tasks or duties that you are responsible for accomplishing in this job? What do you like most about being a manager? What do you like least about being a manager? The majority of the interview should focus on the Managing Employees section and examine how the manager handles the following three areas. Motivating employees.
Managing ethics and ethical accountability.
Aside from the required questions, you should have another 10-12 questions prepared. Three or four questions should address each of the three focus areas in the Managing Employees section. You will need to turn in your questions in the Appendix of your paper. Please note that the questions should be your original questions. It is perfectly acceptable to conduct some research on questions that are used in professional situations. However, it is not acceptable to use these questions directly, particularly if you do not cite the author of the questions. In addition, it is not acceptable to use the exact same questions as other members of the class (current classmates or students from prior terms). You will need to develop an interview strategy. This involves having a list of questions that you have prepared in advance to ensure that you cover each of the required areas. Your interview should last approximately one hour.
Be prepared for answers different from those you anticipate. It is acceptable to probe such answers, even if you didn’t plan to. Sometimes that will generate some very interesting responses. Please keep in mind that you should not expect managers to discuss how they do their job using terms, theories, and concepts we discuss in class. Instead, your job is to ask more general questions in a conversational tone and then to interpret the responses in relation to course material. In other words, don’t ask the manager “Do you use a particular theory in motivating your employees?” Instead, ask how he or she is able to get employees to do their job well or how he or she motivates employees. Then, interpret these responses in terms of theories we have read and discussed. You’ll also need to determine how you will keep track of the responses. You may want to tape record the interview so that you can take more detailed notes at a later time. If you do record it, make sure you first ask permission to do so. You should take some notes during the interview in case anything happens to the tape recorder (like batteries wearing out, volume set too low, tape running out, etc.). A spare set of batteries is not a bad idea either. I also suggest that you check the volume level by recording and playing back a few seconds of tape at the beginning of the interview.
Your job is to write a paper not to provide a verbatim transcript of the interview or a summary of responses...
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