Option #2: Research and Reflection Paper—Non-Management Perspective
Your Portfolio Project synthesizes information gathered from an interview you will conduct with an individual of your choosing who reports/has reported directly to, or works/has worked closely with, the knowledge you have gained in this course, and your experience to create a research and reflection paper.
Be sure to thoroughly read the Portfolio Project description and the Portfolio Project grading rubric, below. The Portfolio Project will be due at the end of the course before midnight of Week 8.
Portfolio Project (Option #2): Interview Subject, Summary of Theories, and Outline (75 points—Submitted in Week 4)
Your Portfolio Project Milestone must be submitted before midnight on Sunday during Week 4. Your deliverables during Week 4 are:
- The name of the person who will be your interview subject.
- A summary of the theories that you plan to cover including how each theory relates to the interview topics.
- An outline of your portfolio project.
Your submission should be 250-500 words in length. Points for the milestone are awarded during Week 4 when the above mentioned deliverables are submitted. See Week 4 for instructions on completing and submitting the portfolio project milestone.
Portfolio Project Interview (275 points—Submitted in Week 8)
Choose someone to interview with whom you are familiar—ideally, someone whom you know well. Preferably, the individual you chose should report directly to or have reported directly to you in the past, or should work closely with you or have worked closely with you in the past. Ask him or her for some time—perhaps you can sit down for coffee—during which you can describe your course learning objectives and discuss what you have so far taken away from the class (in brief). Ask your interviewee what insights he or she has to offer to you about what makes a good manager.
The goal of the interview is to gain insight into what makes a good manager from the perspective of the employee, and how these insights dovetail with one or more of the modern theories of leadership. Some topics to touch on in the interview could include the following:
- Does your interviewee have a favorite manager that he or she has worked with? Ask for an explanation of why this manager is a favorite.
- What does your interviewee believe makes a strong manager?
- What does your interviewee believe makes a weak manager?
- Does your interviewee aspire to be a manager someday? Why or why not?
- What does your interviewee believe it means to be an effective leader (as opposed to the popular view of what a successful leader is and/or does)?
- What roles do goals, objectives, decision making, and communication play on the job on a regular basis?
- How does the interviewee handle changes at his or her organization, and what specific challenges has he or she encountered with managers in the past?
- What advice does your interviewee offer to someone who is looking to become a manager?
At the close of the interview, be sure to thank your interviewee for his or her time and assistance.
Note: Any documentation resulting from personal interviews by CSU Global students are for the sole purposes of fulfilling a course assignment and will not be used as part of a larger study, published, or distributed outside of the course environment.
Research and Reflection Paper
In the next phase, ruminate on what you learned in your interview—especially anything that helped you gain a deeper insight into the topics we have studied in the course—and write a research and reflection paper in which you draw upon our shared learning, your individual learning, and the additional discernment you have gained from the interview to demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of the foundational principles of management. In your paper, go beyond a mere recitation of memorized facts or regurgitation of information; strive to synthesize the most important topics of management (i.e., leadership, personality, motivation, decision making, communication, and the importance of good management to yourself and to society) into a hybrid research and reflection paper.
Your paper should integrate responses to each of the following areas in a well-organized and coherent paper:
- Discuss the leadership precepts you gleaned as a result of your interview.
- Describe how the leadership precepts dovetail with one or more of the modern theories of leadership.
- Describe any management weaknesses or failures your interview imparted on you.
- Discuss how to address these weaknesses or failures in light of the leadership model(s) you have discussed.
- Describe one or two tenets of motivation theory you have taken away from the course, in light of your interview, the leadership model(s) you have discussed, and your own personality.
- Discuss how your understandings of motivation theories impact your conceptions of the best practices when it comes to making decisions and communicating at work.
- Based on your interview and on learning from this course, summarize what it takes to be an effective employee, a successful manager, and an exemplary citizen of society.