Business Communications: Individual Analytic Research Report

Overview of Assignment

Your entire team will choose one topic from the seven topics listed below. While this is an
individual assignment
, your team will provide support and feedback throughout.

Your final report will be uploaded to Dropbox and in APA format. You will follow APA guidelines for all formatting, in-text citations, and bibliographical information. If you have questions about the report, please ask me early. Allow yourself generous amounts of time for this assignment, and work each week on it. Writing and revising take time.

Purpose of Assignment

Apply your knowledge of organizational writing/communication.

Demonstrate information competence through library database research and through the integration of data to bolster persuasive arguments.

Analyze a business problem, and propose and analyze justifiable business solutions based on researched data.

Demonstrate literacy skills by producing a professional, business report.

Step One – Meeting with your team

Meet with your team to review all instructions and information with your team. Discuss and

decide which topic your team members will use for their research reports. As a team, review

and discuss the sample APA research report found at the link below. Be sure each member

understands the instructions.

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guid

e/documents/20090212013008_560.pdf

Step Two – Choosing your audience

Choose a company to be the audience of your report. Research about the company. You will address your letter of transmittal to the board of directors of this company. This will be your audience. Keep them in mind throughout your report. The company does not need to have your particular business problem in reality.

Step Three – Researching your topic and creating a workplan outline

Following the guidelines from the librarian, research your topic. Use subject term searches and consult databases with credible articles. Create a workplan outline and have one team member review it for feedback. Keep this documentation for submission. Overall, your outline should provide a clear, logical structure for your report. It should help your audience to follow your report’s research and findings.

Research Topics – Each member will choose one.

1) Community Engagement and Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships

Increasingly, consumers are voting with their wallets. More and more companies are realizing that giving back to their communities is not just good ethics, but it also makes good business sense. Company X has asked you to help it to create a solid community engagement program. Research corporate community engagement and what is involved.

What is corporate community engagement? What is social responsibility?

Why is this a growing concern? Why is it important for companies to give back? Are there benefits or drawbacks? If so, what and why?

Who engages in the best practices and what are the lessons learned?

How could the company implement a successful community engagement program? o What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success?

o What possible nonprofit partners would you suggest and why?

Telecommuting

More and more employees are looking to work from home. Company X has asked you to help it create a successful telecommuting policy and program. Research telecommuting and how the company could implement such a policy and program for employees.

What is telecommuting? Why is it growing?

Are there benefits or drawbacks? If so, what and why? For whom?

Who engages in the best practices and what are the lessons learned?

How could the company implement a successful telecommuting policy/program?
o
What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success?

Diversity and Inclusion

Company X has decided to implement a diversity and inclusion policy/program. It has asked you to help it create a successful diversity and inclusion policy and program, including training for its employees regarding prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.

What is diversity and inclusion? What is gender equity? Why is this a growing concern?

Are there benefits or drawbacks? If so, what and why?

Who engages in the best practices and what are the lessons learned?

How could the company implement a successful diversity and inclusion policy/program? o What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success?

Employee Wellness

Numerous articles suggest that company wellness plans cut healthcare costs. Company X has asked you to help it create a successful employee wellness program. Research employee wellness and how the company could implement such a program for its employees.

What is employee wellness? What is employee burnout?

Why is this a growing concern?

Are there benefits or drawbacks? If so, what and why?

Who engages in the best practices and what are the lessons learned?

How could the company implement a successful employee wellness program? o What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success?

Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace

Every workplace includes complex interpersonal relationships – coworker, employer-employee, etc. At times those relationships experience conflict. Company X is planning to create policy for preventing and dealing with interpersonal conflict and is asking for your help. Research workplace conflict and how the company should prevent and deal with implementation of a workplace policy.

What is workplace conflict and what are the types of interpersonal conflict? Why is this a concern?

What is the role of organizations in preventing conflict?

Who engages in best practices and what are the lessons learned?

Should/how could the company implement a successful conflict prevention/resolution program?

Intergenerational Workplace Plan and Succession Planning

Today’s workplace is home to up to five generations, from GEN Z to Millennials to GEN X to Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. Each generation brings distinct ideas, skills, and abilities to the workplace. While most diversity is considered to be a positive factor in creating work products, teamwork, distribution of work, etc., generational diversity can be complex. Company X is asking your help in creating a plan for bringing about positive work environments and improved work products amongst an intergenerational workforce and a plan for succession planning.

What is succession planning?

Why is this a growing concern?

  Are there benefits or drawbacks? If so, what and why? For whom?


  Who engages in the best practices and what are the lessons learned?


  How could the company implement a successful succession plan/program?

o
What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success in succession and/or intergenerational cooperation?

7) Corporate Image/Identity

Corporations can benefit from having a strong and positive corporate image and/or identity. Typically the corporate image is respected or admired by those in the demographic(s) who purchase/use their products or services. Company X is considering a corporate rebranding or update to their corporate image.

What is corporate identity? Corporate image?

When would corporate identity/image be a concern?

Are there benefits and drawbacks of a corporate rebranding? If so, what and why? For whom?

Who has engaged in the best/worst practices and what are the lessons learned? How could the company implement a successful rebranding?

What criteria would the company need to develop to ensure success?

Step Four – Writing your analytical research report

The
body
of your report will be 4-5 pages, single-spaced. You may include one page of visuals – graphs, tables, charts, etc. You must include one visual in your report. Report components and a report example are detailed in course documents and Chapter 11 of your text.

  1. Title page 4. Report
  2. Letter of Transmittal 5. Reference page
  3. Table of Contents and Figures 6. Peer reviews

Use aspects of good business writing in this report – conciseness, clarity, correct grammar, and conversational tone. Do not use a style that is fancy, pompous, or wordy. Proofread your report several times. Errors in these areas mar the good impression your work can make. You must have at least one team member review your report before final submission. Keep this documentation for submission. You may also have other outside readers review your report (see the University Writing Center).

APA Formatting and Citations

You must use a minimum of three credible sources, including one scholarly and one professional source (recall library session and databases discussed). The library offers free access to many online sources and databases, as well as printed sources. Your information must be from reputable sources (i.e. found from the library databases or other published sources)
within the last five years
. Any questions, consult your librarian.

Review a sample APA report

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guid e/documents/20090212013008_560.pdf

from Purdue OWL to be sure your formatting and structure are correct.

Use in-text references, done according to APA style. An example is (Denton, 2020, p. 46); this in-text note would refer a reader to your bibliography, which must also be done in APA style.

www.apastyle.org

http://libguides.nwmissouri.edu/apa https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.

You can also use the APA web sources referenced on the university library web site.

PLAGIARISM WILL RESULT IN A “0” FOR YOUR REPORT.

Introduction – ½ – ¾ page

The
introduction
should include your research question/problem statement, narrowed, focused, and clearly stated; a scope statement (specifying exactly what you are including and excluding), and the purpose of the study – i.e., why the company has hired you as a consultant. Also, briefly describe your research strategy along with what indexes and databases you searched. Do this in such a way that the company’s board of directors will feel confident that you are systematic in your approach, and that your information will be complete, accurate, and relevant.

Use meaningful headings and sub-headings in APA format to help your reader follow your report. Remember to define any new terms that the reader won’t immediately understand. As a transition to the report body, give the reader a brief preview of the way your report body will be organized. (Assume some knowledge on the part of the board; these people are business professionals after all. Keep your audience in mind; otherwise your report may be too long and too elementary.)

Research Findings – 3 pages

Again, use a system of APA headings and sub-headings and at least one figure/exhibit (visual/ graphic/table). See Table 11.2 in your test regarding visuals. Use no more than one short, direct quotation. Be sure to cite all ideas and paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism. Review the questions listed below your topic to give you some guidance for the body of your report.

Conclusions and Recommendations – 1-1 ½ pages

Summarize each main section and any inferences you can draw on the basis of the summary in your conclusion.
Include
your recommendation(s) after the conclusion section. This should be a strong finish, using persuasive writing to convince the board to adopt your recommendation(s). Cite benefits to the company, both direct and indirect.

Report Submission

Dropbox

report as a Word file or pdf (no reference page)
report as a Word file or pdf with reference page (UPLOAD THIS ONE SECOND!)

Analytical Research Report Grading

The content will be evaluated using the designated rubric, as well as APA style and formatting guidelines. Spelling, grammar, word choice, topic sentences, summarizations, introduction, conclusion, and the appropriate supporting information are areas that will be evaluated.

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