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Synthesis Project Description: Research Briefing PaperThis document explains the requirements for the briefing paper. Please read all sectionscarefully. In some instances, the instructions intentionally do not follow APA format. If youhave questions about this assignment, please post them in theAsk the Professordiscussionforum so everyone will have the same information.General Description of the Assignment (from the syllabus)Research Briefing Paper (Synthesis category = 20% of Course Grade)–The purpose of thisassignment is to strengthen your research skills, enhance your presentation skills, and expandyour knowledge. You will need to research materialbeyond the classreadings to investigatelabor/employee relations at a specific organization. Youwill report your findings to the class in a briefing paper (5 or 6 double-spaced pages, notincluding the title page and reference list). You’ll needbetween 15-20 sources.Scholarly sources from academic libraries should dominate your research.Wikipedia isnotanacceptable source. Of course, you may use online libraries, such as the one at UMUC.Givenmuch of the information available via the web is not screened for accuracy, you should becareful in selecting information from this source.In other words, website information shouldbe used appropriately (i.e., to describe a specific company's program or report a governmentalpolicy).APA should be used to reference your sources.Additional instructions will be provided.(Course Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)Note: Graduate School courses require about 25 sources for a standard term paper. The 15-20sources needed here are part of the overall research requirement. Instead of writing an 18-25page paper, however, this assignment reduces the requirement to 5-6 double-spaced pages ofan executive briefing. This way you meet the research requirements but have a smaller writingtask. Being concise and knowing which information to include, however, can be challenging; so,allow yourself enough time to craft a suitable product. Good presentations of any nature havemuch more research to support the amount of material that is presented, so this is a good skill
to develop. It may help to think of this assignment as a presentation to a meeting of very busypeople. They will give you a few minutes of their time to present your 5-6 double-spaced pagesof information. You’ll want to include the key points in it. Exceeding the 6 page limit doesnotindicate a “better, more thorough” paper. Having less than 5 pages raises the question ofadequacy.Identifying your TopicChoice of OrganizationAssume you are an external consultant hired to provideexecutive level managementa concisereport about labor relations in an organization.Chooseone current organizationin the privateor public sector. You will likely need to choose a large, visible organization in order for materialto be available. There is usually a sufficient amount of material for retail giants, supermarketschains, clothing manufacturers, prominent hotels, key airlines, automotive manufacturers,hospitals, mining companies, and large government agencies. In order to keep an objectivemindset, donotselect an organization for which you work or did work. Perhaps you’d like tochoose an organization that provides a product or service that you use. Just be sure there isenough accessible information. You will need to consult publicly-available material, such asreputable news reports, journal articles, and government documents. Confidential informationinternal to the organization shouldnotbe used, but public material provided by theorganization and/or a union can be used as long as its credibility is given appropriate weight.Once the organization is selected, discuss:How well does it manage its labor/employeerelations? What are its strengths and weaknesses?Tip:One way to think about the content isthrough a series of questions:--Definition:For purposes of your analysis, who is the organization?Is it only part of a largerenterprise? For instance, is it only the U.S. locations or specific operations within the U.S.?What role does labor have in its operations?For instance, how large is the labor force?Whoare the employees?Is labor a critical piece of production or does technology do most of thework?--Management's view:How well does it think its employee/labor relations is going?Is itmeeting its own criteria for "good"? Does it do what it claims in its strategic plan and publicprofessions? What is the evidence that it is or is not?What would it continue or change if itcould?--Labor's view:How do employees think they are treated?What is the evidence?What rolehave unions had/tried to have in this relationship between employees and management? Whatwould employees/the union continue or change?
Tip:To obtain needed evidence, also consider other points of view: How does the government,industry, and other facets of society view the organization’s labor relations? For instance, hasthe NLRB ruled against the organization consistently for the same reason? Did the organizationwin any industry awards for managing its people?Briefing Paper ChecklistAdministrative Preparation_____The paper is posted by the deadline in the proper place, using aWord file format.Per the syllabus, a grade penalty can apply if thedocument is late._____The title page contains your name and class section._____Pages are numbered._____The page number does not exceed the stated limit. (The pagelimit asks you to think about what is most important and tocommunicate it concisely. This is a valuable business skill sincemanagers often have time to read only the executive summaries orthe first page of a resume! Note: This does not mean that substanceshould be sacrificed; it just means it should be presented concisely.)_____A 12-point font is used, and margins are reasonable.Content (Body of the Paper)_____ Special terms are defined.