Human Resources Grad level Case Study – Minimum 5 Academic Articles, APA (Please read description)

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This assignment is about developing an effective approach to communication in teams. For this assignment, you will be analyzing a case in your textbook to determine what communication “evidence” exists, use this evidence to develop issues, and they make recommendations from the readings on how to improve communication. Please refer to the ‘start here’ document for an overview which may help you understand how to think about this assignment. (This is the attached word document).

Communication Project MSM 6633

As we know, Warrick (2016) provided the components necessary for a high performance team. Communication is one of those important elements, and as communication continues to be an area of improvement in organizations, this assignment is about developing an effective approach to communication from a leadership perspective. For this assignment, you will be analyzing a case in your textbook to determine what communication problems exist, summarize the issues in the case and make recommendations on how to improve the situation based on the requirements below. Please refer to the ‘start here’ document for an overview which may help you understand how to think about this assignment. Five academic articles are required for this project, four of those are listed at the end of these instructions. You may add one article of your choice.

The case use for this project is in your textbook (Griffith & Dunham, 2015), Chapter 5, pages 91-92: CASE 5.1, The Apprentice.

Your goal is to provide information on how you would improve communication using four key items listed in the Welsh & Jackson article (2007). Using the Apprentice case, include advice for both teams. Overall, this will be your approach for what do you represent to promote effective communication. This project requires pulling information from multiple sources. For example, look at the Welsh & Jackson (2007) article, specifically on page 186, Figure 3. This lists four important components for internal communications; this includes communicating commitment, understanding, awareness and belonging to the employees. This for areas must be included with your communication plan and integrated into recommendations as appropriate. Kelly (1999) addressed the need to make sure the vision of the organization is aligned in all the activities and communication – so all communication clearly supports the vision and the goals. Assume that everybody has a clear mission and clear goals, because that is how the Apprentice worked. The focus here is on communication, behaviors and events related to communication.

The expectation for this assignment, which is an individual project, is to thoroughly review the case, conduct a gap analysis to determine what the issues are based on the evidence provided, and note the main issues. After this, address the issues with recommendations which include the four key components mentioned above as part of your communication efforts. There should be a clear linkage between the gaps identified, the issues summarized, and the recommendations made. Keep in mind that analysis is needed to identify the issues, and identifying a gap is not quite the same thing is identifying the issue that needs to be addressed – please don’t confuse them! The intent of this assignment is for you to demonstrate that you can analyze, identify issues and recommend improvements to address the issues as everyone in leadership positions can do, and provide effective communication that demonstrates commitment, understanding, awareness and belonging. Please read through these instructions and then contact the course instructor if questions remain. Read the papers listed at the end of this assignment before writing begins.

The paper needs to include the following elements:

  1. An executive summary – we do not use an abstract because this is not a research paper, it is an applied paper and therefore intended to be used in an organization as a proposal for improvement. An executive summary explains to an executive exactly what the issues are, how you discovered the issues (analysis), and what you intend to do to improve the issues in 2 pages or less. An executive normally reads this; stay away from big words intended to impress and keep it simple and to the point – don’t waste the executive’s time!
  2. APA formatting throughout, grammar and spelling will be considered as well as sentence structure. Keep in mind that this is a demonstration of how well you can communicate not only your intentions, but also how well you write.
  3. Basic recommended components would include:
    1. Title page. No exceptions – assignments without names will not be graded.
    2. Brief explanation of the background
    3. Statement of the current situation
    4. Identify the gaps, or what is going on based on the literature listed at the end of these instructions. There are four articles that tell us how communication can be improved, use this information to inform your writing.
    5. List of issues that were identified because of the gap analysis – provide a brief explanation of each
    6. Apply the four required elements in your recommendations on how to improve communication based the issues identified
    7. Conclusions should be the final section
  4. A minimum of five academic references (these are journal articles) in required APA format; websites, a limited use of your textbook (3 text citations maximum), or other sources may be added but these are in addition to the five journal articles. References always start on a new page, “References” should be at the top and centered, references should be in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author (this is APA formatting; use the resources available in the course and the Troy Library if you are not familiar with APA formatting).
  5. The recommended size for this paper before the executive summary and the reference page is 5 to 6 pages. Longer is not necessarily better! It’s okay if it runs a little over six pages but it shouldn’t be a long paper involving a lot of work. Grades are not given based on the weight of the submission.

The following articles are required for this project, and while it should not be necessary to read every word in every article, there are certain concepts in each that will be very valuable to you in developing your knowledge about communication and how to approach effective and positive communications. These may all be found in the ABI informs database in the Troy Library, and these are listed in the Library Guide for MSM 6633 with direct links. It is reasonable to expect some of the concepts and information to appear on an exam in this course and in the capstone course.

Harshman, E. F., & Harshman, C. L. (1999). Communicating with employees: Building on an ethical foundation. Journal of Business Ethics, 19(1), 3-19.

Kelly, D. (2000). Using vision to improve organisational communication. Leadership &

Organization Development Journal, 21(1), 92-101.

Tennyson, P. A., & Ray, K. (2005). Creating a strategic communication plan THAT GATHERS NO DUST. American Water Works Association Journal, 97(1), 48-51,53-57,4.

Warrick, D. D. (2016). What leaders can learn about teamwork and developing high performance teams from organization development practitioners. Performance Improvement, 55(3), 13-21.

Welch, M., & Jackson, P. R. (2007). Rethinking internal communication: A stakeholder

approach. Corporate Communications, 12(2), 177-198.


NOTE: Warrick (2016) is not required reading for this project, and should not be included in your list of references. Warrick is provided here because it was referenced in the instructions. Your team project and your individual project will include Warrick, not the communication project.

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