For this assignment, first carefully review the required background materials. Make sure you are highly familiar with the main steps involved in action research and organizational development discussed in the readings. When you are finished reviewing the background materials, take a close look at the scenario in the Case Assignment below.
Action research is the process of inquiry that is used to assist an individual or organization in solving a problem or improving a situation. For each scenario below, think about the reasons why things did not work out well for the company and more specifically, think about action research in terms of developing a plan for action.
Your task for this assignment is to explain what steps the organization should take by reviewing the standard action research and organizational development steps covered in the background materials. Try to assess which key step is missing in the scenario below.
Then write a 4- to 5-page paper using three scholarly sources from the required and optional readings list addressing the following for the scenario below:
The Perils of XYZ Widget Company
Sales have gone down at the XYZ Widget Company and nobody in the organization, including the CEO, seems to know why. They decide to hire you, an organizational development consultant, to do some action research. You and the CEO spend a lot of time discussing how to proceed and create a contract. The contract specifies that you will limit the scope to finding factors that led to the decrease in sales, come up with a plan of action within one month, and answer the following questions using the background data from the scenario below.
XYZ Widget Company has lost 20% of its market share over the past two years resulting in a sales loss of 1.5 million in 2017 and 2 million in 2018 for a total of $3 million. Each widget costs the consumer $29.99 to purchase, and the average customer will purchase three widgets annually. Each XYZ widget is produced for $8 dollars and is of higher quality than the competition.
One competitor (Jim’s Widgets) in the widget industry with a similar product has increased market share by 12% due to a lower production cost of $4 per unit and price to the consumer of $9.99.
The CEO of XYZ Widget Company is reluctant to lower prices and has had to eliminate commissions and bonuses of sales employees who exceed goals. In addition, seven of the 21-member sales team were laid off for non-performance of sales goals.
Develop an Action Research Strategy Plan covering the following Action Research Phases in a report to the CEO.
- Data gathering and Diagnosis
- Planning Change
- What are the reasons behind the decrease in sales?
- What actions or strategy (data/sales/changes) should be taken to turn sales around and regain market share?
- What strategy should be taken to increase employee morale?
- How long should this strategy take to complete?
- Answer the assignment questions directly.
- Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
- Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you use articles from the Internet, make sure they are from credible sources.
- Case Assignments are to be prepared in Microsoft Word and should be 4-5 pages in length, in addition to a cover page (course name and number, module number, session name, student name, and date prepared) and reference list (double-spaced, 12 pt. type, Times New Roman font). The paper should include a 2- to 3-sentence introduction, body, and 2- to 3-sentence conclusion in addition to Trident University International’s cover page and a reference list page in APA format.
- Support your research with three references that include at least one reference from a peer-reviewed academic journal or textbook found in Trident University’s online library.
- Report content should include a brief introduction to the assignment, background information about the organization being studied, the organizational chart, and your discussion of organizational structure in terms of the concepts or theories being applied in the assignment.
- Use subtitles, bullets, and tables to improve presentation values.
- Attention is to be given to citing sources of information in-text as well as in the reference list at the end of reports. Citation and reference style instructions are available at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/.
- Submit your report in the Case Dropbox for this module on or before the date due, as indicated in the TLC Homepage.
- Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under My Resources in the TLC Portal.
- Since you are engaging in research, be sure to cite and reference the sources in APA format. The paper should be written in the third person; this means words like “I,” “we,” and “you” are not appropriate. For more information, see Differences Between First and Third Person.
Submit the presentation through the appropriate Dropbox by the due date. Your submission will be graded with the assignment’s grading rubric.
Grading Note: Students’ Quantitative Reasoning skills were assessed in the Signature Assignment in Case 3 of MGT301 at the Introduction Level. In MGT401, they were assessed in a second Signature Assignment at the Reinforced Level of Quantitative Reasoning. This assignment is the Signature Assignment at the Emphasized Level of Quantitative Reasoning.
Your submission for this Signature Assignment will be assessed on the criteria found in the grading rubric for this assignment to assess Quantitative Reasoning at the Emphasized Level.
Citation and reference style instructions are available at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/. Also, see Trident University’s Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper.
You will find the following useful as you critique sources:
Cornell University. (2015). Critically analyzing information sources: Critical appraisal and analysis. Retrieved from http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/skill26.htm
Cornell University. (2014). Evaluating Web sites: Criteria and tools. Retrieved from http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/webeval.html