Collaboration within a virtual team; organizational behavior

Assignment Overview Your task is to create a Best Practice Fact Sheet for Canadian managers about an organizational behaviour topic from below. Many new managers have been promoted from technical roles and have little experience or background in managing people. Your Fact Sheet will be posted as a resource on the “For Employers” page of the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario (HRPAO) website. A fact sheet is a document that provides clear and easy to read information on a topic. Fact sheets are often used by experts in a particular field to disseminate their work to the general public. For example, a geologist at the Department of Natural Resources who studies flooding might produce a fact sheet explaining the flooding hazards in a particular region. Often, but not always, the purpose of a fact sheet is to convince the reader to do something, like getting a flu shot or recycle stuff. The week of Module 13 has been set aside to work on this assignment – as there are no other learning activities during this final week of the course. Feel free to begin working on this assignment sooner if you wish. Assignment Goals The purpose of the writing assignment is to assess your core knowledge of an OB topic area and to develop your communication and critical thinking skills. The fact sheet project has the following goals:  Make efficient use of library and online information resources and technology and demonstrate the ability to assess the quality, source, and validity of research materials.  Express ideas and facts to others effectively and accurately in a fact sheet format.  Comprehend, interpret, and analyze research resources in light of the organizational topic being studied and evaluate the logic, validity, and relevance of research materials to an assigned research topic.  Synthesize research to arrive at reasoned conclusions or to demonstrate comprehension of a problem.  Analyze and understand the interconnectedness between a research topic and other related organizational issues or consequences. What is a Fact Sheet? Don’t be misled by the term “fact sheet”. This is not a list of factoids, but a hybrid between a traditional research paper and a newspaper or newsletter format. Fact sheets typically include graphics, headlines, pictures, graphs, tables, and pull out boxes to emphasize certain points among the text. All fact sheets have a cohesive styling that pulls together information into one interesting and informative document. General Format and Audience Your Best Practice Fact Sheet deliverable will be 3 pages. The first two pages contain the content of your fact sheet. The third page an Annotated Reference List. Most fact sheets are about two pages long so that they can fit on a single piece of paper (front and back) and have a good balance of text (in a readable font), white space, and images. Your Best Practice Fact Sheet will be in “newsletter” style and will be informative and visually interesting. Use your creativity! Below are two example fact sheets. These are not related to organizational behaviour, but they can help you visualize the layout of content and use of images: Dupont Roofing Underlayment (see Appendix A) – this is informative, but the plain black font and lack of images makes it very dull and boring to look at. USDA Bioproducts Factsheet (see Appendix B) – this one is much more visually appealing; the only downside is it’s a bit too lengthy. It is important to keep your audience in mind as you write the text for your fact sheet. You have to assume that your reader has little prior knowledge of the topic and will not be familiar with much of the terminology we have used in this class. It is important to define any terms you use (note that the first thing in the Dupont Roofing example was a description/definition of the underlayment). Informative subject headings within the document will also help your reader follow your narrative. Content & Formatting Expectations In terms of content, your fact sheet should: 1. Define any unknown words/concepts. 2. Provide the reader with information on the OB practice you’ve chosen. Below are some ideas to get you started. You only have two pages, so we do not expect you to answer all of these questions. It is up to you to decide which topics are relevant to your OB practice and worthy of inclusion in your fact sheet.  What general OB topic is this practice related to? What discipline is it based on? What’s the history of this issue?  Why is this best practice important? Why should a manager care? How does it impact the everyday life at work? What are the potential benefits to employees, teams/departments, the organization, or Canadian society?  What is this best practice used for? What are the key attributes and features?  What is the implementation process (roll-out) for this best practice? Is it difficult to implement? What are the potential challenges? How do you overcome or avoid them?  What is the likely future outlook for the issue this best practice is dealing with? Why? What factors (regulation, demographics, economic, technology, social, environmental concerns, etc.) currently affect the management of this issue? 3. Compare and contrast your best practice approach to other popular but less proven alternatives or traditional (dated) approaches. How you organize the best practices information on the first two pages is ultimately up to you, but keep in mind that being interesting and engaging is just as important as being informative.  You must deliver the final document as a PDF or as a Microsoft Word document. Do not use an alternative software program (Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress, etc.) unless you know how to make it into a PDF. The final output must be a page size of 8.5 x 11 inches.  The Best Practices section must be two (2) pages in length – no more, no less. Each page should stand on its own, without graphics or text bleeding across two pages. The third page is the Annotated References list. Imagine the document being printed like a newsletter style format fact sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch size. Below are some examples of fact sheets. These are not related to organizational behaviour but they can help you visualize what the format should generally look like:  Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects (see Appendix C)  Sea Turtle Conservation: 10 Ways You Can Help (see Appendix D)  Parent Food Safety Guide for Raw Milk (see Appendix E) Content Topics Illustrate how the field of organizational behaviour can help understand and manage these contemporary concerns: 1. Maintaining your competitive edge through Knowledge Management. 2. Job satisfaction during these pandemic times 3. Organizational commitment during these pandemic times 4. Building inclusivity while working remotely 5. Keeping remote and virtual employees engaged and motivated. 6. Corporate social responsibility during these pandemic times. 7. Collaboration within a virtual team. 8. Performance management of remote workers. 9. Effective virtual and remote communications. Annotated Reference List On the third page, submit annotated references for each of your sources. An annotation is a 2 – 3 sentences description of how the source influenced your thinking. How was the article used in this assignment? A traditional annotated bibliography asks just for a summary of the source; for this course, I want you to be reflective about how you are using your sources, how you are “building up” to develop your fact sheet. In other words, how did your research influence your project? Example of an annotated reference: Su, A. Y. S., Yang, S. H., Hwang, W. Y., and Zhang, J. (2010). A web 2.0-based collaborative annotation system for enhancing knowledge sharing in collaborative learning environments. Comput. Educ. 55, 752–766. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2010.03.008 Note: This article provided me the rationale and method for abandoning the traditional online Discussion Board in favour of using an online annotation system such as Perusall. I applied this system the annotation of weekly readings in my online course. The body of research in this article also helped presenting this new learning activity to my HR/OB faculty group of stakeholders. Other Tips and Guidelines Your fact sheet should have a cohesive styling that pulls together information into one interesting and informative document that keeps your reader interested from start to finish. The following tips and guidelines are provided:  References should fit cleanly within the required page count. If you choose to have a References section, it should not look like an “add-on” – it should flow with the formatting of the fact sheet.  Keep in mind basic rules of visual design. Stick with a few fonts and a few colors; the fact sheet should not look like a flyer for the circus. Microsoft Word allows you to add text boxes, wrap objects around each other, use columns, and add visual elements through the drawing tools. Use tabs, paragraph spacing, section breaks, and line spacing as another tool to separate information. Avoid large amounts of blank space.  Your fact sheet should not look like a standard research paper. You can organize your fact sheet into different “articles” (sections) that focus on specific issues, or write one large story. Fact sheets typically include graphics, headlines, pictures, graphs, tables, and pull out boxes to emphasize certain points among the text. See the samples provided in the Appendices at the end of this document for examples of quality fact sheets.  You may choose your own font sizes, margins, and line spacing etc. However, choosing large fonts and spacing (or tiny fonts and spacing) will reduce your grade. Be careful with double spacing as you won’t have enough room to fully address your topic.  There are no guidelines on the number of resources to use/cite. You are judged on the quality of the resources and whether it’s apparent you integrated them throughout the paper. You easily could review 30 resources and narrow this down to a set of 6 that you will use in your paper. Using a separate reference for each paragraph or text box may result in a significant reduction in points – integrate your resources fully to demonstrate critical analysis.  You should use several different types of resources (industry magazines, books, peer-reviewed journal articles, scientific and government documents, etc). Using all magazine sources (or conversely, all book sources) may result in a deduction of points as it demonstrates that you did not go beyond the basic methods of research. Consider integrating a variety of sources, from basic to advanced, to present your topic completely. Evaluation Criteria The grade you earn will be based on the quality of the fact sheet you turn in. Here are the criteria your paper will be assessed against:  The content indicates you understood the issue—there are no major gaps in the information you presented.  You picked diverse, high quality resources, and the information presented reflects your knowledge from the resources you cite.  Your presentation of the information, text, and graphics would help get the general public interested in the topic.  The content is not too vague, nor too detailed, and you avoided extraneous information.  You did not use graphics or charts as filler, but to present important information and captioned all properly.  You give specific examples through descriptions, data, figures, or tables, as well as a broad overview of the topic.  You provided a new look at a topic beyond its coverage in the media, your text or your course modules/lectures.  You provide a balanced, accurate, and up to date description of the problem (i.e. its evident you did your research).  You avoided overlap with the content of any existing publications or material in this course.  You organized the information logically (one item leads to another) so you do not repeat yourself, and you categorized the information so it is easy to understand.  You designed the document well. The pictures, graphics, and boxes, etc. make it easy to read and understand, and it does not look like it was pasted together at the last minute. These criteria will be divided into these three categories: Communication (30%) Here you are graded on visual appeal, organization of content, cohesive style in writing, lack of wordiness, spelling correctness, audience appeal, and meeting design guidelines. Papers that are visually appealing, grammatically correct, do not contain spelling errors, flow easily and clearly and are formatted according to guidelines will receive high credit for this category. Papers that have little or no visual appeal, poor writing style, have grammar and spelling errors, incorrect formatting or ignorance of paper guidelines will receive lower credit in this category. Content (50%) This is the most important part of your grade and includes the relevancy and strength of your enduring understanding (big idea) statement, the accuracy, depth and breadth of information presented in the paper, the relevance of content to current workplace issues, and critical analysis of your issue as related to best practice ideas from Organizational Behaviour. Papers with a clear, quality Enduing Understanding statement, evidence of in-depth research, and an appropriate depth of information presented will receive high credit in this category. Papers with weak Enduring Understanding, confusing or inaccurate research, or little evidence of in-depth research will receive lower credit in this category. Sources (20%) Here you are assessed on the quality of the sources you use, how well these are integrated within your paper, proper citation method, integration of researched material with actual workplace experiences/examples, and depth of research. Papers with accurate and complete in-text and footnote/works cited citations, integration of a variety of sources, properly cited consistently in APA format and quality sources will receive full credit in this category. Papers that do not cite resources, are inconsistent in formatting method, not well integrated with resources or poor-quality resources will receive low credit in this category.

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