Critical Thinking in Action


Write a 3-5 page academic paper in which you describe a business situation, apply a critical thinking framework to the situation, and recommend evidence-based solutions to the situation. Explain how the concepts of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) could affect both the situation and the solution.
This portfolio work project will give you practice with academic writing expectations, while still being work-relevant. Many organizations have relationships with professional associations and contribute written articles regularly to newsletters and other publications. In addition, some organizations expect leaders to participate in conferences and seminars, where written work must be submitted using an academic style.
From time to time, your organization submits papers to academic publications to help showcase the organization’s thought leadership. Your boss wants to be assured that you are comfortable researching and writing in a style that many academic publications use—in this case, APA style.
Your Role
Your boss has asked you to research and write about ways that businesses can apply critical thinking skills to complex issues that are also affected by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). You have decided to research Panera Bread Co. and how they solved their mosh pit problem, as this will allow you to flex some critical thinking muscles, as well.
I. Use the following as the basis for this assessment:
• Jargon, J. (2017, June 2). How Panera solved its mosh pit problem. The Wall Street Journal.
• George, B. (2017, February 17). VUCA 2.0: A strategy for steady leadership in an unsteady world. Forbes. Retrieved from
• Kallet, M. (2014). Think smarter: Critical thinking to improve problem-solving and decision-making skills. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
 This e-book is an easy read on how to use critical thinking to problem solve. In particular, focus on section I, “Introduction and the Framework for Critical Thinking,” section V, “Decisions,” and the final section, “Critical Thinking: Summary and Suggestions.”
II. Conduct your own research to locate at least two additional resources to support your work.

III. Write an APA-formatted paper that is well organized and covers the following:
• Provide an overview of the situation (2–3 paragraphs).
• Apply the framework for critical thinking as outlined by Kallet.
• Recommend at least one evidence-based solution to the situation.
 You must find one additional article to support your recommendation.
• Explain how VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) could affect both the situation and your recommendation.
IV. Deliverable Format
Write a 3–5 page academic paper following APA style and formatting. Refer to the writing resources in the MBA Program Resources in the left navigation menu in the courseroom.
Related company standards:
• This assessment is an academic paper and should therefore follow the corresponding MBA Academic and Professional Document Guidelines (located in the MBA Program Resources).
• In addition to the content requirements, include:
o Title page.
o References page.
o APA formatted references.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies through corresponding scoring guide criteria:
• Competency 2: Apply leadership strengths and behaviors to workplace situations.
• Apply a critical thinking framework to a business situation.
• Explains how VUCA can affect a business situation and a recommended solution.
• Competency 3: Recommend evidence-based strategies for leading and collaborating in complex environments.
• Recommend an evidence-based solution to a business situation.
• Competency 5: Communicate effectively through academic and professional writing.
• Provide an overview of a business situation.
• Correctly format paper, citations and references using current APA style.
• Write content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

Faculty will use the scoring guide to review your deliverable as if they were your boss. Review the scoring guide prior to developing and submitting your assessment.

This portfolio work project demonstrates your competency in applying knowledge and skills required of an MBA learner in the workplace. Include this in your personal ePortfolio.

Sample Solution