Focus on a former employer of yours, or some other company with which you have significant familiarity. What is needed is some knowledge of the inner workings of the company — its struggles, its strengths, its climate, coworkers, managers, and so forth. The paper should include the following four sections:
I. Organization — Provide just enough details on the company for me to be able to understand the problem that will be described. Resist the urge to provide irrelevant details and feel free to omit or disguise any details that might be sensitive in nature.
II. Problem — Describe one (not multiple, keep it simple) specific problem that the company is struggling with that will serve as the focus of the paper. Be sure to choose a problem that is relevant to one of the topics below or to whichever topic you choose to focus on from the text.
III. OB Insights — Choose one topic from the list below to apply to the problem. Describe very specifically how the concepts, principles, and findings represented in the topic matter to the problem, and how they can be leveraged to identify a solution.
• Value-percept theory • Job characteristics theory • Challenge-hindrance stressors
• Expectancy theory • Goal setting theory • Psychological empowerment
• Equity theory • Cognition-based trust • Justice
• Ethical decision making • Cognitive ability • Emotional intelligence
• Team processes • Types of power • Transformational leadership
IV. Recommendations — Provide a list of very specific recommendations/action steps that flow out of the discussion of the topic and that can help solve the problem. In thinking about how to craft the topic into those recommendations, strike a balance between being practical and being bold. Every organization has key constraints that need to be taken into account when designing interventions. Although those should be considered, resist the urge to “play it safe”, as that tendency often leads to modest interventions that are ultimately ineffective.