MPA 530 capstone project

MPA 530 Final Paper Overview

For your final assignment you will write a paper that mirrors the capstone project that you will be writing at the end the program. In this assignment, you will select a public or non-profit organization – not a for-profit company – and contact a representative of that agency (try to speak with someone in a management or leadership position). During this conversation, you will ask them a series of questions that will help you identify a challenge/problem that they are currently experiencing as it relates to management and leadership. They may be challenged with managing the impacts of the external environment, transforming their organization, or encouraging staff to work in teams. Whatever the challenge is, this will be the focus of your final paper. In your paper, you will develop an innovative solution/plan to address this organizational challenge. An innovation could be a new policy(ies), new project, a new way of doing something, additional training or whatever you think will help address the challenges of the organization.

To ensure that you submit the best paper possible (and don’t wait until the last minute to begin), you will submit various components of the paper throughout the round.

Component #1 – Problem Statement

Using the worksheet located in “Final Paper Components” folder in Resources, develop a problem statement that describes the challenge/problem your selected organization is experiencing. Your problem statement should be very succinct, brief, and give a clear explanation of what the organization is challenged with. You do not have to submit the worksheet, just a Word document with your problem statement.

Component #2 – Outline

Develop a detailed outline for your paper. Your outline should represent each paragraph you should expect to have in your final paper. You should also be sure to include, within corresponding outline sections, authors and subsequent citations that will be used (and referenced) in your final paper. See additional outline resources in “Final Paper Components” folder in Resources.

Component #3 – Final Paper

Your final paper should include the following:

  • Introduction of organization and identification of the problem. Include the problem statement and thesis.
  • Literature Review – (See material in Resources) Using readings from the textbook and supplemental journal articles (you may find doing your own research) develop a narrative that explores the research landscape of the focus of your paper. For example, if your selected organization has identified the need to foster creativity and innovation within its workforce, you should identify and discuss academic research (which can be found via the Marist Library – accessible from the iLearn course site) related innovation and management. You should begin looking for journal articles as soon as you identify the organizational challenge.
  • Discussion of the Problem – explain the problem, How did it come to be? How is it impacting the organization? How will it impact the organization in the future? Set the stage for the need for your innovative solution.
  • Innovation – Discuss your innovative idea/solution and plan. You should create a timeline for how you believe this plan should be implemented. Be SPECIFIC!! Be sure to make direct links between your innovation and the problem (i.e. your problem statement). Determine how the organization should measure the success of your suggested innovation. Make connections to the literature explored in your literature review, where appropriate.
  • Conclusion – Summarize, restate and end the paper. This is where you make the final case for why your innovation addresses the problem statement. Do not ignore this, the conclusion is just as important as any other section of your paper.
  • References – Any sources cited in your paper should be listed in your References section and vice versa. Be sure to follow APA guidelines for all references and in-text citations. Point will be deducted for inaccurate citations.

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