COM 325




Weekly Goals

Chapter Outlines


Research Projects

Last updated: 9/6/02 by
Dr. Derek R. Lane


"Foundations of Organizational Communication"


Organizational Communication Term Project
The major research project in this course requires you to choose a specific topic relevant to an organizational communication process, research that topic using several different sources, and apply what you have learned to analyze a “real world organization.”

In order to keep the project from becoming too overwhelming (and to eliminate undue stress created by procrastination) the project is divided into two stages:

Initial proposal is due September 24
Research preparation work is due October 17
Oral presentations begin December 3.
Final project is due December 6.

This research project will require you to choose a specific topic relevant to an organizational communication process, research that topic using a diversity of information sources (e.g., academic resources, popular press/web sources, interviews with others, and your own experience), and apply the knowledge gained to an analysis of an organization of your choice (must be approved by the instructor).  It is hoped that through this project you will:

-Learn more about a specific organizational communication process of interest to you
-Learn (or review) rudimentary research skills for academic sources, contemporary and popular sources, interview techniques, and self-evaluation
-Compare and contrast information gained through various resources
-Present your findings in a coherent and interesting manner




The project will be “delivered” in four parts. 

Part one, an initial proposal, will be due at the start of class on September 24 and will be worth 25 points of the 450 total points for the project.  On that date you will submit (typed and neatly formatted):  A one to two page full-sentence outline of your organizational communication research project.  At a minimum, make sure you do the following:  (1) identify your organizational communication concept; (2) provide a list of key words you have or will use during your library research; (3) identify your tentative organization that will be used to apply your secondary research findings – you must identify at least two potential organizations (i.e., you should have a good plan and a good backup plan); and (4) identify your timeline for data collection. You will receive feedback on your initial proposal on or before October 1.

Part two, the specific preparatory work for the analysis and application, will be due at the start of class October 17 and will be worth 75 points of the 450 total points for the project.  On that date, you should turn in (typed and neatly formatted):

-The specific question that will guide your project
-A list of all sources you will draw on.   This should include at least four specific academic sources, two popular press or web-based sources, two individuals you will interview (with relevant information on these individuals), and a few sentences describing how you will apply the information to analyze your organization.
-Interview protocol(s) (e.g., organized list(s) of questions) that will be used to gather information from those you interview for the assignment.

You will receive feedback on your preparatory work for the project by October 22.  This will allow you sufficient time to adjust questions and sources, as necessary, and complete the final portion of the project in a timely manner.  If you would like to conduct your interviews earlier, turn in your project earlier so I can provide you with the necessary feedback.  Conducting interviews before receiving feedback on the research question or interview format would not be a wise choice.

Part three, the final written research project, is due on Friday,  December 6 BEFORE 12:00 noon and is worth 250 points of the 450 total points for the project.  On that date, you should turn in (typed and neatly formatted) an 9-12 page paper that discusses what you have learned in answering your proposed question and applies the knowledge to an analysis of your organization.
It is wise to back up your work.  Please keep a back-up copy of this research project as you work on it and after you finish as well.

All papers must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font with one-inch margins using APA style (5th Edition).  Papers will be evaluated on the application, analysis, quality of research,  discussion, writing style, and mechanics.  All papers are graded for both content and form, which includes, but is not limited to, spelling, grammar, organization, clarity and sentence structure.

Part four, a 7 minute oral presentation, will be due beginning Tuesday,  December 3 and is worth 100 points of the 450 total points for the project.  Evaluative criteria and speaker order will be provided on or before October 22, 2002.