*5 pages at least... willing to pay up to $75!!!
Identify a recruitment/selection problem or opportunity you believe exists in your current employment situation (or existed in a previous employment situation). The problem or opportunity may be any one of several topics that the book and class cover. ***I have worked for a nurse temp staffing agency before. I have also worked at a casino... I have also worked as an employment specialist, helping individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain community employment. The textbook is called "Staffing Organizations (8th ed.) by Heneman, Judge, and Kammeyer-Mueller.
Define a purpose for analysis and research. Write the purpose statement in active voice and declarative sentence structure (as a starter). This includes a justification statement.
Develop a formal statement of the problem or opportunity in relational terms. The problem or opportunity needs to be clear, specific, concise, logical, relevant, and measureable (something that allows for quantitative and/or qualitative data measurement, collection, and/or tracking).
Develop a research strategy for collecting substantive information about the problem or opportunity. Use the Department of Labor Agency, or other stand-alone employment agency links, such as the EEOC or O*Net. The Web Link area of the course provides many useful government agency websites.
Write a professional problem/opportunity proposal plan that could be submitted to management.
Here are some suggestions for structuring the problem/opportunity and your approach:
How you would define the problem or opportunity in terms of causes and effects?
How you would define the problem or opportunities in terms that are actionable and measurable?
What assumptions are you making?
What data or information would help to solve the problem or exploit the opportunity?
What data or information does the organization have?
What steps would you take in defining, analyzing, measuring, interpreting, and evaluating?
What are the implications (e.g., benefits, risks, expected outcomes, costs, changes . . .) of such a plan?
This assignment does not require that you collect, analyze, interpret data, or execute the plan, but only to model it in a professional “report” or “proposal” form . . . following A.P.A. standards. Please read the primer on the rational problem solving process (below) before you start this project.
Follow American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) requirements in terms of
Page layout and pagination,
Times New Roman font,
Figures and diagrams,
You may incorporate pictures, charts, or illustrations within the journal exposition, but use such iconic information to supplement the answers (not to replace the answers).
The entries (answers) may be in first- person pronoun voice (e.g., I and me) and second-person pronoun voice (e.g., you and they) because the subject of the journal is you (the writer). With that stated, keep the discussion of the content material in third person pronoun voice (e.g., he, she, and it).
The written quality counts up to 10% of the stated grade. Ensure that you run a spell/grammar check before submitting your paper. Consult the Purdue OWL website (External Links Area). Friendly reminders:
Diction: The use of the correct words (or phrases) for the sentence’s meaning
Standard spelling: The accepted and formal spellings (in the American English dictionary)
Mechanics: The correct use of capital letters, abbreviations, titles, dates, and numbers
Grammar: Correct use of the parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions)
Syntax: Sentence structure of subjects, objects, predicates, phrases, clauses, and modifiers
Punctuation: Conventional marks that separate sentence elements for clarity
A note about length: From the traditional perspective in graduate school, length of the paper is not a criterion. This means that clear definition of the research problem is vital. In a journal exercise, the research problem is yours to define, and as such, the objectives you set are to flow from your problem statement. The same is true of every other student's journal. There is no upper or lower page limit. Consider what you would appreciate in terms of depth, rigor, and conciseness if you were the person to whom this proposal was submitted for approval and support. If you develop precise, relevant, and logical questions or objectives that guide your analysis and recommendations, the depth and rigor should follow. Strive to keep the research problem or question declarative, measurable, and limited. From experience, excellent journals have been in the range of 5 - 8 pages (A.P.A. format). If you find yourself “filling” with extraneous material (“fluff”), you have lost focus and it will show. Remember, this journal will provide the basis for what could be problem-solving proposal for the employer.
Primer on the Rational Problem Solving Process
Rational problem approaches assume that complex problems can be modeled into “reasoned” steps that facilitate solutions. For clarity, let us review the meaning of “problem” (source: “Dictionary.com”).
As a noun, the word “problem” means:
Any question involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty
A question proposed for a solution
By comparison, the synonym nouns add nuances to the meaning of “problem:”
“Difficulty” suggests, “a condition or cause of trouble or struggle . . .”
“Complication” suggests, “introduction of change, often unexpected, that increases difficulty . . .”
“Predicament” suggests, “unpleasant, perplexing, or dangerous difficulty . . .” while
“Quandary” suggests, “a situation or circumstance that is difficult to solve . . .”
One could continue differentiating subtle meanings of the concept of a “problem,” but it is clear that the core characteristic of problems is “difficulty.” To reduce and/or manage the anticipated struggles that we expect through the difficulties, we often take a “rational” problem solving approach. However, we should note that not all problems are “rationally” solvable. The seven-step model (below), itself rests on some assumptions. That is, we assume that the problem(s) we face
Are “empirical” (we have some “experience” and/or “knowledge” of causes of the problem)
Are amenable to some kind of reasoned cause-effect analysis
Are objectively measurable (we identify and track objects that represent the problem)
Involve procedural remedies that we understand and can manage
Involve solutions that require measureable standards (as indicators of effect), and
Are physical in nature (that is, “rational” problems are not metaphysical issues).
Note that taking a “rational” approach does not exclude the use of methods of belief, faith, hunches, intuition, values, and intuition to solve (or help solve) the problem. Voluminous work in psychology, sociology, and other social sciences provide theory and evidence of these means to solve problems. Contrary a purely “scientific” problem solving, these (more subjective and/or cultural methods) are also recognized as valid decision-making approach.
However (and especially in a work situation), if one wants to change something that affects many others, he or she is well advised to take certain procedural steps that others recognize and appreciate. That is, he or she can structure the problem with rational thinking and through such, encourage others to participate and help solve the problem. The first step is to define the problem with a third person, declarative, active-voice sentence that is clear, specific, logical, and relevant! Without this step, the problem solving process has many “loose” areas that can be misconstrued and subjected to such things as politics, emotions, and “deals,” all of which generally “de-rail” the endeavor. The flow diagram presents an iterative model that captures the key steps in “rational” problem solving.
A Typical Rational Problem Solving Flow Logic
1. Define the problem. The process of “defining” a problem sounds rational, but since problems often are dynamic, we should realize that few problems are defined with completeness, logic, and relevance in the first formulation (uncertainty principle). A variety of human errors and/or thinking biases can lead to a poorly defined problem statement. For instance, some individuals may fail to define the problem (hoping that it will “resolve” itself or that others will solve it). Alternatively, individuals may define the problem inaccurately (e.g., biased heuristics) or may define the problem in a way that suits personal interests, but does not necessarily suit the needs of the organization (e.g., conflict of interest behavior). However, to define a measureable problem properly, one has to gather information by asking specific, but basic, questions such as, “What is happening; How did this happen?; Are unnecessary mistakes being made?; Where do gaps or failures seem to occur?; How is it that I am not (or we are not) reaching my (our) goals?” If the problem seems overwhelming, break it down by using the eight elements of critical thinking (in question form) and start writing sentences that state the problem or components in relational terms. Ultimately, you want to write a complete statement that defines the problem in relational and measureable terms.
2. Collect informative data. To solve a problem with the rational method one has to collect the quantitative and/or qualitative data that provide information to the questions related the problem. It is also important to analyze the data properly. If the data collected is incomplete or does not represent the business setting, the analysis may be incorrect. Similarly, if the data is analyzed improperly, such as using incorrect measures or incorrect statistics, conclusions will be incorrect.
3. Determine decision criteria. Decision criteria are the standards that you want your solution to achieve (such as lowering costs by a specific amount, raising your G.P.A. by a specific amount, or improving your relationship with your boss). Notice that the criteria of lowering costs and raising a G.P.A. are relatively easy to measure because they can be expressed in reasoned quantitative terms. However, the third criterion (improving a relationship) is less directly measurable because of many qualitative and perhaps non-measurable factors (such as emotion, feelings, or values). Thus, one has to define what “relationship improvement” means in procedural and/or behavioral terms. One can then create an ordinal scale that uses specific descriptors of progress. Given that you have created a good scale, you still have to weigh the measures of the criteria in terms of collective value. It is best to weigh each component with percentages whose sum equals 100%. For instance, three criteria might be weighed equally or differentially (viz. Criterion 1 = 50%, Criterion 2 = 30%, and Criterion 3 = 20%).
4. Choose a quantitative, qualitative, and/or heuristic method(s). Technically speaking, one must review and analyze the various kinds of problem solving methods that could be used in solving the problem (and/or a mixed method approach). The methods could be qualitative, quantitative, and/or heuristic in nature. Ask questions such as, “What parts of the problem are objectively measureable? What problem characteristics or patterns are subjective? Does the problem have certain social or ethical aspects?
5. Generate alternative solutions. The decision maker(s) generate(s) alternatives that could solve the problem and meet the criteria. At this stage, it is important to write the alternatives in sentence form with a short statement of how each alternative solves the problem. Note and record the differences in the solutions (such as cost, reactions of others, efficiency, effectiveness, and ethical/human implications).
6. Solve, evaluate, select, and implement. Once the decision maker has generated viable solutions, he or she needs to evaluate our solutions against the solution objectives and criteria in order to choose the “best” solution approach given our resources. Questions such as, “Are some solution approaches more realistic than others? Have we found more than one acceptable solution approach? Do we have more than one solution approach available? Is one solution approach more acceptable to others who participate in the solution implementation?”
7. Continuously improve and manage. As the bi-directional arrows suggest, failures, incomplete information, or challenges may require the decision maker to revisit a previous step or two and make adjustments. That is, we still have to evaluate the results of our analysis and determine if the results have been achieved or if modifications are required; this is a form of continuous improvement.
Note: Many business textbooks and websites provide thoughtful breakdowns and advanced discussions of rational problem solving. Here are three sites that you may find useful:
|Due By (Pacific Time)||05/04/2015 12:00 pm|
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