Posted: March 1st, 2017
Interview Choose someone to interview with whom you are familiar—ideally, someone whom you know well. The individual should report to in the present, or have reported to in the past, one or more managers. Ask her or him for some time—perhaps you can sit down for coffee—during which you can describe your course learning objectives and discuss what you have so far taken away from the class (in brief). Ask your interviewee what insights she or he has to offer to you about what makes a good manager. The goal of the interview is to gain insight into what makes a good manager from the perspective of the employee. Some topics to touch on in the interview could include the following: Does your interviewee have a favorite manager that he or she has worked with? Ask for an explanation of why this manager is a favorite. What does your interviewee believe makes a strong manager? Does your interviewee aspire to be a manager someday? What does your interviewee believe it means to be an effective leader (as opposed to the popular view of what a successful leader is and/or does)? What roles do managerial goals, objectives, decision-making, and communication play in the job on a regular basis? How does the interviewee handle changes at his/her organization and what specific challenges have she or he encountered with managers in the past? Does your interviewee have experience with internships, volunteering, and professional certifications? Have they found any, or all, to be important to career development, or securing a position as a manager? What advice does you interviewee offer to someone who is looking to become a manager? At the close of the interview, be sure to thank your interviewee for her or his time and assistance! Research and Reflection Paper In the next phase, ruminate on what you learned in your interview—especially anything that helped you to gain a deeper insight into the topics we’ve studied in the course—and write a research and reflection paper in which you draw upon our shared learning, your individual learning, and the additional discernment you’ve gained from the interview to demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of the foundational principles of management. In your paper, go beyond a mere recitation of memorized facts or regurgitation of information; strive to synthesize the most important topics of management (i.e., leadership, personality, motivation, decision-making, communication, and the importance of good management to yourself and to society) into a hybrid research and reflection paper. Your paper should integrate responses to each of the following questions in a well-organized and coherent paper: What leadership precepts did your interviewee impart to you (or what can you glean on the topic as a result of your interview), and how do those dovetail with one or more of the modern theories of leadership? How do the personalities of workers, colleagues, managers, and subordinates impact performance in and experience of the workplace? How do they interact with one or more leadership models to create the most effective work environment? In light of your interview, the leadership model(s) you’ve discussed, and your own personality, what one or two tenets of motivation theory have you taken away from the course? How do your understandings of effective motivation theories impact your conceptions of the best practices when it comes to making decisions and communicating at work? Based on your interview and on learning from this course, what does it take to be an effective employee, a successful manager, and an exemplary citizen of society?
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