Organizational Communication Proposal Assignment Objective For this assignment you’ll assume the role of organizational consultant. You will submit to me a proposal for improving communication processes in a bona fide organization. Your underlying task is to demonstrate to me that you understand the concepts of communication taught in Chapters 1-5. To accomplish this, you’ll need to define and explain appropriate communication terminology in your proposal. This assignment offers you an opportunity to (a) apply your understanding of communication theory in solving an organizational problem. (b) practice writing a professional proposal. Preparation 1. Think of one specific communication problem you have experienced in an organizational context. Please focus on ONE specific problem (e.g., an uncooperative coworker, a supervisor who does not listen well, a conflict among workers of different ethnic backgrounds, receiving ambiguous instructions, information overload, a defensive climate). Don’t attempt to solve all of your organization’s problems at once! 2. Identify one of the communication concepts we’ve studied in this course that might help explain or solve that problem (e.g., use of the communication model, listening; verbal or nonverbal messages; ambiguity, upward, downward or horizontal communication; formal or informal networks; organizational culture; communicating across diversity.). Note that both the problem and the solution must involve communication concepts. Thus, a proposal to award bonuses or send employees to a marketing class would not be appropriate for this assignment. 3. Review all portions of your text and class notes related to the communication concept you’ve chosen. You must cite references in your proposal. 4. Write a four- to five-page proposal in which you recommend a plan for remedying this single communication problem. Your proposal should be very specific and concrete. Proposing that all employees should take a class in communication is not specific. Instead, you could detail the step-by-step contents of a one-hour training session. Stating that your supervisor should use more supportive communication is neither specific nor realistic. (Can we really change other people by talking about them behind their back?) Instead you could develop a word-by-word role play of how you would explain to your supervisor (or the supervisor’s manager) that you would like more specific feedback about your performance. 5. Proposals must be typed, Arial, 12 point. Writing the Proposal Purpose The purpose of a proposal is to persuade your reader (in this case, me) to accept your plan (i.e., to hire you for the consultant job). You may assume that I am the person in your organization who is vested with the authority to decide whether to adopt your plan. To persuade me to adopt your idea, you’ll need to supply convincing evidence that your plan is feasible and cost-effective, can actually be implemented, and will produce results. You’ll also need to supply evidence of your competence in organizational communication (i.e., using vocabulary and principles you’ve learned in class). Grammar, spelling, and neatness will also add to or detract from your credibility. Content Your proposal should be arranged under several headings (e.g., description of problem, description of solution, summary). You should include the following sections in your proposal: Introduction (Traditionally, the heading label for this first section in omitted.) Provide a brief overview of what you are proposing (two or three sentences). Description of Problem Convince your reader that a communication problem exists. (Be specific. Use terminology from the book to explain what is wrong. Include your references.) Description of the Proposed Solution Explain exactly what you plan to accomplish. Outline the steps you will take to achieve your objectives. Explain why your plan is desirable and feasible. Your solution must integrate communication concepts from this course. Include references, indicating the text pages you are drawing from. Summary Summarize the most important reasons why I should adopt your proposal (one or two sentences). End with a closing statement (e.g., you are looking forward to implementing the plan, you are sure this will bring about constructive results, etc.). Works Cited You must have at least one credible reference (permissible references are your communication text or one of my lectures). Identify your sources in two places: 1. Use parenthetical cites (Adler & Elmhorst, 2010, p. xx) within the body of your paper when you refer to information from your readings or from lecture. 2. Include a complete bibliography at the end of your paper. For instructions on formatting your references, visit http://www.stylewizard.com/apa/apawiz.html. Alphabetize items by authors’ last names. Format with “hanging” indentation. Sample Reference Adler, R., & Elmhorst, J. (2010). Communicating at work (10th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.
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