Theory Application Paper:
Overview (In other words, why this assignment is important):
Organizational theories provide frameworks for understanding organizations that help us see them in unique ways. These frameworks may help us to solve problems or offer new insights into organizational difficulties. Translating these theories into everyday language and articulating the ways that theory can be applied is a critical skill to develop as an organizational communication scholar. This process of translation is not easy and requires in-depth research and understanding.
In an effort to help you hone your translation skills, you are required to write one cohesive paper in two separate pieces (Part 1 and Part 2).
500 Word Theory Description (Part 1):
First, you will write a 500 word (this limit will be strictly enforced) description of the theory you selected in the Mid-Term Topic Sign-up (Network Embeddedness). As you conduct research on your theory, you’ll find that there are a lot of details that could be included in a description. The 500 word limit, however, requires that you boil your theory down to its essence while still maintaining the central ideas. You might use one or more of the questions below to help you identify the essence. Your description should also be heavily supported by research, and most if not all of the sentences in your description will have one or more citations. Your description should use plain English and should be easily understood by your colleagues. Keep in mind, the word limit is to help you focus on writing succinctly. Each sentence needs to count. In many ways, writing 3 pages on your theory would be much easier. So, do not let the short length fool you, it is a challenging task.
1. What is the central question or problem this theory is seeking to explain?
2. What are the main tenets of this theory?
3. What does this theory provide that other theories do not?
1,000 Word Theory Application (Part 2):
Second, you will need to submit a theory application document. This should also be succinct and should focus on showing how your theory might be used in an organization. It should answer the questions below. This portion will also be based on research, although likely not the same research as what you needed to read to complete part 1. Be sure to support your ideas with evidence from the literature. You should submit the application section together (not to exceed 1,500 words total). 1. How does the theory work in organizations?
2. Why might this theory be helpful for a manager? What are the takeaways?
Each of the theories in this class has a core body of research of which any author using these ideas should be well aware. In your research, you are expected to read enough to understand what these core articles and books are and to have read them and draw on them specifically in your article. There are a variety of ways to find out what these seminal pieces are, but the bottom line is that as you read the research you will start to see patterns of who is cited each time your theory is mentioned. This is a clue that you have located one of the seminal articles. Your research might also go beyond the seminal articles as well, in which case, you are free to research into a particular application of the theory or area you find interesting. If the ideas that you are reading in your research are not “hanging together,” you likely need to do more research and reading.
The research for this assignment should consist of only academic articles. No newspapers, websites, or magazine articles are acceptable. You should conduct your research using library databases in combination with Google scholar (a simple internet search with Google, Bing or any other search engine will not get you where you need to go for this assignment).
Hint: Every academic article begins with a review of relevant literature. This section of the article is meant to orient you to where the author is situating his/her new idea. It will be incredibly helpful for you to pay special attention to this section when reading articles on your assigned theory.