The MiM capstone provides a means of confirming comprehensive management competency in an applied setting. It requires participants to implement projects consistent with their career interests and objectives that will demonstrate their mastery of skills acquired from the program's core course offerings. The conceptual knowledge learned in the classroom is thus tested against the realities of a real world environment.
Capstone proposals are developed through the Research Methods course (MM 514). Each proposal outlines the purpose of the project and describes the research methods that will be employed to answer the specific management question that lies at the heart of the project. The proposal also describes any product the project may yield, such as an employee handbook, business plan, research study, organizational plan, etc. A field advisor, responsible for sponsoring and overseeing the project at the host organization, is identified for each project. Proposals are reviewed for approval by the course instructor in consultation with the program administration and field advisor. This chart provides an overview of required elements for the research and implementation phases of the capstone project.
Projects may be individual or conducted in collaborative groups. Groups should consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four members. Collaborative capstone project proposals must include a detailed outline of the project responsibilities for each individual member.
For all capstone proposals, topics must be pre-approved by the capstone instructor. Each proposal must include a timeline for project completion.
Capstone projects are normally conducted upon the completion of core course work. Participants begin the capstone experience by developing a proposal that:
- outlines the purpose of the project,
- describes its setting,
- identifies the person who will provide supervision in the field, and if applicable,
- describes the product the project may yield (such as an employee handbook, a research study, an organizational plan, etc.).
Each proposal is reviewed for approval by the capstone course instructor in consultation with the program administration and field advisor.
There are four requirements for all capstone projects:
- All projects must be agreed to in writing by the participant, capstone course instructor, and field advisor.
This requirement establishes a contractual agreement that ensures that the project's goals, processes and evaluative mechanisms are clear to all involved. Project details such as confidentiality issues, timelines, and evaluation standards must be outlined in the project proposal. This document will serve as the primary reference over the course of the project. Modifications to the proposal may only be made following consultation and approval of all of the parties involved. A capstone agreement form must be signed by the participant, capstone course instructor, and field advisor. Forms are filed in the program office.
- All projects must reflect best practices presented in each of the core courses.
This ensures that participants demonstrate a comprehensive command of effective management skills. Naturally, the extent to which each course discipline is represented will vary from project to project. For instance, a project may not require formal budgetary authority or the active supervision of others, but it may otherwise address these key elements of management practice. A budget element might involve demonstrating a working knowledge of the host organization's budgeting process, while the human resource management dimension might involve providing a flow chart of organizational lines of authority and roles within the project's environment. Planning and research might be reflected in the implementation of a survey instrument to provide essential data for the project.
- All projects must be implemented outside of the scope of the participant's routine professional duties.
This requirement confirms that the participant's project is sufficiently independent of regular work duties to be a bona fide demonstration of skills acquired in the program. Participants need not be physically removed from their employer, but the lines of authority between their day-to-day work and the project environment must be separate. Personnel under a participant's regular supervision must not be involved in the project.
- All projects must conclude with a written report and a presentation of findings in a public forum.
A bound report will be submitted at the end of the project that consists of a summary narrating the project's development, implementation, and findings. Participants will present their final reports in a symposium near the end of either winter or spring term.
Capstone projects are evaluated based on content and presentation.
- Content well-organized
- High-quality visuals and handouts
- Fluency in presentation (use of limited notes rather than extensive reading)
- Presentation is understandable by the audience
- Presentation lasts 15 minutes with time for discussion
- Demonstration of professional manner, language, and dress
Capstone Agreement Form (PDF format)
Capstone Presentation Evaluation Factors (PDF format)
MM 521 Business, Government & Society
John Laughlin, DPA
This is a pretty ambitious title for a one credit seminar! We could spend all our time just trying to define the subject area. Instead, I have elected to focus on two subjects, one for each of the two times we will meet. What I would ask you to do in both cases is to carefully read the materials assigned, relate them to and think about the question posed for each seminar, and to answer the assigned question. It's important that you complete the readings prior to class in order to be prepared for in-class discussion.
In addition, we will spend time during the first session critiquing your experience with the MiM program. Come to the first session with some thoughts about what works well and what might work better in the MiM program. It's important that we discuss the program with an eye on continuous improvement.
MM 514 Practical Research, Analysis & Decision Making
John Laughlin, DPA
This course introduces students to past and current thinking regarding the relationship between practice and research, and the role of the practicing professional in research. The course provides students with the skills and understandings to critically review research reports, discuss ethical issues related to research, and carry out a pilot study. Emphasis is on the application of research to improve outcomes for management decisions. Students are expected to have some familiarity with databases, management information systems, and basic statistics.
- Understand the relative position of research as a "way of knowing" in the management profession.
- Identify criteria for evaluating research-based knowledge.
- Critically examine the relationship between research and practice with a focus on understanding how research findings and research methods can be used to alter and evaluate management outcomes.
- Understand the professional's role regarding ethical issues relating to research and communication of research findings to clients, respondents, and professional colleagues.
- Be familiar with data analysis techniques and statistical applications used to solve management problems.
- Carry out a pilot research project.
Siskind, Neil J. Exploring Research, sixth edition. Prentice Hall Publishers, 2006.
- Reading required text
- Class participation and discussion
- Pilot study assignment and critique
MM 517 Human Resource Environment
The goal of this class is to introduce you to the challenges facing managers and human resource management (HRM) professionals in designing and maintaining effective work forces for organizational systems. In an effort to accomplish that goal, the functional areas of HRM and the manner by which they support the organization's objectives will be discussed. Regardless of whether you plan a career in HRM, all of the topics presented in this course will be critical to your success in an organization.
Human resource management is a rather new approach within the framework of organizational behavior, which goes beyond the role of personnel administration. Effective human resources management entails attaining the maximum contribution from each member of an organization toward the attainment of organizational goals. Thus, it requires knowledge of the strategic long-range goals and objectives of the organization as well as knowledge of the complexities of human behavior. It requires knowledge of motivational techniques and principles and demands the objective measurement of performance. It recognizes the fact that each employee is capable of making a valuable contribution and seeks ways in which individual goals may be merged with organizational goals.
Human resource management goes beyond the "processing function" of personnel wherein employees are processed for pay, benefits, promotions, etc. The concept of human resources management is developmental in nature in that it actively seeks the promotion of any activity, which contributes to the increased productivity, and effectiveness, of the organization's members. Thus we find an increased emphasis upon training and development, which will enable contributors to handle more complex jobs. We find an emphasis upon the long-range personnel requirements in a rapidly changing social environment. People are encouraged to unleash their potential and to be innovative and creative. All of these factors should promote increased organizational effectiveness in the form of higher profits, better planning, increased communication, greater delegation of responsibility, increased problem-solving activity and increased job satisfaction.
Thus, human resource management recognizes the value of the employee as a key contributor. In so doing, it provides a management challenge necessitating the personal as well as professional development of the employee.
Human Resources Management,Mesner, Bogardus & Isbell; Wiley Pathways
- Completion of assigned readings.
- Participation in general classroom and team exercises and discussions.
- Completion of assigned cases, projects, and papers (oral or written responses/word processed).
- Participation in team presentations.
MM 598 Capstone Project
Ken Kempner, PhD
This course focuses on the development, writing, and ultimate oral presentation of the MiM Capstone Project. This project provides the culminating experience of the MiM Program. In a workshop format, this course will review the components of good research, how such research is analyzed and interpreted and then presented in both written and oral form. Emphasis for the course is on the applied nature of research and meeting the practical and academic needs of multiple audiences. An integral part of this seminar is the incorporation of and response to the Colleague Review (see Number 4 under Assignments and Evaluation below).
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
- Critique effective research evidence, reports, and presentations.
- Identify criteria for evaluating research-based knowledge and use these criteria to evaluate research reports.
- Critically examine, explain, and interpret the relationship between research and practice.
- Understand the professional