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)