Please read the instructions and rubric carefully. Strict adherence to APA style of writing as well as grammar usage is a graded heavily. Please use 8 scholarly sources in the paper. Please write this paper from a research perspective…not an interview perspective. Please pick a topic, based on the instructions, and inform me of that topic by November 20th. If you have any questions…please let me know.
Instructions for the Research/Interview Paper
This document provides instructions for the research/interview term paper. I am providing this to provide more clarification than what is given in the syllabus so that the expectations are clear. This is both expectations regarding the purpose of the paper, content of the paper, and the format of the paper. Hopefully you will see these are all interconnected. Also note that I have slightly altered the grading rubric in the syllabus to reflect these changes.
Purpose of the Paper
The purpose of the paper can be very simply stated. It is to apply a concept from managerial economics to address a real world problem in business by conducting necessary research.
It is important to realize that this paper is not a report on some business topic related to managerial economics. It may be quite different from other papers you have written, and this is likely to be reflected in what is meant by “research” and the other contents of the paper. This is described more fully below.
Content of the Paper
It was stated that the purpose of the paper is to apply a concept from managerial economics to address a real world problem in business by conducting necessary research. Let’s break this into its parts.
1. A real world business problem:
You must identify a real world business problem that you think would be interesting to analyze. This could be a problem related to a particular business, a particular industry, or an economy wide problem. I highly recommend choosing a narrowly defined problem. Some examples could be
(i) How did company X incorporate business ethics into their human resource policies?
(ii) Should firms in the X industry increase their price?
(iii) What is the response of company X to an increase in minimum wages?
These are just a few examples. What is important is that your problem be very clearly defined and that it be interesting to you.
2. A concept from managerial economics:
Throughout the term you will be exposed to many concepts, or theories, from managerial economics. These include forecasting, risk analysis, pricing strategies, optimal resources to hire, capital budgeting, game theory, business ethics, etc. One of these concepts covered will be used in your paper to address a problem, or issue, from a real world business situation.
3. Application of the concept to the problem:
A concept, or theory, is a logical framework that allows one to highlight causal relationships between different variables. You then will use that concept/theory to understand the business problem you are studying.
For example, suppose the business problem is the effect of minimum wages. But notice this is not narrow enough. Does this mean the effect on business profits, the effect on employment, the effect on teenage employment, the effect on business investment, etc. As one can see there are many dimensions to the problem. So you need to pick one very narrow dimension. Let us say the business problem is the effect of a minimum wage increase on teenage, part-time employment.
With that as the business problem the concept/theory from managerial economics we need to apply is the concept of marginal resource cost and the firm’s profit-maximizing decision to hire resources. And suppose the application of this concept suggests that a firm will reduce its use of unskilled labor and cause a shift to capital investment in the long-run, causing a fall in teenage, part-time employment.
4. By conducting necessary research:
The application of the concept tells you how the variables relevant to the problem are related to each other. That is, it provides the framework to understand the problem. Your research will apply this conceptual framework to the problem with real world data to fully analyze the problem. Depending on the nature of the problem being studied, the research may be investigating the extent to which the conceptual framework is correct, or it may be measuring the impact of one variable on another that the conceptual framework has identified as being important.
For example, in the case of the effect of minimum wages, the concept tells one how minimum wages and employment may be connected, and why they are connected. Your research may investigate the extent to which this is true. Hence you could collect information that will help in determining the extent to which minimum wages cause teenage unemployment. Alternatively you may decide to investigate how one company has planned for increases in minimum wages, including their plans to hire teenage workers.
There are undoubtedly many different types of data to be collected, but for this paper we can say there are two options you have.
(i) The first option is to collect data on the variables of interest from publicly available sources (such as government statistics, industry publications, company reports, journal publications, etc.), and then use this information to apply the concept to analyze the problem. So in our example, you may collect information on minimum wages and teenage employment and use that data to determine the extent to which increases in minimum wages decrease teenage employment. In this case that probably means doing some simple statistical analysis, but it is not necessary to use statistics. In general, you simply need to use this data to help apply the concept to analyze the problem.
(ii) The second option is to use the interview option to ask company executives about the issue at hand. Continuing with the above example, you may ask a series of questions about their strategy for responding to increases in minimum wage, etc. Again, the emphasis is on using these interview responses to apply the concept to analyze the problem.
As you can see, in either case the goal is to collect data/information that will help apply the concept from managerial economics to analyze the problem. Of course, the exact type of data needed, and the techniques needed, will vary with the problems studied.
Format of the Paper
The above makes clear the main purpose and content of the paper. The format of the paper follows this content, and is given below. Please note in addition to the format given below a title page is required.
Format of the Paper
Section Title of the Section Content of the Section
1 Introduction This section states the problem to be analyzed, why it is an important problem to be studied, and the contents of the rest fo the paper.
2 Conceptual Framework This section will identify the concept/theory from managerial economics you will use to study the problem. It will then show how that concept/theory relates to the problem.
3 Research and Analysis This section explains the data you will be using, present the data, and use the data to analyze the problem and discuss the results.
4 Conclusion This section summarizes the main findings and suggests areas of further study if appropriate.
5 References You must use a minimum of three resources beside the textbooks and use the appropriate format for the references.
I have amended the grading rubric to reflect the more specific format and contents given above. This is provided in a separate document.
I have a few tips that I think will be helpful in completing this paper.
1. Start soon: The paper is not meant to be terribly time consuming, but even selecting the appropriate topic can take time. So begin thinking about this now.
2. Choose a narrow, well-defined problem to analyze: The most common problem for students is choosing too large a problem, or an ill-defined problem. That is, the problem may be well-defined, but would require a major amount of research to adequately address. Or it can be a problem that is not clearly defined. This will result in you not knowing how to proceed. However if you choose a narrow and well-defined problem the rest of the paper will be much easier.
3. There are no limits on the topics/problems you can choose, other than you must analyze them with concepts from managerial economics. However, for your own benefit, I highly recommend choosing problems that make use of company specific research. You can use the interview for the research section, or rely on company reports, but in either case I think you will learn more about applying managerial economics to real world business problems when your focus is on a specific company.
RESEARCH OR INTERVIEW PAPER GRADING RUBRIC
Elements Instructions Criteria Points Earned Points Possible Instructor’s Comments
Introduction • Provide a clear statement of the problem to be addressed and why it is important.
• Clearly state the contents of the paper • Is there a clear thesis/problem statement? What is the topic you are going to address?
• Does the introduction provide a clear overview of the paper’s contents? 10
• Clearly describe the problem in more detail
• Identify the relevant concept from managerial economics you will use to analyze the problem, and explain how that concept relates to the problem.
• Are the issues raised in the topic properly treated?
• Is the concept being used appropriate?
• Is the concept correctly applied to understand the problem? 20
(Research and Analysis) • Explain the data you will be collecting and why that data is useful to analyze the problem
• Present the data
• Use the data to analyze the problem and discuss the results • Does the data bein collected allow for a thorough analysis of the problem?
• Are differing viewpoints considered, analyzed, and treated?
• Is the analysis thorough?
• Does the author provide personal inputs? 30
Conclusion • Summarize your findings
• Offer suggestion for further study if appropriate • Does the conclusion offer a good summary of issues treated in the paper?
• Does the conclusion offer suggestions for further study? 10
Sources • Use at leasts 3 sources besides the textbook
• Cite these sources properly in the references section • Does the bibliography contain at least 3 scholarly sources?
• Are materials properly cited and quoted in current APA style? 10
Structure • Use the section headings and format provided. • Are the transitions between paragraphs and sections clear?
• Are proper headings used?
• Is the treatment of the topic logically oriented? 10
Style • Write in a clear, concise manner without spelling and grammatical errors. • Is the paper without spelling and grammatical errors?
• Is the paper clearly written? 10
Research Paper for BUSI620
2.1 Problem Statement:
(A one sentence statement of the problem addressed in the paper. For example, “This paper will study the effect of an increase in minimum wages on teenage unemployment”.)
(In this section provide necessary background to understand the problem and explain why the problem is important to study. For example, you may provide information on current levels of teenage unemployment, how that has changed over time, and explain why teenage unemployment is a problem. Finally provide an overview of the paper’s contents).
2. Conceptual Framework
2.1 Model/Theory Used:
(Identify the model or theory being used and from where you obtained it. For instance, it could be the Labor Market Model from the textbook).
2.2 Description of the Model
(Give an overview of the model, highlighting the part that is most relevant to the problem. For example, you could present the labor market equilibrium graph, explaining what the curves represent)
2.3 Explanation of How the Model Addresses the Problem Statement
(Use the model/theory to address the problem. For example, you could use the labor market graph to show the impact of a minimum wage on unemployment).
3. Research and Analysis
3.1 Data Source:
(Identify the data you are using to address the problem. For example, identify the government statistics, industry reports, company reports, or an interview being used).
(Explain how the data will be used in the context of the conceptual framework to address the problem. For example, you might explain how the conceptual framework suggests that as minimum wages rise, teenage employment falls. And you then explain how you will use the data to test or measure this).
(Present the results of the analysis you specify in the methodology section. For example, using your data show the impact of an increase in minimum wage on teenage employment. You can use statistics, graphs, etc. in this section).
3.4 Discussion of Results:
(In this section discuss the results of your analysis and how that helps address the problem statement. So if your problem statement was to predict the impact on teenage unemployment due to an increase in minimum wages, you use the results to forecasts the impact on teenage unemployment.)
(Use this section to summarize your results and how they address the problem statement and how they do not address the problem. Given this summary you may then offer suggestions for future research to more fully address the problem.
(Provide the references for those you cited in the paper using the proper format).