XL Organizational Communication 14 Weeks Assignment Part 1B
This is the first step in your Field Project: finding an organization to study.
As your text notes:
All knowledge is contextually derived- it also means that it is a good idea to study an organization in your own community. Why? Because chances are pretty good that access to the organization will be easier to acquire (e.g., friends and family members work there, you had summer employment or an internship there, you know someone who knows someone). Additionally, you probably have a basic understanding of the history and role of the organization within the community, which will come in handy when you write the paper…
Approaching an organization for the purpose of doing a study is always problematic. Many for-profit companies and government agencies strictly limit access to employees and usually have no interest in allowing students from the local college or university to hang around observing people, interviewing employees and managers, and otherwise disrupting their work. Some companies even have regulations against it–and no company or agency is required to let you inside.
For these reasons, it is a good idea to develop a professional relationship with the organization study before requesting permission to do a communication study. The more the people you contact trust you, the more they learn to see you as a serious person, the more likely it is that they will cooperate with your goals. To facilitate your professional relationship, we recommend the following:
(This is where your assignment begins:)
· Write a one-page proposal detailing the purpose and time frame for your study, the methods of data collection that you plan to use, and the anticipated results. I can provide you with examples from prior student projects.
· Offer to provide the organization with a copy of your final paper. Agree that nothing you discover or write about will be disseminated to the public without prior written approval by the company.
· Always arrive on time, dressed in a professional manner appropriate to the standards of the organization you want to study, with a prepared list of questions to ask and a way of recording or keeping notes of interviews.
· Never directly interfere with ongoing organizational work. Make your observations as unobtrusively as possible; schedule interviews for times convenient for the interviewees.
This is your first assignment. I do not want you to study an organization that is small (fewer than five people), nor do I want you to study an organization of which you are the head or manage.
Ready, set, go!