Research Paper on the practice of management

The key phrase here is “original research.”  While no research is truly “original,” the purpose of this paper is for you to:

  1. Examine a current situation, theory, technique, or approach to the practice of management.
  2. Review and analyze the topic with respect to existing theories of management.
  3. Critique the topic, using existing theories of management, business practice, social theories, or psychological theories.

Your paper is to take the form of a research paper, using the American Psychological Association Manual of Style.  You are to select your topic from current literature; however, feel free to select your topic from current books and articles on management that speak about the most recent trends, thoughts, and practices in management (e.g., Fortune, Bloomberg Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, etc.).

The practice of management develops and moves very quickly, and practice is generally ahead of academic theory.  Much of contemporary management practice is at the “leading edge,” as managers try and find techniques and methods that will improve the practice and lead to increased organization performance.  However, much of what passes for “the latest management practice” often turns out to be a passing phase or fad, and lacks a sound theoretical base.  Or, much of contemporary practice is old theories recycled and repackaged into clever ideas, models, and concepts – but which are, at base, an old theory or framework.  Your goal is to think logically and critically about the current practice of management, increase your understanding of contemporary practice, while at the same time developing your ability to reason and evaluate the efficacy and validity of various approaches to management.

The format for the research paper is as follows:

  1.  12 point type font, double spaced, 1” margins top, bottom, and sides.
  2. Citations as in the APA Style Manual (see  or ).  (Note:  Microsoft Word 2010 and later does references automatically, take advantage of the software!)
  3. While there are no page minimums, the maximum allowed is 15 pages of narrative text.  Any figures, graphs, tables, etc., are exempt from the page limitations and should be included at the end of the paper, and noted in the text as per the APA Style Manual.  References are likewise omitted from the page limitation. 
  4. Your paper does not need to include an abstract.
  5. The cover page should include the title, the designation “BMA620 – Fall 2015,” and your student ID number only, centered on the page as shown:


  1. I strongly encourage you to begin your research paper as early as possible in the course.  Look at recent periodicals for current trends or thought on the practice of management.  Focus on those issues, situations, theories, or practices that are contemporary in nature.  I want you to become discerning consumers of managerial thinking.  The purpose of this source is for you to become good students of management, and to develop the type of thinking skills that will serve you in your professional careers.  If you have any questions about the potential topic, please ask me!  I would be more than happy to work with you in the process.
  2. Your paper should include (1) an introduction, (2) a description of the management theory, practice, technique, approach, or philosophy that you are examining, (3) a theoretical background for the topic area, and (4) a critical review and examination of the topic.

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