Any topic (writer’s choice)

There are 6 (six) essay options set out below.  You must choose one on which to write your essay.  The essay should be 3 to 5 pages long (maximum of 10 pages of text), double-spaced.  The essay will be marked on content, style, organization and ability to show pro and con points.  You should come to a conclusion and you should include your own reasoned opinions where appropriate.  Document your paper with reference to materials from the lectures, texts, handouts, postings and current events knowledge.  You may use point form or paragraph format to write up your essay.

1.    Although battlelines are blurred and difficult to differentiate, much critical conflict in organizations takes place within teams and between teams over tasks and relationships.  Describe why such conflicts occur.  Explain how such conflicts can be beneficial and dysfunctional for organizations.  Is there a difference in where such conflicts take place in public sector organizations focused on processes and private sector organizations focused on results?  Explain how such conflicts can be dealt with using various techniques applying both formal and informal methods.  Discuss the importance of training managers and employees to deal with such conflict.  Make reference to theories, practices, values, studies, examples and your own opinions in your answer.

2.    Professors McShane and Christensen stress the importance of transformational leadership as organizations cope with both internal and external threats to their survival, maintenance and growth.  Describe wat they mean by transformational leadership and why they think it is so important.  Critics suggest such emphasis is overdone and real managers rarely have to cope with such heroic situations.  They need training in other leadership styles.  Discuss three such alternative styles and why you prefer one or more of them.  Make reference to theories, practices and studies citing examples and expressing your own opinions

3.    Professor McShane believes the increased presence in organizations of millennial employees as baby boomers retire has forced innovative public and private sector managers to rethink the way communications are being used in organizations.  The classical principles of overcoming communication problems that were designed to improve collaborative work by persons who are now fifty years and older are obsolescent and often obsolete.  New ways must be found to improve organizational communication pathways based on how millennials communicate with each other.  Old-time managers resist such changes and need convincing.  Describe and discuss.  Support your answer with examples, theories and studies.

4.    Organizational change frequently involves mergers of organizations to create a new identity.  The collapse of intercity bus travel in Ontario has hurt many Ontarians who live in small towns and rural areas and those in cities who are of modest means who cannot afford airline or rail travel.  Premier Ford, while dismantling bus regulation in Ontario has asked you to present him with a plan in May to create a new organization called Bus Ontario to merge Ontario Northland, a Crown-owned, bus service with the human and capital assets of the now defunct Greyhound Bus lines in Ontario.  What would you suggest?  How would you structure and finance it?  How would you involve the public and municipalities in designing it?  How would you deal with private sector criticism?  Can Ontario afford not to deal with this issue?  Describe, discuss and provide recommendations identifying needed resources and constraints and a service plan.

5.    Job empowerment through individual self-leadership and enhanced teamwork has been endorsed by the private sector but the public sector has made little progress in implementing such changes to improve job satisfaction, reduce job dissatisfaction and expand creativity.  Why is the public sector lagging behind?  How can you justify such changes to public sector leaders who remain focused on command and control and task compliance?  What changes would you recommend within the scope of the public sector foundational norms?  Describe, discuss, explain and recommend with examples.

6.    Professor Christensen does not believe a universal prescriptive formula can be developed to guide public sector systems reform.  He suggests three future scenarios on how public sector reform may develop but does not share his preference.  However, he does suggest that in the meantime we focus less on grandiose overarching theories and focus on middle level frameworks.  He suggests a contextual checklist that politicians, public servants and the public could follow within public sector foundational norms that differ from the private sector.  Comment on his suggested approach by describing the checklist and foundational norms and evaluating the feasibility of his ideas for research and action to improve public sector reform.

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