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Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness, Development and Change
Students in the MS in OEDC program are required to complete a professional field project related to their course work in organizational development and change. Students are required to identify a field site within a sponsoring organization in which to conduct their project. The project must culminate in a deliverable that is of value to the sponsoring organization. We find that our students’ professional projects provide valuable advice and help to organizations while providing the student the opportunity to practice what they have learned, under the careful direction of experienced faculty and advisors.
Professional projects vary widely. The project might be an analysis of conditions and needs along with specific actionable recommendations, or a field test of an intervention in an organization. Ideal projects provide an opportunity for the student to engage with organizational members through interviews, surveys and other methods to understand the organization, project related needs and organizational constraints. When possible and appropriate the opportunity to apply and test an intervention is desirable. Students are required to apply empirically validated procedures under the supervision of a faculty director. The organization sponsor typically provides guidance and mentoring regarding the organization engagement.
Sample of recent projects:
Kent Siggers, Spring 2010. Facilitating the Evolution to Managed Services in JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Input from multiple internal stakeholders was gathered to develop a transition plan to move the company Global Technology Infrastructure team from a provider of IT solutions to autonomous business units, to a managed services environment providing enterprise-wide administration of distributed computer systems. The project resulted in specific plans for overcoming initial resistance to the change including communication plans, stakeholder involvement, high performance team structure, and governance.
Carol (Buyuan) Huang, Spring 2010. Redesigning Chinese Manufacturing Organizations: Strategy, Structure & Balanced Scorecard Implementation.
The purposes of this project were to, 1) define an appropriate organizational structure so that ZGPT‐MAN Diesel could execute its strategy more fluently and establish internal integrity, 2) to develop a workable strategy implementation using Balanced Scorecard to aid ZGPT‐MAN’s strategy execution and internal alignment, 3) to help Eray Consulting define a specific consulting procedure for its future clients, namely the Chinese manufacturing organizations, with their strategy executions. The project was conducted in three steps, which are defining strategy execution process, establishing structural integration, and implementing the Balanced Scorecard.
Kelly A. Whitmarsh, Fall 2009. Designing an Anti-Hunger Coalition in the First State: A Collaborative Stakeholder Approach.
An action research methodology was utilized. Data was collected through primary methods, including participatory observation, semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and electronic survey to coalition members. Secondary data collection occurred through literature search and informal discussions. The stakeholder approach yielded an expanded stakeholder map with diverse stakeholders identified, considered, and involved in the coalition. The stakeholder analysis provided recommendations for stakeholder management and future stakeholder engagement. Further, specific techniques were employed to facilitate a collaborative process including defining information needs, clarifying member roles, and designing group structure to foster decision-making.
Tom Wilson Jr., Spring 2009. Developing Organizational Problem Solving and Team Development at Business Move Solutions Incorporated.
This project is based on research on collective cognition, problem solving, and decision making, applied to Business Move Solutions Incorporated in New Castle, Delaware. The project included an organizational analysis based on employee interviews designed to identify factors in the collective cognition cycle that influence decision making and problem solving. Following the analysis, a problem solving workshop was developed to aid the organization in problem solving. Workshop effectiveness was measured using a post workshop survey and follow-up discussions.
Fiona R Wadia, Spring 2009. Move and Merge Project for Division of Professional and Continuing Studies at the University of Delaware.
The purpose of the project was to study the move and merger of two units in the Division of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Delaware. The project was based on research conducted on office moves, mergers, communication and management styles. The study was carried out in three phases; 1) interviews were conducted in the Pre-Move Assessment phase to know more about the move from the employees perspective, 2) an Appreciative Inquiry workshop intervention was carried out in the Implementation phase based on the employee responses from the interviews, and 3) an assessment of the workshop was done in the Post-Move Assessment phase to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. The interviews were insightful and the intervention was effective for the Division. Recommendations were given to guide next steps.
Natta Charumporn, Fall 2008. WSFS Associate Performance Appraisal Procedure Review.
A review of the WSFS Associate Performance Appraisal System was conducted with the goal of aligning the appraisal system with the company’s changing strategies. The methods included literature review and WSFS associate survey on the standing of the current performance appraisal procedure in relation to qualities of effective performance appraisal system and current industry practices. The result identified strengths of the WSFS current balanced scorecard appraisal system while pointing to the need to integrate a combination of performance appraisal tools. Areas requiring attention are the appraisal form, training for managers on how to give appraisal, and a focus on associate career development. Detailed actionable recommendations were provided.