Critical Thinking in Action

Write a 3-5 page academic paper in which you describe a business situation, apply a critical thinking framework to the situation, and recommend evidence-based solutions to the situation. Explain how the concepts of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) could affect both the situation and the solution.

Introduction

This portfolio work project will give you practice with academic writing expectations, while still being work-relevant. Many organizations have relationships with professional associations and contribute written articles regularly to newsletters and other publications. In addition, some organizations expect leaders to participate in conferences and seminars, where written work must be submitted using an academic style.

Scenario

From time to time, your organization submits papers to academic publications to help showcase the organization’s thought leadership. Your boss wants to be assured that you are comfortable researching and writing in a style that many academic publications use—in this case, APA style.

Your Role

Your boss has asked you to research and write about ways that businesses can apply critical thinking skills to complex issues that are also affected by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). To gain an understanding of how businesses apply critical thinking, you have decided to read an article about Panera Bread Co. and how they solved their mosh pit problem. Then, you will choose another company that you know has a problem you believe good critical thinking and understanding of VUCA can address, allowing you to flex some critical thinking muscles, similar to the leadership at Panera.

Requirements

Use the following as the basis for this assessment:

Think about how critical thinking and VUCA factored into Panera’s situation, using the Wall Street Journal article above. Then, think of a problem you have seen at a business you visited or read about in an article, and do any research you feel is necessary to thoroughly understand the problem this company has and to address this assessment.

Write an APA-formatted paper that is well organized and covers the following:

  • Write an introduction that tells the reader what to expect of this paper (1 paragraph).
  • Provide an overview of the Panera bread situation, including brief mention of how critical thinking and VUCA factored into the resolution. Then, transition to a discussion of the problem you will be solving for another company, describing the situation (3–4 paragraphs).
  • Apply the framework for critical thinking as outlined by Kallet to the problem you identified.
  • Recommend at least one evidence-based solution to the situation.
    • You must find one additional article to support your recommendation.
  • Explain how VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) could affect both the situation and your recommendation (1–2 paragraphs).
  • Write a conclusion that wraps up and summarizes your document (1 paragraph).

Deliverable Format

Write a 3–5 page academic paper following APA style and formatting. Refer to the writing resources in the MBA Program Resources in the left navigation menu in the courseroom.

Related company standards:
  • This assessment is an academic paper and should therefore follow the corresponding format for academic papers as listed in the MBA Academic and Professional Document Guidelines (located in the MBA Program Resources in the courseroom navigation panel).
  • In addition to the content requirements, include:
    • Title page.
    • References page.
    • APA formatted references
    Criteria Non-performance Basic Proficient Distinguished
    Provide an overview of a business situation. Does not provide an overview of a business situation. Provides an overview of a business situation, but the overview is incomplete or does not accurately depict the situation. Provides an overview of a business situation. Provides a concise and succinct overview of a business situation.
    Apply a critical thinking framework to a business situation. Does not apply a critical thinking framework to a business situation. Applies a critical thinking framework to a business situation but applies it incorrectly. Applies a critical thinking framework to a business situation. Analyzes a business situation using a critical thinking framework and explains how each step contributes to a better understanding of the situation.
    Recommend an evidence-based solution to a business situation. Does not recommend an evidence-based solution to a business situation. Recommends a solution but does not provide supporting evidence. Recommends an evidence-based solution to a business situation. Recommends an evidence-based solution to a business situation and describes the potential outcome of the solution.
    Explain how VUCA can affect a business situation and a recommended solution. Does not explain how VUCA can affect a business situation and a recommended solution. Explains how VUCA can affect either a business situation or a recommended solution but not both. Explains how VUCA can affect a business situation and a recommended solution. Explains how VUCA can affect a business situation and a recommended solution; identifies ways to determine if elements of VUCA are present.
    Correctly format paper, citations, and references using current APA style. Does not correctly format paper, citations, and references using current APA style. Uses current APA to format paper, citations, and references but with numerous errors. Correctly formats paper, citations, and references using current APA style with few errors. Correctly formats paper, citations, and references using current APA style with no errors.
    Write content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Does not write content clearly, logically, or with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Writes with errors in clarity, logic, grammar, punctuation, and/or mechanics. Writes content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Writes clearly and logically with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics; uses relevant evidence to support a central idea.

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