htm writing effective internal company memos B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Scholarly Journal Article Summary Report
Our understanding of the world, the things in it, and how they operate and interact is the body of knowledge (BoK) about humans. This BoK exists in every discipline and guides what we learn and how we decide things. Your professors are contributing to the growth of their knowledge by conducting scholarly research. In turn, they share their research and the research of others with you through the courses that you take.
In the business world, rather than making decisions by trial and error—quite risky for a business—businesspeople rely on what we already know or believe. We find out what is known by consulting the body of knowledge, which is usually housed in libraries, with the most recent (or developing) knowledge found in scholarly journal articles.
Visit the following link from Montclair State University’s Sprague Library to learn about scholarly journals and how they differ from other publications.
Your manager has approached you about updating the department on the latest research. (Consider your department and its functions your area of academic interest: marketing, sports events, and tourism marketing, hospitality management, management, entrepreneurship, real estate, finance, accounting, international business, business analytics, management information technology, or retail merchandising and management.)
Your manager wants to make sure the department is abreast of the latest empirical findings that could have implications on your organization and your clients.
1. Choose an article from the list of scholarly journal articlesprovided to you. You can choose one in your concentration or one that you’re interested in reading.
2. We only want one student to summarize an article. Therefore, sign up for the one you selected by putting your name in the column next to the title of the article. If the article you are interested in is already taken, find another one and signup. If you have trouble selecting an article to read and summarize, consult with your professor.
3. Read the article a few times. Trust me, you will need a few times as these articles are a bit complicated and technical.Many articles follow a similar organization: Abstract, Introduction, Review of the Literature, Hypothesis, Methodology (data collection and analysis), Results, and Conclusions. Each section will guide you to an understanding of the article.
4. Write a summary report in the form of a memo to your manager that is a 2–3-page summary of the article. Your memo should include:
– An opening sentence or two that gives a brief explanation as to why you are writing the memo.
– Overview – In a short paragraph, summarize the what the article is about. The article abstract will provide a high-level summary of the article.
– Key questions – What are the authors trying to answer?These are usually written in the form of hypotheses.
– Methodology – How was data collected? What methods did the authors use to obtain their data?
– Statistical technique(s) – What, if any, were the statistical technique(s) used to analyze the data? You can simply list them.
– Results – What were the results of the authors’ analysis of the data? Include a chart, graph, table, or figure the authors used and briefly explain what it is revealing.
– Conclusions – Based on the research, what did the author(s) conclude?
– Limitations – What did the researchers indicate were the limitations of their study?
– Applications – Why is this research important to our business or the industry?
– Reference – Include at the end of your memo the complete citation of the article in APA format (Do not use a separate works cited page but do provide the complete citation should your reader wish to find the article.
5. End your memo by telling me you’ll be glad to discuss any questions I may have and/or write something that ends with a positive tone.
6. Follow the standard business memo format, which includes left justification of your text and single spacing, with a space between each paragraph. Use the Memo Template provided by your instructor.
7. Upload your memo to Canvas on the date specified in class.
PRESENTATION AT YOUR DEPARTMENT MEETING
1. Create a PowerPoint presentation that you will present to your manager and colleagues in 5 minutes.
2. Organize your presentation in the same way you organized your memo. You will likely have the following slides:
– Agenda for the presentation
– Key Research Questions or Hypotheses
– Statistical Techniques
CREATING YOUR SLIDES
Make sure you:
– Use a title slide with your name and the date.
– Limit the use of text. Slides should not be text-heavy and hard to read.
– Include a chart, graph, table, or figure used in the original research article and explain it clearly.
– If you’re not done in 5 minutes, I’ll have to stop you, which will affect your final grade. Why? Businesspeople are busy. They always have another meeting to attend. How do you make sure you’ll end on time? Practice.
Your presentation should be recorded using PitchVantage and is due on the date specified by your instructor.
Writing a Memo
The following was developed based on the document written by Matthew Ford at Northern Kentucky University and provided online at the link Writing effective internal company memos is an acquired skill that frequently distinguishes the great manager inside a company. Senior executives usually take notice of lower level managers who precisely communicate issues in written form.
The key to effective internal memos is that they communicate much in a small amount of space. A cardinal rule of great memo writing is this: All important information must appear on the first page.
The following provides one way to organize an internal memo. This format is particularly applicable towards a memo that communicates the results of some project or investigation that has been assigned to the writer.
Memorandum” (or “Memo”) usually appears in bold letters either left- or center-justified at the top of thepage.
Other important information that appears at the top of page one includes:
If this is a memo designed to communicate the findings of some project or investigation assigned to the author, then the structure of the memo typically progresses as follows:
Two or three sentences that orient your reader about why you are writing to him or her. Your boss may not remember why he or she assigned you this project. In this section, refresh your boss’s memory. The Introduction should inform the reader about specific background information regarding the project you are writing about (for example, who, what, when, where, why). In most analytical memos, your tone should be unemotional and objective. Avoid putting your conclusions or key points in this section–those things go in the next section.
This is where you place your key points for a busy executive that only has three minutes to read it. Key points are usually best communicated by listing them in “bullets” as single sentences, avoiding lengthy and wordy paragraphs. Your key points must all fit on the first page.
In an analytical memo your key points might consist of: Major strengths or weaknesses that you’d like to highlight; opportunities for improvement; at least one recommendation for action.
This is for the reader that needs more specific information than the summary information presented in the key points listed above. A useful rule: It should be easy for the reader to clearly link the portions of this section with each of the key points listed in the previous section.
This attachment to the memo is where the reader will find a brief discussion about the data, the various techniques employed and the assumptions made, and any limitations regarding your analysis or findings. In addition, this is where reader will find the tables and charts referred to in the body of the memo.