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The shortage of personal protective equipment was well publicized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the attached academic journal article concerning contributing factors to the shortage.
Original Post Instructions: The authors provide seven recommendations in section #7 of the article. Choose one of these recommendations and discuss how the recommendation can be successful if implemented. Include information from other sources as supporting evidence to your discussion.
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Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ypmed
Contributing factors to personal protective equipment shortages during the
Jennifer Cohena,b,, Yana van der Meulen Rodgersc
a Department of Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University, 501 E. High St. Oxford, OH 45056, USA
b Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, 32 Princess of Wales Terr., Sunnyside Office Park, Block D,
Floor 5, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
c Department of Labor Studies & Employment Relations, and Department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Rutgers University, 94 Rockafeller Road, Piscataway, NJ
A R T I C L E I N F O
Personal protective equipment
A B S T R A C T
This study investigates the forces that contributed to severe shortages in personal protective equipment in the US
during the COVID-19 crisis. Problems from a dysfunctional costing model in hospital operating systems were
magnified by a very large demand shock triggered by acute need in healthcare and panicked marketplace be-
havior that depleted domestic PPE inventories. The lack of effective action on the part of the federal government
to maintain and distribute domestic inventories, as well as severe disruptions to the PPE global supply chain,
amplified the problem. Analysis of trade data shows that the US is the world’s largest importer of face masks, eye
protection, and medical gloves, making it highly vulnerable to disruptions in exports of medical supplies. We
conclude that market prices are not appropriate mechanisms for rationing inputs to health because health is a
public good. Removing the profit motive for purchasing PPE in hospital costing models, strengthening gov-
ernment capacity to maintain and distribute stockpiles, developing and enforcing regulations, and pursuing
strategic industrial policy to reduce US dependence on imported PPE will help to better protect healthcare
workers with adequate supplies of PPE.
Since early 2020 the US has experienced a severe shortage of per-
sonal protective equipment (PPE) needed by healthcare workers
fighting the COVID-19 pandemic (Emanuel et al., 2020; Livingston
et al., 2020). In protests covered by the news media, healthcare workers
compared themselves to firefighters putting out fires without water and
soldiers going into combat with cardboard body armor. Medical pro-
fessionals have called for federal government action to mobilize and
distribute adequate supplies of protective equipment, especially gloves,
medical masks, goggles or face shields, gowns, and N95 respirators.
N95 respirators, which have demonstrated efficacy in reducing re-
spiratory infections among healthcare workers, have been in particu-
larly short supply (MacIntyre et al., 2014).
Without proper PPE, healthcare workers are more likely to become
ill. A decline in the supply of healthcare due to worker illness combines
with intensified demand for care, causing healthcare infrastructure to
become unstable, thus reducing the quality and quantity of care
available. Sick healthcare workers also contribute to viral transmission.
Hence ill practitioners increase the demand for care while simulta-
neously reducing health system capacity. This endogeneity makes a PPE
shortage a systemwide public health problem, rather than solely a
worker’s rights or occupational health issue. PPE for healthcare workers
is a key component of infection prevention and control; ensuring that
healthcare workers are protected means more effective containment for
We investigate the four main contributing factors behind the US
shortage of PPE in 2020 and their interaction. First, a dysfunctional
budgeting model in hospital operating systems incentivizes hospitals to
minimize costs rather than maintain adequate inventories of PPE.
Second, a major demand shock triggered by healthcare system needs as
well as panicked marketplace behavior depleted PPE inventories. Third,
the federal government failed to maintain and distribute domestic in-
ventories. Finally, major disruptions to the PPE global supply chain
caused a sharp reduction in PPE exported to the US, which was already
highly dependent on globally-sourced PPE. Market and government
failures thus led PPE procurement by hospitals, healthcare providers,
businesses, individuals, and governments to become competitive and
Received 26 April 2020; Received in revised form 5 September 2020; Accepted 8 September 2020
Corresponding author at: Department of Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University, 501 E. High St. Oxford, OH 45056, USA.
E-mail address: [emailprotected] (J. Cohen).
Preventive Medicine 141 (2020) 106263
Available online 02 October 2020
0091-7435/ 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
costly in terms of time and money. The remainder of this article pro-
vides detailed support for the argument that the enormous PPE
shortages arose from the compounding effects of these four factors. We
conclude that because health is a public good, markets are not suitable
mechanisms for rationing the resources necessary for health, and
transformative changes are necessary to better protect healthcare
The 2020 shortage of PPE was an eventuality that nonetheless came
as a surprise. The US experienced heightened demand for PPE in the
mid- to late-1980s following the identification of the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus and the release of Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) guidelines for protecting health personnel (Segal, 2016). The
2001 attack on the World Trade Center heightened concerns that in-
sufficient PPE left healthcare workers vulnerable to exposure to toxins
from bioterrorism and other future public health emergencies (O’Boyle
et al., 2006). The 2014 Ebola Virus outbreak made the importance of
protection for health workers especially apparent when two nurses with
inadequate protection treated an Ebola-infected patient in a Dallas
hospital and became infected themselves. Subsequent studies pointed to
global PPE shortages as a contributing factor to infections and deaths of
hundreds of healthcare workers in West African countries hit hardest by
the Ebola Virus (Hersi et al., 2015).
Although various stakeholders (governments, multilateral agencies,
health organizations, universities) warned of the possibility of a major
infectious disease outbreak, particularly pandemic influenza, most
governments were underprepared. The World Economic Forum’s annual
Global Risks Report even showed a decline in the likelihood and impact
of a spread of infectious diseases as a predicted risk factor between
2015 and 2020 (WEF, 2015, 2020). The problems created by lack of
preparation were exacerbated by the high transmissibility of COVID-19
and the severity of symptoms. Contributing to the inadequate stockpiles
of PPE were the Trump administration’s policies – which included public
health budget cuts, streamlining the pandemic response team, and a
trade war with the country’s major supplier of PPE – weakening the
CDC’s capacity to prepare for a crisis of this magnitude (Devi, 2020).
The PPE shortage is reflected in survey data on PPE usage and in
data on COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. As of May 2020, 87% of
nurses reported having to reuse a single-use disposable mask or N95
respirator, and 27% of nurses reported they had been exposed to con-
firmed COVID-19 patients without wearing appropriate PPE (NNU,
2020). As of July 28, 2020, at least 1842 nurses, doctors, physicians
assistants, medical technicians, and other healthcare workers globally,
and 342 in the US, died due to the virus, and many more became sick
(Medscape, 2020). The CDC aggregate national data of 172,844 cases
among healthcare personnel and 743 deaths (CDC, 2020b). Healthcare
workers have died from COVID-related causes in all but 19 states
Healthcare worker deaths by state recorded in Medscape (2020) are
correlated with CDC (2020b) COVID-19 cases by state (Pearson’s r of
0.552, p < 0.00) and even more strongly correlated with CDC-con- firmed COVID deaths in the general population (Pearson's r of 0.953, p < 0.00). These correlation coefficients are indicative of healthcare worker exposure to the virus, and of the critical role of PPE and healthcare systems for population health. In other words, population health is a function of the healthcare system and wellbeing of health- care workers, and the wellbeing of healthcare workers is a function of the healthcare system and PPE. We now turn to our analysis of PPE shortages, which identifies on four contributing factors: the way that hospitals budget for PPE, domestic demand shocks, federal government failures, and disruptions to the global supply chain (Fig. 2). These four factors arose from a number of processes and worked concurrently to generate severe shortages. 3. The PPE Budgeting Model The first factor-the budgeting model used by hospitals - is a struc- tural weakness in the healthcare system. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide health- care workers with PPE free of charge (Barniv et al., 2000; OSHA, 2007). From the perspective of employers, PPE is an expenditure - a cost. PPE is unique compared to all of the other items used to treat patients (such as catheters, bed pans, and medications) which operate on a cost-pas- sing model, meaning they are billed to the patient/insurer. An ideal model for budgeting PPE would align the interests of em- ployers, healthcare workers, and patients and facilitate effective, effi- cient care that is safe for all. Instead, the existing structure puts em- ployers who prioritize minimizing costs and healthcare workers who prioritize protecting their safety and the health of their patients in opposition, leaving governmental bodies to regulate these competing priorities (Moses et al., 2013). Employers, be they privately-owned enterprises, private healthcare clinics, or public hospitals, seek to minimize costs. In economic theory, cost-minimization is compelled through market competition with other suppliers. In practice, cost-minimization is a strategy for maintaining profitability or revenue. Therefore, hospital managers adopt cost-ef- fective behaviors by reducing expenditures in the short term to lower costs (McLellan, 2017). Despite some hospitals' tax-exempt status, hospitals function like other businesses: they pursue efficiency and cost minimization (Bai and Anderson, 2016; Rosenbaum et al., 2015). The pursuit of efficiency means hospitals tend to rely on just-in-time pro- duction so that they do not need to maintain PPE inventories. The OSHA requirement effectively acts as an unfunded mandate, imposing responsibility for the provision of PPE, and the costs of provision, on employers. When it is difficult to pass along the costs of unfunded mandates to workers (in the form of lower wages) or customers (in the form of higher prices), employers resist such cost-raising legal requirements. The tension between healthcare workers and employers over PPE is evident in the way nurses' unions push federal and state agencies to establish protective standards. It is demonstrated by the testimony of Deborah Burger, the co-president of National Nurses United to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the US House of Representatives in October 2014. She advocated for mandated stan- dards for PPE during the Ebola Virus while employers were pushing for voluntary guidelines: [O]ur long experience with US hospitals is that they will not act on their own to secure the highest standards of protection without a spe- cific directive from our federal authorities in the form of an Act of Congress or an executive order from the White HouseThe lack of mandates in favor of shifting guidelines from multiple agencies, and reliance on voluntary compliance, has left nurses and other caregivers uncertain, severely unprepared and vulnerable to infection (Govinfo, 2014). Employer resistance is short-sighted but unsurprising in the existing costing structure. The costing structure for other items, like catheters, allows employers to pass costs on to patients and insurers. The im- plication is that if employers (hospitals) cannot pass along the cost of the OSHA mandate to insurance companies, then employers do not have an economic incentive to encourage employees to use PPE, replace it frequently, or keep much of it in stock, at least until any gains from cost-minimization are lost due to illness among employees. The budgeting model is especially problematic when demand in- creases sharply, such as during the Ebola Virus in 2014 and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009. As the site where new pathogens may be 1 The full dataset is available at doi:https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare. 12751850 J. Cohen and Y.v.d.M. Rodgers Preventive Medicine 141 (2020) 106263 2 https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12751850 https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12751850 introduced unexpectedly, hospitals are uniquely challenged compared to other employers to provide protection (Yarbrough et al., 2016). But even during predictable fluctuations in demand, the existing model does not ensure that adequate quantities of PPE are available. However, previous studies have framed these problems as consequences of non- compliance among healthcare workers rather than noncompliance among employers (Ganczak and Szych, 2007; Gershon et al., 2000; Nichol et al., 2013; Sax et al., 2005). Hospitals might be incentivized to avoid shortages by passing PPE costs on to patients and insurers, like other items used in care, but that approach is not the norm. This alternative cost-passing model also leaves much to be desired. Where the current model induces tension between workers and employers, a cost-passing model would effec- tively situate practitioners against patients (Cerminara, 2001). If patients pay the costs of PPE, they might prefer that practitioners are less safe to defray costs. Such a model is detrimental to both healthcare workers and patients. Introducing tension to a relationship built on care and trust is precisely why the employer, not the patient, should be re- quired to provide PPE to healthcare workers at no cost to the worker. Practitioners and patients should be allowed to share the common goal of improving patients' well-being. Some labor economists argue that employers could (or do) pay compensating wage differentials to compensate healthcare workers for working in unsafe conditions (Hall and Jones, 2007; Rosen, 1986; Viscusi, 1993). They believe that workers subject to hazardous condi- tions command a higher wage from employers compared to workers in less dangerous employment. Higher wages for healthcare workers would then be embedded in the costs of care, which include pay for Fig. 1. Healthcare worker deaths by state, July 28, 2020. *Map created by the authors using Google Sheets and Medscape (2020). Unshaded states had no healthcare worker deaths. Fig. 2. Factors contributing PPE shortage. J. Cohen and Y.v.d.M. Rodgers Preventive Medicine 141 (2020) 106263 3 practitioners, that are passed along to insurance companies. However, this counter-argument does not apply to healthcare practitioners be- cause its necessary conditions are not met. Workers would need perfect foresight that a crisis would require more protective equipment, knowledge of their employers' stockpile of PPE, perfect information about the hazards of the disease, and how much higher a wage they would need as compensation for these risks. This information is not available for workers who may be exposed to entirely novel pathogens that have unknowable impacts. Neither the existing budgeting model nor the cost-passing model align the interests of the employer, healthcare worker, and patient. Yet these three agents have a shared interest in practitioners' use of PPE. PPE, like catheters, are inputs to health. But unlike catheters, the pri- mary beneficiary of PPE use is less easily identifiable than that of other inputs. While healthcare practitioners may appear to be the primary beneficiaries of PPE, the benefits are more diffuse. Patients benefit from having healthy nurses who are not spreading infections, nurses benefit from their own health, and hospitals benefit from have a healthy workforce. Nurses' health is an input to patient health, to the func- tioning of the hospital, and to the healthcare system. In other words, every beneficiary depends on practitioners' health, which depends on PPE. Still, employers' short-term profit motive dominates the interests of healthcare workers and patients, which suggests that alternative models that are not motivated by profit-seeking should be explored. 4. The Demand Shock The second contributing factor to the US shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak was the rapid increase in demand by the healthcare system and the general public. In a national survey of hospital profes- sionals in late March 2020 close to one-third of hospitals had almost no more face masks and 13% had run out of plastic face shields, with hospitals using a number of strategies to try to meet their demand in- cluding purchasing in the market and soliciting donations (Kamerow, 2020). American consumers also bought large supplies of PPE as the sheer scale of the crisis and the severity of the disease prompted a surge in panic buying, hoarding, and resales of masks and gloves. As an in- dicator of scale, in March 2020 Amazon cancelled more than half a million offers to sell masks at inflated prices and closed 4000 accounts for violating fair pricing policies (Cabral and Xu, 2020). Panicked buying contributed to a sudden and sharp reduction in American PPE inventories, which were already inadequate to meet demand from the healthcare system. There were two different kinds of non-healthcare buyers of PPE. A subset sought profits and bought and hoarded PPE items such as N95 respirators with the intent of reselling them at inflated prices (Cohen, Cohen 2020a, Cohen 2020b). It is likely that the majority, however, were worried consumers. While it may be tempting to blame consumers for seemingly irrational consumption, their decisions are more com- plex. Panic buyers are consumers in the moment of buying PPE, but they are workers as well; people buy PPE because they are afraid of losing the ability to work and support themselves and their families. Put simply, the dependence of workers on wages to pay for basic necessities contributes to panic when their incomes are threatened. This is rational behavior in the short term given existing conditions and economic structures. Still, PPE belongs in the hands of those whose health has many beneficiaries: practitioners. Eventually both the profiteer and the average, panicked worker/consumer will require healthcare, and con- tributing to the decimation of the healthcare work force is in no one's interest. Underlying consumption behavior was intense fear of not only the disease but also fear of shortages. This panic reverberated throughout the supply chain as manufacturers tried to increase their production capacity to meet the demand for PPE (Mason and Friese, 2020). One can conceptualize this mismatch between PPE demand and supply in an ability-to-pay framework. In much of economic theory, markets match supply and demand to determine the price of a good or service, and the price operates as a rationing mechanism. Market actors choose to buy or sell at that given price. But there are problems with this framework. On the demand side, some people cannot choose to buy a product because they cannot afford it; they lack the ability to pay, so the decision is made for them. An example is a potential trip to the doctor for the uninsured. For many Americans, whether to go to the doctor, or whether to have insurance, is not a choice; the choice is made for them because they are unable to pay. On the supply side, the ability-to-pay framework remains, except the product in question is an input. In healthcare, the practitioner is the proximate supplier of care and inputs to health are intermediate goods. The supplier's - or their employer's - ability (and willingness) to pay for inputs to care, including PPE, determines the quality and quantity of care the practitioner is able to supply. When healthcare workers do not have PPE (e.g. because others bought it and resold it at extortionary prices), they are unable to provide the care patients need. But reselling behavior is also economically rational, if unethical, at least in the short term. Indeed, ability-to-pay works well for the hoarder/reseller, who both contributes to and profits from the shortage. It is in the pursuit of profits - of monetary gain - that the mismatch between PPE demand and supply resides. On the demand side there is a person in need of care who is con- strained by their inability to pay, while on the supply side there is a practitioner who is constrained by their inability to access the resources required to provide high quality care safely. The ability-to-pay frame- work is incompatible with the optimal allocation of resources when the ultimate aim is something other than monetary gain. Hence market prices are not a good mechanism for rationing vital inputs to health such as PPE, and the profit motive is ineffective in resolving this mis- match between demand and supply. 5. Government Failure Given the large-scale failure of the market to ensure sufficient supplies of PPE for practitioners, the government could have taken a number of corrective actions: it could have coordinated domestic pro- duction and distribution, deployed supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, or procured PPE directly from international suppliers (HHS, 2020; Maloney, 2020). The US government has anticipated PPE shortages since at least 2006 when the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health commissioned a report examining the lack of preparedness of the healthcare system for supplying workers with adequate PPE in the event of pandemic influenza (Liverman and Goldfrank, 2007). In a scenario in which 30% of the US population becomes ill from pandemic influenza, the estimated need for N95 respirators is 3.5 billion (Carias et al., 2015). However, the actual supply in the US stockpile was far smaller at 30 million, thus serving as a strong rationale to invoke the Defense Production Act to manufacture N95 respirators and other PPE (Azar, 2020; Friese et al., 2020; Kamerow, 2020). Further, the PPE in the national stockpile was not maintained on a timely basis to prevent product expiration, forcing the CDC to recommend use of expired N95s (CDC, 2020a). Adding to the problems of CDC budget cuts before and during the pandemic and their failure to stockpile PPE was the unwillingness of the federal government to invoke the Defense Production Act to require private companies to manufacture PPE, ventilators, and other critical items needed to treat patients (Devi, 2020). By July 2020, at which time the US already had more COVID-19 cases than any other country in the world, there were still calls from top congressional leaders and healthcare professionals, including the Speaker of the House of Re- presentatives and the president of the American Medical Association, for the Trump administration to use the Defense Production Act to boost domestic production of PPE (Madara, 2020; Pelosi, 2020; Rosen, 2020a). Researchers had also begun to publish studies on how to safely J. Cohen and Y.v.d.M. Rodgers Preventive Medicine 141 (2020) 106263 4 re-use PPE as it became clear that shortages would continue (Rowan and Laffey, 2020). Hence even five months into the crisis, the profit motive was still inadequate to attract new producers, which indicates that markets do not work to solve production and distribution problems in the case of inputs to health. Not only did the government poorly maintain already-inadequate supplies and fail to raise production directly, it also failed to provide guidance requested by private sector medical equipment distributors and the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), a trade group of member companies (Maloney, 2020). The private sector sought guidance about accessing government inventories, expediting PPE im- ports, and how to prioritize distribution, as indicated in this commu- nication from HIDA's president: Specifically, distributors need FEMA and the federal government to designate specific localities, jurisdictions or care settings as priorities for PPE and other medical supplies. The private sector is not in a po- sition to make these judgments. Only the federal government has the data and the authority to provide this strategic direction to the supply chain and the healthcare system (Rowan, 2020). Moreover, it was not until early April 2020 that the Trump ad- ministration issued an executive order for 3 M, one of the largest American producers and exporters of N95 respirators, to stop exporting masks and to redirect them to the US market (Whitehouse.gov, 2020). Looking up the supply chain, at least one distributor proposed bringing efforts to procure PPE internationally under a federal umbrella to the Trump administration (Maloney, 2020, p. 11). States-as-buyers confront the same market-incentivized structural issues that individual buyers face. A single federal purchaser would reduce state-level com- petition for buying PPE abroad, and mitigate the resulting inflated prices and price gouging by brokers acting as intermediaries between states-as-buyers and suppliers. The federal government chose not to take on this role. The profound government failures related to producing, procuring, and distributing PPE effectively, in ways not achievable through mar- kets, are likely to have long-term impacts. The same distribution com- panies characterized, the economics of supplying PPE in these cir- cumstances as not sustainable (Maloney, 2020, p. 3). They also expressed concern about the ongoing availability of raw materials re- quired to manufacture PPE in the future. HIDA member companies expressed these concerns about supply chain issues in calls with federal agencies between January and March 2020, specifically with respect to long-term supply chain issues impacting the upcoming 2020-21 flu season (Maloney, 2020, p. 5). In mid-June, FEMA officials acknowl- edged that, the supply chain is still not stable (Maloney, 2020, p. 9). 6. Global Supply Chain Breakdown A smoothly functioning supply chain has immediate impacts on the ability of governments and health personnel to contain an epidemic. The infectiousness and virulence of the disease affects the demand for PPE, just as the supply chain's functionality impacts the spread of the disease by improving practitioners' ability to treat their patients while remaining safe themselves (Gooding, 2016). The US domestic supply chain of PPE has been unable to sufficiently increase production to meet the enormous surge in demand. A large portion of the PPE in the US is produced in other countries. Excessive reliance on off-shore producers for PPE proved problematic in earlier public health emergencies (especially the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2014 Ebola Virus epidemic), and this lesson appears to be repeating itself during the COVID-19 pandemic (Patel et al., 2017). The incentive for hospitals and care providers to keep costs down has kept inventories low and driven sourcing to low-cost producers, especially in China. China's low production costs combined with high quality have made it the global leader in producing a vast range of manufactured goods, including protective face masks, gloves, and gowns. Even with the emergence of other low-cost exporters, China dominates the global market for PPE exports. Meanwhile, the US is the world's largest importer of PPE. Yet although the US is extremely de- pendent on the global supply chain, US manufacturers of PPE are also major exporters given the profits available in world markets. The trade data in Table 1 show the world's four top exporters of face masks, eye protection, and medical gloves. The data is drawn from the UN Comtrade database, using trade classifications from the WHO's World Customs Organization for COVID-19 medical supplies (WHO, 2020). In these data, the category face masks includes textile face masks with and without a replaceable filter or mechanical parts (sur- gical masks, disposable face-masks, and N95 respirators); eye protec- tion includes protective spectacles and goggles as well as plastic face shields; and medical gloves includes gloves of different materials such as rubber, cloth, and plastic (WHO, 2020). We c SHOW MORE... Assessment 1: Capstone Project Summary Create a 2-3 page project summary that describes your chosen organization, a business problem or opportunity, the kind of data you will need, and how your topic allows you to demonstrate the MBA program outcomes. Introduction This course revolves around the creation of a single, significant capstone project. In other words, a project that caps off your learning and your program, allowing you to demonstrate the competencies of leadership and collaboration, ethical and evidence-based decision making, and innovative and strategic thinking. For your capstone, you will choose a real company and analyze it in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the MBA program outcomes. You will turn your analysis of that company into a written report with recommendations and a formal presentation for your intended audience. Having a solid, doable scope is an important part of creating a successful capstone project, and the exact scope is up to you. To help you establish a realistic scope, you will start with the project summary. Be careful to consider the scalability of your project scope, ensuring that it demonstrates your ability to lead in a business environment and showcases your achievement of all MBA program outcomes. Examples A scope that is poorly defined: I want to write a general analysis of the bookseller, Barnes & Noble. This topic is too broad, and it would probably require hundreds of pages to address all of the possible analyses. A scope that is better defined: I want to focus on how Barnes & Noble has managed to survive the Internet age while Borders has crumbled. What makes this a better scope? The scope is grounded in a problem (such as how to survive Internet competition) or opportunity (such as the area lacking a business that you plan to open), which allows you to focus the analysis. It must also allow for you to analyze and suggest evidence-based recommendations, takeaways, or actionable next steps as the crux of your project. Preparation Read the MBA Capstone Project Description [PDF]. Assessment Description For this assessment, introduce the organization you have chosen to research, why you chose it, and how it will allow you to demonstrate all of the MBA program outcomes. Write a 23 page paper, in an academic writing style, that details the topic and scope of your capstone project. Your project summary should be clear and concise yet thorough enough for faculty to provide feedback and guidance. Your project summary should be well organized and include the following sections: Describe the background of your chosen organization. Provide a brief background of your selected organization. For instance, discuss its product lines, number of years in business, organization structure, location, et cetera. If you choose an organization for which you work, your introduction must include a statement that you received permission to use the company from a supervisor. Describe a business topic, problem, or opportunity that you intend to research. Describe the problem or opportunity you see that makes this company a good choice. Explain the scope of your project by clearly identifying the topics or areas you intend to research. Explain the level of accessibility to data necessary to examine the chosen business topic, problem, or opportunity. Address how you will go about obtaining the data. Identify any special requirements that you might need to meet to access the data you will need. Explain risks you think will be encountered and the mitigation plan to manage those risks. Explain how your topic will allow you to showcase your leadership ability by demonstrating each MBA program outcome. List out each program outcome clearly, and then explain in 34 sentences how your topic will allow you to demonstrate each. The MBA program outcomes are listed in the MBA Capstone Project Description. Identify specific items of your project summary that you believe demonstrates the outcome. Wrap up your paper with a clear, concise conclusion that summarizes your plan. Just a couple sentences is fine. Your project summary should have these sections: Introduction. Statement of scope. Demonstration of outcomes. Conclusion. Submission Requirements Style: Your paper should follow the corresponding MBA Academic and Professional Document guidelines (available in the MBA Program Resources) for academic style. It should be double spaced, use subheadings, and be well organized and well written. Communication: Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message and quality. APA guidelines: Format your paper according to current APA style and formatting. Resources: At least one resource should be a scholarly article or other content found in the Capella library, and one should be from the Wall Street Journal. If using Internet sources, evaluate them appropriately to make sure they are credible resources. Length: Your paper should be between 23 pages. Font and font size: Use 12 point, Times New Roman. EPORTFOLIO You should consider adding this to your personal ePortfolio. This assessment demonstrates your ability to draft a project summary, which is necessary in a professional setting when you are trying to pitch an idea or potential project, or make recommendations. Competencies Measured By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria: Competency 2: Integrate information across disciplines and from differing perspectives. Describe the background of the chosen organization. Competency 3: Think critically and analytically to provide evidence-based solutions to business challenges and opportunities. Describe an intended business topic, problem, or opportunity to research. Explain the level of accessibility to data necessary to examine the chosen business topic, problem, or opportunity. Explain how the topic will allow showcasing of leadership ability by demonstrating some MBA program outcomes. Competency 7: Communicate clearly and effectively in a business environment. Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. 1 MBA Capstone Project Description MBA Capstone Project Description Throughout your MBA program, you have worked to develop as a business professional and prepare to meet future challenges as a business leader. Your program culminates in the capstone project, which forms the primary focus of MBA-FPX5910, the final course you will take in the program. The capstone project is intended to provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your MBA program outcomes by: Planning and executing the strategic and tactical elements of a comprehensive project. Integrating and demonstrating the business leadership skills and techniques you have learned throughout the MBA program. Communicating your analysis and recommendations for a real organization both in written form and in a formal presentation. Completing your MBA program with an experience that reinforces and integrates what you have learned throughout your MBA program. The following information outlines the requirements and work associated with the capstone project for MBA-FPX5910. Capstone Project Examples You have a wide variety of choice when it comes to choosing a capstone project that is personally interesting and rewarding to you. It is your responsibility to propose a capstone topic and scope that will allow you to demonstrate all of the MBA program outcomes. Examples of project types that might be proposed to meet these requirements include, but are not limited to: A strategic plan developed for an organization to use that helps them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. A strategic analysis conducted on a selected part or area of an organization. A case study developed on a selected part of or situation within an organization. An intervention developed to address an organizational issue; for example, a workshop or training activity. The intervention should be broad-based enough to demonstrate the program-level outcomes. A consulting report developed to analyze a problematic issue within an organization; the issue and analysis should be broad-based enough to demonstrate program-level outcomes. You may propose other project types for the capstone project so long as you are able to identify how the proposed project satisfies the requirement of demonstrating the program-level outcomes. When choosing your project type and/or topic, keep in mind that it must result in recommendations, next steps, or some other type of actionable, evidence-based takeaways for your intended audience, user, or subject of the project. 2 Capstone Project Selection and Proposal Guidelines The organization must be real, not fictitious. This may be an organization to which you have direct access for data gathering or one for which you will gather data via published sources. In either case, it must be an organization for which you can gather the data needed to complete the project. If need be, you may be allowed to use a disguised name for the organization in the project report, but you must disclose to faculty what actual organization is being used as the setting for the project. There are certain organizations that we want you to avoid using for your capstone. These organizations have been overly covered in the various business courses and might not be fresh enough for you to showcase your MBA outcomes. For that reason, we encourage you to select more low-profile organizations, or ones you can easily access for researching and analyzing. Do not select these organizations for your capstone project: Airlines: Southwest, American, Delta, United Retailers: Amazon, Target, Walmart Tech Companies: Apple, Google, Netflix Auto Companies: Ford, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagon Beverage Companies: Pepsi, Coke, Starbucks Burger King & McDonald's Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Johnson & Johnson Proctor & Gamble Kellogg's Uber Any other company that your instructor posts in Announcements When proposing a capstone project, you will be required to briefly identify how the proposed project ensures the demonstration of all seven program outcomes. The scope of effort required should be such that it is doable in a 1520 page paper, which is to be submitted in Assessment 4. 3 Capstone Project Requirements The capstone course project must demonstrate your achievement of the MBA program outcomes. The following table is taken from the Capstone Project Scoring Guide, at the Proficient level. It outlines the expectations, at a minimum, for demonstrating each program outcome. (For the best grade possible, strive to meet the grading criteria at the Distinguished level.) MBA Program Outcome Grading Criteria (at the Proficient Level) 1. Apply foundational knowledge and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. Applies foundational knowledge (theories, models, practices) and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. 2. Integrate information across disciplines and from differing perspectives. Integrates most relevant supportive and conflicting information (data, insights, best practices) across disciplines from differing primary functional perspectives individually and holistically. 3. Think critically and analytically to provide evidence-based solutions to business challenges and opportunities. Develops logical, well-supported, solutions based on relevant, sound, logical, and credible evidence (data, insights, analyses, best practices) to solve business challenges and opportunities. 4. Apply innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practice and planning. Applies innovative, strategic, and sustainable (long- term) approaches to business practice and planning. 5. Lead and collaborate in virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. Applies leadership and collaboration principles and strategies for virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. 6. Integrate principles of ethics and integrity into business decisions. Integrates principles of ethics and integrity into business decisions by assessing ethical implications and resolving ethical conflicts and dilemmas. Capstone Deliverables You will plan, execute, and deliver your capstone project; it should include the components and requirements listed in this table. Assessment Brief Assessment Description Submission Requirements Assessment 1: Capstone Project Summary You will develop a brief summary of your capstone project so that faculty can approve your organization choice and scope and provide appropriate guidance. The project summary will also list out each program outcome and how the topic allows you to demonstrate mastery of each. Double spaced, academic style. Use at least one resource from the Capella library and one from the Wall Street Journal. Length is 23 pages. 4 Assessment 2: Capstone Proposal Once your topic and scope are approved, you will submit a formal proposal that includes a concise analysis of your business topic. You will also explain how you will leverage your leadership strengths assessment results and coaching experience (provided by BetterUp), as well as your knowledge and experience as a leader, to support your capstone work. Single spaced, professional style. Use at least two resources from the Capella library. Reference your BetterUp leadership strengths assessment results and coaching experience. Length is 23 pages. Assessment 3: Annotated Outline To help you stay on track and receive faculty feedback, you will create an annotated outline of your paper. This document will list all of the major sections and sub-sections of your paper and include some resources. Double spaced, academic style. Use at least four resources from the Capella library, in addition to Internet resources. Length is 25 pages. Assessment 4: Capstone Project The final written project report will be a formal document prepared for the key stakeholders of your project. The structure and length of the document will vary according to the type of project being undertaken, but the report is expected to be substantial. In Appendix A, you can view the Capstone Project Scoring Guide. Be sure to review these criteria often throughout your project to ensure you are fulfilling the expectations of the MBA program outcomes. Single spaced, professional style. Use at least six resources from the Capella library, in addition to Internet resources. Length is 1520 pages. Assessment 5: Reflection and Goal Setting (Note: this assessment is not part of the Capstone paper) This paper will summarize how your strengthsas identified in the BetterUp leadership assessment and improved through your coachinghelped you to create an effective capstone project. Your paper will include a reflection of your growth, how you have applied your strengths, & how you would apply those strengths further to enact the recommendations you made in your Capstone paper. Single spaced, professional style. Reference your BetterUp strength assessment results and coaching Length is 2-4 pages 5 Assessment 6: Capstone Presentation This formal oral presentation will be supported by a PowerPoint presentation including slides with notes. You will record the oral presentation and upload it to the courseroom for formal review by faculty. Your presentation should present all facets of the capstone project. Presentation slides with audio recording of you presenting to your audience. Length is 1020 slides. Not to exceed 8 minutes of run time. Credible Resources The majority of your resources should be from credible sources such as peer-reviewed, scholarly journals and articles found in the Capella library. Other resources/databases, also available from the Capella library, are the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Lexis Nexis, IBIS, et cetera. By now you should have solid skills in navigating the Capella library, but just in case you need a refresher, remember that we have a custom library guide, Research Guide MBA, which is an excellent place to start your research. 6 You may also use additional Internet resources (such as blogs, websites, white papers, et cetera), but evaluate and vet these sites/resources diligently to ensure you are using information that is credible and evidence based. Use this information to determine whether or not the resource is credible: Sources: What Can You Use for Your Research?; make sure you explore the source types listed on the left. 7 Appendix A Capstone Project Scoring Guide Criteria Non-performance Basic Proficient Distinguished Apply foundational knowledge and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. References but does not apply fundamental, practical foundational knowledge (theories, models, practices) and a functional understanding of business systems, processes, and technology. Applies fundamental, practical foundational knowledge (theories, models, practices) and a functional understanding of a limited set of business systems, processes, and technology within but not across core disciplines. Applies foundational knowledge (theories, models, practices) and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. Applies a balance of theoretical and practical foundational knowledge (theories, models, practices) and an in- depth understanding of a full range of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. Justifies approach to integrating foundational knowledge, business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. Integrate most relevant supportive and conflicting information (data, insights, best practices) across disciplines from differing primary functional perspectives individually and holistically. Analyzes information from a singular discipline or perspective or poorly analyzes information across disciplines from few differing primary functional perspectives. Analyzes but does not integrate limited information (data, insights, best practices) across disciplines from few differing primary functional perspectives individually but not holistically. Integrates most relevant supportive and conflicting information (data, insights, best practices) across disciplines from differing primary functional perspectives individually and holistically. Evaluates supportive and conflicting information (data, insights, best practices), integrating insights across disciplines from multiple diverse functional and strategic perspectives individually and holistically. Develop logical, well- supported solutions based on relevant, sound, logical, and credible evidence (data, insights, analyses, best practices) to solve business challenges and opportunities. Develops unsupported (that is, emotional testimonials, anecdotes, or lack of evidence) solutions and solutions that are not logically connected to business challenges and opportunities. Develops unsupported (that is, emotional testimonials, anecdotes, or lack of evidence) solutions or solutions that are not logically connected to business challenges and opportunities. Develops logical, well- supported solutions based on relevant, sound, logical, and credible evidence (that is, data, insights, analyses, or best practices) to solve business challenges and opportunities. Develops logical, well- supported solutions based on relevant, sound, logical, and credible evidence (that is, data, insights, analyses, or best practices) to systematically solve business challenges and opportunities relevant to all applicable stakeholders and cross- functional departments. Apply innovative, strategic, and sustainable (long-term) approaches to business practice and planning. Does not apply or poorly applies elements of innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practice and planning. Applies some elements of innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practice and planning. Applies innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practice and planning. Integrates and justifies innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practice and planning that appropriately challenge the status quo while recognizing change management implications. Apply leadership and collaboration principles and strategies for virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. Does not describe or poorly describes leadership or collaboration strategies. Describes leadership and collaboration principles and strategies that may or may not be appropriate to virtual, Applies leadership and collaboration principles and strategies for virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. Assesses leadership and collaboration principles, strategies, and opportunities in virtual, global, and culturally 8 global, and culturally diverse environments. diverse environments and integrates flexible perspectives and collaborative approaches in business. Integrate principles of ethics and integrity into business decisions by assessing ethical implications and resolving ethical conflicts and dilemmas. Does not assess or poorly assesses principles of ethics and integrity. Assesses principles of ethics and integrity by analyzing ethical implications but may overlook important ethical considerations. Integrates principles of ethics and integrity into business decisions by assessing ethical implications and resolving ethical conflicts and dilemmas. Integrates principles of ethics and integrity into business decisions by assessing ethical implications, resolving ethical conflicts and dilemmas, and making right and just decisions for the organization and the larger business community. Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. Does not write coherently nor use grammar and mechanics as expected of a business professional; writing has major errors. Writes somewhat coherently to support ideas, but writing has some grammar, mechanics, or other errors that detract from credibility as a business professional. Writes coherently with minimal or minor errors to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. Writes coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional; writing is free from errors and formatted appropriately for the purpose or audience. MBA Capstone Project Description The MBA Capstone Project Description [PDF] provides detailed information on the areas of the capstone project. Make sure you read this document thoroughly so that you will understand the project expectations. Make time to speak with faculty if you have concerns or questions about the capstone project. MBA Professional and Academic Document Guidelines Use the MBA Professional and Academic Document Guidelines (located in the MBA Program Resources) throughout this course to ensure proper style for your assessments. Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal is an excellent source offering current events, articles, and videos to help enhance your business knowledge. We encourage you to use this resource. In your capstone, you will explore examples of leading and collaborating in virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. Leadership drives organizational change by starting with a clear vision to enhance the competitive position of the organization in the global marketplace. The following article is meant to spark examination of https://courserooma.capella.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/MBA-FPX/MBA-FPX5910/221001/Course_Files/cf_MBA_capstone_project_description.pdf evidenced-based practices to develop a path to success, empowering employees and collaborating with other stakeholders. This article demonstrates how Coca-Cola inspires innovation and drives organizational change as they pursue new soft drink opportunities in a health-conscious marketplace. Maloney, J. (2018, February 20). Coca-Cola's game plan: Reformulate and expand. The Wall Street Journal. After reading this article, you may consider the following questions for your own exploration of the topic: How are leaders focusing on innovation at Coca-Cola? What are the biggest challenges in changing a culture to take more risks and allow for failure? As a middle manager in the Coca-Cola organization, what is one recommendation you would suggest to the CEO? Why would you make this recommendation? What evidence-based practice could you use to support this? Ethical decision making is another dimension that you will integrate into your capstone project. You have examined ethical decision making in various ways throughout the MBA program. These additional resources might be helpful to you in selecting your topic and weaving ethics into your project. In his work listed in the resources below, Professor John Hooker calls ethics rational choice for people and business professionals. Review one or more of the following sources on business ethics to familiarize yourself with Hookers ethical tests. These resources may be useful for understanding how http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F2003246114%3Faccountid%3D27965 http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F2003246114%3Faccountid%3D27965 you will address ethical decision: Ethical Decisions. (n.d.). How to analyze. https:// ethicaldecisions.net/how-to-analyze-an-ethical-dilemma/ Hooker, J. (2008). Ethics as a rational choice [PDF]. http://public.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/ rationalchoice.pdf TepperCMU. (2012). Rational choice part I [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=nuDLPU85YQY&t=432s These two videos show Professor John Hooker presenting his three ethical tests: TepperCMU. (2012). Rational choice part II [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UHcMnSnH5iA&t=698s TepperCMU. (2012). Why ethics? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFIMfcjlRy8 James, G. (n.d.). Twelve tips for strong, credible business writing. https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/12- tips-for-strong-credible-business-writing.html This article shares twelve tips for stronger writing beyond spelling and grammar. It offers real-world examples to demonstrate each of these tips. Ostler, R. (2009). Fact-checking 101: Five simple steps will strengthen your writing and help you keep your credibility. Writer, 122(3), 2627. https://ethicaldecisions.net/how-to-analyze-an-ethical-dilemma/ http://public.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/rationalchoice.pdf http://public.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/rationalchoice.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuDLPU85YQY&t=432s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuDLPU85YQY&t=432s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHcMnSnH5iA&t=698s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHcMnSnH5iA&t=698s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFIMfcjlRy8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFIMfcjlRy8 https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/12-tips-for-strong-credible-business-writing.html https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/12-tips-for-strong-credible-business-writing.html http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F214100600%3Faccountid%3D27965 http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F214100600%3Faccountid%3D27965 http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F214100600%3Faccountid%3D27965 thanks for submitting this proposal. There is more detail needed for this to meet the scoring guide criteria. Ive provided some feedback/ suggestions below for your review. The SPECIFIC issue or opportunity will need to be clearly articulated and supported with evidence. Please revise this proposal and resubmit, HIGHLIGHTING added or changed content. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks. Dr. B. RUBRICS CRITERIA 1 Analyze a business challenge or opportunity. COMPETENCY Apply foundational knowledge and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines. NON_PERFORMANCE Does not describe a business challenge or opportunity. BASIC Describes a business challenge or opportunity. PROFICIENT Analyzes a business challenge or opportunity. DISTINGUISHED Analyzes a business challenge or opportunity; includes details to establish the premise, supported with data and citations from credible sources. COMMENTS: Please provide evidence of an issue or opportunity in this analysis. I see a description of general items but not the focus on a specific issue and the analysis that will need to accompany it. CRITERIA 2 Define the strategy, scope, and action plan that will be used to complete the capstone project. COMPETENCY Integrate information across disciplines and from differing perspectives. NON_PERFORMANCE Does not define the strategy, scope, and action plan that will be used to complete the capstone project. BASIC Definesthe strategy, scope, and action plan that will be used to complete the capstone project; however, the data sources do not support the scope. PROFICIENT Definesthe strategy, scope, and action plan that will be used to complete the capstone project. DISTINGUISHED Defines the strategy, scope, and action plan that will be used to complete the capstone project; includes details on the data sources, how the data will be obtained, and how the data is relevant to proposed recommendations and solutions. COMMENTS: To meet criteria one of the project, youll need to expand on the business analyses you will use for this project. Typically, students include MBA type analyses such as SWOT (included), PESTLE, VRIO, industry analysis, competitive analysis, customer analysis, trend analysis, financial analysis. You also include a look at industry trends and a five forces. Select the ones that will provide the most aligned data for your recommendations. CRITERIA 3 Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. COMPETENCY Communicate clearly and effectively in a business environment. NON_PERFORMANCE Does not write coherently nor use grammar and mechanics as expected of a business professional; writing has major errors. BASIC Writes somewhat coherently to support ideas, but writing has some grammar, mechanics, or other errors that detract from credibility as a business professional. PROFICIENT Writes coherently with minimal or minor errors to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. DISTINGUISHED Writes coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional; writing is free from errors and formatted appropriately for the purpose or audience. COMMENTS: The writing is appropriate but please note that the submission guidelines call for a single spaced document. Submission Requirements Style:Your proposal should follow professional style, as described in the corresponding MBA Academic and Professional Document Guidelines (available in the MBA Program Resources), including single-spaced paragraphs.It should use subheadingsand be well organized and well written. Communication:Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message and quality. APA guidelines:Format your citations according to current APA style. Resources:Use at least twocitations fromcredible sources. Length:Your proposal should be 23 pages (single-spaced, professional style).