University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

FBC Workshop

This webpage contains all the resources you need to succeed on your business brief assignment. This page contains the assignment prompt, the rubric, a model brief, and a recorded video on business communication best practices that also introduces the business brief assignment. You can also watch this short video on how to make appointments with us and use our services. Although your instructors will likey play these videos in class this week, we wanted to provide them to you as a resource as you write.

Info Sessions:

All sessions have been completed. We have uploaded a recording (Access Passcode: #0b6%CPS) of one of our info sessions for those of you whose schedules did not allow them to attend.

Prior to viewing the recording, please login to your University of Arkansas Zoom account. This account utilizes the university single sign-on and is different from any previous account you may have set up through your university email. If you don’t have one set up yet, you can visit the ITS website for instruction.  

We strongly encourage you to make an appointment sooner rather than later, as our tutoring schedule tends to fill up quickly. We also strongly encourage you to visit our “Resources” website for further tips on business writing.  

The Assignment:

You were recently hired as a business analyst by Hancock Carnall Morgan (HCM). HCM is a Northwest Arkansas workforce development and management consulting firm with expertise in diversity and inclusion. This summer, HCM was hired by an education nonprofit, LOAM with operations in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri. LOAM works to improve educational outcomes and access for underprivileged students in rural communities. While LOAM has a very diverse client base and relatively diverse staff, its leadership at the executive levels does not reflect this diversity. While it has had diverse board members in the past, retention has always been a problem.
LOAM has hired HCM to address these recruitment and retention challenges. Your job is to conduct research on best practices, what other organizations have done, and what recent scholarly writing has to say about the matter.
Task: write a business brief that provides two recommendations for LOAM that addresses their recruitment and retention challenges. Based on the research you conduct (see “Sources” below), write a two-page, single-spaced business brief. The questions below will help guide your research and writing:
·       What does recent scholarly writing have to say about recruitment and retention of diverse board members?
·       What steps should LOAM take to address their challenges? What makes this plan most suitable for this organization? Why should LOAM prefer this plan to some other?
Note: you must cite 4 different articles/sources in APA on your references page. The references page won’t count towards the 2-page requirement. When citing sources, use parenthetical citations (Publication Manual of the APA §6.11-21), not footnotes. All of the sources provided below are in APA format. Please write in complete sentences and in clean, polished prose with very few/no grammatical errors. Please write in paragraph form (preferably in 10-12 point font and 1” margins; do not provide your recommendations in a bulleted/numbered list.
Students must submit the business brief as either a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file type to Blackboard by 11.59pm on October 9th. Other file types cannot be graded and will receive an automatic “0” grade for the assignment. No late work will be accepted.

Sources/research for your brief:

The links below will work best when logging in on campus or by first logging in to the Mullins Library website and then clicking the link. You can also find many of them on Google Scholar. You will likely not be able to write a passing assignment if you do not read several of the resources below. Please remove hyperlinks in your references page:

accel5. Three Ways to Support Diversity and Inclusion at Your Company. (2019, February 12). Ebsco.

Brown, K. (2018, December 4). To Retain Employees, Focus on Inclusion – Not Just Diversity. Harvard Business Review.,sso&db=bth&AN=133418970&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Creary, S., McDonnell, M., Ghai, S., and Scruggs, J. (2019, March 27). When and Why Diversity Improves Your Board’s Performance. Harvard Business Review.,sso&db=bth&AN=135652538&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Deloitte. (2015). Diversity in the Boardroom: Perspectives and Practice. Deloitte.

Diversity on Nonprofit Boards (n.d.). Council of Nonprofits.

Dobbin, F. and Kalev, A. (2016, July – August). Why Diversity Programs Fail. Harvard Business Review. (94.7),sso&db=bth&AN=116330233&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Fisher, J. (2019, September 3). What’s Keeping Corporate Boards from Becoming More Diverse. Kellogg Insight.

Green, J. (2020, January 23). Goldman to Refuse IPOs If All Directors Are White, Straight Men. Bloomberg.

Gurchiek, K. (2018, March 19). 6 Steps for Building an Inclusive Workplace. SHRM.

Jain-Link, P., Kennedy, J. T., and Bourgeois, T. (2020, January 13). 5 Strategies for Creating an Inclusive Workplace. Harvard Business Review.,sso&db=bth&AN=141428245&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Levine, S. R. (2020, January 15). Diversity Confirmed to Boost Innovation and Financial Results. Forbes.

Liu, B. (2020, February 5). The Secret to Making Boards More Diverse: Better Networking. Barron’s.
Lorenzo, R. (2017, October). How diversity makes teams more innovative [Video]. TED Conferences.

Lorenzo, R., Voigt, N., Tsuasaka, M., and Abouzahr, K. (2018, January 23). How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation. BCG.
re:Work with Google. (2016, May 24). Why the best people don’t mean the best teams [Video]. YouTube.

Sherbin, L. and Rashid, R. (2017, February 1). Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion. Harvard Business Review.,sso&db=bth&AN=121272865&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Son, H. (2020, January 23). Goldman won’t take companies public without ‘at least one diverse board candidate,’ CEO says. CNBC.

Tsuasaka, M., Reeves, M., Hurder, S., and Harnoss, D. (2017, July 20). Diversity at Work. BCG.

Turban, S., Wu, D., and Zhang, L. (2019, February 11). Research: When Gender Diversity Makes Firms More Productive. Harvard Business Review.,sso&db=bth&AN=134981993&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s8428489

Why diversity, equity, and inclusion matter for nonprofits. (n.d.). Council of Nonprofits.

There are also many other high-quality sources out there for you to review. Be sure to review our guide to testing if a source you located is of high quality