HISTORY 363 TAKE-HOME EXAM INSTRUCTIONS AND QUESTIONS

  1. ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM ANY THREE OF THE FOUR GROUPS BELOW. Each answer is worth one-third of the final exam. The final exam is worth about half of your grade for the course.
  2. The maximum length of your take-home exam is eight pages, double-spaced with normal margins. Put your name at the top of the first page and number your pages.
  3. Submit your exam via the Canvas Assignment link “Take-Home Final Exam”.
  4. The take-home exam is due any time before 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9. If you have not submitted the exam by that time, come to our classroom and take the in-class exam.
  5. If you quote or paraphrase someone’s words or distinctive ideas on the take-home, you must cite your source on the take-home final. As with your papers, author’s last name and page number in parentheses should be usually adequate, for example: (Taylor, p.68). For a website, give the full URL. For a reference to a class PowerPoint, give the date and slide number, for instance (PowerPoint, May 26, slide 8). If you need to provide more information in order to let the reader know your source, provide that in a clear, consistent form. I don’t expect a “works cited” list.
  6. The exam is designed so that the questions can be answered well without additional research. You’re not required to use any sources beyond the material covered in readings, videos and class sessions for this course. If you want to supplement course material with either printed or online sources, be sure to cite them. Do not, however, base your essays on outside material.

A note on collaboration and on academic honesty: Working with classmates to discuss ways to answer the questions is acceptable, in fact desirable. What you write, however, must be your own. You are welcome to get help with writing issues from friends or advisors, but the information and ideas in your exam must be your own. We will not accept essays that do not appear to be your own work.

ESSAYS

ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM ANY THREE OF THE FOUR GROUPS BELOW.

GROUP A
A1. We have studied the activities of several business leaders in class, and others have been discussed in the readings.
Based on these individuals, what personal traits and abilities seem to have been most responsible for business success in American from colonial times to the present? Have these traits and abilities changed over time or have they remained basically the same?

A2. Some historians of American business would say that the biographies of ‘tycoons’ in History 363 show the importance of distinctive individuals in shaping the development of American business. Others would say that impersonal forces such as technological change, Westward expansion and the growth of a consumer society (to name a few) are more important in explaining broad patterns in American business history.
Which of these approaches do you find more valuable? Discuss.

GROUP B
B1. “Whatever we may think of his personal style, Frederick W. Taylor was a genius. He substituted control, cooperation and science for disorder, conflict and untested methods. Everyone benefited from his theories because they gave everyone the rewards of greater efficiency.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. You are, of course, free to agree or disagree, in whole or in part, with the statement.

B2. “Frederick W. Taylor’s ideas may have been valid for some industries in his time but they soon became outmoded and other ideas about management replaced them.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. You are, of course, free to agree or disagree, in whole or in part, with the statement.

GROUP C
C1. For some years, Sam Walton ran a modest-sized retail chain in a fairly poor region of the United States. By early in the 21st century, however, Wal-Mart had become the largest company in the world. How did this happen?

C2. Wal-Mart has been the target of sharp criticisms over the years. Discuss and evaluate criticisms of Wal-Mart that relate to each of the following topics.
a. Its role in globalization and its relations with people and businesses outside the United States
b. Its labor policies and practices
c. Its role in local communities

GROUP D
D1. Milton Friedman wrote, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits.”
a. Explain his position;
b. Analyze and evaluate it, taking into account the history of American big business in the last 150 or so years.

D2. According to the film Inside Job, shown in class in Week 10, what were the main causes of the financial crisis and the “Great Recession” that began around 2008?

D3. “Although we often see business firms as possessing great power, ultimately consumers are king and queen in the American capitalist society. Success in business fundamentally depends on giving the people what they want.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. Has it become more or less valid over the period from the late 1800s to the present?

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HISTORY 363 TAKE-HOME EXAM INSTRUCTIONS AND QUESTIONS

  1. ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM ANY THREE OF THE FOUR GROUPS BELOW. Each answer is worth one-third of the final exam. The final exam is worth about half of your grade for the course.
  2. The maximum length of your take-home exam is eight pages, double-spaced with normal margins. Put your name at the top of the first page and number your pages.
  3. Submit your exam via the Canvas Assignment link “Take-Home Final Exam”.
  4. The take-home exam is due any time before 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9. If you have not submitted the exam by that time, come to our classroom and take the in-class exam.
  5. If you quote or paraphrase someone’s words or distinctive ideas on the take-home, you must cite your source on the take-home final. As with your papers, author’s last name and page number in parentheses should be usually adequate, for example: (Taylor, p.68). For a website, give the full URL. For a reference to a class PowerPoint, give the date and slide number, for instance (PowerPoint, May 26, slide 8). If you need to provide more information in order to let the reader know your source, provide that in a clear, consistent form. I don’t expect a “works cited” list.
  6. The exam is designed so that the questions can be answered well without additional research. You’re not required to use any sources beyond the material covered in readings, videos and class sessions for this course. If you want to supplement course material with either printed or online sources, be sure to cite them. Do not, however, base your essays on outside material.

A note on collaboration and on academic honesty: Working with classmates to discuss ways to answer the questions is acceptable, in fact desirable. What you write, however, must be your own. You are welcome to get help with writing issues from friends or advisors, but the information and ideas in your exam must be your own. We will not accept essays that do not appear to be your own work.

ESSAYS

ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM ANY THREE OF THE FOUR GROUPS BELOW.

GROUP A
A1. We have studied the activities of several business leaders in class, and others have been discussed in the readings.
Based on these individuals, what personal traits and abilities seem to have been most responsible for business success in American from colonial times to the present? Have these traits and abilities changed over time or have they remained basically the same?

A2. Some historians of American business would say that the biographies of ‘tycoons’ in History 363 show the importance of distinctive individuals in shaping the development of American business. Others would say that impersonal forces such as technological change, Westward expansion and the growth of a consumer society (to name a few) are more important in explaining broad patterns in American business history.
Which of these approaches do you find more valuable? Discuss.

GROUP B
B1. “Whatever we may think of his personal style, Frederick W. Taylor was a genius. He substituted control, cooperation and science for disorder, conflict and untested methods. Everyone benefited from his theories because they gave everyone the rewards of greater efficiency.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. You are, of course, free to agree or disagree, in whole or in part, with the statement.

B2. “Frederick W. Taylor’s ideas may have been valid for some industries in his time but they soon became outmoded and other ideas about management replaced them.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. You are, of course, free to agree or disagree, in whole or in part, with the statement.

GROUP C
C1. For some years, Sam Walton ran a modest-sized retail chain in a fairly poor region of the United States. By early in the 21st century, however, Wal-Mart had become the largest company in the world. How did this happen?

C2. Wal-Mart has been the target of sharp criticisms over the years. Discuss and evaluate criticisms of Wal-Mart that relate to each of the following topics.
a. Its role in globalization and its relations with people and businesses outside the United States
b. Its labor policies and practices
c. Its role in local communities

GROUP D
D1. Milton Friedman wrote, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits.”
a. Explain his position;
b. Analyze and evaluate it, taking into account the history of American big business in the last 150 or so years.

D2. According to the film Inside Job, shown in class in Week 10, what were the main causes of the financial crisis and the “Great Recession” that began around 2008?

D3. “Although we often see business firms as possessing great power, ultimately consumers are king and queen in the American capitalist society. Success in business fundamentally depends on giving the people what they want.”
Discuss and evaluate this statement. Has it become more or less valid over the period from the late 1800s to the present?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *