Training and Development


Topics for the Capstone typically fall into four categories

Development of an HR program with application in industry. Examples include developing an innovative training or retraining program, developing a retention program, developing a business-wide compensation package and structure
Develop a HR initiative designed for implementation in the business world. Some of these projects are sponsored or developed by organizations at which students are employed. Examples include organizational change initiatives, organizational restructurings, planning or expansion initiatives
Design a primary research study in the discipline of Human Resources. The Capstone for such research studies includes development of the research up to the point of conducting data collection/survey implementation. Graduates wishing to implement primary research projects, for the potential of publication can partner with an MCU Master’s faculty member to complete the research and develop publishable articles
Design a secondary research study in the discipline of Human Resources. The Capstone for secondary research would include completion of a final paper in a "close to" ready to publish form.
Topic Approval

Capstone topics are reviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Graduate HR faculty. The Capstone topic is approved during the Research Methods class.


Capstone Overview

Capstone projects are typically 30-50 pages in length. The Capstone will include a presentation made by the student to the Capstone Review Committee. The Capstone Review Committee will include 3 or more members. Members come from the Graduate Faculty, Undergraduate Faculty and Administration of Mid-Continent University.



Capstone Paper Outline

Capstone projects will adhere to the following outline, and exceptions to the outline must be approved by the Capstone facilitator.

I. Executive Summary or Abstract

II. Introduction/Background

a. Statement of the Problem

b. Statement of the Purpose

c. Significance or Importance of the Study

d. Hypothesis/Research Questions (if appropriate)

III. Literature Review

IV. Methodology

V. Conclusion

a. Results

b. Recommendations from the Study

c. Summary

VI. References (minimum of 30)

VII. Appendix – MHR Program Reflection


Definitions from Outline

The following definitions are designed to provide insight of the contents/requirements for each major heading listed above


Executive Summary/Abstract – A 150-250 word summary paragraph of the Capstone project. To include a statement of the problem under investigation, essential features of the investigation, study criteria, basic findings and conclusions. This section is designed to allow a potential reader to quickly survey the contents of the article.


Introduction/Background – A 3-4 page section containing the following:

Problem Statement – A single paragraph stating the problem addressed by the study. The Problem Statement paragraph includes a minimum of five (5) sentences to cover: 1. The general problem is, 2. The Specific Problem is, 3. Background on the problem, 4. Context of the problem, and 5. How the study addresses the problem.
Purpose Statement – A single paragraph stating the purpose of the study. The Purpose Statement paragraph includes a minimum of four sentences to cover: 1. The purpose is, 2. The type of study is appropriate because, 3. Methods description, and 4. The data or survey subject to be studied.
Significance/Importance of the Study – A 1-2 page statement of the reason you are conducting the study. The significance of the study to industry and/or society, and the biblical-based principle underlying your capstone. This section includes a minimum of 5 references demonstrating your knowledge of the research on which your study is based.
Hypothesis/Research Questions – Quantitative studies are built on Hypothesis and qualitative studies are built on research questions. These 1-5 questions are designed to answer your problem statement and are discussed in the Conclusions section
Literature Review – A 10-25 page section in which the writer demonstrates knowledge of the research on which the Capstone project is based. The Literature Review should provide the reader a background on the research basis for the topics covered in the Introduction/Background section. The Literature Review involves synthesis, analysis and the opportunity to demonstrate the gap in existing research that your capstone will fill.


Methodology – A 2-5 page section that describes how the author conducted secondary research for the Capstone project, or describes how the author will conduct a primary research study (after the Capstone is complete).


Conclusion – A 5-15 page section which includes the following:

Results – A statement of the results of the Capstone Study
Recommendations – Based on the results, the section describes the next steps or course of actions based on your research
Summary – A 1-3 page section which summarized the Capstone project
References – APA style reference section with the following parameters

Includes a minimum of 30 references
60% of the references will be scholarly or peer-reviewed articles. Peer-reviewed articles are defined as journal articles, conference presentations, or textbooks which were reviewed by a committee of experts prior to publication. Examples of peer-reviewed articles are articles from ProQuest (with the peer-reviewed tab marked for the search, and SHRM reviewed articles). Examples of citations that are not peer-reviewed include new paper articles, web sites without citations and consulting websites or materials. A simple method to determine peer-reviewed articles in the use of peer-reviewed citations in the article
50% of references should be dated within 10 years of the Capstone Project date.
MHR Program Reflection – A 2-3 page appendix to your capstone project. The topic is a reflection on key outcomes and experiences in the MHR program.

Each Capstone project is an individual scholarly work. Approvals to vary from the standard outline are approved by the Capstone Facilitator. The MHR program goal is for a student to develop the Background/Introduction, Literature Review and Reference sections during Research Methods MGT 6043 and develop the Methodology, Conclusion and Executive Summary/Abstract sections during the Capstone HRM 6053.


Organization renewal is the process through which organizations adapt to the changing business environment. Organizations do not operate in vacuum but they operate in a turbulent environment that is affected by internal and external forces. From time to time, organizations will be required to adapt to changing business environment and this cannot be possible without effective and strategic renewal.  The success of an organization is not assessed through the balanced statements of account but through initiatives that takes the organization through a plethora of changes. Today, more than ever, organizations are prone to changing business environment because of globalization. As was witness in the recent past, the global economic crisis affected organizations in all corners of the world. It is only organizations that could mount successful renewal campaign that saw their operations through the volatile economic environment.  As organizational studies point out, organizational renewal is embodied in successful change management.  Organizational renewal will require change in different areas of operation.  Several authors have however shown that organizational change is directly linked to organizational learning process, which puts training and development initiatives at the epicenter of organizational change (Harrison, 2004; Vemic, 2007).  Vemic (2007) emphasize that modern business environment has been constrained by different factors especially the changes taking place in technology.  Changes in technology lead to generation of knowledge that spreads fast and at the same time becomes obsolete quickly.  Today, change in business knowledge has changed business landscape and without effective renewal in workforce knowledge, most organizations find it difficult to cope with the speed of change in knowledge. The bottom line of an organization is the mission that is vehemently pursued by the organization. In the face of a turbulent business environment, adapting to the change in environment becomes the bottom line of the organization.  Does training and development have an impact on this bottom line?