Critically Appraised Topic (CAT)

CAT Instructions and Template
Your task is to produce a critically appraised topic (CAT) on the subject of your choice. A CAT is a synthesis and critical appraisal of evidence that addresses an important question of practice.

You consider a pressing issue in management practice, choose one topic, then develop a relevant research question (i.e., CAT question). Make sure to submit your research question to your instructor for feedback—see Step 3.

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You then search the library for five (5) relevant research articles related to your research question. You evaluate the quality of each article and consider how to weigh its conclusions in light of the quality of the evidence in the other 4 articles.

You look for patterns across the findings and conclusions of the 5 articles. You may find that the evidence seems to align, or you may find that it appears to be contradictory or inconclusive.

The task before you now is to make sense of the evidence from the 5 articles. This means you will write up your process and findings following the template below.

Note: If you look at examples of CATs on the Internet, you can see that they are often very short documents. Here, however, you will demonstrate much of your process, which is why your CAT will be so much longer than usual.

CAT Template
Your CAT should follow the format below and include all of the sections. Adhere to APA style in both format and citations.

Sections of the CAT

Introduction: Introduce the practice problem that motivates your research question. (1–2 pages)

Research Question: Show how the research question emerges from the general area of the practice problem. (<1 page)

Search Term Descriptions: Discuss your search, including a presentation of the search terms (i.e., search strings) you used in the library database, and how you decided which articles were relevant. (1–2 pages)

Critical Evaluation/Assessment: Briefly explain your critical evaluation and resultant overall assessment of each article. (1/2–-1 page per article)

Recommendations to Management: Based on the new knowledge, what would you recommend to managers faced with this practice problem? What could they do at work tomorrow to start implementing a solution? (1–2 pages)

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