Smithsonian

Research Guidelines

Obtain the following materials from the company or organization visited:

Company literature

Before visiting the office, ask the contact person for copies of a product brochure, a capability statement, or, if neither is available, advertising copy. Read the material before the visit and select the item that best represents the office to use in the final presentation.

Floor plan

Before visiting the office, ask the contact person for a copy of a floor plan of the primary work area. If one is not available, sketch it during the visit. The plan need not be drawn to scale or artistically rendered, but it must show the following: management offices, nonmanagement employees' offices, and equipment or furnishings as they seem necessary to describe the workings of the office, for example, privacy partitions, desks or workstations, and computers.

Inventory

Compile a list of the office's furnishings and equipment. Categorize the data into "essential" equipment, furniture, and "personal and decorative" items.

Organization chart

Using the sample organization chart in the >status section as a guide, draw a chart showing the management structure of the organization visited.

Interviews

Conduct two 30-minute interviews with a manager or supervisor and a person who works for him or her. Write two two-page summaries of the interviews.