Organization Theory & Design, 11th edition by Richard L. Daft, ISBN 10: 1111221294 [3092 Words]

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Organization Theory & Design, 11th edition by Richard L. Daft, ISBN-10: 1111221294 Chapters 9, 10, & 11 Discussion Questions

Chapter 9

1.Why do large organizations tend to have larger ratios of clerical and administrative support staff? Why are they typically more formalized than small organizations?

2.Apply the concept of life cycle to an organization with which you are familiar, such as a local business. What stage is the organization in now? How did the organization handle or pass through its life cycle crises?

3.Why do you think organizations feel pressure to grow? How do you think the companies described in the chapter Book Mark, Small Giants, resist that pressure?

4.Describe the three bases of authority identified by Weber. Is it possible for each of these types of authority to function at the same time within an organization? Discuss.

5.Look through several recent issues of a business magazine such as Fortune, Business Week, or Fast Company and find examples of two companies that are using approaches to busting bureaucracy. Discuss the techniques these companies are applying.

6.In writing about types of control, William Ouchi said, The Market is like the trout and the Clan like the salmon, each a beautiful highly specialized species which requires uncommon conditions for its survival. In comparison, the bureaucratic method of control is the catfish clumsy, ugly, but able to live in the widest range of environments and ultimately, the dominant species. Discuss what Ouchi meant with that analogy.

7.Government organizations often seem more bureaucratic than for-profit organizations. Could this partly be the result of the type of control used in government organizations? Explain.

8.How does the Salvation Army manage to be several different kinds of organization at the same time? Does the Salvation Army's approach seem workable for a large media company like Time Warner or Disney that wants to reduce bureaucracy?

9.Numerous large financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, experience significant decline or dissolution in recent years. Which of the three causes of organizational decline described in the chapter seems to apply most clearly to these firms?

10.Do you think a no growth philosophy of management should be taught in business schools? Discuss.

Chapter 10

1.How much do you think it is possible for an outsider to discern about the underlying cultural values of an organization by analyzing symbols, ceremonies, dress, or other observable aspects of culture, compared to an insider with several years of work experience? Specify a percentage (e.g., 10 percent, 70 percent) and discuss your reasoning.

2.Many of the companies on Fortune magazine's list of most admired companies are also on its list of most profitable ones. Some people say this proves that high social capital translates into profits. Other people suggest that high profitability is the primary reason the companies have a good culture and are admired in the first place. Discuss your thinking about these two differing interpretations.

3.Can a strong bureaucratic culture also be a constructive culture, as defined in the text and in Exhibit 10.5? Discuss.

4.Why is values-based leadership so important to the influence of culture? Does a symbolic act communicate more about company values than an explicit statement? Discuss.

5.Can you recall a situation in which either you or someone you know was confronted by an ethical dilemma, such as being encouraged to inflate an expense account or trade answers on a test? Do you think the decision was affected more by individual moral values or by the accepted values within the team or company? Explain.

6.In a survey of 20,000 people in 16 European countries plus Russia, Turkey, and the United States, 55 percent of respondents said cheating in business is more common than it was 10 years ago. Do you believe this is truly the case, or have new forms of media simply made cheating more visible? Discuss.

7.What importance would you attribute to leadership statements and actions for influencing ethical values and decision making in an organization?

8.Why has a globalization contributed to more complex ethical issues? Do you think it's possible for a company operating in many different countries to have a cohesive corporate culture? To have uniform ethical values?

9.Explain the concept of shared value. Do you think managers in companies that take a shared value approach are more likely to behave in ethical and socially responsible ways? Discuss.

10.Codes of ethics have been criticized for transferring responsibility for ethical behavior from the organization to the individual employee. Do you agree? Do you think a code of ethics is valuable for an organization?

Chapter 11

1.Why do you think open innovation has become popular in recent years? What steps might a company take to be more open with innovation? What might be some disadvantages of taking an open innovation approach?

2.Describe the dual-core approach. How does the process of management innovation normally differ from technology change? Discuss.

3.What does it mean to say managers should organize for both exploration and exploitation?

4.Do you think factory employees would typically be more resistant to changes in production methods, changes in structure, or changes in culture? Why? What steps could managers take to overcome this resistance?

5.Change requires more coordination than does the performance of normal organizational tasks. Any time you change something, you discover its connections to other parts of the organization, which have to be changed as well.Discuss whether you agree or disagree with this quote and why.

6.A noted organization theorist said, Pressure for change originates in the environment; pressure for stability originates within the organization. Do you agree? Discuss.

7.Of the five elements in Exhibit 11.3 required for successful change, which element do you think managers are most likely to overlook? Discuss.

8.How do the underlying values of organization development compare to the values underlying other types of change? Why do the values underlying OD make it particularly useful in shifting to a constructive culture as described in Chapter 10 (Exhibit 10.5)?

9.The manager of R & D for a drug company said that only 5 percent of the company's new products ever achieve market success. She also said the industry average is 10 percent and wondered how her organization might increase its success rate. If you were acting as a consultant, what advice would you give her about designing organization structure to improve market success?

10.Examine the change curve illustrated in Exhibit 11.8 and the five techniques for overcoming resistance to change discussed at the end of the chapter. Describe at which point along the change curve managers could use each of the five techniques to successfully implement a major change.

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