Applied Sciences

The format of this case differs from the previous three modules and resembles more closely the format of assignments you will see in many of your courses going forward. This is not to say that you should abandon what you have learned about the analytical process of alternating between the abstract and the concrete, the reflective and the active, but this paper will not follow the format of a section on concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. Each of these aspects of analysis should be present, but integrated into the paper as a whole, rather than broken out into distinct sections.

The topic of this case is organizational design. To complete this assignment, we will begin as before, and you should identify an organization you know very well. Then conduct your analysis by addressing the topics below. Do not line up the questions and address them one at a time as in a short-answer test, but rather integrate them into a single coherent commentary and analysis of the organization. A critical part of successful completion of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your ability to employ the concepts introduced in the background material in describing and evaluating the effectiveness of the organizational design. To do this, you will need to draw on the concepts from at least three readings/videos. This paper should be 4-6 pages long.

Case Questions:

  1. Diagram the formal structure of your organization. Identify the various management positions or titles on the chart and indicate the positions/jobs that would report to each. Identify the various management positions or titles on the chart and indicate the positions/jobs that would report to each.

    SmartDraw.com (https://cloud.smartdraw.com/) provides free examples, though others are also available via Google. PowerPoint also has templates for organizational charts you can use.

  2. Describe how work is divided (specialization and departmentalization), coordinated (chain of command and span of control), and controlled (centralization and formalization). Is the structure more mechanistic or organic?
  3. Describe the informal structure of the organization. How does work actually get done?
  4. How does the organization deal with the differentiation-integration issue?
  5. Having completed this analysis, identify three strengths and three weaknesses of the organizational design.
  6. If you could suggest one major improvement to the organizational design, what would it be?

Assignment Expectations

Your Case paper will be evaluated using the criteria on the assignment rubric (see the rubric for more detail): Assignment-Driven, Critical Thinking, Business Writing, Effective Use of Information, Citing Sources, and Timeliness.

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