1) What is the definition of an organization?
A social entity that is goal directed
Deliberately structured and coordinated activity system
Linked to the external environment
2) What is theory and why does it matter for a potential manager?
A tool or framework used to make sense out of the world
Help us frame the way we think about organizations and ultimately the actions that we take
Influences the design of organizations and what gets done in them
3) What is the relationship between theory, principle, and application?
Theory -> Principles -> Application
Applications derived from Principles, Principles derived from Theories
Theory helps to explain why organizations are the way they are
4) What are the key dimensions of organization structure? Of organizational context?
Formal reporting relationships, groupings, and systems of an organization
How much documentation
Division of labor (broad or narrow)
Hierarchy of Authority
Tall or flat organization?
Who makes decisions?
Training and education
Class of employees/total employees
Ex: If there are not many administrative employees, the organization is very lean
The interrelated condition in which something exists or occurs
Goals and Strategy
5) What does it mean to say that an organization is “rational”, “natural”, or “open”?
Organization exists for a specific, defined purpose and operates “rationally” to achieve it
Operates as a machine, people acts as parts of the machine
Control and Coordination achieved by
Power derived from formal position
Core Problems: Efficiency, quality, reliability
Organization effectiveness through setting and completing goals
Example: Assembly Line Factory
Organization is a bunch of people who do what people always do
Establish informal relationships
Organization is a family or community
Goals are politically determined
Coordination and control happen informally
Core Problem: Cooperation, Effectiveness
Example: Hospitals, greek life
Organization is a product of its environment and must adapt to it
Organization acts as an adaptive organism
Goals and power shift in response to changes in environment
Internal coordination and control are negotiated and unstable
Effectiveness is a matter of meeting environmental demands
Ex: Sports teams – adapt to opponent
6) What is contingency theory?
There is no best way to organize a corporation, lead a company, or to make decisions
Context X Structure = Performance
7) What are the key managerial implications of the Rhetoric chapter?
You can learn from the past
Need a specific goal/purpose of organization
Managers need to change how people think rather than using direct means of coercion or control
There’s value to being vague
Gives people creative freedom
“Now is time to act. It is dynamic, never seen before”
Used by managers to motivate employees
Can’t use too much because “the well will dry”
Purpose and Governance
1) What is the purpose of a corporation (Friedman vs Handy)?
(Friedman) To use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits
Short term profitability
(Handy) Make a contribution to society
To do something better, more useful, or different than anyone else
Employees are assets to be cherished and grown
More about long term goals
Not simple question to answer
A business is NOT:
Merely a tool for making shareholders money
Merely there to serve customers and make stuff
Merely there for benefit of employees and managers
Merely there to serve some abstract social purpose
It exists for all of these reasons and more
2) What purpose do mission statements serve?
Provide official goals
Tells the outside world why we exist
Creates commitment, identification, share purpose