116 terms

Organizational Theory


Terms in this set (...)

1- What is Hawthorne Studies:
Attributed employees' increased output to managers' better treatment of employees.
1- Organization Theory:
A macro approach to organizations that analyzes the whole organization as a unit. It provides to interpret and understand the organization around you. It focuses not on individual people but the organization itself.
1-Organizational behavior
a micro approach to organizations that focuses on the individuals within organizations as the relevant units for analysis.
1- Organization
Are open systems that adapt to the environment to survive.
1- Closed system
would not depend on its environment external enviorment to survive. Enclosed/sealed off from outside world.
1-Open system:
A system that interact with the environment and consumes and exports resources. Not sealed off and continuously adapts. Can be enormously complex. (Example: Hospital system and college)
Is the amount of written documentation and written rules within an organization.
1- Specialization (division of labor)
is the degree to which organizational tasks are subdivided into separate jobs. If high is each employee performs only a narrow range of tasks. If low employees perform a wide range of tasks in their jobs.
1- Mechanistic System
A system designed for efficiency and performance. It is standardized and formalized. All decision-making is centralized and the system has a tall higharcy.
1- Organic System
An organization system marked by free-flowing,
adaptive processes, an unclear hierarchy of authority,
and decentralized decision making.
1- Wtakeholder expectations for a nonprofit organization versus a for-profit business?
managers direct their activities toward earning money for the company and managers direct their efforts toward generating some kind of social impact for stakeholders
Organizations attempt to distinguish their products or services from others in the industry.
2-Differentiation strategy
Employees are constantly experimenting and learning.and the structure is fluid and flexible, with strong horizontal coordination.
2- Focus strategy
The organization concentrates on a specific regional market or buyer group.
2-Prospector strategy
Designed to be innovate, take risks, seek out new opportunities, and grow. It is suited for a dynamic, growing environment, where creativity is more important than efficiency.
2- Rational Goal Emphasis
Represents management values of structural control and external focus. The primary goals are productivity, efficiency, and profit.
2- Resource - Based Approach:
Assesses effectiveness by observing the beginning of the process and evaluating whether the organization effectively obtains resources necessary for high performance.
2- Role of top management in setting organizational direction
Managers define a specific mission or task to be accomplished then set the mission statement, or official goals which makes explicit the purpose of the organization
2- How might a company's goals for employee development be related to its goals for innovation and change? To goals for productivity? Can you discuss ways these types of goals might conflict in an organization?
Employee development help to maintain a motivated, trained and committed workforce so that they are able to respond to innovation and change and able to produce goods and services. Some goals may initially cause a decrease in profit and employee development can be costly.
2-Similarities and differences in the strategies described in Porter's competitive strategies and Miles and Snow's typology.
These both have strong capability in research, both have learning orientation, both have efficiency orientation; centralized authority and tight cost control, little employee empowerment, Close supervision
2- Goal approach
Concerned with the output side and whether the organization achieves its objectives in terms of desired levels of outputs.
2-What are the advantages and disadvantages of the goal approach
An advantage is that the approach is used in business organizations because output goals can be readily measured.

A disadvantage is that identifying operative goals and measuring performance of an organization are not always easy. Also, multiple goals and subjective indicators of goal attainment are a problem because organizations have multiple and conflicting goals and effectiveness often cannot be assessed by a single indicator. The other issue to resolve with the goal approach is how to identify operative goals for an organization and how to measure goal attainment
2-Resource based approach
Looks at the input side of the transformation process and assumes organizations must be successful in obtaining and managing valued resources in order to be effective
2- Advantages and disadvantages of the resource-based approach
An advantage is that it is valued when other indicators of performance are difficult to obtain.

A disadvantage is that it assumes stability in the marketplace and fails to adequately consider the changing value of various resources as the competitive environment and customer needs change
3-Centralized organization:
Decision making is limited to higher authority change process the way in which changes occur in an organization. (Tall Higharcy)
3- Decentralized organization
Decision making and communication are spread out across the company (Low Hierharcy)
3- Functional matrix:
A structure in which functional bosses
have primary authority and product or project managers simply coordinate product activities. (Goverment)
3- Hybrid structure
A structure that combines characteristics
of various structural approaches (functional, divisional, geographical, horizontal) tailored to specific strategic needs
3- Matrix structure
A strong form of horizontal linkage in
which both product and functional structures (horizontal and vertical) are implemented simultaneously (Hospital)
3- Product Matrix
Variation of the matrix structure in which project or product managers have primary authority and functional managers simply assign technical personnel to projects and provide advisory
3- Virtual team:
Dispersed members who are linked through
advanced information and communications technologies. Members frequently use the Internet and collaborative software to work together, rather than meeting face-to-face
3- When is a functional structure preferable to a divisional structure?
When there are only one or few products vs. when there are a large range of products.
3- Large corporations tend to use hybrid structures.
It is combination of many different structures and it combines characteristics of other structures in order to take advantage of their respective strengths and avoid any of their possible weaknesses.
3- Primary differences between a traditional organization designed for efficiency and a more contemporary organization designed for learning?
One is designed for efficiency (traditional) and is a tall hierarchy the other is designed for (learning) and is a flatter hierarchy
3- What is the difference between a tall hierarchy and a flat hierarchy
A tall structure of organization is more hierarchical, with more levels of management. It is a more complicated system of communication, more risk that communication becomes garbled as it moves through the levels, and more time is needed to implement decisions. (Levels are important)

A flat structure has very few different levels of management, but more people in each level. It enables the organization to take action more quickly.
3- What conditions usually have to be present before an organization should adopt a matrix structure?
There must be pressure to share sparse resources. There must be environmental pressures on the organization for frequent new products. There must be an uncertain environment
3- Why do companies using horizontal structures have cultures that emphases openness, employee empowerment, and responsibility?
These structures are achieved through cross-functional information sharing, direct contact, task forces, full time integrators and teams. They overcome barriers between departments and provide options for coordination among employees to achieve unity of effort and organizational effectiveness.
3- How is structure related to the organizations need for efficiency verus its need for learning and innovation
Structure is related to the organizations need for efficiency because it makes the operations very predictable and easy to control (manufacturing) versus learning and innovation which maximizes the use of collective intelligence for attaining its vision and goals (research organizations)
3- Difference between Hierarchical/Horizontal Structures
High structures have many levels of management and formal reporting processes (slow communication/ decision making). Horizontal organizations have few levels of management and less formal reporting prcoesses (quick decision making/fast communication)
4-Boundary-spanning roles
Activities that link and coordinate an organization with key elements in the external environment.
4- Buffering roles:
Activities that absorb uncertainty from the environment.
4- Resource Dependence:
A situation in which organizations depend on the environment but strive to acquire control over resources to minimize their dependence
4- Simple- complex dimension:
The number and dissimilarity of external elements relevant to an organization's operation.
4- Organizational environment.
Is all elements that exist outside the boundary of the organization and have the potential to affect all or part of the organization.
4- Task environment
Is usually the environment that most organizations like to focus on. Helpful to the organization because it helps them to specifically identify environmental factors that are important in the company's success.
4- What are some forces that influence environmental uncertainty? Which typically has the greatest impact on uncertainty-environmental complexity or environmental change? Why
Economic conditions, social trends, or technological changes. Economic conditions has the greatest impact because it often affect the way a company does business
4- Describe differentiation and integration.
_____________is "the differences in cognitive and emotional orientations among managers in different functional departments, and the difference in formal structure among these departments. _____________ is the quality of collaboration among departments. When the environment is highly uncertain, frequent changes require more information processing to achieve horizontal coordination, so integrators become a necessary addition to the organization structure.
4-How does the environment influence organic and mechanistic structures
As environmental uncertainty increases, organizations tend to become more organic, which means decentralizing authority and responsibility to lower levels, encouraging employees to take care of problems by working directly with one another, encouraging teamwork, and taking an informal approach to assigning tasks and responsibility. Thus, the organization is more fluid and is able to adapt continually to changes in the external environment.
4- Assume you have been asked to calculate the ratio of staff employees to production employees in two organizations-one in a simple, stable environment and one in a complex shifting environment. How would you expect these ratios to differ? Why?
In organizations characterized by very simple, stable environments, almost no managers are assigned to integration roles and as environmental uncertainty increases, so does differentiation among departments; hence, the organization must assign a larger percentage of managers to coordinating roles
Stable vs. unstable dimenstion
Refers to whether elements in the environment are dynamic. An environmental domain is stable if it remains the same over a period of months or years. Under unstable conditions, environmental elements shift abruptly
5- Coercive forces:
External pressures such as legal requirements exerted on an organization to adopt structures, techniques, or behaviors similar to other organizations.
5- Legitimacy:
The general perspective that an organization's actions are desirable, proper, and appropriate within the environment's system of norms, values, and beliefs.
5- Mimetic forces:
Under conditions of uncertainty, the pressure to copy or model other organizations that appear to be successful in the environment
5- Normative forces:
Pressures to adopt structures, techniques, or management processes because they are considered by the community to be up-to-date and effective
5- Organizational ecosystem:
A system formed by the interaction of a community of organizations and their environment, usually cutting across traditional industry lines.
5- Resource dependence:
A situation in which organizations depend on the environment but strive to acquire control over resources to minimize their dependence
5- Retention:
The preservation and institutionalization of selected organizational forms
5- Adversarial relationship
When organizations treat treat each other as enemies instead of as partners. There is little or no trust between them, and communication is very formal.
5- Partnership relationship
Both parties work closely together (trust) to ensure that everything that they do will benefit both. Line of communication is open and they cooperate with each other.
5- Population-ecology perspective
Companies must continue to change or the will be replaced by new companies and the environment is important in organizational success or failure so they must meet an environmental need, or it will be selected out.
5- The concept of business ecosystems implies that organizations are more interdependent than ever before. From personal experience, do you agree? Explain.
Yes. Car companies are a good example of interdependence. They have a partnership with On-Star and Sirius Radio. Through this partnership, they now depend on each other.
5- Discuss how the adversarial versus partnership orientations work among students in class. Is there a sense of competition for grades? Is it possible to develop true partnerships in which your work depends on others?
All working to graduate at the top of our class and get the best job (Adversaries) but we work as partners on group class projects. No true partnership among students.
5- The population-ecology perspective argues that it is healthy for society to have new organizations emerging and old organizations dying as the environment changes.
Yes I agree. If old companies refuse to change within their new enviorment then they run the risk of being replaced by new companies. They must continue to evolve and change or dies off.
5- How does the desire for legitimacy result in organizations becoming more similar over time?
If a company is considered really well and legitimate than other, companies want to copy it because they also want to be seen as legitimate.
7- Analyzability
Dimension of technology in which work activities can be reduced to mechanical steps and participants can follow an objective, computational procedure to solve problem
7- Core technology:
Work process that is directly related to the org's mission.
7- Flexible manufacturing system:
Using computers to link together manufacturing components such as robots, machines, product design, and engineering analysis to enable fast switching from one product to another
7- Job design:
Assignement of goals and task to be accomplished by employees
7- Job enrichment:
Designing of jobs to increase responsibility, recognition, and opportunities for growth achievement
7- Job enlargement:
Designing of jobs to expand the number of different tasks performed by an employee
7- Job rotation:
Moving employees from job to job to give them greater variety of tasks and alleviate boredom
7- Pooled interdependence (Thompson's levels of interdependence)
Lowest form of interdependence among departments in which work does not flow between units. Work independently.
7- Reciprocal interdependence (Thompson's levels of interdependence):
Highest level of interdependence in which, output of one operation is the input of a second, and the on put of a second is the is the input of the first
7- Sequential interdependence (Thompson's levels of interdependence):
Serial form in which the output of one operation becomes the input of another, assembly line.
7- Socio-technical systems approach:
This combines the needs of people with needs of technical efficiency
7- Interdependence
The extent to which departments depend on each other for resources or materials to accomplish their tasks.
7- High and low Interdependence
Low interdependence means that departments can do their work independently of each other and have little need for interaction, consultation, or exchange of materials. High interdependence means departments must constantly exchange resources
7- Where would your university or college department be located on Perrow's technology framework? Look for the underlying variety and analyzability characteristics when making your assessment. Would a department devoted exclusively to teaching be put in a different quadrant from a department devoted exclusively to research?
Within the framework my university would be non-routine and have high task variety, and have low analyzable. Both have high task variety because encounter a large number of unexpected situations, with frequent problems and both have low analyzability.
7- Describe Woodward's classification of organizational technologies.
Theory shows definite increases as technical complexity increases from unit production to continuous process. In essence, greater management intensity is needed to manage complex technology
7- Technical complexity?
Represents the extent of mechanization of the manufacturing process. High technical complexity means most of the work is performed by machines. Low technical complexity means workers play a larger role in the production process.
7- How do flexible manufacturing and lean manufacturing differ from other manufacturing technologies
Lean manufacturing - It is about cutting out all extra movement and waste to have as clean a flow as possible. Cut processes to eliminate waste.

Flexible Manufacturing is designed to be able to respond quickly to changes in the environment
7- Describe the sociotechnical systems model. Why might some managers oppose a sociotechnical systems approach?
Sociotechnical systems model combining technical and people components, and making decisions about how one impacts the other. Because they understand that designing an organization to meet human needs while ignoring the technical systems, or changing technology to improve efficiency while ignoring human needs, may inadvertently cause performance problems.
7- Routine tasks versus non-routine tasks
_____________are characterized by little task variety and the use of objective, computational procedures. The tasks are formalized and standardized. Examples include an automobile assembly line and a bank teller department

_________________ technologies have high task variety, and the conversion process is not analyzable. A great deal of effort is devoted to analyzing problems and activities. Experience and technical knowledge are used to solve problems and perform the work. Basic research, strategic planning, and other work that involves new projects and unexpected problems are examples. (Project Manager)
7- Low task variaty versus high task variaty
Low Task Variaty- When there are few problems, and when day-to-day job requirements are repetitious, technology contains little variety. (Note: technologies low in variety tend to be analyzable). (Fastfood)

High Task Variarty- When individuals encounter a large number of unexpected situations, with frequent problems, variety is considered high. (Note: technologies high in variety tend to be low in analyzability)
7- Analyzability and low analyzability
Analyzable - the work can be reduced to mechanical steps and participants can follow an objective, computational procedure to solve problems. Solution may involve the use of standard procedures, such as instructions and manuals, or technical knowledge.

Low analyzable -When problems arise, it is difficult to identify the correct solution. There is no store of techniques or procedures to tell a person exactly what to do. The cause of or solution to a problem is not clear, so employees rely on accumulated experience, intuition, and judgment.
8- Balanced score card
Provides managers with a equal view of the organization by integrating traditional financial measurements and statistical reports with a concern for markets, customers, and employees
8- Benchmarking:
Process whereby companies find out how others do something better than they do and then try to imitate or improve on it.
8- Business Intelligence:
High-tech analysis of large amounts of internal and external data to identify patterns and relationships.
8- Decision support systems:
A system that enables managers at all levels of the organization to retrieve, manipulate, and display information from integrated databases for making specific decisions
8- Executive Information Systems:
Interactive systems that help top managers monitor and control organizational operations by processing and presenting data in usable form.
8- Knowledge management:
The efforts to systematically find, organize, and make available a company's intellectual capital and to foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge sharing so that organizational activities build on existing knowledge
8- Management control systems :
Are formal routines, reports, and procedures that use information to maintain or alter patterns in organization activities. In this system Targets are set in advance and outcomes are compared to targets, and variance reported to managers for corrective action.
8- What is explicit knowledge:
Is formal, systematic knowledge that can be codified, written down, and passed on to others in documents or general instructions.
8- Tacit knowledge :
Is based on personal experience, rules of thumb, intuition, and judgment.
8- Extranet
A private network that uses Internet technology and the public telecommunication system to securely share part of a business's information or operations with suppliers or other businesses. Can be viewed as part of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company.
8- This system can help improve strategic management because it allows you to look at how all systems of company influence each other
Enterprise resource planning system be used to improve strategic management of a manufacturing organization
8- Enterprise resource planning system
Collect, process, and provide information about a company's entire enterprise, including order processing, purchasing, inventory, manufacturing and other.
8- Describe how the four management control system elements discussed in the chapter might be used for feedback control within organizations. Compare and contrast this four-part system with use of the balanced scorecard
The four elements are (all help provide managers with a balanced view):

• Budget and financial reports : typically used to set targets for the organization's expenditures for the year and then report actual costs on a monthly or quarterly basis.

• Periodic nonfinancial statistical reports: Used to evaluate and monitor nonfinancial performance, such as customer satisfaction, employee performance, or rate of staff turnover.

• Reward systems: offer incentives for managers and employees to improve performance and meet departmental goals. Evaluate how well previous goals were met, set new goals, and establish rewards for meeting the new targets.

• Quality-control systems : Used to train employees in quality-control methods, set targets for employee participation, establish benchmarking guidelines, and assign and measure Six Sigma goals
8- Describe your use of explicit knowledge when you research and write a term paper. Do you also use tacit knowledge regarding this activity? Discuss
When writing a term paper, I use explicit knowledge when I preform research for my paper because explicit knowledge is the formal, systematic knowledge that written down, and passed on to others. It is the information that I read in order to form an opinion about my paper.

Yes. You do use some form of tacit knowledge when writing because it is based on personal experience, rules of thumb, intuition, and judgment. You incorporate what you already know into the paper.
8- Why is knowledge management particularly important to a company that wants to become a learning organization?
It allows a learning organization to capture the internal knowledge of its staff and transfer that knowledge to others. It allows the company to remain successful.
8- What is meant by the integrated enterprise? Describe how organizations can use extranets to extend and enhance horizontal relationships required for enterprise integration
Is an organization that uses advanced IT to enable close coordination within the company as well as with suppliers, customers, and partners.

Extranets can be used because the allow an organization to system to securely share part of a business's information or operations (via intranet) with suppliers or other businesses. This allow the company and the supplier to establish a horizontal relationship thus enhancing their relationship.
9- How might the adoption of IT affect how an organization is designed
In an organization it can bring about decentralization, improved communication and relationships and help enhance network structures .
9- Bureaucracy:
Org framework marked by rules and procedures, specialization and division of labor, hierarchy of authority, technically qualified personnel, separate position and incumbent, and written communications and records
9- Clan control:
Use of social characteristics, such as corporate culture, shared values, commitment, traditions, and beliefs, to control behavior. Require shared values and trust among employees, important when ambiguity and uncertainty is high
9- Elaboration stage:
The organizational life cycle phase in which the red tape crisis is resolved through the standards, and changing activities as needed based on the feedback
9- Entrepreneurial stage:
The life cycle phase in which an organization is born and its emphasis is on creating a product and surviving in the marketplace
9- Formalization stage:
The phase in an organization's life cycle involving the installation and use of rules, procedures, and control systems
9-Life cycle:
A perspective on organizational growth and change that suggests that organizations are born, grow older, and eventually die.
9- Organizational decline:
A condition in which a substantial, absolute decrease in an organization's resource base occurs over a period of time
9- Discribe 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?
• Weber theory states that in order in order to make bureaucratic control work managers must have the authority to maintain control over the organization. It is possible for an organization to have all three. The Office of the President of the United States is an example.

• Rational-Legal Authority: Is based on employee's belief in the legality of rules and the right of those elevated to the position of authority to issue commands.

• Traditional Authority: Is the belief in tradition and in the legitimacy of the status of people exercising authority through those traditions.

• Charismatic Authority: Is based in the devotion to the exemplary character or to the heroism of an individual person and the order defined by him or her.
9- In writing about the 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.
The analogy for this shows that the Clan and the market are both able to function efficiently in condition that are highly uncertain. Under these conditions, both are able to survive and rebound if the organization pays close attention to their underlying needs. They are free flowing and adaptable. On the other hand, bureaucratic method of control uses rules and standardization in order to survive. It is not free flowing and is high mechanized although; this standardization does allow it to survive even if it lacks the ability to change.
9- Market control :
A situation that occurs when price competition is used to evaluate the output and productivity of an organization.
9- Government organizations seem to be more bureaucratic than non-profit organizations. Could this partly be the result of the type of control used by government organizations?
Government organizations are based on the written rules and standardization found within the bureaucratic method. They are highly mechanistic in matures whereas non-profits are based more in the clan control method because they are based in, shared values, commitments. They are more organic in mature.
9-The incident command system has been used primarily by organizations that regularly deal with crises. Discuss whether this approach seems workable for a large media company that wants to reduce bureaucratic. How about for a manufacture of cell phones.
• Incident command system: developed to maintain the efficiency and control benefits of bureaucracy yet prevent the problems of slow response to crises. It allows organizations to glide smoothly between a highly formalized hierarchical structure that is effective during times so stability and a more flexible loosely structured one needed to respond well to unexpected/demanding environmental conditions.

• This approach seems workable because it allows the organization to maintain the same efficiency and control found within the bureaucracy control system but avoid the problem of slow response to crises.
How do you know if an organization preformed well in an uncertain enviorment ( according to Differentiation & Intergration)
Organizations that performed well in uncertain environments had high levels of both differentiation and integration, while those performing well in less uncertain environments had lower levels of differentiation and integration.
Woodard Strategy
• Group I: Small-batch and unit production are job shop operations with small batch, it is not highly mechanized and relies heavily on highly skilled human operator. (Organic)

• Group II: Large-batch and mass production - Large-batch and mass production. Long productions runs of standardized parts. Most assembly lines. (Mechanistic)

• Group III: Continuous-process production - Continuous process production. Entire process is mechanizes. Oil refineries, chemical plants, nuclear power plants