Q - Think of two examples of organizations: one an "ordinary" organization; the other an exotic, implausible, or "whacko" organization.
The organization is an open system. It
is a set of interrelated elements that transform inputs into outputs.
(A closed system is one that does not depend on its environment. But an open system is one that must interact with the environment to survive.)
The 5 organizational subsystems are:
Q - The surgery department in a hospital would belong to which subsystem?
Q - Jane Goodall heads the Admissions Office of a large state university. To what subsystem does she belong?
|Viewed as "causes" of the structural dimensions, as "independent variables"||Viewed as "consequences" or "effects" or "dependent variables"|
|1. Size (measured as # of employees, total sales, total assets)||1. Formalization (use of written documentation such as procedures & job descriptions)|
|2. Technology (tools, techniques, actions used to transform inputs into outputs)||2. Specialization (degree of subdivision of tasks into separate jobs; aka division of labor)|
|3. Environmen (all elements outside the boundary of the organization)||3. Hierarchy of authority (depicted by vertical lines in organization chart; described by number of levels and span of control; see exhibit below)|
|4. Goals & Strategy||4. Centralization (extent to which decisions are made at the top of the hierarchy rather than delegated to lower levels)|
|5. Culture (values, beliefs, norms shared by employees)||5. Professionalism (level of formal education & training of employees; ex: average years of education of employees)|
|6. Personnel ratios (% of different types of personnel; ex: administrative ratio, clerical ratio, etc.)|
Q - Which dimension refers to the number of activities or subsystems within the organization?
Q - UPS has written job descriptions, specific listed procedures for each task activity, and a thick book full of regulations for its employees and managers. UPS would thus be rated high on which structural dimension?
Q - Which of the following is a structural (S) and which is a contextual (C) dimension?
EX: environment stability -> greater formalization (where "->" stands for "causes")Thinking in terms of dimensions provides insights that are not immediately obvious.
EX: research has shown thatQ - "It is important to identify the contextual dimensions of an organization because these dimensions can often be viewed as causes affecting the structural dimensions." (TRUE/FALSE?)decentralization -> greater formalization(even though many people would intuitively associate decentralization with a "losening" of formalization!) Why do you think that is?
Q - In the statement, "a large organizational size results in greater standardization", the independent variable is _____ and the dependent variable is _____ ?
Q - In analyzing an organization the environment and technology are usually considered (DEPENDENT/INDEPENDENT?) variables.
Today organizational researchers use the comparative approach with large samples of organizations. EX: the National Organizations Study surveyed over 650 organizations (next exhibit).
The contingency approach was a reaction against excessive dogmatism of the scientific management and especially the administrative principles approach which assumed that there are universal principles of management that are best in all situations. The contingency approach was in part the result of findings in the 1960s by sociologist Joan Woodward, who found that the same structure (ex: a given span of control) was not always optimal for the organization.
Q - "A comparison of W. L. Gore Associates with Walmart illustrates the idea that all successful organizations tend to adopt similar structures." (TRUE/FALSE, and why?)
Q - "The contingency approach says that optimal organization depends upon the total situation." (TRUE/FALSE?)
Q - Lester White, a management consultant, sucessfully implemented an ABL program on his first consulting job. He now recommends ABL to all his clients. In so doing, is he following the principles of contingency theory? (YES/NO, and why?)
Q - What's a paradigm?
Q - Greta Birkenbaum heads a public relations firm and uses an organic control model. Assuming that this structure is appropriate, which of the following characteristics are likely to apply to the organization: nonroutine technology (Y/N), large size (Y/N), frequent face-to-face communication (Y/N), conflict (Y/N), stable environment (Y/N)?