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ORGS2010 Midterm Notes.docx

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York University
Organization Studies
ORGS 2010
Eleanor Westney

WEEK 1-5 NOTES (READINGS + SLIDES) WEEK 1 - INTRO The organization has set of features shared by modern large scale organizations called bureaucracy (Max Weber note, very strategic design-y) o Features include: o 1. Clearly delineated positions and jobs with required qualifications o 2. Formal hierarchy of positions line of authority setting out power/limitations (chain of command) o 3. Formal rules and standard operating procedures o 4. Training, career paths, reward systems (aka advancement) Macro/Micro analysis o Macro organization and external organizational environment o Micro groups & teams and interpersonal relations o Organizations are complex systems and what happens on one level affects another Unanticipated consequences of changes! 3 lenses o Strategic design View of the organization: input-throughput-output system Key concepts: activities, interdependence, resources (esp. information) Key processes: grouping, linking, and aligning View of the environment: resource base (source of inputs), competitive market Role of the leader: organizational architect, strategist Stimuli for change: lack of internal alignment, lack of fit between organization & environment Obstacles to change: inadequate information (they dont get it), inadequate analysis (the case isnt convincing) o Political system View of the organization: an arena for conflict Key concepts: power & influence, interests Key processes: conflict, negotiation, coalition building, networking View of the environment: external stakeholders Role of the leader: forging coalitions, identifying and leveraging interests, negotiating Stimuli for change: shifts in dominant coalition, in power of stakeholders Obstacles to change: entrenched interests (they wont buy in because they stand to lose) o Cultural perspective View of the organization: a social construct what we think it is Key concepts: identity, symbols, values, basic assumptions Key processes: meaning and interpretation, legitimating View of environment: social and cultural network Role of the leader: articulating vision, symbolizing the culture, understanding and leveraging the culture Stimuli for change: challenges to basic assumptions, contending interpretations Impediments to change: dominant culture, established mindsets (they cant see it) Levels of analysis o Individual o Group o Organization Applications o Teams o Gender and Diversity o Incentives and Motivation o Change and CSR WEEK 2 STRATEGIC DESIGN Strategic design systems deliberately constructed to achieve certain strategic goals o Efficiency (accomplishing strategic goals with least resources)+ effectiveness (goals accomplished to standards) emphasized o Assumption: organization has a strategy for creating value (value proposition/distinctive competitive advantage) establishes what activities will lead to success o Key strategic question: which activities should be inside the boundaries of the organization and which outside? Key elements o Information processing and enhancing system o Task basic element smallest unit of activities needed to be done to achieve overall strategic goals Vary in complexity, routinization and interdependence o Task interdependence Sequential interdependence one task completed and then handed off to next stage Harder to manage than pooled, easier than reciprocal Pooled interdependence tasks undertaken at same time and final result put together Easiest to manage Reciprocal interdependence - tasks conducted in repeated interaction with each other Hardest to manage o Organizational design choices begin with strategic grouping differentiation of clusters of activities, positions, and individuals into work units o Then they must go through linking ensure that resources and information flows efficiently and effectively between activities/groups o Lastly must use alignment mechanisms (incentive systems, information systems, etc.) to ensure people have the resources AND incentives to carry out tasks assigned to them Strategic grouping gathering tasks, functions, disciplines and separating from others o Assumption: coordination and communication are easier within unit than across units o Basic criteria Activity (function) Product/technology (business division/unit) Market/customer (geography/customer segment) o Grouping by expertise/function bringing together individuals who share similar functions, disciplines, skills, and work processes Three strengths 1. Development of deep functional expertise and a high degree of specialization 2. Economies of Scope easy to transfer resources across activities within functions 3. Allows for creations of separate alignment systems each tailored to every functions needs/strengths Four weaknesses 1. Backward flows of information can be difficult due to sequential interdependence between functions (e.g. from marketing to eng) -> therefore not responsive to changes in consumers 2. As specialization increases, individuals develop narrower perspectives 3. Difficult to assess costs 4. Tendency to expand levels of management over time this can inhibit efficient and effective info flows Frequently adopted by new businesses maintained over time by organizations that have a single major business or share similar technologies across similar markets o Grouping by Output/Product organizes on basis of service/product provided Two strengths 1. Transparency of performance costs/profits are clear of each function (business) 2. Clear strategic focus
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