External Environment and Divisional Structure Questions

Question Description

1.Describe the external environment, primary tasks, size and technology of an organization that you (or someone you know) have been a member of (now or in the past). As best you can, describe this organization’s overall design and the design of its subunits (i.e., its departments, divisions, etc.) in terms of the “organic” and “mechanistic” concepts. Evaluate the appropriateness of its design in relation to the contingency factors identified above. That is, to what extent does the design “fit” its external environment, primary tasks, size, and technology? If the fit is not very good, how would you re-design the organization differently? How is the design affecting performance?

2.What, in general, would you consider to be the most and least desirable characteristics of the functional, divisional, and matrix approaches to structural differentiation? Why? Which of these structures do you think you would be most comfortable working in, and why?

3.Describe as best you can the organization where you work (or one you have known in the past) in terms of how subunits are differentiated. Does this approach to structure appear to be effective or ineffective? Why? If the organization’s structure has some shortcomings, what are they, and how would you re-structure it?

Prof. Angela


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