Week 1 report | Seminar in Organizational Theory


According to Burton, Obel, and Hakonsson (2015), the following are the major components of an organization (you should follow the given order while diagnosing organizational misfits):

  1. Goals
  2. Strategy
  3. Environment
  4. Configuration
  5. Complexity
  6. Geographic distribution
  7. Knowledge exchange
  8. Task design
  9. People
  10. Leadership style
  11. Climate
  12. Coordination or control
  13. Information systems
  14. Incentives

All the major components of an organization should align with the organizational design. The organizational design should fit and complement organizational goals. To determine the goals of an organization, you need to choose the primary focus of efficiency or effectiveness. As part of determining a strategy to meet those goals, you must choose an appropriate environment.

The structural configuration of an organization should fit the organization’s strategy. The task design, people, leadership style, and climate should align with and support the strategy and the structure. Support systems and processes must support and reinforce the organizational design. Misfits between the components may be major or minor, but it is likely that they have a negative effect on performance and should be diagnosed and addressed. Turbulent environments demand clear alignment, while organizations in a calmer environment may be able to overcome some misalignment. However, the benefits of change must justify the efforts, and some components are significantly easier to change than others. Remember that unintended consequences often result from organizational change—especially if that change is not approached from a holistic point of view.

Summary of the weekly deliverables for course project:

  • Week 1: Identify a subject organization. Provide an initial assessment of the scope, goals, and strategy of your organization.
  • Week 3: Assess your organization against Burton and Obel’s four-quadrant model and fourteen aspects of organizational design.
  • Week 5: On the basis of your Week 1 and Week 3 work, analyze your organization against the four-quadrant model factors in organizational design as compared to (A) a modern, recent organizational structure such as Uber, Amazon, or Google, or (B) the traditional, international model of IBM or another Fortune 100 multinational organization. What are the benefits or weaknesses of your organizational design as compared to the other organizational structure you selected, based on the fourteen aspects of organizational design? What are the preferred factors for your organization? What are the recommended action steps for your organization?

Note: The course project for MGT7110 shares similar processes and deliverables to earlier courses. This MGT7110 project asks you to conduct your analysis through the lens of organizational structure and design. Being able to operate at different levels of analysis (such as the individual level, team level, and organizational level) is an important skill for the organizational behavior expert.


Locate a suitable subject organization for your course project. The organization can be your current organization or one that you are familiar with. Students who select their own organizations to study are more prone to bias and are tempted to solve tactical problems they encounter on a daily basis. For the course project, maintain focus on the specific assignment (related to organizational structure and design) and your Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program (Organizational Behavior). For your paper, provide a summary of the organization. Include the following details in your summary:

  • What is the scope of the organization?
  • What are the organization’s goals?
  • Who does it do it to/for?
  • What are the market strategy and the innovation strategy?

Keep your participation at the level of critical thinking—analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. Make connections between what you are learning and what you already know. Make comparisons and challenge points of view.

In organizational diagnosis, one of the first steps is an initial assessment of potential areas of concern. If you were contracting with an organization as a consultant, the chief executive officer (CEO) would likely share in the early conversations about why you are being hired. As part of the process, you would make observations, look at some organizational documents, and even have some informal conversations with organizational members to get a sense of where issues might be located so that you can determine how you will gather necessary data for diagnosing problems and recommending solutions. Review the below graphic for suggestions on data collection.

In your paper, provide an initial assessment of some organizational problems that are evident in your case study organization. Although in an actual consulting scenario, you would do your assessment on the basis of your full range of organizational and leadership theory knowledge, for this course project, focus on organizational structure and design.

Submission Details:

  • Use APA format and style for your paper.
  • Complete your analysis in a 5- to 6-page Microsoft Word document.

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