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Organization Theory and Design: Solving the Related Problems Essay

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Updated: Mar 21st, 2021

Using an organization you are familiar with (from your readings or personal experience), place its departments in the quadrants of Perrow’s framework. What two factors are used to determine the placement of a department in a quadrant? Explain how you applied these two factors in placing your organization’s departments in the framework

According to the system suggested by Perrow, the specifics of General Motors progress can be analyzed with the help of the given framework (Perrow, 1967, 196–202):

Technology variable

Exceptions Search Exceptions
Unanalyzable problems
Few exceptions Organizational issues (delivering proxy materials to the stockholders) (General Motors Company, 2013) Nonroutine (stockholders meeting) Many exceptions
Routine (transmission) Engineering (potential software problems)
Analyzable problems

Raw material variables

Perceived nature of raw material
Variability of material Petrol, oil, gas; diesel cars, CNG cars 1 2 Environmentally friendly Perceived as non-uniform and stable
Perceived as uniform and stable
Environmentally unsafe 3 4 Hybrid cars, electric cars, solar energy

Task structure

Task-related interactions
Tech. sup-services-ion Description Power Coord. w/in gr. Internet. Of gr. Description Power Coord. w/in gr. Internet. Of gr.
Low Low Plan Low High High Feed High
High High Feed High High Feed
Decentralized Flexible, polycentralized
1 2
Tech. sup-services-ion 4 3
Low High Plan Low High High Feed Low
Low Low Plan Low Low Plan
Formal, centralized Flexible, centralized

Social structure

The bases of non-task-related interaction
Social identity: incorporating the stratification of the company structure yet retaining trustworthy relationships between employees and managerial 1 2 Goal identification: improving the company services, promoting social, technological, and economical growth, working on environmentally friendly production
Instrumental identity: job security, insurance, protection 3 4 Work on task identification: planning the company’s further strategy, developing the further course of actions, considering the current technological advances


System Product Derived System Product Derived
Stability Quality Conserv. 1 2 High growth High quality Democratic
Little to no risk, moderate – low-income emphasis No innovations high risks with low emphasis on income grossing Innovations and technological advances
Stability Quality Conserv. 4 3 Moderate growth Reliability Democratic
The little risk with great emphasis on income grossing No innovations/ tech. advances Some risks (little risks) Moderate innovations

Describe how inter-organizational relationships can be affected by technology in business today

In the modern fast-changing world, maintaining relationships between different organizations or the affiliates of a certain organization is crucial. With the help of technology, the link between companies can be kept for relatively long. However, technologies as a means to bridge organizations can be both helpful and harmful.

Positive impact:

  • Improving knowledge sharing process (faster, more efficient);
  • Promoting inter-organizational learning (Choi & Ko, 2012);
  • Establishing cooperation between affiliates/different companies.

Negative impact:

  • High risk of information leakage;
  • Lack of personal interaction;
  • Dependency on technology;
  • Chaos within the organization in case of a breakdown.

Compare and contrast the three types of organizational control strategies

As a rule, four key types of organizational control strategies are distilled to handle typical market situations.

Bureaucratic control

Bureaucratic control makes use of various documentation, rules, policies, hierarchies, and a powerful authority (rational-legal, traditional, charismatic, etc.) to make the organization machine work.

Market control

In contrast to bureaucratic control, market control does not involve as much paperwork and red tape and is coordinated with the help of the price competition levels. However, like bureaucratic control, market control may also be coordinated with the help of charismatic leadership principles (Daft, 2007, 119).

Clan control

Unlike bureaucratic control, clan control emphasizes the importance of relationships between employees and employers, as well as among the staff (Robbins, Coulter & Stuart-Kotze, 2002).

Identify a specific organization that has a culture you know enough about to discuss. Then describe that organization’s culture at both of its levels. In your answer, let it be clear what makes up each of the two levels

To demonstrate the two levels of organizational culture, one can consider such a company as Microsoft Corp. According to the existing stratification of corporate culture, there are two basic levels on which it can exist; to be more exact, there are observable and core types of culture. Observable culture concerns the elements that are on the surface and practically are the manifestations of the elements of the core culture. For instance, high rates of efficiency and fast services can be a part of the observable culture, i.e., the result of a knowledge-sharing-based core culture, which is currently applied in the Microsoft Co.

Consequently, core culture incorporates the underlying values of a specific organization. In contrast to the previously described one, a core culture is never visible. Core culture sets the principles that define an organization, while the observable culture is the result of the given principles put into practice. For example, the policy of knowledge sharing can be a part of the core culture, which Microsoft Co. can be identified with (Architecting a knowledge-management system, 2007).

List and discuss each of the elements for successful change. Diagram the sequence of the elements

A successful change presupposes that the following elements should be present:

Organizational change

Organizational change involves re-structuring the organization and re-establishing the existing corporate values, goals, relationships between employees and employers, as well as the relations among the staff, etc.

Organizational innovation

Organizational innovation means applying the above-mentioned changes into practice. Moreover, organizational innovation demands not only an update on the corporate structure but also on the technologies used in the company. With the help of the latest technological advances, a company is expected to perform better. It is crucial to remember, though, that technologies are only a tool that helps promote efficient cooperation between the members of the staff and on no account is a thing in itself.

Change process

The process of change, i.e., the acceptance of all the innovations, can take a considerable amount of time. However, there seems to be no definite reason to speed up the process of adaptation; on the contrary, a time test will show the viability of the developed strategies.

Several approaches can be attributed to organizational change. Of all existing approaches, horizontal coordination for innovation (Daft & Murphy, 2010) seems the most adequate one. Involving the analysis of the interaction between an organization and environment, the given approach allows to take into account both the external and the internal factors that influence an organization:

Change process

Therefore, it can be concluded that a successful change can happen only once an organization defines its key assets, evaluates the existing risks, and considers both the internal and the external factors that can encourage the change or, on the contrary, be an obstacle to it. Once checking the environment, one can take considerable risks to pursue the chance to gain a reward.

Assume you are involved in important decision making in a medium-size organization. There are three decisions that currently face your organization. One is the problem of integrating the inventory management system with your production system. A second involves the selection of another organization for acquisition. The third is whether to continue a product line that has been losing market share. Your finance vice president believes the product line should be dropped, while the marketing manager believes that more advertising aimed at a different market will revive sales of the product. Discuss which decision-making approach is likely to be most helpful in analyzing each of these situations.

Since the above-mentioned problems concern different parties, it is necessary to consider each of the problems alone. The issue concerning the integration of two systems seems to affect only the department that is supposedly led solely by me. Hence, in the first case, I will have to make a decision alone, thus, following an authoritative approach.

As for the second issue, another organization is the second party in the process, which means that the conditional approach must be undertaken. Finally, regarding the product line, a facilitative approach can be used. Offering a compromise between an employer and an employee will help choose the golden mean that will satisfy both sides (Montgomery, H., Lipshitz, R. & Brehmer, 2005).

Members of the marketing department have become aware that manufacturing is inflating their expense forms when they turn in claims. If marketing decides to report manufacturing to the vice president, they will need to proceed with care. What recommendations would you give to marketing, based on your reading of the chapter on power and politics?

Since Daft insists that organizational culture is made of the cultural and moral norms established by the company leader, it can be assumed that the members of the marketing department must approach the given issue with tactfulness and care. To start with, it is necessary that no information leakage should take place. Then, it is necessary to offer the vice president objective and unbiased information, so that (s)he could make his/her own decisions. Finally, it will be necessary to reconsider the company’s organizational culture and ethical values (Daft, 2007).

Reference List

(2007). Web.

Choi, S. & Ko, I. (2012). Leveraging electronic collaboration to promote interorganiazational learning. International Journal of Information Management, 32(6), 550–559.

Daft, R. L. (2007). Organization theory and design. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Daft, R.L., & Murphy, J. (2010). Organization: theory and design. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

General Motors Company (2013). Web.

Montgomery, H., Lipshitz, R. & Brehmer, B. (2005). How professionals make decisions. New York, NY: Routledge.

Perrow, C. (1967). A framework for the corporative analysis of organizations. American Social Review, 32(2), 194–208.

Robbins, S. P., Coulter, M., & Stuart-Kotze, R. (2002). Management. Portland, OR: Green earth Books.

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