Sample Company Breakdown Report
Description of the Organization
- What is the name of the organization? Give a short account of the history of the company (e.g., when was it founded?; who founded it?). Briefly describe the way it has grown and developed. What does the organization do? What goods and services does it produce/provide?
- Do an initial analysis of the organization’s major problems or issues? What challenges confront the organization today – for example, in its effort to attract customers, to lower costs, to increase operating efficiency?
Interorganizational Linkages & Internal Design Elements
- Describe the main interorganizational linkage mechanisms (e.g., mergers, strategic alliances, long-term contracts) that your organization uses to manage resources in the environment. Using resource dependency theory, discuss why the organization chose to manage its interdependencies in this way. Do you think the organization has selected the most appropriate linkage mechanisms? Why or why not?
- How differentiated is your organization? List the major roles, functions, or departments in your organization. Does your organization have many divisions? If your organization engages in many businesses, list the major divisions of the company.
- (a) Is your organization centralized or decentralized? How do you know? (b) Is it high differentiated? Can you identify any integrating mechanisms used by your organization? What is the match between the complexity of differentiation and the complexity of the integrating mechanisms that are used? (c) Is behaviour in the organization very standardized? What can you tell about the level of formalization by looking at the number and kinds of rules the organization uses?
- Does your analysis in question 3 lead you to think that your organization conforms more to the organic or to the mechanistic model of organizational structure? Briefly explain why you think it is organic or mechanistic.
- From your analysis so far, what do you think could be done to improve the way your organization operates?
- How many people does the organization employ? How many levels are there in the organization’s hierarchy? Is the organization tall or flat? What is the span of control of the CEO? Is this span appropriate, or is it too wide or narrow? Do you think your organization does a good or poor job in managing its hierarchy of authority? Give reasons for your answer.
Strategy, Organizational Design, and Effectiveness
- If the company has an annual report, what does the report describe as the company’s organizational mission? Which goals seem most important to the organization? Which strategies does the organization use to achieve its goals? How successfully is the organization pursuing its strategies? Which of the goals or strategies should be changed? Why?
- Read its annual reports to determine which kinds of measures the organization uses to evaluate its performance and overall effectiveness. How well is the organization doing when judged by various criteria such as profitability, efficiency, and employee satisfaction?
- Draw a stakeholder map that identifies your organization’s major stakeholder groups. What kind of conflicts between its stakeholder groups would you expect to occur the most?
- Draw a chart and/or describe your organization’s domain. List the organization’s products and customers and the forces in the task and general environment that have an effect on it. Which are the most important forces that the organization has to deal with?
- Analyze the influence of the environment on the organization in terms of simple-complex and stable-unstable dimensions. From this analysis, how would you characterize the level of uncertainty in your organization’s environment?
- What kind of structure (e.g., functional, divisional, geographical) does your organization have? Draw a diagram showing its structure and identify the major subunits or divisions in the organization.
- Why does the company use this kind of structure? Provide a brief account of the advantages and disadvantages associated with this structure for your organization.
- Is your organization experiencing any particular problems in managing its activities? Can you suggest a more appropriate structure that your company might adopt to solve these problems?
- What is the organization’s level of technical complexity? Does the organization use a small batch, mass-production, or continuous-process technology?
- Use the concepts of task variety and task analyzability to describe the complexity of your organization’s activities. Which of the four types of technology identified by Perrow does your organization use?
- What forms of task interdependence between people and between departments characterize your organization’s work process? Which of the three types of technology identified by Thompson does your organization use?
- The analysis you have done so far might lead you to expect your company to operate with a particular kind of structure. To what extent does your organization’s structure seem to fit with the characteristics of the organization’s technology?
- Do you think your organization is operating its technology effectively? Do you see any ways in which it could improve its technology efficiency, or ability to respond to customers?
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Organization Size, Life Cycle and Decline
- How rapid was the growth of your organization, and what problems did it experience as it grew? Describe its passage through the growth stages outlined in Greiner’s model. How did managers deal with the crisis that it encountered as it grew?
- What stage of the organizational life cycle is your organization in now? What internal and external problems is it currently encountering? How are managers trying to solve these problems?
- Has your organization ever shown any symptoms of decline? How quickly were managers in the organization able to respond to the problems of decline? What changes did they make? Did they turn the organization around?
- Does radical or incremental change best describe the changes that have been taking place in your organization? In what types of change (such as restructuring) has your organization been most involved? How successful have these change efforts been?
- With the information that you have at your disposal, discuss (a) the forces for change, (b) obstacles to change, and (c) the strategy for change your organization as adopted.
Conflict, Power and Politics
- What do you think are the likely sources of conflict that may arise in your organization? Is there a history of conflict between managers or between stakeholders?
- Analyze the sources of power of the principal subunits, functions, or divisions in the organization. Which is the most central subunit? Which is the most non-substitutable subunit? Which one controls most of the resources? Which one handles the main contingencies facing the organization?
- Which subunit is the most powerful? Identify any ways in which the subunit has been able to influence decision-making in its favour.
- To what degree are the organization’s strategic and operational decisions affected by conflict and politics?
- The paper is to be written in a professional manner with due diligence in terms of grammar, spelling, and clarity.
Note: Do not overlook this aspect of the paper, as grades will be deducted if it is apparent that students did not take the time to carefully edit their work.
- Any secondary sources should be properly referenced using the APA format. It is extremely important that you reference your secondary sources as plagiarism is a serious offence! Guidelines on how to reference citations both within your text and in the Reference Section (to be placed at the end of your paper) via APA formatting can be found online through a simple Google search. There is also a link to a pdf document in the syllabus entitled “APA” that should be helpful.
- A title page that includes a title, your name, student number, course information, etc.
- The main body of the paper (minus the title page and appendices) should be no less than 20 pages and no more than 25 pages (5000-6250 words).Please adhere to the specified page length. The paper should be typed double-spaced using Times New Roman 12 point font with one-inch margins. Any figures, tables, diagrams or other supplementary materials should go in the appendices and not in the main body of the paper. The paper must include a general introduction to orient the reader to the purpose of the paper as well as a conclusion section that summarizes the overall paper.
- There is no limit for appendices, however, only include supplementary materials that are necessary. Each table, figure, etc. that is included should be clearly referenced in the main body of the paper.
Any tables, figures, diagrams, etc. that you incorporate should be visually appealing and of good quality. Appendix materials should be electronically generated and not hand-drawn. If the material is taken from a secondary source, it should also be referenced properly.
- Use headings to organize and structure the paper. You should use the specific questions as the basis for your specific section headings (e.g., A1:Organizational Background Information; E3: Activity Management Problems) as the headings to organize your paper