Bus 522 organizational theory full course discussions week 1-8


Week 1

Go to page 39 of your textbook and post your responses to questions 2, 7 and 10

Page 39

Questions 2:  Describe ways in which the digital world has influenced or affected an organization with which you are familiar.  Can you identify both positive and negative aspects of this influence?


Questions 7:  What does contingency mean?  What are the implications of contingency theory for managers?

Questions 10:  What are some differences one might expect among stakeholder expectations for a nonprofit organization v. a for-profit business?  Do you think nonprofit managers have to pay more attention to stakeholders than do business managers?  Discuss.


In this thread we will discuss Academic Honesty and Plagiarism.  Please review the section on Academic Honesty in the syllabus.  After reviewing the policy, explain, in your own words, what plagiarism is and feel free to defend what it is not! 

Week 2

Read and review page 84 of your textbook and post your responses to questions 2, 6 and 7. Additionally, from your readings in Chapter 3, respond to question 8 on page 134. Remember, to earn full credit you must respond to your classmates.


Read and review page 84 and post your response to Question #2, 6, and 7. Additionally, respond to questions #8 on Page 134.

Page 84 #2

How might a company’s goals for employee development be related to its goals for innovation and change?

Page84 #6

Do you believe mission statement and official goal statements provide an organization with genuine legitimacy in the external environment?

Page84 #7

Suppose you have been asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the police department in a medium-sized community. Where would you begin, and how would you proceed? What effectiveness approach would you prefer?

Page134 #8

Why do you think the brand manager position is considered a good training ground?


Week 3


Read and review page 175 of your textbook and post your responses to questions 3 and 4. Next, read pages 207 and 208 in your textbook and post your responses to questions 4, 7, and 10. Remember, to earn full credit you must respond to your classmates.


3.         Name some factors causing environmental complexity for an organization of your choice. How might this environmental complexity lead to organizational complexity? Explain.

4.         Discuss the importance of the international sector for today’s organizations, compared to domestic sectors. What are some ways in which the international sector affects organizations in your city or community?

4.         Many managers today were trained under assumptions of adversarial relationships with other companies. Do you think operating as adversaries is easier or more difficult than operating as partners with other companies? Discuss.

7.         Explain how the process of variation, selection, and retention might explain innovations that take place within an organization.

10.       How mimetic forces differ from normative forces?  Give an example of each.


Week 4


Week 4

5.         What are some of the primary reasons a company decides to expand internationally?  Identify a company in the news that has recently built a new overseas facility.  Which of the three motivations for global expansion described in the chapter 6 you think best explains the company’s decision?  Discuss.

8.         Traditional values in Mexico support high power distance and a low tolerance for uncertainty.  What would you predict about a company that opens a division in Mexico and tries to implement global teams characterized by shared power and authority and the lack of formal guidelines, rules and structure?

10.       Compare the description of the transnational model in this chapter to the elements of the learning organization described in Chapter 1.  Do you think the transnational model seems workable for a huge global firm?  Discuss.

6.         Lean concepts such as continuous improvement and waste reduction have long been used by manufacturing companies. Discuss how service firms can apply the same concepts. Why do you think many service companies are adopting these ideas?           

7.         Why might administrators at a hospital such as Seattle Children’s Hospital, described on page 280, want to foster relational coordination?    


Week 5

Read and review page 341 in your textbook and post your responses to questions 5 and 9. Next, read page 381 in your textbook and post your responses to questions 2 and 8.  Remember, to earn full credit you must respond to your classmates

5. Describe how the four balanced scorecard components discussed in the chapter might be used for feedback control within organizations. Which of these components is more similar to outcome control? Behavior control?

9. What are some competitive issues that might lead a company to fully integrate e-business operations with its traditional business? What issues might lead it to keep its e-business as a separate unit or division? Discuss some advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

2. Apply the concept of life cycle to an organization with which you are familiar, such as a local business. What stage is the organization in now? How did the organization handle or pass through its life cycle crisis?

8. How does the Salvation Army manage to be “several different kinds of organization at the same time”? Does the Salvation Army’s approach seem workable for a large media company like Time Warner or Disney that wants to reduce bureaucracy?


Week 6

Read and review page 420 in your textbook and post your responses to questions 2, 8 and 10.

Page 420 #2

Many of the companies on Fortune magazine’s list of most admired companies are also on its list of the most profitable ones. Some people say this proves that high social capital translates into profit. Other people suggest that high profitability is the primary reason the companies have a good culture and are admired in the first place. Discuss your thinking about these two differing interpretations.

Page 420 #8

Why has globalization contributed to more complex ethical issues? Do you think it’s possible for a company operating in many different countries to have a cohesive corporate culture? To have uniform ethical values?

Page 420 #10

Codes of ethics have been criticized for transferring responsibility for ethical behavior from the organization to the individual employee. Do you agree? Do you think a code of ethics is valuable for an organization?


Week 7

Read and review page 463 of your textbook and post your responses to questions 7, 9, and 10. 

7. Of the five elements in Exhibit 11.3 required for successful change, which element do you think managers are most likely to overlook? Discuss.

9.  The manager of R&D for a drug company said that only 5 percent of the company’s new products ever achieve market success. She also said the industry average is 10 percent and wondered how her organization might increase its success rate. If you were acting as a consultant, what advice would you give her about designing organization structure to improve market success?

10. Examine the change curve illustrated in 11.8 and the five techniques for overcoming resistance to change discussed at the end of the chapter. Describe at which point along the change curve managers could use each of the five techniques to successfully implement a major change.

4. The Carnegie model emphasizes the need for a political coalition in the decision-making process. When and why are coalitions necessary?

9. Can you think of a decision you have made in your personal, school, or work life that reflects a stronger desire to avoid a loss than to make a gain? How about a time when you stayed with an idea or project for too long, perhaps even escalating your commitment, to avoid a failure. Discuss.

Week 8


Read and review page 553 in your textbook and post your responses to questions 2, 3 and 8.

Page 553 #2

As discussed in Chapter 11, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble and Internet leader Google have entered into a marketing partnership. What organizational and environmental factors might determine which organization will have more power in the relationship?

Page 553 #3

In a rapidly changing organization, are decisions more likely to be made using the rational or political model of organization?

Page 553 #8


A financial analyst at Merrill Lynch tried for several months to expose the risks of investments in subprime mortgages, but he couldn’t get anyone to pay attention to his claims. How would you evaluate this employee’s power? What might he have done to increase his power and call notice to the impending problems at the firm?

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