Jessica Gagnon has some decisions to make. She is setting up a company called ProTech, Inc., to be located in the Boston area. Her challenge is to develop the structure and management practices of the new organization. The company is to develop, design, manufacture and market a new generation of high resolution color laser printers for engineering design and architectural applications (which are considered very similar). The company will also house an R&D unit to conduct applied research.
Identify the contingency factors addressed in this course that Jessica should consider in making decisions about the design of her firm. Do these factors suggest that all or part of the company should be organic or mechanistic? In terms of differentiation, should she choose a functional, divisional (if so, which type), matrix, network, or some hybrid structure? What specific integrative mechanisms would be most appropriate? What characteristics should Jessica build into her company’s culture, and how should she go about communicating her instrumental and terminal values to her employees?
Clayton Moore is President and CEO of Ranger Financial Services, Inc. The firm has 100 skilled non-supervisory employees, three layers of management many of whom were locally born and raised and promoted from within, and a professional staff composed mostly of technical people with M.B.A. degrees who came to the company from other parts of the country. Over the past several months, he has observed some serious communication problems throughout the company that are negatively affecting overall performance.
What must Clayton understand about the communication process in organizations in order to effectively address this problem? Specifically, define “effective communication” for Clayton and tell him what the key components of the communication process are. What are some of the interpersonal and organizational barriers to effective communication? What communication climate would you try to establish, and what specific listening and feedback skills must Clayton have, and help his employees to acquire, in order for them to communicate with each other more effectively? In addressing these issues, explain the “Arc of Distortion” and “Johari Window” concepts and how they contribute to our understanding of organizational communication.
June Cleaver is a mid-level manager at the Beaverton Corporation. In her ten years on the job, she has firmly reached the conclusion that organizations are “riddled” with politics. However, while she always assumed when she was a business school student that organizational politics was a “bad thing,” she cannot help noticing that in many instances (though not all) political activity helped many of the organization’s key managers to achieve important company goals.
Why do politics exist in organizations? What are the two alternative meanings of the term “organizational politics” that capture the ambivalence we often have about this concept? Discuss the relationship between power and politics? What specific political tactics are potentially available to managers that June might choose to draw on? Be sure to include a discussion of “heavy-handed” or dark side politics. Discuss the bases of power (French and Raven) June can draw upon to enhance her political strength? How can June obtain power she does not presently hold?