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XLRI/Jamshedpur RK Premarajan

OB II PROJECT: ANALYZING THE


ORGANIZATION*

Objective: To give you insight into the way real-world organization work by analyzing
an organization that you choose against the relevant principles of Organizational Theory.

Methodology: You will work in groups of six. Your instructor will give you a set of
questions related to Organization Theory for which you must collect and analyze
information about an organization that you have selected

Based on the questions you will prepare a report and submit to the instructor within the
specified deadline.

Suppose you select Infosys. You will collect the information specified in the questions,
present and summarize your findings on Infosys, and then produce a final report. By the
end of term, by completing the different modules, you will have a clear picture about how
organizations operate and how they deal with problems and contingencies they face.

The secondary sources of information are national and international business periodicals
like Business India, Business Today, Business World, Fortune, Business Week, and
Forbes; Financial Dailies, news magazines like Time and Newsweek; and on-line
information service including websites on the Internet. In addition, you should write to
your company and ask for a copy of its current annual report (you might find previous
annual reports in libraries or on the Internet), and you should check industry and trade
publication.
________________________________
*adapated from Jones, GR
You will be surprised at how much companies will tell you if you ask the right questions.
Whatever selection approach you use, be sure that you have access to enough interesting
information to complete the majority of the organizational design modules. The issue is
to make sure that you can gain access to enough information to write an interesting
report.

Evaluation: The Group Project carries 15% weight. The following parameters would
form part of the evaluation: Quality of the information obtained in terms of relevance and
insight; your ability to assimilate that information and to present it adequately reflecting
insights you have developed in the process; and Performance in the project viva-voce
which may be conducted randomly at the end of the term.
ANALYZING THE ORGANIZATION: QUESTIONS

ASSIGNMENT: This set of questions attempts to get the relevant information on your
organization from the Organizational Theory perspective.

1. What is the name of the Organization? What goods and/or services does it
produce/provide? Describe the companys organizational mission. Describe the
way it has grown and developed.

2. Draw an organizational chart of the top management in your organization. Write


down the names of the top managers and the positions they occupy. What is the
span of control of the CEO? Do you have any comments on its appropriateness?
How many levels are there in the organizations hierarchy? Does the organization
experience any of the problems associated with tall hierarchies? Which ones?

3. How many employees does the organization employ? Any details about the
various categories of employees?

4. How differentiated is your organization? Is it simple or complex? 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 in the company.

5. How do the organizations managers judge its effectiveness? -external resource


approach? Internal process? Technical? Or how well is the organization doing
when judged by the criteria of control, innovation, and efficiency? Is there a
balanced scorecard measure? MBO? What goals, standards, or targets are they
using to evaluate performance?

6. How has your organization responded to the design challenges? (a) Is it


centralized or decentralized? How do you know? (b) What about complexity?
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 behavior in the organization very
standardized, or does mutual adjustment play an important role in coordinating
people and activities? What can you tell about the level of formalization by
looking at the number and kinds of rules the organization use?

7. Does your analysis lead you to think that your organization conforms more to the
organic or to the mechanistic model of organizational structure? Why?
8. What type of structure (for example, functional, product division, multidivisional,
matrix) does your organization have? Draw a diagram showing is 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. Can you
suggest a more appropriate structure that your company might adopt?

9. Analyze the effect of the forces on complexity, and dynamism of the environment.
From this analysis, how would you characterize the level of uncertainty in your
organizations environment?

10. How has your organization designed its structure to match the environment in
which it operates? For example, how do its degree of differentiation and its use of
integrating mechanisms reflect the uncertainty of its environment?

11. Draw a chart of the main inter-organizational linkage mechanisms (for example,
long-term contracts, strategic alliances, mergers) that your organization uses to
manage its symbiotic resource interdependencies.

12. Do you think the organization has selected the most appropriate linkage
mechanisms? Why or why not?
OPTIONAL SECTION (YOU MAY CHOOSE ONE OF THE THREE
SECTIONS)

A. CULTURE

1 Do managers and employees use certain words and phrases to describe the
behaviour of people in the organization? Are any stories about events or people
typically used to describe the way the organization works?

2. What beliefs and values seem to characterize the way people behave in the
organization? How do they affect peoples behaviour?

3. How does the organization socialize employees? Does it put them through formal
training programs? What kind of programs are used, and what is their goal?

4. What advantages and disadvantages are associated with the organizations


culture? How could the culture be improved?

5. What is the relationship between the organizations structure, which you analyzed
before, and the organizations culture? What do you think has the strongest
impact on the organizations culture: the people, organizational structure?
Explain.

6 Do you have any other impressions of the organizations culture and norms and
values that seem to explain the way the organization operates?

B. POWER AND POLITICS

1 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 the most resources? Which one
handles the main contingencies facing the organization?

2. Which subunit is the most powerful? Identify ways, if there are, in which the
subunit has been able to influence decision making in its favour.

3. Describe any political contests that have taken place in the organization in recent
years. Has organizational politics been used to resolve any conflicts between
organizational stakeholders? If so, describe the incident.

4. 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?
5. To what degree are the organizations strategic and operational decisions affected
by conflict and politics?

C. ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE

1 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
Greiners model. How did managers deal with the crisis that it encountered as it
grew?

2. 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?

3. Has your organization ever shown any symptoms of decline? Did the
organization become less effective as it grew? Did managers make systematic
strategic errors? Did decision making become less effective?

4. What major changes has your organization been pursuing over time? What
resources and capabilities has it been trying to improve?

5. With the information that you have at your disposal, discuss (a) the need for
change, (b) obstacles to change, and (c) the strategy for change in your
organization. Does revolutionary or evolutionary best describe the changes that
have been taking place in your organization? How successful have these change
efforts been?