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ORGANIZATION THEORY:

STRUCTURE, DESIGN & APPLICATIONS


Executive-PGP II

Indranil Chakrabarti
Phone: 712, 918
indranil@ximb.ac.in.

"Effective executives do not make a great many decisions. They concentrate


on what is important. They try to make the few important decisions on the
highest level of conceptual understanding"
-
Peter Drucker

COURSE OVERVIEW & OBJECTIVE


This course aims to help the participants acquire a keener appreciation of
organizations, and in particular, of the firm, the pivotal institution in a
market economy. Findings from complexity science, a growing inter-
disciplinary area, indicate that organizations are among the most complex
entities. Which is perhaps why managerial recommendations in the domain
of OT are always at the level of heuristics. This is largely based upon
patterns and regularities in organization design and performance. The
domain of OT is usually more strategic than operational; to that extent the
course also seeks to contribute to the participants strategic competence,
across functional areas. The course also helps sharpen the participants skills
in qualitative and non-linear reasoning useful for varied decision-making
contexts in organizational settings.

Why would an Exec-PGP student need a keener appreciation of


organizations? There are many reasons:

1. The student, irrespective of his/her evolving specializations and interests,


is almost certain to express and develop a professional identity by working
in an organization, perhaps several; besides, all through ones career, the
student would have to be interacting with very many more organizations.
2. Organization is a crucial intermediary between the micro individual and
the macro environment. Organizational analyses often throw more light on
phenomena which otherwise tend to get inappropriately attributed to either
the micro individual, or the macro environment, or both.
3. Analysis based on a rich appreciation of the organization as a complex
(adaptive) system, is now commonly regarded as an important input for a
variety of managerial situations.
4. Design and redesign of organizations are not as routine activities as, say,
dealing with the distributors, balancing the accounts, making production
schedules, or administering wage and salary. But such exercises (design and
redesign) are increasingly becoming more frequent, and when they do
happen, they have a profound impact on every sphere of the organization,
and beyond.
5. With globalization, organizations have come to be deemed as among the
most important social systems, in some ways rivaling even the nation-state.

COURSE PEDAGOGY

The readings are intended as preparatory material to facilitate effective


participation. Students are required to be fully prepared with the prescribed
material, before the class. Discussions in the class are likely to go
significantly beyond the readings. Inputs from students' corporate and
related experiences have often enriched the class discussion. The readings
and the class discussions would be supplemented by the analyses of
corporate case studies. The project would allow a glimpse into significant
contemporary events in the corporate world.

TEXT AND REFERENCES

The main text for the course is: Stephen P Robbins Organization Theory:
Structure, Design and Applications Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
Supplementary material would be provided periodically. A number of books
of interest to the course are there in the Library; these would be referred, for
more detailed or alternative treatment of specific topics. Additional
references to journal articles would be offered time to time, for further
culture. Regular reading of business newspapers would of course be of help.

COURSE EVALUATION
Mid-term Examination 25%
Class Participation 15%
Project 20%
End Term Examination 40%
Of all forms of mental activity, the most difficult to induce even in the
minds of the young, who may be presumed not to have lost their
flexibility, is the art of handling the same bundle of data as before, but
placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving
them a different framework, all of which virtually means putting on a
different kind of thinking-cap for the moment. It is easy to teach
anybody a new fact . . . but it needs light from heaven to enable a
teacher to break the old framework in which the student has been
accustomed to seeing.
-
Arthur Koestler

ORGANIZATION THEORY: TENTATIVE SESSION PLAN

Introduction Outline; course overview. (1)

Case Analysis Also, Druckers Defining the problem for effective


decision. (1)

Organizations: What and Why The Transaction Cost Economics


(TCE) view; the systems view; towards an incipient science of
organization. (3)

Case Analysis (1)

Structure and Design Dimensions of structure; design configurations.


(3)

Case Analysis (1)

Determinant Macro Variables Size, technology, evolution, culture,


environment, strategy and power. (3)

Case Analysis (1)


Contemporary Challenges (1)