1. Images of Organization, by Gareth Morgan. (Executive Edition). Copyright 1998, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
2. The Management Myth, by Matthew Stewart. Copyright 2009, W. W. Norton & Company, publishers.
1. On Pages 54-55, Stewart uses Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason to identify 4 “dogmas” that cripple scientific approaches to management. Which of these 4 do you believe is most significant in organizations today and why? (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
2. In the video, “Scientific Management Uncovered,” (deconstructing scientific management), the lecturer notes that Taylorism was introduced during the Progressive era, when science was viewed as the salvation of society. Many today suggest that the U.S. is returning to a progressive era, when science (gathering data and applying rigorous methods and processes) will lead to societal benefits. Yet the video on Henry Ford and Taylorism picks up on the theme that progressive scientific methods can have the negative effects on people and organizations. Which viewpoint (A. Scientific methods will result in general positive gains for society; or B. Scientific methods will lead to negative outcomes for society) do you find most compelling and why? (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
3. Stewart seems to suggest that the flaws in Mayo’s studies make the many management approaches that have been developed over the years based on that initial research highly questionable. Pick one of the management approaches that derived from the humanistic or open systems perspective and explain why that approach should be considered valid today as a principle for managing people at work. (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
4. In Russell Ackoff’s presentation on systems-based improvement, he argues that managing systems independently does not increase the performance of the system as a whole, and therefore management practices continue to have limited success; managers need to learn to manage the interaction among the systems. How does this view call into question the fundamental nature of the Organization as Organisms metaphor? That is, if Ackoff is correct, what are the problems with the Organisms metaphor insofar as managerial practice is concerned? (Limit your answer to 500 words or less.)
Explain how the principles and practices of strategic management (as Stewart outlines some of these) are linked to the images of the organization as brain. (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
6. Peter Senge suggests to his audience of CEOs that organizational change cannot come from the top down. This seems to argue against a central “brain” in an organization, in favor of many diverse learning nodes. Explain how Morgan’s observations on organizations as a brain may in fact be consistent with Senge’s view of organizational leadership. (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
7. What are the most successful knowledge-management challenges faced by Danone? What does the company need to do well to succeed? (Limit your answer to 400 words or less.)
8. Describe the new Access to Care strategy. What has Dr. Seffrin done to manage those risks and assure implementation of the new strategy? (Limit your answer to 500 words or less.)
9. Morgan lays out the view of Organizations as Cultures and the processes by which culture is enacted in his chapter, and does a credible job of presenting the view that cultures drive organizations and managers. In “The Science of Excellence,” one of Stewart’s critiques of cultures is that too often managers confound correlation and causation, and that the error is to assume that the “happy, people-centered cultures the authors observed in their favourite companies were a consequence of business success rather than a cause.” How much of an organizations’s culture is a result of success and basic business and managerial practices, and how much of a culture is created by managers to drive success? What’s your view – does culture drive management or does management determine culture? (400 words or less)
10. What has made Four Seasons successful over the last 30 years? Does corporate culture play a role in Four Seasons’ success? If so, how and why? (400 words or less)
11. What, in your opinion, were the tradeoffs and biggest downsides of the reorganization at Cisco? Why did Chambers create business councils? (Limit your answer to 500 words or less.)