Lee College Organizational Theory & Innovation and Change Discussion Questions

The Xerox case which opens Chapter 1 illustrates organization theory topics such as adapting to competitors, customers, government, and creditors, strategic and cultural changes to attain effectiveness, appropriate use of power and politics, coping with internal conflict, ineffectively dealing with a large, extensive bureaucracy, ethical lapses, and shaping corporate culture. You may wish to refer back throughout the session to the Xerox case that opens Chapter 1, and to update the case regularly from current business analyses.

Chapter 1

  1. Can an organization be efficient without being effective? Can an inefficient organization still be an effective one? Explain your answers.
  2. What is the difference between formalization and specialization? Do you think an organization high on one dimension would also be high on the other? Discuss.

Chapter 2

  1. Discuss the role of top management in setting organizational direction.
  2. How might a company’s goals for employee development be related to its goals for innovation and change? To goals for productivity? Can you discuss ways these types of goals might conflict in an organization?
  3. What is the difference between a goal and a strategy as defined in the text? Identify both a goal and a strategy for a campus or community organization with which you are involved.
  4. Discuss the similarities and differences in the strategies described in Porter’s competitive strategies and Miles and Snow’s typology.
  5. Suppose you have been asked to evaluate the effective- ness of the police department in a medium-sized com- munity. Where would you begin, and how would you proceed? What effectiveness approach would you prefer?
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