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    Exceptional Use of Organizational Structure

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    Paper on the successful and/or unsuccessful application of organizational behavior concepts in any organization. Select and research three to five organizational behavior main concepts that, uniquely practiced, make your chosen organization either successful, unsuccessful, or a combination of both. The organization you select should provide you with ample opportunities for research, since you will be required to use five to seven references as part of your research.

    Choose three organizational behavior main concepts. Your research should uncover how your selected organization successfully uses, or suffers by ignoring, any three of these concepts:

    - Decision Making
    - Motivation
    - Group Behavior
    - Communication
    - Power and Politics
    - Organizational Structure
    - Organizational Culture
    - Human Resources Practices
    - Change Management

    Be sure to provide multiple examples of the main concepts as practiced at the organization.

    Many organizations use organizational behavior concepts, but not all organizations publicize their methods for success or missteps to embarrassing failures. Select an organization for which a good amount of research has been conducted and has been made publicly available. Some suggestions are:

    - General Electric
    - Disney
    - Microsoft
    - IBM
    - Southwest Airlines
    - Time Warner
    - Pfizer
    - SAS Institute
    - Whole Foods Market
    - Starbucks
    - Lincoln Electric
    - Adobe Systems
    - NASA
    - Walmart

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    Solution Preview

    STEP 1

    Company selected, which has shown exceptional use of organizational structure, is 3M.

    STEP 2
    3M is a company that has shown exceptional creativity and use of behavioral science concepts.

    Consider this excellent description of the organizational structure of 3M.
    This material is taken from the website: http://www.leader-values.com/" Its organization looks more like a web of teams than a clearly defined hierarchy. 3M also does not follow the traditional approach to organizational design. 3M consistently achieves its goal of having 15 percent of its revenue come from new products by providing managers with the latitude to move from one business unit or laboratory to another without bureaucratic obstruction. Project groups, operating with few constraints from the formal organization, come together to accomplish a task and disband when their work is completed" http://www.leader-values.com/

    STEP 3

    The three organizational behaviors that have been seen in 3M are:

    Decision Making:

    Decision making in 3M is a personal affair. Every individual is permitted to decide on the project he wants to back and work on. He assumes leadership in that project and is encouraged to work. There is a change in the organization currently. Hierarchical relationships have emerged and there is pressure on teams to support the bottom line. In addition, the corporate policies are emblazoned and festooned so that the employees know what the company is up to.
    It is now customary that whenever 3M takes over a company, its experts move in and change the internal decoration and the layout of the office so that the employees know that they are in a different company. One standard thing that these employees do is to emblazon the wall with posters and paintings. The walls say creativity; this goes hand in hand with innovation. Then the mission statement, objectives and strategy are prominently displayed. The core values of 3M are clearly displayed so that this affects the thinking and culture of the organization.
    Decision making is also influenced in 3M by indirect methods by which the company informs the stakeholders about the nature of the company.
    3M adjusts its base year data to reflect changes when tracking environmental metrics. With these changes, 3M is trying to tell its employees, shareholders and the world in general that it is a green company. That it is following the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's GHG protocol. This communicates that 3M has now moved ahead of the purely innovative image it had. The changes in hierarchical structure also give the company the same message.

    This material is taken from the website: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4035" In chapter 1, Shapira provides a thoughtful summary of how organizational decisions differ from individual decisions as typically studied by behavioral decision researchers in a laboratory setting. First, he argues that ambiguity is pervasive in organizations, yet ignored by individual researchers (this idea is further developed by Garud and Shapira). Second, he argues that the sequential nature of decisions in organizations is critical, yet rare in the study of individual decision making (expanded upon by Staw). Third, incentives and survival are critical issues in organizations that are either ignored or underrepresented in studies of individual decision making (the focus of Zajac and Westphal). Fourth, the rules that develop in the organization become central to the decision process, as decisions in organizations are rarely unique (examined by Zhou). Fifth, conflict and power are the core of organizational life and the decisions that emerge from it (developed by Salancik and Brindle). Dutton's chapter nicely highlights another critical distinction: in organizations, we need to understand what decisions make it to the agenda, rather than merely understanding how these decisions are made. Finally, Camerer and Knez add that a unique aspect of organizational decisions is the need to coordinate behavior. While it is possible to identify specific individual decision-making studies in the laboratory that respond to these concerns. "http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4035

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    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses the importance of organization structure in the context of organization behavior. In addition, this posting discusses the creative use of organizational behavior concepts.