Question 1 (25% of final exam)
In our first online class, we discussed the following statement:
The conventional view is that theories win because they are better at explaining behaviour [but] theories win because they better affect behaviour, becoming true as a result of their own influence irrespective of their empirical validity.
Prof Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Graduate Business School
Discuss your understanding of the above statement. Demonstrate your understanding of the above statement by drawing on examples used during the class.
Question 2 (25% of final exam)
Mintzberg indicates that organisations have a natural lifespan – that the structures that enable organisations to thrive will also inevitably constrict their ability to adapt to the external environment, therefore bringing about their inevitable decline and death. Do you believe this statement is still applicable for contemporary organisations, or have contemporary organisations overcome this inevitable decline? Draw on evidence presented throughout the course to illustrate your arguments.
Question 3 (25% of final exam)
In Lorsch and McTague’s (2016) article “culture is not the culprit,” they argue that:
When organizations get into big trouble, fixing the culture is usually the prescription. That’s what most everyone said GM needed to do after its 2014 recall crisis. Cultural reform has likewise been proposed as the solution to the corrosive bureaucracy at the Veterans’ Administration, unethical behavior in banks, and the excessive use of force by police. But interviews with successful change makers … suggest that culture isn’t something you “fix.” Rather, cultural change is what you get when you put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges.
Given your readings and analysis of organisational culture throughout the course, to what extent should organisational culture be the target of organisational interventions? Draw on a recent contemporary example in detailing your response.
Question 4 (25% of final exam)
According to Henri Fayol, one of the primary purposes of management is to engage in control. To what extent is this still reflected in contemporary management practice in knowledge and service economies? Draw on examples and perspectives presented throughout the course in justifying your perspectives.