15.320 | Spring 2011 | Graduate

Strategic Organizational Design


Project Description

The class will be divided into teams of about 5 people each, and each team will pick a “specialty”—an industry, a business function, a cross-functional process, or a specific company. Then, for the specialty your team picked, you will be responsible for doing two things: (1) using the frameworks developed in the class to analyze some aspect of the current organizational design in this specialty, and (2) describing at least 3 innovative ways this specialty may be conducted in the future. Some of the innovative ideas may be based upon real organizations already operating that way today, and others may be imaginative projections of future possibilities.

Sources for information about organizations of today can include published descriptions in newspapers, magazines, etc. However, you are encouraged, if possible, to obtain information about your specialty from personal contact with companies (in person or electronically). In addition to conventional business organizations of various types, you are free to study unconventional organizations, including organizations that exist only on the Internet (e.g., open source projects).

You will report the results of your work in two ways:

  1. an in-class presentation of about 10-15 minutes.
  2. a written report of about 20-30 pages.

All team members should contribute substantially to the deliverables. As long as each team member makes a substantial contribution, however, teams can divide the work among themselves in any way they deem appropriate. In addition, teams can work with other teams in any way they wish. In general, teams are encouraged to reflect upon their own organization as examples of the issues studied in the class. Teams are also encouraged to use electronic collaboration tools as appropriate.

Your grade on the team project will depend partly on:

  1. how your teammates rate your contribution to the team’s output, and
  2. how your classmates rate your team’s presentation to the class.

Key Dates

7 Identification of team and specialty
11 Preliminary outline of final report
22-24 In-class presentations
24 Final written report due

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2011
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes