Professor Paul Ingram
Uris Hall, Room 712
Global EMBA, B7011
Leadership and Organisational Change
This course is designed to increase your effectiveness as a leader by introducing you to a framework for understanding organizations and the performance of people and groups within them. This is part of improving your own career performance, and the performance of those you lead. The specific goals of the course are three: 1) The Art. To introduce you to a problem-solving tool for analyzing why an organization is underperforming, and guiding you to improving its performance. This tool is called the alignment model, and we’ll practice it by analyzing cases. 2) The Science. To introduce you to a body of science useful for improving the performance of organizations and the people in them. For most organizational problems, there are multiple right answers, but there are also some answers that are clearly wrong. We’ll discuss the empirical evidence on organizational and individual performance that will help you separate promising ideas from bad ones. 3) You. To apply the material to your own career. This course is meant to be practical, and to pay off for you immediately. We will do a number of things to help you apply the course material to yourself. For example, much of the learning will be experiential, so you can practice using the ideas. And we have two major assignments which are “personal cases”, opportunities to apply course material to shape your own career trajectory, and to guide your development throughout the MBA program.
This course will focus on a alignment model of organizational effectiveness. In the first session we will introduce this model:
1) The alignment model. The alignment model is described in the first reading of the course. The model predicts that organizations will be effective when their strategy and four key elements of the organization (key priorities, talents and personalities, visible structure and invisible structure) are in alignment.
The body of the course will involve in-depth examination of the organizational components of the alignment model. We will start with talents and personalities, then move to the visible structure and on to the invisible structure.
2) Talents and personalities. Effective managing requires an understanding of some systematic elements of human behavior (of self and others). We will study group processes, negotiation, and processes of good decision-making. We will also focus on your own behavior as a leader. We’ll investigate personality feedback to help you understand yourself, and what types of people are likely to be effective for different organizational purposes. 3) Visible structure. A fundamental determinant of behavior in organizations is the visible structure of departments, reporting relationships, and incentive systems. This structure
conditions the behavior of the individuals and groups within the organization. Therefore, we examine the principles of organizational design. Our particular focus is on the basic building blocks of organizational chart: the establishment of departments and the management of interdependence between departments. We will also consider explicit incentives to motivate employees.
4) Invisible structure. Much of what matters about organizations is beyond the organizational chart. The invisible structure is the set of ideas and relationships that are unique to the organization, and critical for its performance. We will study the management of conflict, and the role of social networks and culture within organizations. 5) Organizational change. Our capstone topic concerns the dynamics of organizations. We’ll tackle the process of effective organizational change. The knowledge you gain in this course about designing effective organizations will be much more powerful if you know how to change...
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