organizational design


I teach MBA students Organization Theory and one section of the class is focused on organizational design; in future years I plan on extending that section (presently its three class periods).  The design of orgs is a lost art, but my interactions with past graduate students now in industry suggests that the skill is in very high demand. 

The best, theoretically informed yet practical, resource I have found for org design is Burton, DeSanctis, and Obel’s short book Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach (Cambridge)The book is fantastically clear, succinct, simple and focused — an excellent resource (Peter Abell’s organization theory textbook has many of the same features).  However, given the wider breadth (beyond design) of the org theory class, I use Nohria’s “Note on Organization Structure;” its also very good. 

If you’ve found additional, helpful org design resources, please let me know (via email or drop them in the comments).

Written by teppo

January 4, 2008 at 8:43 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Brayden: In your soc complex orgs class, do you include any org design-related materials? (Other than perhaps design/form as myth, which actually is also an angle we cover.)



    January 4, 2008 at 9:36 pm

  2. I use Galbraith’s “Designing Organizations”.



    January 5, 2008 at 4:19 am

  3. My complex orgs. class reads mainly primary materials. Some of the readings would certainly fit in the category of org. design, such as Burns and Stalker (on the design of innovative organizations), but I do not address it as such.



    January 5, 2008 at 5:02 am

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