In the Module 1 Case, you will write Chapter 1 of your thesis-style paper – relating to the Structural Frame. Using specific examples of “structure” as defined by Bolman and Deal, you will use the Structural Frame as a lens through which you will analyze the effectiveness of the Walt Disney Company.
Begin the Module 1 Case by visiting the Walt Disney Company website:
The Walt Disney Company. (2014). Retrieved on May 8, 2014 from http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/
Additional Case-related resources
The following resources should be helpful to you in your analysis of the Case. Chapter 6 of Bryman’s book relates (somewhat ominously) to “control and surveillance” activities at Disney:
Bryman, A. (2004). The Disneyization of society. London: Sage Publications. Retrieved from Ebrary.
Structure implies logistics. Certainly, the artful and skillful deployment of technology will often create useful intelligence – even competitive advantage. And so…is Mickey watching? Read “Big Mickey is Watching”:
Palmeri, C., & Faries, B. (2014). Big Mickey is watching. Bloomberg Businessweek, (4370), 22-23. Retrieved from EBSCO – Business Source Complete.
After you have reviewed the contents of the Walt Disney Company website, completed the readings provided at the Background page of Module 1, and performed additional research from the library and the internet, write a 6-7 page paper in which you do the following:
Using the following assumptions of the Structural Frame, complete an in-depth assessment of the Walt Disney Company:
- Organizations exist to achieve established goals and objectives.
- Organizations increase efficiency and enhance performance through specialization and a clear division of labor.
- Appropriate forms of coordination and control ensure that diverse efforts of individuals and units mesh.
- Organizations work best when rationality prevails over personal preferences and extraneous pressures.
- Structures must be designed to fit an organization’s circumstances (including its goals, technology, workforce, and environment).
- Problems and performance gaps arise from structural deficiencies and can be remedied through analysis and restructuring.
Keys to the Assignment
The key aspects of this assignment that are to be covered in your 6- to 7-page paper include the following:
• Describe the organizational design used by the Walt Disney Company. Is Disney’s structure more or less effective as it relates to the company’s ability to accomplish its stated purpose (vision, mission)? Explain.
• Using Bolman and Deal’s Structural Frame, analyze two or three structural characteristics of the Walt Disney Company. Because you cannot cover all structural characteristics in a short paper, you will need to be selective; therefore, choose two or three characteristics that are of particular interest to you. These might include the Walt Disney Company’s strategic plans, more specific goals and objectives, or the company’s policies and procedures. Alternatively, you might select technology or some component of Disney’s external environment (e.g., competition, legal, political, or social environments).
• For each structural characteristic that you have included in your Case, discuss the extent to which that structural characteristic has been effective or ineffective relative to assisting Disney attain its stated purpose. Defend your answer in the context of the six (6) assumptions given above (how well do the structural characteristics you’ve identified above ascribe to these assumptions, if at all?).
• Having had applied the Structural Frame to the Walt Disney Company, is there anything that you would you do differently? Conclude Chapter 1 of your paper by giving recommendations as to what Disney should do differently, and explain why.
• The background readings will not give you all the answers to the Case. Therefore, you will need to perform some research in the library, and use a minimum of 3-4 scholarly sources from the library to support and justify your understanding of the case.
• Your paper must demonstrate evidence of critical thinking (if you need tips on critical thinking, http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/college-and-university-students/799 is an excellent resource). Don’t simply restate facts – instead, be sure to interpret the facts you have accumulated from your research.
• Remember that the Module 1 Case will serve as Chapter 1 of your session-long thesis-style paper.
Your paper will be evaluated using the following five (5) criteria:
• Assignment-Driven Criteria: Does the paper fully address all Keys to the Assignment? Are the concepts behind the Keys to the Assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
• Critical thinking: Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
• Business Writing: Is the paper well-written (clear, developed logically, and well-organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the Keys to the Assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
• Effective Use of Information (Information Literacy): Does the paper demonstrate effective research, as evidenced by student’s use of relevant and quality sources? Do additional sources used in paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
• Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?
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