Module 1 SLP: Sensemaking and the Structural Frame

SLP Overview

In the Module 1 SLP, you will write a 4-page paper in which you will apply the Structural Frame to the organization in which you are currently employed (or in which you have worked previously). 

Overview of the SLP Sequence  

Before we begin the Module 1 SLP, two very important and related points should be emphasized, as they are fundamental to an understanding of the Module 1 SLP: 

  1. All four frames can be used to assess any given organization, because all organizations have structural, human resources, political, and symbolic characteristics; and 
  2. Different leaders use lenses – or frames – through which they view their organizations. Certain leaders will tend to use one frame predominantly, while others tend to be more balanced, choosing one of the frames depending on the circumstances. The important point here is that there is no “right” frame through which a leader should or must view any given organization or any particular set of organizational circumstances. At the same time, it is helpful for a leader to understand which frame (or frames) he/she is actively using. It is also critical that leaders be aware that there are four frames – not one – and that the use of others may be beneficial to effective sensemaking as well (importantly, this helps leaders to better avoid organizational “blind spots”).   

Assignment

The Module 1 SLP requires that you write a 3- to 4-page paper, in which you address the following:

After you briefly describe the organization in which you presently work – or in which you have previously worked – apply the Structural Frame to the organization, analyzing the effectiveness of two or three structural characteristics you have identified.  

Keys to the Assignment

The key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper include the following (note there are two parts to this SLP):

Part 1:

In a minimum of two pages:

  • Briefly describe your organization – name, what it does, size (number of employees, annual revenue, relative market share, etc.);
  • Describe the organizational design of your chosen organization. Is it effective? Why or why not?
  • Choose 2 or 3 structural characteristics of your organization (e.g., strategic planning process, goals, objectives, policies, procedures, rules, budgets and other allocation of resources, etc.); and
  • Discuss the relative effectiveness of the structural characteristics you have identified. If you were CEO of your company, what (if anything) might you do differently? Why would you make any changes you suggest?

Part 2:

  • Complete the Leadership Orientations Questionnaire (File Attached), and score your results.
  • In a minimum oftwo pages:
    • Report your scores for each of the Four Frames.
    • After you have completed an in-depth self-assessment of your scores, discuss how your scores inform your personal leadership style. For instance, what do your scores (high and low) collectively suggest about your leadership tendencies and about the ways in which you personally make sense of organizational events? Might your low scores indicate areas in which you may have leadership “blind spots”?

SLP Assignment Expectations

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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