This detailed syllabus describes the two individual written assignments that you write for the class. It also expands on what is involved in class participation, for which you get an individual grade.
Since much of the class involves reflection on your own and others actions in the team and individual behaviors, students find it helpful to keep a weekly journal for notes on your own learning, your self-assessment of your role in the team, and key incidents in the team. These journals are private and for your use only but can provide concrete “data” for your team assessment and personal experiment paper and are therefore encouraged.
Written Analysis of Dynacorp Case. Worth: 15% of course grade 3-4 Page Memorandum (2x spaced)
In Week 2 of the class, you will meet the fictitious corporation, Dynacorp, which faces problems typical of corporations making a transition to new organizational forms. For the class discussion in Week 1, we read “Strategic Design at Dynacorp,” pp M-2: 28-32. For the written assignment, you should read “Dynacorp Revisited,” pp M-2:85-90. This reading introduces specific players at Dynacorp and their perspectives on the organizational changes.
According to the case (part A and B), there are a host of issues in the change process at Dynacorp. Although the shift to a new structure appeared to be a great idea, the implementation has not succeeded. Some of the problems are evident on the surface; underlying those symptoms are a small number of systemic issues that give rise to these surface-level problems. Your goal in this memo is to identify the one or two systemic issues that you believe is causing the most problems. Using the political lens and the model of political power given in the book (see below), explain why these problems have emerged and propose a solution.
Like any executive-level analysis, your success here will be based on three elements:
(a) Define and describe the key systemic factor in the case, and make a compelling argument as to why this factor is the most important cause of the problems at Dynacorp;
(b) Show how elements of power (i.e. constructs in the model) are operating, by linking specific examples – data from the case – to each construct in your model. (This is what we mean by “analysis”);
(c) Use the constructs from the model to identify three or four specific actions that you recommend to begin to solve the underlying systemic factors in the organization.
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