Z94.15 - Organization Planning and Theory

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CASE METHOD. A teaching technique which presents the learner with accounts of real events and challenges him or her to interpret them. It is popular in many business schools but less common among organization trainers because of the skills needed on the part of the instructor. It is one technique among many for increasing the involvement of the learners with the subject matter and with each other.

CENTRALIZATION. (1) The process of consolidating authority and decision making within a single office or person. (2) The act of bringing together, physically or geographically operations or organizational units related by nature or function to form a central grouping.

CHAIN OF COMMAND. The prescribed line connecting the hierarchy of offices or persons through which authority and responsibility flow. (See SCALAR CHAIN.)

CHANGE AGENT. Individual (internal or external) engaged by the client organization to help the organization change.

CHANGE INTERVENTION. A planned action to make things different.

CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP. Followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (C.E.O.). The executive actually responsible for all activities of the firm, his title (in addition to being C.E.O.) can be President and/or Chairman.

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (C.O.O.). The person in charge of all operations (day-to-day activities) of a firm. The position reports to the C.E.O. and the holder of the position usually has the additional title of President or Executive Vice President or Senior Vice President.

CLASSICAL ORGANIZATION THEORY. A collection of theories of organization and management that were formulated during the first third of the twentieth century and that were derived from personal experience, observation, and descriptive analysis of organizations. Included within the broad range of classical theory are scientific management pioneered by Frederick W. Taylor, bureaucratic theory developed by Max Weber, and administrative management theory, developed by Henri Fayol. Central features of classical theory are prescriptions for managerial actions and emphasis upon formal organization structure.

COMMITTEE. A group of people or a form of organization established to achieve one or more of the following: a) interchange ideas and information, b) obtain facts and ideas and synthesize into a report or recommendation, c) obtain meeting of minds or a consensus.

COMMUNICATION. The transfer of information and understanding from one point or person to another person. The basic elements in the process of communication are an information source, encoding, transmission, reception, and decoding.

COMMUNICATION CHANNEL. A pathway or route to transmit information and understanding.

COMMUNICATION NETWORK. The system of senders, receivers, and channels for the transmission of information and understanding.

COMPETITIVE BENCHMARKING. Comparing and rating an organization's practices, processes, and products against the world's best, best-in-class, or the competition.  Comparisons are not confined to the same industry.

COMPUTER MODELING. A complex computer program that simulates the work environment.

CONFLICT. Interpersonal and social forces, ideas, behaviors, and motivations which are acting in opposition to one another, often involving strife or contest.

CONSENSUS. A collective opinion, or general agreement, that a decision has been accepted by the group. This does not necessarily imply unanimity.

CONSULTATIVE MANAGEMENT. That form of supervision which utilizes full interchange and sharing of ideas between superiors and subordinates, often taking place in group meetings. In consultative supervision the superior retains the power of final decision. This is distinguished from democratic supervision where decision is by group consensus and from autocratic supervision where decision is by superior domination.

CONTROL. Measurement of performance or actions and comparison with established standards in order to maintain performance and actions within permissible limits of variance from the standard. May involve taking corrective action to bring performance into line with the plan or standards.

CONTINGENCY APPROACH. Recognition that few universal principles can be applied in all situations and that the best thing to do depends upon the specific variables operative in each unique situation.

CONTINUOUS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT. Principle used by W. Edwards Deming to look at improvement of product and service.  Searching unceasingly for ever -higher levels of quality by isolating sources of defects called KAIZEN in Japan where the goal is zero defects (Crosby)

CRITERION. The standard or rule by which a judgment of the effectiveness of a course of action, or of performance, can be made. (See CONTROL.)

CSI. Continuous Systems Improvement - The concept that to improve the performance of an organization, the systems of the organization should continually be improved thereby keeping the organization viable and wholesome for future production.

CULTURE. The pattern of shared beliefs and values that give members of an organization rules of behavior or accepted norms for conducting operational business.

CYBERNETICS. (1) The field of control and communication theory in general, without specific restriction to any area of application or investigation. (2) The behavior and design of mechanisms, organisms, and/or organizations that receive and generate information and respond to it in order to attain a desired result.

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