Case Study – The Best Laid Incentive Plans

Organizational analysis will utilize the Bolman and Deal four-frame approach, which forces us to look at the organization through four distinctly different perspectives: the structural, human resource, political, and symbolic perspectives (frames). Each of these perspectives are covered in the Bolman and Deal text and you will need to read the assigned chapters in order to understand the different frames.

Each of us has a predominate frame in which we operate. This can be a dangerous practice if we are to be effective leaders. I have seen many managers fail because of the practice of operating in soley one frame. For example, some managers attempt to operate solely in the Human Resource frame (caring for the humanness of the employee) and ignore the Stuctural frame elements of quantitative goals and objectives, processes, and metrics. Others will concentrate on the Structural elements and ignore the Human Resource elements.

The strength of the Bolman and Deal four-frame analysis is in the ability to analyze an organization through a 360 degree (4-frame) perspective. This approach will stretch each of you and move you beyond your comfort zone (your predominate frame), but will develop you into stronger managers and leaders.

This week, you will need to:

– read the assigned chapters in the Bolman and Deal text to understand the Structural and Human Resource frames

– read the Session 8 lecture material

– take the Leadership Orientation self-test that is located in the “course materials” tab (this is to help you understand your predominate frame)

– read the case study “The Best Laid Incentive Plans” that is located in the “course materials” tab

– participate in the Discussion Questions.

Remember, this is about Organizational Analysis, it is not about offering solutions until all analysis is complete. Do not offer solutions yet, we still have two more frames (political and symbolic) to consider. This means do not use phrases like “what Hiram should have done”, “what the organization needs to do”, “what needs to happen”. I imagine this will be very difficult for some of you, but force yourself to refrain from considering solutions until you have the skills to gather all the information from all four perspectives. It kind of like an MD coming to a treatment plan after only taking a patient’s temperature. Let’s be good practitioners and not rush into remedies until next session.

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