Case Study Questions and Answers of the Company 'Consolidated Life'

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1. How would you characterize the problem described in the case (problem of culture, problem of authority, problem of power, problem of structure etc.)? Certainly, the problem described in the Consolidated Life case study has elements of authority and power, but the problem is fundamentally one of culture. Corporate culture is established, articulated, and maintained by leaders that is an important component of their job. And some corporations actually do stress fitting in and getting along as more important than the results that people produce. In the vernacular, this is known as the good ol' boys' network, and it extends beyond the golf course and the bar to the corporate board room. 2. Using your knowledge of organizational culture(s), explain the culture of Consolidated Life when Mike was first hired and then when he returned. The corporate culture that Mike first encountered at Consolidated Life was approaching an adhocracy (Mintzberg, 1979), but under Greely's influence, it became a machine bureaucracy. The entire company may not have functioned like an adhocracy, but Mike's team did. Mike's laissez-faire management style enabled a "loose, flexible, self-renewing organic form tied together mostly by lateral coordination" which enabled Mike to not only bend the rules, but to make them up as he went along. Mike kept his adhocracy from becoming too ambiguous a definite hazard for an adhocracy by making extensive use of training opportunities. Under Greely, the

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