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Give an example in which a fad did not work as expected. Explain the reason it did not work.

Ch. 4: How do you think planning in today's organizations compares to planning twenty-five years ago? Do you think planning becomes more important or less important in a world where everything is changing fast and crises are a regular part of organizational life? Why?

Unlike twenty five years ago today the economy faces much more uncertainty. This is because today technology is changing rapidly and global competition is also much stronger. With more uncertainty there is more planning. Surveys of multinational corporations have found that as environments become more turbulent, managers increase their planning activities, particularly in terms of planning exercises that encourage learning, continual adaptation, and innovation (Daft, 2008, p. 156). Many companies that have very unstable environments where everything is changing fast and crises are regular part of organizational life have a department that deals with establishing plans. On the other hand an organization that has a stable environment does not need much planning at all because the environment is predictable.

Ch. 4: Is changing the organization's domain a feasible strategy for coping with a threatening environment? Can you think of an organization in the recent news that has changed its domain? Explain.

Every organization has a different type of domain. Domain defines the organization's niche and defines those external sectors with which the organization will interact to accomplish its goals (Daft, 2008, p. 140). An organization will have several different sectors or subdivisions. Ten sectors can be analyzed for each organization: industry, raw materials, human resources, financial resources, market, technology, economic conditions, government, sociocultural, and international (Daft, 2008, p. 140). These domains are not fixed, they change all the time. Managers make decisions about which business to be in, the markets to enter, and the suppliers, banks, employees, and location to use, and this domain can be changed if necessary to keep the organization competitive (Daft, 2008, p. 162). New relationships can be made and old relationships ended at any time to improve the organization.

A great example of a company that changes there domain often is Google. Google acquires other companies all the time. One example is the acquisition of Angstro in 2010. Internet researcher Rohit Khare not only sold his company to Google, but has taken a job with the Internet big dog to help develop the social networking product Google Me, the search engine's answer to Face Book (Gallagher, 2010, p. 2). Angstro has been turned into Google Me. Google Me is a social networking company that will allow Google to capture a new market sector.

Ch. 5: Complete the Chapter 5 Workbook: Management Fads
Look up one or two articles on current trends or fads in management. Then, find one or two articles on a management fad from several years ago. Finally, use an Internet search engine to locate information on both the current and previous fads.

Current fads or fads in management
Management fads: Emergence, evolution, and implications for managers

Management fads from several years ago
Remembrance of fads past

Internet website
The most popular fads from decades past

How were these fads used in organizations? Use real examples from your readings.
Since the 1950's there have been many fads used in organizations that new fads have replaced. Most of these fads were management fads. A definition of a management fad is "managerial interventions which appear to be innovative, rational, and functional and are aimed at encouraging better organizational performance (Gibson, 2001, p 122). There are five major management fads of the late 20th century, each one representative of a management trend of a specific decade: management by objectives or MBO (1950s), sensitivity training (1960s), quality circles (1970s), total quality management (1980s), and self-managed or self-directed teams (1990s) (Gibson, 2001, p. 122). Lets take a closer look at sensitivity training. Sensitivity training was done in groups of 10 to 12 people and lasted two to three weeks. The goal is for participants to develop self-insight and awareness, to increase sensitivity to one's effect on others, and to bring to the surface data on one's blind spots and hidden areas (Gibson, 2001, p. 122).

Why do you think the fads were adopted? To what extent were the fads adopted to truly improve productivity and morale versus the company's desire to appear current in its management techniques compared to the competition?

Organizations used fads for many reasons. One of the reasons was to appear current. If an organization is already doing very well it may try a new fad. And even after several months of using the fad with no results being shown it may continue to use the fad just to appear current to its employees and customers. But the most important reason a fad is adopted is because of competition. Organizations facing increasingly competitive environment often look for new managerial techniques and strategies, i.e., management fads, to help them sustain or increase market share (Gibson, 2001, p. 122).

Give an example in which a fad did not work as expected. Explain the reason it did not work.

Most managerial fads that have been used in the past have disappeared or have been changed to be used in newer fads. Let's look at the fad on sensitivity training. Organizations would offer sensitive training for employees for many years. But there was little or no proof, other than purely anecdotal, that there was sufficient carry-over of training results back to the job to justify the time and expense (Gibson, 2001, p. 122). Eventually sensitivity training was removed from most organizations. Other fads end for other reasons. Lets look at some fads that are not managerial fads. For example, large SUV's where once popular but because of high gas prices they are being downsized and little cars are becoming a fad ( This fad ended because people were forced to change, just like many companies also use a fad because they are forced. All fads from the Victorian bustle that exaggerated a part of the female anatomy that people now pay money to surgically reduce, to the Hula-Hoop, to the sanctification of everything Japanese in the 1980s all fads look ridiculous in the harsh light of what we know now, whatever the hell that turns out to be (Bing, 2004, p. 244).

Ch 6: Compare the description of the transnational model in this chapter to the elements of the learning organization described in Chapter 1. Do you think the transnational model seems workable in a huge global firm? Discuss.

The learning organization promotes communication and collaboration so that everyone is engaged in identifying and solving problems, enabling the organization to continuously experiment, improve, and increase its capability (Daft, 2008, p. 31). While the transnational model is a form of horizontal organization that has multiple centers, subsidiary managers who initiate strategy and innovations for the company as a whole, and unity and coordination achieved through corporate culture and shared vision and values (Daft, 2008, p. 622). Both the learning and transnational models are very similar. Both of these models stress communication and learning. The transnational model would best be used for an international organization. The transnational model is useful for large, multinational companies with subsidiaries in many countries that try to exploit both global and local advantages as well as technological advancements, rapid innovation, and global learning and knowledge sharing (Daft, 2008, p. 237). That is why the transnational model is the most workable in a huge global firm.


Bing, S. (2004, November). Remembrance of fads past. Fortune. 150(10), 244-244.

Daft, R. (2008). Organization theory and design (10th ed.). South-Western: Mason, OH, 2004.

Gallagher, M. (2010, August). Google Buys Angstro Startup to Face Off with Face Book. Red Herring. 2-2.

Gibson, J. & Tesone, D. (2001, November) Management fads: Emergence, evolution, and implications for managers. Academy of Management Executive. 15(4), 122-123.

The most popular fads from decades past. (2011).