Diane Burton is an associate professor in the ILR School at Cornell University. Her primary appointment is in human resource studies, with courtesy appointments in organizational behavior and sociology. Prior to joining the Cornell faculty in 2009, Professor Burton was a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She began her academic career at the Harvard Business School teaching leadership and organizational behavior. Professor Burton earned her Ph.D. in sociology at Stanford University and served as a lecturer and researcher in organizational behavior and human resources management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Organizational StructureCornell Course
Have you ever wondered why any organization you are affiliated with — be it academic, nonprofit, governmental, or business — is set up the way that it is? Chances are that decisions about how to structure your organization were made in the distant past, under conditions that no longer exist, in response to concerns that are no longer relevant. These choices make a difference in terms of how an organization works as well as how it feels to be a customer or an employee.
In this course, you will take a look at the elements of formal structure — how an organization is set up in order to achieve its goals. Looking through the organizational design lens, you will begin to evaluate how each structural decision impacts the overall organization. How does the work get done? How do employees communicate — or fail to communicate? You'll dive down to the unit level to assess workplace challenges that may be the result of formal structural choices.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to address workplace challenges using an objective, analytical approach and create alternative design proposals to address these challenges.
You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:
- Fundamentals of Organizational Design
- Assessing Organizations in Context
Key Course Takeaways
- Describe and quantify your organization's formal structure
- Evaluate and assess your unit
- Construct and compare alternative organizational designs to identify trade-offs
How It Works
Pedro Pérez is Senior Lecturer of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business. He has taught large-format introductory courses to business management and entrepreneurship at Cornell since 2001. Dr. Pérez has degrees in chemical and industrial engineering, as well as an MBA and a Ph.D. in management.
Who Should Enroll
- Organizational design managers
- Executives (CEOs, VPS, division leaders, functional leaders)
- Merger and acquisition managers
- Corporate consultants