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 SystemsCornell Course
In times of change, organizational designers may respond by proposing modifications to the formal structure of an organization, perhaps by adding new divisions, changing the vertical hierarchy, or adopting alternatives to the traditional structures. While these are all methods of adjusting the formal structure of an organization, sometimes it is not feasible to make changes to the formal structure of an organization.
In such cases, an organizational designer may choose to use policies, systems, practices, and culture to overcome the limitations of formal organizational structure. The proper adjustments to these powerful mechanisms can enhance organizational effectiveness and achieve desired outcomes by linking groups and activities.
In this course, you will review research-based approaches to redesigning policies, systems, and practices to better manage your business and your workforce. You will consider which policies, systems, and practices to change and which to leave alone based on examples of real-world success and not-so-successful stories from companies around the globe. You'll also gain the skills you need to analyze organizations as social entities and consider ways you can use things like social capital, organizational culture, and informal groups to smooth the work functions. Finally, you will consider ways to combine and align these integration mechanisms — policies, systems, practices, and culture — to solve a specific organizational issue. You'll also look critically at some of the latest fads or trends in organizational design.
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
- Analyzing Formal Organizational Structure
Key Course Takeaways
- Design policies, systems, and practices to manage the business and the workforce
- Influence culture and social ties to achieve organizational performance
- Choose a set of appropriate policies, systems, practices, and social interventions to solve a specific organizational problem
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