Organization Theory And Design 3rd Edition by Ann Armstrong – Test Bank

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Sample Questions Posted Below

 

 

 

 

Indicate whether the statement is true or false.

 

1. Generalists are generally more competitive than specialists in the narrow area in which their domains overlap.

  a. True
  b. False

 

2. Variation, formation, and selection are the stages in the process of change in the environment.

  a. True
  b. False

 

3. In the positive view of partnerships, dependence on another company is seen to increase risk rather than reduce it.

  a. True
  b. False

 

4. A niche is a domain of unique environmental resources and needs.

  a. True
  b. False

 

5. Institutional similarity is the emergence of a common structure and approach among organizations in the same field.

  a. True
  b. False

 

6. The current management philosophy is that organizations should be autonomous and separate, trying to outdo other companies in order to grow and prosper.

  a. True
  b. False

 

7. In the population ecology model, large dependent companies have power over small suppliers.

  a. True
  b. False

 

8. Mimetic forces refers to the similarity that is brought between organizations from environmental influences such as governmental laws and legislative requirements.

  a. True
  b. False

 

9. The major reasons for collaboration between organizations are sharing risks when entering new markets, mounting expensive new programs, reducing costs, and enhancing organizational profile in selected industries or technologies.

  a. True
  b. False

 

10. Collaboration is being practised when companies join together to become more competitive as a bloc.

  a. True
  b. False

 

11. Within business ecosystems, managers learn to move beyond the traditional responsibilities of corporate strategy and designing hierarchical structures and control systems.

  a. True
  b. False

 

12. Universities, consulting firms, and professional training institutions develop norms among professional managers.

  a. True
  b. False

 

13. The resource dependence perspective argues that while organizations may attempt to control environmental resources, they also try to maintain their independence.

  a. True
  b. False

 

14. Coercive forces refers to organizations changing to achieve standards of professionalism.

  a. True
  b. False

 

15. Because of the diversity of products, services, and customers, generalists are able to reallocate resources internally to adapt to a changing environment, whereas specialists are not.

  a. True
  b. False

 

16. Given their flexibility, specialists are able to reallocate resources internally to adapt to a changing environment, whereas generalists are not.

  a. True
  b. False

 

17. Organizations use mechanisms of mimetic, coercive, or normative forces when they are acting under conditions of certainty.

  a. True
  b. False

 

18. The population ecology model claims that large companies cannot adapt to meet a changing environment, so new companies emerge with the appropriate form and skills to serve new needs.

  a. True
  b. False

 

19. The outcome of the mechanisms of mimetic, coercive, or normative forces is that organizations become more heterogeneous, to reflect the natural diversity among managers and environments.

  a. True
  b. False

 

20. The population ecology model focuses on organizational diversity and adaptation within a population of organizations.

  a. True
  b. False

 

21. The population ecology model tells us that even institutionalized organizations like McDonald’s are NOT permanent in the long run.

  a. True
  b. False

 

22. The institutional perspective explains why organizational diversity continuously increases with the appearance of new organizations filling niches left open by established companies.

  a. True
  b. False

 

23. The four perspectives of a framework of interorganizational relationships include resource dependency, population ecology, collaborative network, and re-engineering.

  a. True
  b. False

 

24. Many organizations are changing from a partnership orientation mindset to a traditional adversarial mindset.

  a. True
  b. False

 

25. The technical dimension of an organization is governed by expectations from the external environment.

  a. True
  b. False

 

Indicate the answer choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.

 

26. Which statement best describes the institutional view of the two essential dimensions of organization?

  a. The institutional structure is that part of the organization most visible to the outside public.
  b. The public dimension of the institutional structure is governed by norms of efficiency.
  c. The technical dimension of the institutional structure will reflect environmental expectations rather than the demands of work activities.
  d. The formal institutional structure and design process is rational with respect to workflow and products.

 

27. Which of the following is an example of a coercive force?

  a. professionalism
  b. innovation
  c. environmental visibility
  d. political law

 

28. What do coercive forces result in?

  a. efficiency
  b. professionalism
  c. effectiveness
  d. the appearance of legitimacy

 

29. Which term is defined as the general perspective that an organization’s actions are desirable, proper, and appropriate within the environment’s system of norms, values, and beliefs?

  a. generalist strategy
  b. legitimacy
  c. niche
  d. collaborative network

 

30. What does the institutional view argue?

  a. Organizations do not have legitimacy from their stakeholders.
  b. A market-based economy was not constructed in Russia because its institutions were corrupt.
  c. When an organizational field is new, diversity is the norm, but later there is a pressure for them to be more similar.
  d. Organizations have two essential dimensions: institutional and public.

 

31. What is the reason for organizational structural adaptation due to coercive forces?

  a. dependence
  b. duty
  c. uncertainty
  d. professionalism

 

32. Which approach focuses on organizational diversity and adaptation within a group of organizations?

  a. collaborative networks
  b. population ecology
  c. interorganizational relationships
  d. institutional perspective

 

33. Why do established organizations have a difficult time adapting to a rapidly changing environment?

  a. They are inherently resistant to change.
  b. There is often a heavy investment in plant and equipment and leadership has an established viewpoint that has been successful.
  c. When the environment changes, no one can predict if the changes will affect them.
  d. Leadership could change its approach, but it does not want to change.

 

34. Which theory argues that organizations try to minimize their reliance on other organizations for the supply of important materials and try to influence the environment to make sure the materials they need are available?

  a. interorganizational theory
  b. environmental resource theory
  c. resource-dependence theory
  d. economic-supply theory

 

35. Which perspective is included in institutional similarity?

  a. Common structures emerge among organizations in the same field.
  b. Common training of professionals (managers) results in common analytic processes among organizations in the same field.
  c. Divergent structures are driven among organizations in the same field for the sake of diversity.
  d. Divergent analytic processes among organizations in the same field emerge due to managers’ training in widely varying functional areas and varying degree programs.

 

36. What is an organization engaging in if it joins a trade association because it is having difficulty securing the main raw material for its production process?

  a. interlocking directorships
  b. a power strategy
  c. a resource strategy
  d. collaborative networks

 

37. Which statement is a basic assumption of the population ecology model?

  a. Management competence is the biggest factor in the survival of organizations.
  b. The environment determines which organizations survive or fail.
  c. Principles of evolution are not applicable to organizations because the fittest don’t survive.
  d. A community of organizations is a closed system.

 

38. Which statement best defines resource dependence theory?

  a. A small supplier should count on price competition for locking in accounts.
  b. A small supplier should lock in a single large company for the bulk of its sales.
  c. Organizations will do whatever is needed to avoid dependence on the environment and increase their autonomy.
  d. Organizations will set up dependencies when they become more self-reliant.

 

39. Which of the following is composed of norms and values from stakeholders?

  a. the institutional environment
  b. population ecology theory
  c. the organizational ecosystem
  d. institutional isomorphism

 

40. What is a characteristic of the current orientation toward partnerships between other organizations?

  a. equity and fair dealing
  b. contracts limiting the relationship
  c. minimal up-front investment
  d. efficiency and the organization’s own profits

 

41. Which of the following is evidence of mimetic forces in an organizational field?

  a. reengineering
  b. accounting standards
  c. pollution controls
  d. consultant training

 

42. Which perspective is included in mimetic forces?

  a. Because of heavy interorganizational linkages, organizations are forced to behave similarly in order to maintain productive relationships.
  b. Political and governmental processes, which organizations are subject to, force organizations to become similar.
  c. In the face of uncertainty, organizations copy or model each other.
  d. Diversity is maintained in order for organizations to find and maintain a marketing niche.

 

43. What do managers need to manage in an environment of a community of organizations?

  a. profit making
  b. stakeholders
  c. horizontal structures
  d. competition

 

44. What did the traditional orientation to other organizations involve?

  a. long-term contracts
  b. participation in partner’s product design and production
  c. legal resolution of conflict
  d. electronic linkages to share key information

 

45. As new organizational forms continue to emerge some fail and some last. What is the best label for this process?

  a. retention
  b. variation
  c. legitimacy
  d. selection

 

46. Which term refers to an entity formed by the interactions of a community of organizations and their environment?

  a. interorganizational relationship
  b. organizational ecosystem
  c. collaboration network
  d. institutional environment

 

47. Which statement provides the best description of an organizational niche?

  a. Once found, it makes the process of retention occur.
  b. It is a person within an organization who is highly specialized.
  c. It is a domain of unique environmental resources and needs.
  d. It is found only in Japanese organizations.

 

48. Which term refers to relatively enduring resource transactions, flows, and linkages that occur among two or more organizations?

  a. intranet
  b. interorganizational relationships
  c. resource dependence
  d. institutional environment

 

49. Why might organizations enter into interorganizational collaborations?

  a. to share risks when entering new markets
  b. to assert power over larger suppliers
  c. to lock-in necessary resources
  d. to minimize interpersonal conflicts

 

50. Which term describes organizations with a wide domain; that is, those that offer a broad range of products and services or that serve a broad market?

  a. specialists
  b. generalists
  c. niches
  d. legitimate

 

51. What institutional process is being followed if an organization is engaged in benchmarking?

  a. mimetic
  b. coercive
  c. normative
  d. isomorphic

 

52. Which perspective in the framework of interorganizational relationships represents the traditional view?

  a. population ecology
  b. institutionalism
  c. collaborative network
  d. resource dependence

 

53. Which statement best describes the impact on organizational survival, as a principle underlying the population ecology model?

  a. Specialists are able to reallocate resources internally to adapt to a changing environment, whereas generalists are not.
  b. Generalists are more competitive than specialists in the narrow area in which their domains overlap.
  c. The toy company Mattel, which markets a broad range of toys, is considered a specialist.
  d. New organizations have lower survival rates due to environmental factors that tend to select them out of existence more often than existing organizations.

 

54. What is the social basis for normative forces?

  a. legal
  b. culture
  c. moral
  d. diversity

 

55. What are organizations trying to gain when they become influenced by mimetic, coercive, or normative forces in the institutional environment??

  a. greater profit
  b. greater market share
  c. greater resource dependency
  d. greater legitimacy

 

 

 

56. What kind of education and training do you think would help prepare you for the reality of being a manager who has to manage a set of interorganizational relationships as well as managing the internal affairs of your own company?

 

57. Identify a firm in each stage of the process of ecological change: variation, selection, and retention. Explain why you classified each firm as you did.

 

58. When organizations become aware of resource dependence and begin to develop strategies to reduce their dependence on the environment, what alternatives would be considered? Explain at least two different approaches.

 

59. Why is the mindset in North American companies changing away from a traditional adversarial relationship with other companies?

 

60. What is an organizational ecosystem? How does this concept impact the changing role of management?

 

61. Describe the framework of interorganizational relationships, using the following two questions to help guide your answer: If organizational relationships are competitive, under what perspectives are the organizational types similar versus dissimilar? If organizational relationships are cooperative, under what perspectives are the organizational types similar versus dissimilar?

 

62. Why is the following question asked, in the context of a discussion on interorganizational relationships:“Is competition dead?”

 

63. Develop your own explanation/theory of why organizations today find collaboration as important as competition, and why collaborating organizations tend to take on similar characteristics. Would collaboration be enhanced just as easily between organizations that had different characteristics?

 

64. Does the desire for legitimacy result in organizations being more similar or being more different? Take a position, and defend your position.

 

65. Is the use of management fads any different, in your opinion, from the pursuit of legitimacy through mimetic processes?

 

66. In North America we have seen a history of powerful organizations exploiting the dependence of small companies. Would you anticipate an end to this phenomenon? Why or why not?

 

67. Explain and contrast the various processes by which institutional similarity occurs.

 

68. Discuss how the adversarial versus partnership orientations work among students in class. What carryover from the classroom settings at your university will help or hinder interorganizational relationships you may be managing in the future?

 

69. A mentor from an established organization in your industry told you “to reach out and control external sectors that threaten needed resources.” How could that be done? In your answer, apply principles from the textbook.

 

70. When the computer industry first reached the everyday consumer, Commodore computers were extremely popular, and the first computers ever purchased by many people. As other personal computers such as Apple and IBM entered the marketplace with word processing, database programs, and a few games, Commodore kept its focus on games. From the perspective of the population ecology model, explain what happened to these organizations over the long run, and why.

 

71. List the characteristics of the traditional theory of organizational relationships.

 

72. We studied the notion of institutional similarity and the reasons for it. Develop your own theory about the effects of the tendency for institutional similarity on business success.

 

73. Describe and illustrate the generalist and specialist strategies that organizations use for their struggle for existence.

 

Answer Key

1. False

 

2. False

 

3. False

 

4. False

 

5. True

 

6. False

 

7. False

 

8. False

 

9. True

 

10. True

 

11. True

 

12. True

 

13. True

 

14. False

 

15. True

 

16. False

 

17. False

 

18. True

 

19. False

 

20. True

 

21. True

 

22. False

 

23. False

 

24. False

 

25. False

 

26. a

 

27. d

 

28. d

 

29. b

 

30. c

 

31. a

 

32. b

 

33. b

 

34. c

 

35. a

 

36. c

 

37. b

 

38. c

 

39. a

 

40. a

 

41. a

 

42. c

 

43. c

 

44. c

 

45. d

 

46. b

 

47. c

 

48. b

 

49. a

 

50. b

 

51. a

 

52. d

 

53. d

 

54. c

 

55. d

 

56. Understanding the nature of environmental dynamics would be important, as well as training in a range of negotiation tactics, from those that are competitive to those that are collaborative.

 

57. Commodore was in the variation stage as it introduced a new use for computers. Apple was in the selection stage as it found a niche and survived. IBM was in the retention stage as it became large and institutionalized. (It is worth noting that Apple, thanks to the iPod, seems to be now in the retention stage and that IBM has had to undergo massive change to survive.)

 

58. Organizations look at two factors when assessing their resource dependence: (1) the importance of the resource and (2) the degree of discretion that those organizations that control the resource have over allocation of the resource. Some organizations may use resource strategies such as forming joint ventures while other organizations may use power strategies as such special pricing.

 

59. Partnering can result in reduced costs and increased value for the partners.

 

60. An organizational ecosystem is a system formed by the interaction of a community of organizations and its environment. In ecosystems, conflict and cooperation often coexist, so managers need to manage horizontal structures, with many stakeholders and higher degrees of conflict than in the past. Managers need to be skilled at handling both conflict and cooperation.

 

61. (1) If organizational relationships are competitive, organizational types are similar under the population-ecology model and dissimilar under the resource dependence perspective. (2) If organizational relationships are cooperative, organizational types are similar under the institutionalism perspective and dissimilar under the collaborative network model.

 

62. It is asked because research shows that many alliances have been formed between competitors.

 

63. Organizations collaborate to become more competitive together and to share resources. As organizations learn from one another and become partners, we would expect them to mimic one another’s better practices and become similar. Collaboration between dissimilar organizations may be characterized by high degrees of conflict.

 

64. The desire for legitimacy is likely to make organizations become similar because they want environmental acceptance.

 

65. No, as they are both trying to achieve environmental acceptance.

 

66. You would anticipate there would be a change in some industries. In IT, for example, there is an increasing convergence on the types of technology that large organizations want so companies have had to resolve their differences. However, in the retail sector, Wal-Mart’s domination has resulted in its suppliers having to change the way they do business.

 

67. (1) There are mimetic forces that drive organizations to look similar. (2) There are coercive forces that force organizations to appear similar, e.g., health and safety regulations. (3) There are normative forces that pressure organizations to change to achieve standards of professionalism. Mimetic forces are fads, coercive forces are mandated, and normative forces are drivers for professionalism.

 

68. Some students will be very competitive about grades and especially grades on their individual work. Others will believe that the better the team does on any team projects, the better off both the team and the individual will be. If a student takes on an adversarial approach to management, then it is likely that she or he will not be effective in an organization that uses collaborative networks in its strategy implementation. Those students who value teamwork may do better in such an organization.

 

69. You would try to alter the degree of dependence on other organizations by using tactics such as purchasing ownership, developing long-term relationships, and developing joint ventures. As well, you would use any power that your organization has, by virtue of its size, to receive price and supplier advantages, a strategy that Wal-Mart uses. Or, you could use a collaborative approach whereby organizations go from being adversaries to becoming partners.

 

70. Commodore entered the market with a variation and a specialist strategy but was selected out as others adapted and developed more variations. Apple found a niche of innovation and design, and survived. IBM grew and became institutionalized.

 

71. There are nine key attributes: (1) low dependence, (2) suspicious and competitive, (3) close monitoring of detailed performance measures, (4) focus on own profits, (5) limited information and feedback, (6) legal resolution of conflict, (7) minimal involvement and investment, (8) short-term contracts, and (9) contractual limits to relationships. In short, the approach is adversarial and characterized by essential distrust of the partner.

 

72. Institutional similarity allows for better acceptance of organizations by the environment. As a result, organizations are likely to do better in an environment in which they fit well.

 

73. An organization following a generalist strategy occupies a wide niche and offers a broad range of products or services, e.g., Indigo.ca today. An organization following a specialist strategy occupies a narrow niche and offers a select range of products or services, e.g., Inuitart.ca.

 

 

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