Case 2 Writeup – “Disorganization” at Semco
This case writeup is based on the integrative case presented on pages 623 – 632 in the textbook. Read the case thoroughly to be familiar with all the facts of the case. To complete this assignment, some outside research (internet searches) will be needed. If you wish, you may share the outside resources you have found with your classmates – no problem! But note that this writeup is to be based on your own individual assessment of the case and the case questions.
When reading the case, you may also be wondering – Is this truly for real? So after you have read the case, spend some time searching online (and/or in other locations as you wish) to find out more about Semco and Ricardo Semler. Spend enough time searching for information about Semco/Semler that you
have satisfied yourself that you can corroborate or contest the presentation/facts of the case.
In your case write up, please address the following prompts:
1. How would you characterize Semco’s organizational strategy and inter organizational relationships? Be sure to use as many of the tools from management and discussions that are applicable. This is purposefully an open- ended task: it is your task to figure out how best t communicate the organization’s “strategy” (their plan for interacting with the environment to achieve their goals) and the organization’s pattern of inter organizational relationships.
2. How would you characterize Semco’s organizational design/structure? Be sure to use as many of the tools and discussions that are applicable. This is purposefully an open-ended task: it is your task to figure out how best to communicate the organization’s structure. (Tip: you might find it helpful to create a graphic to convey your understanding of their organization chart, noting where you are making reasonable guesses/assumptions.)
3. Using the tools of Chapter 11 and our weekly videos, how would you characterize Semco’s organizational culture? Be sure to use as many of the tools from that chapter and discussions that are applicable. This is purposefully an open-ended task: it is your task to figure out how best to communicate the organization’s culture.
4. Here is where you bring in your outside research on Semco: Do we have evidence that this case writeup (pp.623-632) does or does not provide a realistic presentation of the organization? Be sure to cite external sources as appropriate, using whatever citation format you prefer. An advanced answer will consider both sides before drawing a conclusion.
5. Imagine that Semco opened a U.S. office in Springfield, MA. Would you want to work for this company? Why AND why not? Note that we’re not looking for a simplistic answer here! Clearly,
there is no “right” answer – it’s your decision. However, the important thing is how well you consider the nuances of the company in describing reasons why you feel it would or would not
be a good fit for you. Be specific and concrete. The best answers will present both reasons for and against wanting to work for this company, ultimately concluding with your judgment of Yes
or No (to whether you would want to work for them).
Your case writeup will be your answers to the above five prompts. Please make sure your paragraphs are complete with 7-10 sentences each, with at least two paragraphs per prompt Be sure to write
professionally: This means using good grammar and clear writing, using either the third- or first-person perspective, and utilizing headings, paragraph structure, and graphics as appropriate for readability.
Although you are writing professionally, your last answer will be more personal, and that is certainly fine.
Grading for the first three prompts will focus on the quality of your response, the comprehensiveness of your answer – your choices of which course material to utilize (did you present key tools), and whether you used course concepts/terms appropriately. These first three prompts will be 80% of the overall grade (26.7% each). For the last two prompts, grading will focus on the quality of your argument (is it thoughtful and well-reasoned?). Each of the last two prompts will be 10% of the overall grade.