Leading and Managing High-Performance Organizations mgmt 545 Winter Quarter 2001

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Leading and Managing High-Performance Organizations

MGMT 545

Winter Quarter 2001


Gregory A. Bigley, Ph.D.






224 MacKenzie

This course focuses on the nature and function of effective executive leadership in high-performance organizations. Topics covered include principles of visionary and transformational leadership, fundamental processes of decision-making and empowerment, power and influence within the upper echelons of organizations, basic issues in corporate governance, designing organizations for flexibility and innovation, preventing and managing crisis and leading organizational change. Particular emphasis will be placed on the leadership of emerging forms of organization, such as learning organizations and virtual organizations.

Course Materials

  • Course pack available at Balmer Copy Center

  • Additional materials made available by the instructor throughout the quarter

General Instructional Approach

The class is divided into three modules (see the Course Schedule appended to the end of this document). In Module 1 the basic theme of the course is explained, specific topics to be covered are detailed, and time is allocated to organizing for Modules 2 and 3. Module 2 consists of in-depth discussions of the basics of reframing as presented by Bolman and Deal (1997). Also, student teams present their analyses of cases using one (or more) of the four Bolman and Deal frames. Module 3 tackles critical multi-frame issues in leading and managing high performance organizations. Also, in this module student teams will be provided with an opportunity to choose topics of interest to them (that are also consistent with the theme of the course) and lead a session of 50 minutes on the topic.


Final grades in this course will be determined by performance in four areas: participation, a team case analysis, a team diagnostic project, and an individual cumulative final exam. The maximum number of points possible for each category is shown in parentheses.

Team Case Analysis Presentation (25 points): Six major case discussions (Visionary Design Systems, Appex Corporation, Cultivating capabilities to innovate: Booz Allen & Hamilton, Cypress Semiconductor, Siebel Systems, and Amelia Rogers) will begin with an oral presentation made by a student team. The perspective for the presenters should be that of a consultant reporting to the case company’s top management team or board of directors (whichever is most appropriate for the case). More than one team member should present the team’s analysis. The use of visual aids (overhead transparencies or PowerPoint charts) is highly recommended to enhance the clarity of the presentation. Each presentation may range from 12-15 minutes (no presentation may exceed 15 minutes). Please endeavor to be creative in your presentation. To facilitate grading, teams are to submit to the instructor a paper version of their presentation, annotated with the key points of their “scripts,” at the beginning of the class period in which they present. Grades will be based on the extent to which teams have sufficiently identified the underlying problem(s), compellingly argued for a preferred strategy for tackling the problem(s), proposed an implementation plan that passes the “reality test,” and presented arguments in a logical and engaging manner.
At the beginning of the four major case sessions, I will randomly select a team to serve as the case company’s top management team or board of directors. These “top managers” are to critique, comment on, support and/or question the analysis or recommendations presented by the consultants. To provide such a critique, you will need to be totally familiar with the case company’s situation. Following top management teams’ questioning (approximately 10 minutes), the discussion will be opened up to the rest of the class.
Participation (25 points): This course requires high levels of participation from all involved. Therefore, you are expected to complete assignments in advance, attend each class ready to engage others in various cooperative learning activities (e.g., debates, discussions, presentations), and “carry your own weight” as a member of a team. Participation points can be gained (or lost) according to the quality and quantity of individuals’ contributions to the class and their teams, as determined by a combination of professor evaluations and peer ratings. Some of the criteria I will use to assess class participation include:

  • Involvement: Are you following the discussion attentively and actively contributing ideas? Are you respectful of others in how they formulate their contributions?

  • Listening: Are your comments relevant to the flow of the discussion? Are the points you make linked to the comments made by others?

  • Adding value: Do your comments show evidence of insightful analysis of the case data (rather than simple expressions of opinion)? Do they make use of relevant practical experience and appropriate analytical frameworks? Are your comments formulated in a succinct, effective manner? Do your comments clarify and highlight the important aspects of earlier ideas and lead to a clearer statement of the relevant concepts and issues?

  • Risk taking: Are you willing to test new ideas, or are all your comments “safe”? (For instance, repetition of case facts or generic statements that would be true in almost any circumstance would be considered “safe” and not very useful). Do comments raise “difficult” questions that challenge us to think more deeply?

Team Topic Presentation (25 points). Teams are to select a topic pertaining to the theme of the course and conduct a session of 50 minutes on the topic. Topics must consist of a “context” component and a “managerial issue,” and the issue should be approached from a senior executive perspective. For instance, a team may teach the class about the nature of (dis)trust (managerial issue) and how senior executives can insure that (dis)trust is managed effectively in virtual organizations (context). For another example, a team may teach the class about managing career trajectories (managerial issue) in horizontal organizations (context). Examples of elements in each of these categories are presented in the following table:

Organizational Contexts

Managerial Issues




(In)Justice/Psychological Contracting


Empowerment and Control


Ethical and Value-based Management


Creativity and Innovation


Careers and Career Trajectories

TQM (e.g., six sigma)

Revenge and Violence


Stress and Burnout


Influence without Authority



International/ Cross-cultural




The list presented in the table is suggestive only. You may propose alternative contexts or managerial issues. However, the instructor must approve all topics. Approvals will be based primarily on the extent to which proposals are consistent with the course theme.

Although teams will be allowed to select the topics on which they will present, multiple teams will not be permitted to teach classes pertaining to the same issues. Therefore, a lottery system will be employed to determine the order in which teams will be entitled to claim topics. The same lottery system will be used to decide the order of team presentations.
Any resource or pedagogical technique may be used to teach a class, including lectures, outside speakers, video or internet presentations, experiential exercises, panel discussions, case discussions, round tables or any combination of these. Whichever techniques you employ, you must keep the other students engaged with your presentation and you are required to encourage class participation at some point during the session. In addition, all members of your team must participate in some active way in the presentation. Also, the team must provide the class with at least one reading (and no more than two) on the topic at least one week in advance and draw from the readings during the presentation. Evaluations will be based on the content, clarity, creativity, and professionalism with which the class presentation was delivered.
Final Case Analysis (25 points). TBA

MGMT 545: Leading and Managing High-Performance Organizations

Spring Quarter 2001
Course Schedule

Module 1: Introduction

January 8

The 21st Century Context of Executive Leadership and the Power of “Reframing”


  • Bolman & Deal, “Introduction: The Power of reframing” and “Simple ideas, complex organizations”

January 10

Executives Roles and Responsibilities in Complex Organizations


  • Dess & Pickens, “Changing roles: Leadership in the 21st century”

  • Nadler & Heilpern, “The CEO in the context of discontinuous change”
Module 2: The Basics of (Re)framing
January 15 & 17

Leaders As Catalysts: Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating


  • Dessler, “How to earn your employee’s commitment”

  • Kerr, “Organizational rewards: practical, cost-neutral alternatives...”

  • Luthans & Stajkovic, “Reinforce for performance”


  • Visionary Design Systems
January 22 & 24

Leaders as Architects: Strategic Organizational Design

  • Bolman & Deal, “Getting organized” and “Structuring and reengineering”

  • Adler, “Building Better Bureaucracies”


  • Appex Corporation

  • Cultivating capabilities to innovate: Booz Allen & Hamilton

January 29 & 31

Leaders as Mangers of Meaning: Culture and Work Behavior

  • Jelinek & Schoonhoven, “Strong Culture and its Consequences”

  • O’Reilly, “Corporations, culture, and commitment”


February 5 & 7

Leaders as Advocates: Political Pragmatics in Organizations

  • Cohen & Bradford, “Influence Without Authority”

  • Kotter, “What Effective General Managers Really Do”

  • Pfeffer, “Power”


  • Amelia Rogers at Tassani Communications (A)

Module 3: Multi-Frame Issues in Leading High Performance Organizations

February 12

Making Decisions at the Top


  • Hambrick, “Fragmentation and other problems CEOs have with their top management teams”

  • Eisenhardt, Kahwajy, & Bourgeois, “How management teams can have a good fight”

Team Topic Presentation

February 14

Board-Management Relations


  • Lorsch, “The board as agent of change”

  • Hambrick & Jackson, “Outside directors with a stake”


  • Medtronic, Inc. (A)

Team Topic Presentation

February 19

Charisma and the Art of Inspiring a Shared Vision


  • Sellers, “What Exactly Is Charisma?”


  • Sellers, “Can Home Depot Fix Its Sagging Stock Price?”

  • Astro Airlines (A)

Team Topic Presentation

February 21

Negotiating Psychological Contracts

  • Cappelli, “A market driven approach to retaining talent”

  • Pfeffer, “Putting people first for organizational success”

  • Rousseau, “The idiosyncratic deal: Flexibility versus fairness?”


Team Topic Presentation

February 26

Enabling Others to Act

  • Randolph, “Re-thinking Empowerment”

  • Simon, “Control in an age of empowerment”

Mini Case

  • The empowerment effort that came undone (distributed in class)

Team Topic Presentation

February 28

Creativity and Innovation in Organizations

  • Amabile, “Motivating creativity in organizations”

  • Drucker, “The discipline of innovation”


  • IDEO Product Development

Team Topic Presentation

March 5

Preventing and Managing Crises


  • Pearson & Clair, “Reframing crisis management”

  • Frost & Robinson, “Toxic handlers”

  • Shackleton Expedition Website Links
March 7 & 12

Leadership and Organizational Transformation


  • Collins & Porras, “Building your company’s vision” (reread)

  • Kotter, “Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail” (reread)

  • Abrahamson, “Change without pain”


  • Peter Browning at Continental White Cap

March 14

Perspective on Leadership at the Top: Final Thoughts


  • Hallowell, “The human moment at work”

  • Paine, "Managing for Organizational Integrity" (reread)

  • Torbert “The good life”

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