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The future of organization design


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Results of survey distributed to participants in the organizational design elective at the Frankfurt Institute of Finance & Management, Spring 2018. See for background information

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The future of organization design

  1. 1. The future of organization design …according to groups in the organization design elective at the Frankfurt Institute 1 The future of organization design
  2. 2. 2 In the class, I described an org. design decision support tool that I am developing with two colleagues that uses algorithms to find the best organizational model (it is called Re:config). Most of the students believe that this is the future, while one group is more neutral and another group finds it highly unlikely. Highly unlikely Highly likely
  3. 3. 3 Highly unlikely Highly likely Most of the groups concluded that it is unlikely that large firms will remove the hierarchical management structure (It seems like the students have been negatively affected by my formalistic view of the world…) The exception is one group that concluded that it is fairly likely that this will happen.
  4. 4. 4 Highly unlikely Highly likely The groups thought it was somewhat (un)likely or highly unlikely that future firms will only have a handful of employees. But as you can see, the ratings range from 1 to 8, so difficult to interpret this one.
  5. 5. 5 Highly unlikely Highly likely The students believe it is unlikely that computers will be held accountable for their decisions in the future, but the probability that is given varies from 1 to 6.
  6. 6. 6 Overall, the students seem to predict that more work will be performed by teams, projects and networks. I personally think they exaggerate the probability here, and that there are lots of tasks that are still going to be performed by individuals working separately 10 years from now (but maybe by individuals belonging to groups). Highly unlikely Highly likely
  7. 7. 7 Today, accountability is an individual level concept, but some authors have raised the possibility of making teams and networks accountable. Personally, I have a hard time seeing how that could be done, but most of the groups think that it is somewhat likely. We need to wait and see.. Highly unlikely Highly likely
  8. 8. 8 Highly unlikely Highly likely The American management model is globally dominant, but the prediction here is that different ways of managing firms will persist in the future. If you believe that cognitive diversity is beneficial for the world, let’s hope they are right.