project 1 organizational theory


Project 1 Organizational Theory (Week 3)

In the first assignment, students are given a scenario in which the shipping manager who has worked for Recycled Furnishings since the inception of the company is getting ready to retire.  The scenario serves to set the stage for students to demonstrate how management theories have changed over time.  For example, managing 30 years ago is different than managing in the 21st century. 

In selecting an organizational theory that best describes the current shipping manager, students have to use the timeline to select a school of thought and a theory or theories of that time frame.  Students will need to research the theorist and theories to complete the assignment and answer the questions below.  Students are expected to be thorough in responding to Part One. 

In Part Two, students are going to take what they have learned in weeks 1 – 3 and compare the management skills of the current shipping manager to that of you as the new shipping manager.


Recycled Furnishings is a division of an international home furnishing company called Thor Enterprises.  Recycled Furnishings makes glass sofas for outdoor use from recycled bottles and glass. The business has grown rapidly in the last thirty years and now that it has become a division of Thor Enterprises, the company is going international.  The shipping manager for Recycled Furnishings, Robert, has been in his job since the start of the company.  Prior to coming to Recycled Furnishings, Robert worked as a container manufacturing engineer at Damco, a local shipping company and worked his way up to supervisor prior to joining Recycled Furnishings. Robert, a baby boomer, quickly rose to supervisor at Damco because his ability to optimize the way tasks were performed and implemented processes so workers could be trained to perform their specialized sequence of motion in one best way.  He brought this management style to Recycled Furnishing and helped to improve the methodology of furniture assembly as well as the shipping processes. 

A major shift in management occurred in the late 1980’s and early 90’s that caused Robert to reconsider his management approach.  For example, advances in technology, the organization joining a union, change in the value systems, organizational design and globalization all affected the culture of Recycled Furnishings.  Robert was successful with this transformation and contributed greatly to the company’s success.

Part One

  • Select an organizational theory that you believe best describes Robert’s management style in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s;
  • Identify the theorist(s) who proposed the theory; 
  • Discuss how the selected organizational theory and theorist fit into the school of thought of that time period.
  • Address the principles of the theory and how the manager would do his job and interact with his staff. 
  • How does this organizational theory differ from Robert’s early thinking;
  • Using the course readings and your own research, explain in detail how you arrived at your conclusions.

Part Two

Recently Robert announced his plans to retire.  You have been hired as his replacement and with the international launch on the horizon you have big shoes to fill.  You feel you are more than capable of handling the management position and characterize yourself as a 21st century manager. 

  • As a 21st century manager, compare the way you would manage versus the way of Robert; 
  • What implications do the changes in management have for the future of Thor?
  • How will the new approach to the job likely change the shipping division?

Required Formatting of the Project 1:

  • This report should be double spaced, 12-point font, and four to five pages in length excluding the title page and reference page;
  • Include an introduction and a summary paragraph;
  • Title page with your name, the course name, the date, and instructor’s name;
  • Use headings;
  • Write clearly and concisely;
  • Write in the third person;
  • Use APA formatting for in-text citations and reference page.  You are expected to paraphrase and not use direct quotes. Deductions will be taken when direct quotes are used and found to be unnecessary;
  • Outside resources may be used but the majority of the support will come from the course readings with a wide array of readings used;

Additional Resources:

Thinking strategically

Systems Thinking in Management: Definition, Theory & Model

Slide Shows–
Principles of Management

5 ways ‘systems thinking’ can jumpstart action

Basic principles of systems thinking as applied to management and leadership


Three Skills Every 21st-Century Manager Needs

Workplace Trends in the 21st Century

How Is Technology Impacting the Changes in the 21st Century Workplace?


7 Traits to Turn Good Managers Into Great Managers

25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manage

What Is A Manager?

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