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THE CASE Your client is a global mining company, with its head office in Singapore – a global

THE CASE

Your client is a global mining company, with its head office in Singapore – a global nerve center and logistics hub – and operations across the globe, including sites in Latin America, Alaska, The Congo, Asia, and four mines in Australia. The Australian mines are based in Western Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania. The mining company mines a number of minerals, with the main ones being Zinc, Copper, and Gold, and also a number of trace materials.

The company has had significant growth in recent years based on its acquisition of a number of companies with operations in various phases of development. These companies have yet to be properly integrated into the organization as a whole. This has resulted in an organization with no common approaches to how each site is managed, no ability to leverage lessons learned across all sites, and no ability to drive economies of scale.

To further disturb the equilibrium of the company, there is increasing shareholder activism and community pressure being placed on the company to behave in socially responsible ways. The mining company sees a need to establish better control over the various functions of the organization, to establish unity of purpose, to integrate these functions more smoothly, and to ensure that they are able to respond to environmental and community pressures. To address this challenge, the company has decided to review its structure.

 

YOUR BRIEF

Your brief, as a team of consultants comprising 3 to 5 members, is to: Review the various functions of the mining company, and develop a proposed organizational structure that addresses the challenges outlined.

You are to present your structure diagrammatically and include this in your report.

You are also to defend your proposed structure, by explicitly drawing on the perspectives of Functionalism and Social Relativism, and displaying your awareness of the strengths and limitations of these perspectives.

You may be as creative as you like in developing your proposed structure, but you will need to defend it. This means you may merge functions, discard functions, or create new functions.

For a list of functions, sub-functions, and the locations where the mining company is based, click on the following link: Functions, sub-functions, locations of mining company Propose a consultative and implementation process by which the mining company can: incorporate organizational members’ views on the new structure, explore the feasibility of the proposed structure, and evolve the structure, if necessary; implement the solution decided upon.

Your consultative and implementation process is to be represented as a process model and included in your report. You are to defend your proposed process, by drawing on the perspectives of Functionalism and Social Relativism and displaying your awareness of the strengths and limitations of these perspectives.

YOUR REPORT

Your report is what you will submit for assessment. It will be 4,000 words in total, excluding references. This includes a 1,000 word (approximately) group reflection component (see below).

Your report should contain the following elements:

1. Introduction (approximately 250 words) Orient the reader (your client – that is, the Mining Company) to the purpose of your report, and what it contains.

2. Problem statement (approximately 500 words) The problem statement should be an incisive and engaging statement of the problem. This section conveys what you as a group have identified as the problem, and will be derived, in part, from your literature review. Remember that what an organization believes to be the problem may be vague or miss the mark. Having thought about the case critically, and having examined the case via the perspectives of Functionalism and Social Relativism, your group will have a different way of seeing the problem.

3. Literature review (approximately 750 words) Explore the literature on organizational structure; process models; functionalism; and social relativism. You should include the Hirschheim & Klein paper (the “Four Paradigms” paper), and the functionalist and social relativist readings from Assignment 1. Your literature review should ‘problematize’ the challenge you have been set by the client.

Having reviewed the literature, what will be some of the main challenges that you need to keep in mind, as you develop your solutions? What will your client need to be cautioned about? Are you able to alleviate some of these challenges through your solution design? Now that you understand the advantages and limitations of functionalism and social relativism, how might they be drawn on, to help you design your solution?

4. Solution development and proposal (approximately 500 words) Linking back to your problem statement, present your group’s solution: your organizational structure and your process model for consultation and implementation. These must be presented as diagrams and accompanied by a detailed description. Put yourselves in the client’s shoes – orient them to your solution, and tell them how it meets their needs/help solve their problem. Describe how you developed your solution, and why it is robust (i.e. grounded in the literature, informed by different ways of thinking).

5. Discussion and conclusion (approximately 1,000 words) Detail the strengths of your solution, and its limitations, drawing on the functionalist and social relativist paradigms. How did these paradigms help? How did they hinder? What are the consequences of drawing on only two perspectives (rather than four)? Identify the implications for the client, going forward, and detail the risks associated with not thinking about the implementation of the solution from multiple perspectives.

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