Target Organization: Amazon

Be sure to maintain a professional stance in relation to matters which are sensitive and confidential and disguise the source of your project (unless it is drawn from public records) through use of appropriate pseudonyms. Confidentiality and the general conduct of the project are entirely your responsibility, so proceed with caution and ethical care.

Identify Amazon’s organizational problem/situation as described in a detailed case study or written about in at least multiple sources in the press (for example in Fortune, the Economist, Sloane Management Review, Wall Street Journal, or through a case clearing house such as the Harvard Business School Press.

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The case study invites you to do the following:

1) Identify an organizational situation that appears to be amenable to the kind of analysis and exploration used in this course: the situation must be sufficiently complex to generate enough material for the writing of a case that meets the specifications described below.
2) Find relevant information and data about the organization and situation.
3.) Consider the metaphors, images, concepts and general ideas discussed in class. Choose at least six of the metaphors from the course (specifics noted below) to apply to your organization to help to make sense of the situation being described.
4) Write up the case study in a way that relates evidence to theory to provide an appropriate analysis and explanation of the situation described.

Successful organizational analysis rests in an ability to examine any given organizational situation so that its fundamental characteristics are made clear. It is not simply a question of spotting problems and applying appropriate solutions. Rather, it hinges on questions such as:

• What is going on in the situation that you are analyzing?
• How can you account for its characteristics and the way these may be changing?
• How can you make sense of the situation and arrive at an interpretation that allows you to say something concrete about it?

Elements of the Case Study
(1) Summary: Introduction to Your Organization (Approximately 300 words) A brief account of the situation being investigated, providing enough information for the reader to understand the nature of the organization and its context. This section should include relevant background information as well as a clear statement of the focus of your case study. For example, it is appropriate to provide information on the age, size, and history of the organization, the product or services it provides, and the general nature of its environment. The purpose of this is to orient the reader, so that he or she can acquire an understanding of the industry or sector with which you are dealing, and the general trends it is facing. Following a general introduction, you should focus in on the specific situation of the organization that demands—or did demand– attention.

(2) An Analysis of the Organization using metaphors. Using four of the first five “organizational” metaphors from the course and at least one other (chosen from the last three of the metaphors from the latter part of the course). (Approx., 2500 words)

The analysis section should include analysis based on at least four or all five of the following metaphors: the machine, living system, brain, culture and creative oasis/psychic prison metaphors. It should also include one or more of the following: Flux and Transformation, (identifying dynamics of change in the organization, Political Systems, (focusing on power dynamics/structures, pressures and politics), and Instrument of Domination, emphasizing the degree the organization serves a good citizen or not.

Here, by applying five metaphors to your organization, you must demonstrate both broad and in-depth understanding of the theory at the basis of these images. Present the organization in terms of the language of the metaphors, applying these to bring out description as well as the critical issues and challenges of the situation. Again: you need to demonstrate your thorough understanding of the metaphors. Note that this means your choice of organization is critical! — You must be able to find actual information and description of the objective information that allows you to discuss the metaphors fully.

3) A Recommendations Section (500 words) In this section, substantial, comprehensive and clear recommendations, using the metaphors you have chosen and addressing every problem you have identified. If there is a problem you cannot fully address, be sure to indicate this. Ensure that your solutions can be tied to and emerge from your analysis. Which metaphors that you have written about best account for your situation, and help you understand and produce the analysis or “storyline” by which you can best gain insight into challenges and opportunities of this organization?


The following criteria will be used to evaluate the case study
• Demonstrated understanding of the metaphors, and the theories and concepts related to these, that can be used to explain and analyze the case situation; a discussion of alternative ways of viewing the case may be particularly valuable.
• The comprehensiveness and care with which the case situation being analyzed is described
• The complexity of the case (cases that are very simple and offer little challenge will not necessarily earn a high grade)
• The quality of discussion linking theory to data: the rigor and soundness of your analysis and general conclusions
• The professionalism with which the report is present

A sample essay about DISNEY is uploaded. It will help.

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