Chapter 2 – Culture and Structures of Organizations

2.11. Learning Activities and Exercises for Students/Teachers

The learning activities can be completed by the Students on their own as a learning opportunity to integrate the materials from the textbook for assignments or tests/exams. Or, they may be used by the Teachers as learning activities in class, or for short answer questions on tests/exams.

Learning Activities for Students/Teachers

  1. Discuss in a small group whether Human Resources would host workshops to define the culture (first), or the strategic plan (first). Provide a rationale for your choice.
  2. A successful project can be dependent on the project and the team, or through the culture of the organization. Which is true?  Why?  Pair up with a student and discuss.
  3. Individually think about: If you had a choice to work within a functional, projectized, or a balanced matrix organization as a Human Resources Specialist, which would you choose while working on projects. What is the reason for your choice?  List your reasons for your choice.  Share with fellow classmates in the larger group.
  4. Individually, research on the internet 2 companies’ values, beliefs, and attitudes. Compare the two companies.  What did you discover about the culture of the organization?  Pair up and discuss with a partner the contributing factors that could make these companies good cultures for project management.
  5. Work in pairs.  Review Hofstede’s Cultural Theory. In your own words, as a group, define Hofstede’s Cultural Theory. Apply the theory to various countries (identified by your teacher or yourselves).  Choose 3 countries. Given the 6 Key Dimensions, decide which dimensions “fit” which country.  Review with the entire class. Some examples of countries (or use your own):  Canada, Russia, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Australia, Peru, Philippines.

These exercises can be completed by the Students to integrate learning materials for assignments/tests. Or they can be used by the Teachers in class to integrate learning or used on tests/exams.

Exercises for Students/Teachers

  1. Do you think functional managers make better project managers than project managers? Why?  Why not?
  2. What types of projects are better suited for functional managers than project managers?
  3. In a projectized organization, could there be a conflict over whether the functional manager or the project manager contributes to the most profits?
  4. What is the difference between a weak matrix and a strong matrix?