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Garbage Can Decision-Making in a Matrix Structure: A Case Study of Linköping University
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: A university is characterized as organized anarchy. According to Cohen, et al. (1972) decision-making occurs in form of A Garbage Can Model (GCM) in such organizations. This model is influenced by some factors such as organizational structure. The influences of some types of organizational structure have been studied based on a computer simulation by Cohen and his colleagues in 1972. However, the study was based on numerical statistics and excluded the influence of genuine characteristics of an organizational structure.

Aim: This thesis aims to understand the influence of the dynamic and real characteristics of an organizational structure on a university’s decision-making process. Therefore, this research is conducted to explore how matrix structure influences on decision-making process in Linköping University by reducing uncertainty characteristics of decision-making process.

Definitions: A Garbage Can Model: provides a theory framework in order to understand how decisions are made in organizations under condition of organized anarchy. This Model has four heterogeneous streams include decision, solution, decision maker, and choice opportunity. All these streams are moving around within the organization and need to match up in the choice opportunities to make decisions.

Matrix Structure: is a structure with focus on multiple dimensions through multiple lines of authority and lateral communication.

Results: The Matrix structure reduces the uncertainty of decision-making in Linköping University by managing the information process through the lateral communication. More specifically, the lateral communication occurs based on different approaches such as informal meetings, network of people, management group, and external information. However, the authority aspect in Linköping University has certain tendency towards the single unity of command (centralization), which is in contrast with matrix structure characteristics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
The Garbage Can Model, Uncertainty, Decision-Making, Matrix structure
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-95612ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--13/01587—SEOAI: diva2:636820
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Business Administration – Strategic
Available from: 2013-09-09 Created: 2013-07-12 Last updated: 2013-09-09Bibliographically approved

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