Posted: October 17th, 2013







Petrobras is a company carrying our Project Management in the USA. In one of its assignments, Petrobras hires the services of Dinsmore Consultants, a company that offers Project Management Offices (PMO) offices. Dinsmore has headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but operates a minor subsidiary in Dallas, Texas. The contract with Petrobras encompasses providing project management services for the entire project period. In this assignment, Dinsmore hires workers from within America and sends some of its staff from Rio to oversee operations. Many problems arise in the course of this project especially concerning the overall supervisor of Dinsmore’s operations in this particular assignment.

The Situation

Dinsmore Consultancy’s Problems are the result of the complexity problem of the company. There are several properties of complex organization systems (Finch et al., 426). There is a negative butterfly effect created by the perceived unnatural behavior of Mr Nascimento. He ruins his reputation by taking credit for the works of Ms Rosso. Another complexity problem faced by Dinsmore is the boundary problem. Dinsmore’s hierarchical structure creates departmental boundaries that cause distinct differences between the organization and the customer. For instance, existing boundaries make the relationship between Nascimento, Petrobras and other workers. Ms Mattos is aware of an underlying problem but cannot raise it with Nascimento because of the distance created. There are also boundaries between Nascimento and his subordinates that is why he takes credit for Ms Rosso’s hard work. Transforming feedback in the organization was also quite difficult. For example, Nascimento received project reports and forwarded them to Ms Mattos as his work. If this information reaches the other workers, Nascimento and the company’s reputation in general will have suffered massively. Nascimento’s behavior may cause the formation of fractals within the organization. Fractals may result from the outcome of unusual employee behavior (Fitch et al., 428).Dinsmore’s US operations may not resume operations as well as anticipated due to the effects of this event on its staff. There is a likelihood of the situation generating into disorder for the organization.

Consulting Questions

There are several concerns in this case. The first concern is the anticipated reaction from Geraldine as a Dinsmore employee on the actions of her boss Alex Nascimento. Her reaction is an important factor in the interplay of events in this project since it poses a significant effect to the general organizational culture. The steps she pursues have a great bearing on the organizational culture and are very important in resolving the issue. The second matter of concern is Nascimento’s behavior. How can he conduct himself to avoid interfering with the works of his subordinates? This question is important in pinpointing the kind of organizational conduct supervisors have to uphold. Last concerns the reduction of the bureaucracy involved in report submission. How can Mattos reduce the number of hands the project report goes through before finally reaching her? Finding the answer to this question will assist Dinsmore plan an organizational structure that is freer and more efficient. There is also the need to find out how to manage the effects brought about by the complexity concepts affecting the company.




Making use of the properties of complex systems can assist the company to solve the present situation (Caldwell, 75). There should be strategies that eliminate the effects of butterfly effects in the organization. To avoid the barriers of boundary, the manager must ensure that these boundaries enhance customer relationship. To avoid the adverse effects of destructive feedback created by this situation the company must create a system where feedback is transformed into less destructive information. Fractals generated from the present situation can be useful in transforming the organization. The company can use fractals in the organizational structure to create collaboration and cohesion (Finch et al., 440).

Another important issue concerns self-organization. Dinsmore can take advantage of the disorder that arises from this situation to create a more flexible organization based on new cultural values. Chaotic systems create a form of order in the organization that enables it to achieve its goals (Caldwell, 98). Coupling is important in this scenario because there is need to create some independence in the other departments. Coupling will ensure independence and associative freedom. This is similar to the team mental model. The team mental model will assist the organization to create an organizational culture that emphasizes teamwork and employee development through assistance and collaborative work (Schein, 15)

Dinsmore can also apply Lewin’s change model. This model requires the company to troubleshoot the problem, effect change and carry out refreezing (adjust system structures to suit the change). For instance, Dinsmore can find out problems about its organizational structure by discussing the issue with members of staff. This step is called the Unfreezing. New strategies will be derived from the meeting and implemented. After implementation of the structural changes such as creating a more open and decentralized organization, the company will adjust other features such as remunerations.


Many organizations like Dinsmore face significant organizational problems especially with top-level managers. Organizational conflict concerning employees and management are difficult to solve if the right structural models are not in place (Maula, 39). The organizational structure is very important when it comes to effecting major changes in the relationship between organizational mangers and their subordinates. Several models can be applied in such organizations. Lewin’s change model is important in finding areas that require change and effecting the changes. The theories of complex organizations are important in making changes to organizational structure and features.


Works Cited

Caldwell, Raymond. Agency and Change: Rethinking Change Agency in Organizations. London: Routlege, 2006. Print.

Finch, Frederic E, Joseph A. Litterer, and Halsey R. Jones. Managing for Organizational Effectiveness: An Experiential Approach. Bundoora, Vic: La Trobe University Library, 1992. Print.

Maula, Marjatta. Organizations as Learning Systems: ‘living Composition’ As an Enabling Infrastructure. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006. Internet resource.

Schein, Edgar H. Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Internet resource.

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