Organizational Design Case Studies

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Organizational Design Case Studies

Examples of how the US government has implemented organizational design practices include the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and State Rural Development Councils (SRDCs).

1. THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

2. NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL (NSTC)

  • Where organizational design has been implemented: White House science and technology policy function.
  • How it was implemented: President Clinton established a cabinetlevel National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) by consolidating and elevating functions previously carried out by interagency councils such as the National Space Council, the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET), and the National Critical Materials Council.
  • Available metrics of success: The NSTC worked towards strengthening and streamlining the White House science and technology policy function by significantly improving decision-making.

3. STATE RURAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS (SRDCS).

  • Where organizational design has been implemented: Federal government programs that serve rural America.
  • How it was implemented: The federal government created SRDCs to consolidate and increase the flexibility of programs that serve rural America. The SRDCs were coordinated by the USDA and supported with resources and leadership from several federal agencies along with state and local governments.
  • Available metrics of success: The councils serve as mechanisms to empower communities and support the states' role in developing a rural agenda.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research team started by directly looking for examples of how the US government has implemented organizational design practices. Through the research, we came across a report published by the Executive Office of the President of the United States in 2018. The report mentions that the most recent reform majors in organization design were taken during the creation of the DHS in 2003. Thereby, we carried further research to find the requested information on where organizational design has been applied/implemented, for example, a specific group, or task, how it was applied/implemented, and any available metrics of success. We came across the official website of the DHS that provided the requested information.
Since the report clearly stated that the most recent reform majors were taken during the creation of the DHS in 2003, we continued to look for more examples on the US federal government implementing organizational design before 2003. We came across another two examples of National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) which was implemented in 1993 and State Rural Development Councils (SRDCs) implemented in 1988.

Kindly note the reasons for selecting the examples mentioned above:

  • All the examples are specific to the US federal government.
  • All the examples meet the definition of organizational design in terms of the realignment of procedures and structures to reduce inefficiencies or redundancies and focus on improving both the technical and people side of operations.


Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "The most notable recent examples of major bipartisan reform and reorganization efforts came in response to mission challenges experienced after 9/11 in the fight against terrorism. "
  • "Operational, communication, and organizational alignment challenges resulted in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence."
Quotes
  • "Below are key documents highlighting how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created through the integration of all or part of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated Department, and how DHS has become a more effective and integrated Department, creating a strengthened homeland security enterprise and a more secure America that is better equipped to confront the range of threats we face."
Quotes
  • "The President proposes to create a new Department of Homeland Security, the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over half-century by largely transforming and realigning the current confusing patchwork of government activities into a single department whose primary mission is to protect our homeland. "
  • "The creation of a Department of Homeland Security is one more key step in the President’s national strategy for homeland security."
Quotes
  • "A cabinet‐level National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was established by President Clinton on November 23, fulfilling a key recommendation of the National Performance Review to strengthen and streamline the White House science and technology policy function."
  • "The NSTC will be a single, strengthened science and technology policy council within the White House intended to significantly improve decision making by consolidating and elevating functions previously carried out by interagency councils such as the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET), the National Space Council, and the National Critical Materials Council, the president said."
Quotes
  • "In 1988, the National Governors Association urged the federal government to develop structures to consolidate and increase the flexibility of programs that serve rural America. The federal government responded by creating State Rural Development Councils. "
  • "These were coordinated by USDA, but supported with resources and leadership from several federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. "
  • "Federal, state, and local responsibilities and relationships are now linked through a memorandum of understanding, while the councils themselves represent stakeholders throughout the states. Thirty-six states either have or are developing these councils. "
  • "The councils are seen as mechanisms to empower communities and support the states' role in developing a rural agenda."
Quotes
  • "Partners for Rural Ameria (PRA) was founded in 1998 to support the efforts of its member State Rural Development Councils (SRDCs), which are uniquely positioned to expand economic and social opportunities for America's rural communities and their residents, promote equal treatment of rural America by government agencies and the private sector and provide a collective voice for rural America."
  • "SRDCs across the country work in their states to conduct research, work with state and federal government officials, partner with other community and economic development organizations and serve as leaders representing the perspective and needs of rural communities throughout their states. "