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).
- Where organizational design has been implemented: Federal departments and agencies working towards national security.
- How it was implemented: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created through the integration of 22 different federal departments and agencies.
- The DHS was formed by transforming and realigning the confusing patchwork of government activities before 2001 into a single department, which works towards national security.
- Available metrics of success: With a unified and integrated DHS, the US government created a strengthened homeland security enterprise and a more secure America.
- Where organizational design has been implemented: White House science and technology policy function.
- How it was implemented: President Clinton established a cabinet‐level 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.
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.