Intro to open systems theory (PetMed Express)


The case for this course is a little different from most classes, because it is an ongoing case analysis.  You will analyzing one organization throughout the course, applying different models to assemble an organizational diagnosis.  This term, we will be looking at PetMed Express.  In this module, I want you to discuss the purpose and utility of diagnosis, and in the remaining modules we will be conducting the actual diagnosis.

In selecting your organization, I have selected one that is publicly traded, so that you have access to enough sources of information to conduct a diagnosis.  You will want to check out their website, and their most recent annual report online. (Or else you will have to write to them for a copy.)  Search for articles in the business and trade press that give an independent view of the company, because you do not want to depend solely on corporate information.  Check the financial websites such as Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Morningstar, Dunn & Bradstreet and Standard and Poor’s for reports by industry and financial analysts.  Wiki’s and bBlogs are good ways to get an “inside” look – helpful for when you are evaluating their corporate culture/climate.


In a 3-5 page paper, discuss ALL of the following:

  1. Explain the purpose and the value of conducting a diagnosis
  2. Briefly evaluate each of the models presented in the background reading by Falletta.
  3. Do not merely describe the models, comment on their strengths and weaknesses, and specifically indicate what type of organizational problem or functional area would benefit from an analysis using each model. 

Once you have discussed each of the eleven models, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they could best be applied, identify the model(s) that you would choose for use in your

  1. analysis of PetMeds.  Clearly explain issue(s) would you be most concerned about and why your selection(s) would be the best choice(s).

Hints for success!

The biggest problem students run into in this assignment is in simply describing the different models.  In evaluating the models, be sure to go beyond mere description and discuss them in terms of strengths, weakness, similarities, differences, etc.  Stress critical thinking!  Use these insights to support and justify your assessment of the appropriateness of these models to PetMeds.

Courses relevant to this paper include all MBA core courses.


Organization diagnosis entails looking into different organizational operation using various models.  Organization diagnosis is closely tied to organization development and it is mean to improve the operation of an organization. Diagnosing and assessing is one of the most important strategies that are used in organizational development. Organization diagnosis looks into the current level of functioning in an organization in order to put in place the most appropriate changes to maximize the operations (Dutta, 2001).  Through organizational diagnosis, it becomes easier to identify some of the pressing problems that may be obstructing the implementation of organization strategies.