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Wildfire Entertainment Organizational Structure Archetypes Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2575 1510 Words (7 Pages) D. Charles Galunic, Warren Tierney INSEAD : IN1175
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The case focused on wildfire entertainment – a tech-based company and startup facing hurdles in fully capitalizing on rapid growth owing to its organizational design and structure. The organizational structure and design are complicated as is explored in the case, and organizations can simply not adopt formal structures. Instead, as is explored in the case, each of the formal, fundamental structures i.e. functional, matrix and divisional, come with their own unique sets of benefits and challenges. Organizations, instead, must develop unique and customized structures to meet their growth needs, and strategic objectives to ensure high business development, optimal performance, and goal fulfillment. The case explores the importance of choosing the right organizational structure and archetype to meet the need so the organization – also focusing on the importance and the need for aligning the organizational structure with the strategy to ensure successful strategic implementation and realization.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Describe the context Wildfire Entertainment faced in the early days of its development (why might a single organizational structure not be effective?

  2. What are the signs of misalignment between organizational structure and strategy?

  3. What are the pros and cons of the three main organizational archetypes that wildfire used: functional, matrix/hybrid, divisional?

  4. In the context of rapid growth, how can a tech-based start-up know when the organizational structure should be changed?

Case Analysis for Wildfire Entertainment Organizational Structure Archetypes

1. Describe the context Wildfire Entertainment faced in the early days of its development (why might a single organizational structure not be effective?

In the initial days, the wildfire entertainment had a close knit organizational structure, with a centralized leadership style. The founding members were responsible for making the key decisions and other members of the organization were there to implement the decisions and the ideas. The employees, 40 in all, worked together without formal job descriptions – often collaborating together, and performing cross departmental and cross functional tasks. This had allowed the company to develop a family oriented work environment – with an open and a healthy culture. However, as the company grew, this organizational structure failed to prove successful.

As more people joined wildfire entertainment, the centralized decision-making structure slowed things down. Since the founding members were busy with business development as well as other growth challenges and aspects of the business, decision-making slowed down. Moreover, with an absence of formalized routines and job responsibilities as well as job descriptions, tasks got delayed, and employees often faced roadblocks – leading to increased costs for the organization. Wildfire entertainment had previously adopted a single organization structure. This meant that the organization worked together in a unified Way without the need of silos, departments and teams. All employees were responsible for performing all tasks – wherever and whenever needed as per their skills and availability. However, this lacked formality. As the organization grew, the work pressure increased. At the same time, the nature of the tasks also grew complicated. More importantly, organizational growth led to the hiring of more employees. Without formal job descriptions and organizational functions, wildfire entertainment experienced a slowdown in its growth path. This is because its resources failed to be fully optimized. Employees failed to perform optimally owing to lack of structure and formal routines – leading to underutilization of other resources as well. The singular managerial and decision-making structure further failed to complement the company’s growth – leading to slowdown and frustration.

2. What are the signs of misalignment between organizational structure and strategy?

Alignment between the organizational structure and strategy is critically needed for ensuring that the organization is able to successfully execute its strategic goals and follow its strategic direction. The organizational structure is needed to complement and support the broader organizational strategy, and facilitate its execution. Misalignment between the two causes obstacles and hurdles in the way of strategy implementation. Some of the signs of misalignment between organizational structure and strategy, as seen from the case of wildfire entertainment, include the following:

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