Organization and practica. Case studies of four large Houston architectural firms
Butler, Brent Alan
Sharpe, Carl P.
Master of Architecture
The purpose of this study was to investigate and establish linkages between architectural practice and organization. Linkages refer to the interrelationships among: (1) what one does with respect to professional, building-related services (practice); and (2) the business framework in which the practice is formed and operates (organization). Fifteen criteria (five architectural practice divisions and ten organizational categories) were chosen across which to evaluate architectural firms. Four companies were chosen as the resource: CRS Design Associates, 3D International, Goleman and Rolfe, and S. I. Morris Associates. A literature search related to each critereon was included as background material and to delineate the available options. Oral interviews with members of each case study firm were conducted concerning the fifteen criteria and an historical sketch to better understand the contemporary situation of the institution. Government questionnaires and books produced by, for, and about each company were collected. From the case studies and generic material, forty-two linkages were established in two groups. The first group of twenty-five dealt with linkages having at least one criterion among: (1) internal delegation (function, team); (2) control (centralization, decentralization); (3) directive and participative approaches; and (4) continuity. The remaining seventeen linkages concern the other eleven criteria.