Movie Analysis Project By Andrea Hansen

I will be discussing The Firm motion picture’s portrayal and
impact of…
 Organizational structure
 Organizational goals
 Systems theory
 Hidden agendas
I will then summarize and
analyze the areas mentioned.
The Organizational Structure of Bendini, Lambert, and Locke…
 Small, Memphis law firm
 41 Lawyers
 Divides its labor
into distinct tasks
 Differentiation exists,
but integration is
▪ (Anthony, Gales, & Hodge,
Formal structure
 Oliver Lambert & Executives are top authority
 The rest of the firm employees are pawns that the Executives use
as they see fit to maintain their shady existence.
 Avery is a mentor to Mitch
▪ Evolved into a more informal
▪ Different dynamic than the
rest of the characters
Stability and maintaining an upstanding appearance
 “Mitch, I hope you don't think us intrusive, but stability in the family
has a special importance for us.”
▪ Oliver Lambert (Pollack, 1993)
Control of clients and employees
 “I won my life back. You don't run me.
And they don't run me!”
▪ Mitch Alderman (Pollack, 1993)
Do what is necessary, whatever it takes.
 “I get paid to be suspicious when I've got nothing to be suspicious
▪ William Devasher (Pollack, 1993).
Satisfy clients (especially the Mob)
 They flew to Cayman Islands to
secure a client
Make M-O-N-E-Y
It conveys the idea that organizations are made up of
parts and that the parts interact with each other to
accomplish the organization’s goals (Anthony, Gales, &
Hodge, 2003).
The firm represented is a closed, self-perpetuating system
that receives no outside energy or resources (Anthony,
Gales, & Hodge, 2003).
They have made sure the firm is private because of their
shady dealings with the Mob.
Bendini, Lambert, and Locke’s parts include Executives,
lawyers, criminals, and investigators.
The Executives appoint lawyers on cases, the lawyers
follow the orders, the investigators locate threats, and the
criminals clean up the mess.
All of these parts interact with each other to maintain the
organization’s goal of making money, while appearing
Mitch McDeere is an up-and-coming young lawyer with a promising
career coming from little money.
 Agenda: to make something of himself; to become rich; goes
from idealist to realist
Avery Tolar
 Agenda: to survive, but to
have fun and make a little
waves in the process; to be
a philanderer
Oliver Lambert & Company
 Agenda: to control and continue to prosper aiding the
Mob in money laundering; to do anything necessary to
keep up appearances
 “We know you'll do whatever’s necessary to protect the
firm… wont’cha Mitch?”
▪ Oliver Lambert (Pollack, 1993).
Bendini, Lambert, and Locke uses a formal organizational structure.
 However, there are employees not on the proverbial
organizational chart.
Organizational goals for the firm revolve around making money,
whatever the cost.
The firm is a closed system, which enables their secrets to remain
There are three main agendas present at the firm.
Mitch McDeere was left in the dark on the business dealings of his
new firm. This shows…
 The absence of coordination between McDeere and the rest of
the firm
 The reluctance and severity of letting their secret out
 There were hidden agendas that McDeere had to find out on his
 The system was closed rather
than open because they used
resources without venturing
outside to get them.
The organizational goals of the firm do not match the strategic
goals and actions.
I believe that the goals for this firm are contradictory because in
order to satisfy clients you must make helping them your main goal.
 Bendini, Lambert, and Locke are incapable
of putting clients first.
The firm’s standards were set high
in outward appearance but
internally set very low.
As the book states, “Organizations are purposeful, goal-oriented
entities,” but when I think of the purpose and goals of the firm in the
movie, they seem to be the same; to make money.
 (Anthony, Gales, & Hodge, 2003).
You would think that the purpose of a law firm would be to help
people, but this law firm was as crooked as it gets.
Social responsibility and ethical
behavior guidelines are nonexistent.
 Without these components,
the firm will lose clients and
eventually fail.
This movie depicted an overall very ineffective organizational
structure, as well as a very unethical firm.
The concepts from our book helped me to judge the firm’s actions
without bias, but with fact.
The organizational goals were not disclosed in the movie outright,
but were decipherable by their actions.
I learned that all of the concepts in
our book are important, but some
are more important than others.
Anthony, W. P., Gales, L. M., & Hodge, B. J. (2003). Organization Theory: A
Strategic Approach (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education,
Pollack, S. (Producer and Director). (1993). The Firm [Motion picture].
[With T. Cruise]. United States: Paramount Pictures.
Cover Image: The Firm
Avery and Mitch Image
Avery Tolar Image
Desk Image
Oliver Lambert Image
Running Image
The Firm Image
William Devasher Image

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