This paper's primary focus is to inform the reader on the background of the Alberta Beef Producers Organization located in the province of Alberta. Alberta Beef Producers Organization (or ABP) is the leader of beef exports in Canada. ABP exports beef to countries such as the United States, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan and holds 42 percent of Canada's beef market. The company's structure is explained and a brief history on the company is covered. The effects of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, are also explained throughout the paper as they relate to the company's environmental complexity and the organization's size. Theories from the Organizational Theory and Design text book are used to emphasize these effects in greater detail. Sources from the Internet and various news papers, such as the Globe and Mail and the Western Investor, are used to site examples and to further emphasize the effects that the mad cow disease has had on the organization.
The Alberta Beef Producers Organization Background.
All organizations can be defined as social entities that are goal-directed, are designed as deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems, and are linked to the external environment; the Alberta Beef Producers Organization is no exception. The Alberta Beef Producers Organization (Alberta Beef Producers, 2004) consists of over 35, 000 beef cattle producers; those ranging from historic family farms to state-of-the-art feeding and breeding operations. ABP was established in 1969 at the request of five widely diverse farm groups as these companies realised that their goals were identical; to increase beef demand, both domestically and internationally, and to guarantee long-term access to valuable resources, such as land and water, as they were seen as the two most valuable resources to the cattle industry (Alberta Beef Producers, 2004). .
The structure of this considerably large organization is deliberately divided into nine zones within Alberta, ensuring that each major zone is represented with a strong voice within the organization.