Course of Organizational Effectiveness

This course aims to introduce students to the field of organization theory — which incorporates concepts from various disciplines such as management studies, sociology, psychology, political sciences and economics to study organizations. The course is designed to encourage students to actively and critically use these concepts to make sense, diagnose, manage and respond to the emerging organizational needs and problems. The emphasis of this course is on the practical value of organization theory for students as future managers and as members of organizations. Developing an understanding of how (should) organizations structure and operate is critical so that students, the future managers, will be able to fulfill their roles effectively.

Modes of Teaching and Learning

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Each week we will explore a different topic of organization theory and show how it can be used to anticipate, understand, and resolve different problems that arise from business organizations in today’s turbulent environment. Exemplary issues are organizational goals, strategies and design; fundamentals of organizational structure; organizational environment and analysis; organizations and technology; organizational culture and leadership; organizational politics and decision-making and so on. We will make the link between organization theory and the realistic world by using textbooks, class exercises, case/video discussions and other supplementary readings. Because actively applying organization theory concepts is the goal, case analysis and discussion are integral parts of the course. The cases are designed to test and sharpen students’ ability to identify the theoretical concepts in actual organization settings and to apply these concepts in decision-making.

To achieve the course objective, this course is organized as a seminar. Active participation of EVERY student is a must. Independent and reflective learning and critical thinking will be emphasized and the roles of instructor are confined to a guide, facilitator and clarifier. While the instructor will introduce the materials and provide a roadmap every week, the lecture/discussion will be conducted in a bilateral, interactive way. Students need to prepare for each session by reading the assigned materials and actively involve in the class. Moreover, students will be asked (in groups) to present the materials and lead the discussion for cases and videos. Special class formats such as student seminar and debate will also be incorporated.

Basic Text and Readings

There is only one text for this course which the schedule and lectures follow. Students are encouraged to read the supplementary readings that provide a guide to go deeper into a specific subject. These are classics in the respective areas and are very interesting. Extra credits will be given for incorporating these sources into group project, case presentation and final exam. On top of the textbook and the supplementary readings, there are also cases and short essays from various sources such as Business Week, Economist, Fortune, and Wall Street Journal.

(1) Organization Theory and Design by Richard L. Daft.

(2) Supplementary readings in various management journals

Course Policies Students are accountable for their class attendance behavior. If you know you will be absent from class, I expect you to notify me in advance or, in the case of an emergency, as soon as possible afterward. Medical or other certificates are necessary for a legitimate absence. If you miss one whole class without valid reasons, ONE point will be deducted from your total final participation grade at the end of the semester. Moreover, HALF point will be deducted if you are late for an hour and leave an hour earlier. Other policies are abided by the university rules.