Institute of Government
Tennessee State University
Course Number: PA 631
Title: Seminar In Organization Theory
Course Credit: Three Credits
Instructor: Rodney E. Stanley, Ph.D.
Office: Avon Williams Campus, Suite F-13
Phone: (615) 963 – 7249:W
(615) 746 - 4958: H
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00 – 5:00
Thursday 12:00 – 5:00
Course Description: This course is structured in survey format in order to inform the public administration student about organizational theories and administrative behavior practices pertinent to public organizations in America. The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with a theoretical base for understanding the public sector in America. Furthermore, this course will attempt to instruct the student on how to apply organizational theory to the practice of public administration. Students will be expected to display their knowledge of “why” and “how” public organizations look and function the way they do in various discussions, presentations, papers, and in examinations.
Course Objectives: At the end of this course the student will be able to:
1) Establish a theoretical foundation about the development and perpetual sustainability of public and non-profit organizations that the student may apply in various academic and practical endeavors throughout their professional career.
2) Bring to the attention of the student current and future trends that are emerging in the sub-field of organization theory in an effort to assist in preparing the student for problem solving in public and non-profit organizations.
3) Create analytical reasoning skills applicable to solving problems in public and non-profit organizations.
· Classical Organization Theory
· Neoclassical Organization Theory
· Modern Structural Organization Theory
· Systems Theory, Population Ecology, and Organizational Economics
· Power and Politics Organization Theory
· Organizational Culture and Reform Movements
· Postmodernism and the Information Age
· Human Relations School of thought
· Management and the Behavioral Sciences
· Individual Behavioral and Motivation
· Leadership and Power
· Organizational Change and Development
Teaching Strategies: Lecture, class discussion, critical appraisal, individual presentations, annotated bibliography or organizational design, midterm and final exam.
Heffron, Florence. 1989. Organization Theory and Public Organizations: The Political Connection. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Shafritz, Jay. 2000. Classics of Organizational Theory. Wadsworth Pub. Co. ISBN: 0155068695
Rainey, Hal. 1996. Understanding and Managing Public Organizations. Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 0787902519.
Annotated Bibliography 100 points
Design A Public or Non-profit 100 points
One Class Presentation 100 points
Grading Scale: Final Grades will be premised on cumulative points as follows:
A = 500- 450; B = 449 - 399; C = 398 - 348; D = 347 - 275; F = below 274.
Individual Grading Scale: A = 100 – 90; B = 89 – 80; C = 79 – 70; D = 69 – 60; F = below 60.
Exam: Each student will be required to complete a final exam. The exam will be in class and the student will have one class period to complete the exam. The exam will consist of several essay questions about important topics discussed throughout the semester. A study guide will be provided to assist the student in preparing for the exam.
Annotated bibliographies train the research-oriented student on the systematic process of formulating literature reviews that are used in theses and dissertations. This is a good exercise for the student who is planning on continuing their graduate education at the doctoral level or for the student planning on writing a masters thesis.
The format of each article analyzed in the annotated bibliography should be as follows:
· Citation of the Journal Article
· The stated Problem addressed by the article
· The Purpose of the article
· The Methods used to gather the data in the Article (this may not be applicable in all cases since most of the articles are theoretical arguments)
· The Findings and Conclusions of the Article
· Your Opinion of the validity of the Article in helping us understand public organizations and why you tend to believe this way
The overall structure of the Annotated Bibliography should be as follows:
· Table of Contents of sections with each article alphabetized
· The summarized articles in alphabetical order
· An analysis of the articles relating them to one another
o Address the literature gap that warrants further research on your topic
o An automatic letter grade will be deducted from your grade if this question is not addressed
· Conclusion stating what we have learned from the articles
· Citation Style: APSA, APA, or Chicago
· At least 10 pages in length, not counting the title page but no more than 15 pages.
· No less than 7 sources, of which can only be from referred journal articles.
· Submit two copies of annotated bibliography of which I will return one copy graded.
Organizational Design: The Organizational Design project is intended for the student with a career focus that is practitioner oriented. The purpose of this project is to allow the student to conceptually form a public or non-profit organization on paper, to understand the necessary components that comprise complex organizations.
· At least 15 pages in length, not counting the title page but no more than 20 pages.
· No less than 5 sources
· Submit two copies of the design of which I will return one copy graded.
*** How would one these theories (the one you deem as the best explanation of public organizations) address the following issues:
Contents to be addressed in Design:
Classical Organization Theory
Neoclassical Organization Theory
Modern Structural Organization Theory
Power and Politics Organization Theory
Human Relations School
Organizational Structure (Jones Chapter 4):
Design Chart (organizational chart)
Divisions of Labor (Job Descriptions)
Vertical versus Horizontal Differentiation
Differentiation versus Integration
Centralization versus Decentralization
Standardization versus Mutual Adjustment
Mechanistic versus Organic Structures
Authority versus Power
Control and Conflict
Chain of Command
Span of control
Tall versus Flat Hierarchies
Strengths and Weaknesses of design
Others Issues you deem important
Grading Criteria for Papers & Designs:
1) Analysis: A sufficient number of organization theory concepts are used to analyze the situation discussed in the paper;
2) References: A variety of pertinent and timely references were sought and obtained in preparing the paper;
3) Organization: The main points are stated clearly and arranged in a logical sequence;
4) Coherence: The development of ideas, arguments and discussion shows consistency and logical connection;
5) Clarity: The ideas, arguments and discussion shows consistency and logical connection;
6) Conciseness: The language is direct and to the point, using sufficient space to say exactly what is intended and be readily understood by the reader;
7) Grammar: The written is in standard American English, with proper sentence structure, syntax, punctuation and spelling;
8) Drafting: The writing shows evidence of being drafted and revised before submission of the final copy.
9) Following Directions: Identifying and addressing all components of the project the instructor outlines.
10) Timeliness: Simply turning the project in on the specified date given by the instructor.
Each student will be required to assist in the presentation of the reading material at least once, and maybe twice in the semester (depending on the size of the class). Groups of two to four individuals will be assigned to present the basic arguments of the literature assigned for that week and facilitate discussions regarding the literature. Your presentations will be critiqued on how thorough you present the material, how well you project to the class, the amount of class discussion that results from your presentation (in other words try to be controversial it makes for better discussions), and the amount of time you use in your presentations (please try not to exceed 30 minutes in your presentations). The class usually finds it helpful if you distribute an outline of your material before you begin your presentation, however this is not required.
1) Organization – There is a structured format in which the student displays throughout the presentation.
2) Planning – There is evidence of rehearsing and the presentation flows well and is properly paced according to time.
3) Visual Aids – Adequate use of visual aids to assist in explanations during the presentation.
4) Speaker Enthusiasm – Displayed adequate knowledge of the subject, and exhibited sufficient self-confidence during the presentation.
5) Voice Projection – Good articulation, proper delivery rate, no distracting gestures (e.g., chewing gum, too many “uhs”, etc).
Students are expected to be present in order to participate in class discussions. For every absence the instructor will deduct 10 points from the students participation and attendance grade. Excessive absences will lead to a substantial lowering of a student’s grade. General criteria used to assess class participation include:
1) Content Mastery: Students must display an understanding of facts, concepts, and theories presented in the assigned readings and lectures. This ability is the basis for all higher-level skills and must be made evident by classroom comments and/or response to questions.
2) Communication Skills: Students must be able to inform others in an intelligent manner what she/he knows. Ideas must be communicated clearly and persuasively. Communication skills include listening to others and understanding what they have said, responding appropriately, asking questions in a clear manner, avoiding rambling discourses or class domination, using proper vocabulary pertinent to the discussion, building on the ideas of others, etc.
3) Synthesis/Integration: Students must illuminate the connections between the material under consideration and other bodies of knowledge. For example, one could take several ideas from the reading or class discussions and combine them to produce a new perspective on an issue, or one could take outside materials and combine them to create new insights. Students who probe the interdisciplinary roots of the theories presented or who are able to view the author or the materials from several viewpoints demonstrate this skill.
4) Creativity: Students must demonstrate that they have mastered the basic material and have gone on to produce their own insights. A simple repetition of ideas from the articles will not suffice, nor will simply commenting on what others have said. Students must go beyond the obvious by bringing their own beliefs and imagination to bear. Creativity may be displayed by showing further implications of the material, by applying it to a new field, or by finding new ways of articulating the materials, which produce significant insights.
5) Valuing: Students should be able to identify the value inherent in the material studied. The underlying assumptions of the author should be identified. Furthermore, students should be able to articulate their own positions by reference to basic underlying values. Students must not simply feel something is wrong or incorrect; they must be able to state why, based on some hierarchy of values. In either accepting or rejecting a position, the operative values must become explicit.
6) General Enthusiasm and Interest in the Class: This can be shown by regularity of attendance and thoughtful insights given throughout the semester in class discussions.
*** All papers (including organization design paper) should use the following format: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1” margins from left to right and top to bottom, and double spaced. Late projects will automatically be reduced one letter grade for each day they are late.
Note: Following explicit directions are an important aspect of graduate school training. Therefore, it is important that the student follow the stated guidelines in this syllabus, throughout the course of this class, because failure to do so will result in point reductions. Furthermore, it will probably be to your best interest to submit papers to me before the due date (at least two weeks), so I can make suggestions on how you might want to change your work in order to receive a higher grade.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Any students who feel the need for academic accommodations due to a recognized disability by the TSU Handbook, will be given such adjustments only after the student goes through the proper channels at the university to receive such accommodations. The TSU Handbook is a good place to start if you are unaware of the “proper procedures.”
*** Note this syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
Rainey Chapters 3& 4
Rainey Chapters 5& 6
Rainey Chapters 7& 8
Rainey Chapters 9 & 10
Rainey Chapters 11& 12
Heffron 5 -6
Heffron 7 -8
Heffron 9 -10
Organizational Design Projects are due