Course Number: PO 331
Course Title: Public Organizations
Instructor: Dr. John R. Morrisette
Phone: 257-7389 (W), 320-4475 (H)
Term Dates: October 16 – December 11, 2004
Class Time: Saturday, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Site: WPAFB, Area B, Building 50A
PO 331: Public Organizations
I. Course Description: An approach to the theory of organizations and the implications of that theory in the public sector.
II. Goals of the Course: To provide the student with an understanding of
the evolution of organization theory and the implications for organizations in the public sector. The student will be provided with a balance of theory and practice and will explore various theories of organizations in terms of how the structure of an organization interrelates with its function. The objective is to acquaint the student with the evolution of organization theory and the effect of that evolutionary process on public organizations. This course is process-oriented and will include research, oral presentation, and project reports.
III. Learning Objectives: At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:
(1) Understand key organizational terms and concepts.
(2) Understand the evolution of organization theory and the implications for both public and private sector organizations.
(3) Understand the implications of organization theory and its effect on structure and practice.
(4) Understand the dynamics of organizational change and the effect of change on organization theory.
IV. Course Arrangements: Lecture, discussion, research presentations, and problem-solving exercises will be employed in this course.
V. Course Requirements: Students are responsible for reading all assignments from the text and supplemental material. Students should be prepared to discuss all assignments in class. Written and oral presentation assignments are due on the dates specified in this syllabus.
Article Analysis: Each student will present an article analysis to the class. The student will research an article from the literature (periodical, journal, etc.) dealing with some aspect of organization theory and present an analysis to the class. The analysis should address the relationship of the article to the theory of organizations, why the article is important, strengths and weaknesses of the article, and an overall evaluation of the author’s work. Additional guidance regarding the analysis will be provided in class.
Research Reports: Each student will prepare a research report to be turned in to the instructor and presented in class. The student will select one of the major theories of organization presented in the course text (classical mechanization, organic, human relations, culture, system, etc.). The student should then research three or four primary sources and provide a written. The synopsis should briefly summarize the work of each author, then interrelate those works to provide a description of the theory. The written synopsis will be provided to the instructor on the date indicated in the syllabus. Subsequently, each student will present the synopsis to the rest of the class. Additional information regarding the written synopsis and the oral presentation will be provided in class.
VI. Textbook: Shaffritz and Ott, Classics of Organization Theory, Fifth Edition, Harcourt, 2001.
VII. Supplemental Resources: Students should utilize the resources of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base library. Selected periodicals include the Harvard Business Review, Public Administration Review, and Journal of Management. Students should also use the books on the Park College shelf at the base library. In addition, there are numerous sources available via the internet.
VIII Class Meeting and Examination Schedule:
Meeting Date Chapter Topic
1 October 16 ----- Introduction to Organization Theory
2 October 23 1 Classical Theory – Mechanization
3 October 30 2, 3 Nature, People, and Human Relations
4 November 6 4 Structures
5 November 13 Midterm Examination
5 General Systems Theory
6 November 20 7 Organizational Culture
7 November 27 6 Power and Politics
Research Reports Due
8 December 4 --- Negotiating the Labyrinth – one best way?
Review for Final Examination
9 December 11 Final Examination
IX Class Policies: The Park College policy on class attendance shall apply without exception. Class participation is expected and will comprise part of the final grade. All readings/problems must be completed prior to the applicable class. This is essential to insure class participation and to further develop an understanding of the course material. Students are expected to attend all classes and to be on time. Roll will be taken during each class. Classes missed for legitimate reasons (e.g. illness, duty, TDY, etc.) are excusable, however the student is expected to complete all required work. Two unexcused absences are allowed in accordance with Park College policy. Submitting someone else’s work as your own constitutes academic dishonesty and is not tolerated. Academic dishonesty will result in a grade of “0” for the work. A second violation will result in a grade of “F” for the course.
X. Grading Policy: Final grades will be determined as follows
Synopsis/Presentation 50 points
Midterm Examination 50 points
Final Examination 50 points
Total 150 points
Grades will be assigned as follows: 135 and above = A, 120-135 = B, 105-120 = C, 90-105 = D, below 90 = F
XI. Incompletes: An incomplete will be given in place of a letter grade only in
extenuating circumstances (e.g. hospitalization, excessive TDY, etc.) Missing the final examination does not result in an automatic incomplete. Incompletes will be given only with prior instructor approval and only after appropriate documentation is provided. Students receiving an incomplete have 60 days from the last day of the term to complete all required coursework. If not completed, incompletes become an “F” grade.
XII. Academic Dishonesty: The following information is provided from the 2000-2001 Park University Catalog – page 47.
“Academic honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.
Plagiarism – the appropriation of imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work – sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance. Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”