ORGANIZATION THEORY AND MANAGEMENT
2015/2016, Semester 1
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
The art of organizing is foundational to public policy design and implementation. Public managers need to master the skills of not only making policies but also managing their organizations, as well as working effectively with other organizations. This course examines fundamental theories of organization. It discusses strategies for enhancing organizational performance and puts them into the context of the public sector. Studies and practices from organizations in both public and private sector will be drawn on as resources for the class when considering how public organizations can be managed effectively.
National University of Singapore
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
PP5233 Organization Theory and Management
Semester I 2015 – 2016
(as at 24 July 2015)
YEE, (Henry) Wai-Hang, Ph.D.
Li Ka Shing Building 02-03
: Thursday 14:00 – 17:00
This is a master–level course designed for practitioners in the field of public administration and public policy. The course examines theories of organization for understanding organizational phenomena and discusses potential strategies for enhancing organizational performance. The class draws on studies and practices of organizations from different sectors as learning materials.
To achieve high level of synergy and make the most out of our classroom meetings, I expect students to learn from both the instructor and one another in the class. Each of our class will be divided into 2 parts. In the first part, I will begin by giving a general introduction of the assigned readings. Then, students appointed in advance will deliver brief presentations on the assigned readings of the week. Each student will be responsible for presenting 1-2 pieces of reading. Then, the class will be divided into groups to discuss and share their views on the readings with their group members. Each group will then share their views with the class. The second half of the session will be followed after a break. The instructor will be in-charge of the session after the break, carrying out various class activities designed for the session (e.g., case discussion, debate). More and more emphasis will be put on case discussion as students become familiar with the field.
Through exposing students to various streams of organization literature, the course aims to develop students’ ability to understand systematically and analyze critically organizational phenomena. By the end of the semester, students will be equipped with some basic tools for improving organizational performance.
Students are expected to
Distinguish and describe different theoretical perspectives;
Discuss their respective assumptions, level(s) of analysis, analytical strengths, and weaknesses;
Utilize the theoretical perspectives to comprehend organizational structures and processes that affect organizational performance;
Identify and diagnose organizational problems, and prescribe potential strategies for improvement.
Assessment and Grading
Assessments in this course are designed to enhance students’ learning. They provide a paced, step-by-step process for achieving the learning objectives.
Class participation (12%), and peer evaluation (12%)
Learning reaction memo x 1 (12%)
Presentation x 1 (16%)
Case analysis I (16%), and Case analysis II (32%)
a. Class Participation, and Peer Evaluation
Active participation in class is crucial for your learning and the learning of others. This can only be achieved when everyone is contributing. Students are expected to share their thoughts on the assigned readings and discuss them with the class. Relevant experiences are particularly welcomed as this brings varieties to the knowledge pool of the class.
b. Learning Reaction Memo
This exercise aims to enhance your understanding of the learning materials. Students are to submit one-page (single-spaced) learning reaction memos on their understanding and reflection of the assigned weekly materials. In the memo, students are expected to (1) summarize the key theses of the materials, (2) apply them to conceptualize some organizational phenomena, and (3) discuss their strengths and weaknesses or your comments. The memo is to be submitted to me on Monday morning.
Effective verbal communication is an essential skill for organizational analysis. Each student is expected to deliver one brief presentations in class (~10 minutes). The presentation is supposed to facilitate and stimulate the subsequent class discussion. It may also raise some questions based on the assigned readings of the week (or those before it), or on some contemporary cases or current affairs. The presentation file is to be submitted to me on Thursday morning.
d. Case Analysis I & II
In the case analyses, students are expected to first identify and describe in detail some key organizational phenomena and/or management problems of their interest, analyze the phenomena/problems using one or more theoretical perspective(s), and suggest potential solutions/strategies for changes in the organization.
For Case Analysis I, students will be given a case scenario, whereas in Case Analysis II, students will analyse an organization at their own choice. Especially for Case Analysis II, students are encouraged to incorporate objective data, relevant literature review, their experience and creativity into the analysis.
The objective of the exercise is to allow students to put in use the knowledge they have learnt in the class. Students will be graded according to depth and clarity of their writing, analytical rigor, appropriateness in the use of theoretical perspective(s), and the plausibility of the solutions/strategy they suggest.
Class Schedule and Learning Materials
Ott., J. S., Shafritz, J. M., & Jang, Y. S. (2011). Classic Readings in Organization Theory. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Week 1: Introduction
No reading assigned.
Week 2: Overview
Scott, W. R. (1992). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Ch. 1 – The subject is organizations, pp. 1-8.
Selznick, P. (1948). Foundations of the theory of organization. American Sociological Review, 13(1): 25-35. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 120-129.
Porter, M. E. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74(November-December): 61-78.
Thompson, J. L. (2002). The world of the social entrepreneur. The International Journal of Public Sector Management, 15(5): 412-431. (Skip pp. 417-422).
EU Design (ACRC)
Tsoukas, Haridimos, & Chia, Robert. (2002). On organizational becoming: Rethinking organizational change. Organizational Science, 13(5): 567-582.
Week 3: Classical Management Theory
Weber, M. (1968). Ch. 11. Bureaucracy, pp. 956-969. In Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology. Guenther Roth & Claus Wittich (eds.) Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 77-82.
Taylor, F. (1967/1911). The principles of scientific management. Ch. 1. In The Principles of Scientific Management. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Gulick, L. (1937). Notes on the theory of organization. In L, Gulick & L, Urwick (eds.) Papers on the Science of Administration. New York: Institute of Public Administration. Ch. 1. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 83-91.
Alison, G. (1971). Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. Ch. 1, pp. 28-38.
Management of Yellow River, China (LKYSPP)
Locke, E. A. (1982). The ideas of Frederick W. Taylor: An Evaluation. Academy of Management Review, 7: 14-24.
Week 4: Behavioral Decision Theory
Kahneman, D. & Tversky, A. (1984). Choices, values, and frames. American Psychologist, 34(4): 341-350.
March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Ch. 6. In Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Cohen, M. D., March, J. C., & Olsen, J. P. (1972). A garbage can model of organizational choice. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17: 1-25. (pp. 1-4, 11-18).
Jielang Phone Home (HBS)
Tversky, A, & Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 211(4481): 453-458.
March, J. G. (1962). The business firm as a political coalition. The Journal of Politics, 24(4): 662-678.
Weick, K. E. (1976). Educational organization as loosely coupled systems. Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(1): 1-19.
Week 5: Human Resource School
Barnard, C. J. (1938). The Functions of the Executive. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Ch. 9.
Roethlisberger, F. H., & Dickson, W. J. (1946). Ch. 8, pp. 17-25. In Management and the Worker. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 162-170.
Herzberg, F. (1968). One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees? Reprinted in Harvard Business Review, Jan 2003, pp. 87-96.
: The Dirty Business of Sand (LKYSPP)
Dewhurst, M., Guthridge, M., & Mohr, E. (2009). Motivating people: Getting beyond money. Mickinsey Quarterly, Nov 2009, pp. 1-5
Week 6: Contingency Theory and Resource Dependence Theory
Thompson, J. D. (1967). Part I. Organization in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 490-503
Preffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1978). Ch. 1 & 3. In The External Control of Organizations. New York: Harper & Row.
Lawrence, P. R., & Lorsch, J. W. (1967). Differentiation and integration in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 12(1): 1-47.
Mechanic, D. (1962). Sources of power of lower participants in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 7(3): 349-364.
: National Institute of Management, India (ISB)
Recess Week –
Cases Analysis I due
Week 7: Organizational Economics
Alchian, A. A., & Demsetz, H. (1972). Production, information cost, and economic organization. American Economic Review, 62(5): 777-795. (pp. 777-783.)
Fama, E. F., & Jensen, M. C. (1983). Separation of Ownership and Control. Journal of Law and Economics, 26(2): 301-325.
Williamson, O. (1981). The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach. American Journal of Sociology, 87(3): 548-577. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 255-267.
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Agency theory: An assessment and review. The Academy of Management Review, 14(1): 57-74.
ABC Energy Limited, India (ISB) + Programs of International Affairs
Week 8: Organizational Institutionalism I
Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation. New York: Row, Peterson and Company. Ch. 1 and 5
Daft, R. L., & Weick, K. E. (1984). Toward a model of organizations as interpretation systems. The Academy of Management Review, 9(2): 284-295.
Suddaby, R., & Greenwood, R. (2005). Rhetorical strategies of legitimacy. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(1): 35-67.
Weick, K. E. (1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster.
Week 9: Organizational Institutionalism II
Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83(2): 340-363. In Ott et al. (2011), pp. 504-519.
DiMaggio, P., & Powell, W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2): 147-160.
Oliver, C. (1991). Strategic responses to institutional process. The Academy of Management Review, 16(1): 145-179.
Week 10: Network Perspective
Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. The American Journal of Sociology, 91(3): 481-510. The Problem of Markets and Hierarchies, pp. 493-504.
Powell, W. W. (1990). Neither market nor hierarchy: Network forms of organization. In B. M. Staw and L. L. Cummings (eds.). Research in Organizational Behavior, 12: 295-336. Markets, Hierarchies, and Network, pp. 300-321
Baker, W. E. Market Networks and Corporate Behavior. The American Journal of Sociology, 96(3): 589-625.
Gulati, R., Dialdin, D. A., & Wang, L. (2002). Organizational Networks. Companion to Organizations, Ch. 12. Blackwell.
Forbes Marshall (ISB)
Week 11: System Thinking
Perrow, C. (1999). Normal Accidents: Living with high risk technologies. Princeton University Press. Ch. 3.
Axelrod, R. M., & Cohen, M. D. (2000). Harnessing Complexity: Organizational Implications of a Scientific Frontier. New York: Basic Books. Ch. 1 & 5.
Meadows, Donella H. (2008). Thinking in Systems: A Primer. D. Wright (Ed.). VT: Chelsea Green. Ch. 1 & 7.
: China Resources Corporation, China (HBS)
Simon, H. A. (1962). The architecture of complexity. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 106(6): 467-482.
Miller, J. H. & Page, S. E. (2007). Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life. Ch. 1.
Week 12: Project Presentation and Feedback
Senge, P. M. (1990). The leader’s new work: Building learning organizations. Sloan Management Review, Fall: 7-23. (Organizational Learning)
Stinchcombe, A. (1965). Social structure and organizations, pp. 142-165. In James G. March (eds), Handbook of Organizations. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.
Week 13: Review and Summary
Please refer to relevant student guidelines issued by NUS and LKYSPP. Students are required to acknowledge in their assignments the work of others using The Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html).
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week