ORGSTUDY 310 - Formal Organizations and Environments
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Organizational Studies (ORGSTUDY)
Department: LSA Organizational Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Notes:
For Waitlist, contact Jessica Santos (
Advisory Prerequisites:
Introductory Psychology (PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115), introductory sociology (SOC 100, 101, 102, or 195), and ECON 101.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Complex organizations are enduring formal structures that direct human attention, shape decision-making, channel wealth, and concentrate power while standardizing the procedures that govern action in all spheres of society. Such organizations are ubiquitous parts of contemporary life in economics and business, politics, the law, science, education, entertainment, arts, and leisure. People live most of their lives in complex organizations, and society can be understood in terms of these formal structures and the relationships among them. But what are complex organizations? Where do they come from? How do they work? Why are they so important in contemporary life?

This class is organized around the central themes in sociological and economic research on organizations to provide an analytic framework that will help us grapple with these questions. We begin by examining the sources, arrangements, and functions of complex organizations. Next, we focus on their internal dynamics with an eye toward understanding the relationships between these structures and the people that inhabit them. Finally, we step back to consider the organizations themselves, addressing the ways they grow and change and their interactions with their environments, each other, and the larger institutions of society.

At each stage, the class draws on a mixture of classic and contemporary articles, and empirical case studies. The readings will introduce students to the theories that have shaped research on organizations, while the cases provide empirical context for understanding and discussing those concepts.

ORGSTUDY 310 - Formal Organizations and Environments
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Open to concentrators only.
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