ORGSTUDY 490 - Advanced Research Team
Section: 001 Leadership and Organizational Identity
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Organizational Studies (ORGSTUDY)
Department: LSA Organizational Studies
3 - 4
Waitlist Notes:
Students will be given permission to register for the course at the discretion of the instructor.
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment in either ORGSTUDY 305 or 310; and a course in STATS.
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

For thousands of years, humans have cultivated gardens for the purposes of preserving and studying plant specimens. The origins of the modern botanical garden, however, lie in the medicinal gardens attached to European monasteries. During the Renaissance, the study of plants and their medicinal properties gradually shifted from monasteries to universities, and important gardens were established in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in university towns such as Pisa, Padua, Leiden, Paris, and Oxford. The age of European exploration and colonial expansion generated an explosion of botanical inquiry on the part of professional scientists and laypeople alike. European botanical gardens, like the many new gardens founded in the United States in the nineteenth century, had as their chief organizational goals (1) the support of scientific research on plant biology; (2) the education of the public about the world’s plant life; and (3) the preservation of plant diversity.

Given these goals, botanical gardens appear to have been aligned with the key concerns of the environmental movement of the twentieth century. In recent decades, however, concerns about widespread environmental destruction and over-consumption of the world’s natural resources have given rise to calls for “sustainability” in all domains of human activity. While one might reasonably expect commercial enterprises such as auto manufacturers or coal mining companies to suffer from inertia in the face of pressures for sustainability, even the “greenest” of all formal organizations—botanical gardens—have been surprisingly slow to respond in their practices and communications to this new pressure. However, in the last five years, the leaders of number of American botanical gardens have begun to try to reframe their organizations as “sustainable” enterprises—that is, as enterprises committed to the lowest possible consumption of natural resources and to the lowest possible production of pollutants.

This course will function as a close-knit research team dedicated to the investigation of this process in one organization, a botanical garden in New York City. We will study shifting organizational identity and leadership practices at this garden over several decades by means of archival analysis, secondary research, and interviews. .

Application required: Please send a few paragraphs to me at explaining your interest in the course and why you would be a good contributor to a research team by Monday, March 22. (Please double-check the address before you send the email or it may go to someone else.)

ORGSTUDY 490 - Advanced Research Team
Schedule Listing
001 (LAB)
Th 2:30PM - 5:30PM
002 (LAB)
Tu 4:00PM - 5:30PM
003 (LAB)
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