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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 312
Course Title: Organizations and Institutions
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Patterns of social organization in modern societies; organizational structures and processes; interrelation of social institutions; problems of an organizational society and its consequences for individual life experiences. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Feminist Organizations
By Ferree, Myra Marx and Patricia Yancey Martin (Temple University Press)
Organizations: Structures, Processes, and Outcomes
By Hall, Richard and Pamela Tolbert (Prentice Hall)
The Sociology of Organizations: Classic, Contemporary, and Critical Readings
By Handel, Michael J., ed. (Sage)
Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations
By Hofstede, Geert (Sage)
Organizational Theory: Tension and Change
By Jaffe, David (McGraw Hill)
Institutions and Organizations
By Scott, W. Richard (Sage)
Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open System
By Scott, W. Richard (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To study the significant theoretical perspectives within the sociology of organizations, beginning with Max Weber’s seminal work on bureaucracy.
  • To describe major models and perspectives in organizational theories.
  • To study the structure of organizations by their complexity, formalization, and centralization and how these structural elements interact with size, technology, and environment to produce differential organizational outcomes.
  • To analyze the organizational processes of power, conflict, leadership, decision-making, and communication and their relation to organizational outcomes.
  • To analyze the impact of environment on organizations.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe the sociology of organizations.
  • Describe the various models and perspectives on organizational theories.
  • Critically analyze organizational processes of power, conflict, leadership, decision-making, and communication and their relation to organizational outcomes.
  • Describe the significance of formal organizations in society and their consequences for individual life experiences.
  • Explain the complexity of organizations, the role of formalization and centralization, and how these elements interact with size, technology and environment.
    Topical Outline:
  • Introduction to the history of organizational studies, the significance of organizations in society
  • Nature and types of organization
  • Organizational structure: complexity, formalization, centralization; their interaction with size, technology, cultural and institutional environment, and their outcomes
  • Organizational processes: power, conflict, leadership, decision-making, communication; and their effects on organizational outcomes
  • Organizational effectiveness: models of effectiveness, goals and effectiveness
    - Organizational theories:
    - Develop organizational theories
    -- Five theoretical perspectives:
    -- The population-ecology model
    -- The resource-dependence model
    -- The rational-contingency model
    -- The transaction-cost model
    -- The institutional model
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Kathleen Fitzgerald Date: October 31, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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