Organizational Theory & Behavior

Course Details

Course Number: PUAD 5923  Section Number: X10

Fall 2013

Location: Martin Hall

Classroom Number: onLine

Days & Times:

This is an onLine class. Dr. Behrens is available to meet face-to-face (live) with the class on most Wednesdays in Martin 111 between 5:00 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

Course Attachments


Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, a
by Scott and Davis
  ISBN: 9780131958937

Theories of Public Organization
by Denhardt
  ISBN: 9781439086247

Writers on Organizations
by Pugh and Hickson
  ISBN: 9781412941037

The Caves of Steel
by Asimov
  ISBN: 9780553293401

The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version
by Aaron
  ISBN: 9780205751556

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Phyllis Irene Behrens   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Course Goals and Objectives

The goal of the course is to familiarize students with organizational concepts and practical ways of managing effectively in challenging environments, particularly those which require analysis of organizational conduct. Dependence on organizations is a signal feature of modernity. This broad introduction encompasses structure, function, and behavior of organizations as well as behavior of the people in them.

The objectives of this course are:

1.  to develop an understanding of organizational theories, behavior, processes, and problems;

2.  to expand existing understandings of administrative behavior and the impacts of the environment on public administration;

3.  to improve analytic skills through experiential learning opportunities, and

4.  to prepare students for more advanced studies in related areas.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able:

1.  to describe the historical and philosophical evolution of organizations;

2.  to assess the import of current organizational trends and anticipate the future of organizations;

3.  to describe how organizations are designed and organized;

4.  to describe how organizations relate to and impact each other;

5.  to describe how the organization of organizations affects their outputs;

6.  to identify key differences between public, private, and nonprofit organizations;

7.  to relate organizations to social change;

8.  to display a working knowledge of basic organizational theories and behaviors;

9.  to display a working knowledge of key managerial skills and preferred organizational styles;

10. to display a working knowledge of political, economic, and social ramifications of various organization styles upon public sector employees, and their significance for public sector and nonprofit human resource management.

Course Expectations

This is an onLine class which uses technology to attend class. Have a backup plan in the event the primary technical means of attending class fails. Test the backup plan to know it works. Be sure your pop-up blocker and download blockers are OFF when working in the virtual classroom. This class is designed to be 15 weeks long. Each week students are responsible for reading, responding to discussion questions, responding to classmates' discussion posts, submitting assignments, and so on. It is imperative to develop and maintain the discipline to keep up with the course work. Review the syllabus thoroughly and contact Dr. Behrens ASAP if there are concerns about being able to complete the course in the time-frame. Participation is required; simply reading the texts is not a substitute for class discussion and learning. The responses made each week are a critical and integral portion of the course. *Response-ability* is important to Dr. Behrens' determining  if you are (1) reading, (2) comprehending, (3) applying knowledge learned to, and (4) synthesizing knowledge learned with the rest of the degree program. When attempting to communicate with faculty or staff regarding this class, please include the class name, number, and course section in the subject line of the correspondence. Without this, faculty or staff  may have difficulty determining which course you are in or the assignment/discussion in question, and may also have to spend additional time trying to gather the requisite information by which to answer.  Please include all information required for the issue or question to be addressed. Lastly, due to concerns regarding privacy and identify theft, please utilize the virtual classroom’s eMail system for class-related eMail. Dr. Behrens tries to respond to student eMails and posts within 72 hours of reading them, weekends, holidays, summers, and times of system crashes excepted.

Grading Standards

Grading Scale

90 and above  =  A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 and below = F

M.P.A. and M.H.A. students are required by program standards to have a grade of B or better in every M.H.A. and M.P.A. course. Class grades are based on a moving average. As such, when a grade is entered, the overall grade reflects ONLY the information entered to that point. Grades change and increase as additional grades are entered.

Submission Format Policy

Students are required to regularly submit written assignments. Assignments include instructions for submission. Follow the instructions. Do not use University eMail addresses or commercial accounts for submitting classwork outside the virtual classroom.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Assignments are due as stated based on instructor time zone. Turn assignments in on time. Based on Dr. Behrens' discretion, late assignments may be accepted but docked 15 percent for being late.  This is done in fairness to students who meet the deadlines. No late assignments will be accepted after Week 13.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend the virtual classroom regularly. Students are required to participate no less than two (2) days each week. Less than two (2) days/week will count as an absence and every absence will be a deduction of 5 points from the total grade. This is done so students can benefit from each other's input to the class forums. Absence does not excuse students from the responsibility of participation, assigned work, and/or testing.  Students may be dropped for poor attendance and are encouraged to check the virtual classroom every day as well as to communicate with the instructor on a regular basis.

Other Policies

Please refer to the attached course outline for other class policies and procedures.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.