Description: Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\tony\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\VNMXG8LO\MP900433151[1].jpg     AOS 301: Introduction to Applied Organizational Studies

Term:  Fall, 2012

Instructor:     Tony Filipovitch, 126 Morris Hall, 507-389-5035 (office), 507-388-2264 (home)

Office Hours:  My office hours are posted here.  I am available in my office at those times (or other times by appointment).  I also check my e-mail daily (usually several times during the day), and have an answering machine on both my home and office phone.  There is no reason to flounder around, unsure of what “he wants” or confused about what you are doing; and even if everything is going fine with the coursework, there is more to learning than completing the assignments.  I encourage you to visit me, in person or at a distance by phone or e-mail, many times during the course.

Instructional Management System & Communication Protocols: 

·        The course will use D2L as the instructional management system.  Grade rosters and other course management issues will be handled through that site. 

·        The software for this course will be PC-based Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, or compatibles.  I prefer to receive e-mail and course submissions to my e-mail address (not to D2L), and I can only open Microsoft Word or text files (if you are using, say, WordPerfect, make sure to send any files to me in .txt or .rtf format). 

·        I will communicate with you using your official MSU e-mail address; if this is not your preferred e-mail provider, make sure you have set your MSU e-mail account to forward to your preferred address (instructions are available from  the help desk at or 507-389-6654).

·        I generally will reply to e-mails within 48 hours (give me an additional 24 hours over the weekends), unless I have notified the class through D2L that I expect to be away from my computer (e.g., when I am attending a national conference).  If you do not hear from me within that time, please resend your question or comment as it may have been lost.

·        You have access to MSU’s online library services ( ).  MSU subscribes to a large number of online indexes of journals (it’s there on the left, under “Article Databases”), many of which provide links to the full text of the article cited.  This will be a real help to you in creating your Bibliography.



  • Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Farrar, Straus, Giroux 2007.
  • National Center on Education and the Economy.  Tough Choices or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.  Jossey-Bass, 2007. (We will use the online Executive Summary, but you might want to read the entire report.)
  • Howard Gardner, Five Minds for the Future, Harvard Business School Publishing, 2006.
  • Joseph S. Nye, The Powers to Lead, Oxford University Press, 2008.



Student Learning Outcomes:


1. Students will understand current ideas about global economic change and its implications for American business and labor.

2. Students will understand and apply current practices in critical and creative thinking.

3. Students will understand a variety of theories on effective leadership.

4. Students will demonstrate competency in academic writing and speaking.

5. Students will demonstrate competency in discovering appropriate secondary sources.



1.  Readings:

Students are expected to read and understand the readings assigned for each unit.   There will not be any tests or quizzes over the material in the readings; rather, you will demonstrate how well you have understood the readings through online discussions and regular projects.

2.  Class Discussion:

Since we do not meet as a class, the closest thing we have to this is the discussion lists on D2L.  I will pose questions to start out the discussion, and I will monitor (but may or may not respond) the discussion.  Each student must post at least one detailed reflection for each of the topics for the course, and at least one response to another student’s posting.  It is important that you post your responses with enough time for your classmates to reply within the week allotted for each unit; do not get behind in your discussion work.  For full credit, you must use examples, details, and credible support for your position, and refer to relevant readings (your text, at a minimum) using standard citation format (you cannot provide credible support without citing what others have written!).  You will receive partial credit if you do not provide support for your responses.  While I will not track whether or not you read all of the postings, I strongly encourage it.  You have as much to learn from each other as from me.

There is an etiquette to online discussion.  I want you to engage in open, frank dialogue; but I also expect you to be respectful of each other.  Comments that are harmful, abusive, offensive, or vulgar will not be tolerated.  If I sense any problems, I will intervene.  Should you feel intimidated or not respected, please contact me so we can consider how to proceed.    A few hints: 

·        Re-read your messages before you send them—once it is sent, you are committed. 

·        Never assume that an e-mail is confidential; they are easily copied and forwarded to others. 

·        Also, be careful with humor; absent body language and other contextual clues, it can easily be misinterpreted.


You will need to establish an online professional portfolio.  You will continue to develop your portfolio throughout your program here at MSU, and most likely will continue it once you are in your profession.  We recommend MnSCU’s e-Folio site, although you may use other websites if you get prior permission.  You will develop your portfolio in stages:

  1. Bibliography:  Using the University’s online library research site, and any other resources at your disposal, you will develop an annotated bibliography of books and articles that relate to the 3 competencies (and 7 subsections) of the Applied Organizational Studies program.  The references may include “classics” as well as “current” (in the last 10 years) work, and should include a mix of refereed journal articles and books.  Each of the 7 sections should have at least 5 entries by the end of this course, and will be expected to have at least 10 entries by the time you complete AOS 488.
  2. Introductory Essay:  Based on your reading and reflection, develop an introductory essay for your portfolio which lays out your philosophy or approach to the three competencies—Communication, Critical Thinking, and Leadership in Organizations.  For an (admittedly idiosyncratic) example, you can look at my portfolio essay, at .  This initial crack at the essay should be at least 6 pages (2 pages for each competency), although you can expect to revise it substantially by the time you get to AOS 488.
  3. Online Portfolio:  Using MnSCU’s e-folio or any other online system you prefer, you will create an online portfolio by the end of the course.  At minimum, the portfolio must include:
    1. Resume
    2. Introductory Essay
    3. Core Competencies:  You must create to links to examples of your work in each of the 3 competencies and their subsections.  If you have no good examples at this point, you must include a brief essay explaining how you will be gaining experience in that (or those) area(s).  Each competency will have its own link on the homepage of the portfolio, and each of the subareas will have a link on the base site for its appropriate competency.  You may provide more than one example for any (or all) area.  The examples may be from your academic work, or from your work or other experience, and the examples may be textual, graphic, video, or any other medium that can be archived on the internet.
    4. Additional Competencies:  There is more to each of you than the core competencies of this program, and you will use those differences to distinguish yourself from your competition.  Identify those strengths of yours, and provide examples for each of them.
    5. Bibliography

You must e-mail me the URL for the homepage of your online portfolio by 8AM of the final class date for the course.

Leadership Case:

You are to write up a case that will help your classmates study the concepts of leadership.  Do not try to write up a case from your office or your company or other source for which you have only private information.  Rather, develop a case based on a newspaper story or a magazine article or some similar, publicly-available source.  The case study should include:

  • The story:  Who, what, when, where, why and how.  Make the story come alive.  Tell it from one participant’s point of view, but provide enough information that you readers can grasp the viewpoints of the other participants, too.  Your story does not have to be strictly historically factual—you can use “poetic license” or “creative embellishment” as needed.  This also means that you should not use real names (of people or companies), because you are not being literally true.
  • The data:  Behind the story, there are numbers or charts or other collections of facts.  These data should be included as a technical appendix to the case.  They provide the raw material that the reader can use to come up with a different (perhaps better) solution than the one that actually was taken.
  • The solution:  The “Part B case.”  Do not include the actual solution as part of the first case.  Instead, leave the principal character at the key decision point, trying to decide what to do.  Write up how it actually turned out as a separate section.   This allows the reader (your classmates) to explore solutions without being influenced by what the principal character finally did, and allows the readers to compare their solution to someone else’s.


Course Calendar



Portfolio Assignment


Starting with Yourself



Connecting in a Flat World  (read World Is Flat)



Global Economic Change:  Impact on Learning & Education;  Tough Choices

Tough Choices Assignment


Global Economic Change:  Impact on Business & Labor

Friedman Assignment



Portfolio:  Bibliography


Critical Thinking (read 5 Minds for the Future)



Critical  Thinking: 

Analysis, assumptions, logic



Creative Thinking I & II: 

Synthesis, perspectives, application

Gardner Assignment



Portfolio:  Essay


Leadership (read The Powers to Lead)



Leadership & management:  Personal Types:  Myers-Briggs & Enneagram;  & inventories--Myers-Briggs Type; 

Enneagram Type 

Personality Type Assignment


Leadership & management:  theories of leadership and negotiating concepts

Nye Assignment



Leadership Case & Online Portfolio


Finals Week:  Course Evaluation due



Course Expectations:


There are 100 points for the course, divided as follows:

            1) Reading Assignments (6 @ 10)          60

            2) Portfolio (Bib, Essay, Online @ 10)   30

3) Case study                                          10


The final grade may be based on a curve, but students can expect at least an A if they achieve 90, a B with 80, etc.

Other Matters:

All assignments are due on the assigned date. There will be no makeups except for very unusual circumstances (a medical excuse will require a doctor’s slip). No extensions or makeups are allowed without prior permission.

Written reports are expected to be free of grammatical, spelling, and content errors.  It should be submitted in typewritten, standard formats (APA, MLA, URSI Style Sheets).  You must familiarize yourself with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.  I encourage you to draw on the ideas of others—but you must also identify when you do so (you gain “brownie points” for citing the work of others!).  Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic behavior and will result in an F for the course.

I will help you in whatever manner humanly possible.  However, once the semester is over, there is not a great deal I can do.  If there is something that you don’t understand, are having problems with, or need help on, please get in touch with me as early as possible.

Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities.  If you area student with a documented disability, please contact me as early in the semester as possible to discuss the necessary accommodations, and/or contact the Disability Services Office at 507-389-2825 (V) or 1-800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY).