Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: URSI Logo  URBS 603—Organization Environment

Term:  Fall, 2013

Instructor: Tony Filipovitch, 126 Morris Hall, 507-389-5035, 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.


Richard Burton, Borge Obel & Gerardine DeSanctis.  2011.  Organizational Design:  A Step-by-Step Approach.  NY:  Cambridge University Press.

Recommended:  Micahel Harrison. 2005.  Diagnosing Organizations:  Methods, Models, and Processes, 3rd Ed.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

While there is a textbook for this course, the course is not the text. There will be supplemental readings (see the Course Calendar), as well as extensive reflection and discussion of primary data that you will be collecting.

Course Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the ways that organizations can be designed to meet their goals by aligning strategy, structure, process, and controls.  The concepts discussed in class will come from the full range of organizational types (public, private, and nonprofit), but the focus of the casework will be on public and nonprofit organizations. 

By the end of the term you will be able to:

  1. Identify the elements of organizational design and analyze the interrelationship of those elements;

  2. Critique and apply a range of organizational management concepts to the design of different organizations;

  3. Create an organization designed to realize the organization’s major goals;


  1. Apply organizational design concepts to real-world situations.

In addition to the specific course outcomes, there are three additional outcomes that are common to most, if not all, courses at MSU:

1.      Develop your creative and critical thinking powers in addressing problems and opportunities;

2.      Develop personal communication skills, both oral and (especially in this course) written;

3.      Improve your ability to work and interact with others in a team approach.


1.  Class Activities

You are expected to do the readings assigned from the text and linked to the course calendar, and be prepared to discuss of them by the assigned date. The class time will be primarily devoted to discussion and problem-solving; I will not be lecturing on the assigned reading.

2.  Select an Organization

Throughout the course, you will be applying the concepts you are learning to one organization with which you are familiar, or with which you can become familiar.  This may be a city in which you are currently or have previously been employed, it might be your home city, it might be an RDC, or….  It may not be an entire city structure (especially if you are choosing Minneapolis or St. Paul), it may be an agency within a larger public organization.  You may want to secure a mentor in the organization from whom you can get information and with whom you can discuss what you are learning.

3.  Writing Assignments:

·       Organizational Design:  The textbook provides a detailed set of questions for analyzing the structure of organizations.  Each week from 9/2 through 9/30, you will prepare an analysis of your organization along the dimension for the week (Strategy, Structure, Process, Control, and Dynamics).  These analyses will be due to me by e-mail by 8AM of the class day (this is your ticket into class each week).  These analyses are worth half of your grade (10 pts. apiece).

·       Class presentation:  You will prepare a powerpoint presentation to the class (60 minutes—explanation and application/class activity) on one of the remaining 8 Organizational Management topics in the class.  You may use any resources that are appropriate, but I have provided a possible starting point in the Bibliography at the end of this syllabus.  You must e-mail your powerpoint to me by 8AM of the day it is due.  After your presentation, you will turn your powerpoint into a reflection essay on your topic.  The presentation and your essay is due the following week, and will be one quarter of your grade (25 pts.)

·       Symposium:  The last class meeting will be a Symposium—an open discussion—on the topic of what changes you would make in the organization you have been studying, were you in charge.  While each of you will, of course, present your own ideas for your organization, you will also be expected to reflect on what your classmates might do with their organizations.  You will write a summary analysis of and recommendations for your organization (combining information from your earlier Org Design analysis with other ideas generated in the Symposium) and submit it to me by e-mail by 12/9.  Your mentor might also be interested in receiving a copy of your paper.  Your contribution to the Symposium and the paper that results from it will be worth one quarter of your grade (25 pts.).

Course Calendar

Due date


Reading from Text

Notes/Additional Readings


Course Intro:  Civic Values

Ch. 1

Wendell Berry “Manifesto”; Gulick’sNotes”; Simon’s “Proverbs of Administration”;

Harrison, Ch. 1 & 2



Ch. 2-3

Harrison, Ch. 5



Chs. 4-5

Harrison, Ch. 4



Chs. 6-8

Harrison, Ch. 3



Chs. 9-10


Design Dynamics

Chs. 11-12

Harrison, Ch. 6



The Classic Touch




Groups & Teams



Making Meetings Work


Interpersonal Dynamics

Meyers-Briggs; Enneagram; Enneagram description; Enneagram Summary; “Couple’s Enneagram Questionnaire” (in D2L)


Leadership Types


Authentic Leadership; Leadership Quotes


Conflict Management

Getting Past No


Mastering Change


Lawrence, “Resistance to Change” (in D2L)






Finals Week

Attendance & Class Participation:

Students play an important role in educating and challenging each other.  This can only happen if there is consistent attendance.  I expect you to attend, and I may take the class roll.  Unexcused absence (prior notification is required—even if I am not available, voice mail and e-mail always are) can result in loss of points toward one’s grade.  You are paying for this class—make sure to get your “money’s worth.”  Most importantly, this is an excellent foundation of knowledge for future activities, and it is a chance for you to learn, teach, and grow with others.


5 Org Design projects @ 10 pts.         50

Class Presentation                               25

Symposium Paper                               25


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.  The assessment rubric for the course is available here.

Other Matters:

All assignments are due on the assigned date.  Partial credit may be given for assignments that are less than one week late, unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

Written reports are expected to be free of grammatical, spelling, and content errors.  They 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 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).


1.  Civic & Ethical Values


BELLAH, R.N. et alii.  1985.  Habits of the Heart.  New York:  Harper & Row.


BELLAH, R.N. et alii.  1991.  The Good Society.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf.


BIERMAN, A.K.  1973.  The Philosophy of Urban Existence.  Athens:  Ohio University Press.


BOYTE, H.C.  1989.  CommonWealth:  A Return to Citizen Politics.  New York:  The Free Press.


DEWEY, J.  1927.  The Public and Its Problems.  New York:  Henry Holt & Co.


FRIEDMANN, J.  1979.  The Good Society.  Cambridge:  The MIT Press.


GUTMANN, A. and D. THOMPSON.  1996.  Democracy and Disagreement.  Cambridge:  Harvard University Press.


KEMMIS, D.  1990.  Community and the Politics of Place.  Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press.


KEMMIS, D.1995.  The Good City and the Good Life.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Co.


KOTLER, M.  1969.  Neighborhood Government:  The Local Foundations of Political Life.  Indianapolis:  The Bobbs-Merrill Co.


LIPPMANN, W.  1947.  An Inquiry into the Principles of the Good Society.  Boston:  Little, Brown and Co.


MATHEWS, D.  1994.  Politics for People:  Finding a Responsible Public Voice.  Urbana:  University of Illinois Press.


TUAN, Y-F.  1986.  The Good Life.  Madison:  The University of Wisconsin Press.


VILLA, D.  2001.  Socratic Citizenship.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.



2.  Institutional Structure


GORTNER, H.F., J. MAHLER & J.B. NICHOLSON.  1987.  Organization Theory:  A Public Perspective.  Chicago:  Dorsey Press.


SHAFRITZ, J.M.  & J.S. OTT.  1987.  Classics of Organization Theory.  Chicago:  Dorsey Press.


3.  Reframing


BOLMAN, L.G. and T.E. DEAL.  1995.  Leading with Soul.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers.


BOLMAN, L.G. and T.E. DEAL.  1997.  Reframing Organizations:  Artistry, Choice, and Leadership.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers.


4.  Reinventing


DENHARDT, J.V. & R.B. DENHARDT.  2011.  The New Public Service:  Serving, Not Steering.   Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe.


OSBORNE, N. & T. GAEBLER.  1992.  Reinventing Government.  NY:  Plume.


SALAMON, L.M.  2002.  The Tools of Government:  A Guide to the New Governance.  NY:  Oxford University Press.


5.  Groups & Teams


CHISHOLM, D.  1989.  Coordination Without Hierarchy.  Berkeley:  University of California Press.


CHRISLIP, D.D. and C.E. LARSON.  1994.  Collaborative Leadership:  How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers.


KATZENBACH, J.R. & D.K. SMITH.  1993.  The Wisdom of Teams.  NY:  Harper Business.


SCHWARZ, R.M.  1994.  The Skilled Facilitator:  Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.


6.  Making Meetings Work


LENCIONI, P.  2004  Death by Meeting.  San  Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.


SUSSKIND, L.E. & J.L. CRUIKSHANK.  2006.  Breaking Robert’s Rules:  A New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus, and Get Results.  NY:  Oxford.


TROPMAN, J.E.  1996.  Making Meetings Work.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.


7.  Interpersonal Dynamics


BUCKINGHAM, M. & D.O. CLIFTON.  2001.  Now, Discover Your Strengths.  NY:  Free Press.


GARDNER, H.  2008.  Five Minds for the Future.  Boston, MA:  Harvard Business Press.


GOLEMAN, D.  1998.  Working with Emotional Intelligence.  NY:  Bantam Books.


KIERSEY, D. & M. BATES.  1984.  Please Understand Me:  Character & Temperament Types.  DelMar, CA:  Prometheus Nemesis Book Co.


PINK, D.H.  2006.  A Whole New Mind:  Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.  NY:  Riverhead Books.


8.  Leadership Types


BURNS, J.M.  1978.  Leadership.  New York:  Harper & Row, Publishers.


CHAPPELL, T.  The Soul of a Business:  Managing for Profit and the Common Good.  NY:  Bantam, 1993.


DEPREE, M.  1989.  Leadership Is an Art.  New York:  Dell Publishing.


GREENLEAF, R.K.  Servant Leadership.  Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist Press, 1977.


JACKSON, P.  1995.  Sacred Hoops:  Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior.  New York:  Hyperion.


NANUS, B. and S. M. DOBBS.  1999.  Leaders Who Make a Difference.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers.


TERRY, RW.  1993.  Authentic Leadership.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.


WHEATLEY, M.J.  1999,  Leadership and the New Science 2nd Ed.  San Francisco:  Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


9.  Conflict Management


ALINSKY, S.D.  1971.  Rules for Radicals.  New York:  Random House.


AXELROD, R.  1984.  The Evolution of Cooperation.  NY:  Basic Books.


CAVAIOLA, A.A. & N.J. LAVENDER.  2000.  Toxic Coworkers:  How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job.  Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Pubs.


SCHELLING, T.C. 1980.  The Strategy of Conflict.  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press


SINGER, L.R.  1990.  Settling Disputes:  Conflict Resolution in Business, Families, and the Legal System.  Boulder, CO:  Westview Press.


URY, W.  1993.  Getting Past No:  Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation, Rev. ed.  New York:  Bantam Books.



10.  Mastering Change


AUTRY, J.A. and S. MITCHELL.  1988.  Real Power:  Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching.   New York:  Riverhead Books.


BENDER, T.  1978.  Community and Social Change in America.  New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.


BRIDGES, W.  1980.  Transitions:  Making Sense of Life’s Changes.    Reading, MA:  Addison-Wesley.


FULGHUM, R.  1993.  From Beginning to End: The Rituals of our Lives.  NY:  Villard Books.


WATZLAWICK, P., WEAKLAND, C.E., & FISCH, R.  1974.  Change:  Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution.  NY:  W.W. Norton



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© 2007 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 10 August 2013