Criminal Justice 630

CRJU 630: Organizational Theory

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing

Credit Hours: (3)

A survey of current organizational theory as it relates to the public sector. Emphasis on development of explanations of organizational behavior and development of an understanding of individual behavior in complex public organizations.


Detailed Description of Content

The purpose of this course is to have the graduate student explore and analyze the various problems and challenges associated with organizational life. Particular attention will be paid to the role of bureaucracy in contemporary America. Both psychological and sociological dynamics will also be considered in light of their respective impact on organizational structure and process. Major areas of consideration are as follows:

1. The differences between "public" and "private" sector management
2. The "Politics - Administration" dichotomy facts vs. values
3. Bureaucracy
4. Theories related to organizing in public agencies
5. Individual needs vs. Administrative and institutional needs
6. Decision Making (Leadership)
7. Communication & Language
8. Consensus
9. Democratic values vs. organizational values


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instruction will consist of a lecture/discussion format. Students may also be required to keep and maintain a journal in order to facilitate the learning process. In class exploratory writing assignments may also be utilized from time to time along with case study analysis.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student will be able to:

1. Articulate the major points of current theories explaining organizational behavior in the public sector.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts and characteristics associated with bureaucracy.
3. Articulate a comprehensive understanding of the problems and issues that are associated with bureaucracy.
4. Articulate the various methods of decision-making in organizations and identify factors which enhance the success of one decision-making structure over another.
5. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the importance of effective communication processes in public agencies and how "agency language" both protects and isolates the bureaucrat.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the various theories that are associated with motivation and the significance of those theories when attempting to realize organizational goals.


Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course, as well as the ability to apply it, may be measured using an array of assessment tools that can include tests, formal papers, informal writing assignments and formal oral presentations. Instructors of this course can choose among these assessment tools and may develop others if they deem it appropriate.


Other Course Information

The instructor may utilize "field trips" in order to help the student gain practical insights into organizational problems/solutions.


Review and Approval

Date Action Approved By
March 1999