David Jaffee, Instructor

Office: 51/2219Ph: 620-2215

email: mail:

Class Meets: T and Th 12:15-1:30Location: 51/1205

Office Hours: TBA


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major theoretical approaches used to study and understand work and organizations. The course will be interdisciplinary (incorporating insights from sociology, management, psychology, economics, geography, and political science) and multi-level (examining internal organizational dynamics, the relations and interactions among organizations, and the national institutional environment within which organizations and labor operate).

We will not only examine the various organization theories, management practices, and workplace experiences – we will also try to explain how and why they emerge historically, conceptually, and dialectically. The course will examine the following work/organizational developments, theories and issues: the rise of the factory system, industrialization, scientific management, human relations/resources theory, rational/bureaucratic/administrative models, environmental approaches, neo-Marxist theories, Japanese organizational systems, emerging organizational forms, and the associated changes in the organization of work. Students will understand the assumptions, arguments, implications and shortcomings of the various theories as well as developing a capacity for placing organizational behavior and change in a broader conceptual framework. We will apply all of these ideas to real organizational settings and problems.


The Sociology program expects students to graduate with the following skills, which are developed through the sociology curriculum:

Communication Skills
Communicate in a clear, logical style
Support arguments with evidence.
Know major forms of bibliographic citation and reference.
Content Discipline Knowledge/Skills
Understand the basic subject matter of sociology, including central structures, processes, methodologies and theoretical orientations
Know the role of evidence and data in sociological research
Critical Thinking Skills
Apply appropriate methods to investigate specific research questions
Evaluate the merit of arguments and knowledge claims in sociology
Apply sociological theory and research to social problems

This course in Organizations will develop these skills through the following course intended learning outcomes.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

Communicate effectively with the written word through sociological analyses of organizational cases, problems, and actions.

Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts and principles of organizations

Apply and critically evaluate, based on the empirical evidence, the principles and concepts of organization in explaining and analyzing behavior in organizations and inter-organizational relations among organizations


Organizations will be offered as a fully online course. This will be an active learning course based on the reading of the text and online materials, and the application of the theories, concepts and ideas to organizational cases, problems, challenges, and issues.
In this class each "week" will run from a Friday through a Thursday.
This is designed in order to allow students in this online course to have the weekend to work on the assignments. Therefore, each week -- every Friday -- at a regular time you will find a weekly assignment posted in the Course Assignment section of the Blackboard classroom.
These assignments will usually involve a required reading, a written analysis in response to some prompting questions, and the public posting of your analysis/response on the Discussion Board.
I will expect all students to not only post their analysis/response but also read and comment on those posted by other students. I will review the postings and add additional questions throughout the week, based on what students have come up with and the direction of the dialogue and interchange.

In this course the learning process will involve more than the digestion of reading material. The learning process requires active engagement with theories, issues, and problems. Therefore, a large part of the course will also include the following activities:
- application of theories and concepts to empirical cases and content
- synthesis of theoretical arguments
- problem solving exercises

- online discussion
- active learning exercises
- sharing of ideas and information
- the construction of new knowledge and alternative ways of thinking
- creation of questions and problems not addressed by theories and existing literature


In the Discussion Board there are two areas for posting questions.

One is for operational questions about how the class works, how do I post something, when is this due, etc. The reason I would like such questions posted is that it is likely other students may have the same question. Therefore, before you ask always check this area to see if someone has already posted the question, and how it was answered.
The other area is for substantive questions about the course material and content or organizations and organizational life more generally.
If you have a question of a personal nature that you do not want to share with the class, send it directly to my email address at:

Technical Support: While I am always available to answer any questions relating to course content, assignments, grades, etc., it is best to contact the HELP Desk with your technical questions. The Help Desk may be reached by dialing 904-620-4357 or through email:

Students with special needs: Students with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in the classroom or other aspects of performing their coursework must first register with the UNF Disability Resource Center (DRC) located in Building 57, Room 1500. DRC staff members work with students to obtain required documentation of disability and to identify appropriate accommodations as required by applicable disability laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After receiving all necessary documentation, the DRC staff determines whether a student qualifies for services with the DRC and if so, the accommodations the student requires will be provided.

DRC staff then prepares a letter for the student to provide faculty advising them of approved accommodations. For further information, contact the DRC by phone (904) 620-2769, or visit the DRC website ( Military and veteran students who return from combat exposure may be utilizing the post 9/11 GI bill to continue postsecondary education goals and may need both physical and academic accommodations. Contact the Director of Military and Veterans’ Resource Center by phone (904) 620-2655 or visit the MVRC website

Bottom of Form


There are no quizzes or exams in this class. You will be assessed on your ability to engage the material and apply the theories and concepts through weekly writing assignments posted in the Discussion Board, a wiki-based organizational analysis, one formal essay, and the intensity and quality of your class participation.

More specifically, final grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:

Weekly Discussion Board Assignments 40%

Wiki-Based Organizational Analysis30%

Formal Essay20%

Participation 10%
Class Participation. The online course is designed to maximize the level of interaction and participation. All students are expected to complete all exercises and assignments, and participate in discussion questions. These activities reinforce the concepts and theories and also provide a means for students to assess their progress in the course. Class participation also includes posting questions, comments, personal insights, and links to resources of interest to the class. You should also feel free to contact me by email if you have a personal question or problem.


Each student will conduct an organizational analysis of a selected organization. You should choose an organization that you are motivated to learn something about and for which you will be able to obtain enough information to conduct an analysis (either through direct observation or through internet research of the organization’s webpages and other reports). It can be a local organization or a national or international organization. It can be a business, corporation, for-profit, or non-profit organization. It could be an organization for which you have worked.

You will need to propose the organization by September 24th and it will need to be approved by the instructor. The basis for approval or rejection will be feasibility and prospects for successful completion of the analysis.

Your analysis will be “published” using the wiki tool in Blackboard. This will allow for the multi-media organization of information about the organization and continuous modification and revision of your analysis. Throughout the semester you will be adding various forms of analysis based on the topics we cover in the class.


Students will not be required to purchase any books. All reading materials will be posted online. These will include:

David Jaffee, Organization Theory: Tension and Change. McGraw-Hill, 2001.

All chapters of this book are available in the Blackboard site.

We will also read several articles on organizations published in journals that can be accessed through either the library’s online journal databases or on the Blackboard site.

COURSE SCHEDULE – SYA4930 -- Organizations – Fall 2012

1 / Aug 17 / Introduction / Discussion Board Assignment
MODULE ONE: Definitions, Concepts, Theoretical Frameworks, and Historical Perspective
2 / Aug 24 / Definitions and Conceptual Framework / Discussion Board Assignment
Organizational Case Study Selection / Jaffee, Ch. 1,2
3 / Aug 31 / Rise of the Factory System / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 3
MODULE TWO: Theories of Organization: Internal Dynamics
4 / Sept 7 / The Human Organization / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 4
5 / Sept 14 / Bureaucracy / Discussion Board Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 5
6 / Sept 21 / Bureaucracy / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment
MODULE THREE: Recent and Emerging Organizational Forms
7 / Sept 28 / Emerging Organizational Forms / Discussion Board Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 6
8 / Oct 5 / Emerging Organizational Paradigms / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 7
MODULE FOUR: Theories of Organization: External Dynamics
9 / Oct 12 / Technology / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 8
10 / Oct 19 / Organizational Environment / Discussion Board Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 9
11 / Oct 26 / Inter-organizational Dynamics / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Jaffee, Ch 10
12 / Nov 2 / Formal Essay Assignment – Case Analysis
MODULE FIVE: Organizational Change and Work
13 / Nov 9 / Organizations and Precarious Work / Discussion Board Assignment
Wiki Page Assignment / Kalleberg article
14 / Nov 16 / Globalization and Work / Discussion Board Assignment / Applebaum and Lichtenstein article
15 / Nov 23 / From Goods Producing to Goods Moving / Discussion Board
Assignment / Bonacich article
16 / Nov 30 / Future Policy Implications for Organizations and Work / Discussion Board Assignment