Organizational Analysis (Self-Paced)

In this introductory, self-paced course, you will learn multiple theories of organizational behavior and apply them to actual cases of organizational change.

About The Course

Best MBA Mooc in 2013 as per review in the Financial Times! "The best [MBA Mooc] was Organizational Analysis taught by Stanford's Dan McFarland" - Philip D. Broughton MBA


It is hard to imagine living in modern society without participating in or interacting with organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations means there is ample room for complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Through this course, students will consider cases describing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger.

Each case is full of details and complexity. So how do we make sense of organizations and the challenges they face, let alone develop means of managing them in desired directions? While every detail can matter, some matter more than others. This is why we rely on organizational theories -- to focus our attention and draw out relevant features in a sensible way.

Through this self-paced course you will come to see that there is nothing more practical than a good theory. In every module, you’ll learn a different organizational theory, and it will become a lens through which you can interpret concrete organizational situations. Armed with a toolset of theories, you will then be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it – and use the theories to predict which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

• How much work will I be expected to do in this class?
About 2 hours a week to watch the videos, complete the quizzes, and post online. 

• Will I get a “statement of accomplishment” after completing this class?
Yes. Students will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. It will designate whether the students met the requirements that demonstrate literacy in organizational analysis.  We will grade students every few months (taking their final score on every quiz / exam repeatedly performed) and then send Statements out to those who have finished the requirements at that time. 

• Does Stanford award credentials or reports regarding my work in this course?
Stanford University does not award certificates or other credentials for student work in this course. The instructor will offer a statement of accomplishment.

Recommended Background

None; all are welcome.