Perrow Charles 1986 Complex Organizations A Critical Essay Upon The Faculties

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This course is organized as a seminar, which entails the combination of a fair amount of reading, class discussion, and written assignments. Given this organization, you are expected to attend each class and to participate.

A) Attendance

If you must miss a class, please inform me ahead of time so that we can make arrangements. Note that unexcused absences will negatively affect your final grade.

B) Class Participation and Discussion

Active participation requires adequate preparation. You therefore must read the assigned material before class and develop your own assessment of this material. Such careful preparation will improve the quality of class discussion. Of course, class discussion should be both informed and respectful; moreover, it should be a forum wherein all can raise questions, explore ideas, and express misgivings. Class participation comprises 20% of your final grade.

C) Weekly Memos

You will prepare a 3-page memo for each week's readings (typed and double-spaced). You should regard these memos as ideas in progress rather than as finished products. Use them to digest each week's readings and to respond with questions, criticisms, and new ideas. Please bring your memo to class and submit it at the end of the evening. The weekly memos comprise 25% of your final grade.

D) Class Presentation

On three occasions, you and other seminar participants will lead the class in discussion. Discussion-leaders will develop questions that guide the seminar through an exploration of the week's readings -- including the strengths and weaknesses of the material and the directions that future research should take. Turns as discussion-leader will comprise 20% of your final grade. We will devise the discussion-leader schedule on the first day of class.

E) Final Paper

You will complete a 12-15 page paper (typed and doubled-spaced). This paper should deal with some aspect of the organizational literature, yet it should also relate to your own research interests. Consequently, this paper may take a variety of forms. It can, for example, be a literature review, a research proposal, a dissertation prospectus, or an empirical project. I ask that you discuss your topic with me prior to March 9th and that you submit an outline by March 27th. During the April 10th meeting, you and your peers will circulate drafts for comments and suggestions. On April 17th, you will present your paper and discuss how you address (or will address) the comments that you received. The final paper is due on May 8th and will comprise 35% of your final grade.

Department:  Political Science, Criminal Justice, & Legal Studies

Course: POL 674    Credit Hours: 3.0   Semester: Fall 1997


    I. Title:  Administrative Development and Organization Theory

   II. Instructor's name: Dr. Winfield H. Rose
        Office location:   553 C Business Building South
        Phone numbers:  (270)762-2662(office); fax: (270)762-2688
                                    (270)762-0126 (home)
        Office hours:  9:00 - 10:30 a.m. MWF
                              1:00 -   5:00 p.m. T
                              4:30 -   6:00 p.m. Th (Fort Campbell)

 III. Classroom locations and meeting times:
        Section 01 (on campus):  BBS551, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Tuesdays, Aug. 26 - Dec. 16, 1997.
        Section 93 (Fort Campbell):  2112 Indiana Avenue, Thursdays, Aug. 28 - Dec. 11, 1997.

  IV. Prerequisites:
        Relevant course work in business or public administration or work experience.

    V. Course purpose and objective:
        An extensive analysis of administrative and organization theory with special attention to the       public sector, its political context, and  practical applications.

  VI. Required Texts:

  • Chester Barnard, The Functions of the Executive.  Cambridge: Oxford Press, 1938.
  • Charles Perrow, Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986.
  • Hargrove & Glidewell, Impossible Jobs in Public Management.  University of Kansas Press, 1990.
  • Charles T. Goodsell, The Case for Bureaucracy.  Chatham House, 1994.
  • Harvard Business Review reprints:
  •      Bower, "Effective Public Management."  March/April 1977.
  •      Flowers & Hughes, "Why Employees Stay."  July/August 1973.
  •      Gabarro & Kotter, "Managing Your Boss."  January/February 1980.
  •      Kotter, "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail." March/April 1995.

 VII. Method of Instruction:
         Seminar.  Students will be expected to read the assignments as given below and to come to     class prepared to discuss them; this includes being able to ask as well as answer questions.  It is thestudent's responsibility to demonstrate familiarity with the assignment each class meeting.

VIII. Tests & Grading Procedures:
          Two tests, a mid-term and a final, both at regular class period.  See schedule of assignments.
          (See "How to Take Essay Exams" on my homepage.)
          Grading: 35% mid-term                   20%: two book reviews (10%@)
                        35% final                          10%: attendance and participation

   IX.  Requirements: (1) two exams.
                                   (2) Class attendance and participation.
                                   (3) Two book reviews due as indicated on schedule of assignments.
                                         Instructions given later in this syllabus.

     X. Relevant Web Sites:

          Public Administration Network
          Highlights in the History of Public Administration
          The Ultimate Government Guide
          101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY
          Government Executive
          American Society for Public Administration
          Lycos Government Guide
          OSHA Computerized Information System
          National Archives and Records Administration
          To Other Good Links


I. The Context of Public Management in the 1990's
II. Evolution of Managerial Ideology
III. Modern Managerial Perspectives
IV. Leadership
V. Decision Making
VI. Introduction to Organization Theory

Readings:             (No pain, no gain.)

(Assignments not in texts or reprints or on the Internet  may be found in the Waterfield and Sink Libraries.)

I. The Context of Public Administration in the 1990's:

    (1)  Sara Fritz, "New Breed of Workers."  U. S. News & World Report, September 3, 1979, pp. 35-38.
    (2)  Diedre Sullivan, "The PC Nineties: Decade of Diversity."  Career Futures, Fall 1991, pp. 35-38.  See also Rainforest Education Center and PC Primer.
    (3)  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "Defining Deviancy Down."  The American Scholar, Winter 1993,pp. 17-30.
    (4)  Philip K. Howard, "The Death of Common Sense."  U. S. News & World Report, January 30, 1995, pp. 57-61.  Look up in
    (5)  Duane Elgin and Robert Bushnell, "The Limits to Complexity: Are Bureaucracies Becoming Unmanageable?"  The Futurist, December 1977, pp. 337-349.
    (6)  Arthur Scheslinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society.  New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.  (Look up in Amazon and then download book review only.)
    (7)  Reinventing Government and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993
    (8)  Melvin J. Dubnick, "Challenges to American Public Administration: Complexity, Bureaucratization, and the Culture of Distrust."

II. Evolution of Managerial Ideology

    (If you have taken POL 575, see your textbook, Public Personnel Systems by Robert D. Lee,  pp. 44-49.)  Also see Historical Background of Organizational Behavior (this is good).

    (1)  Frederick Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management. (New York: Harper Brothers, 1911), pp. 5-29.  (Search AltaVista . . . . and download.)
    (2)  Henri Fayol, "General Principles of Management."  (Search AltaVista . . . and download.)      and  "The Administrative Theory in the State" in Gulick & Urwick, Papers on the  Science of Administration (New York: Institute of Public Administration, 1937), pp. 99-114.  (This book resulted from Gulick's service on the Brownlow Committee.)
    (3)  Luther Gulick, "Notes on the Theory of Organization."  Gulick & Urwick, op. cit, pp. 3-13.
[If you enter this man into AltaVista you will get not him but his father.]
    (4)  Chester Barnard, The Functions of the Executive, chapters XV & XVI except pp. 240-252.)
    (5)  Lent D. Upson, "Being An Executive."  Dwight Waldo, ed., Ideas and Issues in PublicAdministration.  (New York: McGraw Hill, 1953), pp. 330-338.  (This book is one of the old classics and is well worth reading in its entirety.)
    (6)  Douglas McGregor:  Search AltaVista; go to #1: BOLA (Background); then click first icon at bottom of page for Theory X and Y (download and read both).
    (7)  Charles Perrow, Complex Organizations, chapters 2 and 3 except pp. 62-78.

 III.  Modern Managerial Perspectives

        (1)  Joseph L. Bower, "Effective Public Management."  Harvard Business Review (HBR)
March/April 1977, pp. 131-140.
        (2)  Lau et al, "The Nature of Managerial Work in the Public Sector."  Public AdministrationReview (PAR), September/October 1980, pp. 513-520.
        (3)  Gabarro and Kotter, "Managing Your Boss."  HBR January/February 1980, pp. 92-100.
        (4)  C. Brooklyn Derr, "Managing Organizational Conflict."  California Management Review Winter 1978, pp.  76-82.
        (5)  Theodore Caplow, "Crisis Management."  Managing An Organization, 2nd. ed., New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1983, pp. 37-40.  (This entire book is well worth reading.)
        (6)  Robert Behn, "Leadership in an Era of Retrenchment" and Robert Biller, "Leadership Tactics for Retrenchment."  PAR November/December 1980, pp. 603-609.
        (7)  John P. Kotter, "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail."  HBR March/April 1995.
        (8)  James E. Swiss, "Adapting Total Quality Management (TQM) to Government."  PAR July/August 1992, pp. 356-362.
        (9)  Robert S. Kravchuk, "The New Connecticut: Lowell Weicker and the Process of Administartive Reform."  PAR July/August 1993, pp. 329-339.

 IV. Leadership

        (1)  Terence R. Mitchell and William G. Scott, "Leadership Failures, the Distrusting Public, and Prospects for the Administrative State."  PAR November/December 1987, pp. 445-452.
        (2)  Michael S. Frank, "The Essence of Leadership."  Public Personnel Management (PPM) fall 1993, pp. 381-390.
        (3)  Jameson W. Doig and Erwin C. Hargrove, "Leadership and Political Analysis."  Chapter 1 in Leadership and Innovation: Entrepreneurs in Government.  Johns Hopkins Univertsity Press, 1990 (abridged edition), pp. 1-22.  (This entire book is well worth reading.)
        (4)  Carl von Clauswitz, "The Genius for War."  Chapter III in On War.  London:Penguin Classics, 1968/1982, pp. 138-158.  (Originally published as Vom Kriege in German in 1832.  This entire book is well worth reading, especially by military personnel.)
        (5)  John D. Millet, " Leadership."  Chapter 2 in Management in the Public Service: The Quest for Effective Performance.  New York: McGraw Hill, 1954, pp. 33-54.
        (6)  Douglas McGregor, "Leadership."  Part II in Leadership and Motivation.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1966, pp. 49-80.
        (7)  Karen J. Winkler, "Eisenhower Revised: from a 'Do-Nothing to an Arch-Manipulator, a Low-Key Leader."  Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 1985, pp. 5 et seq.

  V. Decision Making

        (1)  Barnard, Ch. XIII.
        (2)  Banfield, "The Decision-Making Schema."  PAR, Autumn 1957, pp.  278-285.
(Enter Simon into AltaVista and Amazon . . . . .)
        (3)  Lindblom, "The Science of Muddling Through."  PAR, Spring 1959, pp. 79-88.
        (4)  Dror, "Muddling Through - Science or Inertia?"  PAR, September 1964, pp. 153-157.     See also Lindblom's reply immediately following.
        (5)  Etzioni, "Mixed Scanning:  A Third Approach to Decision-Making."  PAR November/December 1968, pp. 385-392.
        (6)   Lindblom, "Still Muddling, Not Yet Though."  PAR November/December 1979, pp. 517-526.
        (7)   Edward J. Woodhouse, "Decision Theory and the Governance of Technology."  Teaching Political Science, Summer 1987, pp. 171-178, especially 174-177.
        (8)   Kevin McKean, "Decisions, Decisions."  Discover, June 1985 pp. 22-31.
        (9)   Patrick Chau, "Better Decision Making Through Expert Systems for Management."  SAMAdvanced Management Journal, Autumn 1991, pp. 13-18.  For a more thorough treatment see Edward Brent, Expert Systems, 1996, 43p.   Also see Artificial Intelligence.   For an example of a government agency using expert systems, see The Asbestos Advisor.
       (10)  E. Scott Geller, "When Group Decisions Go Bad."   Also enter the term "groupthink" into a search engine.
       (11)  Rogelberg, Barnes-Farrell, & Lowe, "The Stepladder Technique:  An Alternative Group Structure Facilitating Effective Group Decision Making."  Journal of Applied Psychology v. 77 # 5, 1992, pp. 730-737.
       (12)  Irving L. Janis, "Who Will Be Good Policymakers and Who Will Not?" and "Effective Leadership Practices."  Chs. 9 & 10 in Crucial Decisions: Leadership in Policymaking and CrisisManagement.  (Free Press, 1989).
       (13)  Richard E. Neustadt, "What to Do and How: A Summary."  Ch. 13 in  Thinking in Time:the Uses of History for Decisionmakers.  (Free Press, 1986).
               Note:  Both the above books are highly recommended in toto.
       (14)  Montgomery Van Wart, "The Sources of Ethical Decision Making for Individuals in the Public Sector."  PAR November/December 1996, pp. 525-534.

VI.  Introduction to Organization Theory

        (1)  Perrow, chapter 1, "Why Bureaucracy ?"  (text)
        (2)  Max Weber, "Power, Authority, and Imperative Control" and "The Types of Authority and Imperative Coordination,"  pp. 152-157 and 324-366 in The Theory of Social and EconomicOrganization (New York: Free Press), 1947.  Search AltaVista; you will find there are at least three Max Weber's, an artist, a zoologist, and the sociologist (so don't get confused.)  If the listings have not been re-numbered, you will find what you need at:
                                                    #11:  Max Weber's Homepage

#12:  Max Weber (POL 264)
#25:  Max Weber - The Work
#32:  Max Weber - The Person
#40:  Bureaucracy (also go to Ockham's link at end)
        (3)  Robert Presthus, The Organizational Society: An Analysis and a Theory.  (New York: Vintage Books, 1965).  Chapters 1 & 2.
        (4)  Perrow, pp. 62-78.
        (5)  Barnard, chs. VI, VII, & XII.
        (6)  Anthony Downs, "A Summary of Hypotheses."  Chapter XXII in Inside Bureaucracy (New York: Little Brown, 1967).
        (7)  Perrow, Chapters 4 & 5.
        (8)  Presthus, Chapters 6, 7, & 8.
        (9)  Alvin W. Gouldner, "Cosmopolitans and Locals."  Administrative Science Quarterly, December 1957, pp. 281-292.
       (10) Vincent Flowers & Charles Hughes, "Why Employees Stay."  HBR July/August 1973, pp. 49-60.
       (11)  Ott & Shafritz. "Toward a Definition of Organizational Incompetence."  PAR July/August 1994, pp. 370-377.
       (12)  Chaos Theory:  Enter "chaos theory" into AltaVista and download "What is Chaos?" and "What is Chaos Theory?"

Schedule of Assignments

    Organizational session
    Part I
    Part II, #'s 1-5
    Part II, #'s 6-7 & Part III, #'s 1-2
    Part III, #'s 3-7
    Part III, #'s 8-9 & Part IV, #'s 1-3
    First book review due
    Part IV, #'s 4-7
    Mid-term Exam
    Part V, #'s 1-5
    Part V, #'s 6-10
    Part V, #'s 11-14
    Part VI, #'s 1-4
    Part VI, #'s 5-8
    Second book review due
    Thanksgiving Holiday
    Part VI, #'s 9-12
    Final Examination

    Book Review Assignment

    Book reviews should adhere to the following format.  In analyzing the book you should answer the following questions.  Please repeat each question as you begin answering it.

    (1)  Does the author have a thesis, theory, or hypothesis he is testing?  If not, what is the author's purpose in writing the book?

    (2)  What kinds of data, that is, what are the principal data the author brings to bear in the book?  Is the book empirical, historical, intuitive, experiential, or a combination?

    (3)  Summarize his most important findings, conclusions, and positions.  (This should constitute roughly half your paper.)

    (4)  What contribution, if any, does the book make to the study of administrative and/or organization theory?

    (5)  What is your general assessment of the book?  Is it well written?  Are the author's conclusions easay to follow?  Is the argument clear?  Would you recommend the book?  Why?

    These book reviews should be about ten pages in length and should conform to generally accepted standards of style.  Any and all written work should be done in a highly competent and professional manner.  Download Tips on Good Writing from my homepage and follow those instructions.  If your paper contains too many mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation it will not be accepted.  Professional public administrators must know how to write well; if you do not know how to do so, you must learn. Now.

    Books to be reviewed:
    (1)  Erwin C. Hargrove and John C. Glidewell, Impossible Jobs in Public Management.
    University Press of Kansas, 1990.

    (2)  Charles T. Goodsell, The Case for Bureaucracy: A Public Administration Polemic.
    Chatham House, third edition, 1994.


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