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Working definition

An organization arises out of relatively permanent social practices, producing subject identity and knowledge (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999; Harvey, 1996; Foucault, 1980; Foucault, 1972).




The purpose of this course is to provide you with the analytical tools to "read" your organization. That is, although the analytical tools we will be developing come from general theories, the theory you will develop will be specific to your organization and will be the result of a dialectical process between concepts and preliminary theories and the encounter of those abstract ideas with the concreteness of your organization.  It may be the case that the elements of your specific theory could be useful generally in the construal of organizations, but the purpose of this course is not to construct a theory that is generally true.


Representation of content

The final project for this course is to articulate a theory to explain the organization that served as the site of your change course. To provide the scaffolding for your theory, we will focus on the structure of organizations and the processes by which they function. We will examine in groups organizations as structures using conceptual elements from Charles Handy to read Images of Organization and then present what you have learned to the rest of the class.  The purpose of this exercise is not to hone your presentation skills but to share what you have learned so that your colleagues have more tools at their disposal. For power and organizational discourse, you will write what you have learned from articles you have read, share that writing with all of us, and receive feedback on that writing.  This writing is intended to be informal. More formal will be two papers, one on power and the second on discourse, in which you offer a preliminary analysis of your organization. Those two papers together with your beliefs about organizational structure will be the elements you use in your final paper.




For every article you read, you will make a post to our class blog. Articles on power have a conceptual framework for you to consider, whereas the task for the articles on organizational discourse will be to define and evaluate what you have read. Using what you have learned from a given article, you will then compare your article to what someone else has posted. In that way, you will receive feedback to your posting in the form of comparisons to what others have read. For everyone to receive that kind of comparative feedback, you will need to respond to everyone else's posting. The rubric I will use to evaluate your posts and your responses is the following:














Addresses the article Fully and explores issues around it Clearly and explores issues around it But nothing beyond that But may distort or neglect key ideas Failed attempt or off topic
Organization Clear, focused, unified, coherent Effective Has organization Evident but not achieved Failed attempt
Writing features Superior control of sentence formation, usage, and mechanics. May have few flaws. Under control. May have few flaws. Writing is adequate to the task Patterns of flaws that interfere with reading  

When making a post on an article you read, make a new post. In the title of the post, include whether you are writing about an article on power or discourse, the author of the article, and an abbreviated title. Responses to posts should be done not as new posts but as responses to the original.


Papers on power, discourse

These papers can serve either as sections of your final paper or as elements. The purpose in asking you to provide what amounts to drafts of sections of your paper is to give me the opportunity to provide feedback on your work leading to the final paper. The rubric for these papers is the same as the rubric for your blogging, but with one additional criterion:














Engages resources Reflectively and extensively Extensively By mentioning them Simplistically May be missing or used as tokens

Final paper

 The rubric for the final paper is holistic.


 Score of 6: Superior

-         Addresses the topic fully and explores the issues surrounding it thoughtfully

-         Engages data from practitioners and scholars’ work reflectively

-         Demonstrates clear, focused, unified, and coherent organization

-         Evidences superior control of writing features with excellent diction, syntactic variety and transition. May have a few minor flaws.


Score of 5: Strong

-         Clearly addresses the topic and explores the issues surrounding it

-         Engages data from practitioners and scholars’ work

-         Is effectively organized

-         Demonstrates control of writing features with effective diction, syntactic variety, and transition. May have a few minor flaws.


Score of 4: Competent

-         Addresses the topic

-         Mentions data from practitioners and scholars’ work

-         Is organized

-         Demonstrates control of writing features


Score of 3: Weak

-         May distort or neglect important parts of the topic

-         May be simplistic in engaging data from practitioners, scholars, and data

-         May show patterns of flaws in writing features


Score of 2: Inadequate

-         Demonstrates serious inadequacy in one or more of the areas specified for the 3 paper


Score of 1: Incomplete

-         Failed attempts to begin discussing topic

-         Deliberately off-topic

-         So incompletely developed as to suggest incompetence

-         Wholly incompetent in use of writing features


In determining a final grade, I will use the scores you receive for the work you do according to the following weights:


Blog 25%

Papers 25%

Final paper 50%




Morgan Presentation






Dr. Bruce Law (email me)

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 6:48 pm on May 22, 2007

I'm havingdoubts about being able to accomplish this amount of work in the time we have together. Does anyone feel the same?

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