Organizational Theory & Behavior, Welcome to Abilene!

Resources:                   Syllabus, Jerry Harvey's Definition of Cheating, Class Lecture - Whiteboard Notes

Class Meeting Times: Mon-Wed, 12:30-1:50 PM, 38-213

Live Online Access: (emergencies only)

Office Hours:              Before/after class, and by appointment (online, day, evenings, and weekends)

Course Readings:


Out of the Crisis, ISBN: 0262541157, W. Edwards Deming (click here to find a low-cost book)

These books are given to students free of charge as a collection of articles:

The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on ManagementISBN: 0787902772, Jerry B. Harvey (this book is given to students free of charge as a collection of articles)

Obedience to Authority, ISBN: 006131983X, Stanley Milgram (free on Google), free downloadable PDF


The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, W. Edwards Deming
The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness, ISBN: 0465007694, James J. Lynch
The Principles of Scientific Management, ISBN: 0393003981, Frederick Taylor
A General Theory of Bureaucracy, ISBN: 0435824783, Elliott Jaques
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence, ISBN: 0712658890, Norman Dixon
A General Theory of Bureaucracy, ISBN: 0435824783, Elliott Jaques
A Cry Unheard: New Insights into the Medical Consequences of LonelinessISBN: 1890862118, James J. Lynch
Organization, ISBN: 0140217606, Wilfred Brown
Swatting Flies and Telling Lies: Stories of a Mad Organizational Consultant, Jerry B. Harvey
Executive Leadership: A Practical Guide to Managing Complexity, ISBN: 0962107018, Elliott Jaques, Stephen D. Clement
It's All About Work: Organizing Your Company To Get Work DoneISBN: 0988639602, Stephen D. Clement
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, ISBN: 0140187650, Hannah Arendt
Escape from Freedom, ISBN: 0805031499, Erich Fromm
Our Own Worst Enemy, ISBN: 0708840388, Norman F. Dixon
How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed in the Back My Fingerprints Are on the Knife? And Other Meditations on Management, ISBN: 0787947873, Jerry Harvey
The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, ISBN: 0684848589, M. Scott Peck
People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, ISBN: 0684848597, M. Scott Peck
Requisite Organization, ISBN: 1886436045, Elliott Jaques
Social Power and the CEO, ISBN: 1567205518, Elliott Jaques
Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails, ISBN: 1422104141, Michael Maccoby
The Leaders We Need, ISBN: 1422101665, Michael Maccoby
Accountability Leadership: How to Strengthen Productivity Through Sound Managerial Leadership, ISBN: 1564145514, Gerald A. Kraines
The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli (free on Google Books)
The Art of War, ISBN: 0195014766, Sun Tzu (author), Samuel Griffith (translator)
The Age of Fallibility, ISBN: 1586483595, George Soros
The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business, ISBN: 0674940520, Alfred D. Chandler Jr.
Relativity: The Special and the General Theory--A Clear Explanation that Anyone Can Understand, ISBN: 0517029618, Albert Einstein
Man's Search for Meaning, ISBN: 0807014273, Viktor E. Frankl
Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality, ISBN: 0415092353, Richard G. Wilkinson
The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to TodayISBN: 1594204047, Thomas E. Ricks
Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs, ISBN: 1586488244, Muhammad Yunus
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, ISBN: 0307473333, Michio Kaku
The Prophet, ISBN: 0394404289, Kahlil Gibran

Date[1], Session[2]

Project Due

Additional Theme


Week 1:

Mon, Jan 8, #1




Wed, Jan 10, #2



Banning Laptops

Week 2:

Mon, Jan 15, –

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance (University Closed)

Wed, Jan 17, #3

Syllabus Q&A

Introduction (continued), Language, The Language of Organizations, Reflexivity, Primary and Secondary Sources

Week 3:

Mon, Jan 22, #4

Assignment 0-A: books

“How Are We Doing?”
class discussion of organizations and organizational experience

Working at:
-          Google
-          Yahoo
-          Microsoft
-          Amazon
-          Apple
-          Army
-          IBM

Wed, Jan 24, #5


Cheating, Ethical and Moral Principles, Anaclitic Depression Blues, Loneliness, Conversation

Harvey – Cheating

Week 4:

Mon, Jan 29, #6

Assignment 0-B: voting

Collaboration vs. Competition in Organizations

Deming – 1
Milgram – 1

Wed, Jan 31, #7



Milgram – 2


Video Lecture 1: Feararchy and Organizations (additional make-up class)

Week 5:

Mon, Feb 5, #8


Societal, Technological, and Organizational Changes and Innovations

Milgram – 3

Wed, Feb 7, #9

Paper 1

Historical Overview: Systems Thinking in Management and Introduction to Major Works: Taylor, Follett, Argyris, Herzberg, McGregor, Lewin, Bion, Harvey, Isaac, Deming, Jaques, Dixon, Maccoby, others

Milgram – 4
Productive Narcissist
HBR Article

Week 6:

Mon, Feb 12, #10

Movie: [4]  Challenger

Historical Overview (continued),
Personalities, Productive Narcissist, Strategic Intelligence, Intelligence
Discussion of organizations, Fear in organizations

Milgram – 5, 6
Deming – 2
Harvey – Abilene
Harvey – Org as Phrog Farms

Wed, Feb 14, #11

Movie: Abilene Paradox, followed by class discussion

The Abilene Paradox, Organizations and Phrog Farms, and other mediations on management, discussion

Milgram – 7, 8
Deming – 3
Harvey – Future of OD
Harvey – Feedback

Week 7:

Mon, Feb 19, –

President's Day Observed (University Closed)

Wed, Feb 21, #12

In-class Short Game

Research and Fallacies in Management, Unicorns

Milgram – 9, 10
Deming – 4

Week 8:

Mon, Feb 26, #13

 Great Book Extra Credit Selection Deadline

Management Diseases and Obstacles

Deming – 5

Wed, Feb 28, #14

Paper 2
Movie: Types of Organizations

Management Diseases and Obstacles

Milgram – 11
Deming – 6
In Praise of Hierarchy

Week 9:

Mon, Mar 5, #15

In-class Exercise: time-span of the role

Organizational Theory, Foundations
Applied Theories in Organizations, Types of Organizations, Associations and Hierarchies
Organizational Structure, Types of Teams and Teamwork

Milgram – 12, 13
Deming – 7, 8
Long View of Lead

Wed, Mar 7, #16

Movie: Managerial/Team Leadership

Organizational Structure
Structure of Managerial Hierarchies
Types of Teams and Teamwork
Strategic Management, Leadership
Good and Evil in Organizations
Role, Role Measurement, and Role Types
Authorities, Accountabilities

Milgram – 14
Deming – 9
The Great CEO Pay Heist
Psych Foundations
Herzberg – One
More Time


Video Lecture 2: Organizational Design Concepts (additional make-up class)

Week 10:

Mon, Mar 12, –

Spring Break – Have Fun!! J

Wed, Mar 14, –

Week 11:

Mon, Mar 19, #17

Movie: Corporate Leadership

Performance Appraisal, Promotion,
Mentorship Systems
Systems of Compensations, Language
Motivation, Talent Pool Development

Milgram – 15
Deming – 10
EJ Levels with You

Wed, Mar 21, #18


Discussion: Deputies in Organizations

Milgram – 16

Week 12:

Mon, Mar 26, #19


Milgram's Studies

Milgram – 17, 18
Harvey – Eichmann

Wed, Mar 28, #20

Movie: Group Tyranny

Milgram's Studies

Week 13:

Mon, April 2, #21


Team / Individual Project Work & Review
Additional Topics

4-star General, 5-star Grace

Wed, April 4, #22


Team / Individual Project Work & Review
Additional Topics

Human Time

Week 14:

Mon, April 9, #23

Exams 2 & 3

General Review

Don’t make money, career your whole life

Wed, April 11, #24

Exam 1

 (Remember Assignment 0-B: voting)

Week 15:

Mon, April 16, –

Emancipation Day Observed (University Closed)

Wed, April 18, #25


Presentations – paper 3 (term project)


Week 16:

Mon, April 23, #26

Paper 3, graduating seniors

Presentations – paper 3 (term project)


Wed, April 25, #27

Exams 2 & 3 (additional), graduating seniors

Presentations – paper 3 (term project), Class Party


Week 17:

Wed, May 2, #28

Paper 3

Exams 2 & 3 (additional)


[1] Dates and topics on the syllabus may change slightly to accommodate the class’ needs.

[3] All assigned reading is due before class; for a complete required reading list, please visit the class’ website at (all articles are posted as PDF files on the class web site – italicized above).

[4] All movies used in class are mini-movies on a specific topic to encourage and enhance the class conversation.