Organizational Theory & Behavior, Welcome to Abilene!

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

Class Meeting Times: Mon-Wed, 11-12:20 PM, 38-213

Live Online Access: (emergencies only), instructions for the video-conference - click here

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

Course Readings:


The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, W. Edwards Deming

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


Out of the Crisis, ISBN: 0262541157, 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:

Wed, Jan 9, #1




Week 2:

Mon, Jan 14, #2



Banning Laptops

Wed, Jan 16, #3

Syllabus Q&A

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

Week 3:

Mon, Jan 21, –

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

Wed, Jan 23, #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

-          AA

Week 4:

Mon, Jan 28, #5

Assignment 0-B: voting

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

Harvey – Cheating



Wed, Jan 30, #6


Trust in Organizations

Milgram – 1, 2



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

Week 5:

Mon, Feb 4, #7


Work in Organizations

Deming – 1

Milgram – 3

Wed, Feb 6, #8

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 11, #9


Movie: [4]  Challenger

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

Milgram – 5, 6

Deming – 2

Harvey – Abilene

Harvey – Org as Phrog Farms

Wed, Feb 13, #10

Movie: Abilene Paradox, followed by class discussion

Research and Fallacies in Management, Unicorns

Milgram – 7, 8

Harvey – Future of OD

Harvey – Feedback

Week 7:

Mon, Feb 18, –

President's Day Observed (University Closed)

Wed, Feb 20, #11

In-class Short Game

Deming in Organizations

Milgram – 9, 10

Deming – 3


Week 8:

Mon, Feb 25, #12

Great Book Extra Credit Selection Deadline

Management Diseases and Obstacles

Deming – 4

Wed, Feb 27, #13

Paper 2

Movie: Types of Organizations

Management Diseases and Obstacles

Milgram – 11

In Praise of Hierarchy

Week 9:

Mon, Mar 4, #14


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 – 5


Long View of Lead

Wed, Mar 6, #15

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

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 11, –

Spring Break – Have Fun!! J

Wed, Mar 13, –

Week 11:

Mon, Mar 18, #16

Movie: Corporate Leadership

Performance Appraisal, Promotion,

Mentorship Systems

Systems of Compensations, Language

Motivation, Talent Pool Development

Milgram – 15

Deming – 6

EJ Levels with You

Wed, Mar 20, #17


Discussion: Deputies in Organizations

Milgram – 16

Week 12:

Mon, Mar 25, #18


Milgram's Studies

Milgram – 17, 18

Harvey – Eichmann

Wed, Mar 27, #19

Movie: Group Tyranny

Milgram's Studies

Week 13:

Mon, April 1, #20


Team / Individual Project Work & Review

Additional Topics

4-star General, 5-star Grace

Wed, April 3, #21


Team / Individual Project Work & Review

Additional Topics

Human Time

Week 14:

Mon, April 8, #22

Exams 2 & 3

General Review

Don’t make money, career your whole life

Wed, April 10, #23

Exam 1

 (Remember Assignment 0-B: voting)

Week 15:

Mon, April 15, #24


Presentations – great book extra credit


Wed, April 17, #25

Paper 3, graduating seniors

Presentations – paper 3 (term project)


Week 16:

Mon, April 22, #26


Presentations – paper 3 (term project)


Wed, April 24, #27

Exams 2 & 3 (additional), graduating seniors

Presentations – paper 3 (term project), Class Party

Week 17:

Wed, May 1, #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.