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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Organizational Analysis by Stanford University

1,303 ratings

About the Course

In this introductory, self-paced course, you will learn multiple theories of organizational behavior and apply them to actual cases of organizational change. Organizations are groups whose members coordinate their behaviors in order to accomplish a shared goal. They can be found nearly everywhere in today’s society: universities, start-ups, classrooms, hospitals, non-profits, government bureaus, corporations, restaurants, grocery stores, and professional associations are some of many examples of organizations. Organizations are as varied and complex as they are ubiquitous: they differ in size and internal structure; they can entail a multiplicity of goals and tasks (some of which are planned and others unplanned!); they are made up of individuals whose goals and motivations may differ from those of the group; and they must interact with other organizations and deal with environmental constraints in order to be successful. This complexity frequently results in a myriad of problems for organizational participants and the organization’s survival. In this course, we will use organizational theories to systematically analyze how an organization operates and can best be managed. Organizational theories highlight certain features of an organization’s structure and environment, as well as its processes of negotiation, production, and change. Each provides a lens for interpreting novel organizational situations and developing a sense for how individual and group behaviors are organized. Theories are valuable for the analyst and manager because most organizational problems are unique to the circumstances and cannot be solved by simple rules of thumb. Armed with a toolset of organizational theories, you will be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it; choose a theoretical framework most applicable to the observed mode of organizing; and use that theory to determine which actions will best redirect the organization in desired directions. In sum, the course has three goals: to become familiar with a series of real-world organizational phenomena; to learn different theoretical perspectives that can elucidate these phenomena; and to apply these different ways of “seeing” and managing organizations to cases. In such a fashion, the course is designed to actively bridge theory and practice, exposing students to a variety of conceptual tools and ways to negotiate novel situations....

Top reviews


Sep 2, 2019

Very challenging yet worth it. If you are in an administrative position in an organization (especially education) you will get some great perspectives/understandings from this course. Take good notes!


Apr 29, 2020

This course provides in-depth analyses of a host of organizational theories and their application in real life. The dissection of each case and the applicability of the theories are really insightful.

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1 - 25 of 384 Reviews for Organizational Analysis

By MohammadSaied A

Mar 21, 2020

I have an engineering, mathematical, and business perspective, which is maybe the reason that I find it hard to relate to the mentality of the teacher. I somehow don't think he is organized-minded enough. Many of the information he gives is redundant, bombarding the listener's mind with topics that are hard to connect and organize.

By Emiliano C

Jul 9, 2020

This course if full of ironical itself, the way to evaluate and the content, the way of learning and else.

It is indeed a challenging course when we look at it from the point of how the information is showed and urged to be remembered. The professor is very well prepared and he clearly knows what everything goes about.For example the Trash Can Class was better explained that all the papers about the issue on the web. Still, this is a very bad organized course. The evaluations have a lack of interest in giving feedback and it's a terrible choice to have the final exam as a 111 question test. It is just very confusing and stressful.

Every module is compose by some lectures, a module-quiz and a sum of talks of the professor with the students. Still, there is something very important, this course needs an urgent update. Given that the course was offered on 2012, I'm really surprised that Stanford did not pay attention on giving an upgrade or just making a new version of it with more updated content. For sure, social media, the world and more have changed the way organizations work and are analyzed by experts. One of the most unpleasant things in the course are the technical issues on the video. The green screen technology has a lack of professionalism, it gets boring to see a terrible and word-laden slideshow with no videos, no music, complicated concepts and more. The colors and the render of the video keep changing every time as if it was a wrong-connected projector and the eyes of the professor have been confused with the green screen, so you can see what it's behind. I mean, this are small issues, but I cannot shallow how one of the most important universities in the world ask us to be critical about the lectures and to give opinions about organizations when the course is bad organized, non-updated, and made without detail focus.

It's a great course still to learn and re-learn about organizations, in my case I studied corporate communications in Mexico and this course gave me a new way to see organizations through other issues I didn't know. Good option to keep learning and to know more about important cases. I look forward for an update!

By Solymosi K

Apr 27, 2020

Very theoretical, more tools and "how-tos" would have been better. The lectures are dry and long and the lecturer would use a Presentation Skills training because the slides are overcrowded with information and sometimes even hard to read.

By Deleted A

Oct 15, 2017

I am surprised that this course's content is not more organized, particularly in terms of how it is being presented. May drop this one in favor of something similar on another MOOC site. Looking for something that is more precise, concise and with a better script.

By Soumya M

Sep 19, 2020

The content seems to be at least 10 years old, expected much better from Standford. I am unable to even unenroll from the course so it is just stuck here on my list.

By Roxana P

Sep 2, 2019

Information is excellent, but I expect more real- cases of actual organizations.

By Heather B

Jul 17, 2020

This is highly theoretical and entirely dull. I am a professional with 20 years of corporate experience, so I at least have context for what is presented, and it's still boring as heck. I can't imagine being a student with no experience. Not to mention, most of the case studies are from educational settings, so if this isn't where you work or what interests you, then you will be further lulled into a stupor.

I took this to fill some gaps in my knowledge about organizational frameworks and I'm not taking away much. Quit this after the 6th lesson. Essentially, now I have a couple terms to use for things that I observe, but zero practical application to influence any aspect of how I work.


Apr 1, 2020

Quizes do not provide review with answer, students never know how did they get wrong and how to avoid repeat the mistake

By Alessandro F

Mar 27, 2019

Boring, only cases concerning schools systems

By fabio a

Jul 3, 2019

Fue un excelente curso que me ayudo a reforzar mis conocimientos en dirección y gerencia de empresas en el sector privado. Recomiendo este curso por que tiene los componentes en el área psicológica del ser humano que permite entender el comportamiento y el rol de los diferentes actores dentro y en el entorno de su organización.

By Subbaiah S M

Mar 29, 2017

This is the best course of its kind. Need more such courses from Stanford. Daniel's lectures are amazing , It truly felt like he was sitting next to me and teaching. More from Daniel please

By Jos M

Aug 17, 2019

Good content, boring presentation and heavy focus on examples from the Education field. Extra optional 'screen side chats' offer nice extra interesting content and much nicer presentation to listen to.

By Andrew L

Sep 3, 2019

Very challenging yet worth it. If you are in an administrative position in an organization (especially education) you will get some great perspectives/understandings from this course. Take good notes!

By Jesus d V

Nov 11, 2017

I think I would have given an overview at the beginning, kind of a framework, to put all theories and aspects in place. Excellent. Including the videos discussing the questions of the students.

By Christopher S

Mar 3, 2020

Essentially this course puts terms and labels on ideas you have heard of from your experiences with working in groups. Some of the case studies and ideas are helpful, but overall I think this course did not demand enough critical thinking in how a person can identify these concepts, apply them to a real-life situation and then implement measures to better manage/improve an organization.

By ICE B D (

Apr 14, 2017

It is an excllent online course with top world class contents which I have never had! Many thanks! Ice

By Muhammad I

Apr 4, 2017

In my opinion. I think this course is too theorical. Please give more practical ways

By Othmar D

Aug 9, 2021

very disappointing - teacher uninspired, no methological variety whatsoever, overloaded slides, completely outdated examples from the fifties/sixties; I stopped the course in Week 4; not recommended at all

By Aslı M

Jan 20, 2020

it too long

By Melisha W

Oct 13, 2020

This was a very extensive and information rich course. I learnt so much that will be highly beneficial to my endeavors and advancement. Very happy that I encountered and engaged in this study.

By Lisa K K

Apr 3, 2020

Extensive but McFarland keeps you engaged. Each module is closed by a case study. More cases from outside the educational sector would have been great.

By Michael N

May 18, 2017

Interesting course. Just wish the examples given were more illustrative of the concept.

By Novella C

Mar 6, 2021

Too old, not so applicable, focused on examples that far are from Corporate world.

I lost immediately interest.

By Helena H

Nov 4, 2020

So boring, I fell asleep halfway through the second video. The teacher has an unengaging voice and personality.

By Arafat A

Apr 30, 2020

This course provides in-depth analyses of a host of organizational theories and their application in real life. The dissection of each case and the applicability of the theories are really insightful.