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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Organizational Analysis by Stanford University

1,305 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


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.


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!

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26 - 50 of 384 Reviews for Organizational Analysis

By Alexander V

Dec 26, 2016

I am impressed and exceptionally satisfied passing the course. Very useful, presents range of theories and points of view, combined with real life cases and in-depth explanations. Thank you!

By Juan C L V

Aug 18, 2017

Absolutely wonderful course. With an amazing professor. Really impressed with the quality of the content, discussion forums, and presentations. Congratulations and thank you

By Adam M

Sep 13, 2018

Content was interesting but lectures were often longer than necessary. Lecturer used good and applicable examples to bring theory to life

By Abdul R

Dec 21, 2019

Excellent course but with some room for improvement in terms of explaining the theories in a more structured manner

By Jonas H

Aug 11, 2020

First of all I want to thank Prof. McFarland for the very interesting course. It was a very good experience!

My main negative point is that I would have loved to obtain more current theories and studies. Additionally, there appears sometimes a little flickering on the screen and in one video at some occasions a slight interference noise can be heared (probably of a mobile phone). Lastly, some typos in the slides and questions may appear.

Still, there the wealth of case studies, examples and additional material that renders the course additionally enlightening. Even the other participants create value through discussion in the forum (thanks at this point to the voluntaries that moderate it and answer questions!). Not to forget the exstensive screenside chats in which Prof. McFarland answers questions and elaborates on the course material even more!

Further, the quality of the audio/video is good and Prof. McFarland as the presenter comes across as very motivated, engaged and likable, so watching sequences of the course over and over again is not uncomfortable. Put together and considering the affordable price, the pros fully outweigh the cons and 5 stars are fully earned.

By Stephanie F M

Feb 27, 2019

Plataforma incrível, videos aulas com o melhor professor possível, calmo e paciente para explicar de forma que todos entendam o que ele está tentando repassar!!!

By Fabian F

Dec 28, 2017

Very abstract at times, but overall a great course. Thank you.

By Bart V

Mar 17, 2022

Really dense material presented in a dry academic manner. Unless you are REALLY into the topic - not a strong match. I stopped after week 2.

By Aybüke T

Feb 27, 2022

It was extremely boring, took me half a year to complete! The topics were chosen well but i don't remember much because the delivery was inbalanced when it comes to rationality and enthusiasm or creativity.

By Vitaly V

Jun 19, 2017

Very boring

By Sachin M B

Aug 9, 2022

Pathetic course, final exam has 111 questions to attempt in just 20 mintues! I had answered these questions in each module. Then why you need to conduct final exam. And even if you want to conduct final exam why 111 questions?

By Kryssi B

Aug 9, 2022

Outdated and RIDICULOUSLY boring. Unenrolling after week two. I expected more from Stanford smh

By Daniel T T L

Aug 6, 2022

Too bloody expensive, fix ur flawed pricing coursea$$ra

By Siraj A ( N R

Mar 29, 2020

Too much difficult course.

By Tony S

Jan 5, 2017

Professor Daniel McFarland of Stanford University, deliver here an inspiring and attention-grabbing course about how to find structured keys and solutions for an environment where most organizational problems are distinctive to the circumstances and cannot be elucidated by simple click.

The eleven weeks of materials was indeed long and personally very difficult to absorb, but the final reward is 100% worth it!!

I am highly thankful to Professor Daniel McFarland, for allowing me to be part of his class and sharing us (students) generously his extensive knowledge, theories and thoughts about new ways to enlighten work environment, and understand in a systematic, practical manner & the behind-the-curtain; the industrialized world we are living.

For geographical reasons, it will be technically impossible for me to attend Professor Daniel McFarland classes at Stanford University and thanks to his generous patience, engagement and priceless time to prepare this exceptional course,

I am really honored and proud to have joined this outstanding and must learn course here on coursera!!!

Definitively a stellar 5 Star rating!!!

By Robert S

Jul 4, 2018

Found this to be an exceptional course which introduced me to theories for analyzing organizations. The material was challenging, thought-provoking, and highly practical. As an educator in the public school system, I could see how decisions were influenced by many factors. I would like to meet with Professor McFarland one day. I have a few other personal experienced based theories relatinging to analysis of organization , nuances of some presented, that I would like to share with him. I am especially interested in the impact of the consumer on shaping organizations. But I sense the consumer is just lumped in as a member of the environment. The information age empowers the consumer providing greater choice and opportunities for disruptive innovations. I would like to see students wield this influence to bring education into the 21st Century.Professor McFarland, Thank you for your fine work and willingness to share.Robert Schenker:

By Dimitris K

Nov 9, 2016

An excellent introduction and analysis on the the very essence of organizations. The course is well structured and presented. One may argue that there is lots of theory and material, especially if references and external information are followed and researched. This, in my point of view, is not a minus (however, I'm am used to such an approach given a PhD background). One point of improvement: all theory is accompanied by case-studies and practical examples. Most of them, however, are drawn from the US experience and reality - none really from an international perspective (with the exceptions of the Cuba missile crisis and of Google - an international "icon" anyhow). More intenationally-drawn examples would have been a plus, given the very cultural and nationality-wise mix of students who sign up for MOOCs. Thank you. Dimitris, Athens, Greece.

By Mark F

Jan 1, 2018

Well-paced and genuinely personable delivery of course content. Highly relevant theories and models; indeed, I most appreciated the inter- and cross-disciplinary approach used to better understand human and organizational relationships (in organizations and within and between markets and sub-sectors of the economy). This course met its goal of provided learners with a very wide range of theories and models to understand what can sometimes be a complex web of interactions between supporters and detractors, competitors and collaborators. Truly well worth the investment and as long as one takes good notes throughout each lecture and invaluable resource to draw on for understanding and managing the various relationships that exist within and between organizations.

By Rahat S

Jul 9, 2021

Amazing!! I enjoyed this course a lot especially the flexibility with time stipulation. Being the MOOC this course was well interactive and informative to fit the practitioners' choice as well the beginners. The technical aspects of this course were fantastic and nicely equipped with any disruption. I hope this type, of course, would open doors for the people who have limited access to the professional development process. There could be group assignments for evaluations which could give a go for more interactive and simulative. Cheers to all graduates off course including me. Thanks to Daniel A. McFarland and his great team including Stanford University and Coursera. Best, Dr. Rahat Sikdar, International Consultant and Development Specialist

By Neecie P a D E P

Mar 20, 2022

Organizational Analysis course with Stanford provided exceptional processes of theory and application for various type work environments. I learned so much about the strengths and threats in determing successful productivity for high level functioning of different type organizational entities. This course is very engaging, challenging, and I highly recommend this course for those new to organzational analysis, or for those who are looking for reviews of strategies in optimizing organizational effectiveness, regardless of organizational type (education, government, technology, manufacturing, finance, etc.) .

By Kylii W

Oct 29, 2022

I found this course insightful in terms of theories and concepts. A number of case studies related to USA and to educational institutions which, although not relevant to my location and industry, I was able to get some gems from. The Professor is passionate and knowledgeable. At various times, the Professor actually shares with you some of the constraints that he's under in order to provide publicly available videos and slides, I found that helpful given it can be a bit lumpy in terms of structure and presentation.

By Basel A A

May 13, 2020

Excellent course for understanding how organizations work, function, react to problems, change. Very important for managers or business leaders. A large portion of the cases used were from the education field like schools, and universities but the examples can applied to all organizations whether profit or non profit. The lectures were very informative and entertaining. The quizzes were challenging and the final was even more challenging. Thank you Coursera, Stanford, Dr. Dan McFarland for this very beneficial course.

By Oleksandr M

May 8, 2019

I have many years of experience working at various organizations, however, it was very useful and exciting to learn about different and such complicated paths in the process of decision making. This course has allowed me to gain different perspective and start analyzing in absolute new way organizations/decision making groups with which I am working at this moment.

It also helps to make practical steps in order to succeed in the process of decision making.

Thank you

By Caio A V

Nov 30, 2016

For a long time, a dreamt with this kind of course and this level of teaching. I believe that this course represents the magna opus of what Coursera's mission fosters to be. It is enlightening, complete and passionate in so many ways that make this intangible asset almost physical. My only advice is, just take this course and embrace what you will learn because it can actually change you and luckily your environment as well.

By Peggy L

Jun 6, 2022

It took a long while for me to finish this course due to very busy personal schedule. I am so so happy that I've finally completed this as the course presents me challenges and equips me with a lot of theories and tools to explain organisation behaviour. Thanks for putting this course up in Coursera, and the inspiration Prof. McFarland and his team has brought me. I am really very pleased to have done this!!