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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Organizational Analysis by Stanford University

4.6
stars
836 ratings
253 reviews

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

MA

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.

AL

Sep 03, 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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201 - 225 of 250 Reviews for Organizational Analysis

By Inta O

Sep 14, 2020

Unfortunately, not my favorite course. It did contain loads of information and theory names, but a little bit less of explaining. More often than during other courses I had to pause and go back or consult other sources to grasp the concepts (only to learn during the exam that it was still not enough ;) ). I also did not enjoy the reading (by the Professor) of the material - I would have rather preferred him telling in his own words and explaining along the way as it was during the SSC sessions; I do acknowledge though that this may be my own individual learning peculiarity. Also, the choice of examples sometimes seemed interesting; if the course if available worldwide, peculiarities of US educational system require a degree on its own (I am from Europe and had a tough time to figure out what the bottom line/ issue of the example would be..). However, I really do appreciate the amount of work that has been put into the material. Thank you!

By Daan P

Aug 05, 2018

Interesting course offering deep theoretical insight into the captivating world of organizations. The frameworks offered in this course provide anyone interested in the field or those thinking about taking some related undergraduate course with a good place to start their (continued) journey. As I have had the opportunity of studying in the United States during my exchange semester, the examples were not completely lost on me. For those also having spent most of their lives in Europe; the practical application of the theoretical frameworks are considerably centered around American affairs and cases. The forum offers some counterbalance, but whose participation and/or contributions are not necessarily of importance to the successful completion of the course. The quizzes were excellently interwoven with the lectures and recapped at the end of the week and provide you precisely with the tools and preparation to the final examination.

By c k v

Apr 17, 2020

I found the course quite interesting as I could relate these theories to the Management Practices & Organisational behaviours that I am very familiar with. There are very insightful and powerful tools & information in these theories for the practising Manager.

Th only improvement I would suggest would be to teach the theories under "management concepts" so that it is easily relatable by working professionals. This means that each week (or module) covers a Management concept say - Decision Making or Resource Management or Managing culture etc. This way, you will attract lot of practitioners your online version of the Course. Otherwise, it appears to be just an exposition of a bunch of sociological theories about Organizations.

By Alexandra J

Mar 01, 2020

Highly recommended course. There is a lot to unpack here, immediately applicable yet with solid theoretical basis. I have learned to ask new questions, and learned to look at organizations from new, very different perspectives. I do think having work experience is an advantage. The course material is very good (reader, videos, transcripts), the lessons are well-presented. The one thing that keeps me from ticking that 5th star is the state of the discussion forum: it's basically dead. Not Stanford's fault, but as an interactive learning tool it's over.

The site lists '28 hours' as time investment, that is an underestimate - it's easily double that.

By KM

Sep 19, 2018

I thought the course was a start in the introduction of Organizational Analysis. I have reviewed the written text as part of this course - this is a feat, while I have many interdisciplinary comments, questions, critiques - some of the ideas could be clarified. I would elaborate more in the theories of Organizational Anarchies, Network Formations, and think about adding examples of buffering, bridging, and bonding. I've more questions in the development of organizational theories in implementation; thinking many gaps in the realm. Did different individuals write the quizzes?

By julliard

Dec 28, 2019

Serves as a great, thorough intro to the academic field of organizational analysis. The professor puts organizes a ton of content and explains concepts very well.

That said, the course would have been much more useful if the forum were active, rather than all posts being 3 years old. Half the videos (the screen-side chats) are the professor responding to student discussion from earlier iterations of this course. I wish us later learners had that opportunity! As is, it's not hard to blow through this course with minimal real engagement with the concepts.

By Guillaume H

Feb 04, 2018

This course is really great to solidify the concepts about organizations as a whole. It digs in the academic as well as the pratical use cases. Only caveat is that it is too centered on examples from the teaching environment (shools) and public sector in the West. No perspective on organizations in other parts of the globe. It lacks a bit of examples from real life and there should be more tertimonies from third parties, videos, interviews. We have only one view here.

In spite of these limitations, I highly recommended it.

By Adedayo A

May 15, 2018

A very informative course and definitely worth it - good job to all those involved!! (a bit hard going at times due to the pace vis-a-vis some of the theory topics).

The side chats expanded on practical application of the theories with examples which was very helpful. It may be worth updating the side chats with more recent questions and comments though as these are currently showing as 2012 and 2013.

By Michael M

Nov 25, 2018

I did find the course itself quite interesting and easy to follow. However the weekly forums were essentially dead, most of the posts were dating back months to years. The one or two recent posts did not result in any discussion. I am under the impression, there was any maintenance of the course content since 2013 at the latest.

By ALI R

Aug 09, 2017

Though the course is arranged and organized in a very smooth way. But often time during lectures, it gets boring. Too much verbal explanation, that often distract us from the main topic. But overall it was a good course and one can learn a lot from it. The teaching of the professor was awsum.

By Manuel G

Jun 03, 2017

I learned a lot of interesting concepts in this course. The only thing that I would criticise is that, at times, I felt like some of the theories made up these kind of overly complicated categories to classify simple or intuitive things. But it was a good course overall.

By Michael M

Feb 11, 2019

Very good course with lots of content. Could be improved using different presenters and incorporating content other than the lectures. The final exam was almost impossible and took several attempts to complete. Needs to be less complex to make success more accessible.

By Nishita A

Aug 30, 2020

This course provides in-depth knowledge about various theories and their applications to organisations in a comprehensible manner. The case examples further provide clarity and application of the theoretical concepts, thereby registering the content in my memory!

By Soumi S ( C

Jul 30, 2020

Thanks to Professor McFarland and his team. It a journey worth travelling. The detailing and the summary was a piece of cake. I enriched myself with a lot of information. I would request and appreciate for more examples from industries and corporate background.

By V. H

Mar 05, 2018

Great course. You may want to warn future participants of a 3 hour final exam :)

Great content. The fireside chats were informative however since I took the course offline, they seemed a bit off topic. The content is definitely well researched and compiled.

By Erik S

Jun 01, 2020

Very ilustrative. I had some problems with the quizzes and final test, as there were many normative value-driven answers that in my vow can not be answered only with right or wrong. This is a basic problem of Coursera, at least in my experience.

By Virginie C

Aug 25, 2019

I really enjoyed the course, the teacher was great and content very interesting. i would say though that learners shoul be made aware that they should know the textbook in great details to be successful at the final exam.

By Bandaru J V

Mar 30, 2020

This course is one of the best course which takes you to different perspectives in an organization. I didn't think it will have those many modules. All are very helpful and the professor teaches clearly. Thank you.

By Raj K D

Jan 04, 2019

its an excellent course. i liked the end exam as well as sufficient depth in knowledge is required to pass this . this forced me to go through the course once again and i am thankful that I went though it again.

By Sainath S

Mar 21, 2018

Very interesting to take a course from a Stanford Professor. Just wondering if this is equivalent to a course attained from the university itself by attending physical classes or at least less-equivalent!

By Jay S

May 30, 2020

Very interesting theories and well explained. Only area where this could be improved is diversity in examples. Most of the examples are related to education which became confines your thinking.

By Ivaylo Y

Dec 12, 2016

It's a good course providing broad overview of the field and details into the important theories. Lots of case studies which I didn't find very relevant but still - nice to have them

By daniel k j

Jan 21, 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed this basic overview of Organizational Analysis. It was a fun and interesting foray into what much of my major in school will look like.

By VINOD K M

Dec 23, 2018

Excellent course, gives a broad view on how organizations are formed. Theories guidelines on how they could could be adapted to the VUCA world.

By Bernhard

Aug 30, 2017

Very good course with many examples. I can recommend the course.

It is a bit long in comparison to other Coursera formats but worth the time!