Courses

Doctoral Courses (WTO)

MS&E 381. Doctoral Research Seminar in Work, Technology, and Organization (Barley)

This is a readings course for graduate students interested in the study of technology and work. Although the content varies from year to year, emphasis is placed on books and papers that are foundational for work and technology studies.

MS&E 383. Doctoral Seminar on Ethnographic Research (Barley)

This seminar is designed as a basic field methods course for graduate students (and upper level undergraduates with permission of instructor). Ethnosemantic interviewing and participant observation are emphasized. Students learn and practice techniques for taking, managing and analyzing fieldnotes and other qualitative data. Students are required to conduct research during the course and must be willing to spend up to 15 hours per week outside class collecting and analyzing their own data. Methods texts and ethnographies are used respectively to illustrate how to analyze and communicate ethnographic data.

MS&E 384. Groups and Teams (Hinds)

Research on groups and teams in organizations from the perspective of organizational behavior and social psychology. Topics include group effectiveness, norms, group composition, diversity, conflict, group dynamics, temporal issues in groups, geographically distributed teams, and intergroup relations.

MS&E 388.  Themes in Contemporary Meso-level Field Research (Valentine)

Doctoral research seminar, limited to Ph.D. students. Current meso-level field research on organizational behavior, especially work and coordination. Topics: work design, job design, roles, teams, organizational change and learning, knowledge management, performance.  Focus on understanding theory development and research design in contemporary field research. Topics change yearly.  Recommended: course in statistics or research methods. More information here.

MS&E 389: Seminar on Organizational Theory (Powell)

The social science literature on organizations assessed through consideration of the major theoretical traditions and lines of research predominant in the field. Cross-listed as EDUC 375A, SOC 363A.


Popular Doctoral Courses Outside WTO

OB 622: Topics in Social Network Analysis: Structure and Dynamics (Hasan)

This course provides coverage of both introductory and intermediate topics in social network analysis with a primary focus on recent developments in theory, methods and substantive applications. We will begin the course with a brief overview of introductory themes and concepts from various disciplines that have contributed to social network theory, including sociology, anthropology, social psychology, and organizations. Introductory topics to be included: centrality, cliques, structural and regular equivalence and cognitive social structures. The primary topics to be covered in this course include the application of network theory to the study of careers, competition, innovation, inequality/stratification, and recent research on IT mediated networks, as well as an examination of network formation and dynamics. The course will also provide hands-on experience applying social network methods in empirical research. Students will have an opportunity to learn some modern network analysis methods and apply them to network data using the R programming language. No prior experience with social network analysis or software is required.

OB 670: Designing Social Research (Sørensen)

This is a course in the design of social research, with a particular emphasis on research field (i.e., non-laboratory) settings. As such, the course is a forum for discussing and developing an understanding of the different strategies social theorists employ to explain social processes, develop theories, and make these theories as believable as possible. In general, these issues will be discussed in the context of sociological research on organizations, but this will not be the exclusive focus of the course. A range of topics will be covered, for example: formulating and motivating research questions; varieties of explanation; experimental and quasi-experimental methods, including natural experiments; counterfactual models; conceptualization and measurement; sampling and case selection; qualitative and quantitative approaches. This course is particularly oriented toward developing an appreciation of the tradeoffs of different approaches. It is well suited to Ph.D. students working on qualifying papers and dissertation proposals.

OB 672: Organization and Environment (Rao)

This seminar considers the leading sociological approaches to analyzing relations of organizations and environments, with a special emphasis on dynamics. Attention is given to theoretical formulations, research designs, and results of empirical studies.

PSYCH 212: Social Psychology (Lepper | Ross | Howe)

Classic studies in experimental social psychology. Group and group dynamics; compliance and social pressure; conformity, cooperation, conflict, and social dilemmas; attraction and preference; attitudes and attitude change; social comparison, emotion, and affiliation; dissonance, consistency, and self-justification; attribution and self-perception; judgment and decision making, motivation, automaticity, and culture.

SOC 314. Economic Sociology (Granovetter)

Classical and contemporary literature covering the sociological approach to markets and the economy, and comparing it to other disciplines. Topics: consumption, labor, professions, industrial organization, and the varieties of capitalism; historical and comparative perspectives on market and non-market provision of goods and services, and on transitions among economic systems. The relative impact of culture, institutions, norms, social networks, technology, and material conditions.

SOC 381: Sociological Methodology I: Introduction

Basic math and statistics. Types of variables, how to recode and transform variables, and how to manage different types of data sets. How to use and think about weights. Introduction to statistical packages and programming. Introduction to multiple regression, and introduction to the interpretation of regression results.

SOC 382: Sociological Methodology II: Principles of Regression Analysis

Rigorous treatment of linear regression models, model assumptions, and various remedies for when these assumptions are violated. Introduction to panel data analysis.

SOC 383: Sociological Methodology III: Models for Discrete Outcomes

The rationale for and interpretation of static and dynamic models for the analysis of discrete variables.


Master’s Courses (WTO)

MS&E 280. Organizational Behavior: Evidence in Action (Sutton)

Organization theory; concepts and functions of management; behavior of the individual, work group, and organization. Emphasis is on case and related discussion.

MS&E 284. Designing Modern Work Organizations (Valentine)

This practice-based experiential lab course is geared toward MS&E masters students. Students will master the concepts of organizational design, with an emphasis on applying them to modern challenges (technology, growth, globalization, and the modern workforce).  Students will also gain mastery of skills necessary for success in today’s workplace (working in teams, communicating verbally, presenting project work).  Guest speakers from industry will present real-world challenges related to class concepts.  Students will complete a quarter-long analysis of the design of an actual organization.

By the end of the course, students in MS&E 284 should be able to:

(1) Design an organization and a job to accomplish a specific work activity.

(2) Evaluate organizational designs and work designs by articulating tradeoffs and likely behavioral consequences of the designs.

(3) Effectively communicate the complex relationships in organization and work design verbally.

(4) Work more effectively in a team.

(5) Make effective group presentations of key problems and their solutions in organization and work design.

MS&E 488: Prototyping & Rapid Experimentation Lab (Hinds)

Gain a deeper understanding of the prototyping and user feedback parts of the design thinking process with a focus on rapid experimentation. Explore prototyping and user feedback that happens in later stages of iteration when design ideas are somewhat gelled, but designers are still uncertain about whether the design will meet the need and evoke the response intended. Introduce and generate creative ways to discover what users will do in the real world with the designs we envision. For seasoned students who thoroughly understand the design thinking process or, more broadly, human-centered design and now want to focus on one later stage aspect of it in more depth.


Undergraduate Courses (WTO)

MS&E 108. Senior Project (Barley | Hinds)

Students carry out a major project in groups of four, applying techniques and concepts learned in the major. Project work includes problem identification and definition, data collection and synthesis, modeling, development of feasible solutions, and presentation of results.

MS&E 180. Organizations: Theory and Management (Hinds | Sutton)

Classical and contemporary organization theory; the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations.

MS&E 181. Issues in Technology and Work for a Post-Industrial Economy (Barley)

This course introduces undergraduates in Management Science and Engineering and other engineering disciplines to the study of technology and work, exploring topics of contemporary concern and identifying challenges posed by a postindustrial workplace. The course explores the question: How are changes in technology and organization are altering our work and our lives? Topics include job design, distributed and virtual organizations, the blurring of boundaries between work and family life, computer supported cooperative work, trends in skill requirements and occupational structures, monitoring and surveillance in the workplace, downsizing and its effects on work systems, project work and project-based lifestyles, the growth of contingent employment, telecommuting, electronic commerce, and the changing nature of labor relations.

MS&E 185. Global Work (Hinds)

Issues, challenges, and opportunities facing workers, teams, and organizations working across national boundaries. Topics include geographic distance, time zones, language and cultural differences, technologies to support distant collaboration, team dynamics, and corporate strategy.

MS&E 197. Ethics and Public Policy (McGinn)

Ethical issues in science- and technology-related public policy conflicts. Focus is on complex, value-laden policy disputes. Topics: the nature of ethics and morality; rationales for liberty, justice, and human rights; and the use and abuse of these concepts in policy disputes. Case studies from biomedicine, environmental affairs, technical professions, communications, and international relations.