This seminar provides an opportunity to read extensively in the wide ranging, ill defined literature devoted to the study of complex organizations with an emphasis on its use in the study of public organization and governmental institutions. We probe the opportunities and limits of organization and/or administrative theories in addressing a range of issues concerning bureaucratic dynamics. We attend to: historically significant works in the field- theorizing in the social sciences- several pivotal works in administrative theory by Max Weber, Chester Barnard, and Herbert Simon- and works representing recent formulations from a number of approaches. Core concepts and central questions provide an organizing framework for the study of public organization in a democratic society. These readings provide a basis for advanced work in the public organization field. The seminar is designed for doctoral students in the social sciences and professional programs. The process includes small reading groups, a substantial paper, and an integrative final essay. In addition to several books, a seminar reader is required.
Pre-requisite: work in organization studies, the social science concepts, or permission of the instructor.