SOCI 410: Formal Organizations and Bureaucracy

In every moment of every day, organizations and bureaucracies affect life in countless subtle and obvious ways. In our post-industrial Western society, formal organizations order our lives and fulfill our needs. Despite their immense influence, most understandings of organizations are vague, shallow, and unspecific.

This course aims to provide you with a thorough sociological understanding of organizations. We will look at where organizations come from, how they change, and how they die. We will examine the ways organizations are structured, the ways they act, and the relationships between individuals in organizations, between individuals and organizations, and between organizations.

A critical and rigorous understanding of organizations and organizational behavior underpins our understanding of the world around us. This course will give you the tools to apprehend organizational forms and processes at work in your life and in your world.

Required Texts:

  • Aldrich and Ruef, Organizations Evolving, 2nd edition (2006), ISBN: 978-1412910477
  • Scott and Davis, Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems Perspectives (2007), ISBN: 978-0131958937

View a sample course syllabus.

Contact the Friday Center at with any questions or for more information.

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