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DSOC 25A07 - Sociology of Organizations

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

In contemporary Western societies, public and private organizations –defined by Philip Selznick as “tools with a life of their own”– are the most important meso-level social structures that make it possible for interdependent, heterogeneous, often conflicting and competing members to work and produce together, i.e. coordinate their activities and cooperate at various levels (intra- and inter-organizational, local and global). This course is a sociological introduction to contemporary rationalization of work and managerialization of society. It will focus on general concepts used to account for these organizing efforts, such as bureaucracy, collegiality, power, institution, governance and networks. It will also look at issues such as the relationship between organizations and their environments by exploring their dependence on technology, professions, and markets; their capacity to build institutions; their relationship with social stratification and inequalities; and the ways in which they build an ‘organizational society'.


LAZEGA, Emmanuel (Professeur des Universités à Sciences Po)

Course validation

The class format is lecture. Attend the lectures and do the required readings every week. Take the midterm exam. Halfway through the semester, a multiple-choice exam will test your readings for previous sessions. The quiz will take place on session 7. Session 6 will be a review session. Write a critical essay. This essay is due by the end of the semester. In 7 or 8 pages (1.5 spacing; +/- 10%), you must reflect on the title of one session of your choice. Drawing on the literature listed in the syllabus for the session you choose, you must compare and contrast two (or more) diverging perspectives on the title. You may use both the texts listed as “required” and as “recommended”. If you choose only two texts, at least one of the readings must be a book. Otherwise, you must pick three articles. Authors do not necessarily disagree with each other. However, each text sheds a specific light on the issue at stake. For instance, combining a classical, theoretical text with a recent, empirical one is a good idea. Whatever the type of texts you choose, your essay must clearly show how the texts relate to the issue covered in the session. Take the final exam. The final exam will consist of three or four questions covering broad topics addressed in the course. Grading weights: Midterm exam: 20%, Critical essay: 40%, Final exam: 40%.