Course Catalog


Organizations, Institutions and Social Change

Organizations are at the heart of societal governance; profit-seeking corporations mobilize and allocate economic resources, governmental agencies deliver services and regulate other organizations, while numerous non-governmental organizations, from unions to churches to advocacy groups, constitute the realm of civil society. In structuring our society in particular ways, organizations represent a form of structural power; some groups systematically benefit relative to others as a result of how organizations function. Organizations are frequently the target of public policy, as they are sites that generate and reproduce inequality, discrimination, pollution, and other social and economic problems. Organizations can also serve as agents of resistance and change; they are thus the vehicles of public policy. Policy regimes emerge through the interaction of many organizations of different types, with conflicting interests and differential access to power and resources. An understanding of organizations, their sources of power, their role in governance, and their structures and processes, is therefore highly relevant for policy analysts, for activists, and for public and private-sector managers. MBAMGT 641L and PPOL-G 641L are the same course.

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