Courses Offered

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts,

Awards Offered: Bachelors degree,Masters degree,Doctors degree - research/scholarship

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Current Course Catalog Subject: Organizational Behavior

  • Advanced Strategy

    This course draws on a wide range of perspectives to explore the roots of long term competitive advantage in unusually successful firms. Using a combination of cases, simulations, readings and, most importantly, lively discussion, the course will explore the ways in which long term advantage is built from first mover advantage, increasing returns, and unique organizational competencies. We will focus particularly on the ways in which the actions of senior management build competitive advantage over time, and on the strategic implications of understanding the roots of a firm's success.

  • Analyzing Projects and Organizations

    This course teaches students how to understand the rationality behind how organizations and their programs behave, and to be comfortable and analytical with a live organization. It thereby builds analytic skills for evaluating programs and projects, organizations, and environments. It draws on the literature of the sociology of organizations, political science, public administration, and historical experience-and is based on both developing-country and developed-country experience.

  • Architecture and Communication in Organizations

    While no businesses succeed based on their architecture or space design, many fail as a result of inattention to the power of spatial relationships. This course demonstrates through live case studies with managers and architects the value of strategic space planning and decision making in relation to business needs. The course presents conceptual frameworks for thinking about architecture, communication and organizations.

  • Building and Leading Effective Teams

    This course is an intensive one-week introduction to leadership, teams, and learning communities. The class meets daily for five days. The class serves as an introduction of concepts and uses a variety of experiential exercises to develop individual and team skills, as well as supportive relationships within the Leaders for Manufacturing class. As part of the focus on leadership, it discusses the idea of the "Universe Within", the images, thoughts, and experiences that are internal to all leaders.

  • Communicating in Technical Organizations

    This course has two parallel aims: 1) To improve student writing about technical subject matters, including forms of writing commonly employed in technical organizations, and 2)Critically to examine the nature of technologically-assisted communication, focusing somewhat on professional communication among scientists and engineers. We will often combine these two goals, by practicing critical investigation of communications technologies in written formats (and other media) that employ communications technologies.

  • Comparative Grand Strategy and Military Doctrine

    This course will conduct a comparative study of the grand strategies of the great powers (Britain, France, Germany and Russia) competing for mastery of Europe from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Grand strategy is the collection of political and military means and ends with which a state attempts to achieve security. We will examine strategic developments in the years preceding World Wars I and II, and how those developments played themselves out in these wars. The following questions will guide the inquiry: What is grand strategy and what are its critical aspects? What recurring factors have exerted the greatest influence on the strategies of the states selected for study? How may the quality of a grand strategy be judged? What consequences seem to follow from grand strategies of different types? A second theme of the course is methodological. We will pay close attention to how comparative historical case studies are conducted.

  • Competitive Decision-Making and Negotiation

    This course is centered on twelve negotiation exercises that simulate competitive business situations. Specific topics covered include distributive bargaining (split the pie!), mixed motive bargaining (several issues at stake) with two and with more than two parties, auctions and fair division. Ethical dilemmas in negotiation are discussed at various times throughout the course.

  • Congress and the American Political System II

    This course analyzes the development of the United States Congress by focusing on the competing theoretical lenses through which legislatures have been studied. In particular, it compares sociological and economic models of legislative behavior, applying those models to floor decision-making, committee behavior, political parties, relations with other branches of the Federal government, and elections. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through reading and individual research.

  • Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization

    This subject is about building, running, and growing an organization. Not a survey of entrepreneurship or leadership; subject addresses the principles of organizational architecture, group behavior and performance, interpersonal influence, leadership and motivation in entrepreneurial settings. Through a series of cases, lectures, readings and exercises students develop competencies in organizational design, human resources management, leadership and organizational behavior in the context of a new, small firm.

  • Economic Institutions and Growth Policy Analysis

    This course is designed for students particularly concerned with the practical problems of operating in large formal organizations, either from an operational or a research perspective. It will focus, as the title suggests, upon different forms of economic organizations and institutions in advanced and developing industrial societies and the theories (and theoretical perspectives) which might help us to understand them.

  • Game Theory for Managers

    This half-term course examines the choices that we make which affect others and the choices others make that affect us. Such situations are known as "games" and game-playing, while sounding whimsical, is serious business. Managers frequently play "games" both within the firm and outside it with competitors, customers, regulators, and even capital markets! The goal of this course is to enhance a student's ability to think strategically in complex, interactive environments. Knowledge of game theory will give students an advantage in such strategic settings. The course is structured around three "themes for acquiring advantage in games": commitment / strategic moves, exploiting hidden information, and limited rationality.

  • Gender and Race, Work and Public Policy

    This course provides an analytic framework for understanding the roles that gender and race play in defining the work worlds of women and men in our society, including ways in which gender intersects with race and class. The course examines specific workplace-related policies through a gender/race lens, including welfare policy, comparable worth, affirmative action, parental leave policy, child care policy and working time policies. Students are required to investigate ways in which these policies address gender and racial inequities, and think critically about mechanisms for change.

  • Getting Things Implemented: Strategy, People, Performance and Leadership

    An old saying holds that "there are many more good ideas in the world than good ideas implemented." This is a case based introduction to the fundamentals of effective implementation. Developed with the needs and interests of plannersbut also with broad potential applicationin mind, this course is a fast paced, case driven introduction to developing strategy for organizations and projects, managing operations, recruiting and developing talent, taking calculated risks, measuring results (performance), and leading adaptive change, for example where new mental models and habits are required but also challenging to promote.

  • Global Strategy and Organization (Spring 2012)

    This subject focuses on the specifics of strategy and organization of the multinational company, and provides a framework for formulating successful and adaptive strategies in an increasingly complex world economy. Topics include the globalization of industries, the continuing role of country factors in competition, organization of multinational enterprises, and building global networks. This particular version of the subject is taught and tailored specifically to those enrolled in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program.

  • Individuals, Groups, and Organizations

    This class develops basic concepts for understanding individual, group, and organizational behavior through the critical analysis of important works in the field. Among the areas covered are: individual affect and cognition; group process and performance; and organizational culture and adaptation. The class also emphasizes the use of behavioral science concepts for stimulating new and useful organizational behavior research.

  • Innovation in Military Organizations

    This seminar has three purposes. One, it inquires into the causes of military innovation by examining a number of the most outstanding historical cases. Two, it views military innovations through the lens of organization theory to develop generalizations about the innovation process within militaries. Three, it uses the empirical study of military innovations as a way to examine the strength and credibility of hypotheses that organization theorists have generated about innovation in non-military organizations.

  • Integrating eSystems and Global Information Systems (Spring 2002)

    The strategic importance of information technology is now widely accepted. It has also become increasingly clear that the identification of strategic applications alone does not result in success for an organization. A careful coordination of strategic applications, information technologies, and organizational structures must be made to attain success. This course addresses strategic, technological, and organizational connectivity issues to support effective and meaningful integration of information and systems. This course is especially relevant to those who wish to effectively exploit information technology and create new business processes and opportunities.

  • Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods

    This course covers the fundamental principles, practices and tools of Lean Six Sigma methods that underlay modern organizational productivity approaches applied in aerospace, automotive, health care, and other sectors. It includes lectures, active learning exercises, a plant tour, talks by industry practitioners, and videos. One third of the course is devoted to a physical simulation of an aircraft manufacturing enterprise or a clinic to illustrate the power of Lean Six Sigma methods.

  • Introduction to Planning and Institutional Processes in Developing Countries

    This introductory course helps students learn to pose questions and analyze problems in the field of planning in developing countries. Not arguing for one "right" approach, the course draws on grounded empirical experiences - historical and recent - to help students navigate the way they approach their future work in developing-country governments, NGOs and international organizations.

  • IT and Business Transformation

    The purpose of this Proseminar in Information Technology and Business Transformation (ITBT) is to provide students with a view of IT-enabled transformation and the strategic issues in the management of IT. The seminar will bring in CIOs, CEOs, and experienced consultants and industry observers to provide their perspectives and tell their stories about the use and management of IT today. Their talks will deal with the new technology, the new applications, the issues of implementation, the changes in industries and companies, and the strategic management of IT. In addition, there will be several case discussions of issues to be decided by senior management, with students taking on the position of executives and consultants. There will also be frameworks presented and used to position all material and speakers. Finally, one session will consist of ITBT alumni discussing career opportunities and issues for students, particularly from MIT, with these interests. Students will gain a perspective of the strategic role of and issues in managing IT as manifested in e-business applications, as a driver and enabler of business transformation, and as an underlying infrastructure resource for all businesses.

  • Leadership Lab

    This five-day interactive and experiential workshop focuses on how leaders lead innovations that both promote social responsibility and produce business success. The workshop is organized around three main parts: observation, sense-making, and creating. During the observation phase, students spend a full day inside the Boston office of the design company IDEO and visit some of the most interesting proven innovators in corporate social responsibility such as Ben and Jerrys, KLD, MBDC, Plug Power (fuel cell technology), PwC, Schlumberger, or core team members of the UN Global Compact. After returning from their company visits, students describe to one another what they saw and learned. In the final part of the Lab, students conceive and implement innovation projects that serve the needs of a local community. Each team presents its practical accomplishments on the final day of the Lab. Starting in 2004 this course will be renumbered as 15.975.

  • Leading Organizations II

    Through lectures, discussions, and class exercises, 15.322 analyzes the human processes underlying organizational behavior and change. The class makes students aware of the challenge of organizational change and equips them to better handle it. There are many psychological and sociological phenomena that regularly occur in organizations, though many of these forces are difficult to see. The aim is to increase the students' understanding of these forces in themselves and in others so they become more visible and manageable. The prerequisite for this course is 15.321, Leading Organizations I.

  • Management Accounting and Control (Spring 2003)

    This course examines management accounting and related analytical methodologies for decision making and control in profit-directed organizations. It also defines product costing, budgetary control systems, and performance evaluation systems for planning, coordinating, and monitoring the performance of a business. This course defines principles of measurement and develops framework for assessing behavioral dimensions of control systems; impact of different managerial styles on motivation and performance in an organization.

  • Managerial Psychology (Fall 2006)

    This course introduces you to behavioral science theories, methods, and tools and provides opportunities to use and apply them to problems you will encounter in your work and career. The course material will begin with an overview of work and organizations in modern industrial society, and then examine individual behavior, move to behavior in groups or teams, and finally discuss organizations as a whole. It is expected that at the end of the course you will: (a) know something about managerial psychology, (b) know how to learn more, (c) understand the behavioral research process, and (d) develop skills in presenting your ideas in oral and written reports.

  • Managerial Psychology Laboratory (Fall 2004)

    This course combines a few different goals: develop a critical eye for making inferences from data; be able to carry out simple data analysis; learn about managerial psychology; develop interesting new questions about managerial psychology and test these questions.

  • Managing Global Integration

    This course on global integration brings together matters of global markets and institutions, global strategy, organization, and leadership. Global integration, the process by which an organization with units around the world becomes united, will be presented as a link to entrepreneurship and general management. The seminar is offered only to those enrolled in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and challenges the participants to draw upon their past managerial experiences, especially those affiliated with multinational companies

  • Managing the Innovation Process

    This course approaches "managing the innovation process" through five levels of analysis: individual, team, network, organizational, and industrial. At each level of analysis, particular attention is given to the conditions under which innovation processes succeed and fail. The weekly readings consist of a mixture of book chapters, journal articles, and cases, and an online forum will be used for further discussion of the required readings outside of class. Tuesday classes will begin with a reflection exercise that entails critical thinking about the topic for the week, followed by an activity and lecture introducing material found both within and outside of the readings. Thursday classes will begin with a case analysis completed in small groups, followed by a discussion based on the issues raised in the case and online forum. The primary goal of the course is to expose students to a variety of perspectives on innovation, while building on past work experiences and preparing for work experiences in the future.

  • Managing Transformations in Work, Organizations, and Society

    The course focuses on skills managers need to adapt to current sweeping changes in the nature of work and the workforce, in business organizations and their roles in society, and in the institutions that interact with work, particularly the labor market, community and family-centered groups. This year's teaching will be the basis for a workshop session at the Sloan School's 50th Anniversary Convocation.

  • Networks, Complexity and Its Applications

    Networks are a ubiquitous way to represent complex systems, including those in the social and economic sciences. The goal of the course is to equip students with conceptual tools that can help them understand complex systems that emerge in both nature and social systems. This is a course intended for a general audience and will discuss applications of networks and complexity to diverse systems, including epidemic spreading, social networks and the evolution of economic development.

  • Optimization Methods in Management Science

    Introduces students to the theory, algorithms, and applications of optimization. Optimization methodologies include linear programming, network optimization, integer programming, decision trees, and dynamic programming. The methods have applications to logistics, manufacturing, transportation, marketing, project management, and finance.

  • Organization Theory and the Military

    This course explores organizational concepts and research methods that explain the performance and development of military organizations in peace and war. Classic studies are reviewed. Approaches to current policy problems based on theoretical insights into military organizations and practices are also considered. The class stresses development of new theory.

  • Organizational Economics

    This course in organizational economics prepares doctoral students for further study in the field. The course introduces the classic papers and some recent research. The material is organized into the following modules: boundaries of the firm, employment in organizations, decision-making in organizations, and structures and processes in organizations. Each class session covers a few leading papers.

  • Organizational Processes

    Organizational Processes enhances students' ability to take effective action in complex organizational settings by providing the analytic tools needed to analyze, manage, and lead the organizations of the future. Emphasis is placed on the importance of the organizational context in influencing which individual styles and skills are effective. The subject centers on three complementary perspectives, or "lenses", on an organization: political, cultural, and strategic design. Students enrolled in this class are also jointly enrolled in 15.328, Team Project, in order to complete a field study of an organizational change initiative. Organizational Processes also operates in conjunction with 15.280, Communication for Managers, by sharing certain assignments and holding some joint classes.

  • Organizations as Enacted Systems: Learning, Knowing and Change

    The course is structured around a core of fundamental concepts concerning how we view organizations, and the application of these concepts to basic domains of action crucial for contemporary businesses: sensemaking, learning, knowing, and change. We view organizations as enacted systems, wherein humans are continually shaping the structures that influence their action in turn. In other words, we create the systems that then create us.

  • People and Organizations

    People and Organizations examines the historical evolution and current human and organizational contexts in which scientists, engineers and other professionals work. It outlines today's major challenges facing the management profession. The course uses interactive exercises, simulations and problems to develop critical skills in negotiations, teamwork and leadership. Students will be introduced to concepts and tools to analyze work and leadership experiences in optional undergraduate fieldwork projects.

  • Power: Interpersonal, Organizational and Global Dimensions

    Using examples from anthropology and sociology alongside classical and contemporary social theory, this course explores the nature of dominant and subordinate relationships, types of legitimate authority, and practices of resistance. The course also examines how we are influenced in subtle ways by the people around us, who makes controlling decisions in the family, how people get ahead at work, and whether democracies, in fact, reflect the "will of the people."

  • Strategic Organizational Design

    Strategic Organizational Design focuses on effective organizational design in both traditional and innovative organizations, with special emphasis on innovative organizational forms that can provide strategic advantage. Topics include when to use functional, divisional, or matrix organizations, how IT creates new organizational possibilities, and examples of innovative organizational possibilities, such as democratic decision-making, crowd-based organizations, internal resource markets, and other forms of collective intelligence. Team projects include inventing new possibilities for real organizations.

  • Technology Policy Negotiations

    This course features a core framework for an interest-based, problem-solving approach to technology, logistics and other systems-oriented negotiations. A comprehensive approach to dispute resolution in organizations and complex engineered systems is also developed. The course builds key interactive skills, including communications skills, dealing with difficult people, negotiating over the "rules of game," and cross-cultural negotiations. Assignments center on analysis of negotiated interactions and assessing dispute resolution systems.

  • Technology Policy Negotiations and Dispute Resolution

    Technology Policy Negotiations and its prequel, ESD.932, Technology Policy Organizations, form a sequence on Organizational Processes in Technology Policy. This course provides a core framework for an interest-based approach to negotiations, along with a systems approach to dispute resolution in organizations. Core interactive skills are developed, including communication skills, negotiating over the "rules of game," and cross-cultural negotiations. Key assignments center on ethical debates in technology policy, regional economic development challenges, and assessment of organizational dispute resolution systems.

  • Technology Policy Organizations

    Technology Policy Organizations and its sequel, ESD.933, Technology Policy Negotiations and Dispute Resolution, form a sequence on Organizational Processes in Technology Policy. This course features an overall framework for understanding the increasingly networked, flat, flexible and diverse nature of organizations, as well as a close look at the many relevant types of organizations, including regulatory, entrepreneurial, multi-national, and non-governmental non-profit. Key organizational processes, including individual motivation, teamwork, and systems change are featured. The core assignment features a series of industry studies in which students conduct field interviews (in phone or in person) of key stakeholders on a pressing policy challenge in that industry and analyze the impact of organizational factors on policy success.

  • The Aerospace Industry

    This course meets weekly to discuss recent aerospace history and current events, in order to understand how they are responsible for the state of the aerospace industry. With invited subject matter experts participating in nearly every session, students have an opportunity to hone their insight through truly informed discussion. The aim of the course is to prepare junior and senior level students for their first industry experiences.

  • The Economics of Information: Strategy, Structure and Pricing

    The Economics of Information provides an analysis of the underlying economics of information with management implications. It studies the effects of digitization and technology on industry, organizational structure, and business strategy, and examines pricing, bundling, and versioning of digital goods, including music, video, software, and communication services. In addition, the course considers the managerial implications of social networks, search, targeted advertising, personalization, privacy, network externalities, open source, and alliances.

  • Understanding Military Operations

    A proper understanding of modern military operations requires a prior understanding of both the material side of war, and the human or organizational side of war. This seminar will break apart selected past, current, and future sea, air, space, and land battlefields into their constituent parts and look at the interaction in each of those warfare areas between existing military doctrine and weapons, sensors, communications, and information processing technologies. It will specifically seek to explore how technological development, whether innovative or stagnant, is influenced in each warfare area by military doctrine.

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