Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Overview

Organizations and their programs often seem, at first glance, chaotic and without order. Students embarking on evaluations and similar research often feel perplexed when faced with a live organization. This is because we expect a certain kind of rationality in the way organizations behave that does not include many factors that actually do drive them, and in systematic ways. As a result of this seeming mismatch between what we expect and the actual reality, evaluators and researchers wonder why the organization is not doing what it is "supposed" to be doing--often mistakenly blaming the politicians for what went wrong, or making recommendations that are not always the best ones.


An average of two article- or chapter-length readings will be assigned each session, to be read before the session for which they are assigned. All readings are required except for those indicated as "recommended". The class is run as a seminar and students should be prepared to contribute to class discussions on the readings.

An eight page paper on "Internal Conversations" will be due before the fifth class. Each student will also make a final presentation on the readings on the last days of class.


Grades will be based on:

  • Participation in class
  • Knowledge of the readings as reflected in discussions and writing
  • Extent to which improvement over the course of the semester is apparent
  • Regular attendance of class