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Management > Human Resources > People and Organizations, Fall 2005
 People and Organizations, Fall 2005  posted by  duggu   on 11/25/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Kochan, Thomas A., 15.668 People and Organizations, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 12 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

A meeting of partner organizations.  

Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt meeting with partner organizations. (Image courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features a sample of lecture notes and two term projects in the assignments section.

Course Description

This course 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 and uses interactive exercises, simulations and problems to develop critical skills in negotiations, teamwork and leadership. It also introduces concepts and tools to analyze work and leadership experiences in optional undergraduate fieldwork projects.




  1. To provide an understanding of the human and organizational contexts in which you will be working and the skills you will need to be productive and successful in the initial stages of your career.
  2. To explore how to put the scientific, technical and organizational knowledge learned at MIT to work in addressing the major challenges facing management and organizations today.

We use interactive exercises, simulations, cases and student projects to examine these issues and to develop critical skills in teamwork, negotiations, communications and leadership. The concepts and tools needed to complete the optional fieldwork project for the Minor in Management are introduced.

Required Books

Ancona, D., T. Kochan, M. Scully, J. Van Maanen, and E. Westney. Managing for the Future. 3rd ed. Mason, OH: Thomson/Southwestern, 2005. ISBN: 0324055757.

Kochan, Thomas, and Richard Schmalensee, eds. Management: Inventing and Delivering Its Future. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. ISBN: 0262112825.


Individual Career Paper 20%
Team Project Paper 35%
Management Problem/Challenge Paper 35%
Peer Assessment of Team and Class Contributions 10%


1 Introduction and Overview

What challenges can I expect in my first job?
2 Introduction to Teams and Teamwork

How do we build a high performance team?
3 Contemporary Management Challenges

What are the big challenges facing management and organizations today, and what skills do I need to face them?
4 Work and Careers - Past, Present and Future

What do I want/expect from my work and career? How is this similar or different from what my parents and grandparents wanted and expected?
5 Organizational Analysis - Strategic Design Lens

How do I analyze and make sense of the organizational structure in which I am working?
6 Organizational Analysis - Political Lens

Who will share my interests and who won't? Who has power, and how will it affect what I do?
First paper on work and careers due.
7 Organizational Analysis - The Cultural Lens

What traditions matter in an organization, and how do they affect what goes on?
8 Organizational Analysis - The Lincoln Electric Case

Why has Lincoln Electric's incentive compensation system worked for decades while most others' have failed?
Group project topics due.
9 Shareholders or Stakeholders - A Debate

What purpose(s) should corporations serve?
Individual project topics due.
10 The Nike Case

Should Nike and other global corporations be held responsible for the practices of their suppliers? If yes, how?
By this class at the latest, you should have completed the online team assessment survey that we will be discussing on Ses #11. We will mention some more details about this in class on the Ses #9.
11 Teams Revisited - Feedback and Workshop Session

So, are we a high performance team yet?
This class will be a workshop. Prior to class you will each complete a short Team Assessment Form. In class your team will review your team's data, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan for continuous improvement.
12 Introduction to Negotiations

How do I negotiate when it looks like I have no power?
13 Multi-party Negotiations

How do I balance the interests of several stakeholders, especially when some of them aren't at the bargaining table?
14 Recruitment/Job Offer Negotiations

What should ask for? What should I offer?
15 Leadership and Change - Introduction

What is leadership? Are we born leaders or can we learn to become good leaders? How can we develop leadership skills?

We will have a guest speaker, Marshall Ganz from the Kennedy School.
16 The Big Dig, Part 1 Draft memos for individual projects due.
17 The Big Dig, Part 2  
18 Social Influence, Communications and Selling Ideas

How do I sell a great idea to higher authorities?
Instructors will return individual project draft memos, with comments.
19 Organizational Change

If it worked once, why not again?
20 Organizational Change (cont.)  
21 Managing the Innovation Process

How do ideas move from the laboratory through the organization to the marketplace?

We will have a guest speaker, Tom Barocci, from TAB Associates.
22 Team Presentations  
23 Alumni Panel Papers for team projects due.
24 Technology and Its Social Context

What social and cultural impacts will your technical design decisions have, on the workplace and on the wider world?

We will have a guest speaker, David Hartzband from the MIT Engineering Systems Division.
25 Inventing the Future  
26 Inventing the Future (cont.) Papers for individual projects due.   Tell A Friend