Spring 2021 - EDUC 813 G031

Organizational Theory and Analyses (3)

Class Number: 4647

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:




This course critically examines organizations in which educational leaders work from different theoretical perspectives and in light of research evidence. It also critiques several past and current reform initiatives, and explores specific topics in-depth. A central and pervasive question of the course concerns organizational purposes, especially with respect to learning, and how these purposes are served by organizational structures and processes.


This course is a required course in the SFU MEd in Post-Secondary Educational Leadership program.  The course focuses on understanding the structures, processes, and cultures of postsecondary education through the tools afforded by various theories of organizations.  An organizational analysis allows for a broader view of the entire system internally and externally, not simply as divisions, departments, or functions.  Organizational analysis emphasizes conceptual models and the way these can be applied to the contexts and problems that members and leaders of educational organizations face.

Class Dates:
Jan 29/30
Feb 5/6
Feb 19/20
Mar 5/6
Mar 26/27

Class Times:
Friday: Zoom Room opens at 4:30; Classtime from 5pm-7pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm

Online via Zoom


The course is designed to help students meet the following learning objectives:

  • Gain familiarity with a range of theoretical approaches to understanding organizational behavior, and understand the affordances of different theoretical lenses in analyzing organizations,
  • Apply the insights from different organizational theories to educational organizational challenges,
  • Develop an awareness of your personal beliefs about organizations and an understanding of the implications of those beliefs,
  • Construct a useful set of theoretical tools that help in exploring and addressing complex organizational issues,
  • Further develop and refine critical thinking and communication competencies appropriate for graduate-level study in Education.


  • Culminating Case Study 40%
  • Participation (synchronous & asynchronous) 20%
  • Work-in-Progress Assignments 20%
  • Class Facilitation Activity 20%




Please read and be ready to discuss the chapter below as of the first weekend of class (Jan 29/30).  This chapter is accessible in digital form through the SFU library.

Pasque, P. A., Khader, L. M., & Still, C. (2017). Critical case study as an imperative for organizational activism and institutional change. In P. Pasque & V. Lechuga (Eds.), Qualitative inquiry in higher education organization and policy research (pp. 75-99). New York: Routledge.



Manning, K. (2018). Organizational Theory in Higher Education, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis

ISBN: 9781138668997

Cote-Meek, S. & Moeke-Pickering, T. (Eds.). (2020). Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars.

Additional readings will be accessible through the SFU library or on CANVAS.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).