Fall 2023 - EDUC 813 G031

Organizational Theory and Analyses (3)

Class Number: 4178

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, 5:00–8:50 p.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, 5:00–8:50 p.m.



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 restricted to students in a Community MEd cohort program

This course explores the structures, processes, and cultures of educational organizations in higher education. Course work will reveal the tensions, pressures, and overall complexities of organizations. Students will investigate a range of models for interpreting organizations and apply these to a particular organization and issue of their choice. Imaginative pedagogies will be employed to increase meaning-making and engage learners emotionally with content.

Meeting Dates:


Sept 12–Dec 5

*Independent Class Oct 31

Meeting Times:

Tentatively 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM (note the first class will run from 5:30-8:30pm to discuss a class time change to 5-8pm)

Meeting Location:

SFU Surrey Campus; Room 3240 except October 10th in Room 5360


The course is designed to help students:

  • Understand different structures and processes shaping organizations
  • Identify new and ongoing tensions and challenges in Higher Education organizations
  • Understand how organizations work within these tensions and challenges
  • Analyze the affordances of different theoretical lenses in analyzing organizations
  • Apply the insights from different organizational theories to educational organizational challenges
  • Appreciate the complexity of organizations
  • Identify and deconstruct colonial models/Western paradigms that dominate field of organizational theory
  • Understand how organizational theories/organizational analysis can support equity- and social justice focused leadership practices
  • Engage imaginatively in understanding some different lenses to explain HE organizations
  • Further develop and refine critical thinking and communication competencies appropriate for graduate-level study in Education


  • Ongoing Weekly In-Class Activities 25%
  • Organizational Theory Seminar 25%
  • Case Study: Organization Analysis 50%



Manning, K. (2018). Organizational theory in higher education (2nd Ed.) Taylor and Francis.

ISBN: 9781138668997

+ additional readings assigned in class

Note: Required texts will not be available at the bookstore. Please view online retailers for purchase options.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.