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Sample ECON 202 Syllabus



Economics 202 – Fall 2009

Tom Will


Office:             Buttrick G-29b

e-mail:             twill@agnesscott.edu

Office Phone: X5485

Office Hours:  Tuesday 3:20 – 4:00; Wednesday 1:00 – 2:00; or by appointment

Class Times:    MW 2:30 -3:45 Buttrick G-27


Course Description: This course surveys the field of organizational management, addressing concerns in such topical areas as organizational culture, structure, managerial ethics, planning, decision-making, human resource management, leadership, motivation, and teamwork. The course couples theoretical investigation with experiential learning. Student teams will design and implement a project at an area nonprofit organization. The purpose of the experiential component is to bring meaning to abstract conceptualization through concrete experience and reflective observation.   



§      Daft, Richard & Marcic, Dorothy, Understanding Management, 6th edition

§      Articles posted on Moodle


Assignments & Grading:

            End-of-semester project presentation (team, oral)                  15%

            End-of-semester project reflection (individual, written)           35%

            Weekly reading responses (10 total responses)                      30%

            Participation in class discussion                                              10%

            Peer review (pertaining to the project team)                           10%


Assignments & Grading Breakdown:


Project Presentation: Each team will deliver, at the end of the semester, a 20-minute oral presentation describing the experiential project it designed and implemented. The team will receive a single grade. The team has the option of inviting a member or members of the client organization to the presentation. This grade will reflect not only the aesthetics of your presentation (organization, clarity), but the “quality” of your team’s project itself.


Project Reflection: Each individual will deliver a 12-15 page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, times new roman 12-point font) paper drawing connections between the course material and her project experiences. The paper will take the place of a final exam, and will be due during the final exam period (Dec. 15 deadline). For each day that a paper is late, the grade will be lowered 5 points (on a 100-point scale). No paper will be accepted more than a week after the due date. 


Weekly Reading Responses: Each student will prepare 10 responses to weekly readings, of 1-2 pages (double-spaced, 1-inch margins) each. Note that there are 13 reading response opportunities, so each student will choose, at her discretion, three weeks to not prepare a response paper. (The reading itself is expected to be completed for all 13 weeks, of course). No more than 10 responses are to be handed in by each student over the course of the semester (e.g., I will not grade 13 and drop the 3 with the lowest grades). Response papers will not be accepted after the class meeting on the due date in question. Hard copies of the papers will be handed to me (no e-mails please).


So what is a “reading response”? It is thoughtful discussion of one of the questions posed in your text at the end of each chapter. For a given chapter, you may choose to answer one of the Discussion Questions (I advise answering only one discussion question per chapter); or, you may choose to analyze the “What Would You Do?” options associated with the Ethical Dilemma; or, you may choose to answer a question or questions associated with the Case for Critical Analysis. Please indicate at the beginning of your response paper which of the above provided the basis for your response. Just briefly note “Discussion question 7”, or “Ethical Dilemma,” or “Case for Critical Analysis,” and so forth.  


The response papers are designed to generate thought and critical analysis of the readings. Depending on the question, your response may involve your personal opinion and insight. Generally, however, the best papers will incorporate, as well, insight derived from the reading. I will be analyzing how the reading informed your response. As I read a given response, I will be asking myself, “could a person have written this without having read the chapter closely?” The answer to that question should be “no”! In sum, while there often will not be a right answer, there typically will be a right approach, and that approach is to root your answer/analysis at least partly in ideas discussed in the text.


Participation: Students are expected to complete readings prior to the day for which they are assigned. The success of this course depends upon your active engagement in class discussions. Accordingly, each student will earn a participation grade. I base my assessment of participation on both the quality and the quantity of comments you make. Given the size of the class, I understand that not everybody will be able to speak every class. However, everybody should make an effort to contribute when possible.  


Attendance: Attendance is expected and assumed. However, where attendance is a problem, deductions in final grades will ensue. Should life exigencies necessitate more than one or two absences, please do discuss your situation with me. Otherwise, deductions associated with absences are as follows:

3 absences or less: no official deduction (although the more you’re present, the more you

can participate)

4 absences: 3% deduction from final grade (note this deduction is from the final

semester grade and not from participation grade)

            5 absences: 7% deduction from final grade  

6 absences: 12% deduction from final grade

7 absences or more: 20% deduction from final grade


***Lateness: Related to attendance is the issue of lateness. My response to chronic lateness will be to count a person over 5 minutes late as “absent”.


Peer Review: Each team member will complete an evaluation of the effort and contributions of each of the other members of her project team. The evaluation scores that each student receives from her colleagues will be averaged, yielding her peer evaluation grade.


Agnes Scott College seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in this class, please contact Machamma Quinichett in the Office of Academic Advising (X6150) to make complete the registration process. Once registered, please contact me so we can discuss the specific accommodations needed for this course.


Course Evaluations: Agnes Scott has moved to an online course evaluation system. Near the end of the semester you will be notified by e- mail and provided with a link to follow to complete the evaluations on line outside of class. I want you to know that your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me, the department, and the administration.  I take your comments very seriously and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it. Please do fill out a course evaluation when you receive the e-mailed link at the end of the semester. Thanks!





W        8/26     Course Introduction


M         8/31     Chapter 1: Innovation for Turbulent Times [Reading Response 1]

W        9/2       Chapter 4: Ethics & Social Responsibility [Reading Response 2]


M         9/7       Labor Day     

W        9/9       (ch. 4 cont’d)


M         9/14     Chapter 10: Dynamics of Behavior in Organizations [Reading Response 3]

W        9/16     (ch. 10 cont’d)


M         9/21     Chapter 14: Teamwork [Reading Response 4]

W        9/23     (ch. 14 cont’d)


M         9/28     Chapter 5: Planning & Goal Setting [Reading Response 5]
W        9/30     Teams share their project objectives / plans / client choices with the class. (ch.

5 cont’d)


M         10/5     Chapter 6: Decision Making [Reading Response 6]

W        10/7     (ch. 6 cont’d)


M         10/12   Chapter 11: Leadership [Reading Response 7]

W        10/14   (ch. 11 cont’d)


M         10/19   Chapter 12: Motivation [Reading Response 8]

W        10/21   (ch. 12 cont’d)


M         10/26   Chapter 7: Designing Adaptive Organizations [Reading Response 9]

W        10/28   (ch. 7 cont’d)


M         11/2     Chapter 8: Change & Innovation [Reading Response 10]

W        11/4     (ch. 8 cont’d)


M         11/9     Chapter 9: Human Resources & Diversity [Reading Response 11]

W        11/11   (ch. 9 cont’d)


M         11/16   Project team meeting day (I will be at class to answer questions)

W        11/18   Article: Robinson & Dechant, “Building a Business Case for Diversity.”

Article: Thomas & Ely, “Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity.”

[Reading Response 12]


M         11/23   Chapter 2: The Environment & Corporate Culture (read only pages 59-  

72; it may help you, though, to skim pages 48-58) [Reading Response 13]

W        11/25   Thanksgiving Break – Enjoy!  


M         11/30   (ch. 2 cont’d)

W        12/2     Class will not meet (because I am asking you to attend presentations 12/4 & 12/7


F          12/4     10:00-10:50, Buttrick G-4: Group Project Presentations


M        12/7     10:00-10:50, Buttrick G-4: Group Project Presentations


            *** On either Friday 12/4 or Monday 12/7, please deliver to me your completed team-member evaluation forms (posted on Moodle under ‘Project Items’ if you’ve lost your hard copy)



T          12/15   Final Exams End: Last day to deliver Project Reflection Papers (5:00 p.m.)