11.235 Analyzing Projects and Organizations

Spring 2008

This class in session, discussing healthcare.

Professor Tendler leads the class in a discussion on healthcare organizations. (Image by MIT OpenCourseWare.)

Course Description

Organizations and their programs often seem, at first glance, chaotic and without order. Students embarking on evaluations and similar research, therefore, feel perplexed when faced with a live organization. This is because we have been taught to expect a certain kind of rationality in the way organizations behave that is often different than that which actually drives them. As a result of this seeming mismatch between what we expect and the actual reality, students of planning and planners, and researchers and professional evaluators, often recoil from the chaos of reality, wondering why the organization is not doing what it is "supposed" to be doing; correspondingly, they often make recommendations for change that are unrealistic, or draw conclusions from evaluations of success or failure that are not always on the mark. This course teaches students how to understand the rationality behind how organizations and their programs behave, and to be comfortable and analytical with a live organization.
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Prof. Judith Tendler

Course Meeting Times

2 sessions / week
1.5 hours / session



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