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PM 4120 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PM 4120 - Organizational Theory and Behavior

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is designed to expose the student to the fundamental principles with which to understand human behavior inside public organizations. The course examines various theories developed in an attempt to explain and predict employee behavior in an organizational context.

Course Outcomes:

1. To introduce the student to the fundamental theories and concepts developed to explain human behavior inside public organizations.

2. To examine the historical and philosophical development of human resource management inside public sector organizations.

3. To analyze and develop an understanding of the political, economic, and social ramifications of various management styles upon public sector employees.

4. To provide the student with an understanding of the impact and importance of individual employees upon public sector organizations.

GENERAL EDUCATION GOALS: In addition to the objectives discussed above, the more general goals of this course are to provide the student with the tools with which to develop his or her own potential and abilities.

1. This course will help to develop the student's analytical thinking capabilities by comparing and contrasting conflicting theories of organizations.

2. The student's literacy skills will be enhanced through assigned readings, class discussions, and examinations.

3. This course utilizes the historical perspective to help students understand the evolutionary development of organizational theory during the past 100 years.

4. By considering the impact of various organizational management and human resource styles on individuals within public organizations, the student should develop a better understanding of human behavior.

5. This course should be useful in increasing the student's awareness of the cultures and experiences of persons in a multi-cultural society as the application of different management styles and priorities exerts a substantial impact upon diverse cultural groups.

6. This course will prepare the student for more advanced studies in political science and public administration.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:

The resident course materials and associated text reading assignments should be accessed and studied as they are presented, beginning with Week One and continuing through the term.

Specific Course Requirements:

No special knowledge of software is necessary for this course.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

The exams will be provided on-line. The exams will cover only the material since the last examination. Therefore, the final examination will not be comprehensive.

Grading Procedures:

Grades will be determined by two (2) examinations and thirteen (13) weekly assignments. The first examination will cover Part 1 of the course (organizational theory), while the second examination will cover Part 2 of the course (organizational behavior). The two examinations will be worth 100 points each (200 point’s combined or 66.6 %) and will consist of essay questions short-answer questions, true-false questions, and multiple-choice questions. Each examination is worth 33.3% of your final grade. The weekly assignment questions accompanying each chapter will be worth a total of 100 points, or 33.3% of the student's total grade.


Students are expected to take all examinations when scheduled. Make-up examinations will only be allowed for legitimate reasons. Approved make-up examinations will be given at a time and place determined by the instructor outside of scheduled class periods.

All make-up examinations taken after the scheduled examination time will be in the form of essay and short-answer questions.

Grading Scale:

Grades will be assigned as follows:





and F=59% or below.

Examinations will be equally weighted. Participation in discussion boards will be considered in determining the student's course grade.

Assignments and Projects:
Class Participation:
Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017