Master of Health Studies (MHST) 622

Understanding Organizations: Theory, Analysis and Application


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Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


This course on understanding organizational looks at multiple aspects of organizations from their structure and design to the behavior of individuals and groups within. With a focus on what is important and useful, this course offers powerful and provocative ways of thinking about and influencing organizational life. The content of the course ranges from looking at organizations through metaphorical lenses to sharing reality-based examples of organizational situations that are both enlightening and instructive. At the completion of this course learners should have a better understanding of organizational theory and design and be able to apply these to their particular work-life challenges. Special emphasize during the course will be on the Canadian workplace.

Course Goals

By the conclusion of this course students will have an enhanced understanding of the

  1. Theory of organizational design and structure
  2. Effect of human qualities on organizations
  3. Behavior of individuals and groups within organizations
  4. Implications of organizational theory for leaders in the 21st century
  5. Application of organizational theory to everyday work life

Course Materials

MHST/NURS 622 comprises online and print-based course materials.

Study Guide
Online Materials


Langton, N., Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational behaviour: Concepts, controversies, applications (6th ed.). Toronto: Pearson.

Course Structure

MHST/NURS 622 comprises the following 11 units:

  • Unit 1: Developing an Understanding of Organizations
  • Unit 2: The Effect of Human Qualities on Organizations
  • Unit 3: Organizational Structure
  • Unit 4: New Organizational Design Options
  • Unit 5: Work Design Employee Motivation
  • Unit 6: Group Behaviour in Organizations
  • Unit 7: Teamwork in Organizations
  • Unit 8: Communication in Organizations
  • Unit 9: Presentations
  • Unit 10: Organizational Culture
  • Unit 11: Course Summary

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, you must own or have ready access to certain computer hardware and software programs. For complete and up-to-date information on the minimum computer requirements required to complete the graduate nursing courses, visit the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies technical site.

Assessment Structure

In the MHS and MN:Gen programs, students must achieve an overall program GPA of 2.7 ( B- or 70 percent), to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for each MHS and MN:Gen course is C- (60 percent).

The following course activities will contribute to your course grade, with the percentage weighting of each activity as follows:

Assignment 1: Poster presentation 20%
Assignment 2: Group presentation 30%
Assignment 3: Design your own health care organization 40%
Assignment 4: Participation 10%
Total 100%

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Updated April 28 2016 by Student & Academic Services