Second year students of the Honours College FSW program.
Modern society depends on well-functional institutions. When these institutions fall apart or disappear, society unravels. The design and maintenance of institutions is therefore a critical task of political and administrative elites.
We know very little about the drivers of successful institutionalization. We know even less about the factors and strategies that help keep these institutions in place (without becoming sclerotic and dysfunctional). We do not know much about the secrets of successful institution building and institutional maintenance.
In this class, institutions are defined as organizations that have developed into a widely valued entity. There are many theories that can explain why public organizations fail. We have theories that offer prescriptions to institutional leaders as to how they can protect their institutions from what Herbert Kaufman called the “forces of fragmentation.” What we lack is evidence-based theories that identify the success factors underlying the important task of institutional building and preservation.
In a time when public institutions everywhere have become subject of quick erosion, these insights are needed more than ever. This class is closely connected to the project of prof. Boin that aims to revive the study of public institutions, building on the work started early on in the previous century. It also seeks to modernize the study of public institutions, making use of new methodologies and interdisciplinary insights.
After successful completion of this course, you will:
Be able to analyze an organization’s level of institutionalization
Understand theories that explain drivers of (de-)institutionalization
Be able to apply theoretical insights in a case study of a “mythical” institution
Advise executive leaders about strategies that will enhance institutionalization and long-term performance
Mode of instruction
This class will center around doing institutional research. Students will jointly work to answer the following question:
What explains the durability of highly successful institutions? In this class, we study a set of highly successful institutions that have stood the test of time.
Each student will select a mythical organization:
A public (e.g. FBI) or private organisation (e.g. Apple)
A religious institution (e.g. the Mormon church)
A sports institution (e.g. Heerenveen)
An educational institution (e.g. Harvard Business School)
A local institution (e.g. Mardi Gras)
a historical institution (e.g. VOC)
The result will be a small book in which each student writes a chapter. Based on the research efforts, we will create a checklist for successful institutional design.
Students will be graded on several assignments that culminate in the final product (a book chapter).
Number of participants
Maximum: 20 participants. Students will have to apply and interview for participation in this class.
|March 5||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
|March 19||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
|April 2||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
|April 16||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
|May 7||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
|May 28||19:00-21:00h||Leiden||PDLC 5A29|
Registration via personal study plan.
If you have any questions, please contact Prof. dr. Arjen Boin