Fall 2019 - 59345 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

How Organizations Institutionalize Inequity and What We Can Do About It

Course Description:

Most people who enter public and nonprofit organizations have an enormous desire to do good. Yet often both public and nonprofit organizations exhibit inequities in how they treat their employees and in the outcomes they produce for their clients. Over the course of the semester we will move from the micro to the macro from the theoretical to the practical to understand how attitudes, knowledge, and behavior produce everyday inequities for people working in public and nonprofit organizations and for the clients that they serve. Perhaps most important you will be forced to think about how to assess whether an inequity exists, in other words, how can you be sure that unequal outcomes are not a consequence of the actions (or lack thereof) of the individual, but from injustices within the institution. The class will be case oriented with real cases drawn from a range of policy areas including education, health, and criminal justice.


The course deliverables will center on the creation of two reports, several phone, Skype, or in person interviews that you will conduct with “thought leaders” who are seeking to disrupt an inequity that you identify, and a final paper. Each interview will count as a deliverable and the interviews will ultimately serve as the basis for your final paper. You will be required to seek out contrasting perspectives among those whom you interview as means to check your assumptions.

Skills Learned:

Developing an Interview Questionnaire


Synthesizing Qualitative Data


Research Design