Organizational Diagnosis

Course Number: 
GAFL 550 900


  • Summer 2016
Hybrid Course: 
Yes, this class meets On-Campus and Online.
Hybrid Days and Time: 

On-campus meetings for Summer 2016 will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, on the following dates: May 20, 21; June 24, 25; July 22, 23.  Class will start at 9:30am and run until 1:00pm. Weekly online meetings will be held on Tuesdays 6:15-7:15pm.


Course Description: 

This course will help participants learn the skills involved in conducting a systemic organizational diagnosis. Applying organizational diagnostic skills can help organizations make more effective decisionsevidence-based decisions; increase an organization's ability to learn and to apply these learnings; increase organizational effectiveness; and often save organizations from flawed and detrimental actions. The course places an emphasis on systems thinking, psychodynamic organizational theory, and appreciative inquiry as ways into understanding organizational issues and problems. Frequently, when organizations find themselves in troublee.g., problems in the system about such things as lack of leadership, poor communication, diminished productivity, low morale etc.there is a tendency to frame the problem(s) simplistically and/or locate blame on a few difficult individuals or groups. However, upon closer examination, problematic issues are often found to be symptomatic and/or symbolic of multiple issues within the organization. This course will help participants to understand how problems which appear at one level of the system (for example, at the personal or interpersonal level) often represent problems at other levels of the system (e.g., at the group and/or institutional level), or signify a range of inter-related issues. Emphasis will be placed on the diagnostic skills needed to examine government agencies, non-profits, and bureaucracies. It will provide participants with the theoretical constructs and application skills necessary for identifying and framing problem areas, collecting data, and organizing feedback to client systems. Real-time examples will inform our discussions as we consider the relationships between diagnosis, organizational reflection, and appropriate action.

Social Media


Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829