University of Washington School of Public Health

WINTER COURSE OFFERING: HSERV 590C Organization Theory and Applications in the Study of Health Services


HSERV 590C: Organization Theory and Applications in the Study of Health Services

Instructor: Dr. Suzanne Wood

3 Credits



University of Washington Seattle campus, SOCC 350

Health Services 590C will cover the seminal theoretical perspectives and issues studied in under the organization theory (OT) archetype. The purpose of the course, therefore, is to provide health services researchers with a rigorous set of analytical tools essential to conducting evidence-based management inquiry that informs both knowledge and practice concurrently. Hence, students will survey important historical contributions and more recent frameworks for their theoretical and empirical contributions to management practice. Within this course, competency development in the areas of management innovation, multi-professional learning and collaboration, as well as contextual problem solving techniques of relevance to the field are particularly important. Consequently, special attention will be given to the interface between theoretical approaches and the taking of informed, calculated risks in problem solving activities.

 By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe theoretical approaches to understanding how organizations form, grow, interact with each other, recruit members, manage resources, and address internal and external problems.
  2. Explain how formal and informal institutional structures serve to promote or impede healthcare delivery.
  3. Evaluate the implications of applying multiple, and sometimes conflicting, organization theory principles to achieving effective health services operations.
  4. Assess organization theory principles to determine their feasibility in a focused research scenario.
  5. Synthesize the functional disciplines of organization theory by conducting an evidence-based analysis of a real world problem in the health services setting.

Prerequisite: foundational coursework in research methods and US healthcare system

Questions? Contact Professor Suzanne Wood:

To register, visit UW Seattle Time Schedule:, SLN# 15218