The Economics of Organizations turned out to be a very rewarding course. I had no idea what to expect going into this class, just an interest in how organizations function. There was a lot of new information that I had never really seen in the other economic courses that I have taken. Our exploration of bargaining was of particular interest to me. We looked at how it can be advantageous for the buyer or seller to be truthful in some scenarios and lie in other scenarios. I had never really considered the logic behind truthfulness, or expect there to be a way to model it. I also liked looking at conflicts within organizations. It was interesting to review Schon and Argyris's thoughts on management styles. Some managers could act in a way that does nothing to advance their goals or help the organization, but just create chaos and a terrible work environment. In the future, it would seem likely that a real-world situation would come up similar to what Schon and Argyris describe and the knowledge that I gained from their research could help me solve that potential situation.
I am a fan of how this class was structured. I like that attendance is not a mandatory requirement for success in the class. I've had a few professors claim the same thing, but throw information on a test that you could only have learned if you attended class. However in this course, the readings and homework provided you with the tools necessary to succeed on the tests [knock on wood]. At first I was unsure about the online blogs. I had never really blogged before, but I have begun to enjoy writing out some of my thoughts. It also has helped me gain a practical understanding of some of the concepts we've reviewed in this course.
My process for blogging stayed about the same the entire semester. I would look at the topic a few days in advance of actually writing the blogpost. This would help me come up with better examples or ideas of what to write about in the blogpost. This didn't always come true, but I think overall it helped the quality of my posts. I would spend an hour at the most actually writing the blogpost, but I would spend more time than that thinking out the topic.
I never really prepared for any of the excel homework. Even if there was a reading that helped explain what the homework was trying to accomplish, I would usually do the homework first and then read the relevant information before the tests. The excel homework was usually straightforward and simple. I only struggled with the first few assignments because of some technical issues with excel and not necessarily issues with understanding the homework. The assignments took me anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.
I would have liked to see more excel assignments in the course. The excel homework was the biggest advantage I had for studying for exams. I was able to complete the assignments a few times and become very familiar with the necessary calculations. I also would have liked a better system for assigning readings. I would have to go through the class calendar to figure out which chapters to read and was worried about missing some important readings. I understand that going to class would eliminate this concern, but a more clear explanation of the assigned readings might even benefit regular class attendees.