Instructor Information

Alton Harris

Home Phone: 240-645-5602

Barton Michelson

Cell Phone: 301-518-9908


Course Information

Course Description

This course reviews the challenges of group management and personnel management in a technical organization. Students examine core functions of a technical group-level manager for planning, organizing, controlling, and leading. The course introduces topics relevant to technical group managers, including ethical leadership, team building, innovation environment, customer responsiveness, recruiting, hiring, compensation, delegation, motivation, performance management, conflict management, and organizational learning. Students address typical organization management situations and apply concepts to address expectations and challenges for a group-level manager in a technical organization.


595.660 Planning and Managing Projects. Systems Engineering majors may contact the Systems Engineering Vice Chair regarding prerequisite substitution opportunities (this does not apply to Engineering Management / Systems Engineering Track students).

Course Goal

The Technical Organization Management (TOM) course is one of the five core courses required for the Engineering Management Program. The TOM course is intended to prepare the student for group management and personnel management roles in a technical organization. The TOM course is intended to provide the student with a foundation of the primary aspects of a manager in a technical organization for planning, organizing, controlling, and leading.

Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate understanding of how to perform the core functions required from a manager in a technical organization to include planning, organizing, and controlling, as well as leadership and social practices affecting organizational culture.
  • Identify the importance and impact of ethical leadership and examine different leadership styles to apply behaviors for successfully interacting as a manager in a technical organization and for customer responsiveness.
  • Apply knowledge of technical organization management and organizational structures to develop an environment empowered for staff growth, performance management, and innovation.
  • Formulate and assess the concepts for management of a technical organization, technical staff, and organizational learning in a virtual and global marketplace.

When This Course is Typically Offered

This course is typically offered Online in the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters.


  • Leadership & Ethics
  • Vision & Long-Range Planning
  • Interpersonal Communications & Team Building
  • Compensation/Benefits & Motivation
  • Organizational Structures & Culture
  • Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring
  • Delegation & Empowerment
  • Coaching & Performance Improvement
  • Human Resources/Policies/Regulations
  • Managing Technical Teams/Research
  • Customer Responsiveness & Innovation Environment
  • Resistance to Change/Conflict Management
  • Managing in Today's Environment
  • Decision Making & Organizational Learning

Student Assessment Criteria

Participation/Discussions (Including Office Hours) 20%
Assignments (Individual) 25%
Team Assignments (3 Assignments, Including Final Team Presentation) 30%
Final Reflection Paper (Including Journal) 25%

Grading Scale:

100-98 = A+
97-94 = A
93-90 = A−
89-87 = B+
86-83 = B
82-80 = B−
79-77 = C+
76-73 = C
72-70 = C−
69-67 = D+
66-63 = D
<63 = F

Grading Late Policy:

Your active participation is a course requirement.  This is not an Independent Study Course. Distant Learning offers some additional flexibility as students do not have to be in the same spot every week at the same time to do your academic work. However, that flexibility does not extend to submission dates. These are hard dates.  The instructors understand that unexpected events or changed to plans do occur, so the instructors try to be as flexible as possible, when notified in advance.  If a student thinks they will have an issue with a particular submission, they are expected to send the instructors an email in advance of the assignment due date, with a request for an extension, the reason, and the proposed new date.

Required Writing Resources:

American Psychological Association (APA) Style is the required standard for citing and documenting sources which influence a student’s thinking.  You may visit the JHU Library page on APA Formatting for assistance:  The instructors expect students to cite their sources (using APA format) and this is required for individual assignments, online discussions, team assignments, and final reflection paper.

Computer and Technical Requirements

Microsoft Office is the expected standard for the submission of homework and other assignments. All submissions should use Microsoft Office and should be saved in .doc(x) format (preferred) or as an Adobe (PDF) file. Microsoft PowerPoint will be needed for the Team Project. Access to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project might be helpful but is not required.

Participation Expectations

Class Participation:  Class Participation is comprised of participation in online module discussions and office hours attendance (or post-office hours review). For Class Participation, throughout the semester, each student is required to submit postings to the assigned discussion threads. The instructors will utilize Zoom for Office Hours. Students who attend Office Hours live will automatically receive this credit towards their Class Participation grade. Students not attending class hours will be expected to email to instructors with a summary of the key points of the session after reviewing (listening/viewing) the Office Hours recording.

Individual Assignments: Assignments will include a mix of scenario assignments (e.g. literature reviews, scenario’s, case study summaries). APA style guidelines will be the source for formatting (to include font, spacing, and other elements). Grading for assignments will follow a rubric, which will contain the specific information on criteria, weighting, and levels of achievement.

Team Assignments: A Team Project is introduced in Module 3, during the third module of the course. The Team Project will be comprised of assignments given during 3 modules during the semester. The Team Project will begin during Module 3 (first assignment), continue in Module 6 (second assignment), and continue in Module 9 (third assignment). The Module 9 team assignment will culminate in a Team Presentation, submitted as a recording. All team members are expected to participate and contribute to the team assignments including the Final Team Presentation.

Final Paper: Each student will be asked to establish and maintain a journal throughout the semester to support the final reflection paper.  Each student will be asked to record thoughts and facts throughout the semester under each module, with guidance for the Journal entry provided under each Module. The journal will be reviewed with comments provided by the instructor at mid-term (graded) and the journal will be an input source into the final reflection paper. The final reflection paper should consider the full breadth of learning during the course. The student responses should consider all course material in a composite context and demonstrate understanding of the full course curriculum.


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are no notes for this course.

(Last Modified: 12/24/2021 12:43:00 PM)