KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations
KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations

KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations

In the fast-paced world of today, organizations are the backbone of our daily lives. We rely on them for countless needs, from the workplace that provides our livelihoods to the institutions that shape our communities. Understanding the complexities of organizations is not only beneficial but essential. With this understanding in mind, IFAR Atma Jaya invites participants to embark on a 12-week journey of discovery through a flagship online course series called ‘KELAS’ (an acronym for Kelompok Belajar Ilmu Sosial, which translates to Social Sciences Study Group). This course, scheduled to run from August to October 2023, aims to unpack the intriguing world of organizations.

A Multifaceted Exploration

The course, aptly titled “Exploring Organizations: Paradigms, Participation, and Beyond,” is designed to be a comprehensive exploration of the subject. It delves into a wide range of topics, from diverse paradigms within organizational studies to issues of participation, identity, history, and even the intersection of organizations with politics, social movements, and gender dynamics. It offers a holistic view, ensuring participants gain a deep understanding of the multifaceted nature of organizations in our society.

An Inclusive Learning Community

A notable aspect of this course is its commitment to fostering an inclusive learning environment. It actively encourages participation from a diverse range of individuals, including senior undergraduate students, early-career social science researchers, and those who have a passion for organizational studies. In particular, the course welcomes women and sexual minorities, emphasizing the value of diverse perspectives in understanding and improving organizations.

No Barriers to Learning

What sets this course apart is its accessibility. There are no financial barriers to participation – it’s free to join. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in open and engaging discussions, learn the art of crafting concise articles, and develop their skills in writing research proposals. The course’s online format ensures that committed individuals can engage with the material and the community, regardless of their physical location. As organizations take on more and more importance in our daily lives, understanding how they operate behind the scenes is imperative. This course presents a one-of-a-kind chance to dive into the captivating realm of organizational studies, build connections with similarly engaged peers, and sharpen key abilities for social science research pursuits. KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations seminar series is officially completed. The diverse perspectives represented in this cohort are sure to lead to thought-provoking examinations of critical issues in organizational studies today. Please find participants’ short reflections below and we hope you enjoy this glimpse into the journey we are embarking on together.


 Articulating the Value of KELAS: Why it Mattered

Participating in KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations has been an immensely valuable intellectual journey, significantly enhancing my understanding of organizational dynamics through exposure to diverse perspectives and interdisciplinary theories. The group’s collaborative approach has deepened my knowledge and sharpened my critical thinking skills by connecting insights across sociology, psychology, economics and management. Engaging in thoughtful peer discussions has strengthened my capacity to articulate ideas clearly and persuasively.

-Lay, Monica Ratna Dewi 


Unlike many Indonesian campuses where knowledge centers solely around lecturers, KELAS embraced active facilitator-led discussions with equal participation across a diverse range of students, which I found intellectually stimulating. On a personal level, while this year brought many distractions hampering my research plans, the weekly intensive coursework and reading helped restore much needed discipline and concentration, equipping me to resume my neglected academic goals with renewed determination. Overall, the participative and inclusive nature of KELAS made for a welcome contrast to the predominant didactic culture in Indonesian higher education, while also enabling personal growth.

Muhammad Ad’har Nasir


KELAS has given me new perspectives and possibilities for research through the insightful literatures discussed and the diverse backgrounds of my classmates. I felt challenged to think beyond my own limited viewpoint and truly consider many angles on complex topics like the political economy of health. The research proposal development process, including drafting and conferencing, taught me how to craft a clear, focused, and concise research proposal. I remember having the following responses upon hearing amazing arguments from my fellow KELAS participants: “Oh right!,” “How did I not think of that!,” or “That’s so true!” 

-Matthew Fenat

I was very impressed with the KELAS: Exploring the Dynamics of Organizations seminar sessions; I learned a lot from the diverse approaches presented in our weekly seminars, as the committee curated cross-disciplinary readings on organizational research, providing opportunities for non-social science participants to join the discussions and gain additional knowledge, potentially attracting further interest in future classes. Another useful aspect was the 5-minute proposal presentation format, which encouraged focused preparation similar to startup elevator pitches, an important skill for briefly conveying research ideas clearly. Additionally, the instructors provided clear, constructive feedback on proposals, deepening understanding of arguments – a method I will adopt for my own work. -Carolus B. Pranoto  

Attending the KELAS weekly seminar enriched my understanding of various perspectives in organization studies. Before then, I only understood organizations as one unit of analysis in social research. However, reading various academic literature in the seminar helped me grasp the dynamics of organizations across disciplines and periods. Reading this literature also broadened my analytical frameworks which often focused merely on the structural and individual aspects of social phenomena. During the seminar, discussions examined not only the content of the readings but also how various theories, concepts and analytical frameworks in organization studies illuminate problems in our everyday world. The diverse academic and professional backgrounds of the participants further enriched these discussions. I found it fruitful when we employed the readings to unpack dilemmas from each participant’s work. Personally, I benefited from the opportunity to interact directly in an academic literature discussion with fellows from accounting, economics, law and technology start-ups. This helped me avoid the exclusionary, siloed thinking of a single discipline or field.

-An Nisa Tri Astuti