GRA 6026 Organisation Science


GRA 6026 Organisation Science

Responsible for the course
Thorvald Hærem

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

One of the main objectives of this course is to provide the students with an in depth understanding of organisations. Organisations are a main tool that modern society applies to meet the challenges of innovation and resolution of complex tasks. To understand how to organise to resolve the challenges organisations meet is a main focus of this course. The course reviews the main contributions to organization research. Another objective is to provide students with a background to understand the changes in organisational structures that we observe in both the private and in the public sector. Understanding new organisational forms - why they are emerging and which characteristics they bear - are of key importance for managers acting in these sectors. Therefore, the course also aims at giving the students a deeper understanding of the present "experiments" in organisational structures and processes.

Learning outcome
Understand the concept of Organisations
Know about the fundamental research streams in organisation science
Know how to organize to facilitate the resolution of different types of tasks
Know how to adjust the organisational structure to the influence of different types of environment
Know about the effectiveness of major organisational mechanisms
Know about the workings of major organisational mechanisms such as power, authority and goal setting.

Be able to analyze organisational problems
Be able to identify mismatches in different organisational settings
Know techniques to adjust an organisation to environmental demands
Know techniques to adjust an organisation to internal technological demands
Be able to apply theoretical frameworks to specific organisational problems
Be able to pinpoint generic organisational problems

Developed a measured understanding about the relevance and scope of organisations
Be able to understand how organisations can analyzed in different perspectives
Have a realistic and empirically based attitude to the strengths and limits of rational organisational theories
Developed a measured and empirically based understanding of how micro and macro conditions interact in organisations and how to analytically disentangle them
Understand how organisation theory is the foundation for leadership and management


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Scott, W. Richard and Gerald F. Davis. 2014. Organizations and organizing : rational, natural, and open system perspectives. New international ed. Pearson Education

Collection of articles:
Collection of scientific articles will be made available before course start.

A list of compulsory readings will be provided on It's learning or in class.
During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading

Course outline
- Introduction, Organisations as rational, natural & open systems
- Organisations as Rational systems
- Organisations as Natural systems
- Organisations as Open Systems
- Designing Organisations & Combining Perspectives
- Organisations & Environment

- The Nature of the Firm
- Boundary Spanning & Boundary Setting
- Technology & Structure: Coordination & Routines
- Environment & Structure
- Modern Organisational forms

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The course is structured as seminars, combining lectures with active dialogues. The course will combine text book readings with research articles. The lectures will utilize current business cases to illustrate main points in the literature. There are two mandatory assignments, one case based and one simulation based, which are designed to train the students in application of the theory to real situations.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
10% Case work
30% Paper/assignment
60% Written examination 3 hours

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Case work 10%
Assignment 30%
Written examination 3 hours 60% Individual

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA60261 continuous assessment accounts for 100% of the final grade in the course GRA 6026.

Examination support materials
Bilingual dictionary
Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.