GRA 6026 Advanced Topics in Organisation Science

GRA 6026 Advanced Topics in Organisation Science

Course code: 
GRA 6026
Department: 
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Thorvald Hærem
Course name in Norwegian: 
Advanced Topics in Organisation Science
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc - Core course
Semester: 
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

This course provides the students with an in-depth understanding of organizations. Organizations are the primary tool modern society uses to innovate and resolve complex tasks. Understanding how to organize to resolve the challenges organizations encounter is the main focus of this course. The first part of the course uses Scott and Davi's book, "Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural and Open System Perspectives" (2017), to chronologically review key contributions to organization theory. Another objective is to provide students with a background to understand the changes in organizational structures as a response to increasing environmental complexity, which we observe in both the private and public sectors. Therefore, the last part of the course is dedicated to understanding organizing in the face of the unexpected. Based on classic and recent scientific articles, we discuss how organizations can handle the unexpected. The course provides advanced knowledge into how organizations deal with deviations from the expected; specifically, the course is concerned with how deviations from routines and plans are handled. We discuss classic and new theories of coordination within organizations and teams to understand how organizations can better deal with "wicked" environments.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Know the fundamental research streams in organisation science
  • Know how to organise 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 workings of major organisational mechanisms such as power, authority, and goal setting
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Be able to analyze organizational problems.
  • Be able to identify and amend mismatches between organizational structures and internal and external contingencies
  • Be able to apply theoretical frameworks to specific organizational problems
  • Be able to pinpoint generic organizational problems
General Competence
  • Developed a measured understanding of the relevance and scope of organizations
  • Have advanced knowledge of how to analyze organizations from different perspectives
  • Have a realistic and empirically based attitude to the strengths and limits of rational organizational theories
  • Developed a measured and empirically based understanding of how micro and macro conditions interact in organizations and how to disentangle them analytically
  • Understand how organization theory is the foundation for leadership and management
Course content
  • Introduction, Organisations as rational, natural & open systems
  • Organizations as Rational systems
  • Organizations as Natural systems
  • Organizations as Open Systems
  • Designing Organisations & Combining Perspectives
  • Technology & Structure: Coordination & Routines
  • Goals, Power & Control
  • Alternative coordination mechanisms in organizations & teams. Mental models in teams
  • Routines as a source of flexibility and Change: Improvisation and consequences for communication demands
  • Normal accidents & High-reliability Organizations
Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as seminars, combining lectures with active dialogues. The course will combine textbook readings with research articles. The lectures will utilize classic and current cases to illustrate the main points in the literature. There are three mandatory assignments. The assignments are designed to train the students in the application of the theory to real situations.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

All parts of the assessment must be passed in order to get a grade in the course.

The examination for this course has been changed. Continuous assessment will no longer exist as an examination form from autumn 2023. For questions regarding previous results, please contact InfoHub.

Qualifications

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 specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Disclaimer

Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Mandatory11Case 1, to be completed in groups
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Mandatory
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Comment coursework:Case 1, to be completed in groups
Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 60262
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
40No 4 Week(s)Group (1 - 3 )Case 2. Paper/assignment. Duration approximately 4 weeks.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 60263
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
60Yes3 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:40
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (1-3)
Support materials:
Duration: 4 Week(s)
Comment:Case 2. Paper/assignment. Duration approximately 4 weeks.
Exam code:GRA 60262
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:60
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment: Written examination under supervision.
Exam code:GRA 60263
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.