Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

For the instruction language of the course see class group/s below
Go to class group/s: 6 - 7
IM (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  ING-IND/35)
Course Director:

Classes: 6 (II sem.) - 7 (II sem.)

Class group/s taught in English

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Modern organizations carry out almost every task we need in order to function as a society – from education, to healthcare, to security, to the production of goods and services. Many of the achievements of our world would not have been possible without a sophisticated understanding of how to organize vast amounts of resources and the efforts of many people in order to carry out complex tasks. Symmetrically, many of the failures and disasters of modern society are the failures and disasters of organizations. The objective of this course is to give you the fundamental tools to understand how organizations operate, how they can be designed to achieve their goals, and what are the processes and the phenomena that affect their functioning, which we cannot design but can attempt to influence. We will do this by combining a rigorous theoretical approach with the discussion of cases, simulations and exercises that will enable you to gain a solid understanding and command of the complexities of modern organizations, with a particular emphasis on the specificities of organizations operating in an international context.


The ability to understand the full complexity of organizations begins with the development of multiple frameworks on organizations. As a starting point, this course is organized around three different frameworks on organizations: the strategic design framework, the political framework, and the cultural framework. Each of them offers a different angle on what is an organization, and each offers different tools for action. Yet, these frameworks provide only simplified versions of what an organization is. Therefore, to fully understand organizational complexity, we need to integrate these three frameworks into a more holistic view. For these reasons, the course will start by examining these three frameworks in details. Within the strategic design framework, it will focus on the most important organizational designs, their determinants, and on incentive systems. Within the political framework, it will focus on the role of individual preferences in determining political issues, on how to manage with power, on the role of social capital, and on the pathologies inherent in the use of power. Within the cultural framework, it will focus on how to analyze the organizational culture and how to interpret differences in national cultures. Having established these three pillars, the course will then use them to examine issues related decision making and ethics.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...


1. To acquire the basic jargon and concepts necessary to discuss, in a precise and consistent manner, organizational issues and how to address them.

2. Understand and address what determines the choice of formal organization (structure, control), why and how informal organization emerge and change, what shapes organiational culture.

3. To understand the nature and dynamics of key organizational phenomena

4. To understand the key organizational issues faced by organizations that operate globally, and what solutions have been developed in order to address the



At the end of the course student will be able to...


1. Identify the relevant dimensions pertaining to each framework

2. Integrate the different frameworks to develop a better understanding of organizational dynamics

3. Use these basic tools to diagnose and frame organizational problems, address them, and devise ways to solve the

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments


Classes are organized so as to provide students with the relevant concepts and theory, and with the opportunity to discover and apply them through the use of cases and exercises. It is important that students not only attend class, but also come to class having read the cases or exercises assigned for the class, and ready to participate in the discussion.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


Final grade for both attending and non-attending students will be determined as follows:

· Final exam (written) 100 %

· 0-3 additional points for class participation 


Final exam

The exam will be the same for both attending and non-attending students. 
The exam will consist of a case with 2 to 4 open questions related to the case, and/or 2 to 4 open questions that directly refer to material covered in the course. The exam will be based on all teaching material


Class participation

Participation is something encouraged and it will be recognized in two ways. First, to recognize those whose comments and questions benefit us all, a part of the participation grade is based on contributions made in class. Both quantity and quality are relevant: although consistent contribution is ideal, a few points of genuine insight may go a long way. Second, to recognize those groups whose work is of higher quality, the largest part of the participation grade will be based on the deliverables of any group activities performed throughout the course (i.e., team projects, in my backyard, etc.). The final additional points will be determined in relation to the overall participation of the entire class.

Teaching materials


The teaching materials is the same for attending and non-attending students and it includes:

1. Case Studies

2. Book chapters

3. Articles

4. Slides

5. Material distributed in class

Case Studies and Book Chapter can be downloaded from Course reserve

All other articles can be obtained from the library website

Last change 03/02/2020 15:07