30153 - ORGANIZATION THEORY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 33
“There is nothing so practical as a good theory” (Kurt Lewin, 1951) This course provides an undergraduate-level introduction to organization theories. The aim is to strength the analytical skills of the participants and enable them to assess people behavior in work environments, organizations’ forms and structures and the root causes of their performance. This is a highly useful skill to cultivate for a wide variety of managerial roles and positions (marketing, operations, HR, finance & accounting, etc.). It is indispensable for working in a start-up or in a family business, for managing a company, consulting, auditing, and even investment banking. The course is based on the notion that satisfactorily understanding organizations requires the application of different lenses drawn from different disciplines including management studies, sociology, political science, economics, and psychology. Moreover, such an understanding also requires that we look at different levels within the organization. We emphasize both the behavioral processes (individual effectiveness, social interaction, groups, and teams) and the macro-level such as organizational design, organizational change, people management, and organizational culture. Mastering such a dialectic mindset is challenging but will allow participants to better understand and address complex organizational phenomena, and to become more aware of the limitations and dangers of simplistic and formulaic “solutions”
Motivation. Decision Making. Organizational Design and Structures. People Management. Organizational Culture.
This course provides an undergraduate-level introduction to organization theories. The aim is to strength the analytical skills of the participants and enable them to assess people behavior in work environments, organizations’ forms and structures and the root causes of their performance. This is a highly useful skill to cultivate for a wide variety of managerial roles and positions (marketing, operations, HR, finance & accounting, etc.). It is indispensable for working in a start-up or in a family business, for managing a company, consulting, auditing, and even investment banking.
- Develop the ability to apply theories, models and conceptual schemes to different business realities.
- Analyze, individually or in team, a specific business reality with an organizational frame and expertise. Be confident in giving advice to design a stronger organization and to increase people's motivation and satisfaction.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Online lectures
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Group assignments
- Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
- In-class exercises to understand the language and to apply models and theory.
- Theories and/or case studies discussions (in-class) to improve communication skills.
- Oral presentations group assignments to improve public speaking skills.
- Group assignments to learn how to apply theories to reality.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
To become attending, students should respect three conditions:
1. Attend at least 75% of the lessons.
2. Field project assignment.
3. Take the exam within January 31st, 2022
Assessment for attending students consists of their performance in the group field project and their performance in the final exam. The final exam is written and composed of one open questions (7 points each) a multiple-choice exam of 24 questions with four options each and just one correct answer. The exam will consist of a mix (i) pure theoretical questions and (ii) applications of models and theoretical concepts from the course materials, and is “closed-book”, “no-notes” (i.e. no materials can be used during the exam). The exam is graded with a range of 0-31 points, with a fixed grade distribution based on the standard Bocconi undergrad grading policy (from 0/31 to 17/31 the exam is failed) and no penalization for wrong answers.
The grade for attending students is the weighted average calculated as follows:
Total course grade = 0.4 x GFP + 0.6 x FE
Component Grading policy
GFP (Group Field Project) = 0-31 points, written report + group presentation
FE (Final Exam) = 0-31 points, fixed grade distribution
Attending students that fail to submit the Group Field Project by the deadline will automatically become non-attending students.
Passing the course requires a final grade of minimum 18/31. As an example, a grade of 30 in the group field project and a grade of 10 in the final exam will result in a final grade of 18.
The exam will last 50 minutes.
Total course grade = 0.4 x 30 (GFP) + 0.6 x 10 (FE) = 18
Field Project grades will expire after the session of 31 January meaning that it is possible to be considered attending only until the above mentioned session of January included.
Field Project. The aim of the Group Field Project (GFP) is to give the opportunity of applying theory to reality and, in particular, to real organizations. So that, each group has to find an interesting company or other type of organization and analyze it from an organizational frame, trying to use the concepts and the models that are presented during the course.
Field Project Grading. The grade of the final project is composed of two parts. 1. Written report. This part weights 70% of the grade. A non-exhaustive list of items that we will consider at the time of grading is: a. The report should be well-written, b. it should be much more than just a simple description, it should contain analysis. c. It should show the ability to relate different topics. 2. Presentation. This part weights 30% of the grade. A non-exhaustive list of items that we will consider at the time of grading is: a. Clarity in the presentation, b. ability to answer questions during the presentation, c. ability to relate different topics of the class, d. quality of the slides used.
Group’s composition and the case study chosen by each group should be determined by students within the end of September. Groups’ size should be around 8 people for a total number of 13/14 groups.
Each student group:
- Select an interesting and accessible case study (a company or other type of organization which sounds interesting regarding theories and models presented in class and it is possible to obtain detailed information about the internal organization)
- Writes a case report, which contains a description following a structure given in class (max. 10 pages, abstract, references, and appendixes excluded)
- Prepare and deliver a slide presentation in class (15 minutes for each group project) at the end of the course during the last 3 sessions.
Groups will submit their written reports through the Black Board and in case of problem with the procedure by email to the TA and in copy to the instructor. Deadline for submission of the GFP reports is 30th September (11:59 pm). Deadlines must be respected.
In case attending students encounter problems with non-responsive or free-riding members in their group, and they are not able to resolve these problems with the group, they are invited to notify the instructor.
The instructor in charge of the field project (setting up, grading, etc) will be Marina Puricelli. The TA in charge of the field project will be Floriana Mulazzi.
An in-class quiz will be administered roughly halfway through the course. The quiz has the same multiple-choice format as the final exam, and will, therefore, give you an opportunity to practice for the final exam and test your learning success up to that point. The midterm checkup’s questions cover the topics and required readings that have been completed in the course up to that point.
The midterm checkup is not graded. It is meant as a service for you to check up on your learning and to prepare for the final exam.
NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
For non-attending students, the assessment is based exclusively on their performance in the final exam. The final exam is a multiple-choice test (31 questions) and is “closed-book”, “no-notes” (i.e. no materials can be used during the exam). Each question has four options with just one correct answer. The exam will consist of a mix of (i) pure theoretical questions and (ii) applications of models and theoretical concepts from a selected chapters in the textbook (listed below). It is graded with a range of 0-31 points, with a fixed grade distribution based on the standard Bocconi undergrad grading policy (from 0/31 to 17/31 the exam is failed) and no penalization for wrong answers.
The exam will last 45 minutes.
Following the 7th International Edition, the chapters are 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20.
The material for this course is a mix of slides provided by instructors and research and practitioner articles. In class, we will use slides topresent the main ideas and guide the discussion. The slides and the articles are posted on the e-learning platform (Blackboard). Students candownload copies directly from their computer and read them. In addition, case studies, role-playing and self-assessment exercises will be distributed in class, being part of the teaching material for the course. Notes taken in class are fundamental to integrate all the course materials provided by instructors.
For students who prefer the guidance of a textbook, we recommend the following “course companion” textbooks:
Organizational Behavior Managing People and Organizations
Ricky W. Griffin, Jean M. Philips and Stanley M. Gully (Authors)
Pub Date: 2016
Edition: International Edition 12th Edition
Publisher: Cengage Learning, Inc
Published in: United States
This book can serve as a support for the attending students while it is mandatory for non-attending students. It can be useful because itincorporates most of the topics discussed in the course and places them into coherent intellectual contexts (in particular: Individual Effectiveness, Social Interactions, Groups, Teams and Leadership, Organizational Design and Organizational Change). Note, however, that for attending students this book is not a replacement for the assigned lecture notes and slides, as they may follow a different organization: someissues that we cover in-depth in the course in class receive only brief treatment in the book, and vice versa.
Students can find the textbook at Egea bookshop.
J.M. PHILLIPS, S.M. GULLY, R.W. GRIFFIN, Organizational Behaviour, Managing People and Organizations, Cengage Learning, 2017, 12 Ed.
This book is mandatory for non-attending students.
Students can find the textbook at Egea bookshop.