Organisation theory: an interdisciplinary approach

Организатор: Финансовый университет при Правительстве РФ
Даты проведения:

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Описание мероприятия

Язык обучения: английский

Описание программы

This course explores the ways in which organisations can be designed (by management or others) in order to achieve their objectives. This is an interdisciplinary course drawing centrally upon psychology, sociology, economics and, to a lesser extent, management

Aims and objectives

  • This course explores the ways in which organisations can be designed (by management or others) in order to achieve their objectives. It exposes students to the ways in which economists, psychologists and sociologists address this and related issues. It is, therefore, an interdisciplinary course comparing and contrasting the contribution of the core social science disciplines to the study of organisations. 
  • The course draws upon both theoretical and empirical materials and students will be encouraged to draw upon their own local knowledge in pursuing their studies. There will be an emphasis (though not exclusive) on organisations, set up with an economics objective. 


This course is assessed by a three-hour unseen written examination. 

Учебный план:


  • Attempts to define organisations of differing types and differing objectives. Normative and positive theories.
  • Division of labour, specialisation, productivity, economies of scale and the problem of co-ordination (motivations/incentives and information).
  • Markets and organisations as alternative coordinating mechanisms. Contrasting market and employment contracts (incentives, risk sharing and information assets).
  • The market organisational contractual continuum.
  • Competitive markets, ‘real’ markets, long term contracts (fixed cost to cost plus), joint ventures, alliances, informal networks, franchising etc.
  • Coordination and role of: motivation/incentives, communication/ information/knowledge, bargaining power and authority, culture/ norms/trust/commitment, democratic process.
  • Introduction to the nature of Hierarchical organisations.
  • Vertical boundaries (make-buy).
  • Horizontal boundaries (Divisional, conglomerates etc).
  • Hierarchical structures (size, span, depth).
  • Ownership/governance.

Theories of boundaries

  • Transaction costs; assumptions, bounded rationality, opportunism, incomplete contracts; transactional characteristics, asset specificity, uncertainty,complexity, frequency. Team production and externalities.
  • Property rights theory.
  • Monopoly power, information knowledge and rents, competitive advantage.
  • Role of managerial objectives/motivation.
  • Role of legislation (national variations).
  • Ideology.

The evolution of organisations 

  • Evolution of contracts.
  • Evolution of organisational types: peer groups, multifunctional; multi-divisional, conglomerates,
  • Alliances, networks, long term (relational), contacting.
  • Centralised v decentralised organisation (discretion).

Studying organisations 

  • Organisation, group and individual levels of study and their inter-relationship.
  • Contribution of statistical models and case studies.
  • Contribution of elementary game theory (one-shot and repeated).
  • Contribution of network (graph theoretic) models.
  • Critical theories of organisation.

Organisations as contractually coordinated mechanisms

  • Taylor, standardisation, rationalisation and scientific management; “Fordism”.
  • Theories and critiques of bureaucracy.
  • Centralisation, decentralisation and discretion/incomplete contracts.
  • Organisation as an algorithm.
  • Control loss, coordination loss.

Organisations as Incentive/ Motivationally coordinated mechanisms

  • Introduction to principal agent theory.
  • Team production and externalities.
  • Psychological models of motivation: Human relations; Human resource management; Group and team context (production); Motivational reactions to organisational design.

Organisations as authority/ power/coordinated mechanisms

  • Nature of power. Authority and influence.
  • Bargaining power.
  • Sources of power.
  • Power and participation/decentralisation.

Organisations as Information/ Knowledge distributively coordinated mechanisms

  • Coordination and information (games).
  • Theory of teams.
  • Hidden information/action.
  • Demand for information and participation.

Organisations as ‘Culturally’ coordinated mechanisms

  • Nature of culture.
  • Trust, leadership, sacrifice and commitment.
  • Social capital.
  • Corporate culture/ambient cultures.
  • National business systems.

Determinants of hierarchal structures (shape).

  • Contingency theory.
  • Population ecology/institutional theory.
  • Hierarchy (or hybrid organisation) as an optimal mechanism – given operating environment - for combining: rules/contracts, incentives, authority, information, culture.

Corporate Governance

  • Ownership and control; participation and organisational democracy. 

Результат обучения:

At the end of this course and having completed the essential reading and activities students should be able to:

  • describe the essential features of organisations
  • discuss the factors shaping these features
  • describe the evolution of different organisational designs/types
  • discuss how managers may build and change organisations
  • describe how different organisational forms impact on the individual within organisations.

Требования к поступающим:

If taken as part of a BSc degree, courses which must be passed before this course may be attempted:

  • EC1002 Introduction to economics or
  • SP2079 Elements of social and applied
  • psychology.
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