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   Course Title    Organization Theory
Lecturer    Alexander Skripnik
Institution    Dnepropetrovsk Academy of Management, Business and Law
Country    Ukraine

Purpose: The course was worked out for an MBA program “Organization Management”. It focuses on a macro examination of organizations and the roles of top managers. The purpose of this course is to develop an integrative framework that will assist students to systematically address organizational issues taking into account the local specific environment.


Target group: MBA students, top and middle managers of local medium-sized and large companies.


Students are expected to acquire after completing the course:

Ability to analyze the organization from a management point of view, e.g. its structure, management type, strategic issues, matching organization design to its technology, external environment, information technology, etc.


Position of the course in the curriculum:

The course stands as an advanced course of management. It introduces MBA students to organization resources and development. The prerequisites are General Management, Strategic Management, and Organizational Behavior. It presents a macro level of organizational analysis. It is a complementary part for the course Organizational Behavior, which presents a micro level of organizational examination.


Course Overview: The first two thirds of the class will be lectures and discussions, while the last third will be organized in the form of workshops, where students have to present their group projects fulfilled for real local companies. The managers of the companies investigated will be invited to participate. An essential and critical part of the course is a group project the students have to perform. The subject of the project is "Expertise of Enterprise Management".


Course requirements:

  • Course duration - 17 weeks.
  • Students are to perform a group project on management of an existing local company, to prepare a final report and then to present it.
  • Final test including 6 questions; five of them concern organization theory and the last is a mini practical case. The total score is 120 points.




A. Mandatory

  • Skripnik, "Reader on organization theory", p.203, 1998.

B. Recommended

  • R. Daft, Organization theory and design, 4th ed. 1992 or later
  • D. Hanna, Designing organizations for high performance, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1988.
  • T. Cummings, C. Worley, Organization development and change, 5th ed. 1993
  • G. Morgan, Images of organization, 1986-1993.
  • E.Lawler, Strategies for High Performance Organizations, 1998.
  • H.Mintzberg, The strategy process, 1997.


Course outline:


Course content






















§         Introduction. The framework, scope, and concept of the course. Organizational resources of a company. What is an organization? Overview of organization theory evolution. Comparative description of approaches to organization analysis. System approach. Contingency.

§         Organization as an open system. General design of organization, subsystems and their functions. Performance and organizational dimensions. Effectiveness and efficiency.

§         Top management. Strategic issues. Strategies of organizational development. Mission, goals, and effectiveness criteria. Top managers' activity. Evolution of management skills while ascending up from bottom to top. The control cycle of top management. Top managers' roles. Organization resources and their management.

§         External environment. Structure, dimensions, framework for analysis. Adapting to uncertainty and fighting for resources. Creating inter-organizational relations, from competition to cooperation and networking. Population perspective. Mutation, selection, and retention. New forms of organizations - does MLM threaten traditional designs?

§         Organization technology. Impact of technology on organization design and management. Woodword's investigation. Service and industrial organizations, size and productivity. Specific of service companies' design in Eastern Europe. Client / product oriented design.

§         Organization evolution and life cycle. Reasons for growth. Large versus small - pros and cons. Organization lifecycle, diseases of growth, their symptoms. Stages of evolution and their comparison. Specific features of Ukrainian businesses - do they evolve in different ways?

§         Organization structure. Types, context, framework for comparison. Vertical and horizontal coordination. Structural mechanisms to improve coordination. Design of local companies, additional factors influencing the structure choice. Symptoms of structural deficit. Why ideal is not relevant? Restrictions on choice.

§         Managing changes. Types of innovations, creativeness and implementation. Radical and incremental changes. Stages of innovations, methods for improving organizational capabilities at each stage. Creativity or implementability - ambidextrous organizations. Project approach to plan and implement changes.

§         Information management and organizational control. Information and data. Communication channels. Information technology evolution. Information resource and its control. Strategic advantage of IT. New information technology. Organization control technology and strategies.

§         Managing the decision-making process. Approaches, organizational context. Individual decision making (DM), group DM, organizational DM. Decision process models. Traditional and contemporary techniques for decision making. Recent breakthrough in forecasting and modeling. Contingency DM framework. DM under resource shortage.

§         Organizational culture. Ethics, leadership, consistency culture. Strategy and culture. Ethical values, their sources. Strategic advantage of strong corporate culture. Cross-cultural management. Organizational culture in Ukrainian organizations.

§         Power and politics. Power sources and political processes. Political strategies and tactics. Individual and organizational power. Power and authority. Power and politics in inter-organizational relations. Vertical and horizontal power. Empowerment.

§         Inter-group relations and conflict. The nature of inter-group conflict, types of conflict. Horizontal and vertical conflicts. Symptoms of conflicts. Cooperation and competition in the organization. Confrontation and negotiation. Resolution of conflicts. Managing conflicts among groups.

§         Organizational leadership and turnaround. Organizational capability. Organizational leadership. Decline and turnaround. Top management interventions. Teams of executives. Organizational design configurations. Factors of organization success. Renewal. Reorganization projects in Ukrainain companies.

§         Organization theory perspectives. Learning organizations. Heterachial organizations, MLM organizations. Impact of global competition on organization design and behavior. Learning organizations.

§         Presentations of group projects. Held in the form of workshops. Every session is led by a student speaker, who moderates discussion. Each group is to present their project and defend it in front of an opponent group. Presenters and opponents alter every session.

§         Final test


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