Aims, Rules, Exams

Convenor: Luca Giustiniano (

Tutor: Rehab Iftikhar (

Office hours, as reported here:



This course introduces students to the core issues of organization theory and organization design. Its primary purpose is to equip students with critical appreciation of the central theoretical questions, themes, and debates in the literature.



Relying on an eclectic approach that integrates concepts from organizational economics, organizational sociology, and cognitive psychology, the course’s specific learning objectives are:

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics;
  • Understanding individual behaviour in organized contexts and identifying organizational responses to manage it;
  • Understanding coordination issues and identifying mechanisms to address them;
  • Developing the ability to apply tools and methods to analyse processes in contemporary organizational design challenges.



Students are expected to have basic knowledge of the topics addressed in the Microeconomics and Economics and Management of Enterprise courses.



Organizations are complex entities, and understanding their inner workings takes more than memorizing ready-made recipes. The effectiveness of organizational practices – often wrongly labelled as best – changes greatly across time and space. Using insights from a variety of theoretical approaches, the course intends to equip students with the ability to develop inferences about organizational issues. To reach this aim, the course is designed to expose students to both rigorous and varied research traditions and real-world cases.



The course is organized in sessions. Each session is comprised of two classes that combine theory with practice:

  • Theory sessions provide overview of key topics using traditional – though interactive – lectures; academic keynote speakers – leading experts of specific topics – will also be involved to set the theoretical scene of real organisational issues;
  •  Practice sessions are focused on the discussion of relevant studies or cases: students will be challenged to apply principles, concepts, and frameworks to real organisational challenges and / or they will be exposed to live cases – i.e. industry keynote speakers will share their real life experiences with them and explain challenges faced and implemented solutions.


The class discussion is going to be guided by the inputs provided by students through their active involvement, by which we mean that for each session (but the first one), students are expected to:


  1. Before each session, study the material – usually one paper and / or case studies – suggested in the reading list;
  2. During the session, actively discuss other students’ presentations and papers.


This teaching approach is due to two related factors: (a) it is hard to teach an applied subject since it requires a certain amount of contextualization to specific organizations, sectors, or countries; (b) We believe in the old saying “tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand” (Confucius).



The grade is based on a written exam (100%). The students will also have the chance of receiving up to 2 points of bonus points. These extra bonus points will be given on the basis of a in-class exercise bonus (up to 1 point – Pass=1; Fail=0) and a participation bonus (up to 1 point) for the students who participate consistently well throughout the course. Just attending the class won’t lead to any participation bonus points. Bonus points can only be used once, i.e., they can’t be carried to the subsequent retake exams and in this case, grading will be based solely on the exam.

Bonus points can only be used once, i.e., they can’t be carried to the subsequent retake exams and in this case, grading will be based solely on the exam. In order to keep their bonus points for the next dates (‘appelli’), students are free to leave the written exam within 10 minutes from the beginning the test. If a student fails or rejects the grade at the first date in May/June, he/she might lose the bonus points achieved but still able to re-sit later (June/July).

In any case, bonus points are valid only within the duration of the academic year: they will expire in February 2017.




Since the material in this course builds session by session, attendance at each session is important.

Those students who are unable to attend the entire course for substantial reasons should contact us before the start of the course.



All laptops and mobiles should be down unless instructed otherwise by the convenor.


TEXTBOOKS (non mandatory):

Grandori A., Organization and Economic Behaviour, Routledge, 2001


Jones, Gareth R. Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 7th edition


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