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This subject examines the ‘secret life of organisations’ using a range of disciplinary approaches to the different functions and structures of corporate, government and non-government organisations Students will examine the history of organisations and the nature of work people do within them. They will also consider how distinct types of organisations have reacted and adapted to what the sociologist Richard Sennett has called the ‘new capitalism’—the growth of non-traditional organisational structures, and a broader shift to a knowledge-based service economy. At the same time students will grapple with the practicalities of how to work in such organisations, by considering the strategies managers use to pursue organisational goals, and how such organisations are best negotiated by workers to exert influence and show leadership within them. Students will develop an understanding of the history and structure of the sociological ‘field’ of modern organisations, and a practical grasp of how best to make their way in the world of work.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- a critical understanding of the key concepts, definitions and history of organisational theory;
- a critical understanding of the key differences between different types of organisations and the different imperatives that drive decision making across the range of organisational types;
- a deep understanding of the challenges facing organisations and their staff in a time of rapid change; and
- demonstrate the practical capacity to critically apply organisational theory in different workplace settings.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following geneic skills:
- high-level written and oral communication skills through contribution to class discussions and the completion of assignments;
- a capacity for effective teamwork through group discussions and assignments;
- skills in research through the preparation of class papers and assignments, including the use of online and print-based materials;
- skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements; and
- a capacity for critical thinking and theoretical analysis through readings, discussion and class exercises.
Last updated: 29 July 2022