Organisation and Process Theory
The overall aim of the course is to introduce students to organisation and process theories. More specifically, the aim is to enable students to draw on such theories in the analysis of what we nominally characterize as events; the purposeful organization of concerted action towards specific goals.
Organizations are both unavoidable in, and fundamental to, society. Classical organization theory was considered a practical and empirical science, something that in many cases was developed by organizational members to better understand, navigate, and advance the organizations within which they operated. Here, an organization was typically considered a delimited entity.
Increasingly, however, organization scholars have directed their attention towards the processes through which organizations become organizations, focusing on the importance of how actors, technologies, documents, rules, things, and buildings, for instance, dynamically come together in the continuous formation of organization. Here, social practices may also be understood as organised activities and, therefore, something that takes place both within and outside formal organizations. Here, organization is considered a process. Organization may, therefore, be understood as the effect of concerted action in everyday practices and situations.
The field of organization theory is very heterogeneous and has thrived dynamically, not least because of the proliferation of information technologies in enterprises and society. IT and technology, in other words, matters for organizations as well as for the development of organization theory. Organization and process theories are attempts at developing concepts for understanding organizations and organized activities.
While the course introduces some classical organisational theories, process perspectives are given priority. The course covers a range of different organization and process theories, providing an analytical toolkit to understand, study, and analyze the multiple ways in which heterogenous actors participate in the purposeful organization of concerted action towards a specific goal. The course will address how different concepts help us to think through the various ways in which organizing unfolds, marking a move away from organizations as fixed and stable entities and towards a more process-based understanding.
Formal prerequisitesThis course is part of the third semester in the bachelor's degree in Global Business Informatics.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Select, qualitatively investigate, and describe an event, including the relevant actors, technologies, texts, and/or things, that dynamically come together in the continuous formation of the event .
- Identify appropriate concepts from organization and process theories for analyzing the event.
- Account for your choice of concepts and situate these in relation to organization and process theories from the course literature.
- Analyze the event using concepts from organization and process theories and present the analysis in a concise manner.
- Discuss and reflect on how your chosen concepts shaped your analysis of the event.
In the exercise sessions, students will write, present, and discuss the course literature as well as work on analyzing an empirical event by drawing on different concepts introduced in the course.
In order to progress to the exam, you must contribute to making a group poster presentation of the event, your group has chosen to study during the course (specific time slots to be allocated during the course). Failure to do so disqualifies you from taking the exam. In addition to the event, the poster should also briefly present a theory or concept that could be useful for investigating the event. The choices of theory and concept in the mandatory activity are not binding with regard to the written exam. You are expected to comment on other groups’ poster presentations as well. The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt. If students fail to participate in the mandatory activity, they must ‘hand-in’ a retry by giving the poster presentation to the teaching team at a later date to be settled.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 20%
- Lectures: 20%
- Exercises: 20%
- Assignments: 10%
- Project work, supervision included: 20%
- Exam with preparation: 10%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups
Group submission of a maximum of 15 pages.
- 3 students per group