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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Organisation Theory and Practice
Module Code MT302A
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Des McLaughlin
Semester 2: Des McLaughlin
Autumn: Des McLaughlin
Module TeachersDes McLaughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to the models and theories that are useful to managers in explaining the structures, functioning, behaviour and performance of organizations and the behaviour of people and groups of people within those organisations, and to give students tools, theories and frameworks that can help in organisational analysis and decision making. The module will draw on material from the literature on Organisation Theory and Development, relevant case and research studies and the student’s own experiences.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the main structures, functioning, behaviour and performance of organisations
2. Explain the main concepts, frameworks, and theories that help to explain how organisations work in practice
3. Analyse and make recommendations for organisations on their structures, functioning , behaviour and performance

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22A formal lecture which typically presents the essential ideas and core concepts
Group work25Groups of students work together to prepare a report on a topic proposed by the lecturer. Groups should work with the lecturer for readings, and feedback on drafts of the assignment
Independent Study78Students are expected to prepare for, and follow up each class with their own independent reading around the topics covered in class, and also work on the assignments. The lecture notes on Loop have many references to supplementary readings which can add further insight to the topics covered
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Organisation Theory
What is organisation theory, and how can it be useful to a manager? How has our understanding of the related concepts of organisation theory and management developed over the years?

The External Environment for organisations, and inter-organisational relationships
In what ways do organisations relate to the external environment, and why? In what ways do organisations connect with each other in that environment - how and why? What tools and frameworks can a manager use to help understand the relations between organisations and to better assess risk and uncertainty in the environment? What can managers to to be better able to anticipate and adapt to changes in the environment to realise benefits and mitigate threats and risk?

Organisation Strategy, Design, and Structure
What is the relationship between the strategy, design, and structure of an organisation? What are some of the challenges and issues to be considered in designing an organisation that performs well?

Technology, Innovation, and Change in Organisations
Technology and organisations have co-evolved for hundreds of years - each enabling and driving change in the other. So what 'IS' technology? How can managers guide change in this context?

Conflict, Power, and Politics in Organisations
What are these concepts - 'conflict', 'power', and 'politics', and how are they inter-related? Are they 'good' or 'bad', or even necessary for organisations? How do people use / abuse conflict, power, and politics in organisations? What tools and concepts can managers use to make sense of conflict, power, and politics in organisations?

Decision Making in Organisations
Decision making in organisations - its not as simple as you would think - but in what ways? How are decisions made in organisations, and can managers 'control' or 'affect' the quality of a decision, and its outcome?

Organisational Culture and Ethical Values
What is organisational culture? How can it be a powerful enabler or inhibitor of the operations and performance of an organisation? What is its relationship to the values and ethical behaviour of people in the organisation?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group assignmentGroups of students will apply the theories, concepts, and frameworks of organisation theory to an analysis of an organisation30%Week 12
AssignmentAn individual assignment on a topic allocated by the lecturer70%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Daft, Murphy & Willmott: 2020, Organisational Theory and Design: An International Perspective, 4th, Cengage Publishing EMEA, 978147376590
  • Jones, Gareth R.: 2013, Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, 7th, Pearson, 978-027376560
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
Date of Last Revision03-FEB-11

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