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Insegnamento a.a. 2018-2019


Dipartimento di Management e Tecnologia / Department of Management and Technology

Per la lingua del corso verificare le informazioni sulle classi/
For the instruction language of the course see class group/s below

Vai alle classi / Go to class group/s: 6 - 7

IM (6 cfu - II sem. - OB  |  ING-IND/35)
Docente responsabile dell'insegnamento / Course Director:

Classes: 6 (II sem.) - 7 (II sem.)

Class group/s taught in English


It is recommended that students have some basic knowledge of economics (basic cost analysis, demand and supply curves, market failures), as well as basic knowledge of management theory.

Mission & Content Summary

This course provides an advanced introduction to organization theory. The course draws on ideas and tools from sociology, psychology and economics, and covers the main ideas and currents in organization theory as these have developed since the 1960s. The course has many points of contacts with other classes taught in the International Management program, such as Corporate Strategy and International Management.


The course covers:

  • Individual decision-making (both classical models and behavioral models).
  • Organizational goals (e.g., the meaning of value maximization and how it relates to, e.g., stakeholder management).
  • The managerial function in organizations.
  • How organizations cope with bounded rationality.
  • Top management teams; organization design theory.
  • Agency theory; transaction cost theory.
  • Organizational culture and identity.
  • Relations between organizations.
  • Organizational change.
  • Organizational learning.
  • Institutions and institutions logics.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand and address complex organizational, managerial and institutional phenomena that cause heterogeneity across organizations and drive their performance. 
  • Understand and address what shapes decision-making in an organizational context, what determines the choice of formal organization (structure, control), why and how informal organization (culture, identity, routines, etc.) emerge and change,  what is the purpose and function of interorganizational relations and external contracts, the make-or-buy decisions and other aspects of the boundaries of organizations, and in general what determines efficient organizational design. 
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Apply  basic tools, derived from economics, game theory, psychology and sociology that enable them to understand the raison d’etre, functioning and consequences of organizations, how they shape and are shaped by their environments, and how they share and are shaped by the individuals in them.
  • Use these basic tools to diagnose and frame organizational problems, address them, and devise ways to solve them.
  • Understand the key organizational issues faced by organizations that operate globally, and what solutions have been developed in order to address them.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments

The teaching methods in this class are a mix of lectures, exercises and cases.

  • Classes are organized so as to provide students with the relevant concepts and theory, and with the opportunity to discover and apply them through the use of cases and exercises.

It is important that students not only attend class, but also come to class having read the cases or exercises assigned for the class, and ready to participate in the discussion,

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x

    For attending students, the final grade is determined as follows:

    80% grade in final exam + 20% of combined grade for presenting/discussing case.

    Students solve cases/exercises in groups. Each group also comment on the presentation of another group.

    For non-attending students, the final grade is determined as follows: the grade of the final exam.


    The final exam is a 50 questions multiple choice exam lasting one hour. It is based on the readings, the cases/exercises, and the slides, and is “closed-book”, “no-notes” (i.e. no materials can be used during the exam). Questions may pertain to all teaching materials. It is graded with a range of 18-31 points, with a fixed grade distribution based on the standard Bocconi undergrad grading policy (from 0/30 to 17/30 the exam is failed).

    Teaching materials

    The material for this course is a mix of research and practitioner articles that are available online on the Bocconi elearning platform (https://, as well as the teaching slides and the case material.

    The course material is the same for attending and non-attending students.

    Students can find the articles, cases, and teaching slides (in the materials section of the platform. Some of the articles are quite demanding and requires careful study. However, in some cases students only have to read parts of the article.

    Students connect the key ideas to real world situations through business case and exercise discussions. Links to the case and exercise materials are posted on the Bocconi elearning platform. In class, slides are used to present the main ideas and guide the discussion. The slides are also posted on the elearning platform.

    Last change 31/01/2019 17:15