Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 6 - 7 - 99
IM (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  ING-IND/35)
Course Director:

Classes: 6 (II sem.) - 7 (II sem.) - 99 (II sem.)

Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)

Mission & Content Summary


Modern organizations carry out almost every task we need in order to function as a society: from education, to healthcare, to security, to the production of goods and services. Many of the achievements of our world would not have been possible without a sophisticated understanding of how to organize vast amounts of resources and the efforts of many people in order to carry out complex tasks. Symmetrically, many of the failures and disasters of modern society are the failures and disasters of organizations. The objective of this course is to give you the fundamental tools to understand how organizations operate, how they can be designed to achieve their goals, and what are the processes and the phenomena that affect their functioning, which we cannot design but can attempt to influence. We will do this by combining a rigorous theoretical approach with the discussion of cases, simulations, and exercises that will enable you to gain a solid understanding and command of the complexities of modern organizations, with a particular emphasis on the specificities of organizations operating in an international context.


The ability to understand the full complexity of organizations begins with the development of multiple frameworks on organizations. As a starting point, this course is organized around different frameworks on organizations: the structural design framework, the political framework, and the human resource and symbolic framework. Each of them offers a different angle on what is an organization, and each offers different tools for action. Yet, these frameworks provide only simplified versions of what an organization is. Therefore, to fully understand organizational complexity, we need to integrate these frameworks into a more holistic view. For these reasons, the course will start by examining each framework in detail. Within the structural design framework, it will focus on the most important organizational designs, their determinants, and on the traits to be a strong company. Within the political framework, it will focus on the role of individual preferences in determining political issues, on how to manage with power, on the role of social capital, and on the pathologies inherent in the use of power. Within the human resource and symbolic framework, it will focus on how to analyze the organizational culture and how to effectively manage people. Having established these pillars, the course will then explore how these lenses can be applied to interpret current organizational phenomena.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

1. Acquire the basic jargon and concepts necessary to discuss, in a precise and consistent manner, organizational issues and how to address them.

2. Understand and address what determines the choice of formal organization (structure, control), why and how informal organizations emerge and change, what shapes organizational culture, and what determines a strong company.

3. Understand the nature and dynamics of key organizational phenomena.

4. Understand the key organizational issues faced by organizations that operate globally, and what solutions have been developed in order to address them.



At the end of the course student will be able to...

1. Identify the relevant dimensions pertaining to each framework

2. Integrate the different frameworks to develop a better understanding of organizational dynamics

3. Use these basic tools to diagnose and frame organizational problems, address them, and devise ways to solve them

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


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, simulations, 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)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Final exam (written)


Group field project


Class participation



Final exam: The exam will have the same structure for both attending and non-attending students. The exam will consist of open questions plus a set of multiple-choice questions, which are aimed at testing students' knowledge of the main theories, terminology, and concepts associated with the study of organizations through the different frameworks.


Group field project: The group field project will consist in a detailed analysis of an organization of your choice. The deliverables will consist in a 15-page written report (70% weight) and an in-class presentation (30% weight), with the ultimate goal of assessing students' critical application of the concepts and frameworks learned throughout the course. Moreover, the group field project will allow assessing students' ability to present their results in an effective way in both written and oral form.


Class participation: It will be encouraged through case discussion, group activities, exercises, videos, and simulations. Class participation will be recognized based on your participation to in-class simulations and it is aimed at testing students’ ability to interact in a constructive way and present their points of view convincingly in face-to-face lectures.


Final exam (written)



Final exam: The exam will have the same structure for both attending and non-attending students. The exam will consist of open questions plus a set of multiple-choice questions.

Teaching materials


The teaching materials will be indicated before the beginning of the course.

Last change 27/11/2023 20:27