Understanding Organisations: Theory and Practice


Course Description

  • Course Name

    Understanding Organisations: Theory and Practice

  • Host University


  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Business, Business Administration, Business Management, International Business, International Economics, International Management

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    This unit is designed for Management/Business student majors

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This subject considers what is theory and what is theorising in the specific context of organisations and organisation theory. It covers both mainstream classical business theorising and some alternatives. This examination should lead to an understanding that theory and organisational reality interact, influencing and shaping each other. It then follows that the practising manager is informed by theory when defining issues, sense making and choosing practical action.
    Subject objectives
    Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
    1. recognise several different ways of conceptualising and describing organisations and explain how these different theoretical approaches reflect only specific aspects of organisational reality
    2. discuss how different theorising not only reflects aspects of organisational reality but is also significant in further shaping that reality, so that theory is not separate from the 'reality' it purports to describe
    3. critique organisational theory and practice, given the above understandings
    4. reflect on what persistence and change in the context of organising means for the practice of managing.
    This subject also contributes specifically to the following program learning objectives:
    Show an understanding of essential concepts necessary for a career in business and related professions (1.1)
    Critically evaluate data and resources in the context of relevant academic literature (2.2)
    Contribution to the development of graduate attributes
    This subject develops critical and complex thinking about managing in the context of organising. It enables students to make informed decisions and choices about management practice. It develops important understanding of and skills for management processes. Students develop an awareness of key concepts of persistence and change in the context of organising.
    Classic business approach to organisation ? description and evaluation
    Classic theorising about why organisations take particular forms
    Limitations of, and problems arising from, the classic business approach ? learning to critique through different lenses as applied to 'organisation'
    Organisation as a social construction, and the part theories play in this construction
    Managing and organising ? what understanding of theory means for a manager
    Persistence and change in the context of organising
    Assessment task 1: Essay (Individual)
    This addresses subject learning objective(s):
    1 and 2
    Weight: 30%
    Assessment task 2: Report & Presentation (Group)
    This addresses subject learning objective(s):
    2, 3 and 4
    This addresses program learning objectives(s):
    Weight: 30%
    Assessment task 3: Final Exam (Individual)
    This addresses subject learning objective(s):
    1 and 3
    This addresses program learning objectives(s):
    Weight: 40%
    Minimum requirements
    Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject?s total marks.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.