BUSU9OB: The Organisation of Business

Semester:  Spring

Level:  9

Credit Value:  20

Module Coordinator:  Dr Robbie Wilson, Management, Work & Organisation Division

Contact Hours:  22 hours lectures, 8 hours seminars

Assessment:  100% Coursework (2 written assignments)

Module Overview:

The Organization of Business aims to develop a broad and constructively critical understanding of management and work organization. There is an emphasis on understanding organizations in a way that accounts for change in the environments in which organizations have operated historically and how they operate now and in the future.  

The module considers a range of topics—how ideas have developed in the study of management, the evolution of the role of the manager, perspectives on organizations and management, the operation of groups in organizational settings, as well as the effect of new technology, culture, power and micro-politics on organizations. Special attention is also given to issues such as diversity management and gender and organizations. In addition, the development of and the changes that can affect the structure of business will be introduced. The issues covered in this module form a foundation for the development of practical tools for the analysis and management of organizational situations

The module encourages students to develop the cognitive and intellectual skills that are required by modern businesses and other organizations. These skills include critical thinking and analysis, effective problem solving, effective written communication, and effective self-management in terms of time planning and individual initiative. 

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to understand and evaluate:

The critical understanding of business and management from both academic and practitioner perspectives

  • The development of the managerial role over time
  • The role of the manager as practitioner responding to changes in economy and society

An appreciation of the theoretical foundations of business and management 

  • The development of different theoretical perspectives on organizations
  • Awareness of changes in the nature of our understanding of managerial work

An understanding of the diverse nature, purposes, structures, governance, operations and management practices of organisations in all.

  • Development of organizational structures over time and in different geographic locations
  • The effects of changes in structure due to events such as mergers.
  • The effects of and importance of culture, power, and micro politics

The impact of environmental forces on organisations

  • The effects of and importance of technology, diversity and gender.

A critical understanding of sustainability, stakeholder management, and ethics on business decisions and performance

  • Awareness of changes over time in attitudes and goals of business and other organizations

The development of effective communications skills, both oral and writing.

  • The ability to communicate complex issues and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • The ability to construct an argument and support it with evidence.

The comprehension and use of relevant communication and information technologies for application in the business and management fields

  • Development of ‘information literacy’ skills, i.e. the ability to use relevant technology and software to search for, find, and critically evaluate information relevant to the completion of tasks.

An ability to interact and study with others and to constructively practice multiple management skills

  • Effectiveness within a team environment
  • Cooperative learning, understanding, and innovative thinking
  • Group leadership

Further contemporary and pervasive issues such as creativity, collaboration, responsibility.

  • The cognitive skills of critical thinking and analysis
  • Ability to synthesize information from multiple sources in order to develop clear and concise argumentation

Transferable intellectual, self-management, self-reflection and study skills

  • Time planning
  • Organization of complex task requirements 


2016 seminar reading

S. Caldicott, ‘Teamwork, Edison style’, Mechanical Engineering, February, pp. 46-49.

S. Cummings & T. Bridgman (2011) ‘The relevant past: Why the history of management should be critical for our future’, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10(1), 77-93. 

E. Dent and P. Bozeman (2014) ‘Discovering the foundational philosophies, practices, and influences of modern management theory’, Journal of Management History, 20 (2), pp. 145-163.

C. Guillaume and S. Pochic (2009) ‘What would you sacrifice? Access to top management and the work-life balance’, Gender, Work and Organization, Vol. 16, no. 1, pp 14-36.

O. Hope (2010) ‘The politics of middle management sensemaking and sensegiving’, Journal of Change Management, 10 (2), pp. 195-215.

L B. McSweeney (2006) ‘Are we living in a post-bureaucratic epoch?’ Journal of Organizational Change Management, 19 (1), pp. 22-37.

M. Pryor and S. Taneja (2010) ‘Henri Fayol, practitioner and theoretician: Revered and reviled’, Journal of Management History, 16 (4), pp. 489-503.

Z. Soldan & A. Nankervis (2014) ‘Employee perceptions of the effectiveness of diversity management in the Australian Public Service: Rhetoric and reality’, Public Personnel Management, 43 (4), pp. 543-564

J. Wilson & A. Thomson (2006) ‘Management in historical perspective: Stages and paradigms’, Competition & Change, 10 (4), pp. 357-374.

C. Wortmann (2008) ‘Can stories change a culture?’ Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol 40, Iss. 3, pp. 134-141. [Emerald]


General textbooks useful for overviews of subjects dealt with in the module.

M. Alvesson and Y. Due Billing (2009) Understanding Gender and Organizations (2nd edn), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

R. Fincham and P. Rhodes (2005) Principles of Organizational Behaviour (4th edn) Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Earlier editions in the library are called The Individual, Work and Organization)

L. Mullins (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour (9th edn) Harlow, England: FT/Prentice Hall

S. Robbins and T. Judge (2012) Essentials of Organizational Behavior (11th edn) London: Pearson Prentice Hall

J. Wilson and A. Thomson (2006) The making of modern management: British management in historical perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press



This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.




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