Master’s studies

Syllabus for Advanced Organisation Theory

Avancerad organisationsteori

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FE860
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Business Studies A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2017-02-01
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 35, 2017
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in business studies. Proficiency in English.

    For incoming exchange students only 60 credits or equivalent in business studies are required, though 90 credits is strongly recommended. Proficiency in English.
  • Responsible department: Department of Business Studies

Decisions and guidelines

Master Programme in Business and Management - specialisation Organisation.

Learning outcomes

Modern society is influenced by organisations and organising, and most of our daily lives either play out in organisations or are deeply affected by organisation. While organisation theory traces its intellectual roots to economic sociology, it has developed by integrating insights from decision-making, network and political science theory to become a central theory in modern social science. The course presents an overview of the development of and various strands of organisation theory. It also provides a language that offers students insights into current debates, and societal issues in its broadest sense.

After the course, the students will be expected to:

  • Describe and explain the key themes and debates in organisation theory.
  • Understand, explain and use the core concepts and theories within organisation theory in a critical manner.
  • Carry out critical analyses, using key organisation theory concepts in empirical and theoretical reasoning.
  • Have knowledge of the most frequently used empirical methods used in organisation theory.


The course will give students an overview of organisation theory. It is divided into seven thematic sessions aimed to provide an overview over central debates and the theoretical tools and methods used to understand and research organising and organisations.

These topics include:

  • The formal organisation
  • The informal organisation and the human factor
  • Organisational design
  • The economics of organisation
  • Organisational decision-making
  • Organisations as open systems
  • Contemporary theories of organisation
Prior to every thematic session, students are required to reflect on empirical dilemmas that have led researchers to the particular theorisation of organisations that is the subject of the session.


The medium of instruction is the academic seminar. Students read and prepare a written assignment and will receive feedback and guidance at the seminar. The written assignment also includes the task of relating the topic of the seminar to current events, either as reported in media or from the student’s own experience. The course is taught in English.


The student will get one single grade, equivalent to 7,5 credits.

Examination includes seminars, hand-in exercises and a written assignment. The grade for the entire course is based on an assessment of all parts of the examination.

Grading criteria are presented in the study guide provided at the beginning of the course. The following grades will be used: pass with distinction (VG), pass (G), and fail (U). Examinations handed in late will not be assessed except under special circumstances. Any remaining supplemental work must be completed and handed in by the deadline specified in the study guide. Otherwise the entire course (all examinations included) must be retaken during subsequent course sections, pending availability of a place in the course.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the University, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a designated period.

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Other directives

The course overlaps FE898 Organisation Theory.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2017

  • Pugh, Derek S. Organization theory : selected classic readings

    5. ed.: London: Penguin, 2007

    Find in the library