Consulting, Communication and Change, Master Course

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FE831

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 1 February 2017
Responsible department
Department of Business Studies

General provisions

Master's Programme in Business and Management - specialisation Organisation.

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.

Learning outcomes

Contemporary organisations are exposed daily to ideas and models prescribing how their operations and activities should be organised and performed. TQM (Total Quality Management), JIT (Just-In-Time and Quality Circles), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), EBM (Evidence-based Management) and NPM (New Public Management) illustrate some of the most prominent and influential ideas. These concepts are familiar to most of us. But how much do we know about where they come from? Who is involved in the emergence and proliferation of these ideas? Who are the actors who disseminate and help organisations to implement them? And what motivates and drives these actors?

This course offers insights into how different types of actors and professional groups such as management consultants, think-tanks, lobbyists and the media create, popularise and help to implement ideas and models into organisations in different fields, sectors or industries. The course aims at increasing knowledge and understanding of how these professional groups work to change – through lobbying, agenda-setting and other policy-oriented activities - not only individual organisations, but also the economic, political and social environments in which organisations operate.

The main focus of the course will be on:

  • Identifying, analysing and reflecting on how different types of actors are involved in the creation, proliferation and implementation of management ideas.
  • Identifying, analysing and critically discussing various management ideas brought to organisations by the different actors.
  • Understanding the environment in which management consultants, think-tanks, lobbyists and the media are given the space to operate.
  • Discuss and critically reflect on the ethical and moral aspects of the work of management consultants, lobbyists and think-tanks and its influence on organisational behaviour.


The content of the course is organised around three groups of actors that can be considered central in the creation, proliferation and implementation of management ideas within and between organisations: 1) global think-tanks and policy-oriented transnational organisations; 2) management consultants; and 3) media. Each group of actors are covered in ’learning block’ where students discuss and analyse management ideas from three pedagogical perspectives: general theory; specific theory and empirical contextualisation.

Next to the learning outcomes specified above, the content of the course aims at training students in:

  • Independently and in groups locating, evaluating, and presenting relevant scientific and popular science literature.
  • Identify, analyse and apply the literature on empirical examples in which the different types of actors help and/or enable organisations to improve and develop their businesses with the help of management ideas.
  • Develop the skills to introduce and present relevant literature by organising lectures, seminars and reading groups.
  • Develop presentation skills by using verbal, written and visual means of communication.


Students will be trained to, orally and in writing, independently reflect upon and analyse key empirical and theoretical challenges linked to how the three types of actors change today's organisations. This work is done mainly in groups but individual tasks are run.

The course includes lectures, guest lectures and seminars. The lectures aim to introduce the wider theoretical arguments (general theory) around the course's overall theme. As such, the lectures will provide a deeper understanding of the underlying processes and dynamics of the production, dissemination and application of management ideas. A major part of the lectures is oriented towards introducing and using specific theoretical reasoning around the three types of actors (applied theory). Guest lectures and the seminars will then serve to provide an empirical setting to the literature (analysis). The course is taught in English.


The student will get one single grade, equivalent to 7.5 credits.

The examination includes

Written exam

This is an individual assignment based on the literature discussed during the course.

Lectures and seminars

Students are evaluated in small groups based on their ability to independently and critically sift through, summarise and discuss relevant literature during the lectures and seminars.

Learning memos

The students are examined based on their group assignments (learning memos).

The grade for the entire course is based on an assessment of the different 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.

Transitional provisions

This course replaces/overlaps Management Consulting 2FE406.