Advanced Organisation Theory

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 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)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 5 February 2020
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 equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

For incoming exchange students, exceptions can be made from the requirement of 90 credits in business studies, provided that special reasons are considered to exist.

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, individual hand-in exercises and an individual 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 that applies to the course section. 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.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

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

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Other directives

​The course overlaps Organisation Theory 2FE898 and Advanced Organisation Theory (Contract Education) 8FE860.