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Organisations play an important role in modern society from social, economic, political, legal, and ethical perspectives. They have become a dominant means of creating wealth and employment, are crucial sources of innovation and allow addressing several contemporary social, political, and economic problems. Organisations are “living” systems, whose characteristics, forms and activities are subject to continuous evolution. In particular, the emergence of new economies, the decline of traditional multinational corporations and the emphasis on new technologies have posed new challenges to organisations, making it essential to be able to design, manage, analyse and understand organisations in contemporary times. Organisations make things happen by designing systems to formulate and implement their strategies. Organisational design is strongly connected to organisational success, as it is through the design of an organisation that things get done and performance is achieved.
This module provides students with an understanding of the principles of organisational design, and explores how organisational design influences the effective functioning of organisations in attainment of their mission and objectives. Also, the module illustrates how managers and other organisation members can use different perspectives on organisational design as tools for structuring activities, for managing the relations with the external environment and for coping with rapid changes. In order to engage students in a creative effort to apply empirically supported theoretical principles to actual business examples, the module builds on examples, case studies and in-group assignments about real-world companies in a variety of industries, businesses, and countries.